Anton had always been one to settle.
He had a curious way of telling himself that he wasn’t settling, that he was getting exactly what he wanted 100% of the time, but somewhere inside he also knew not to trust himself completely.
The house was a simple, green, one-story thing with a lower half that was barred up and blocked off. It was populated with a kitchen, a hearth, and what looked like the entrance to a cellar.
On the way north Anton had seen and heard various kinds of livestock roaming the surrounding hills, waiting to be acquainted with his spear. South of the house was a barn, to the east an orchard; to him, these were the selling points.
A place to live alone: to till and sow, to reap and feast… to settle. Yes, it all seemed so… idyllic
But hindsight is a bitch.
It had been a month.
New walls, new structures and storage. More visitors, friends even. The hint of something that could be permanent.
Drugoy Polana was a tentative name.
Another Polana. Is that what Chernarus needs?
There was a doctor named Betty, the kindest soul one could hope to encounter in this rotten and twisted world. She tended a garden north of the homestead and was never shy about saying hello when she was around.
He even started his own patch of garden. A hodgepodge of seeds scavenged from abandoned barns. Nothing much, but a few sprouts here and there.
In this month, Anton had started to let his guard down.
Coming home late one evening, he had heard a shuffling from the yard. Pitch black, he went searching. Hastily he plopped a 9v into his head torch and strapped it on, fumbling for the switch.
He worked the beam of light slowly around the base of the walls. The perimeter was clear, from what he could see. And no other sounds save for the crickets and wind.
It was nothing, you just get some shut-eye.
He was only half-convinced. Luckily he was also a heavy sleeper.
Dawn had broken, and again Anton was alone.
He shuffled out of bed and into the yard- something was off.
You should try and sleep less, maybe fewer tokes before bedtime?
Checking the perimeter again, he noticed a hole where it looked like someone had hacked away in the night. He was kicking himself now for ignoring it earlier.
The bags. You have to check the bags.
He ran to the woodshed where he kept a barrel of tools. On the ground were the shovels, hatchets, rope and all manner of other now-homeless implements.
fuck, this isn’t right. The barrel was gone.
The barrel was gone, as was a good deal of one of his stashes. It was a violating and deeply unsettling feeling.
You knew it was going to be like this. Stop clinging to your delusions of peace.
The moment Anton made his own peace with the violence, the mental image of his idyllic homestead dissolved. It became a mess: a fortress of reclaimed planks, barbed wire, a sheet metal. A hazard, an eyesore, an attractive nuisance. It was unsafe. It would all have to go.
Climbing to the roof of the barn to get a good look at all that he had made, he heard steps.
“I don’t want any trouble!”, Anton shouted, to no-one in particular.
No-one said nothing in reply.
From the barn he could see into the edge of his tent and a long, slender bit of brown. A shade of brown that’s all too familiar for those who’ve ever held a vintage mosin-nagant rifle.
One crack and it was over.
Anton was too late on the draw, and he felt the pain for only a moment before— black.
You shouldn’t have settled.
This story was written by community member JaehaerysConciliator and shared through our private forum.