Hello again. I figured Sunday is a day where barely anything goes on, so I finally plucked the courage to update this chapter so you all can have some type of entertainment whether it is to laugh at my novice writing skills or to actually enjoy the story.


Masquerade


One would think neighbors would come together to help each other out in an end of the world situation, but Westbrook did almost the exact opposite. Regina never knew how shady the residents could be until several days into the Walker Apocalypse. In the beginning, everyone helped each other and the gated community even had a well organized plan to take care of the entrance.

There were only a few people who owned guns in Westbrook and their names were Ernest Baker, Spinelli Haul, Fletcher Muller, and Regina Garcia herself. These people were voted to be lookout at Westbrook's front gate. They all decided to take on this job in shifts. The gate was pretty sturdy, so it was a very low possibility the Walkers would be able to break though. They were sure that one person would be enough for the job at one time.

People who had an abundance of food were the ones to share such as Kain Ottawa, Pearl and Oliver Rollo, and Phillip Christophe. Regina decided to never say anything about her food supply in the trunk of her car. She wanted to keep the promise she made to herself of not cracking into that supply until they had run out of food in the house. She would share the water she had in her home, but not anything else. There were suspicions of others who were also hoarding food from the rest of the community and the leader had already caused hell trying to point fingers.

Regina had already done her shift for the day, leaving Ernest Baker, a redneck down the street, in charge of the gate for his shift for the night. The next morning, Regina received a few bangs on the front door. Ferrera was the one to open it to a frantic skinny, sickly looking woman from across the street, Francesca Darling. She was a loon in Ferrera's opinion, yet Regina was still friends with the woman. She shook like a very nervous Chihuahua. Ferrera assumed she was on meth or something.

"I-is Regina ho-home?" The woman with thin hair questioned. Was it a forgotten detail that she stuttered as much as a politician caught in a lie? She sounded panicked. Francesca stepped into the house without permission.

Ferrera rolled her eyes. No one was leaving the neighborhood, so where the hell else would Regina be if she wasn't at her post? "Nah, she's shot herself in the head. Regina's dead." Ferrera's tone was sarcastic and blunt, but apparently, Francesca couldn't take the hint.

The woman nearly began crying when Regina shoved Ferrera to the side and stepped in front her neighbor, "Please ignore the big mouth child." Ferrera had the feeling her older sister was speaking to her and not Francesca. Regina wrapped a delicate arm around Francesca, knowing her condition, and led her to the kitchen as the sickly woman attempted to put together a coherent sentence.

The Latina hushed her, "Sh, Sh… Calm down and breathe," Francesca took a deep breath, "Now, what's wrong?"

"E-Er-Ernest! Th-those little terrors—"Regina had not a single clue on who she was speaking of. She motioned for Francesca to sit at the kitchen table. The woman sat and began to speak, "That J-Jordan Patrick and his fr-friends thought it would be a g-good idea to taunt th-those walkers at the gate when Ernest went to check on Lydia since sh-she looks like she's r-ready to h-have her b-baby. One of those m-middle school boys ended up getting b-bitten! N-No! He was basically eaten!"

Earlier in the week, the Leader, Wyatt George, had an argument with the co-leader, Leon Marx, about if those boys were nothing but fragilities and if they should be booted from Westbrook. Every parent stood their ground in saying no. Those boys were merely kids after all, and that sympathy that the parents felt for those kids was eventually Westbrook's downfall.

Francesca continued, "Er-Ernest came back, but he couldn't bring himself to sh-shoot Ricky after he was b-bitten. He tried to con-convince everyone that maybe it wasn't a bite that did it. But in the time it took for him to convince Wyatt and argue off J-Jordan, Ricky g-got u-up off the ground and bit Ernest and three others! Wyatt just took off a-and left!" Francesca was frantic and she was clearly panicking. "I al-always knew Wyatt was a- a little bitch! I-I warned y-you all about choosing him as the leader! Now Westbrook is goin' to go d-downhill!"

Regina opened and closed her mouth. How does one respond to that?

Ferrera had been eavesdropping around the corner. Jordan had been one of her friends and she used to hang out with Ricky back before she got into high school. It's hard to believe that someone so active and so energetic could become as slow and brain dead as those walkers. Wait… that meant the walkers were now within the gates of Westbrook.

Ferrera had a feeling now would be the true test of the house's defenses. She heard a chair scrape against the hardwood floor, "I'll go get my gun," she heard Regina say. Turning around the corner, Ferrera could see Francesca lunge forward to grab her sister's arm. "R-Regina, no! D-don't go out th-there and play the h-hero! Y-you'll run a risk w-way too high!"

Regina pressed a hand to Francesca's shoulder, "If we let them roam too long, then the dead will eventually win. Fran, they will get into people's houses and make more of them. It's best if we get rid of them now—"

"Those people would be smart enough to put up defenses or leave!" Francesca's eyes suddenly widened and she stood up. Her sick father was still in her home—a home that had no defense whatsoever, "Daddy!" She then sprinted past Ferrera and out the door.

Regina stood in frozen silence. Francesca, no matter how sick she was in the first place, took in her ill and delusional parents to live with her. She cared about them dearly and they were the only people she had since she was unable to bear children. Regina would know since she stuck by Francesca through a miscarriage. That woman had been through way more in life than Regina could even fathom. It would take hours just to relay all of the things Francesca has gone through. All she needed was a friend to help and Regina was happy to be that friend during her time in Westbrook.

Regina rushed to the front door, gun in hand. Ferrera ran upstairs to tell Daniel to remain in his bedroom. Regina paused at the door as the scene before her told her she was too late to save Francesca or Fran's mother and father. In the middle of the street, the sickly woman was too weak to fend off burly Ernest and Garrett, the high school star basketball player. They tore into her right where she stood.

It's ironic how Regina had heard many bloodcurdling screams echo in the night or even during her endeavor in Wal-Mart, but Francesca's was the one the she would never forget. It was literally the one that burned itself into her mind. Up until that point, Regina had never been so downtrodden. She wasn't just watching some random person being eaten by a walker. It was her friend—one of her greatest friends.

She was pulled from her reverie when she realized the walkers were advancing toward her home, leaving Francesca's mangled body on the cement. Ferrera was the one to slam the door and lock the top lock. The teen then moved behind the dining room table, "Help me move this!"

Together, the two Latinas shoved the heavy mahogany table in front of the door. Regina had never been more grateful to her grandparent's will than right then. They were the ones to leave their dining room set to her and it made one hell of a blockade in this case.

They stepped back to get a better view of their blockade, then they turned to each other. Ferrera gave an expecting glance, "So what now?"

Regina relaxed her furrowed eyebrow as she tried to gather her thoughts. When she spoke, she was nothing but a stuttering mess, "I-I guess w-we wait." And then she felt hot tears falling down her cheeks. She had just watched a friend in need be torn alive. And she let it happen. Regina felt like a horrible person.

Ferrera held a bewildered look upon her face and she watched her older sister sit back on the staircase and cry as silently as she could. The teen's eyes traveled up to the top of the stair case. Danny looked terrified as he gripped onto the railing. She was positive the four year old heard Ms. Fran's ear ringing cries. The moans of the walkers were close and the screams that echoed throughout Westbrook were muffled by the walls of the Garcia family's home. The dead sounded like they were having a successful invasion.

"Is Mama okay?" He asked his aunt. Regina's head shot up and swirled around quickly looked back at her son. Daniel's eyebrows were knitted together, his eyes twice their normal size, "Are we gonna see those scary people again?"

The look her son held made her last tear fall as she realized that she needed to keep it together. It may sound heartless, but Francesca was merely one person. The Latina had more important things to worry about.

Regina would need to keep living—to continue to be strong for Ferrera and Daniel. She was Daniel's mother. She needed to protect him. Regina didn't like to think that all of those hours in painful labor were for Daniel to only die so young in the end. She refused to let all that pain to give life be futile. Ferrera also still needed her older sister to watch her back. What else are older siblings for?

Regina could watch the walkers get anyone else—not these two. They were her responsibility. She may have lost a friend, but if she lost those two, her whole foundation would give out.

"Yes, I'm alright, Daniel. Go find your bag that your auntie packed and bring it downstairs, please, baby," Regina ordered.

Daniel rushed to go find his green backpack in his room. Regina stood on the step she was sitting on, "Ferrera, go get your things, too."

Ferrera raised an eyebrow, "We leavin'?"

Regina shook her head, "No, we're gonna stick it out here until everything's gone. The house is pretty sturdy right now. I just need to make sure we've got everything for a quick getaway."

Ferrera smirked, "I am so glad you turned out to be the sister that overanalyzes things. That little habit of yours has saved our asses." Her smirk turned into a genuine smile, "Thanks, Gina."

"For what?"

Ferrera didn't say thank you much, so Regina was sure she meant it whenever she said so. The only thing about it was that Regina had no idea what the teen was thankful to her for.

Ferrera actually had plenty to thank her older sister for. When her parents had gotten sick of her disobedience in Virginia, Ferrera's only choices were to go out in the real world and 'be the adult she so claimed she was' according her mother, or she could go live with Regina until she got her act together. Ferrera was terrified of being on her own, so she chose the latter. Regina could have said no and allowed her parents to toss her out on the streets, but she didn't.

Her older sister took her in and was currently in the process of straightening her out—not that it mattered much in anymore in a zombie apocalypse (it was easy to see that it wouldn't be long before humanity would get out of hand and anything goes for those who wished to live). If it weren't for Regina, Ferrera would probably be in the streets turned into a walker at that very moment.

Ferrera felt cliché just uttering the words, "For everything," before sprinting up the stairs to get her things.

They had spent two weeks in the house. Two weeks, and nearly half of all of Westbrook were walkers. Now, Westbrook was a pretty big community, so the walker count could be around a hundred to one hundred and fifty. Regina waited for someone to have the balls to take the first few out in the beginning, yet no one had and the population grew at a rampant pace. Regina would have done it herself, but Francesca's words reminded her that maybe playing the hero wasn't the brightest idea.

The family of three now slept in Regina's bed together. It gave each of them comfort to know the other two were so close. The night was dark as Daniel, Ferrera and Regina were asleep. Thunk!

Although she was the deepest sleeper out of the three, Ferrera was the first to hear the noise. She was much too tired to question it. The teen dropped her head back down to the pillow and turned away from Danny.

Scratch… Scratch… Daniel's eyes snapped open and he shot up in the bed. He looked around the spacious master bedroom and saw nothing. There was a creek downstairs. Daniel knew what created the noise because it was how his mother always caught him sneaking into the kitchen at night. It was a loose floorboard in the kitchen beside the garage.

He roughly shook his mother awake and Regina jumped slightly with a snore. "You've gotta go to the bathroom now?"

Daniel shook his head, "No, someone's downstairs!"

Regina shot up similar to the way Daniel had and reached under her bed for the briefcase of guns. As quietly as she could, she retrieved more bullets and her pistol. She shook Ferrera awake.

"What?" The younger girl was cut off when the handle of another pistol bounced off her stomach. Regina threw back the blankets, "It should be easy to use. Like a camera, you point and shoot, got it?"

Ferrera was confused, "Huh?" She asked as clueless as someone could be in this situation. Her sister had just randomly thrown a gun at her and gave her directions to use it. Was this a joke?

"I think someone's in the house. I need you to back me up." Regina explained.

It doesn't need to be said that the look on Ferrera's face was one of pure excitement. She'd always wanted to use a gun and if it was as easy as Regina made it out to be, she was going to have plenty of fun with this.

"Daniel, stick close to me." The little boy nodded, but Regina gave him a look, "No, baby, I want you to play shadow right now. That's how close and quiet you need to be, 'kay?" Daniel pressed himself up against his mother's side. Regina smirked, "There you go."

Grogginess aside, Regina led the way. As they walked down the stairs, the rustling grew noisier and there were harsh whispers coming from the kitchen. It was a given that someone or something was in their home.

Daniel warned his mother and aunt which steps made sounds when they were stepped on. Because of him, they made it down the staircase without a single sound. Regina glanced back and observed Ferrera's stance. She could already tell Ferrera was going to have a hard time handling a gun. She hoped to God that she was just misinterpreting her younger sister.

Regina motioned for the two to stay behind as she peeked around the corner. There were three figures rummaging through her cabinets and taking things into a trash bag. Regina rounded the corner, gun poised to shoot. "The hell do you think you're doing?"

In the dim moonlight through the boarded up window, she could make out the three figures that froze upon sight of her. Wyatt, Sven, and Marco were the ones robbing her things.

Ferrera had never seen Regina get so angry so quickly. "Fran said you were a little bitch. Shoulda paid attention."

Wyatt was an attractive man for a gangly fucker. He had a strong jaw line, black hair and green eyes. The stubble around his chin made him look even easier on the eyes. He glared, "I may be a little bitch, but you are a selfish cunt."

Regina cocked her gun, "The hell are you talkin' about?"

Sven was a pudgy blonde man. Regina had to admit watching him get riled up was amusing because the color of red he turned shouldn't be humanly possible. "The food, Regina! The fuckin' food! We know you've been holding out on us. Jessica saw you get back with that truck of food. Ain't no way that you got done with it that fast, so just share and we won't have to kill you."

Share or give up the food? She picked neither and chose to play oblivious. Regina scoffed, "What food?"

Marco held his weapon, a knife, ready to lunge at the Latina, "Stop playing stupid, Regina. You're an attorney for Christ's sake. You're not stupid."

Ferrera rounded the corner after placing the gun in her back pocket. Regina told her walkers were attracted to noise, so the last thing she needed was the walkers busting through the windows because she got trigger happy. "Okay, okay. You've got us beat, Wyatt," She held her hands up in surrender. What the fuck was this little girl doing? Ferrera casted Regina an inconspicuous glance from the side of her eye and nudged her head toward the basement door.

"It's all in the basement. There's a cooler down there," Ferrera said. Regina kept her mouth shut simply because Ferrera was easily the best liar in the family. She knew her little sister could act the part of a scared little girl—like in horror movies. She's seen her do it before.

Wyatt pressed his rusty weapon, a pipe, at the teen's stomach and Ferrera let out a small gasp, "I'm far from kidding, kid. I find out you're lying and best believe that this pipe will be lodged through your head."

Despite his words, Ferrera could see his bluff. Wyatt was a coward—he always had been. She wanted to call bullshit so badly, but in order to keep Regina and Daniel safe, she needed to play the blockhead.

The pipe eased away from Ferrera's gut and she breathed out a breath she had been holding. Wyatt and Marco were the ones who went to go down the basement after taking Regina's gun. Sven held the two at the point of a machete as he watched his partners descend the wooden staircase, "I've got to make sure you two don't try anything."

Regina almost smirked. They forgot about Daniel.

The said boy poked his curly haired head around the corner to peep at the situation. He was just out of Sven's sight to the man's left. Ferrera locked eyes with Daniel and moved her eyes toward the back of Sven's legs to Daniel and to the back of Sven's legs once more. Daniel responded with a confused look and Ferrera continued her gesture. Sven noticed.

"Do you—" He turned around to see what Ferrera was looking at. There was no one. He whipped his head back to the two Latinas, "—got a twitch or something? Stop that!"

The little boy finally understood—or he hoped he did. Daniel cautiously moved around the corner, slowly and surely making it across the floor on all fours to get behind Sven's legs.

The two Latinas took a step toward Sven, Ferrera reaching into her back pocket. Sven reacted with a cautious step backward. He glanced back to make sure he wouldn't fall down the steps when a head of curly hair on the floor caught his attention. He had no time to kick the kid. The moment his gaze was away from them, the sisters lunged forward and shoved him over Daniel and down the stairs.

Ferrera pulled Daniel to his feet as she heard the commotion in the basement. It sounded like the men were attempting to climb their way up. Regina slammed the door and braced herself against it, "Ferrera, I'm getting sick of having to block these doors. Go find something," one of the intruders tried to shoulder barge the door and Ferrera ran toward the foyer where the furniture was stacked up.

Regina then pushed the door back from another impact before turning to her child, "Daniel, go get mommy's briefcase and my keys, please. I need you to run. Fast." Daniel took off as the scraping of furniture was heard against the wood flooring in the foyer.

Regina was struggling with containing Wyatt, Marco, and Sven when Ferrera shoved in the heavy TV stand. She helped her sister push it in front of the door and they stepped back to breathe. Daniel stumbled into the kitchen with his arms full of things like Regina's boots that she now wore on a constant basis, Ferrera's Nikes, the briefcase was hanging from his fingers, his Iron Man action figure clenched between his teeth, and the car keys were gripped in his other hand.

"We're leaving now?" Ferrera questioned, taking her shoes from Daniel. There was a bang on the door and the crack that sounded afterwards did not sound very good either, "You can't leave us down here, Garcia!"

Oh, not only would the woman leave them down there. She didn't think she would be coming back in a long time—if not ever. Ferrera kicked the wall beside the blocked door, "You guys better hope the windows we blocked down there hold up. Otherwise, if you don't die from hunger, you'll die by the walkers. Bye, bye!"

Wyatt used the gun he took from Regina to shoot through the door and the bullet made it through the barricade and put a hole in one of the cabinets. Ferrera wasn't expecting that so she became startled and ran out of the garage door.

The family piled into the car, the food untouched in the back.

"Momma, why are we leaving?"

Regina opened the garage and locked the doors, "There's nothing left for us here, baby." Walkers began to flood the garage and Regina looked at the walking dead that slapped their hands against the vehicle. Even though Regina tried to act normal about it, it freaked her out so much more than the kids.

During their stay in their home, Regina had come to the conclusion that it would be best to go to the shore if it had to come down to it. She had some relatives who lived on a small farm near Savannah. She also was hoping that perhaps that's where the military forces would be—fighting their way in. She had always wanted to visit the coast anyway. She'd figure out what to do from there. However, she had no idea how far a tank and a half of gas would take them. She was only able to grab one gas can in Wal-Mart. Hopefully it would take them far enough.

Regina made sure the kids were settled in, having a feeling this would be the last time they would see their home again. She had saved up for so long for that nice house only for her to have to leave it behind in the end. Such a beautiful waste the house was.

"Let's go, mommy…!" Daniel said desperately from the back seat as he gripped his Iron Man action figure. The noises of the walkers throughout the days scared him—if not traumatizing his small underdeveloped mind. They were so close, and although his mommy told him they couldn't get to them, he was still paranoid that they would get in when he wasn't paying attention—while he was sleeping. He didn't want to worry anymore. He just wanted to play with his friends again. He wanted to play outside again.

"Let's get the hell away from here," Ferrera commented. Daniel didn't even comment on the curse word that passed her lips.

Regina switched the Ford Endeavor to reverse, "You need to learn to watch your mouth, Chachi. Daniel, look in my bag and choose whatever CD you like. This is going to be a long ride." The little boy searched his mother's bag of clothes as she backed out of the garage into a crowd of walkers.

Ferrera locked the doors as she looked out the window at the walkers solemnly. These walkers—these people—were once people who she was able to talk to, ask for help. Now, they were mindless and brain dead monsters who were currently trying to beat at the car weakly in an attempt to turn her and her family into one of them.

Daniel glanced out the window. Jamie, Leo, Travis, Chris, Riley… They were all his friends, but why were they growling at him? They knew he didn't like to play scary games! Daniel casted his eyes into the bag so he would be able to ignore the scary people. His mother drove forward, hitting anything in her way.

Regina drove, never stopping. She didn't even stop for the old couple on the side of the street. She wanted to, 'cause Lord knows it wouldn't be the Christian thing to do, but she was coming to realize that maybe she needed to only look out for herself and her family. The dead may be trying to eat them alive, but at least they knew what the dead is capable of. It's the living that Regina needed to be cautious of. They were much too smart—much too shady.

Perhaps not all of the survivors were like Wyatt, but Regina had to treat them cautiously just as a precaution. People like Wyatt were the real threat—the people masquerading around as if they were on your side then turn on you in a split second when shit goes to hell.

The family of three left their home in an attempt to find a safer haven. Hopefully, that haven would reside in their originally intended location. Regina was sure her family would be fine as long as there were no unexpected twists in their story. As long as Ferrera and Daniel were with her and she was with them, she was sure they would be okay.

Hold my hand

Oh, baby, it's a long way

Down to the bottom of the river

Hold my hand

Oh, baby, it's a long way down,

A long way down


Author's Corner.

Regina is still seemingly lucky, but the point in this chapter is that she needed to come to the realization of what her priorities were. Her lucky streak runs for another chapter and she will meet the Motor Inn Survivors next chapter, but after that...

I've been hoarding this chapter for a couple weeks trying to improve it. I've read through it time and time again to correct it so it could make sense, but it still doesn't seem to flow right to me.

I never plan out what I write because it seems a lot more spontaneous and emotional when I just type it out, but the con to that is that the thought process seems so jumbled up to me.

So I will leave the WELCOME CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM to the reviews.


Review Response.

Ela Black: The align in this chapter is just for you. I like to make the people who take the time to read my stories happy. Also, I hope that I have still given you reason to stick around to the very end. :D

Watanuki-kun: First off, can I say that I absolutely love it when my reviewers-no, my friends ask me questions like that? If I ever run into a stump, I'll refer to the questions to get ideas. I literally typed out an entire chapter (this one) just to answer those questions.

It was originally going to be the first few paragraphs saying what happened with Westbrook, but I felt that wouldn't really leave it feeling like the Walking Dead Game to just skip an important detail (Well, other than when Mark joined the group). I feel as if in order to feel with the characters, you need to experience the journey with them, which is the reason why I feel so attached to the game itself. I'm trying to live up to that feeling that the Game gave its players, but I still have plenty to learn in order to do that.

I hope I lived up the heartwarming compliment that you have given me. Thank you for the review.

StephyCoCo89: Hahaha, yeah. Regina is the type to over analyze things-couple that with the amazing luck she's having and I guess she has been pretty prepared. I appreciate the wonderful compliment and I hope you enjoyed the chapter! :)


Holy shit... I feel so proper with those responses, but thank you guys! Your reviews mean a lot to me.