After the End: When I Grow Up

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After the End: When I Grow Up

  1. 1. Welcome back to After the End: An Apocalypse! Last time, Miranda started her life in the wastelands, and eventually managed to top the Medicine career. This meant she could move in her partner, Mark Jalowitz, who began working to reach the top of Military, as there were no openings in Culinary. Right before she grew old, Miranda gave birth to her only child, Benedict. Sound familiar? If not, I recommend taking a look back.
  2. 2. Miranda and Mark discussed their son’s development way into the night. Should they encourage him to skill through play? Was that the right way to go about raising a child? In the end, they agreed to get him some toys, and see what Benedict enjoyed the most.
  3. 3. “Ugh, I’m getting really sick of these drinks,” Miranda frowned. Mark rolled his eyes. “There’s a grill on the balcony. Why don’t you use it?” Mark smiled, “Surely hot dogs would be better than these cans.” “I don’t like hot dogs,” Miranda confessed , “I never have. I refuse to eat reformed meat just because it’s the end of the world,” Mark laughed, “A girl with standards until the end of the time. Oh Miranda, I love you, but you’re silly,”
  4. 4. After her daily meal with Mark, Miranda decided it was time to teach Ben to talk. It was important for them to prepare Ben for the difficult road ahead. “Well done, Benny! You said ‘Mummy’!” Miranda grinned, and let out a contented sigh, “You’re going to do so well, Ben. I know it.”
  5. 5. That afternoon, unnoticed by anyone, a gypsy matchmaker stopped by to deliver a gift of appreciation from the others in the Wastelands. Even though Miranda and Mark couldn’t think of anything to do with the gypsy lamp they received, they stored it in the house for future generations.
  6. 6. “Are you ready to grow up tonight, Benny?” Miranda smiled at her son. He grinned at her. “Ben Birfday!” Benedict announced, cheerfully. Miranda nodded – where had the time gone?
  7. 7. Benedict was taller, had darker hair, and a slightly better understanding of the world he lived in. “Check me out! I can do everything!”
  8. 8. Doing everything began with Benedict’s first night in a big bed, dreaming of the things he’d get up to the next day.
  9. 9. However, Benedict soon discovered that his education wasn’t going to be very interesting. “How about another game, Ben?” Miranda asked, cheerfully. Benedict shrugged. “I guess so,” He replied, without enthusiasm. Miranda frowned a little, “We’ll break for some food first, shall we?”
  10. 10. “Mum, what is meant by ‘Great flavour!’?” Benedict asked, reading off his can. Miranda looked over. “That’s it’s supposed to taste nice,” Miranda smiled, “But this is all we’ve got, so there is only one flavour,” “Why?” “It’s the best we can do at the minute, Ben. There is nothing else,”
  11. 11. “Mum, look! Pancakes!” Ben cried, suddenly. Miranda smiled to herself. “Nice try, little one,” Miranda folded her arms, “Your Dad’s been teaching you about pancakes, hasn’t he?” “Oh, they sound amazing!” Ben said, with a contented sigh, “One day, I will be able to have pancakes.”
  12. 12. “You can have pancakes one day,” Mark said, from the sofa, “I’m sure of it!” “Can it be my mission?” Ben asked, suddenly, “Like how Dad gets to be in charge of the army?” Miranda thought about her friend, Lyndsay, who was close to becoming a celebrity chef. “We’ll see, Ben. Plenty of time to decide.”
  13. 13. “STOMP STOMP STOMP!” Ben yelled, cheerfully, jumping up and down on the roaches in the road outside his house, “This is the most fun I’ve had all day!”
  14. 14. Unfortunately, playing with the bugs outside gave Benedict the flu, which he promptly spread to Miranda. The pair of them ended up resting together in the main bedroom. “How long ‘til I can go play chess again, Mum?” Ben asked, restless. “Until we’ve stopped feeling sick, Ben. We don’t want your Dad getting it.”
  15. 15. “Your Dad can’t miss a day of work, you see,” Miranda explained, “No one can. So it’s important to try and stay healthy.” “Oh. Dad works too much,” Ben decided, “We don’t see him much.” “He’s making our lives a little better, Ben,” Miranda told him, “One day, you’ll understand.”
  16. 16. Once Miranda and Ben were back to normal, Miranda invited over Lyndsay, for a discussion about the future.
  17. 17. A little bit later on, and a discussion was in progress. “I just don’t think we should be playing matchmaker,” Mark said, sadly, “It should be Ben’s choice…” “But we need to think about the future, as well as Ben. Lyndsay can get the family food, proper food!” “That is important,” Mark agreed, “I think we should sleep on it.”
  18. 18. Benedict was unaware that his future was being planned out, and instead, was getting to know a little girl from somewhere else in the wastelands. “I still really like snow,” Gabriella said, sweetly. “It’s not bad,” Ben decided, “But I wonder what grass looks like when it’s not soggy from the snow and stuff.”
  19. 19. Despite her love of the snow, Gabriella started to freeze, and after several games with Benedict, had to leave. As much as Ben loved his parents, it was only when Gabriella left that he realised he wanted a sibling.
  20. 20. “Mum, how come I don’t have a brother or sister? Gabriella has TONS.” Miranda bit her lip, “I’m a little too old to have children anymore, Ben. That’s why we’ve only got you.” “Oh,” Ben paused, before smiling, “I guess it’s okay. Means I don’t have to share you!”
  21. 21. “Look, Dad! I learnt to write lots of words!” “Wow, Ben,” Mark grinned, “You’re growing up so fast!”
  22. 22. And it was true, Ben’s birthday was that night. It marked the end of Benedict’s formal education, and the beginning of a new chapter in his life – choosing a future, choosing a wife, and preparing for adulthood.
  23. 23. Benedict grew up to be really handsome. He rolled Pleasure.
  24. 24. “Why are you naked, Mark?” “Well, I’d be less naked if we had an apron that said ‘kiss the cook’ on it,” Mark smiled to himself, “Though that would only be good if we could actually cook.” “You’ll catch a cold,” Miranda said, but she was smiling too.
  25. 25. “Ugh, these drinks are awful,” Benedict declared to no one in particular, “I can’t wait until we can eat properly!”
  26. 26. The upstairs is *slowly* coming together. It’s a lot of space right now, so it makes a good place for Benedict to learn body skill.
  27. 27. “Mum, I’ve been thinking. I want to top culinary.” Benedict said, one morning. “Well, we’ve been meaning to talk to you about that,” Miranda told him, “Our friend Lyndsay, is nearing the top of culinary, so we think that maybe you should marry her.” “Only if you want to, Ben.” Mark chimed in. Ben paused, “I want to think about it for awhile.” “That’s a good idea, Ben,” Miranda smiled, “Let me know when you’ve decided.”
  28. 28. “Miranda, do you really need to drink all six of those?” “Yes. I’m hungry.” (Note: can anyone explain why this glitch keeps happening?)
  29. 29. That day, Mark headed out to work, with the intention of reaching the top of the military. Only one more day as an astronaut, which considering they spend 6 months in space if they work on the international space station, wasn’t long.
  30. 30. Mark was successful, and with his new job, the military restrictions were lifted.
  31. 31. That night, Miranda invited Lyndsay over to celebrate the good news. “I heard Mark fixed the military! Congratulations!” “Thanks,” Miranda smiled, “That’s not why I called you, though.”
  32. 32. “This is about Benedict, isn’t it?” Lyndsay asked, suddenly. Miranda fidgeted for a moment. “I haven’t got long left,” She admitted, softly, “I wanted to make sure that everything was taken care of before I go.” “Of course,” Lyndsay tried to smile, but the subject matter was too grim.
  33. 33. “I need you to marry Benedict, Lyndsay,” Miranda explained, “I know he dreams of fixing the food systems, but you’re so close…I’d die happy knowing my family could eat properly.” “I know,” Lyndsay replied, “I can try and move Benedict towards restoring the education system.” Miranda smiled, “Sounds like a good plan to me.”
  34. 34. “I suppose I should go and introduce myself to my future husband,” Lyndsay said, with no feeling to her voice. Miranda bit her lip. “This is all so difficult,” She stated, sadly. Lyndsay nodded. “I’m sure everything will work out, Miranda.” * * *
  35. 35. Lyndsay was invited to stay with the Blue family, and welcomed into the house, so she could build up a friendship with Benedict before he grew up. “So…what your favourite thing to do?” Lyndsay asked, desperately trying to make conversation. “Play chess,” Benedict responded, grinning, “I don’t do it so much these days, I need to skill in other areas.”
  36. 36. “Mum said you’re in culinary,” Benedict said, suddenly, changing the subject, “If that’s true, then what am I going to do when I grow up? I wanted to bring food back…”
  37. 37. “Well, what do you think about teaching?” Lyndsay suggested, “You could inform people about what has happened to this land, and inspire them to want to make a difference.” Benedict considered it for a moment, “Sounds like a good idea to me.”
  38. 38. That night, Lyndsay and Benedict shared a room together for the first time, as friends. They slept in separate beds, while Benedict dreamed of love and food and faraway places, none of which he could have. * * *
  39. 39. Despite their attempts to form a friendship which would later become the foundations of their partnership, Lyndsay and Benedict collided over certain things. “That’s our entire food supply for today, Lyndsay,” Benedict murmured, without looking up from his book. Lyndsay greedily shoved another handful of crisps into her mouth before thinking about the consequences.
  40. 40. “What can I do?” She asked, “What can I do to make things better?” “Nothing,” Benedict replied, “It’s too late now.” Lyndsay folded over the bag and placed it on the counter, “No. I can share them with everyone.” Benedict shrugged, and said nothing more, hoping desperately that Lyndsay would be the one to bring back proper meals. * * *
  41. 41. Life continued for the Blue family. Mark went to work, and continued work towards securing the borders of the Wastelands.
  42. 42. Benedict stayed home and desperately tried to learn about everything he could without leaving the house. Whether he was reading a book for fixing a tap, Benedict was preparing for adulthood everyday.
  43. 43. And he continued with his friendship with Lyndsay, trying desperately to make things work. This was his future, afterall, and there were no alternatives.
  44. 44. Then one evening, everything changed. “Miranda? Why are you outside?” Mark asked, smiling. “It’s time, Mark.” She replied, without turning around. The smile faded from Mark’s face.
  45. 45. MIRANDA BLUE, YOU HAVE LIVED A LONG AND SUCCESSFUL LIFE. ARE YOU READY TO CROSS TO THE OTHER SIDE? “Doesn’t matter whether I am or not, does it? I have to go with you.” If Death had a face, he would have frowned, WELL, YOU COULD TRY BEING A LITTLE MORE OPTIMISTIC. “Tell me, Death, is it the apocalypse in the Afterlife, too?” NO, Death shook his hood, WE ARE UNTOUCHABLE. At last, Miranda smiled, “Get me out of this snowy wasteland.”
  46. 46. And so Death claimed the first soul of the apocalypse. ------------------------------------------ And that’s where I’ll leave you for this time! I’ll try not to leave it 5 months before updating again! See you soon!

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