Domino Effect

Hey everyone! It's been a long time...yet again. I know I have stories of my own to update, but hopefully this story co-written with Assassin's Creed Master will help push me in that direction. This is something that we wrote a while back and decided to eventually publish, so here it is! Any feedback would be highly appreciated.

Fear. That was all that was running around Lee's mind, fueling him with adrenaline. He desperately tumbled through the woods as those monsters began to form in every direction. His injured leg gave him a disadvantage, but his blood pumping helped him fight through the pain.

Eventually, Lee came towards a fence, close to where he saw the figure watching him. Without hesitation, he climbed onto the fence and landed within a garden, seconds before the monsters could catch up to him.

That didn't stop the monsters - Lee had never seen anything like them before in his life - from pounding on the fence, apparently too unintelligent to climb up after him. They didn't stay for long, though, because a sound quite similar to firecrackers was soon heard in the distance. Were people shooting guns?

Lee sighed in relief, thankful that he was still alive. But there was still another problem: it was quiet, too quiet for his liking. Where was everybody?

He needed to find help, and fast.

Desperate, Lee stumbled towards the house to the garden, praying that someone could help him in this crisis. As he knocked a few times on the glass door, there was no response. In desperation, Lee yanked the door open and stepped inside.

"Hello?" Lee called, receiving no answer as he scanned the living room. The whole place was trashed, debris and shelves everywhere, yet no signs of forced entry. Did drug dealers live here?

He wasn't about to find out. Running to the kitchen, he snatched a cup and ran some cold water to regain his stamina.

After wiping his mouth with his sleeve, he proceeded to look around the house. He frowned upon touching the fruit bowl at the table, noting that the fruit was fake. There was a family photo of a couple and their daughter, which made Lee wonder where they were, if they were safe. The pool of blood in the kitchen's entrance didn't exactly bring positive thoughts to mind.

It wasn't long before Lee realized that he wasn't going to get any help here. This place was too empty, too silent. He started to make his way back over to the patio door when he heard another noise that sounded a lot like groaning.

Confused, Lee turned around and widened his eyes in horror. A woman, probably no older than eighteen, stumbled toward him, eyes whitened beyond possible. She was one of those things.

"Shit!" Lee cursed, making haste to the exit. He ran outside and slammed the door shut. No longer than a second later was she banging against the glass.

Despite being safely outside, Lee backed away. There was no going back inside now. He looked up at the nearby treehouse, complete with a child's drawings, but not a single peep could be heard from it. He could try his luck by hiding out in it, but with his injured leg, he wasn't sure he could make the climb.

Lee noticed that it was around sunset. It wouldn't be long before it was completely dark, and he knew that the best bet was to find help before night filled the air. He hobbled his way over to the gate, taking one last look at the backyard. The banging on the glass door had stopped, and all was eerily silent again.

Not willing to take any chances, Lee turned and ran limply around the side of the house, hoping to God he could find some help soon. His prayers were answered as he finally found two normal people, whom had their back towards him. Though he couldn't see their faces, the two were conversing.

"Too much shit blocking the road. We're gonna have to push them out the way."

"Man, Mama was cooking hot dish tonight."

"We'll never get back home at this rate."

"Hey!" Lee called to them. Instinctively, the two turned around and backed away in horror.

"Don't eat us!" the younger and thinner one exclaimed.

Lee raised both hands to show he was no threat to them. "Hey, hey! Cool it, I'm not one of them."

The boy appeared to be relieved. "Whew. For a second there, I thought you were gonna get the jump on us."

"Howdy," the stockier one added, giving a nod by way of greeting.

"Hey, I'm Lee." he introduced while silently praying that neither of them had watched the news regarding his crime.

"I'm Shawn, and this is my friend Chet," the boy introduced himself and gestured towards the house. "That your home?"

Lee shook his head, knowing he couldn't afford time to lie. "No, I came from the woods back there. Those freaks are everywhere, tried to find help and...well, here we are. Either of you know what the hell is going on?"

"We don't know for sure," Shawn admitted. "We haven't seen anything as gnarly as this since downtown Atlanta." He turned around to look at their truck, then turned back to Lee. "Are you trying to get out of here? Because you should be. Those things are all over the damn place."

"It ain't safe to stay," Chet added.

"We could use an extra pair of hands," Shawn explained. "If you help us move the truck, we'll take you down to my family's farm. It's safer there."

Lee wasn't usually the type to accept rides from strangers, but with everything that was occurring combined with his injured leg, his options were limited. "Okay, I'm in. Now let's get out of here before more of those things show up."

Now with an extra pair of hands, the three got moving the car out of the way. However, it wasn't long until the familiar faces of the walkers stumbled towards them. Outnumbered and terrified, the three quickly moved the car and hoped into Shawn's truck. Lee rode in the front with him while Chet leaped into the back, speeding away before they were swarmed.

"That was a close one," Shawn noted between gasps. "Bet you're glad you met us."

He could say that again. If Lee hadn't met them, who knew what kind of danger he'd be in?

It was nightfall before the three of them made it to the farm. It was a large and rather nice plot of land, complete with a two-story house and a barn. Lee winced as he stepped out of the vehicle, remembering his injured leg. Shawn, too, climbed out of the car and closed his door, while Chet climbed out of the back.

"Hey, Shawn, I'm gonna run on home before Mama gets worried," Chet said.

"Sure thing, man," Shawn replied. "I'll call you tomorrow."

Chet turned to Lee. "It was nice to meet you. Good luck out there."

Lee waved him goodbye before following Shawn towards the house. It was a nice area, very peaceful and no signs of any danger. As soon as Shawn stepped up, he was embraced by an elderly man whom Lee assumed was his father.

"Oh, thank God you're okay," he said, hugging Shawn.

"I probably wouldn't have made it back with Chet." Shawn admitted as he leaned out from the hug.

"Well, I'm glad you took him with you, then," Hershel noted. Finally, he noticed Lee approaching and raised an eyebrow. "You've brought a friend, I see."

"Sorry for the intrusion," Lee apologized. "Your boy's a real life savor. And as you can see..." he gestured towards his injured leg. "Wasn't in much condition to refuse."

"I see," Hershel said. "Well, you're welcome to stay just for tonight. I don't run a bed and breakfast."

"Thanks," Lee said gratefully.

"You seemed to have hurt your leg pretty bad there," Hershel continued. "I can help you out. Shawn, why don't you check on your sister? You," he said to Lee, "step up on the porch and let me see what I can do."

Lee obliged and sat upon the porch while Hershel stepped into the house for a moment. Once he returned, he examined Lee's injury. "This looks swollen to hell."

"It hurts like hell," Lee agreed between groans.

Hershel began to wrap bandages around his wound while rising his eyebrow. "How did this happen?"

"I was in a car accident," he responded rather quickly. Last thing he needed was a farmer growing anxious over his crime. Most if not all of them carried shotguns. But then, he continued. "Got into a little trouble...I witnessed a robbery last night and the police needed to take my statement. He was bringing me to the station to clear up the matter, but then we crashed into one of those...things."

"Awful nice of that police officer," Hershel commented, but the look on his face was a rather skeptical one. Lee didn't quite like that, but he hoped that he sounded convincing enough. "House is full up with mine," Hershel continued. "We've got another family of three sleeping in the barn. You can rest there when we're done here."

At that moment, Shawn returned. "Hey, Dad, I was thinking, and we should probably fortify the place first thing tomorrow morning."

"I don't see why, Shawn," said Hershel.

"Dad, come on, I don't know what you've seen on the news, but there's some serious shit hitting the fan," Shawn explained. "Lee, come on, man, tell him what you saw."

"It's true," Lee agreed while he noted Hershel's skeptical face. "One of these things bit the police officer I was with and...and he turned into one. Had to shoot him. If those things can get to armed forces, there's no doubt they'll get here as well."

"I see...well, if you feel that way, then start in the morning when it's sunrise," Hershel told his son after he finished tending to Lee's wound. "That should do it, the swelling should go down. If not, well we'll just have to shoot you." He made a gun gesture with his fingers. Lee's eyes widened, and the older man shook his head comically. "We'll clean it and redress it."

"Okay, that'd be preferable," Lee said, relief visibly washing over him.

"Follow me, Lee," Shawn requested as escorted him towards the barn. Quietly, he opened the door and handed Lee a sleeping bag. "There's another family of three sleeping above. Try not to wake them, they've had a bit of a journey. Take care."

Lee thanked the young man, who nodded and turned to walk away. He set the sleeping bag down in the center of the barn, ready to get some shut-eye. He pondered where he would go from here, deciding that Macon was his best bet. Surely it couldn't be too bad over there, and not to mention, his family. Lee wished that he had last talked to his family on better terms, remembering that they wouldn't so much as look at him after everything that happened.

After what felt like hours, sleep did eventually come, but it wasn't exactly peaceful. Nightmares returned the memories of what happened that fateful day. The screaming, the violence, the look in the Senator's eyes as the life drained from it. It was enough to wake Lee with a startled gasp. He looked around, remembering where he was. As soon as his heart stopped pounding, he let out a quiet sigh and lay back down in an attempt to get some more sleep.

I'll probably update this about once a week, depending on how in the way life gets. Thanks for reading!