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Riley Hyde: good girl gone bad [Updated 20/01/16]

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[spoiler=The diary]My name is Riley Hyde. I am 21 years old. Because of my family's business, I have never stayed in my homecountry - Britain - for longer than a year straight. My father runs a vast amount of factories producing canned peaches all over the world. Well, he used to run them. Because of his position, he was expected to continuously travel around the world, inspecting and evaluating the work that was done at the factories. Because he had to travel all the time, he - as the head of the family - decided to take my mother and me with him. I was still a newborn child when he made this decision. Growing up - travelling from one country to another - I went to various international schools.

[align=justify]By the time I turned 11, my mother got another child, my brother William. Naturally, it was immediately decided that he would become the next head of the family. At first, my brother coming to this world wasn't quite favorable for my social status, nor my position in the family. However, from the point that my little brother started learning the ins and outs of the family business - being it a tradition that the future head starts learning about our family history from a very young age, I've been there - I noticed that little by little, the pressure that was put on my shoulders ever since I was born started to die down. For the first time in my short life I had spare time after school, and not to forget, after my supplementary violin and latin classes.

During this precious free time, I started reading books.

[align=justify]Now let's go back to the present. It's been 2 months and 3 days since I turned 21, my brother is currently residing at our villa in Britain, my mother and father have left me alone to die in a filthy hotel room in Chernogorsk, Chernarus. I was staying at this same hotel room when I heard about the infection that had hit this very country. Naturally, I instantly grabbed my phone - hundreds of tiny Swarovski diamonds decorated the case of my newly bought smartphone, a gift from William for my birthday - and called my butler Carl. Carl had been with me for over 12 years now, and our relationship is - was - even better than my relation with my father, who was never home (on top of that, I wasn't allowed to speak my father unless he summoned me to his chambers, something which rarely ever happened). When I demanded him to call over the chopper, he informed me that my parents had already left the country, in the chopper, without me. They weren't planning to return, nor would they let our private chopper return to city I was residing, let alone the country where I was desperately crying out for help that would never come.

My vision is blurred from the tears that are fading away the ink of the words that I've been writing for days now. I left the hotel right after making my final phone call to my childhood friend, Anisa (I met her at the international school in India). I didn't say much as she tried to comfort me from thousands of kilometers away. She knew she couldn't help me. As I softly touch the Swarovski stones on my smartphone case, I think of how my life could've been if this calamitous fate hadn't struck me. I will never return to my motherland, I will never read the books I still wanted to read, I will never get the chance to take revenge on the head of our wealthy, rich, but so dark and cruel family. How I wish I would've been able to return home, to watch my father and mother burn in the flames I would've caused.

How I wish.


Last night I dreamt about the color purple.

It was 9 years ago when me and my dad travelled to India. A new factory had just been opened, and as my father always prioritized business over family, he left my mother and 2 years old brother William behind in England. Up to this very day, I still don't know why my father then decided to take me with him on his journey to the land of the tiger. Maybe he wanted me to see...No, he never cared.

We would stay in India for 3 years. Since my 2 maids - Helena and Maria, God bless them wherever they are at this fraction of a moment that I called their names - had been ordered to stay home to take care of William, only Carl - my late butler - escorted me to the capital of this diverse country. Because my family strongly valued education, I had to enroll in one of the international schools of New Delhi. Little did I know that my dark life would finally start to gain color with the fateful encounter of an Indian girl.

It's cold. I'm lonely. Tears are welling up at the corner of my eyes and my hands are shaking. I can barely hold on to the pen I once took with me from the hotel room, my only posession left that can take me back to the past like a time machine. It's going to get dark soon. I need to keep writing. As long as I keep writing, I won't lose my sanity.

Anisa, oh where do I start. Ever since I was a little girl, I had the uncontrollable nature to look for beautiful things in my life that was always filled with dark and grey. In my opinion, the most beautiful things in the world had to sparkle. They had to glimmer like my mothers diamond necklace, gleam like the reflection of the sun in my small hand mirror, shine like the eyes of the girl I encountered on my first day of school in New Delhi. I was standing near the entrance of the domain - dangerously unsteady as I was trying to find the perfect balance while standing on one leg - when she entered the school grounds. I don't remember much of the first time I encountered Anisa, only that her long black hair was tied together with a purple bow.

My nail polish is coming off.

Because my company was not much appreciated by my fellow classmates, I spent my time during lunch break reading books. One day, the light of the sun that shone on my school desk near the window got overshadowed by something. Someone. Anisa. As she was jumping up and down, being all happy-go-lucky because she finally found someone that also read 'Alice in Wonderland', I looked her right in the eyes. 2 dark pools of a blue I'd never seen before stared back at me. I had never seen such a beautiful sight before in my life.My pen is starting to go empty. I'm alone. Soon, I will wake up from this nightmare. Father will $come and get me. I'm cold. Mother will come tuck me in, right after telling me a bedtime story. I'm hungry. Tomorrow, Maria and Helena will enter my room with

fresh chamomile tea and toast. I have to keep writing.

“Begin at the beginning," the King said, very gravely, "and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”

I need to listen to the king from Alice in Wonderland. That's what Anisa would've told me. I have to continue my story. For her and the king.

From that day on, we became friends. I discovered that Anisa was just one grade below me. Even though she lived in New Delhi, her parents made her go to an international school because in our international society English is of much more importance than Hindi.

What society.

Anisa, what a colorful girl you are. were. Where are you? How are you doing? Are you still the cheerful girl I said goodbye to when I left India? Do you still quote Alice in Wonderland at every opportunity? Are you still the beautiful girl I once knew, or has your beautiful black hair turned grey by the ashes of the burning world? Your tanned skin, carrying stories of a past long gone, turned to dust? Hey, Anisa, where are you right now? I don't know where I am, nor do I know where to go. How do I escape, how do I run?

My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go

anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.”

Did you run when things started to go so horribly wrong so mercilessly fast? I bet you did. You were always running faster than me. The only sight you ever gave me was one of the purple bow in your long, black hair. Should we try again? One last match, just the two of us. As I wish to once return to your safe arms, I'll just have to run twice as fast. 3, 2, 1, GO. Anisa, we'll meet each other at the finish line.

I promise.



I don't know for how long I've been walking anymore. I'm cold, I'm tired, my feet hurt. I have never walked for so long in my entire life. Even though it grosses me out, I managed to find some warm clothing in an abandoned house. God, I really must sound like a spoiled kid right now.


Being all alone in this wilderness makes me realize how blessed and lucky I used to be. Living in a beautiful mansion, always having more than enough food... Right now, I already feel blessed and lucky if I find a can of spaghetti. A damaged can of spaghetti at the verge of spoiling...


Mom and dad are probably back at the mansion by now. Sitting by the fire, discussing politics while eating a peach parfait... Pretending I never existed by not thinking nor talking about me. Say, William, my sweet little brother, do you miss me? Are you wondering where I am, if I'm still alive? My beautiful baby brother, I never wanted to disappoint you. I always bought you the biggest presents, took you to the most wonderful places, took care of you as if you were my own child... Because mom wouldn't look at you. Because dad would only yell at you.


My little rabbit, this one time, I'm afraid I'll have to disappoint you. I am still alive. However, with the way things are looking, I probably won't last much longer. Being a spoiled and wealthy girl has never given me so much of a disadvantage as right now. Idon't know how to hunt, I keep failing at making a fire, my chances of surviving in this hell are close to zero.


The tears are coming again. I'm surprised I'm still hydrated after shedding all these tears. Altough I'm probably already far from being hydrated at this point. Keep writing.


How are Helena and Maria doing? Is Helena still so optimistic and talkative, even after what happened to the world? ... Have you heard anything from Carl? You know Carl, my butler, but most of all my dearest friend? Has he returned safely, is he alive and well?


He isn't. The chopper never came back to pick me up, meaning he must still be out here somewhere. Starving to death, being on the run for armed people with bad intentions, turning into a...zombie.


I'm going crazy. I don't know how much longer it's going to take, but I am definitely losing my sanity. The last bit of nail polish that covered my thumbs has come off as well. I lost the pen I found at the hotel. My smartphone with swarovski diamond case is long gone. Everything that could still remind me of how I used to be is gone. I am no longer Miss Riley Hyde from Britain. No longer the promising daughter of Mister Adam Hyde, no longer the desired older sister of the next head of the family, William Hyde.

I am nobody.


“I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.”


I never knew what Alice meant by saying she turned into a 'different person'. I didn't believe that someone could turn into someone else overnight. But you know Alice, you were right all along. I turned from the mightiest somebody that one can be into the filthiest nobody that no one would ever want to transform in.


I don't know if anybody will ever read this diary. It'll probably vanish after I turned to ashes myself (which I guess won't take much longer now). But I am not writing this diary for some passerby to read. Writing is keeping me sane. So as long as I live, I will keep on writing.


It's been a while since I felt the warmth of a fire caressing my cheeks. Warmth. One of the things I missed the most during the time I've been here. However, I can't help but wonder if the only warmth I've ever sensed is just the affectionate warmth of a fire.

I met someone today.


The path I was walking on this morning was soggy of the dew the day brought with the sun rising. I hadn't eaten anything for approximately a day and a half. Because I always used my hands to open the few cans of food I managed to find, my nails were cracked and damaged to the point I was barely able to use my fingers to untangle the mats that had formed in my hair anymore. Thirsty as I was, I squatted until I was as close the the ground as I could possibly get. Keeping my hair from getting dirty by the dust on the ground with one hand and keeping my body balanced with the other, I slowly moved my head closer to the ground. The salty water of my tears reached the landscape first. Retching and crying, I slowly stuck my tongue out in an attempt to moist my body with the dew that got trapped in the grass. Shortly after that, I threw up. I guess I still can't bring myself to the point to actually do

something so abominable, even if my life is in danger.


This fire feels so good. It's making me sleepy.


Later that day, I stumbled upon one of the biggest trees I'd ever seen. I had just decided to rest under its leafy branches for a while, when I saw something hanging at the top of the green giant. It looked like an apple or maybe a pear, and without a second considering if I wasn't making myself illusions, I started my climb. As I scratched my arms and legs by the bark of the tree, I slowly progressed my ascendance. When I finally reached the top - as expected - nothing was there. My mind had been playing tricks with me again. Very carefully (I couldn't afford myself to make a fall of 10 meters), tightly holding on to a big leafless branch, I looked down. For the next couple of hours I couldn't help but wondering how I ever managed to get so high up a tree like this, and how I would ever get down again.


By the time the sun had reached its highest point in the sky, I had already stopped caring about being stuck in the tree. I liked the view from up there. It might surprise you, but for the first time in what, months? I finally started to relax a little. No one could touch me as long as I stayed in my tree. As I looked at the clouds, I started quoting one of my favorite poems from Alice in Wonderland:


The sun was shining on the sea,

Shining with all his might:

He did his very best to make

The billows smooth and bright

-- And this was odd, because it was

The middle of the night.


While almost singing the poem - out loud, of course - I kept looking at the clouds. I had already seen a Rabbit drifting near the forest to my right, and I just noticed that something looking like a sheep was floating right above me and my giant tree.


The moon was shining sulkily,

Because she thought the sun

Had got no business to be there

After the day was done

-- "It's very rude of him," she said,

"To come and spoil the fun!"


The moon should come out right now - I thought. Right now, all the animals in the sky have hidden the sun, just for you. But moon, please hurry up, I'm getting cold like this.Some time after that, I thought I heard something resembling footsteps. However, I quickly decided it must've been the sound of some kind of animal. A rabbit, perhaps.


The sea was wet as wet could be,

The sands were dry as dry.

You could not see a cloud, because

No cloud was in the sky:

No birds were flying overhead

-- There were no birds to fly.


The sound had gotten a lot closer in the time I was muttering the third paragraph of the poem, but I didn't see any danger in it. My tree would protect me from the monsters and zombies ruling this land.


In a Wonderland they lie

Dreaming as the days go by,

Dreaming as the summer die.”


As soon as I finished the poem, I heard something plopping in the grass beneath me. Carefully, I grabbed one of the firmer branches and looked down to the roots of my tree. I noticed someone sitting on the ground with his back against my tree. I reached out some more to take a better look at the first person I'd seen in a long time, when one of the branches I was holding onto - not as firm as I thought - cracked and started its way down while rapidly gaining speed.


A couple of seconds later, the big and not so firm branch landed right next to the stranger. After shouting some of the most inappropriate words I had ever heard, he tilted his head up, looking right at my face. I still don't know how he managed to convince me, but at a certain point I let go of the branches and jumped out of my giant 10 meter high tree. He catched me out of the sky as if I was a tiny feather, and that's how I got down.


While giving me a pair of boots - where did he get these? They're wet, stinky, and way too big for me - he introduced himself as Finnr. Besides these boots, I don't have anything to complain about. He could've just as well been some kind of savage cannibal crazy person. Instead, he's actually kind of handsome - when you look past his rather frightening aura. However, his personality is really the worst. He swears all the time, he is rude, and he hasn't called me by my name once. Instead, he keeps referring to me as 'miss pretty'. Very mature.


Even though he's all that, I feel that I can trust this person. As we looked for clothes and supplies together, he gave me food and water. He even took me all the way to this place called Dolina. There's lots of people in Dolina, all sitting around a pleasant campfire, talking about all different kinds of things. For the first time in way too long, I feel safe.


Maybe, just maybe, this is the warmth I've never felt before.


At first I was happy I met a fellow human being, but man, what an annoying human being this is! Finnr is moody ALL the time, he barely says anything

and when I can't keep up with his pace he just leaves me behind! He's nothing more than a savage without ANY decent manners! Did this person grow up in a cave? I think, if I would just leave, he wouldn't even notice. Why I'm still following him, I don't know. He should've just left me in my tree, it was way more fun up there.


Hey, Anisa, I found our favorite book today. Well, Finnr found it. I have no idea how, but I guess he somehow found out that I'd been searching for it. When he gave it to me, I almost burst into tears. Him deciding to give it to me has made me appreciate him more. I mean, you might not know Anisa, but he could've used that book to make a fire with! He could've used it to feel warm at night, but instead he gave it to me. You know, Finnr really is a grumpy person. He is ALWAYS in a bad mood, his vocabulary of cursing words alone exceeds my imagination and he isn't friendly at all. But despite all that, he's been taking care of me for a while now - even though he constantly nags about it - and I deeply appreciate that. Without him, I probably would've already died. I guess he's not such a bad person after all.


Finnr taught me how to kill zombies today. Altough I can't really say he actually learned me anything... 'Aim for the chest, then shoot.' That's basically all he had to say about it. You can't imagine how scared I was when I heard the sound of a zombie close to my right, and as expected I immediately started to panic. It was the first zombie I encountered since Finnr saved me from 2 of them some time after we met. Just as I was about to faint, Finnr grabbed my arm saying it was okay, that I had to calm down because he was there with me. Somehow, him touching me made me even more nervous than the creature that could potentially kill me. I was so mesmerized by our first actual contact since we met that I almost forgot that I was about to kill someone. Something.

I have to say, I felt really good after managing to shoot 3 zombies by the time we left Elektro. Finnr even said I did a great job. After all, I think that him complimenting me made me feel more happy than killing the zombies. I really wish things like this would happen more often...

I guess I'll just have to shoot some more zombies!


I guess I'm having a hard time tonight. Finnr already went to sleep, so I'm alone. It's been a while since I cried, but right now I'm just letting all the tears flow that I've kept inside for the last couple of days. I don't want him to see me cry, I don't want him to see me weak. When looking at the endless dark sky like this, I can't help but wonder how my family is doing, how Anisa and Carl are keeping up... I don't know how much longer I can take this. At some times, I want to leave this world so damn bad. If only I wasn't so scared to take my own life.

My tears are wiping away the ink on my paper. It's as if they're wiping away my existence, slowly and painfully.

I wish I was able to show my feelings to Finnr. I wish he would be able to show me his feelings as well. Being around him makes me feel happy, it gives me faith. Finnr being with me gives me a reason to stay alive. It's kind of sad that he probably doesn't think of me the same way. I'm actually rather convinced that he hates me... I have thought about leaving him, going back to struggling on my own. But everytime I think about it, I end up crying because I don't want to be alone anymore, not like I used to be. I do feel bad for annoying him all the time by following him around, I really do. But I guess I just can't leave him no matter what I try. He keeps me going.


Today, Finnr has set a new record. So far, he hasn't said a single word to me all day. When I opened my still sleepy eyes this morning, I noticed him packing his stuff and leaving me behind, whereafter I chased after him like I usually do. For the past couple of days, he would curse and say something about how 'annoying miss pretty was to follow him around again'. But this morning he didn't say anything at all. He didn't express anything when I was preparing for lunch either. And there I put all my effort in cooking the pig he shot... I didn't even get a nod as sign of approval! That really disappointed me. I wonder when he'll talk to me again...

I think I have finally found a way to get some reaction out of him. A while ago, I was so mesmerized by the sun going down in the mountains that I accidentally mumbled how beautiful I thought it was. Right after saying that, for just a second, I thought I could hear him growl. Ever since that moment I've been talking out loud. Everything I think, from the insignificance of an ant on this planet to the very existence of human beings, I tell him. To make sure my plan was actually working, I stopped talking again for some time. After about 15 minutes, he started walking faster while grumbling very unsatisfied. Getting him to actually talk is something I gave up a while ago. However, I started to enjoy the subtle expressions he makes when he's in a different mood. Right now he's staring into the fire with a very thoughtful look on his face. What would he be thinking about?


Yesterday, Finnr took me to a special place. After the long trip from Msta to Pusta, he asked me to follow him to somehwere nearby, a surprise. I didn't expect him to be the kind of guy who's so fond of things like that, so him asking me to come with him alone was already a surprise. By the time we got there, it had already gotten dark.

Asking me to be careful and to stay away from him, I slowly walked to the edge of the mountain we were standing on. When I looked up, I immediately stopped breathing. In my whole life I had never seen such a beautiful sight before. Behind all the tiny houses beneath us, a wonderful landscape of mountains and forests stretched out from west to east. I was so hypnotized by this breathtaking sight that I almost slipped off the cliff.

After making a fire, we sat down next to each other without saying anything for what seemed like hours. I'm already used to nights like this by now, but this night I didn't feel like staying silent. For the first time, I got him to actually talk to me. Even though the biggest part of our conversation revolved around reasons why you shouldn't talk, I still enjoyed our little chat. Finnr also revealed a bit of his past, but besides the short summary he made of his life, he's still a mystery.

I wish we could have more moments like this.


I can still clearly remember the day I went to the zoo with my parents.

I was 5 years old, and we went there with just the 3 of us. We fed the monkeys, went to watch the dolphin show and sitting up on my dad's shoulders I felt even bigger than the elephants. The zoo is where I first met my favorite animal, an arctic fox. They're so beautifully white and fluffy!

We ate burgers at the safari restaurant in the middle of the park, and I got to play on the swing for hours as my mom pushed me back and forth. After that, we went to the petting zoo to play with the goats and the guinea pigs. Right before the park closed, we rode the ferris wheel together. It was the happiest day of my life.

All of the above were lies.

When I turned 5 years old, I wanted to go visit the zoo so bad that I had the guts to enter my dad's chambers without being summoned. When I entered the room, I could see my father sitting behind his desk - busy as always. As quiet as I could, I tried to get closer to him. Unfortunately I hit a small table when I wasn't paying attention. On top of the table stood a beautiful vase with roses in all possible colors. Stood. I knocked it over, the vase. As I hid my face in my hands, I could hear my dad standing up and walking towards me. Cautiously, I looked up through the splits between my fingers. When I did, I saw my father standing right in front of me. He had turned red of anger, and I could see sweat dripping down his neck.

Of course I couldn't escape. My father had hit me so hard I fainted and woke up in my own bed while our family doctor made sure I didn't have a concussion. After that, I wasn't allowed to leave my room for 2 weeks. I met my favorite animal when we were on a business trip at the Spitsbergen archipelago. I'd seen one walking outside in the snow when I lost my interest during private class. Thinking they're beautifully white and fluffy weren't lies.

I guess It's always been like that. After that time, I tried a few more times to get my father's attention, but eventually I gave up. My mom wasn't someone I could really count on either. In contrast to my dad, my mother didn't do anything all day. She had all the time of the world to take care of her daughter, but she simply chose not to. I was foolish to think she loved me.

I was foolish to think they ever thought of me as their daughter.


How did I end up in Chernarus again?

Before the outbreak, I'd been staying at the International hotel of Chernogorsk for about 3 weeks. For the convenience, my dad had rented the top 2 floors. One for him and my mother, one for me. Immediately after arriving in our private chopper, I already hated the place. Everything about Cherno was dark and industrial, nothing like the endless sun and beauty of Spain - before we came to Chernarus we'd stayed in Cadiz for 6 months.

You might be wondering why I was still travelling with my parents at the age of 21. Initially, I was planning on studying medicine at Harvard University in the United States. However, my father was of the opinion that I had to enroll in our family business at all costs and as soon as possible. Our canned peach family company. Oh what a fight we had when he told me about his decision to not let

me go to university.

I hope Finnr doesn't notice that I'm getting all worked up. He'd only make some kind of nasty comment on it and I'd rather avoid the embarassment of not being able to say anything back.

It wasn't the first time I had a fight with my dad, but I have to say that I had never stood up for myself before as much as during that fight. I even went as far as smashing his Chinese designer vase to the ground, which made him go absolutely mad. When I think about it now, it still makes me go crazy. How he came closer, closer, threatening and dominant as ever, how he raised his fist - I knew this scenario all too well - and planted it in my face. It was the first time he ever touched my face, and oh how it hurt. I could feel the tears burning as I yelled something I can't remember, whereafter I spit in his face. You can already guess how mental he got after I did that. Everything that happened after my 5 seconds of fame is kind of hazy to me.

Now let's get back to the story. I think I made it quite clear why I was still travelling with my parents at that point, so let's continue. My father had just built a new factory near Mirovslavl to increase the production of our famous canned peaches and to easily be able to export them to Russia. You see, as exporting our products to Russia from a place like Germany or France takes much more time than exporting them from a neighbouring country such as Chernarus - that's just plain logic.

It must've been punishment for my behavior. Normally, I would've travelled with my aunt Jane to Brazil right after we left Spain. However, the day before we were supposed to leave, my father suddenly decided that I had to come with him and mother on a business trip to Chernarus. On top of that, he was even thinking about giving me a permanent function at the new factory! At that time, I didn't have the power to talk back to him. Too much had happened, and because of that I decided to think up a way to change my dark looking future after we arrived in Cherno. That decision has now changed my life completely, and not for the good. At the very

least I'm not running a canned peach factory right now.

No. Even though I'm still stuck in this hellhole, I'm travelling with Finnr. I am surviving and being with him makes me happy. That's all I need for now.


I'm alone again.


It's been a while since Finnr left me. He told me he had some business to take care of, whereafter he ordered me to stay here and wait for him. He didn't say when he was coming back. If he was ever coming back. I can't start doubting him, not now. Not here.

Why do I always end up being on my own?


I guess it's someting I always wanted. The world and its people had turned so dark and lifeless to me that all I wanted to do was run away and be on my own. Because the only person that was left to trust was myself. Because I thought I'd easily make it to the end of the world and back without anyone's help. How naive I was.


I heard something coming from downstears. Is it Finnr? Has he returned? My mind is playing tricks with me. Blood is dripping on the damp paper of my diary. I slipped and fell down the stairs just now. I'd gone outside to get myself some water from the well when I thought I heard footsteps close to where I was standing. The footsteps of someone who might want to harm me. Kill me. When I ran back up I was too hysterical to notice that a hole in the roof had caused a puddle to form on one of the stairs. I ended up hurting my head.


It almost seems surreal to me that I was once so stupid to believe that I could handle life just fine on my own. Of course, when I'm writing this, things aren't as easy as they used to be. I think, if the world was still clear of poison, I would've somehow been able to do it. Live independently, far away from all that had ever done me wrong. I could've moved to america, go to university, build up a small and peaceful kingdom just for me. I'm certainly not ugly, so I might've even been able to meet someone to share my kingdom with.

I met someone, yes I did. Only does this person not really fit in the picture of a happy family and a small, peaceful kingdom full of love and joy. Not at all, to be quite honest. On top of that, there is still a possibility that this person has left me to die here, so I guess I should start reconsidering saying that I 'met someone'.


I doubt that what I wrote down just now would've ever turned into reality, even if the outbreak hadn't happened. My father would've prevented me to live the life I wanted. He would've done anything in his power to give me the miserable future the family business had in store for me. He didn't want to see me happy. He wanted to see me suffer to the point of no return. When I'm looking at the situation from that point of view, I could say that the apocalypse has saved me.

But now I'm sitting here. Alone. Tired. Bleeding.


Finnr, if you're out there... Please don't forget about me. I'm still waiting.


Today, Finnr came back.


It's been 10 days, and I don't really know what happened when he was gone. I've hear bits and pieces here and there, not expecting him to reveal anything more than his muttering in between hysterical bursts of laughter. He's acting so restless, constantly looking around as if he's being watched by something. Someone. I want to help him, but I fail to find a way how.

It was already getting dark when I heard footsteps outside the house. Being too scared to sleep, I noticed the sound rather quickly. I took my axe, knotted the damaged laces of my old shoes, and got myself ready to either attack or run. In my case - knowing myself - I'd probably run. When I came downstairs, I heard a sinister voice whispering things I couldn't understand. The whispering kept coming closer, and it made me so scared that I almost started screaming when I saw the silhouette of a person in the darkness outside. That was, until I heard this eerie voice say something I thought I'd never hear again. 'Miss pretty'.


Finnr gave me that name when we first met. I really hate him for calling me by such a disgraceful name, so I would've never imagined being happy about hearing it. Even though I'd then confirmed that the person standing outside the house was Finnr, I stayed inside. Something was off, so instead of making the first move, I decided to stay quiet until he had found me. On top of that, I was mad at him for leaving me behind for so long. And... as soon as I heard his voice - eerie or not - I could barely hold back my tears.


We're at his hideout now. There's some other people, and it's really cold here. I still haven't really found out what happened these past few days, except that it has changed Finnr. For the worse. I'm trying my hardest to distract him, to keep him sane. But being as he is now, I really don't know what to do. I won't cry. Crying doesn't get me anywhere in this world.


I'm wondering how long I'll be able to stay sane myself.



I have always loved flowers.

As a child, I always ran off to the endless gardens of our mansion to pick the most beautiful flowers. I then made colorful bouquets to give to my father. I'd let Carl put them in a porcelain vase, where after I'd hurry to my father's chambers, while trying my very hardest not to spill any of the water that was needed to keep the flowers alive. He never once opened the door for me, not even for my flowers.

When did I stop caring?

Because he never let me in, I always put my little vase in front of the huge door to his office. It would then stay there untouched for a couple of days until all the flowers had withered and one of our servants cleaned it up. It was almost like a ritual that repeated itself week after week. Nothing would ever change, until one day.

The bouquet I made that day was the biggest one I had ever made. It had the most beautiful roses I had ever found in the garden andhow proud I was to give this present to my dad. Of course I didn't listen to Carls warning that my father was in a bad mood that day - someone had just called off a deal concerning the company that morning. As soon as I was finished, I rushed off to my dad's chambers. When I got there, the door kept - as usual - shut. Being so proud and way too excited to give him my beautiful bouquet, I didn't think twice when I carelessly entered my father's office. I ran all the way from the hallway to his desk while spilling mostly of the water that was put in the vase by Carl.

"I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,

Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,

Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,

With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine."

When I got to his desk, I carefully placed the vase on top of a huge pile of papers. At that moment I still hadn't looked my father in the eye. Once I did, I wished I never had. His face had turned as red as the lobster we had for dinner the day before, and sweat dripped from the side of his head all the way down to his neck. But the most terrifying was the silence. The deadly, imminent silence that filled the atmosphere and made my mind go blank. As he stood up, he said no word. He looked at the vase, looked at me. He then took the vase in his big, meaty hands, whereafter he walked towards me. He looked at me, again. He looked at the vase.

Everything happened in a flash.

Blood. Tears. He lifted the vase above his head, waited for a fraction of time. Smashed the bouquet to the ground right in front ofme. The biggest bouquet I had ever made, with the most beautiful roses I had ever found in the garden. My pride, my joy, my present. My dad.

"There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,

Lull'd in these flowers with dances and delight;

And there the snake throws her enamell'd skin,

Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in:"

That was the moment I stopped caring. The moment the world turned into a dark mass of emptiness. I was 9 years old. I hurt, I cried, I screamed until my voice had completely vanished. My father hit me. I hit my father. Carl rushed in, pulled me away from the big and meaty hands of the monster that was trying to kill me. More blood. More crying, more screaming. Darkness was all around me, weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in.

"And with the juice of this I'll streak her eyes,

And make her full of hateful fantasies."

I never picked a flower again. They make me feel nauseous.


“How she longed to get out of that dark hall, and wander about among those beds of bright flowers and those cool fountains, but she could not even get her head through the doorway; ‘and even if my head would go through,’ thought poor Alice, ‘it would be of very little use without my shoulders. Oh, how I wish I could shut up like a telescope! I think I could, if I only know how to begin.”

Will we ever get out of this nightmare? Everywhere I look I see people. Wandering around, alone or together with more people they barely even know. Trying to stay alive. Survive. Wondering if there's still a place for them in this world. Wondering if there is maybe the slightest chance that loved ones, far away, have survived this misery. If people are working on a cure, somehow, somewhere.

You should also take the zombies into consideration. After all, they're wandering around too. But as we have already found out that they don't really care about such deep matters anymore as soon as their brain shuts down, I don't see the need to write something empathic about them too.

Everyday I can feel bits and pieces of the life I had leave behind leaving who I am now. Waterfalls of emotions turning into streams of water, flowing from the highest mountain all the way down to my feet, then being absorbed by the earthy ground we walk everyday. Who I was before can't live in this world, this dark and cruel world. I'm changing.

Another thing, I'm getting real damn fucking tired of these mutant Chernorussian mosquitos. Finnr would be better off doing something about those instead of wandering off all the time, leaving me behind. ... I really am taking over that cursing habit of his.

I once was a caterpillar. Soft, weak, alone. But some time ago... I came into this nightmare without even a warning. It just happened. I didn't have a choice - I don't have a choice but to change. My cocoon is ready. I am ready. I will show the world that Riley Hyde isn't weak anymore. Not longer the rich, spoiled girl who gets everything she wants. She will stand up for herself and her loved ones. Loved one. She will protect them and she won't back off. If the time comes that she needs to pick up a weapon and fight, she will.

Alright, I admit it, I'm distracted as hell right now. Sitting in our tent, writing about the big change of Riley Hyde a.k.a me myself... Constantly alert, keeping an eye on the guards patrolling outside (whose idea was that, you think) and making sure they're not planning on doing anything 'unnecessary'. Hey, you never know how long they've been... without. Oh and don't forget the mosquitos. Those damned. Fucking. Mosquitoes. I guess I'll pick this part up later.

... My pen is running out of ink anyway.



I’m not sure if he’ll ever come back. I doubt that he would deliberately leave me alone to die, but if I’ve been counting right it’s been 3 weeks already.  Although I might’ve skipped a day here and there, not on purpose of course. A couple of days ago, someone got away with my last pair of trousers. Or something. I’d left them near the river bank so they could dry in the sun. Might as well walk around naked. I used some of the branches of my improvised roof to create a fancy haute couture skirt. Too bad that this kind of ‘nature fashion’ only suits Jane from The legend of Tarzan… It’ll get really cold soon though, so I really should start looking for some new clothes…


[align=justify]One more night. Then I’ll go.


[align=justify]My food supply is starting to run empty as well. I still can’t get over canned peaches, so the day after Finnr left I decided to keep them in a far corner until I’d ran out of all the other food he’d given me. Because He was sure to be back before I even used up a third of the amount of cans that filled over half of my hideout. So either my hideout is very small, or I eat a whole damn lot, or there weren’t that many cans to begin with and I just like to exaggerate. Either way, after a lot of thinking (I’m exaggerating again, see?) I came to the conclusion that I have 2 options: leaving the forest straight to the city for more cans, or starting to eat moss and pine cones. Damn, I really have turned into Jane Porter. Pine cones, improvised hideouts, skirts made from branches and leaves, … Only Tarzan is missing out. I wonder what he’s up to these days. I’m so hungry.


[align=justify]If he isn’t back by the end of the week, I’ll go.


[align=justify]He left me with a gun. I really don’t see what he was trying to achieve with leaving me alone with… a gun. I haven’t touched it I haven’t even looked at it. I barely know where it is.


[align=justify]Behind the pile of canned peaches. Slightly to the right.


[align=justify]I haven’t used a gun since the incident and I’m most certainly not planning to in the near future. But if a zombie were to show up while Finnr was still away… Or much worse: men? What would I do? I might have a black belt when it comes to playing the violin and the piano, speaking over 12 languages (fluently, of course. I don’t like to brag.), but when it comes to actual self-defence I’m useless... And I doubt speaking over 12 languages would stop a guy from raping me.


[align=justify]I miss him.


[align=justify]Finnr… I really don’t know anything about you, do I? Where are you? What people are you hanging around with? What the hell is going on that you have to leave me here for such a long time? You promised you would never leave me. When everyone else would go away, you would stay. You would be there. We made a promise. It wouldn’t take long, just a couple of days. Don’t worry, I’ll be back before you know it. Just need to take care of some things.




[align=justify]You didn’t actually leave me, did you? You didn’t ditch me, right? Would you? That’s what they always say. But you’re not one of those people. You would stay YOU PROMISED. We would be together and I would never have to be alone again you were sorry. The first time, you left for 3 days. The next, a week. But never longer than a week. Until now.


[align=justify]I’m going crazy here, Finnr. I admit, I’m not okay. Ever since the incident, there hasn’t been a single moment that I was okay. I’ve been starting to believe that I’m actually going crazy. Those nightmares keep coming back, haunting me every. Single. Night. But since you left, they haven’t left me alone during the day either. I’m seeing things, Finnr. When the thunder hits, a thousand gunshots fly through the air. All at the same time, hunting their target. Me. And not only thunder has been trying to take revenge on me for my deeds. It’s everything around me. I cannot deal with this on my own.


[align=justify]I hurt my leg yesterday. I must admit that my haute couture skirt really does look fashionable in time of apocalypse, but I would be lying if I said it was practical. Climbing a tree to get some good branches for the fire, I slipped and cut my knee. It was bleeding pretty bad and it really hurts, but my biggest worry was, you know, the blood. It stopped a while ago though. I guess I just like being a drama queen once in a while. Being all alone is starting to get especially boring, in case it wasn’t noticeable in my notes.


[align=justify]I really should go to the city soon. Just… a few more days.


[align=justify]You’ll come back. I know you will. You promised, we made a promise. You didn’t leave me. Daddy would’ve left me - he did - but you would never. Trying to protect me, I get it. But leaving me alone for over 3 weeks is NOT the way to go. You don’t just leave a vulnerable rich girl alone in a forest in the middle of an apocalypse with zombies and who-knows-what-else wandering around. You just don’t leave a rich girl in a forest in general. That’s bound to go wrong.… You should’ve just taken me with you.





[align=justify]I don’t know how long it’s been. I stopped counting a couple of days ago. Because, who am I actually counting for? Why yes, by now it’s almost certain that you aren’t coming back. You left me. That’s what they always do in the end, I’m used to it. I just didn’t expect you to leave me. I mean… It’s probably around December! Don’t you realize how cold it is out here? Yes, Finnr, you made me a shelter. Seriously, I’m thankful for that. I would never have been able to do that myself. But this little hideout of mine, this shelter… Well, it’s NOT a suitable place to live in during winter! You know how bad I am with cold, so why leave me now? I mean, you couldn’t have waited for another 3 months to drop me off in the woods? Is that it? I know I am a

selfish and spoiled little bitch, but what I didn’t know was that you hated me so much to just leave me here to die in the cold…


[align=justify]I’m so cold. Changing the Jungle-skirt for a pair of trousers I found not too far from my hideout helped a lot, but still. I really was stupid for climbing that high tree yesterday, trying to collect some dry branches for the fire… Slipping, falling all the way down, hitting my head. Oh Finnr you should know about all the shit I’ve been doing, trying to take care of myself. But seriously. The wound has started to swell and it’s really itchy. Too bad you only got me a small first-aid kit. I’m all out of Band-Aids and disinfectant spray. You should’ve known that one kit really isn’t enough for me.


[align=justify]Oh, on a side note, I’ve run out of food. Not taking a few cans of peaches into account. Seriously Finnr, are you fucking with me? Yesterday I got so desperate that I went out hunting for squirrels! Well, of course I didn’t catch any of them. And besides, how could I ever skin a squirrel? Let alone eating it? I don’t even know if it’s edible to begin with… Is it? Because if it is, why didn’t you tell me when you were still there? Was this all some kind of secret plot to make sure I died? As you can read (or not. Because you’re not coming back. I think.) I am really, REALLY pissed off at you.


[align=justify]I miss you. I miss your scolding and cursing, your always neutral face, your crazy side that will never stop scaring me. All of it. And I still really don’t get why you left me here. I know you had to take care of some things… But to leave me for this long? Like, I can barely remember when you left anymore. That’s how long it’s been. Will you come back? My heart says I should trust you. That I should stay here until you come to get me. However, my sanity says that I have to leave this shithole in search for another shithole that has food and supplies and warmth. I don’t know. Why are you always making things so hard?


[align=justify]I once thought about coming after you. Just packing up and leaving, like some kind of superhero in search of his (or her, in this case) damsel in distress (yes, that would be you. In this case.). But where would I start looking? You took me to lots of places, but it’s been so long that I can barely remember their names. Oh, and to top it off, you never told me where I’m at right now. I seriously don’t have a single clue of where in the world I am at the moment. I know it’s a forest. So I might just as well be in Canada right now. Or Alaska, considering how cold it is out here… But that would be really sadistic. Knowing I hate cold. Sending me to Alaska, you mindless asshole… (Now don’t get mad at me for calling you a mindless asshole. Who do you think has taught me this kind of slang? That’s right. YOU.)


[align=justify]You wouldn’t even recognize me anymore. Covered in bruises, my hair all tangled up… I’m thinking about cutting it. With what, you ask? I don’t know. A rock? Can you cut hair using a rock? I have officially turned into a caveman, you see. There is no shame.


[align=justify]You would’ve helped me out. No, you wouldn’t have. You would’ve laughed at me for even considering cutting my hair using a rock. But then, after a while, you would’ve said that I have beautiful hair. That it would be a waste to cut it. That’s probably why I haven’t done it yet…


[align=justify]Why do you keep influencing me even though you’re not here? When you decided to leave, you should’ve just vanished from my entire existence instead of choosing to haunt me like this. Doesn’t make things any easier, you know…Anyway, I’ll leave you to the things you still have to take care of.


And please hurry the fuck up. I’m freezing.


[align=left][spoiler=The events]I don’t want to. Stop fighting. I’m scared. Click.

[align=justify]This isn’t fun. I’m not hurting you. This is useless. Click.

[align=justify]Why would I. We’re the same. I’m not doing it. Click. Click.




[align=justify]Are you laughing at me? Are you laughing at my pain? Don’t you dare.

[align=justify]“Look at that, Riley. He’s laughing at you. Doesn’t it make you want to hurt him?”

[align=justify]His green eyes, piercing right through my skin. Filled with joy, amusement. Don’t make me laugh. This isn’t humanity. You aren’t human. This isn’t human.


[align=justify]This is fun.


[align=justify]Does it hurt? Do you like it? Shall I take another nail… Maybe go a little further… Touching the boundary. I can do whatever I want. I want to hurt you, see your blood dripping on the cold ground. I want to laugh at your pain. I want to hurt you, hit you, stab you kill you. Just keep on smiling, I’ll make it permanent, watch me. Take that ugly smile off your face.

[align=justify]I love your nails. They’re so pretty, I could only wish for such healthy-looking nails. Can I have one? Give me one. Not answering? I’ll just take it. “Can I, "Finnr? Can I take his nail?"

[align=justify]"Sure, sweetheart. Go on."

[align=justify]I’m taking your nail. Slowly, cutting around the edges. Just like a manicure, only worse. Look at all the blood gushing out of your shot-wound… Can I do that as well? Shoot you? Still smiling.

[align=justify]Take that ugly grin off your face. I could do it for you. Another nail?


[align=justify]I'm not strange, weird, off, nor crazy, my reality is just different from yours.

[align=justify]I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.


[align=justify]Images flashing by of who I used to be. Long gone, not long ago. Faded away, like the early morning clouds scared away by the rising of the sun. Not being able to stay for long. If not accompanied by the last bit of dew covering the leaves of trees, gone for good. Not coming back. Can’t come back.




[align=justify]The sun has left its place in the sky. The moon won’t be there to take turns. And the early morning mist has long been faded away, like it has never been there. And without the sun in the morning, it won’t have a reason to stay. It won’t have a reason to fight, to come back. The early morning drizzle staying in the dark, for good. Not having the will to get its walls up without the sun being there to destroy them, again and again.


[align=justify]I want to hurt you more. More, more, MORE. I want to see your pain, feel your pain.


[align=justify]It is the people around us, wanting to destroy us, that keep us going. When reason loses-


[align=justify]Talk to me. Tell me how it feels, how much it hurts. The more you smile, the more I want to…I want to. Nobody is stopping me. Just one finger, poking in your fresh wounds… More blood gushing out, hearing you moan. You stopped smiling. Oh no, please don’t lose consciousness. That would spoil the fun, please stay with me. Play a little longer.


[align=justify]-its meaning, all has been lost. In this madness, I have lost myself. I tried to stay sane, for the people I had left behind. In the end, they weren’t what kept me going. Hatred, revenge, loath.



[align=justify]Thrusting my burning hot knife right through the wound on your shoulder. Adrenaline. Sensation.

[align=justify]Delight. Desire. I want more, I need more. Show me your blood, show me your pain. Stop smiling… SHOW ME.


[align=justify]“Are you enjoooooying this? Do you like my pain? Tell me. Does it hurt? HAHAHA YES, SHOW ME, SHOW ME HOW MUCH I’M HURTING YOU!”


[align=justify]My hands are covered in blood. It’s nothing like they describe it in stories. Not bright red, wash your hands in the river, all gone. More of a dark, sticky red, that seems like it will never leave your fingertips no matter how much you try to wash it away. Is all blood the same, I wonder? Maybe I should find out. Will you help me?


[align=justify]We’re all mad here.


[align=justify]I don’t want to stop. Let me keep going, let me torture him. Please. PLEASE! He’s not my brother.

[align=justify]He’s my toy. A special bond, between you and me. Let’s be friends, let’s be family.



[align=justify]My name is Riley Hyde. I’m not a daddy’s girl. I’m no-one’s daughter.


[align=justify]I am me. I am family.



- My story has gotten too long -

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Amazing read, I liked it all the way I hope you continue this :)

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Amazing read, I liked it all the way I hope you continue this :)

thanks ^-^

Very good read, keep it up.

thank you I will!

I liked it, one of the best stories ive seen for a while :)

thank you, I appreciate it ;D

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Good read, looking to be a very good addition to the community at this rate. Keep it up!

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Good read, looking to be a very good addition to the community at this rate. Keep it up!

thank you! I'll be sure to keep it up!

A very engrossing read. Good job.

thank you so much ;D

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simply unbelievable how fast you can create high quality material. You are are definitely in the running for story of the year at this rate. Don't stop writing :) :)

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simply unbelievable how fast you can create high quality material. You are are definitely in the running for story of the year at this rate. Don't stop writing :) :)

Thank you so much!! :D

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10/10 been waiting for another chapter ..glad your back

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Beautifully written chapter 9 was amazing!

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I'm sorry it took me so long to update (studying Japanese is HARD) but by the end of the week I should be able to release the next chapter.

Until then: enjoy the new artwork!

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