Chapter 28:

Where it all started

A Place between There and Now

It started raining again. The sun vanished behind the clouds as we walked through the forest. We had changed the plan, searching for a water source without any plan of how to find it would just be risky. So, we decided to take the safe route and just walked back to the lake. Though our journey was soon interrupted by a sudden change. The rain changed its colour as we reached the road again. As we ran into one of the abandoned houses the clouds started to fade away. The rain slowly subsided and after hours we could see the sun again.

“Well, that was unnecessary.”

“Says the person that might die because of it.”

We walked outside. It was already late noon and the sun stood high above our heads.

“Where to next?”

“Just down the road and a bit through the forest”

“Great, more forest, I haven't had enough of that yet”

“You should get used to that, you won't find much else here.”

I turned my gaze from her and started walking. The trees cast no shadows and the street was brightly lit by the sun. I had seen the street like this before, on my second day, but I had completely forgotten about it. With every step I ran forward, black water splashed from the equally black asphalt on my white pants. on the black uniform Yui was wearing, the splashes were not visible at all. Why was she wearing this uniform in the first place, was it perhaps simply the fashion of the future, or was it a school uniform? I could have just asked her, but it would have been completely irrelevant.

“Say, shouldn't this also expose us to an extreme amount of radiation?”

“I don't know exactly what the effects are, but I just think it's not that bad if you don't get it near your head or other vital organs.”

“But what about cancer?”

“One pill and a day at home.”

“Ok, that is impressive!”

“What? Besides that, it doesn’t have to bother you, I mean you quite literally can’t die.”

“I am not talking about myself.”

She smiled.

“Oh, how cute, does someone fear for my health?”

I looked at her bored and she started laughing. I looked to my right at some cars.

“Say, why are they just standing on the streets?”

“Are you talking about the cars?”


“Where else should they be?”

“Did people just stop using them at all?”

“Not all but many after burning fossil fuels became illegal and nearly all gas stations were closed.”

“What about electric cars?”

“Oh yeah, those never took off.”


“Convention vs innovation.”

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“Well, a VR Headset for example was something new and exciting back then, it was innovation. But a new Smartphone with exactly the same features as the last one that was just made of 100% renewable resources isn’t something new, it’s still the same thing just in a new package, the same thing goes for electronic cars, people just didn’t see any utility in them and so didn’t switch.”

“So, you are telling me that people didn’t get electronic cars even after non-electronic cars became illegal?”

“That’s not quite right, by the time they became illegal it was already too late for most. The industry for electronic cars was already dead and never recovered and the ones that were still on the market were too expensive for the public.”

“So, they just left them rotting in the streets?”

“Cars don’t rot, they rust.”

“That’s beside the point.”

“Yeah, pretty much.”

“Shouldn’t they have collected them for the materials? We had a huge shortage of electro chips over the last two decades so the resources inside the cars should have a lot of value, shouldn’t they?”

“The technology is too old to be of value, that would be the only explanation I could think of.”

“You know what this reminds me of?”

“I’m listening.”

“You know how in zombie movies people always drive away in their car until it breaks down somewhere on the road? This looks exactly like that.”

“If you say so.”

As we walked further, I noticed that with every step we took the road or by now much more the path we were walking on became narrower and narrower. we were on the right track, I was sure of it from the beginning, but this confirmed it. I looked up at the sky, it would soon be night.

As I walked through the forest, I was overcome by a feeling of uncertainty and fear, something was wrong. Had I forgotten something? I wasn't sure. I had the feeling to hear a rustling in the bushes but was not sure. Soon I would be at the river that would lead up to the lake. I had to hurry soon we would not be able to see anything in this dense part of the forest. I had forgotten something that became increasingly clear to me. But what was it, what had I forgotten? Any moment I would be there again. There, were on the first day, on the first day when it got dark. I walked through the high grass that covered my view. but wouldn't that mean… I walked out of the tall grass and tripped. The sun disappeared, I could only see the outlines of the trees, there was only one thing which I saw clearly. A shadow was lying in front of me, he was dead, I did not see it, but I knew that he had a wound on his shoulder, his back and on his throat. But it was not alone, I knew it, it was still here.

“So, we meet again”

The shadow walked from behind a tree, it had a knife in each hand. I stood up and screamed at it:

“don't think I’m making it that easy for you!”

At that moment, a second shadow held a knife to the shadow’s throat from behind.


As I spoke that one word, I heard a voice behind me.

“I don’t think so.”

It was a third shadow and he jumped on me and stabbed me in the back with his knife. As I watched the previous me fall to the ground, I cut the shadow's throat from behind. His body fell dead to the ground and my eyes turned to the fourth shadow. He opened his mouth:

“Look I can and will do this all day, so just give up, what have you achieved through this? You died anyway, and for what? So, you could kill me once too. Just think about it, you let yourself die once so you could kill yourself once. Just give up, this is going nowhere, you can't defeat me. If you want proof of this, just look at me, my existence proves that you are losing, I am your future self, you can't win.”

He walked toward me as I asked one last question:

“Why do I kill my past selfs?”

He stood just one meter away.

“I cannot say that.”

He lifted his arm.


I could feel the cold metal blade in my stomach

“Because I haven’t done it.”