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Dead Orphanage

By: Reretzu

Chapter 1, Draven lives in an orphanage in a small town in Florida, he and his friends are unknowing of the apocalypse that has befallen the world until the day reality is forced on them. The dead are alive and are attacking the living, and something, or someone even more dangerous might be lurking in the shadows.

Walking Dead: Arc 1

Dead Orphanage

Draven woke up in a warm bed, turned around and looked at the clock, 6:14, always the early bird, he stood up and got dressed, a striped black and grey shirt and black ‘’cowboy’’ pants, he was never very colorful, most people said he never had any fashion either, not that he cared about it.

He went out into the corridor and looked around, it was plain white and had a couple of identical brown doors with different name plates on them: ‘’Draven Varington’’ Right behind him, ‘’Michael Greyhound’’, Dravens best friend, on the other side of the corridor, and close by the wall out into the living room: ‘’Sally Lovelle’’, Dravens other friend who was more of a sister to him, although they didn’t share any blood.

He ran through the corridor, quietly, and came into the living room, another white room, but with yellow floorboards at least, the room had some furniture and a small television in the corner, Draven went out through the main door, which was big and -like everything else- white, he stepped out into the suburbs of the small town in Florida, the morning sun was shining to the left of him.

In front of him was an old broken sign: ‘’Wesley’s Orphanage’’, in the otherwise empty garden covered in grass with a small road going out to the street where a small blue Volvo was parked, Liara’s.

The door opened behind Draven and he turned around to see Liara, one of his headmasters, she looked at him, obviously surprised, and said: ‘’Up already are we Draven?’’, to which he replied: ‘’Always the morning bird headmaster.’’

‘’You’ve been here for four years Draven, you have to start calling me Liara soon.’’

‘’Headmaster worked for four years, I’m sure It’ll work for four more.’’

‘’I guess we’ll find out.’’ Liara almost sighed: ‘’That sign has to be repaired, you and Chad can do that today, I have to go shopping.’’

‘’Why do we have to? People can still read it.’’ Draven replied: ‘’It adds a personal touch too, don’t you think?’’ Liara sighed: ‘’It doesn’t look professional, which is quite important if people are to trust us with children’s lives.’’

‘’Why Chad and me then? Can’t Mike do it? He’s a year older.’’

‘’And therefore has a lot more homework, which he always does by the way.’’ Draven sighed before continuing: ‘’Well then, yes ma’am.’’ Fixing an old sign wasn’t how he planned to spend the weekend.

‘’Good, I’ll be leaving now, I’ll see you later Draven.’’, Draven waved goodbye as Liara stepped into the blue Volvo drove off into the great unknown, or a mall down the street, either way it didn’t involve sign fixing.He ran back inside as soon as it the Volvo was out of sight, almost smashing the door behind him, into the corridors and up to Mike’s room, he knocked two fast times before entering.

‘’What the hell? Is that you Drav?, it’s six in the morning!’’ Michael growled, to which Draven replied: ‘’Six twenty actually, let’s watch television for once.’’

‘’Liara and Tony says we aren’t allowed to.’’ Mike was still growling, and half asleep.

‘’Liara and Tony aren’t here.’’ Draven replied: ‘’Tony’s still on his little camping tour and Liara’s gone shopping.’’

Mike jumped out of bed and said: ‘’Really, let’s see what’s on!’’

‘’Get dressed, I’ll start it.’’ Draven said before running into the living room and starting the television, nothing came on immediately, which was understandable considering the age.

‘’Is it on yet?’’ Mike asked as he walked in behind Draven, to which Draven replied: ‘’No, this thing is older than Tony remember?’’

‘’Oh yeah, this was the model dinosaurs used.’’

Both of them heard a door opening before Chad entered from the other corridor, looking very tired and saying, in a very tired voice: ‘’Do you two ever shut up?’’

‘’Only when you come in and ruin the mood’’ Mike replied.

‘’I guess you really never shut up then.’’ Chad said before Draven replied: ‘’Neither do you, now, sit down before it starts.’’

‘’Television, as soon as Liara’s out of the house you start breaking rules?’’ Chad said sarcastically.

‘’Of course, and you will have the honor of joining us.’’

Chad sat down before saying: ‘’I’m a step ahead of you.’’

The three of them waited for a while before Mike said: ‘’This thing should have been on by now…’’
‘’I’ll fix it.’’ Draven replied and started messing around with the cables and remote for a while, after which he said: ‘’It’s the signal, it isn’t there.’’

‘’Come on, the antenna’s working and the official channels never shut down.’’ Chad said: ‘’Apparently they have.’’ Draven replied.

‘’What are you guys doing?’’ Sallys tired voice said behind them, the three of them turned around to see her, she was still in her white night skirt and rubbed her eyes, she obviously just woke up.

‘’What are you doing up already Sal?’’ Draven said in a kind voice, the eight year old girl looked at him a while before replying: ‘’I had a nightmare.’’ In a low voice.

‘’What happened in it Sal?’’ Draven said, again in his kind voice.

‘’You were adopted and I was left here without you.’’ Sally said, slowly.

‘’They can’t adopt me by force Sally, you know I would never leave you behind.’’

‘’I know.’’ Sally said before she started smiling: ‘’So what are you doing then?’’

‘’Nothing really.’’ Mike said defensively before Sally replied: ‘’The Tv is on.’’

The boys looked at each other a moment before Sally continued: ‘’We haven’t been allowed to watch TV since last week.’’

‘’Well yeah but… how much could it hurt? Liara isn’t here.’’ Chad said in defense.

Sally seemed not to notice and said: ‘’What’s on?’’

Draven quickly replied: ‘’It doesn’t work.’’

‘’Why not?’’

‘’The signals gone.’’

‘’Can you fix it?’’

‘’No’’

‘’Oh, I see.’’

Sally seemed like she was starting to wake up before she went back down the corridor, obviously to get dressed, shortly after she was back.

‘’I can hear a car.’’ Chad said: ‘’I think it’s the Volvo.’’

‘’You’re right Mike said: ‘’let’s go out and say hi.’’

The four of them walked outside into the empty garden, there was no one in the neighborhood except for some weird guy walking down the sidewalk on the other side of the road, he looked drunk but none of them really cared.

All of them looked at the blue Volvo as it drove closer, none of them noticed that the drunk guy suddenly walked out on the road, in an attempt not to drive over him the Volvo with Liara in it braked and drove to the side.

All of the kids jumped, surprised by what happened, before any of them could think straight the car crashed into the Orphanages sign, broke it off and then continued into the fence between the Orphanage and its neighbor were it crashed and stopped.

Mike yelled: ‘’What the hell?’’ right before Draven and Chad ran over to the car, while running Draven yelled: ‘’Mike, take Sally inside, call 911, now.’’

Chad stopped in front of the a car a couple of seconds before Draven, he was always the better runner.

‘’What do we do!?’’ Draven yelled right before Chad turned to the man on the street before yelling: ‘’What the hell are you doing!? You may have killed her!’’

The man didn’t reply, he only moaned, deeply, which was about the time Draven and Chad noticed he wasn’t quite a man, he was… something else, he was covered in blood and had scars everywhere.

He raised his arms and started walking quickly against them, they started running against the orphanage, a lot faster than him fortunately.

They got to the door, opened it, got through, and smashed it behind them, before Mike had time to come to the door Draven yelled: ‘’Mike!? How’d it go?’’

‘’It didn’t.’’ He replied in a very empty voice.

‘’What’s that supposed to mean!?’’ Chad yelled.

‘’911 doesn’t reply.’’

‘’You can’t be serious?’’ Draven replied, obviously agitated.

‘’I tried four times.’’

Sally stepped out from behind Mike, no one noticed her in the whole mess, she said: ‘’Draven? What’s going on?’’ Obviously very frightened, who could blame her.

Draven kneeled in front of her before replying: ‘’We don’t know Sal, but whatever it is, we will find out and fix it… somehow.’’

‘’Promise?’’ Draven paused for a while before saying: ‘’Promise!’’ and smiling.

‘’Okay guys and Sal, what do we do now?’’ Chad said, still agitated.

‘’I’ll get the baseball bats in case we have to get rough.’’ Mike said right before all of them heard knocking on the door, then scratching, it was obviously the thing trying to get in.

Mike ran while Draven said: ‘’Sal, get away from the door and any windows, just in case, but stay in sight.’’

‘’Okay’’

‘’Chad’’ Draven continued: ‘’We’ll hold the door.’’

‘’Got it.’’

Both of them held the door, they could feel the banging and scratching, it was getting harder by the seconds, suddenly ‘’its’’ arm managed to smash through a spot on the upper part of the door, damn thing needed more fixing than the sign.

‘’Get back!’’ Draven yelled as he himself jumped back, Chad followed: ‘’We could really use those bats now!’’ he yelled in Mikes direction.

Mike came just in the nick of time and gave two of the bats to Draven and Chad, Chad almost dropped his in the hurry.

Draven ran forth, quickly opened the door and jumped back with his bash ready to bash a skull in, before yelling: ‘’I don’t care who you are, stop now or we will take you down.’’ His voice was shaking but still intimidating.

The ‘’thing’’ growled before it started walking against them, before anyone else could do anything Chad jumped forward and bashed the thing right in the stomach, it stumbled back, then raised it arms and grabbed Chads arm.

No one really saw what happened next, it all went incredibly fast, Chad managed to knock it down and hit it a couple of times with the bat, apparently crushing the head with one of the swings.

Mike ran over to him and said: ‘’You okay man?’’

‘’Yeah, I’m fine, but the bastard bit me!’’

‘’What was that?’’ Sally said, Draven could hear she was about to cry.

He grabbed her shoulder, looked her into the eyes and said: ‘’We don’t know Sal, but it won’t come back, we’ll go into town and ask the people for help, you okay with that?’’

‘’Yes.’’ Sally replied, looking less sad.

‘’Alright, we’ll go into town and walk against the town square and hope we run into someone who knows what’s up and bring the bats, I’ll carry you Sal.’’

‘’Right.’’ ‘’Sure.’’ ‘’Okay.’’

Draven bent down to pick up Sally who climbed onto his back with her legs around his neck and then they walked past ‘’its’’ corpse out into the morning sun.

‘’Crap, we forgot about Liara!’’ Chad yelled and ran over to the broken car, stopping once to cough, might be catching a cold, when he came to the driver’s window he froze for a second and then almost fell backwards.

Mike and Draven quickly followed while Mike yelled: ‘’What’s going on?’’

Chad breathed heavily before replying: ‘’It’s… Liara, but she’s like ‘’it’’! Stuck in her seatbelt.’’

That was when everyone started hearing the growling from the car.

As Draven and Mike approached Draven slowly said: ‘’What the hell is going on...’’

‘’Is Liara okay Draven?’’ Sally asked, obviously still scared.

‘’I don’t know Sal, I don’t know…’’ Draven replied, but as he heard Sally was about to start crying he continued: ‘’But it looks like she could live, if there’s a solution to this, we will find it and make her better, okay Sal?’’

‘’Okay.’’ Sally said in a shaky voice as she stopped any tears.

‘’I guess we can’t do anything else then, let’s keep moving.’’ Chad said before coughing again.

They started again and went against the town square, they didn’t get long before seeing another one of the ‘’things’’ walking around in the distance, it obviously wasn’t a normal person, after looking to the other sides and seeing more, and more, the four of them quickly found out they were on almost every street before Mike burst out: ‘’Shit! We can’t take all of these with bats!’’

‘’He’s right.’’ Chad said: ‘’I think we should go to the gun shop.’’

‘’The gun shop!?’’ Draven burst out: ‘’We can’t use guns!’’

‘’I don’t see anyone objecting now, besides, we will need them.’’ Chad replied.

‘’He has a point Draven, we don’t know how many of these there are and how long we’ll be dealing with them.’’ Mike said.

‘’I guess you’re right, but let’s hope we find someone who can help before we have to use them’’ Draven said.

Mike and Chad nodded before all of them started sneaking through the suburbs, there weren’t very many of the ‘’things’’ but more than enough, they weren’t incredibly hard to avoid here though, just duck behind a nearby bush or fence and slowly walk until you passed them, sometimes they did see or hear the four of them, and then they had to sprint for some time to lose them.

It didn’t take long to get to the gun shop: ‘’Lars guns and gadgets’’ a large unlit neon sign said on top of the small building, the door was closed, but it didn’t look like it was locked, when they approached it Draven put down Sally, carefully, and then said: ‘’Sal, I’ll go inside with Chad, Mike will stay here with you, is that okay?’’

‘’Can’t you stay?’’ Sally asked

‘’I’m the only one who has actually used a gun here, if Lars is still there I’m our best chance at getting anything.’’ Draven replied.

‘’But you’ll be back?’’

‘’I’ll be back.’’ Draven said and smiled.

Draven and Chad opened the door and went through, as soon as it closed behind them a man’s voice half yelled: ‘’Hands up where I can see them!’’

Draven and Chad threw their hands up immediately, as much by reflex as by hearing what he said, he continued shortly thereafter with: ‘’You sure aren’t walkers, who are you then?’’

Draven and Chad barely were still startled but Draven managed to say: ‘’Uhm, were just confused, there are these things outside and we need something to protect ourselves.’’

The man, Lars, stood up, rifle in hand, and said: ‘’You two don’t look eighteen to me, do you even know how to use a gun?’’

‘’I’ve used one a little, otherwise no, but we’ll just have to learn, baseball bats won’t get us far.’’

‘’I can see your point, where are you going?’’ Lars asked.

‘’What do you mean? Where should we be going?’’ Chad asked, looking very confused.

‘’This walker problem seems to be international, have you been watching the news before they were cut off?’’ Lars replied.

‘’No, our headmaster wouldn’t let us…’’ Draven said.

‘’You’re from the orphanage then, I guess your headmaster didn’t want to worry you, but no matter her intentions, you have to worry about it now.’’ Lars replied.

Draven and Chad just stood there, neither of them knew what they should do, Lars broke the ice and said: ‘’I have a plan, I was going to bring some guns, find some food and start going against Orlando, maybe we could follow each other, I’ll help you learn to use the guns and we’ll try to get out of this together, I’m sure company can’t hurt me.’’

‘’What do we do when we get to Orlando?’’ Chad asked.

‘’I don’t know, depends on the conditions there,’’ Lars replied.

‘’Okay then, how do we start Lars?’’ Draven asked.

‘’Let’s go to the orphanage, there we’ll get your bags and anything else you might want to bring, then we go to the market and get some food and then we’ll try to find a car, I don’t think mine will be much use.’’

‘’Why not? What’s wrong with it?’’ Chad asked.

‘’Walkers hit hard.’’ Lars replied followed by Chads: ‘’oh…’’

‘’Are there more of you? Back at the orphanage?’’ Lars asked.

‘’Two more, right outside the door in case something went wrong, a boy our age and a girl who’s eight years old.’’ Draven replied.

‘’Right then, you go out and meet them, I’ll get the guns were going to bring.’’ Lars said before waliking deeper into the store.

Draven and Chad went outside, Sally was relieved to see them, they told Sally and Mike what happened shortly before Lars came out with a huge backpack and a rifle in his hand.

‘’We’ll start at the orphanage, you lead the way.’’ He said.

No one replied, Chad just started walking and everyone followed, they snuck past the zombies the same way back, but had to run away more often because Lars couldn’t quite go soundless with a backpack filled with who knows what guns.

They quickly made it back to the orphanage at their pace where they stopped outside the door as Lars said: ‘’Go get what you need, but go slowly, some walkers could have entered and if you see any, run and yell ‘’walker’’, I’ll wait here and keep watch.’’

‘’Sure.’’ ‘’Fine.’’ ‘’Be right back.’’ The boys said.

‘’I’ll go with you Sal.’’ Draven continued.

‘’Okay.’’ Sally said smiling, Draven was glad she could still smile, even through all this, she was a tough girl, but still only eight.

They went in, past the walker’s corpse and proceeded carefully, Draven and Sally started packing her things, some clothes and a wristband she made herself, pink with red lines, they then packed Dravens things, just some clothing, nothing else.

They proceeded to walk back outside, Draven noticed Sally stayed closer to him when they walked past the corpse in the doorway, he wasn’t surprised, neither was he surprised that Chad and Mike were already out with Lars, wearing their backpacks.

‘’Before we go…’’ Frank started: ‘’Four children isn’t much for an orphanage, aren’t there more?’’

‘’They were camping with one of the headmasters, we didn’t want to go.’’ Draven replied.

‘’I see…’’ Lars said: ‘’Where is your other headmaster then?’’

Draven looked down a short moment before pointing at the blue Volvo still in their garden and quietly saying: ‘’There…’’

Lars also looked down before replying: ‘’I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have asked…’’

‘’You have every right to know.’’ Draven said, still quietly.

Just as everyone started to walk into town again, Lars said: ‘’Also, I should warn you, we don’t know if Skywatcher is alive, he might be going free with no police, watch out for him.’’

Chad looked confused: ‘’Skywatcher? Wasn’t he a serial killer?’’

Draven answered before Lars: ‘’Yes, he hasn’t been caught yet and was still active before… this, having killed over 20 people in this area.’’

Chads eyes grew: ‘’Why the name? Skywatcher?’’

This time Lars spoke first: ‘’All his victims very found outside, looking up at the sky.’’

‘’Let’s hope we don’t run into him.’’ Mike said.

‘’Doubt he’s still alive, guys probably insane, started murdering right after his wife and son died.’’ Lars said.

‘’He did escape capture for over 20 murders though.’’ Draven said, darkly.

There was silence in a minute, Draven noticed Sally was clinging to him before asking: ‘’Will Skywatcher come for us?’’

Draven took out his calm voice before replying: ‘’I don’t think he will and if he does, we are four of us against him alone, and we won’t let him touch you.’’

Sally smiled warmly and said: ‘’Right!’’

They started sneaking through the town, it didn’t take long to get to the market, which was pretty big and white with blue lines along the top, there were a couple of walkers in the parking lot but it wasn’t too hard to walk around them and hug the wall until they came to the door, which was locked.

‘’It’s made of glass, well just break it.’’ Chad said, before stopping to cough heavily for a while.

‘’Catching a cold son?’’ Lars asked.

‘’I think so, but It’s nothing, let’s get in already.’’ Chad replied and looked like he was going to kick it before Lars said: ‘’Stop! It’ll be too loud to break it, I’ll fix it.’’

Chad stopped and backed away before Lars put down his bag, opened it and pulled out a knife, he proceeded to put it between the crack in the door and pushed it until the door split, he then opened it fully and walked in before saying: ‘’No walkers right in the opening, come in.’’

He then put his knife back in the bag and put it on again before saying: ‘’Alright, spread out, fill your bags with canned food because it lasts longer and yell if you get in trouble with walkers.’’

Everyone spread out without saying anything more, Draven and Sally just casually but still rather quickly, walked down to a corner where Draven knew there was canned food, nothing much happened, they walked through the partially raided market, got to the corner, filled their bags and walked back, unsurprisingly Mike, Chad and Lars were already waiting in the door opening with full bags, Chad started coughing a little while Draven and Sally approached.

‘’Not much more to do here.’’ Lars said.

‘’Guess we’ll just leave, look for a car and start driving?’’ Draven asked.

Before anyone had time to answer everyone jumped as a rock was thrown through the glass door, Lars was the first to speak: ‘’What the hell?’’

No one replied and before long they noticed the all the walkers in the parking were walking against them, attracted by the noise.

Lars yelled: ‘’There are more exits, find them!’’ before everyone but Draven and Sally started running in different directions, Draven looked at Sally, she was obviously scared, he picked her up and started running while saying: ‘’They can’t catch us Sal.’’

She didn’t respond and Draven didn’t quite have time have to time check her either, he ran to the side of the market and followed it to the door, he caught a glimpse of Chad for a moment but while he ran but lost him again, he went out the door and saw Lars a little bit out of the door, he ran over to him and put Sally down.

Chad came from around the corner, saw them and joined them.

‘’Where’s Mike?’’ Chad said before he started coughing heavily.

When he stopped Draven immediately said: ‘’You okay Chad?’’

‘’Fine enough, Mike is really more important right now.’’ Chad said, while still gasping for air.

Everyone looked into the market, now covered with walkers walking clumsily around, thinking he might still be in there, Draven was the first to disregard the idea and say: ‘’He’s probably somewhere outside the market, me and Sal take one way around, you two take the other, we’ll see each other at the other side.’’

‘’Right’’ Lars said as he and Chad started running towards one side, Draven looked at Sally and said: ‘’Let’s find Mike.’’ She nodded and he picked her up and started to go the other way around.

There were still a few walkers on the outer part of the parking lot, nothing to worry about, no sign of whoever threw the rock.

They quickly made it to the other side where Lars and Chad stood, crouched over something, he approached them and saw what it was in the process.

Blood, it started where they were crouched and went away into the town, a mix of lose blood and partial shoe marks.

Draven put Sally down and started: ‘’What the-‘’ Before Lars said: ‘’We can’t know if it’s Mikes, but we can’t know if it isn’t either.’’

‘’Either way it’s our only lead and I think we should follow it.’’ Chad continued.

All of them stood up, Draven looked at Sally, she looked scared, he picked her up again as they started walking after the blood tracks, deeper into the town, it wasn’t hard to follow it, considering that it was recent and the person who made it tried to avoid walkers too, there weren’t many in the way, at first.

Before they came far a large amount of walkers where in the way, very large in fact, they stopped far enough away for the walkers not to hear them, before Lars said: ‘’I guess whoever went here threw more rocks, he probably didn’t want company.’’

Chad looked completely lost for a while before saying: ‘’What… what do we do now?’’

There was silence for what felt like an eternity to everyone until Lars broke the ice with: ‘’If everyone shot against them we could get past them if we’re lucky, but it’ll use a lot of ammo and be very risky.’’

Draven said: ‘’Couldn’t we try to keep an eye on the blood track while still keeping our distance?’’

Lars replied: ‘’There are a lot of walkers there, I doubt we could do that for very long.’’

Silence again, after what was probably a long time Draven started again: ‘’There’s houses everywhere here, let’s go into one on the side here, climb to the roof and get a better view, if the track isn’t too long we might be able to see where it goes and take a completely different route.’’

‘’Glad someone got a good idea.’’ Lars said.

‘’Let’s go already!’’ Chad said before coughing.

They ran over to the closest house, which was pretty big, yellow and uglier than houses should be allowed to be, Lars kicked down the door immediately, the walkers were too far away to hear anything so why bother being delicate?

A soon as the door hit the ground with a loud ‘’thump!’’ everyone was running, Lars first and Draven last with Chad in the middle, as soon as the stairs were spotted all of them ran up of them, Draven slightly slower since he was carrying Sally.

It was harder to find a way to the roof, after some time Chad saw a mark in the roof, he pulled it and as it went down a ladder fell out, he yelled for the others as they all climbed up, Draven had to put down Sally who climbed herself, once on the small top floor Lars took an old chair that stood there and used it to punch a hole straight through a wall, which then led out to the roof, they slowly proceeded out, didn’t want to fall, and then walked to the absolute top and sat down, Draven held Sallys hand to make sure she didn’t fall.

Once safely on the top, they looked out against the large mass of walkers that blocked them and saw just how many there were, they were all grouped along a path that was obviously were the blood trail was and were they stopped where the blood stopped, but there was no one there.

‘’Now we know what direction they went.’’ Chad said before coughing again.

‘’Guess we’ll have to take another way to the end of the trail and see if we can find anything?’’ Draven asked.

‘’Guess we will.’’ Lars said.

‘’Let’s climb over the fence in the back yard and run along the road, barely any walkers there and we should come to right around the edge of the trail.’’ Draven said.

‘’Let’s go.’’ Lars said just before Draven picked up Sally and all of them took it slowly into the hole to the top floor, from which they almost jumped down the ladder and ran down the stars, Lars first, Draven and Sally in the back, as soon as they came to the bottom floor Lars found the back door, which was made of glass, and smashed it to bits, while all of them ran outside and didn’t stop until they were at the fence, where they stopped and everyone but Sally threw their bags to the other side.
Lars and Chad started to climb over, but Chad fell on his back and started coughing, heavily, and Lars immediately stopped and jumped back down to Chad, Draven put down Sally and they joined him.

Chad kept coughing for a while, he managed to get his hand out in front of his mouth, after he stopped Draven immediately said: ‘’You’re sick, very sick, what the hell do we do?’’

Chad held out his hand in front of the others, it was covered in blood.

‘’This is bad, very bad…’’ Lars said.

Chad managed to speak in a shaky voice: ‘’I don’t know of any curable disease where you cough blood, I’m going to die… soon…’’

Draven couldn’t say a word, he wanted to cheer Chad and Sally up, Lars could probably need it too, hell, he’d need it himself, but what could he say, it was true.

‘’Is Chad going to die?’’ Sally asked slowly, her voice also shaky.

There was silence for a long time, no one knew what to say and Draven couldn’t even speak, until after an eternity.

Draven bit his lip, grabbed Chads hand, loudly said: ‘’Not today! Not on my watch!’’ and pulled up Chad.

He noticed the way Lars looked at him, he knew Chad wouldn’t live for long, but knew it wasn’t a good idea to speak up.

‘’Let’s go find Mike!’’ Draven continued, still playing tough.

Lars climbed over the fence, Draven helped Chad and then picked up Sally and gave her to Lars who put her down on the other side and then quickly followed.

They picked up their bags, Lars took Chads, and started walking along the road, Draven didn’t carry Sally because they couldn’t run anyways, with Chad in his condition, it didn’t take them long.

They came to a very empty part of the road, Chad coughed slightly, there were a lot of walkers far to one side and the other, the one where they had to look for Mike, was completely empty.

‘’He could be in any one of the houses, or just have run so far along the road we can’t catch up.’’ Chad said before coughing again.

‘’I think the two of you should carry guns here, I know you can’t aim very well yet but if a walker or a person is running against you I think you know what to do.’’ Lars said and took out two handguns from his bag and gave them to Draven and Chad who took them without word.

‘’Now… How do we find Mike?’’ Chad said

Draven had a tough time still playing the tough guy, but knew he had to continue for a while, at least, so he angrily said: ‘’There’s only one way to find out.’’ Before running over to the closest house, kicking the door open hard, running in and yelling: ‘’IS ANYONE IN HERE!? IF YOU ARE HOLDING MIKE, I WILL FIND YOU AND I DOUBT YOU WILL BE THE ONE MAKING IT OUT ALIVE!’’

He stood there for a while, breathing heavily, after getting no reply for a while he started running for the house on the other side of the road, he was stopped by Lars who grabbed him.

‘’What are you doing Draven!?’’ He asked.

‘’Finding Mike as fast as I can!’’ Draven replied and tried to get out of Lars grip, he couldn’t.

‘’In the most dangerous way imaginable!?’’ Lars asked.

‘’In the fastest way imaginable.’’ Draven replied.

‘’You can’t just bash in doors like that! You’ll attract all walkers in America!’’ Lars said.

‘’You know what I also can’t do Lars? I can’t let one of my best friends bleed to death or be killed or whatever is going on for him!’’ Draven yelled, ending whatever kind of argument they had.

Lars looked at Draven for a moment, not knowing what to say, Draven took the chance and got loose, he ran over to the house, kicked the door open, ran in and repeated the same sentence, when he was done and waited to get an answer a walker walked around a corner in the house and started going against Draven, quickly.

Draven looked around and saw there wasn’t really anything he could use as a weapon, out of rage and desperation he forgot his gun, and ability to run too, and kicked the walker hard enough for it to fall on the ground, he quickly took a nearby shelf and before the walker got up, he threw it down on the walker, he kicked the shelf down on the walker until it stopped moving, then he just stood there again, breathing heavily, the others noticed what happened and quickly came over behind him.

‘’You okay Draven?’’ Chad asked before coughing again.

‘’No, I’m not okay! Mike isn’t here and I have no clue about where he is! I don’t know what to do and I don’t want to lose a friend!’’ Draven yelled back before seeing Sally, who was scared, her older brother not in blood wasn’t himself and there were walkers everywhere, of course she was scared.

‘’We can find Mike, can’t we?’’ She asked.

Draven stopped for a moment, calmed down and looked at Sally before saying: ‘’We can’t be sure Sal, but if we can we will.’’

‘’I hope we can find him.’’

‘’We all do Sal, we all do.’’

Sally looked less scared, she didn’t smile though, she walked over to Draven and took his hands before saying: ‘’Let’s look for Mike.’’

‘’Can’t argue with that.’’ Chad said before coughing again.

They started walking down the road, away from the large group of walkers, observing every inch of the landscape for a clue to Mikes whereabouts, suddenly Lars noticed someone pretty far ahead of them, not a walker, he told the others and they started walking against the person, who they quickly saw was also walking against them.

‘’It’s not Mike.’’ Draven said: ‘’Looks like a woman.’’

Not long after Lars said: ‘’Looks like she’s in her mid-twenties.’’

When they got close enough the red haired woman started running against them and yelled: ‘’Oh thank god! Other people!’’

‘’I thought I was alone, except for those things.’’ She continued.

‘’You aren’t.’’ Lars said: ‘’Were trying to get out of this mess.’’

‘’Can I come with you?’’ She asked, hope in her eyes.

‘’Of course.’’ Lars replied: ‘’What’s your name?’’

‘’Kelly’’ she said: ‘’What’s yours?’’

‘’Lars’’

‘’Chad’’ Chad said before coughing.

‘’Draven, this is Sally’’ Draven said as Sally walked out from behind him.

Kelly crouched and looked at Sally: ‘’I didn’t see you at first.’’

Sally stepped back as Draven said: ‘’She’s shy around strangers.’’

Chad coughed again before saying: ‘’Nice to meet you Kelly, welcome to the group, but we really have to keep moving.’’

‘’Where are we going?’’ Kelly asked.

‘’A friend of ours, Mike, has gone missing and our only lead was bloodstains.’’ Draven answered.

Kelly looked at him for a moment: ‘’Oh… I guess we should find him them…’’

They walked for a short while before Kelly noticed the slow pace and said: ‘’Why aren’t we going faster?’’

Chad coughed before saying: ‘’I can’t, I’m not exactly well.’’

‘’Oh… Maybe I could stay here with Chad while the rest of you go looking?’’ Kelly asked.

‘’It could be a good idea.’’ Lars said: ‘’But I won’t risk coming back and finding two more bloodstains.’’

‘’I see.’’ Kelly said, before they continued walking again.

While walking Draven asked: ‘’Kelly, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?’’

‘’There isn’t much to tell.’’

‘’I think we’d all like to know anyways.’’

Kelly paused before saying: ‘’I’m 26 years old, I just became a biologist, I live alone right around here and I didn’t get a job before this happened.’’

‘’Guess you got lucky.’’ Lars said: ‘’Now you have a very simple job, survive.’’

‘’I would have preferred something else but I’ll just take what I get.’’ Kelly replied.

After a while Draven stopped and said: ‘’We have no idea about where he is, and we don’t know if were getting closer, we have to find some kind of lead!’’

Chad coughed: ‘’We aren’t going to by standing here.’’

‘’I doubt we will by walking in that direction either.’’ Draven said and pointed.

‘’We sure as hell won’t by arguing about it.’’ Lars said.

There was silence for a moment, before the church bell pretty close started ringing.

‘’I say we go for the church.’’ Draven said: ‘’There has to be people if the bell is ringing.’’

‘’Agreed, not like we have any other leads.’’ Lars said.

They started walking through the suburban landscape again, they quickly noticed that the bell didn’t stop ringing, it just kept going.

As they got closer and could see the church, a small unimpressive church, they also noticed that there were almost no walkers until they got close, at which point there were a lot.

When they could see all of the church they could also see all of the walkers around it, there were a lot, several hundred, most of them trying to break it open.

After standing there, speechless, for a moment, they noticed that more walkers were coming to the church, even from behind them.

‘’There are coming more from behind!’’ Lars yelled: ‘’Get in that house!’’ He continued and pointed.

It didn’t take long before everyone was in the house, which was a bar, they then watched through the windows the bar was covered by as a huge group of walkers went by.

Chad was coughing and everyone else was gasping for air when Draven said: ‘’The bell must be attracting them, who the hell would want to attract them?’’

‘’As far as we know Skywatcher is insane and could have started ringing the bell as soon as he got here with Mike, if that’s what happened of course.’’ Lars said.

‘’Wait, you think Skywatcher did this?’’ Kelly asked.

‘’He was still loose when the walkers came, if he’s still alive I can’t see what would stop him from murdering, especially considering he doesn’t have the police on his back anymore.’’ Lars replied.

‘’Well I guess you could be right, it still seems a little out there.’’ Kelly said.

‘’Everything about this is a little out there.’’ Chad said before coughing again: ‘’Shit, it’s getting worse.’’

There was silence for a moment before Lars said: ‘’I can see some stairs, let’s get to the roof and get a better view.’’

He started walking up the stairs and everyone else followed, they led directly to the roof, no smashing roofs this time.

They looked over at the church, there were walkers everywhere still trying to break in, there were still more coming.

‘’If Mike is in that church, how the hell do we get to him?’’ Lars asked.

Silence once again.

‘’I can’t see anyone ringing the bell.’’ Kelly said.

‘’The church is relatively new, it has a machine to do it.’’ Lars replied.

‘’So the person who is ringing the bell might not be in the church?’’ Draven asked.

‘’The system is internal, you can’t access it from outside, so someone is in there.’’ Lars said.

‘’You know a lot about this church.’’ Chad said.

‘’I was a Christian a long time ago, but I kind of grew out of it.’’

‘’Grew out of it?’’ Kelly asked.

‘’No offense if you’re a Christian Kelly, but it just seemed to ridiculous to me, I was wondering for some time if I wanted to keep following Christianity when I got to my adulthood.’’

‘’And you just decided not to?’’

‘’When my mother died I said that I didn’t want to follow a god who made a world with this kind of pain.’’

‘’It could help you get over it though? Thinking she’s in a better place?’’ Kelly asked.

‘’I suppose, but I didn’t want to disregard the pain that she died by thinking that way, she did die, and it was horrible.’’

‘’Sorry, I shouldn’t have kept the subject going.’’ Kelly said.

‘’You have every right to know.’’ Lars ended the discussion.

‘’You can debate religion all you want.’’ Chad said, coughed, and continued with: ‘’But please, let’s think of a way to get to Mike first.’’

‘’Sure kiddo.’’ Kelly said, Chad muttered something angry no one could hear, he always hated being a called a kid or anything similar, so did Draven and Mike as soon as they became thirteen years old.

There was silence for some time, except for the sound of an army of angry walkers attacking a church which bell rang constantly, but otherwise, silence.

‘’We have to get in there!’’ Draven said: ‘’Before something goes wrong!’’

‘’You are so very right Draven.’’ Lars said: ‘’The question is what.’’

Silence again, until Sally broke the ice by saying: ‘’I remember when Liara showed me the church.’’

‘’That was half a year ago, right?’’ Chad said and coughed.

‘’Yes.’’ Sally said before continuing: ‘’I remember she showed me a scary burial place underground, it was big and dark.’’

Lars snapped his fingers, lightened up and said: ‘’Sally! You’re a genius! The burial tomb has a link to the sewers that goes straight to the park in case of emergencies! We found our way in!’’

‘’Maybe I should stay here with Chad and Sally, It sounds dangerous.’’ Kelly said.

Chad coughed: ‘’I’m not staying here! I got Mikes back and some coughing won’t stop that!’’

Sally also said: ‘’I want to go with Draven, I’m always safer with him.’’

Draven smiled to the compliment.

Kelly sighed: ‘’I guess I’ll come too then, I won’t survive alone if all you get yourselves killed anyway.’’

They all went down the stairs and hurried to the park, they weren’t very careful considering that all the walkers very busy.

It didn’t take long to get to the park, it was relatively close to the church which is why that’s where the emergency exits leads there.

The park was still a fine place, the grass was a little overgrown but that was it, guess walkers weren’t very interested in eating grass or attacking trees.

Didn’t take them long to find the way into the sewer, it was closed with a chain lock so that kids didn’t just wander in there, took Lars no more than ten seconds to crack it open, most of that was thinking about what he should use.

Lars opened the door, peeked in, and said: ‘’No walkers, just follow me.’’

‘’It’s dark.’’ Sally said when only she and Draven were still outside.

‘’I’ll carry you, you’re safe with me, remember?’’ Draven said, Sally smiled as he picked her up.

They slowly walked through the sewers, making sure not to trip, Chads coughing echoed on the walls.

Draven noticed that Sally was holding him tightly and had closed eyes, the sewers themselves probably aren’t too scary, but considering the things she has seen recently, Draven would have been scared too, he was slightly actually, but he had to be strong.

After a short walk through the darkness they found a small door, also locked, which Lars recognized as the door into the church, only took him five seconds to crack this lock since he already knew what to use.

He opened the door, jumped in and said: ‘’It’s clear.’’

The rest of them followed him into the tomb, the sound of walkers attacking the church were getting very loud, which wasn’t too surprising.

Their footsteps echoed in the darkness of the tomb, it was large, Draven didn’t know how large because it was too dark to see the walls, he just followed Lars to the stairs that would lead up to the main floor.

When Lars came to the stairs he said: ‘’This is it.’’ His voice echoed.

‘’Let’s go finish this.’’ Draven replied, another echo.

Chad suddenly fell to the ground coughing, heavier than ever before, Draven almost instantly put down Sally and ran over to him: ‘’Chad!’’ he yelled in desperation.

Chad coughed less and less until finally stopping, when he did the floor and his shirt was covered in blood, Draven immediately asked: ‘’How are you feeling Chad!?’’

Chad looked around and blinked a lot for a while, he obviously surprised himself too, before saying: ‘’No, I’m not okay, I feel horrible, but I’m not stopping here.’’

He stood up, Draven helped him.

‘’Sally, I can’t carry you for a while okay?’’ Draven said while helping Chad.

‘’Okay’’ Sally replied, it was obvious she understood.

Lars went first up the stairs, Kelly and Sally followed and Draven helped Chad, the others waited at the top of the stairs.

When Draven and Chad got up and looked around they were in a pretty small room with only one door, it was pretty dark, but since it was still day the main hall would probably be lighter.

Lars went over the door, opened it and stepped in with the rest right behind, they entered the big and bright main hall, shadows from walkers attacking the windows and walls everywhere.

It didn’t take long before a man’s voice yelled: ‘’Weapons down, hands up!’’ and they noticed an older man at a dark corner on the other side of the room, with a gun pointing straight at them.

They put down their guns and put up their hands, slowly.

‘’Bag’s too!’’ he yelled: ‘’Now, tell me what you’re doing here and I might spare you.’’

They started putting down their bags as Lars said: ‘’We’re looking for someone.’’

When the bags hit the floor the man, whom they recognized as Skywatcher as he stepped out of the shadows said: ‘’Nobody’s here, take your things and leave quickly.’’

‘’What are you doing here?’’ Lars asked, even at gunpoint.

‘’None of your damn business.’’ Skywatcher replied: ‘’Leave!’’

Chad fell on his knees, Skywatcher quickly pointed the gun at him, he seemed very agitated. Draven ran over to Chad and said: ‘’How is it?’’ Before Chad could reply Skywatcher yelled: ‘’I am buying none of this! Get up and out of my damn sight!’’

‘’He’s very sick!’’ Sally said with a shaky voice.

Skywatcher pointed the gun at her and said: ‘’Oh? He’s sick? Then get him the fuck out of here! I am not catching a damn cold or whatever! ‘’

‘’He can’t!’’ Draven yelled, loudly, before looking Skywatcher in his dark brown eyes: ‘’This is not a damn cold.’’ His voice echoed in the hall.

Skywatcher switched the gun once again to aim at Draven, he seemed more agitated for every second: ‘’I don’t care what it is! You can get him out of here or leave him, I don’t care but I will shot anyone who hasn’t left soon!’’

Chad stood up slowly, he had an expression more filled with anger than anything Draven or Sally had seen in all their time with him, he looked straight at Skywatcher, who didn’t dare look him back in the eye, and said: ‘’I feel like you must do, fucking horrible, except I feel horribly sick and you must feel like a horrible person.’’ Calmly, but then he started walking against him and angrily yelled: ‘’I KNOW WHO YOU ARE, SKYWATCHER.’’

As Chad kept walking, he barely could considering how he was feeling, Skywatcher, now incredibly agitated, yelled: ‘’Stop! The fact that you recognize me from a newspaper doesn’t make you more threatening, you can still leave!’’ his voice was shaking.

‘’Either I die of this sickness or you shoot me, either way, I won’t see the morning sun again, but if I’m going to hell… I’M TAKING YOU WITH ME!’’ He started running, struggling every second to even stay on his feet, Draven couldn’t comprehend how he was that brave at the time.

Maybe feeling you have nothing to lose does that to you.

It didn’t last long though, Skywatcher pulled the trigger when Chad was almost close enough to break his neck, the bullet hit Chad in the chest and he fell over, didn’t say a word and didn’t move after that, he was dead.

Skywatcher breathed heavily for some time, before yelling: ‘’Le… Leave, Leave now!’’

The whole group just stood still, eyes wide from just seeing a dear friend get shot, until Sally started crying, both Draven and Kelly was by her side in a second, comforting her every way they could.

‘’Get… out, now, I don’t want to… have to kill a child.’’

Lars voice was shaky, but still threatening: ‘’You already have…’’ that shut Skywatcher up for a moment, in which you could only hear the church’s bells and Sally’s tears, then he said: ‘’I… I didn’t want to do it… what I have to do here is more… important…’’

Draven and Lars shot him a look more dangerous than the gun he was holding.

‘’He had a choice… he made the wrong one…’’ Skywatcher continued, his voice getting shakier, pauses longer and words more defensive.

Kelly looked up at him and yelled: ‘’Fuck you! You kill several people for no reason and you’re actually trying to defend yourself, like you actually have morals!’’

Skywatcher went from agitated to angry in a second, hardened his grip on the gun and started: ‘’No reason!? I have every reason! I couldn’t pay for a fucking surgery and they just let my wife die! I was there until the last seconds, I saw her as she stopped breathing!’’

He paused, breathed and continued: ‘’It broke me! I went out and yelled in despair: ‘The government fucking killed my wife because I didn’t have the money’ they looked at me like I was crazy! They all deserve to die, same way as she did, eyes looking to the sky for the hope the government sure as hell didn’t give her!’’

Sally had stopped crying but was still looking sad in the next silence, as silent as it could be with walkers attacking the building and the constantly ringing church bells.

A small moan, one you could barely hear through the bells, broke the ‘’silence’’ it was the same kind as the one walkers made, everyone looked around for a moment, confused, but were unable see any walkers, not that they could have come in without anyone noticing anyways.

Another moan, just before Skywatcher jumped in surprise as Chad jumped him, so did everyone else when they saw it, they heard two more gunshots and Chad fell back on the ground and stopped moaning, he was a walker, for a moment.

Skywatcher stood in surprise for a moment before looking down on his arm and yelling: ‘’The fucker bit me!’’

Draven, not as surprised as Skywatcher, started walking against Skywatcher, quietly, while he was distracted by looking at the bite wound, the others glanced at him but didn’t say anything as Skywatcher would definitely notice him if they did, might as well give him a chance.

As Draven got closer and Skywatcher started to look up, Draven sprinted the last bit, Skywatcher saw him and raised his gun but before he pulled the trigger Draven got close enough to punch the gun aside, the bullet hit a wall somewhere.

Draven punched Skywatcher as hard as he could and hit him in the chest, he almost fell over but just managed to stay on his feet, until seconds later when Draven hit him in the face, which made him fall straight to the ground.

He managed to stand up and make a run for some stairs up deeper in the corner, Draven followed close behind and all the way up through the dark staircase into another large room covered in windows and smaller versions of the benches you see in every church.

Skywatcher ran over to the middle of the room and stopped, Draven followed him until he could see the floor.

He stopped in shock, Mike was lying on the floor, bloody but obviously breathing, Skywatcher picked up a large knife that was lying beside him and held it against Draven.

‘’Don’t take a step closer, enough blood has been spilled today’’ Skywatcher shaked as he spoke.

Draven stood silent for a moment, looking down at Mike, then he lifted his head to face Skywatcher and look right into his eyes: ‘’Why?’’ was the only thing he could say.

For a moment you could only hear the bells and constant walker assault, until Skywatcher replied: ‘’Getting triggered explosives aren’t too hard in the states if you know where to look.’’ Shaking less.

Draven didn’t look down, not for a second: ‘’Why?’’ He repeated himself.

‘’I’d get all the bloody walkers in this town into the church and blow it up, then scavenge the town with no walkers to worry about, to make sure they were all in the church when the fireworks turned on I needed… fresh blood.’’

Draven could feel rage building up inside him, Mike? Fresh blood? No.

‘’I don’t care what anyone says, Skywalker, including you.’’ Draven took a step closer: ‘’You’ll always be a monster in my eyes, a monster that makes the walkers look like fellow men.’’ Another step.

© Copyright 2014Reretzu All rights reserved. Reretzu has granted theNextBigWriter, LLC non-exclusive rights to display this work on Booksie.com.

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