Just Beginnings is a compilation of the first lines of all the accepted work in the 2016 edition of From the Fallout Shelter to tell a new interesting story. 

Complied by: Austin Shay

I sat at my desk, peering out the window gazing upon the stars. Behind me the circadian clock is ticking now, ticking, tocking, shaking, rocking. It was creepy at first, the way it’d stare at me at the end of the hallway. A black mass appeared beside the clock, its tattered cloak brushing against walls to leave a fresh, familiar stench in its wake.

“Excuse me Sir, why doesn’t anybody love me?” I ask the black mass.

The mass left out of the back door between the rows of pine, searching left and right by that boy’s daddy’s field. Looking out of the window one would think that it was a light mist that had taken hold. The tattered roof shingles that look like the cobblestones that my grandmother ran barefoot on when she was a granddaughter.

The road ahead, shrouded in darkness, lead to unfamiliar territory, but I didn’t know that thin streams of smoke loft in the air from burning candles, the pungent smell of sugared cherries made my eyes water. The mountains remained silent, as we finally found it, after an entire day of searching while carrying a duffel bag filled with two weeks worth of clothes.

I write so I can find out what I think. Does your past predict your future? Grandma, Jasmine once told me that “Addiction is doing the same thing over and over even when it’s not fun anymore.” My grandmother warned me to stay quiet as a skinny blonde haired, blue eyed white WWII veteran from Arlington, Virginia came to the door.

The interrelation of orange purple, and translucent pink of the sky reveals the mysteries of the color-coded symphony heaven paints of its cryptic dreams. Mouths wailing, that married man that she plays with, but while she is in the bathroom he is in the study, going through paperwork.

Older, stranger, more reclusive and fundamentalist – I prefer to romanticize the woman I knew than the one before me now.