I was born and raised in Paducah Kentucky. Both of my parents were farmers and their parents were farmers before them. I was told that I would inherit the farm and be like them, but I had other plans. At 18 years old I enrolled at the Murray State Paducah College, where I lived on campus in a co-ed dorm. "Fuck you," I said to my old man as I was walking out the door. That was the last time I talked to my parents, and good riddance to them. College came and went like a breeze, probably because I drank the entire time, but what can you do? I graduated with decent enough grades I suppose. Shortly after graduation I lived with an old friend and worked odd jobs until I was finally offered a nice, cushy office job all the way in California in some sort of marketing firm. I took the job immediately, jumped on a plane and never saw Kentucky again. Upon ascension, I can remember seeing what looked like the Paxton family farm. I gave it the finger and went to sleep shortly afterwards. After several stops through Alabama, Texas, and Nevada, I finally arrived in California. I hated it almost immediately, what with the crowded areas, the dry heat, and the lunatics, I almost preferred to be back in middle-of-nowhere Paducah. I got lucky and became good friends with the supervisor early on who introduced me to some of the upper management people who also seemed to like me a fair deal. Whether it was my personality, looks, charm, who knows? But I try not to question it. I quickly rose through the ranks of the company and was invited on numerous trips with the people in management. Shortly after my 33rd birthday I was given the position of Chief Operations Officer. All that hard work and dick sucking actually paid off in the long run, just like my old man told me it would do, until one day it didn’t of course. One day we got the announcement that upper management had planned a trip to Romania. Who the fuck had the brilliant idea to take a business trip all the way to Romania? And why in the fuck did they pick Romania of all places? I guess I was just as stupid for going on that three week long trip. But who am I kidding? That place was absolutely beautiful. We arrived in Bucharest International Airport and I immediately fell in love with the place and the people were incredibly nice and respectful unlike us spoiled, entitled Americans. It appeared that the airport was getting ready for some sort of airshow close by while spectators ogled at the jets and single engined, Red Bull sponsored, airplanes. My group soon left the airport and immediately visited the Ikea store that had been mere walking distance and shopped around. I had never been in an Ikea store before the trip but now I understand why it’s such a popular place. Who knew the vikings would one day open a popular furniture store? Their ancestors must be disappointed. After the Ikea visit, we hailed a taxi that took us to the Grand Hotel Continental where we all stayed in the Presidential Suite that took up the entirety of the top floor; I now understand what luxury looks, feels, and even smells like. We all met in the hotel’s conference room, most of us drunk, to talk about work related nonsense that was, and will forever be, completely useless information. We would have one meeting every morning starting at 9:00 and ending at 1:00 p.m. where we would all rush to the bar for more alcohol and delicious, exotic food. A cruise had been planned for Saturday morning that would take us out into the Black Sea for five days. We took off in a cab in the wee hours of Saturday morning for Constanţa and boarded the massive cruise ship that sat waiting for us in the port late that evening. We turned in early that night and the party began that next morning. For two days we partied like the world was coming to an end. On the third day a group of jets flew low overhead where we all cheered and gave American salutes. No one thought anything of it, and it may not have been related, but on the fourth day our cruise ship was hijacked by what I assumed to be Ukranians or Russians. They came on board waving their assault rifles and yelling at us in some foreign language saying God knows what. They tied us up and threw us on their much smaller boat. When they ran out of room on their boat, they began executing whoever was left on the cruise ship one at a time. It must’ve been every bit of 120 people. I know some of them reloaded magazines at least three times. Whether I was fortunate or not, I’ve yet to decide. Sometimes I think it would be best to be dead, but perhaps I’m wrong. We were on their little boat for what felt like an eternity before we arrived on shore in a place called Sochi, where we were then transported by truck to the outskirts of a small place they kept calling Chernogorsk where we were kept hostage inside some small camp in the woods. They treated us with surprising kindness when we arrived. We were well fed and kept healthy to a good degree. A couple of the men knew how to speak English. One of them told us that they were ordered to board and kidnap us after we were spotted on the Black Sea. They claimed that they didn’t want to do it but had no choice. Some of them had sympathy for us, but some, most of which were high ranking officials, were convinced we were spies and thought we should be executed immediately, but something unbeknownst to us stopped them from doing so. Early one morning we heard explosions out in the distance and large airplanes flying overhead. Supposedly these Chernarussians were at war with Russia for some reason. I hadn’t heard about any sort of war lately, but how could I? I’ve been black-out drunk for the last week or so. That same evening, the shit must’ve really hit the fan. These Chernarussians were ordered to set us free but at this point I didn’t want to go outside. They had us stored safely down in an underground bunker with bombs falling over head. Some of us refused to leave but most decided to sprint out of the bunker, only to be blown up or shot shortly after leaving. After they undid our handcuffs, the soldiers ran out of the bunker and closed the door behind them. We must’ve stayed in that bunker for close to a year. We ate as little as possible to keep our food from running out, but we all knew it would happen sooner or later, one can at a time. We were forced to scavenge the surrounding area where we found the occasional canned food or some random tool. One morning it was my turn to scavenge with two other people, Lucy and Brad. We found a small market and found little things to take back, but it was never enough to feed us all. I regret it to this day, but we ate everything we found while scavenging and we lied to the group as we returned. Eventually, people began to starve to death and die off, one at a time, only to come back as some sort of zombie you would see on TV. I started scavenging more often along with a bit of hunting and fishing, and every evening I would come back to the shelter later and later, until one day I didn’t go back. I decided to spend nights in whatever empty house that was close by. I’ve been lucky so far, and I daresay I’ve done well on my own, better than I had expected anyways.