Audrina is a lot sweeter than she looks. You’d think, by the way she dresses, that she would be a tough girl, when in reality, she’s a total cinnamon roll. I mean, yeah, she can handle a gun, but she doesn’t like to use it.
“Okay Cora, time to go night night,” I tell my little sister, picking her up.
“Night night Rina! Night night Bastian!” she says. I smile and place her in her crib.
“Sleep well,” I whisper before shutting the door gently.
I head into the living room where Audrina is reading a book on the couch. You can hardly see her, because her knees are pulled up to her chest and her face is mere inches away from the book.
I head over to the window and look outside. It looks eerie, with the moonlight reflecting off the snow, the occasional zombie dragging their feet in the snow.
“I’ll take first watch. You get some sleep,” I tell her. She looks up from her book, thinks for a moment, then nods. She gets up and heads to the guest bedroom.
I’m left to my thoughts. How am I supposed to get to New York now? Audrina will question why I want to go there, when we can just stay same inside the house. And I also have to take care of little Cora. I could leave the two of them together, but I am not leaving my little sister behind.
There’s thumping on the porch. I am suddenly alert, and I head to the front door. Night is a dangerous time. I look through the peephole to find three or four zombies on my porch. Great.
I take a deep breath and whip the door open. I shoot four bullets and then, pulling power from my Key, I blast them with water. Two of them are still alive, so I shoot them again.
They lay dead. Cora begins to cry, and I shut the door, praying her screaming won’t attract any other zombies. I rush to her room and begin to sooth, “Hey, hey, it’s okay Cora. Nothing to be scared of.”
“Dada. I want dada!” she wails.
“I know, I know, but you need to sleep, okay?” I finally calm her down and head into the living room. I’ll have to explain to Audrina in the morning that I need to go to New York.
“It’s getting dark, we better find a place to stay,” Alex suggests, eyeing the surrounding area.
I begin to scan the surrounding area, looking for a place that seems uninhabited by either zombies or other humans. I spot a cute little house and motion towards it. “That place looks good.”
Alex nods, and we make our way over. I carefully open the door, double barrel shotgun at the ready. We sweep the house and find that it is indeed empty. “Make sure everything is locked,” I tell Alex, checking a few windows.
I head to the pantry and look inside. There’s food, but most of it is stuff that will go bad pretty soon.
Alex comes up behind me and says, “Well, I know what we’re eating tonight!”
I smile. “But we have to make sure we don’t cook any meat, because that might attract zombies.” He nods, and grab various fruits and vegetables along with some bread and butter.
We eat in silence until Alex asks, “So, how are we going to cross the ocean if we can’t find anyone to help us?”
I shrug. “I guess we’ll just have to hope for the best. If only there’s a way I could use my colors to get us across.”
He chuckles and stands up. “Let’s go find out where we’re going to sleep.” I get up too and follow him. We examine all the rooms before choosing a room with two twin beds in it.
“So, are we going to take turns watching, or are we both going to sleep and hope for the best?” I ask, setting down my backpack next to a bed.
“I say we take shifts. I can take the first one, if you want,” he offers.
“No no, let me take the first watch. You need some rest,” I insist.
“But you’re the one who has to save the world,” he points out.
“And you’re the one that hardly gets any sleep on a normal day! So go to sleep.”
“Oh, fine. But you have to actually wake me up, okay? Don’t let me sleep all night.”
I walk up to him and give him a gentle kiss. “No promises.”
I stay awake, watching him sleep and listening for any sounds coming from outside.
My mother hesitantly hands me a gun.
“Mom? What’s this for?” I ask, holding it as far away from me as possible and pointing it at the ground.
“Honey, we don’t know what’s out there. The Lord will protect us, but there are other people he needs to take care of, too. Only use it if you have to,” she says gently.
“But, mom, you’re coming with me, right?” I ask, worried.
“Of course I am! But just in case, you need to be safe.”
“Where’s dad? Is he going to help?” I ask.
She places a hand on my shoulder. “Your dad is waiting at the boat. We’ll take it to New York.”
I give her a hug before putting the gun in my bag. “Okay. Let’s go.”
On three, my mom swings open the door, welding a metal bat. No zombies in sight. We begin to run toward the boat, which is not too far away, since we live right on the coast. My dad is in the boat, and he waves to us. We make it inside without incident, which seems… suspicious. Maybe God above is trying to help me with my mission to save the world.
I don’t understand why Royel is so worried. I mean, they’re just people. More of them appear every day. And when we save everyone, then who going to care about who died during the apocalypse. No one! But she is insisting on doing something.
“Maybe I can just go into the streets, just for a little bit, and help people. Or we can let other people come in here!”
“Royel, we are not letting peasants in here!” I exclaim.
She grunts. “Peasants? Really? You know, you used to be just like them, your highness.”
I’m offended. “Why are you always so mean to me?” I ask.
She growls and slams her hands down on a table. Out of anger, she grabs a bag of chips and sits down on one of the couches with them.
“You’re going to get crumbs everywhere!” I protest.
She looks at me and shoves a handle of chips into her face, purposely making crumbs.
“Ugh, you’re acting like an animal!” I screech.
She rolls her eyes and turns on Netflix. I sigh. Not everyone can be as wonderful as me.
“How much longer?” Elizabeth whines, dragging her foot along.
“For the last time, Elizabeth, we have to keep walking until nightfall! Besides, you’ve walked around the mall for six hours in heels. These shoes are much more comfortable!” I reply, getting sick and tired of her complaining.
“Peggy, how about we rest early?” Angie suggests.
“Ugh! You know what, fine. Fine! Let’s take forever to get to New York so that more people die!” I shout.
“So that’s a yes?” Elizabeth asks.
“No! We’re going to keep walking!” We lapse into silence, and I take in my surroundings. So many beautiful buildings, most of them splattered with blood.
When we reach the end of the city, I squint toward the horizon. It looks like the nearest building is at least five miles away, and night is coming.
“Alright, we’ll stop here. Let’s use one of these houses,” I say, motioning to a nearby house.
“FINALLY!” Elizabeth shouts, running up to the nearest one.
“Wait, we have to check for zombie-!” I cry, but she’s already opened the door. A zombie is right there.
She screams and it lunges for her.
A gunshot rings out, and the zombie falls down dead. I look over at Angie, but she hasn’t even touched her gun. I look around wildly, looking for the source of the shot.
A figure emerges out of the shadows just down the street. He’s a muscular, dark boy around sixteen years of age. His hair is pulled into a man bun, and he has a set look of determination on his face. He’s holding a submachine gun, and he has a camping pack slung over his shoulders. His leather jacket glimmers in the fading light as he walks toward us.
“You should always have a weapon in your hand,” he tells Elizabeth. “Especially when you’re about to turn a corner or enter a house.”
She stares at him, stunned. “You… saved my life.”
He shrugs. “Think nothing of it. It probably would have made it’s way over to me, anyway.”
I stare at him for a moment before asking, “Who… are you?”
He sticks out a hand towards me and says, “The name’s Gilbert.”
I take his hand and shake it, looking into his eyes.
Dang, those eyes.
“I’m Peggy. These are my older sisters, Angie and Elizabeth.”
He lets go of my hand and nods at them. “Pleasure. Now, why don’t we scout out that house?” We walk in, weapons at the ready. We encounter a few zombies, but kill them quickly.
“Wait, so how do you have a submachine gun? Just to own a gun in general you have to have a hunting license! So where the heck did you get a submachine gun?” I ask.
He glances at me and shrugs nonchalantly. “Oh, just found it in a house that I was searching. So now it’s mine.”
“And you just happen to know how to use it?” I question, suspicious.
He shrugs again. “Not that hard, if you know how to handle a regular hunting gun.”
I smile slightly. It’s probably a lot harder than he makes it sound.
Angie, who’s rummaging through the pantry, asks, “Yo Gilbert, are you gonna stay with us for a bit or go your own way?”
Please stay with us, please stay with us, please sta- wait, what am I thinking? Why I want him to stay with us? Maybe because he has a machine gun?
“Sure, I’ll stay with you. It’s safer in groups, anyway. So how long do you want to stay here?”
“Actually, we’re on the move,” I inform him. “We’re headed to Germany to meet up with someone.”
We all eat something before heading to our rooms. I have the first half of the night, and Gilbert would have the second. We would have Elizabeth and Angie do a shift, but they still aren’t that good with weapons and killing.
About an hour into the night, Angie comes out of her room. “I’m having trouble sleeping,” she says. “Can I hang with you?”
I shrug. “Sure.”
We sit in silence for a while until she says, “So, Gilbert.”
My face begins to heat up. Wait, why is it heating up? Am I getting a fever? “What about Gilbert?” I ask, trying not to seem suspicious.
She rests her arm on my shoulder. “Admit it, you have a crush on him.”
I push her arm off and whisper, “What? Of course I don’t!”
She laughs quietly, so as not to wake everyone else up. “Peggy, the keeper of the Key of Love, has a crush. And you know, you can probably use that key to make him fall for you.”
I clutch my key and hiss, “Are you insane? I’m not going to use it for personal use!”
She smiles. “If you say so… anyway, I’m going back to bed. G’night.” She heads back into her room.
Could I actually do that? Probably. What else can I do? I begin to ‘search’ for my abilities. Hm, what does this do?
A million red string suddenly appear, intertwining and spreading everywhere. Some of them are black, others are pink. What the heck?
I reach forward and touch a black one. A luminescent box appears above it, and it reads Dead Soulmates: Mason Frederick: Dead. Sally Herald: Alive.
I touch a red one, and something different appears. Living Soulmates: Arctica McDonald: Alive. Bobbie Sophore: Alive.
Living soulmates and dead soulmates. So what’s the pink? I touch one, and it says Temporary Love: Anthony Perez and Hera Smith.
So would that just mean they love one another, but they’re not soulmates? I look down and see that two strings are attached to me. One is pink, the other is red. I hesitantly press the pink one, and it says Temporary Love: Margarita Rensselaer and Gilbert Mignonne.
I don’t look at the red one.
In the middle of the night, I head into Gilbert’s room and gently shake him awake. He groans and rolls over, and that’s when I realize he’s not wearing shirt. My face turns red, and I just hope he can’t see it. “Um, it’s your shift,” I say awkwardly.
Sits up and rubs his eyes. I look anywhere but at the muscles lining his arms and chest. How they’re chizeled and sculpted perfe- Ah, no! “Alright, I’m up,” he groans.
I leave and climb into bed, thinking of the day. I eventually fall asleep, thinking of Gilbert despite trying not to.
“The stars are pretty,” Myles remarks.
“Yeah, they are. So, how close are we?” I ask.
“Well, we’ve only been out here two days, and it will probably take us ten days to get there. So we have a ways to go.”
We sit in silence for a while before I say, “I’m going to get some shut eyes. Wake me up halfway through the night, okay?”
“Sure,” he replies, and I head to my quarters. I’m asleep almost instantly.