A little background story for my OldTown character OK-Google. It’s been a while since I felt inspired to write. Enjoy!
I remember (Part 1)
I remember a time before the bombs fell.
I remember a garden, a plastic swimmingpool, a sister.
I remember my parents laughing as we were playing in the water.
I was four years old when one day my father came into the school to pick me up. Something was wrong, I felt it. He didn’t say much but just talked to my teacher and we went home. Mommy was home, packing bags. She was scared. Dad told me to pack one bag with toys for me and Marieke.
I was Katrien Wessanen.
We had a good life in the suburbs of Delft. My parents were scientists. Later my dad told me they had been Bio-engineers.
The bags were packed. Mom went to the other school to pick up Marieke. We never saw them again.
Dad got a message and said we had to go. We would meet mom on the road. We needed to be as far away as we could from Rotterdam. Eindhoven would be safe. Their work had a bunker there. I didn’t know what a bunker was but it sounded exciting.
We were already on the road and almost at Eindhoven when the news hit. People started to panic. They never had a chance. Mom and Marieke got stuck in traffic. I hope it was swift.
When I got older dad showed me pictures of the bomb hitting Rotterdam. I often wondered how something so deadly could be so beautiful at the same time.
Life in the bunker had its challenges. It was years before the first ones dared to go outside. Dad kept teaching me things about the old world. “Remember Katrien. This is our past, never forget our past”. He showed me so much on a tablet. Day after day, year after year. What things had been like and I remembered. My brain just took it in, gave it a little spot, filed it away. I thought this was normal. It had always been like that for me, but the other children were different.
It was ten years after the bombs dropped when they told me how different I was. They must have done it when I was a baby, or maybe even before I was born. Their first experiment was a succes in a way that it didn’t come out damaged. Her name was Marieke. No, I was the real succes. I had the upgrade. After I found out, I never looked the same way at my father again.
Was I his daughter or his science project? I never dared to ask him.
The first day I went outside I was scared. This was not the world I knew or remembered. It was all gone. This world was not safe, especially not for a young woman. But I still had my father who would take care of me. We used to make small trips to scavenge materials, parts and other usefull things. Still he kept teaching me and I filed it all away.
I hadn’t noticed he had gotten sick. Just one day I looked at him and saw he was different. He denied it but was lying. It took him two weeks to die.
An “uncle” offered to take care of me.
At first it wasn’t too bad. He did teach me to take care of myself and survive in a way.
It wasn’t until he sold me to a group of scavengers that Katrien Wessanen died and OK-Google was born.