Day one of the pandemic lockdown…
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I never wrote anything after that in the journal. You see I was lost, hurt, and angry at being dumped here on a farm in the middle of nowhere. I mean, where the hell was I? I just could not remember anything. What had happened? It was as if I had just been born and had no recollection of anything before this moment.
Now I know, I can write exactly what happened because would you believe that I started this with that “Day one of the pandemic lockdown” comment over three years ago?
It was the day that my parents moved me to live with my grandparents. Such kind, loving parents I hear you say. I mean in the city where we lived the pandemic was rife and killing whole families. I suppose I should be grateful, there was a problem though and to me, it was a big one…
I knew my grandparents. I remembered them. Even with no memory, they were constant. I could remember my grandparents. It was as if I had the power within me that kept their image alive. That kept me alive. These people that my father said were my grandparents, I had never seen before.
I remember now that I watched them that day before they abandoned me, mum seemed spaced out. I was worried as I feared that she had caught the pandemic. When I asked dad about the people that he was leaving me with all he said was, “These are your other grandparents. You do have two sets you know.” If that was the case, then why had I no memory of them?
The next morning, he was gone. Suddenly I was living here in the middle of nowhere with complete strangers. It wouldn’t have been that bad had my rents kept in touch by phone or skype. Hell, it was 2041 after all and the world had survived two other pandemics. Maybe years ago, but we survived. Three fucking pandemics. Every time things changed and the world changed. New leaders took over where old ones had died or disappeared. History proved that we would survive, we had done it before but this time it seemed, so very alien to me.
My parents never once tried to contact me. It was as if I was a prisoner. They did call the farm, well dad did. It was always dad. He called to talk to the “Grandparents” but never tried to talk to me. It was like he was checking in with the jailors and ignoring the condemned.
Why would mum never call after we had been, so close? Why did dad seem, so… wrong? That was when I started to question everything and things started to change for the good.
What no one could know is that it wasn’t long before I knew exactly what was happening. Once I knew I also knew that it had been expected. As a result, I now had a mission that I had to complete. A mission that no one could know, even in this ‘lockdown prison’. As I said, it had been expected but when Grandpa and Grandma disappeared it had all happened, so very quickly. It was as if this was being forced and no one really knew what to do with me.
I knew that everything was not as it seemed. People that I had known all my life, people like Jacko were not who they wanted me to believe they were. The fact that I loved them had not changed; it’s just that they now had an agenda and were answering to very alien masters. One that held no kindness towards mankind.
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My family had known that things were going to hit the fan when my Grandfather discovered those mines all those years ago. Indeed, the very fact of who my grandparents were caused them to live, constantly in danger. When I discovered this, the mines and the part that I would play… I was shocked. It wasn’t the mines that shocked me, but what was in them.
Of course, I hadn’t been born at the time that the mines had been discovered, that was during the first pandemic back in 2020. Since then there has been a total of three pandemics and each time they decimate humanity. Young people and children dropping like flies, almost as if the young were the targets, but how could that be?
This last one though you know the most recent… the one I was held prisoner in something went seriously wrong. As a result, I just knew that it would not be the last. The more my memory came back, the more I knew that we had to prepare mankind to face these attacks and no vaccine would ever do that. No vaccine, as the illness was designed to allow the masters to take control of man.
As the world recovered from each pandemic attack the youth seemed to grow in intelligence as if it was a side effect of the disease attacking them. Attacking their very systems, trying to kill them. I was born at the end of the second pandemic outbreak fifteen years ago. A lockdown baby as our generation was known. I grew, loving my grandparents and mum. My dad was odd and I could never get used to him. It was as if he just wasn’t my father.
By the time the third pandemic struck I was an IT genius with my own business, Whitford Technologies; for some time with my Grandfather I had been working on top-secret projects on my computer. I had encrypted the hard drive so that no one could access it. They could turn the computer on and unless they were me it would remain asleep. Well, it would take a picture of who was doing it but that was all.
Isomorphic controls back in 2020 when the first pandemic struck were a thing of science fiction, now they were a reality. Well, they were for me. No one else had figured out the in-depth programming that went with them… Bollocks! They were easy to achieve, but no one bothered, thinking that technology today was the best it had ever been.
Then came the time that dad went away for a few weeks. During that time my grandma and Grandpa went missing. The day before they went missing, I received one final email from my Grandfather. It was odd. Attached to the mail were the blueprints of their farm in Yorkshire. The email simply said, “All is not what it seems. Keep this on the button… We love you sweetheart Gramps and Nanna x.”
Knowing that he never did anything unless he had a reason, I printed them and copied them on to my memory button. It was a Christmas present that he had secretly given to me. A badge type button that was attached to my jacket. When the button was slid into the bottom of my laptop it contained all of my personal information and programs that I would ever need.
The email simply said “Shit hits the fan! Prepare for the worst.” I never saw or heard from him after that but I did copy everything on to the button.
The last thing that I received, before it all changed that night three years ago was a text on my phone. It simply said, **All Change. ** That was the co-sign for the fact that what we feared had happened and that my life was about to change. The text had been generated by Claymore and now it was all up to him. I had to believe in him. Claymore had been born just before Grandpa went missing.
We had worked hard to get him off the ground and even now, I knew that he was still on basic settings and I had no time to change that. I also knew that there were unknown factions in the world working to destroy everything that we loved.
I just expected them to be more prepared than they seem to be. The next part will be written as it happened. You will see what I mean by how unprepared it all was. They were into everything that had anything to do with me and they were… well to be honest they were shit! They even told me the one fact that man had never been able to discover… The name of the aliens trying to conquer the world.
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The strangers tried to get me to believe that they were my grandparents but that just caused me to rebel. Eventually, they told that me they were Berny and Betty Uglum, at least that’s what they called themselves. Stupid names or what? I sort of felt that these were not their actual names. I just decided to call them the Ugly Bastards.
Did I hate life?
At the start, but then it all changed. One morning I was looking out of my bedroom window and noticed the farm was in one hell of a state. It was getting right out of hand. The fields needed plowing, the produce harvesting. They might have been keeping me prisoner, but I was not going to let the farm get run down, I mean it looked like the animals hadn’t been fed for weeks. That was the day that my mission in life for the next three years started. A mission that filled those three years of lockdown. Well, that’s what they thought… they never knew what was going on in the background.
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I better tell you what happened, so that you know.
That night when I saw Berny I asked, “Can I work on the farm?”
“What do you know about farm work?”
“Fuck all Berny…” I called them by their first names just to annoy them, “I dare say it’s a hell of a lot more than you. Hey, I’ll learn. The animals are literally dying because no one has fed them.”
“It’s the lockdown, what do you expect?” Betty snarled.
“Oh, I agree Betty; the police might not. If they come around and they see them, then they will wonder why innocent animals are being tortured. Believe me, I would not want to be you if that happens.”
“Oh come on Berny, the answer’s obvious. If they come to the farm, they’ll find me and for some reason, I have a feeling someone wants me to disappear… Don’t they? I have no idea who or why, but I know I have to disappear. Somehow I’m not sure my parents are clever enough for all of this.”
“Berny to fucking idiot!”
“Shut the fuck up woman! What the hell do I know about farming? I’m a…”
She looked at him, “Don’t!” He looked at me and then clouted her, right across the side of the face as she grabbed a handful of his hair. That was the start of their nightly fights. They just couldn’t live together. I got used to the screaming and scrapping, hey I’d been a scrapper at school and seeing the two of them like that was just… well, it was just, so funny. Well… it would have been if it had been anywhere else.
I stood there and waited until they stopped knowing that if he attacked me, I could hold my own. I had decided that I had to take a lot, or they would know far too much about me; so far, I held all the cards close to my chest. I knew that Sensei Jaspar would be looking for me. I don’t know, he always felt like a father. More than the one that I had anyway; you know, someone watching out for me.
Once their fight stopped, I asked “Can I work the farm then?” I just had that innocent smile on my face that they hated.
They just looked at me. “Fuck off!”
Betty glared at Berny, “Of course dear, just let us know if you need anything.”
Betty smiled, “I mean like feed or whatever for the animals.”
“I dare say there are invoices in the den if you let me in there to look through the paperwork…”
Berny looked at me and shook his head, “Don’t know where the key is… It was locked when…”
Betty looked horrified, “Berny!” He shut up and stormed out of the house with a bottle of whiskey in his hand. “We won’t see him for hours dear, well not until the morning and he will be as drunk as a skunk. You better wash up and get ready for your new chores. As I said let us know what you need, but remember… we will be watching.”
“Yes, ma'am I know. Let’s face it, I’m in prison. I can’t go back into the public eye. I wonder what or who is after getting rid of me…”
“I said, yes Gran.”
“Yes, Grandma.” I went to walk away as she said, “Baby?” I looked at her as she sounded… different. “I know you know more than you are telling. Be careful. Please. Please be careful as we are being watched. Kenton, you never know who can see us these days.”
She looked around petrified, “Nothing… Remember as I said, call me Grandma others are noticing.” She was looking into the corner of the room. I knew it was towards a camera that people watched in on us. I also knew that I had blocked any signal that spy devices inside the house were able to receive. If only they knew.
I just looked at her, “But you’re not and we all know that.” She shook her head and let me head off up to my room. That was it. That was how I became a slave laborer on a farm in the middle of nowhere. I think it was Yorkshire, but I’m not sure. I was kept locked down and away from the world; no TV, no radio, no computer, no phone… Well, that’s what everyone thought. Only I knew the truth.
What else was a boy to do; I worked and I worked damned hard.
I was allowed music as it was around the house, but it was vintage vinyl and cassette. Old stuff but I soon grew to love it. As I worked the fields or weeded the vegetable plots… You know all of the areas that I knew my wardens and the cameras watched me, I started to sing. Songs like, “You made me love you…” It was an old Al Jolson song but the vinyl that we had was someone called Patsy Cline singing it. I smiled as I sang as I knew it pissed them off, something rotten.
I soon learned, Berny had a foul temper and I suffered because of it. He liked to hit out, usually with his belt. When it got too bad, I caught the belt and beat him. Mistake. Now he really wanted to hurt me. The next day he killed Bess the old sheepdog and left her where he knew I’d find her.
I cried all day. He just laughed. I took her into the woods to bury because I didn’t want them to see where I put her. That was the day that I found that someone must have been watching me.
Because in an open space just inside the woods, someone had dug a grave and made a cross with Bess’ name carved on it. I stayed all day at her grave.
As I walked into the house that night, he just looked at me smirking. I walked up to him and stated, “I am going to kill you. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but I – AM – GOING – TO – KILL – YOU!” I just walked out to my bedroom but as I knew the cameras were working at that moment, I looked right at the main one and stated, “I AM GOING TO KILL YOU ALL!”
Halfway up the stairs, I heard Betty laughing. “God you stink! Shit, you pissed yourself.”
“Did you see him…? He meant...” He looked at the camera, “Fuck! He knows.”
“I dare say. Remember this though all of you… You killed his only friend. I told you to be careful as that little sod is more powerful than you think... Fucking hell, go get changed. You are stinking the place out.”
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The next day was another milestone in my life as Shep arrived at the farm. He was a young dog, clearly well trained. Good with animals and a good sheepdog… Hell, he was good with me! I was soon able to use the whistle that I found around his neck following the instructions… Being clever, I developed a whole series of whistles that he could follow if we were ever in a tight spot.
Shep hated the ugly bastards and he never tried to come into the farmhouse. Once we finished the milking and collecting the eggs, he’d disappeared into the woods for the night. The next morning he’d turn up just as I got out to the barn for the day; he’d be there at the workshop waiting for me.
“Where do you come from little one?” and he would lick my face. “Okay, well we have work to do, come on…” That would be it, he would stick by my side. The Uglums soon realized that they had to stay away or he’d attack them.
Music became my friend, especially after Berny had beaten me of an evening when he was drunk. Shep always seemed to know the next day as he’d nuzzle up to me and lick me until I hugged him. He would also lick the tears away, almost as if he were trying to make sure that they never saw them.
Soon after I started working on the farm, I found several blank notepaper pads in my room. Ugly Betty, I mean Betty Uglum got them for me thinking I’d need them to work the different areas, maybe she wasn’t, so bad. They had been in town for food and she obviously felt that I might need to write things down as I worked.
I used the paper for many things, my computer doodles were one of the things but the one area that I did try to keep up with was writing music and lyrics. It kept my brain active as I had always been able to play the piano. They never stopped me using the piano as they knew that it relaxed me. Over the years I built up quite a library of songs. I grew to love that piano, even if it was just an old Joanna. Mum had a grand piano that she liked to play and taught me how. She said I was a musical prodigy. The piano was in tune and that was all that mattered. I missed my music as it had been my favorite subject at school before the lockdown…
I missed my mum…
The ugly bastards never did a thing. Should they be called Lazy Bastards instead? I soon discovered that if I wanted to eat, then I had to cook as all they could do was burnt offerings. Clean clothes and bedding were other chores that landed at my feet. Though I left them to do their own. I soon took over the chores for the house as the ‘bastards’ sat around and got drunk and fat.
Uglums? As I said, Ugly Bastards if you ask me!
I could have been, so like them but I put my back into it and got the farm up and running. I was fourteen by this time and I was running the farm by myself with Shep. I found that our land bordered with a neighboring farm and the family was quite helpful. In the beginning, the owner, a man called Jacob. with him was is his wife and together they worked with me until I was running our farm by myself.
It always seemed that they had an agenda and were as bad, if not worse than the Uglums. One evening on the first day that they had failed to never show up as planned Betty looked at me as I was collecting the eggs. “Kent? Be careful?”
I spun around and saw her looking worried as she looked around. “What do you mean?”
“Jacob and the others. Oh, I know. He doesn’t know but I do. Just be careful and watch them, all is not what it seems sweetheart.”
I looked around, “Can you tell me anything else?”
She shook her head. “Just watch yourself,” and she walked off looking toward the barns subject closed. What the hell was that about?
That’s all for now folks ... Chapter 2 will follow soon... I'll continue to try to get at least one chapter posted per week ...
Let me have your comments and feedback at email@example.com ... All suggestions considered.
Remember people with the world as it is at the moment... Stay safe.