Happy birthday they used to say.

Happy birthday to you.

In the not too distant future we were going to have flying cars, endless food, miracle medicine, and world peace. Until all the adults went away.

No one knows what happened, it just was as surreal as reality can get. Many of us just woke up to the empty beds and houses, alarms blaring with no certain answer from their users. No notes goodbye, no missing cars, nothing that I could discern would have signaled our parents to have been taken by force. It wasn't long until we knew for a fact they all just disappeared though, it's still happening.

Every time one of us ages, we become 18, we are gone. Few see it, and it's hard not to blink when you're focusing that hard, but one second you're there and the next you're not...

I wonder if it's better to be there, wherever they go. It certainly isn't any good down here. At first it was normal. We all grieved, panicked, and tried desperately to decide on what we'd do next. Some of us tried to take responsibilities, help the little ones adjust. Then the fire came, for a while we weren't sure how, but as we scrambled to organize the hysterical children we saw them. A couple of punks, with way too much liquor, were throwing around homemade Molotov's.

They took us over, we didn't really get a choice, they had guns. What were we supposed to do?

Worse, the kids loved it. I mean they were timid at first but they just fell in love with being able to play with real guns. And the Shadows, I don't know if they're real or not but it certainly isn't helping. We hear noises at night, in the distance we see movement, and the assholes that took over our camp are our "Protectors." Little babies may eat that right up, but we know better. They do too, I see it in their faces when they look at me."Try something." is written all over their eyes.

It wasn't long til the first kid got shot, and the first deaths happened. They died, and I couldn't do anything. The little guy thought he was protecting us from the Shadows, she was coming back from the restroom.

Those punks had him beat, and when he cried for mercy, they shot him. Justice they called it.

We called it madness. We called it tyranny, and we tried to stop it. No one can say we didn't try, but the kids were scared and after weeks of taking in other refugees, and hearing more stories about the Shadows, everyone just turned to the guys with the guns.

I don't know what is happening elsewhere, but at nights the low gurgling sounds from the shadows don't overwhelm me, are the nights I swear I hear gunfire and screams in the distance. I wish I could do something right about now. I wish I didn't have to listen to them all, scared, crying, alone. Have you ever read The Lord of the Flies?

Perhaps not. Whoever reads this won't remember us. I guess that's why I'm writing this, so that someone will remember us. No.

No, I'm writing this, because even after all of the trouble we caused, even after executing everyone else who tried to put a stop to them; they didn't kill me. It's because they know they don't have to. I'm writing because today's my birthday.

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