I’m Elena North.
The story I’m about to tell is a long one,
so I hope you brought patience.
It takes me back to many years ago,
when I had just arrived in Glassbolt…
… in the nothingness.
There was literally nothing but unfertile earth, a few stones, and the river.
But there I set up my shelter.
All I would need the next time was set up on the ground floor.
An inflatable matress, uncomfy to say the least, made for my bed.
A chess table would be my only source of fun.
I had no running water, a few splashes must do in the next years to come.
And there was no way to get something to eat,
than grill the fish from the river.
But I have still not presented myself.
ME – that is, a young woman who just graduated from the Wonder Child project.
When I was assigned the Glassbolt project, many doubted.
A female, and overmore a blonde. But hey!
I showed them.
My neighbor Johnny was the first to arrive at my shelter. And I lured him in…
Of course, cooking was the hardest part for me.
I love to eat good stuff, and I didn’t want to have only fish for the rest of my life.
So I went to the soup kitchen to present myself, and they gave me a job.
Now every day I cooked fish soup for the residents of Glassbolt.
I liked my job. It was my mission.
And, the days alone in the shelter were long, very long.
Playing chess all by oneself can get rather boring.
I went fishing every day to get the best I could for me and the others…
… And then, more of the same. Waiting, playing chess, spending the days.
And fish it was, every single freakin‘ day.
But at least I gave it special spice every time.
The days passed… sleep, fish, cook fish, eat, sleep, fish…
The radiation had its effects. I was scared to go out and meet the zombies.
So I mostly stayed inside my little shelter and only left it for work and for fishing, right behind my home.
Oh, and then the bills. The local mob took away all the money I earned during the week.
It was senseless. I was really working for nothing.
But I still loved my job.
It was something good,
giving good food to the community.
I was „the woman on the grill“.
Or „the hottie who serves the best fish in town“.
Until late, I did not have a man in my life.
Only Johnny came over every once in a while to play chess with me.
We were neighbors, so I saw that as normal.
It was not soon that I managed to go outside on a park bench and „just be there“.
I was too afraid of what might come to get me.
But it was okay. I met some nice folk. Only I did not find the love of my life.
Back home to fish.
My little everyday ritual.
I was getting better and better at turning the fish into a delicious meal…
but still I wanted more.
I expected a life full of good food, and love. And maybe even a family…
Then one day when Johnny was outside my door and I was only but wearing my nightrobe,
because I had just gotten up… I thought I’d risk it. What could go wrong?
So I planted a kiss on Johnnys soft lips and was too surprised when he responded eagerly.
THE BREAKTHROUGH AT WORK!!!
I hosted a superb soup kitchen bigger than life –
and people from outside the region got wind. Now they were helping us, shipping in fresh food and repairing our gas lines and electricity.
Finally I could have a kitchenette that deserved its name.
I was so happy!
Finally I could slice, dice, mix, fry, and do all other things cuisine in my own kitchen.
Get out those steely knives!
Slice and dice!
Stir and stir again!
Mmmm, what an aroma! That will taste awesome!
OH. MY. GOD.
THIS IS HEAVEN IN A SOUP BOWL.
So with my one wish for good food come true,
I worked on my other wishes:
love, and a family…
Johnny was easily convinced.
I swear to you,
life is different when you can have good food instead of fish half your life long.
And of course, it felt great to see my family be able to have good food…
… BUT I’M JUMPING TOO FAR FORWARD.
I’LL HAVE A SHORT PAUSE AND THEN GO ON TELLING MY STORY.
Until then, I remain