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I look over at Riley, she's looking out through the window. I can still hear her muffled crying over the loss of her entire family. I look at her, and remember what I had to go through a couple of weeks ago. I lost my Dad, Mom, and William. The tears rush into my eyes, but I dare not shed them. I have to keep driving, even as the memories come to me. Mom and Dad were always smiling at how proud they were of Will and I. We were some of the best students, and we barely fought back to our parents. Dad's smile was always the most heart-warming thing to look at. You would just know that he's proud by looking at him. He was happy. He couldn't ask for more in life.

It's around late day in New Mexico, the sun is a hue of orange as it's setting. It looks so beautiful, with dark clouds around it already. It reminds me of the time Will and I went camping a couple of months ago. I looked at the sunset and dropped whatever I was doing. I sat down with Will and we watched it for a couple of hours until it set. I look out of my memory and towards the road. I'm driving on the left side. I didn't even realize the tears were streaming down my face. 

It's only a couple more hours until I reach Albequerque. Riley'll be safe then. I'll leave her there. I look in the back seat and see the cans scattered around the car. We only need ten to get in. I bet the base is pretty secure. No one would know about it. Hell, no one I've even met has known about it, until the guy in Canada. I try to remember what he said about his family coming to be here. I still haven't seen a car with a TARDIS sticker on the back. Then, again, I'm not on the base. I see a green sign coming up ahead.

"Albequerque- 50 MILES" I smile, and start to laugh. I can't believe it. It's so close. I close my eyes, and try to remember when I last felt safe. I think it was in Bellevue. I had my friends still. I still had Ashlee and Aden. I lost Mr. Cheny. I laugh as I remember the "winkle in time" joke that I said about Ashlee's last name. Riley looks over at me, and starts to look concerned. I'm crying and laughing at the same time.

"Are you okay?" She concernedly asks. I look at her with wide eyes, and smile. I nod my head and say,"This is the happiest I've felt in a long time. You don't even know how safe we'll be here. You won't have to have a single worry." She gives me a look that I will never forget. She looks at me, and her forehead wrinkles. Her eyes squint, and her cheekbones rise. Her eyebrows than begun to go close to her eyes, and she angrily says,"EVERYTHING WILL NOT BE FINE. I HAVE WORRIES. I DON'T WANT TO BE HERE. WHY CAN'T I BE DEAD? I JUST WANT TO SEE JENSON AGAIN." She loses this face and starts to cry.

Tears stream down her face, and she buries her face into her hands. I take one hand off of the steering wheel, and grab her shoulder. I look back up and see multiple zombies ahead of us. I slam on the brakes with a loud screech. They look over this way and start to hobble over. The car dies with a clank, and I look around. I see Riley looking at me, and then the road. She unlocks the door, and as I try to grab her, she slips out and starts to run at them. I silently curse at myself and grab the Auto-rifle from the floor behind the driver's seat. I see Riley has my pistol in her hands, and she starts to shoot at the zombies. One-by-one they fall, and the rest surround her. I start to scream.

I load the rifle and start shooting in her directiion, I see multiple zombies go down, and grabbing Riley. I start to run at them. I drop the Rifle and start jumping on their heads. I hear the brains sploosh all over the ground, as I jump on them one at a time. I look down, and see how bloody my legs and feet are. I hear Riley screaming and crying. 

"I JUST WANT TO DIE!" She cries aloud. I tackle her to the ground and knock her out slowly. She looks at me, and loses her breath. I see her eyes roll into the back of her head. I look around at the zombies remaining. I run to pick up my rifle. It's a couple of feet away. I sprint to the gun aned pick it up. The zombies are starting to fall down to get Riley. I start shooting and I kill all of them. I run back to Riley and fireman pick her up over my shoulder. I jog to the car slowly, and put her into the passenger seat. I buckle her in, and head over to my side. I hop in and realize the car is dead. 

I curse at myself, and hop out of the car. I pop the hood and look at it. I look at the engine, the coolant, and the battery. It seems to be the battery is dead, and I need to jump-start the car. I go to the trunk, hoping that there is a jumper cable. I pop the trunk hood and look inside. More cans of food, a couple of guns, water, and my arm. I laugh at my arm. I grab it and start to twirl it around, and as I'm inspecting it, I see that chunks of it are missing. I drop the arm. I see the blood see on it, and how the blade cut into it. I take a close look. Parts of my skin and muscle are gone at around the top. The bone is sticking out like a toothpick in a burger.

I realize that Riley and Jenson must've ate my arm while I was unconcious. I feel myself gag, and I vomit onto the ground. I look at my bandaged stub and at the arm on the ground. I feel myself lurch forward and throw up some more. I feel myself getting shaky and I fall onto my back. I start crying. My arm. William. Ashlee. Aden. I've lost everything. I don't know what I'm doing. I don't know how to react. I jsut found out that they could be potential cannibals. I close my eyes, and feel the cooling of the sunset above me.

I look into the car, Riley is starting to move around. I don't know what to say to her. I look at her, and she moves and lurches everywhere. I don't feel like this is even normal. I blink, and she stops moving, like she hasn't moved before. I rub my eyes. I look around and see the ground covered in blood. It could be my blood, I scream. I'm screaming at the top of my lungs and I take Rob's knife from the holder on my belt. I flick it around and start to jam the knife into my leg. I feel the blood rushing towards my pants, and they become colored in my blood. I realize what I'm doing and pull it out. I cry, and rip more of my shirt. I wrap it around my leg. I stand up and almost fall. I look around. There is only two cars around me. I hobble over to the gray sedan on my right. 

I open the trunk and see body parts scattered throughout. I look back at my arm, and shake my head. I sigh heavily and throw the fingers around looking for jumper cables. I find some underneath a torso, and pull them out. I go to the driver's seat and open the visor. The keys fall onto my lap, and I try to start the car. It revs to life and I slowly pull over to my car. I park the car, and keep it going. I connect the cables, shocking myself once, and burning the skin off of my ring finger. I go into my car and turn it on once more after revving the other car. 

My car comes back to life, and I push the other car out of the way. I drive 85 miles an hour towards the base. I see lights in the distance. I look at Riley and I see her wake up. She looks at me, and cries. She grabs hold of me and apologizes over and over again. She has one hand over her head, meaning she has a headache. I reach into the back bag of the driver's seat and hand her the bottle of aspirin. She takes two and drinks a little bit of water. I see the sweat reaching her brow. She must have a high fever. 

She stills holds me as she falls asleep on my stub. I feel the lights get brighter as I reach the gates of the base. I look around and see guards patrol around the huge wall, about 15 feet high with barbed wire at the top. The guards reach my vehicle and gesture for me to roll down the window. I follow her orders and she looks into the car, and sees me. She looks around and into the backseat.

"Do you have the ten cans?" She asks. I nod my head, and silently say yes with a cracked voice. I lick my chapped lips, and I feel my only hand slap to\\he guard. I blink again, and she looks at me, and says,"I asked you a question. are you guys bit?" I look over at Riley and Myself and I shake my head and say no. She looks at my stub, and I nod my head. 

"It was cut off. I was bit for a little bit. I never dropped even after a couple of days. I don't know why. Just take in the girl if you need to. I only want her to be safe." She calls for a Colonel Rawlinson, and I hear the name of,"Paige" come up. I look at Colonel Rawlinson, and I remember that the guy told me about her. I suddenly perk up and say,"Paige, I met your father at the U.S- CANADA border. He told me to tell you that he loves you." She looks at me with complete disgust and then realizes what I said. She becomes happy for a second and asks what happened to him. I look down, remembering where I shot him while he was talking. I get out of the car and hug her. "He's not alive anymore. He turned in front of me. His last words were to make sure you and your sisters were safe here."

She looks at me and cries. She hugs me back. We cry into each other and after a while she says that we can pass into the gates free of charge. The other guards look at her in surprisement. "He knew my father. He met him, I know what happened to him at last. I'm less worried for his life now that he's gone. I'm just glad that he told me. Let them both in, as I said. Free of Charge." She orders the troops around. They open the gate, and I hop back into the car, She looks at me and thanks me for everything already. I nod my head and drive slowly into the base. It's magnificent. Inside the wall there are about fourty buildings, three have the most light and I see signs painted onto them. "Military operations-Left; Pool-Straight; Housing-Right." 

I don't know where to go. I stop the car and I feel Riley move on my stub. She cuddles with it, and stops moving again. I look around and decide to go to housing. While I'm here, I might as well sleep in a bed for the first time in a long time. I look around and see a building illuminated by lights. I stop the car right in front of it and wake Riley up. She looks around sleepily and wakes up, knowing that we made it. She smiles at me and laughs. I laugh along and we hug each other. So what she might've ate my arm? I don't know that. I look at her and twist her neck. She writhes on the ground in pain. I blink and she's looking at me from above. I'm the one on the ground and she's still laughing. 

"I tripped on air!" I say with a sudden feeling of weirdness. I feel her look at me and she laughs harder. She grabs my stub and pulls me along into the lighted up building. She head inside and there is nobody here. I look around and look at the desk. There's a calling bell. I ring it. I hear running to my left and hover around my pocket. The knife is close to me in case of emergencies. A dark lady comes running, still putting her galsses on. I see the wrinkles on her face and the moles on her forehead and neck. 

She looks at us,"Are you both new?" I'm still looking at her and don't say a word. I snap out of it and I hear Riley say yes. I nod my head to make the point. She looks at a couple of papers and tells us that we go down three streets to the left and it will be the house on the corner. She hands us the set of keys and pushes us out of the door. "Next time, try not to make it at ten at night, will ya?" She says hurriedly.  She locks the door behind us, and we get in the car once again.

I follow the directions she gave us to a beige two story house. There's a three car garage. I pull the car up to the big door and park it. I don't know how to open it from the outside. I get out of the car and Riley does the same. We head to the big wooden door, up a set of three steps. I grab the keys from my pocket and open the door. We push the door open and look inside. The house is already furnished, and looks amazing. I stumble inside and look around. It seems to have a wooden furniture theme. I open the first door to my right and find the master bedroom.

"Mine." I hear Riley say behind me. She laughs and walks inside. She looks at me and kisses my cheek. She closes the door and I hear the light click on. She gasps and says there's electricity here. I feel myself become astonished. I run up the stairs testing every light, learning which ones they turn on. I find myself in another room with a bed, and I run into it. 

I laugh and wrap myself in the comforter. I feel my eyes close instinctively and I fall into a deep sleep. I hear the clicks as Riley turns off all the lights, including mine. My eyes close and I dream of William and my parents.

"You're so close, Jake." They say over and over again. " Things aren't what they seem here." They repeat after that, "You're going to die." They say once and the dream ends. It's completely black. Pitch black, 

Submitted: April 19, 2015

© Copyright 2021 BryanGargan. All rights reserved.


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Book / Young Adult