(DayZ Narrative) Day Zero: Sink or Swim
For the longest time, all I remember was drifting. The sensation of frigid seawater seeping into my waterlogged body, making me numb to the bone. I don’t remember how I came to be a floating piece of debris along the world’s cruel ocean, but it had become my reality for what seemed days now. I recall fighting against the current, trying to drag myself towards some form of land or another, but the wretched tides had deemed it was a foolish endeavor, and dragged further into the unknown. It was becoming dark now, and I was tired. So very tired. I find myself clinging to a piece of driftwood, my only companion in this world it seemed. I closed my eyes for a sense of peace, any escape from the ice that was lancing through my body. The release of what must surely be death soon approaching me. Darkness envelopes my every sense, and the last thing I could remember was the feeling of drifting.
And then, at some point, the drifting stopped.
I open my eyes, a task that was proving difficult, to the sight of tiny black stones, slick with seawater. I find my arms still clinging to the lone piece of driftwood that has somehow kept me afloat throughout the indeterminable length that was my wayward journey. I struggled to release my grip from the large waterlogged plank, my fingers barely responding to motions I willed upon it. After some time, my grip is fully released from my unlikely savior, and I roll onto my back to face the sky and breathe for the first time in what seemed to be an eternity.
A biting chill reminds me that I am still lying down in a shallow deposit of ocean water, and that I will soon freeze to death if I do not begin to move. For now though, I was simply content with the idea of being on some façade of land. The clouds above me are grey, with no hint of the warm sun that I craved to see once more. I attempt to stand, and find myself with barely enough strength to simply sit. The remnants of my clothing, saturated with water, do not help with the weight of my considerably fatigued body. I look around me, trying to gather my bearings. Trying to figure out where I am.
My immediate surroundings consist of the wet black stones that I assume must be a beach of some sort. Directly in front of me is the sea, its black waves gently lapping against the shore. Further to my sides are patches of shallow growing grass, brittle and yellowing. Further still are the beginnings of a forest of what I believe to be pine trees. But at no point do I see any buildings, nor do I see any signs of people. Even the piece of driftwood that I clung to for dear life has also begun to slowly recede with the tide of the ocean; my only sense of familiarity abandoning me to a cruel new world that I now feel truly alone in.
With a great effort, I begin to rise to my feet, my body shaking from what I can now sense as a bitter sense of cold. I feel faint, almost losing my balance. In the time I had been at sea, it appeared as if my body had forgot how to stand upright, and I feared that walking might simply be too much for me to handle. To my surprise though, I take my first step. Remember the sensation of walking, I begin to take another step, and then another. I feel something drag against me, and see some sort of contraption is tangled against my leg. I quickly remember what it is that is wrapped around me, and recognize it as a crossbow.
I slowly untangle the strap from my leg and grasp the crossbows frame in my hands, feeling a sense of unfamiliarity towards it. I don’t have the faintest idea as to where it came from, nor how it came to be upon my person. Though I see that it has no bolts to fire with, I feel a slight sense of security by having it. I sling the strap around my shoulder and continue to stumble forward. I am reminded by the wind, working in conjunction with my clothes soaked with water, that I am immeasurably cold. My teeth begin to chatter, with my entire body following suit, in a desperate attempt to warm itself.
Thoughts of hopelessness creep into my mind. I begin to feel as though I have escaped the clutches of death at sea only to run into his embrace yet again in the form of cold. My legs feel heavier with each step, my pace growing ever slower. My gaze is no longer aimed in front of me; instead I look towards the ground, too weak to even lift my head up. I don’t know where I am going, nor do I care. I feel a sense of quiet peace as I continue to pace forward, similar to those tiring immeasurable moments caught out at sea.
Though I was no longer in the water, I am still drifting.