From the Diary of Jeremy Addel, August 6th, 6 AF

Happy Birthday to me. The big one-seven.

I am so tired tonight. Jared (I will no longer call him my father) gave me some breakfast this morning because if he did not I would surely have collapsed in exhaustion, and what good am I then? I have no energy to endure the beatings anymore. I hear there are more Asylums opening. They say it is for people like me who lost something to the radiation. Jared disagrees.

"Radiation nothing! You have no voice because God has punished you for your lies!" He screams to me with each kick, "When you are truly repentant for the sins you have committed, He will give you your voice back."

My first words must be "Lord forgive me for my sins for I am truly repentant of my lies."

Or so I've been told.

I don't think I will speak ever again, as the tumors ravaged my vocal cords...But if, by some miracle, I do. I have no intention of my first words being to Him. God took my voice for "lying too much" at the age of 11, but left my drunken, philandering, father a 'true survivor'?

All the faith I had has dwindled to nothing.

My stash of hidden food has dwindled as well, further delaying my escape from this place. I could not make the trek to the nearest asylum with my current strength…I may have to risk it anyway. I will die here as surely as I would die on the road, but I would rather die with hope.

They used to say "I would rather fail than never have known" or something like that...I think I understand what they mean.

The End

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