Growing up in a small border town like Del Rio, Texas had its ups and downs. On the upside of life, my parents owned half the town. On the downside, it’s hard as hell trying to survive high school when the entire graduating year made it their personal goal to taunt you for being the rich, ugly duckling. Yup, that’s me. I’ll introduce myself; I mean might as well, I am sharing my life story with you.
My name is Charlotte Olsen, although everyone I know just calls me Charlie. That circle of intimate encounters is limited to my family and my only friend, David Price. I have yet to grow in my own skin, something other kids noticed as well. I don’t mind being the social outcast of the town despite my mother’s countless jabs at my outer awkwardness.
When I was younger the neighbours decided to use me as a human piñata. As if beating on a small girl wasn’t malicious enough they chanted out loud, making up a song about how scrawny and weak I was. The Holloways were cruel and unruly and I expected my mother stand up for me when I cried out what happened. Instead of comforting me she asked me, “What will it take for you to have friends, Charlotte? Huh?”
I think it was at that point that I decided I would just pretend nothing wrong was happening in my life. I would come home, say hi, and head to my room.
When I was sixteen, my entire notion of family shifted. Father announced that he and my mother would expand the company and make ties with international partners. They we’re enlisting the help of Auntie Lucy, my mother’s sister. She had several bachelor degrees in the field of administration and accounting; she had offered her help at the drop of a dime. They would relocate to Tokyo, Japan. Mother assured me that they would come back twice a year for several weeks. I pretended to care.
My grand-parents were going to come live here. Although my parents were comfortable enough with leaving me for several months, they insisted I don’t move so I don’t get distracted in school. I felt like saying to my father that if they had been listening at all I had been telling them that I was distracted in school already, but thought against the idea and listened to my father as he told me this somewhat trivial news. I barely knew my parents anyhow and vice-versa so who cares if they go live across the world, right?
Yeah, right. Little did I know, my parents were about to cause one of the world’s largest war ever known to man.
The war against the living dead.