|The World Is As We Make It
Author: Shadowfish PM
A group of six friends survive on their own for while, living off of broken spirits, canned goods, bad jokes, and dead hopes. When they reach Atlanta and find the group, the learn that things aren't always as they appear. The two groups join, but is it for the better? Or the worse? Follows both the comic and television series. Will be rated M in later chapters.Rated: Fiction T - English - Horror/Drama - Chapters: 5 - Words: 24,165 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 06-18-12 - Published: 06-04-12 - id: 8184820
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's Note: Welcome to my Walking Dead Story! This is being written for my own twisted mind, as well as a couple of my friend's. Please Review, Favorite, anything! I'd be extremely happy, and it would motivate me to write more often! =]
I own my six characters: Aaliyah, Mason, Sam, Caleb, Katy, and Julio. (And more to come...)
I don't own the Walking Dead, comics or books. I Wish. Maybe I wouldn't always be broke...
"You know, I would kill to have a shower. A long, nice hot shower." Five of my friends and I were sitting around a softly burning campfire. The sun was just setting over the horizon, turning the sky into a palette of orange and pink. The sky was clear, and you could see the brightest stars beginning to emerge beyond the thick tree canopy. The summer weather was muggy, yet cool, though the days were getting hotter and more humid as we traveled.
It has been three weeks since… well, I can't even bring myself to say it. It's still not real to me yet, I guess. In the heat of the moment when you have diseased teeth snapping at you, sure it feels real, but in the cool twilight? I'm getting ahead of myself. I just can't wrap my brain around it is all.
To my left is Mason, a tall, gangly blonde sailor in his working uniform, which he calls 'BDUs' I still don't know what that stands for, but they are this sort of digital pattern that range from a medium blue to a royal blue. He rolls up the sleeves to keep them out of his way, and his pants are forever tucked into his boots, which have turned grey from the dirt and dust. He has a couple of tattoos, but he isn't covered in them. Next to him is Caleb and Catherine. I call her Katy, but most people call her Cathy. They're an odd couple, but I think this whole ordeal has really brought them together. I remember they were both thinking about splitting up before… they had been together for two years. They're holding hands right now, and she has her head leaning against his shoulder. He has medium brown hair, is really really skinny and is wearing an orange hoodie. She has long curly brown hair in a pony tail, and is a tad bit short. Next to them is Julio. He has medium, messy black hair, and is kind of stocky. He's Puerto Rican, and of course, a soccer player. He is hot-tempered, but mostly great to talk to. On my right side, sitting next to Julio is Samuel. Everyone calls him Sam. He's the second tallest of our group, just a few inches shorter than Mason. He had a thick head of dark brown hair, which is usually covered in a beanie. We were at his house when everything happened. I'm glad we all were, otherwise I'd have never seen them again.
"Good Fucks, yes. A shower would be fantastic right now." Sam replied to Mason, who was poking the fire with a stick to keep the embers glowing.
"I would like a change of clothes – these are starting to smell unbearable." Katy said, sighing and scrunching her nose up.
"I figured you'd be used to it, being with him all the time." Julio joked, tossing a handful of leaves at Caleb.
"Aw, fuck you man, I was busy." He replied, throwing two handfuls over Julio's head. We laughed at them. Really, it was their antics, with Mason and Sam's humor that kept us sane. Julio tossed another couple of leaves back while Katy rolled her eyes.
"Ohh, you know what I'd love? Some cookie dough. It's been so long, I can't believe I always turned my mom down when she was making them. She made the best cookies in the whole damn world." Sam replied, his face falling at the end of his sentence. I looked hard at him, sympathetic. It was hard knowing that everyone you knew was probably dead – it was even harder seeing it. The group grew quiet. I hated times like this – someone would mention family, or friends, or the life that was.
It was a typical Friday night – typical for us, anyways. It had been the only time we really spent all together, since everyone had it off. It was late at night, around eleven or twelve. There was a storm in the area, passing over with intense fury, rain pounding on the windows incessantly. We had all just come from work, or school, and everyone was in a mood to get more than tipsy. We all decided that Sam's house had been the best place to hang out – there was the most room, because he still lived with his parents. They were cool, though, so none of us really cared. I knew I didn't want five people in my tiny apartment – I could barely even fit in my personal gnome home.
"Dude, listen to this!" I was reading an article, laughing. Three of them looked up at me, on the couch, not bothering to pause the video game. The other two were in the kitchen, getting drinks, but I knew they could hear me.
"A man in Miami was shot after cops saw him eating another person's face, two days ago. He was naked, and in the middle the city. He basically just attacked a random dude. It says that the dude was on a LSD high, and he was naked because too much makes you sweaty and have hot flashes. He ate half of the guys face completely off." I summarized the article, in disbelief.
"Oh, man, he has got to be a zombie." Sam replied quickly, with a short bark of a laugh, pointing the black video game controller in his hand at me. He was sitting cross legged a few feet in front of me.
"Yeah, we're in the zombie apocalypse now, didn't you hear?" Mason replied, turning his head back to the video game, as he lounged lazily on the loveseat, diagonal to me. His long legs stuck out at odd angles. He was far too tall to lay comfortably, but too quirky to sit like a normal human being.
"They probably had to shoot him in the head, and it was a cover up, so that people don't go panicking and everything." Caleb laughed next to me on the couch, his high-pitched nasal voice matching his goofy personality.
"What would we all do in the impending apocalypse?" Katy's voice rang out from the kitchen, as she popped the tab off of two Wine Coolers. She sat next to Caleb, and handed him the second drink, as he reached his arm around her shoulders, and planted a kiss on her cheek. Julio walked back into the living room with a bag of unopened chips, apparently forgetting he had gone in there for a drink. He sat down next to Mason and opened the bag, smiling.
"Yeah, we should have a plan, just in case we are all about to get eaten alive by zombies." He said before stuffing a chip into his mouth.
"Well, a Mall is out of the question." Sam joked.
"Oh, what we would do is probably go out to sea! Just stock up on supplies and get a medium sized yacht, or a sail boat or something. We could fish for food, and zombies can't swim." Mason replied. I looked over at him, and shook my head. "Of course you would say that, sailor boy. Do you know how to sail?" He hadn't even changed out of his Navy uniform, and he was still wearing his boots.
"What? It would work. I'd learn real quick. We'd get far enough away, and just drift to save gas in the motor."
"Nah, what if we ran outta food? Or supplies? Or there is a big storm? We'd die." Katy said bluntly.
I cut him off before he could retort. "I say we would go out to the middle of the country – somewhere with a lot of farm land, and just far enough from a small town. We could live off of the land for the most part, and when we need supplies, just go into town." I replied, with a shrug.
"The only problem with that is that we're all in Florida. Getting to the middle of the country is going to be hard – most of the high ways would be jammed with cars. And Zombies." Julio replied.
"How about this. We'd load up in my SUV, go to the gun store, then the grocery store, get a full tank of gas and high-tail it outta here, before things start to go down." Mason replied.
"We got this! I'm almost hoping that guy in Miami was a zombie, then we could have some real fun!" Sam laughed.
As he was finishing his sentence, the front door opened. A breeze of cold air went through the house, and Sam's mother, Carolynn, walked in the door, her dark blue scrubs soaked, and her blonde hair dripping.
"Hey g-guys. Is your father home?" She said, shivering. She dropped her bag next to the door and made her way quickly towards her room.
I waved, and replied with a muted greeting. Mason, Julio, and Caleb's eyes were glued to the screen. Katy waved and smiled as well.
"Yeah, he's on the computer in your room. Hey mom. Guess what?" Sam replied, without looking up.
"It's raining." Lightning rolled across the sky, followed by the low threat of thunder.
"You know, I actually figured that one out." She replied, sarcastically before disappearing in her room. She emerged a few moments later, with an oversized sleeveless shirt and sweats, drying her hair with a towel.
"I had the craziest night. Some kid actually bit me today. It hurt like a fucker, too, I had to get stitches." She said, crossing the living room and walking into the kitchen. The six of us looked at each other, catching each others eyes. Before I could stop myself, I burst into laughter, and the others followed suit.
"What the hell is so funny about that?" She asked, heating up a kettle for tea.
It took a few moments, but finally, Sam choked out a response.
"We were just talking about the zombie apocalypse. Some guy bit off another guys face in Miami, so we figured the world must be over."
" I heard about that. Well, you know where the first aid kit is. If the world does end, you should take the hurricane kit too. But the world isn't going to end, because zombies don't exist."
"That's what everyone thinks until the world ends." Mason replied over his shoulder. Carolynn shook her head at our antics. The laughter died down, and the kettle boiled. Steam rose, and suddenly it started to scream. She took it off, and poured the hot water into a cup. She watched the video game over the breakfast bar, while her tea steeped.
I stood up, ready to get a drink, finally. I had been a bit late to this particular get together – I always went for a nice run after the sun went down, after work. The gym I always went to had just installed this brand-new rock wall – something I hadn't tried in a while. So I went for a short run on the treadmill, and then spent another hour climbing the walls. My childhood wasn't spent in vain – my tree and rock climbing skills were still pretty sharp. I have my father to blame, I suppose.
As I walked in the kitchen, Carolynn was reaching above the fridge for a jar of honey to sweeten her tea. I waited at the fridge, noticing her bandage. With a morbid curiosity, and an intense desire to see the wound, I asked her if I could see it.
"Sure, but it isn't pretty." She replied, setting down the jar. She gingerly lifted the tape and exposed the wound to fresh air. The bite was brutal. The flesh surrounding it had bruised, and taken an almost greenish tint. The edges were jagged, and I could count eight different stitches.
"Geez, did the kid try and rip the flesh off?" She twisted her arm carefully and looked at it.
"He was pretty out of it. He had a rough fever, and kept talking about a doll of some sort. He had a good chunk of his leg missing, from a dog bite. I was trying to take his BP, and suddenly he lashed out, giving me this sucker."
"Woof. I hope he's alright. Did they do any tests on you or anything?"
"Nah. It was pretty early, and I had a bunch of stuff to do. I just got it cleaned, stitched, and kept working. Anyways. What time do you work tomorrow? I was thinking of making breakfast, since they're giving me the day off cause of the incident." She stirred a generous spoonful of honey in her hot tea.
I walked back to the fridge and pulled out a fruity wine-cooler. I thought about going for the beer, but I didn't feel like anything too heavy. I had class, and work tomorrow, so I didn't want to push it. "I can't. I have to go in at seven. Thanks for the offer, though."
"No problem. You can't be the only one to cook when you're over."
I smiled widely, and she smiled back, stirring her tea. She turned, and stumbled, her hands shaking. The tea fell onto her, spilling the hot liquid down her shirt and pants.
"Hey, are you alright?" I asked, concerned.
"Son of a… Geez, that's hot." She set down her cup, and bent away, pulling the fabric of her shirt away from her flesh to prevent burning. As I looked down at her, I noticed she looked tired, and her brow was slick with sweat. I grabbed a hand towel off of the oven, and handed it to her. She began to mop up her shirt, then bent low to mop up the rest of the tea that had spilled on the floor.
"Yeah, I haven't been feeling so hot. I think I might just go lay down, and forget the tea." She replied, trying to mop up the drink. She struggled to stand up, and Katy came into the room.
"Is everything alright?" She asked, looking at me helping Carolynn up. I waved her off.
"Yeah, just a bit clumsy, me. She stood up and began to make her way towards her bedroom again.
"You alright ma?" Sam asked, giving her a fleeting glance.
"I'm fine, I'm just going to go to bed. Not enough sleep, I guess. Just keep it down, alright kids?"
I bent down and picked up the sopping towel, and rang it out in the sink. I finished cleaning up, slightly worried.
An hour or so passed and we all had more than a few drinks. I had packed my bag for tomorrow morning, and found a pack of Uno cards – a prank from a co-worker. I didn't know which one, but I laughed. I had taken two of them, Mikayla and Jasmine, out for drinks the past month, and there was this hot Latino bartender flirting with us. We were all single, so we flirted back at him – even though we had way too many drinks. I kept saying "Uno More!" when we wanted a new round – and even more insistently, when he tried to cut us off. Mikayla had just broken us with her boyfriend, so I wanted to get her as messed up as possible – it succeeded, because she told me the next day she had never had a worse hangover.
They still made fun of me for the night, and had taken to buying cheap packs of cards and hiding them in my stuff – my apron, my car, my backpack, my hat, the freezer, everywhere. I even found a pack behind a toilet a week after the night. This one was Super hero themed, with a picture of Spiderman on the front. I decided it would be fun to play with them – and it turned into a drinking game.
"Ahahah! Red eight! I choose… Katy to be my mate!" Caleb cried out, his normally pale cheeks a bright red.
"Of course you would!" Katy replied in frustration. He took a drink, and she took a drink after him. The boys laughed, while I gave a tired smile. I was up a bit later than usual, and I did want to turn in – but I'd rather have had a bit more fun, first.
"Haha, REVERSE!" Mason threw down a red reverse card. He had decided not to drink, since he had to leave the house by four in the morning to get to work on time. I was drinking minimally, so I wouldn't have any large consequences of drinking heavily by seven tomorrow.
"Ohhhh, Poop." Caleb cried out, drawing card, after card, after card – until he drew a draw four wilde card. Everyone groaned and drank for four long seconds while Caleb counted, laughing manically.
Julio set down his empty bottle and hiccupped. For a few minutes everyone made fun of him while we continued the game.
"Alright, fuck all of you, I'm gunna take a piss!" He nearly yelled, getting up and making his way to the restroom. He stumbled slightly when he passed the couch, making us all laugh.
"Psss… hey guys, be quiet for a second, think my mom is calling me." Sam said, waving his arms at us. We sat there, not talking for a few seconds. There was a slight scratching sound at the door. "I think she's pissed, we were being pretty loud." He whispered to us, setting his cards down and getting up off the floor.
There was another scratching sound, and we looked at the door, confused. It didn't sound like one of his cats – it was duller, and longer. We looked at each other in confusion. The seconds ticked by and Julio came out of the bathroom, and walked toward us. Sam neared the door, slow and confused.
"Mom?" There was a loud moaning, accompanied by a series of banging by the door, violently.
"Shit!" He went to open the door as we all sprang to our feet, our alarm high. We stood in a semi circle, watching Sam from across the room.
He quickly threw open the door, and that was when all hell broke loose.
Sam's mom fell through the door, snarling and grabbing at Sam. He almost tripped, but yelled and scrambled backwards, out of the way. The noises coming out of her still haunt me – the very first time I heard that unreal moaning. As she struggled to stand, I realized then that something was different.
"Mom? Mom, are you okay, what's wrong?" Sam asked, bending down to catch her eye, with one hand on her shoulder. She lunged at him and grabbed his shirt, pulling him closer. I could hear from clear across the room, her teeth click as she reached out to bite.
"What the FUCK!" He yelled, and Mason dashed forward. We looked on in shock as Mason grabbed her arm and pulled her off of him, pushing Sam backwards even further, and shoving Carolynn down. The rest of us ran to him, looking at his mother. She was already starting to get back up – I finally noticed her front was covered in a dark crimson liquid, her face stained with blood. I glanced into her room behind her, and saw her husband's throat torn open, him lying lifeless with the computer next to him. Blood covered the light blue comforter as we looked on at her in horror.
She was snarling, walking slowly towards us again. As we stared on in shock, only one thought came to my mind. When I look back, I suppose that it was instinct. That some sort of feral part of me came alive, that whole fight or flight thing. It kept me alive, so I stopped questioning it.
"RUN!" I screamed at them, dashing back towards the couch. The others, their minds still blurred with alcohol took a few seconds to respond. With Carolynn still steadily walking closer, moaning and growling, Sam took even longer. Mason grabbed his shirt and dragged him across the room. Confusion ruled our worlds for a few seconds, no one knowing where to go. We stepped across our card game, knocking over drinks. I tossed my backpack on my shoulders, thankful I had packed. Sam was still staring at his blood soaked mother.
"What's going on?" He screamed. "MOM! Listen to me!"
We were behind a couch, and she didn't seem to know how to reach us. She kept walking into it's solid back while we stared at her in panic. The seconds seemed like hours.
A cat ran up the side of the couch, wanting to be pet. She hardly looked at it as the cat rubbed up against her, before grabbing it with her bony hands and biting into it's back. For lack of a better term, it screamed and tried to claw itself out of her arms, but her hands had such a tight grip. Her face was bloody from deep claw marks, but she felt none of it. We all watched in horror as she ate one of her most precious pets like a mid day snack. Blood dripped thickly onto the pale rose patterned couch, dripping over everything. Carolynn chewed on the bones in its feet, and they snapped in her mouth – several puncturing her cheeks, without care.
Everyone watched her as she devoured her pet, not knowing what to say, or what to do. I didn't really get a good look at the others, but I know their mouths must have been open in shock like mine.
"Guys…" Mason whispered quietly, still holding onto Sam. Sam held onto him tightly in return.
I gulped, knowing that our reality had just been shattered. We'd all be in therapy for years, and Sam… even though he was twenty, he looked like he was five years old. The despair on his face was evident, even showing through the pure shock.
I don't really remember how everything happened next. I remember that something took over inside me, like something in my brain snapped. One minute, I was feeling a good buzz from the drinks I had, the next I was in utter shock, and then… Something instinctual took over. I needed to survive, and I needed everyone else to survive. The other's have told me so often exactly what I said, and what I did… but it's kind of like remembering a dream. It still doesn't feel real.
"Grab as much as you can. Get clothes, water, shoes, backpacks. Fill them up with canned goods, and boxes – non perishables. Sam, where is that hurricane preparedness kit?" No one did anything for a few moments. I waved my hand subtly in his face.
"Guys? GO." I whispered harshly, not looking at Carolynn. They took off quickly, grabbing items off of the ground and shoving them in which ever backpack they laid eyes on first.
"The… the pantry." He replied slowly. I looked at Mason.
"Get him in your car. If you don't see anything, come back and help me with the hurricane kit. We'll need it."
Though he didn't really understand, something had clicked in his mind, as well.
"No, I can… I can help!" Sam replied, starting weakly then finding a reservoir of strength. He stood up fully. I just looked away. Carolynn was growling again, and moving towards us. I looked at him quickly.
"I think… I think I know what's going on. If I'm right, we need to get her away from us." I looked at Sam and Mason quickly. Julio was in the kitchen whipping cabinets open and grabbing a giant trash bag, filling it with boxes and cans. Carolynn turned her head towards him and the noise he was making.
She was only a few feet away from her door. I dashed a few feet away, where the broom was leaning against the wall in the dining area. I threw the dustpan that was attached to the side, and poked her with it. She turned her attention to me and snarled.
"I'm going to push her into the room. I need you to close the door behind her after I push her in far enough, okay?"
I looked at Mason for a moment before I started pushing against her. She was stronger than I thought, and it took all of my strength to get her just two feet.
"Here, let me." Mason replied, looking serious. He took the broom from me and started pushing her back more ferociously. "Go get the kit, my car should be unlocked."
He yelled at us over his shoulder.
We nodded and ran into the kitchen.
On the floor of the walk-in pantry was a three day hurricane kit. Living in Florida, one needed to be prepared – and they certainly were. In the years past they had a hurricane blow through that left them without power, water, or anything for two weeks – the roads were so blocked that they couldn't even go out to get anything. There was water, canned foods, batteries, a flashlight and a radio, a first aid kit, a bag of personal papers, cash and a map, an extra cell phone and battery, several walkie-talkies, a small tool kit, a sewing kit, keys, blankets, rain ponchos, some sunscreen and insect repellent, and a camera.
"We have a month kit in the garage." Sam replied, looking at me.
Behind us, Mason slammed the door, pumping his arms in victory. The seriousness of the situation blew over as the imminent threat was gone.
"Guys… look at this." Catherine had turned the television on to the local news channel, the screen blaring in red, a Breaking news sign plastered across the front.
"Everyone is urged to go to your normal hurricane evacuation sites – remember to bring food and water and look for your closest evacuation route. If you have pets, remember to check for the pet-friendly sites. This is not a drill. Victims of the infection seem to go into some sort of bodily stasis, beginning with high temperature, paranoia, aggression, and end in a comatose state. Once those infected awaken, they are even more prone to aggression. It is advised that all who are infected remain calm, and seek medical attention. The authorities say that this is nothing more than a new type of flu. All of those with the following symptoms, please seek immediate medical attention: Nausea, Fever, vomiting, paranoia, delusions, headaches or extreme aggression. This disease is spread through direct contact of bodily fluids. Remember: this is not a drill. The evacuation sites will all have medical personnel in stand-by. The list of your local sites are on the screen."
The screen went blue, with a list of the normal sites. Nearly every school and hospital was listed – one of them being the college that I went to. Something was nagging at me in the back of my head, and I looked at the others. We could hear Sam's mother scratching against the door. Everyone was at a complete standstill, looking at each other.
"Where should we go? This looks serious…" Caleb said, his brow furrowed.
We all stood in silence for a few more minutes.
"You know how we were joking earlier… about going to the middle of the country, finding a farm and all that…?" I started, softly, looking up at their grim faces.
"You aren't serious, are you? What about my parents? Our families? What about them?" Sam replied, gesturing to the door.
I had a rotten feeling tugging at my gut. They'll get to safe houses. Most of our families live near the schools. I just have this feeling… like we should pack up, stock up, and get out of here. Like our plan earlier…"
We stood, not speaking, for a few minutes, not really wanting to go, but not knowing exactly what to do. The television blared its warning repeatedly, and the scratching and moaning at the door was nearly unbearable.
"Look… if any town has the ability to make it's citizen safe, it would be this one. We have a Coast Guard base, and a Naval base here. We are the government – our families are safe. But we should get out of this chaotic city while we still can. We'll regroup back here when things die down." Mason replied. I nodded at him. He was right – hell he was in the military for Christ's sake!
"Alright. We're settled then. I want the boys to load up the back of Mason's car – play it like Tetris, we want to take as much as we can. Get every bit of water and canned goods in there. Katy, come with me and lets grab the blankets around the house. And everything else we think could be useful."
We moved simultaneously, like a well oiled machine. I would have never thought I could say something without someone arguing vehemently against me. We weren't well known for how we always got along with each other. It seemed like everyone was always complaining about someone else. But I supposed, in the thick of it, we could really count on each other.
Ten minutes later, the back of the SUV was loosely packed. We had water and canned goods to feed a small army, blankets and pillows to keep us warm and comfortable, a small amount of Sam's clothing, the full contents of both Hurricane kits, two old tents that smells like moths and cats, three fishing poles and a tackle kit, a couple of pots, all of our backpacks, and some of Mason's extra laundry. Thankfully he kept his car mostly clean – there was only a few candy wrappers, some water and some protein powder in the back seat. We sat comfortably together.
Caleb and Katy were sitting in the second row, next to Julio. Katy found a baseball bat, while Julio was holding a huge hunting knife. Sam was sitting on the floor, in between the front bucket seats. There was surprisingly enough room for him. I sat in the passenger seat, holding a sword between my legs, still in it's sheath. I was with Sam when he had gotten it, being the nerd he was. It was made well, and it had been pretty damn expensive. It was on the mantle, above the television, and it caught my eye. It had a black blade, and was in a black sheath – the sword itself was simple, though the sheath had gold designs all over it. It was some sort of copy from a popular martial arts movie. I just know that I had taken some fencing lessons in high school, so I hoped I remembered how to wield it.
Before Mason buckled himself in, he reached in the glove box and pulled out a handgun. I remember being surprised, though I don't recall why. Later, it was obvious to me. He boasted about his license, went to the shooting range often, and even had a sharpshooting ribbon for his uniform. He checked the clip, and made sure the safety was on. I was watching him, and he pointed to it. "Red means that whoever you're shooting at is dead. Black means safety is still on." He replied, smiling. He set it in the cup holder next to him. He turned on the radio and we listened to the radio broadcast, saying the same thing about going to the evacuation sites, and we pulled out of the driveway.