Character POV – Mila – On the Run
Recently, I was talking to a friend of mine. She told me she blogs. I asked about what, and she told me she blogs in the POV of a zombie. I thought it was an awesome idea, and so I thought I would try something similar. Every once in a while, I’m going to blog in the POV of one of my characters from my stories. It’ll probably be stuff that wouldn’t ordinarily be in the books, stuff that I think about, and helps me with character development, but the details never actually get divulged to the readers. Hope you enjoy.
When I ran, I didn’t really think it through. I just panicked. One day, I was living my dream, well on my way to becoming a pilot. Then it all changed. I went from my only worry being whether I would pass a qualification or test to where I would find shelter… water… food…
It was scary at first, but somehow I feel like that fear had more to do with what I was running from. Though, one could argue the philosophical question of what I was running from. Was I running from the camps I would be sent to if I was found out, or myself? In the beginning, I think it was a little of both.
My parents hadn’t been shifters. They’d been normal. That’s one thing I don’t think people realize. The ability to shapeshift isn’t something inherently separate from humanity. I don’t know if it was a matter of cross-breeding between two similar species or what, but the traits live and breathe within the human race, and occasionally, someone like me is unlucky enough to lose in that genetic lottery big time.
The first long while consisted mainly of scrambling to survive and trying not to be horrified by what I could do. I had lived on base, my belongings consisting of what could be packed into a single bag, so living a nomadic life wasn’t as hard as you would think. I’d had no rent, car payments, or other major expenses before running, so I’d been able to save up money. I had some, but not a lot. In the end, I starting sticking to what I could carry in a backpack. I tried to stay in one place, largely because it could be hard trying to find the resources when I moved again. I stayed away from the shelters, but each area had places where you could get water, food, toiletries, showers, even use the internet sometimes, and any resource I could get elsewhere meant money I could reserve for when I desperately needed it.
I didn’t rely on those resources, and I tried to make due in my own ways. I liked to stay in abandoned buildings with access to the roof. I would collect bottles and containers from the recycling centers, and put them on the roof. When it rained, I would have water. A little rainwater, soap, and a washcloth, and you could get clean well enough. And all it took was pouring water through a cheese cloth folded over a bunch of times, and you had relatively clean drinking water.
Water became a pretty vital part of my life. Water kept you clean, kept you looking like maybe you belonged, and it could make you feel full when ordinarily your stomach would be acting like it was trying to eat you alive because you’d gone too long between meals.
It still amazes me how, even today, the homeless can go completely unnoticed. Anywhere else, a person without an ID would not go unnoticed, but a homeless person? One can stand in the street, and people will look away, walk around, even bump into them. When I first ran, I thought for certain I would be caught. Someone would ask for proper ID, question me, realize what I was. But they didn’t. I was invisible. I didn’t exist.
And even those who saw me didn’t see me as an individual. To other homeless, I was competition, competition for very limited resources. To those that helped us, fed us, seemed to care, we were nothing more than a homogenous crowd of the destitute and tragic. We weren’t individuals. We were the lost, faceless, nameless.
As life got into a routine, and I got to where survival didn’t encompass all of my worries, my mind started to flit more and more often to the skeleton in my closet—the one time I’d shifted. The horror of the moment had been worn away by drudgery, and a new concern started to take over my mind. I’d always been taught that to have something and not know how to use it was dangerous. You wouldn’t have a gun without knowing how to shoot, or how to clean it correctly without blowing your face off.
The same could be said of shifting. What if I couldn’t control it? What if I used it unintentionally? I knew next to nothing about shifters. I mean, who did? Out of fear and mass hysteria, the government had decided to round them up, and make them disappear. Deal with them later.
The first few times, I didn’t even know what to do. I tried. Oh, how I tried! But nothing happened. I didn’t know why I’d shifted the first time. How was I going to do it this time?
Every day became and endless sea of recapping every moment of the darkest day of my life.