In Kazakhstan, a young boy with dirt smudged on his face, walks on the rock,s his backpack over his shoulder. He sees the houses hollowed out and empty. He climbs over an open window. In the rubble, he finds a dented bottle of water. He sits inside for a while.

He walks across the mountains only to find sand dunes and caves. He runs through the field. Finding some hollowed out homes, he turns his head from left to right, trying to see if anyone is hiding.

Putting a hat on his head, he continues his journey into nightfall. In the morning, he stops at the beach and cups some water in his hands. He wraps a blanket over himself and rests for a while.

Back at one of the hollowed out homes, he throws the bottle out the window and sits in the rubble, his hands on his face, worried. Inside a former school, he wears a hoodie and looks down the hallway to see if anyone is there.

On the street, he goes inside another building and sees a wall  painted with a tree made of handprints. He runs his hands across the wall., tears welling his eyes. A dead person lies in the hallway. He takes some of the man’s clothes and his watch.

In the dark, he fiddles with the watch, wondering how much time has passed and falls asleep. A stray puppy comes up to him, his tail wagging. Smiling for the first time in weeks, he pets the puppy.

Walking through an overgrown grassy field, he finds an abandoned bus. He searches for hood. He bangs the can open and pours the food in his mouth. He draws his parents on the wall. After walking across a bridge, he sees some horses and grins. With a hat on his head and blanket wrapped around him, he sits near the horses to sleep and cries.

At about 8 pm, he sees small bursts of fire inside an open-air building. With short, excited breaths, he smiles and then breaks out into a run. He thinks of the nights alone and days without hope. He thinks of the loneliness and the cold. He thinks of his family.

Once inside, a young girl smiles at him, while a woman has her arm around her. He smiles.

Rating: 5/5

The last thing the young boy remembers was his mother holding him tight in their basement, whispering to him that it will be okay. Then, he woke up alone.

It had started with an explosion. He had asked his mom what it was and she responded that it could’ve been from a tower somewhere and that it was nothing. Then, the lights went out and people started screaming. His father turned on the radio where it was announced they were in a state of emergency.

At first, he searched for his parents, thinking they had found shelter in one of the houses in their neighborhood. Then, he thought of his neighbors and some of his friends. It took him two days to figure out he was on his own. However, he as long as believed he could find someone, anyone he may have a chance.

But each place he went was in ruins with no signs of life. The puppy and the horses gave him hope someone was out there. The hope evaporated after walking several miles with no one in the distance. He drew his family and cried, wanting to give up. He doesn’t want to die.

He sees an open-air building and believes he sees a person. He runs towards, knowing he will be okay. Maybe someone will know what happened to his family. He sees the little girl, smiling and grins. It’s over. He can rest now.

Director: Greg Davenport Year: 2017

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