Oliver tensed up at the question. He looked down at Autumn to make sure she was asleep.
"She left us two years ago. I haven't heard of her since. Not a single letter or call to Autumn. I'm sure she didn't survive, or I hope she didn't. She had it coming. It was one thing to cheat on me, but she left Autumn behind like it was nothing." He gave a heavy sigh.
He wasn't necessarily telling her all of this because he trusted her, but because he was holding this in for those two years. He refused to talk to Jackson like this on a personal level; he didn't care if he listened in.
"The worst part? I was serving in Iraq when she left her. She just left her with the neighbors. No note. No phone number. Nothing. Luckily, they knew I was away in the military and kept her safe until I returned. Excuse my language, but what a fucking bitch."
His head turned towards her, "Don't tell a word of this to Autumn, she's still hopeful her mom will come back."
"Whatever." I huffed, crossing my arms. "Hey, you guys got a blanket up there? I'm cold."
Jackie took off his hoodie, leaving him in a brown, worn out shirt. "Here." He handed it out to me. I slowly took it, "Thanks pill pusher."
"I'm not a dealer." He groaned. "I never said you were." I shook my head, putting the hoodie over my small figure. "Then why the nickname?" He raised his brow.
I shrugged, "I give everyone a nickname. Pill Pusher just happened to suit you."
He rolled his eyes, turning his head to his window and staring out of it.
"So, where's her mom?" I asked Oliver.
Oliver burst out in laughter, his free arm wrapping around Autumn's sleeping body.
"Sorry, no can do! The only stop we're making is to our final destination!" He didn't want to just leave Mia just somewhere on the side of the road. He would rather stop at the camp.
"You'll just have to put up with him the same way I've been doing for years, by pretending he doesn't exist."
Oliver reached over a bit, flicking Jackson in the back of the head. He knew Jackson wouldn't be able to reach back as it would wake up Autumn.
"Plus, I don't want Autumn to be disappointed when she wakes up to find you gone." Oliver could tell they were almost there. Only twenty minutes or so left to go.
"Sorry, I just thought since she was her uncle... and thanks for the ride Oliver and Company, but I don't need to rest. Just to keep walking until the sun goes down." I said. "And by the way, I deserve at least three." I smirked.
"More like none." Jackie said under his breath, but I heard it. "That's it! Stop this truck right now!"
"He's not my brother!" Oliver quickly snapped, looking over his shoulder at Mei. He looked back at the road, his hands clenching the wheel tighter.
"He's my ex-wife's brother. That's all he is to me."
Autumn could feel her father tense up. She pulled her head back in and laid her head against his shoulder. Her eyes fluttering closed, exhaustion making her eyelids heavy.
"The camp we're heading to is accepting anyone healthy. You could probably stop there for food and to rest up before you continue on." Oliver spoke with a fatherly tone. He couldn't imagine Autumn out there in this sick world all on her own. He almost felt responsible for Mei.
He laughed to himself, Oliver could tell she was stubborn.
"Even if we were giving you a Yelp review, I would only give you a star, maybe two if I was feeling generous."
Oliver looked into the rear view mirror, a smile appearing across his face.
"Your first pit stop would be fine." I said. "I'm not one to stay at a place for too long."
"So right now, where were you headed?" Pill Pusher asked me. I shrugged, "Wherever the road ends, and then I'd keep going from there."
"Well that's not very smart," Jackie said. "Not having a plan and all."
"Listen, your brother here offered me a ride and I took it. That doesn't mean we should have a 'get to know you' conversation." I narrowed my eyes. "You asked me where I was going and I answered. I don't need a yelp review."
Autumn pouted but continued to have her head outside of the window. This time she lowered her head so it was resting against it.
Oliver couldn't help but snicker at her comment towards Jackson. He didn't hate Jackson, but he definitely wished Autumn had a better uncle.
"Well, Miss Confidential, my name is Oliver. We're headed to Camp Collins, a few miles up ahead. What about you?"
I huffed as I sat up and leaned back onto the rear view window.
"Hi, I'm Autumn. This is my daddy and my uncle Jackie, what's your name?" the little girl asked me. I turned to my side with a blank expression, "That's confidential information little one."
Her uncle Jackie snickered and I turned to my other side to see him, "Got a problem pill pusher?"
He glared at me and I raised my brow, "No? That's what I thought."
"Great! Now let's get the hell out of here!" Oliver ran towards her and threw her over his shoulder with one arm. If they got out of here fast enough, he wouldn't have to waste a single bullet. Even if she was opposed to the idea of being carried, it was what he had to do.
He climbed into the bed of the truck and laid her down, then jumped off from the side and climbed into the driver's side. He floored the gas and the truck roared back to life.
Autumn hugged her dad's stomach, she was very proud of him. She stuck her head into the open panel of the rear view window.
"Hi, I'm Autumn. This is my daddy and my uncle Jackie, what's your name?" She had a wide smile spread across her face. This was her first time talking to another girl in quite some time.
"Listen, you're going to let yourself die out here. Just hop in the back of my truck and we'll get you out of this mess." he said slowly. I looked behind him and eyed the little girl and the guy with black hair in the truck.
"You're running out of time." The dude with the black hair said, pointing behind me. I turned my head around. He was right, the crawlers we're only about a minute away - ready to eat my flesh.
I dropped my gun to my side and nodded.
"Daddy, look!" Autumn pointed to a young girl on the side of the road. She appeared to be healthy and defending herself against a rather large group of crawlers .
Oliver bit his tongue knowing the safest thing to do would be to continue on driving. He also knew Autumn wouldn't leave him be if he left her to die like that.
"I'm sorry Autumn, but it's too dangerous."
"Daddy she needs help! We can help her! Right Uncle Jackie?"
"Autumn I said no!"
"Wow what a role model you are, teaching your daughter to leave the innocent to die. Not cool." Jackson leaned back in his seat shutting his eyes.
That was the last thing he wanted to hear from his ex-felon of a brother-in-law.
"Fine!" He grabbed on to the wheel making a sharp turn and pulling over onto the side of the road. He jumped out slamming his door, preparing to pull out the gun from his hip pocket. That was until he saw the girl turn the pistol onto him. "Woah there! I'm here to help you!"
"I told you this was a bad idea!" Jackson yelled from the car, pointing his head out the window. "Yeah what Uncle Jackie said!" Autumn seconded as her head also popped out from the window.
Oliver turned in annoyance towards the two in the truck. He thew his hands up in the air in defeat.
"You two were the ones that told me to pull over in the first place!" He sighed and turned back towards the girl. Her gun hadn't lowered.
"Just let me help you!"
I zipped my thin sweater up higher and put my hood over my head. I continued to walk down the edge of the forest, following down the road like I always did each morning since the virus began.
Coming from the forest, I hear noises come from Crawlers. Yes, plural. "Ugh, I'm really not in the mood for this." I couldn't run from them due to my current injury. I pulled out my gun from the back pocket of my jeans and turned my body, trying to be careful to not put too much pressure on my left leg.
I started to shoot head shots at about five crawlers coming my way, but due to the sound of my handgun, it got the attention of more crawlers. "Fuck." I muttered, knowing I didn't have enough bullets for this. From behind me, I saw a black truck pull over.
I heard the door slam shut, "You've got to be kidding me." Swiftly turning around, I pointed my gun to him.
I waited here for almost an hour, just laid back on a tree close to the road.
I waited for my brother-in-law and niece, Oliver and Autumn.
Oliver radioed me about an hour and a half ago telling me to wait here, and I'm regretting it.
I sighed, chipping a piece of wood with my pocket knife -- repeating my actions thoroughly.
Besides the sounds of the breeze passing by with leaves mixed in, and crickets chirping, I heard an all too familiar noise.
A noise that's killed hundreds of people so far.
A noise that has everyone is risking their lives for:
I whipped out my dagger, and stood ready.
Once let it get closer, and closer, and close - I swiftly turned around and pushed the dagger into the crawlers head then brought it out, letting the crawler fall.
A few seconds later, someone's car honked 2x.
ronnie just finished listening to a message from the radio.
Ronnie tapped his younger sister's shoulder, interrupting her from playing with her dirty, white converse shoe laces.
Winter faced her older hearing brother, waiting to see what he wanted.
"There's this camp held by this guy named Ranger Joey." Ronnie said to her.
"Where is it at?" Winter asked.
"In portland. Camp Collins."
"I know where that is." Winter nodded. "Mom took me there a couple years ago. That's five hours from here."
Before Ronnie could answer, Winter spoke once again.
"You want to go there? Ron, who knows what can be out there. And we can't even trust anyone anymore. What if it's some kinda of trap?"
"We need to get outta here. We're running out of food, we'll die in here. I'm not planning on dying like that. And, we're skilled... in a way, right? You have your katana and i have my gun. We'll be fine."
Ronnie was a bit worried though. He knows they can defend themselves, however, due to winter being deaf, anything can happen. She might not hear one of those killers and it can get her.
Deaf people can take care of themselves. There's no disability. He knows this.
Ronnie knows from his sister.
However, what IF that happens and he can't get to her fast enough?
"The last thing I'm afraid of is being eaten by those things because I can't hear them and get to it before it gets to me. What I'm scared of is losing you and being alone. I can take care of myself, but what if I can't take care of US." Winter said.
"But, you're right. We should go." Winter nodded.
"We'll leave tomorrow."
Winter slightly smiled, then continued to play with her shoe lases.
[h3 Chapter 1. The Camp]
[h3 [center Oliver & Autumn]]
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/uNEyTqu.png]][size12 [i Zip!] Oliver zipped his large camping bag closed. It was full of necessities he believed would keep him and his daughter alive if they were ever to leave the house. At the moment, the fence surrounding their home still stood strong keeping any of the flesh eating monsters away. He knew they were safe here, but also understood they would have to leave once supplies was low.
"Turtles Dove, it's time to come inside." Oliver spoke into the walkie-talkie. He let the red button go and smiled as he heard his daughters voice come from the device.
He headed to the glass sliding doors that separated him and his backyard. He watched as Autumn climbed down from her tree house with a walkie talkie to big for her size attached to her waist and a portable radio in her hand. She struggled a bit as the radio occupied most of her hand but she managed to get down and run to the sliding door.
She smiled up at her father as he slid the door open so his princess could skip inside. She rested the radio on the coffee table in the living room and turned it on.
She was wise to turn off the radio before she left the tree house as she knew any loud noise could attract unwanted guests at their door.
"Any good news?"
"Nope! Just static...." The girl wrinkled her nose and bit her lap as she plopped herself on the couch.
"Why hasn't mommy called?"
Autumn questioned looking down at her feet. She kept the radio on with her at all times just in case her mom tried to reach her. The girl hadn't heard from her mother in almost over two years. But she still believed her mom was just busy with work, which was what her father always told her.
"Must be busy, you know how it is munchkin." Oliver sighed and took a seat right beside her, putting an arm around her small frame. He knew she was most likely dead. No way was a pencil pusher of a boyfriend and a cheater of an ex-wife were going to survive what was happening outside. Nor was he going to go out and rescue her even if she was alive. He thought of it as payback for ditching their daughter.
"1. 2. 3. I repeat 1.2.3"
A feminine voice came from the radio and Autumn practically pounced on the device.
"Mommy!" She called to the device with a smile that spread across her lips.
Oliver knew that wasn't her the moment she finished the number 1.
"This is Ranger Joey from MCA Camp Collin in Portland. We are offering food and shelter for those in good health. I repeat, food and shelter for those in good health. Children and the elderly are also welcome-"
Autumn turned towards her face with a disappointed expression. A small gleam of sparkle came when she said children.
"Our quadrants are 45° 30' 4.1148'' North and 122° 18' 22.122'' West. I repeat 45° 30' 4.1148'' North and 122° 18' 22.122'' West. This message will repeat every two hours."
Oliver looked at his daughter and back at the radio in disbelief. His daughter was looking at him with hopeful eyes. He had been to the camp not to long ago with her and knew the exact location.
"But were okay here. The camp is almost 20 miles away. We would have to take the streets. I don't even think we have the gas to make it. It would be over five hour walk." Oliver was talking to her but it seemed more like he was trying to convince himself not to leave. It was a good idea and seemed promising. He knew the campgrounds and understood he could figure his way out at the first signs of danger.
He looked at his packed bag then back at his daughter's pleading eyes. He groaned to himself as he stood up rubbing the bridge of his nose. "Alright fine, we leave first thing tomorrow morning!"
Autumn jumped up and hugged her father. He knew she missed her from school. He knew she missed even going to school. He knew she missed living a remotely normal life.]
[h3 [center Zoe and Zach]]
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/yWpwyiV.jpg]] [size12 "You should've just given us the food when we asked for it!" Zoe cooed as she forced a high grade kitchen knife into the man's chest.
"Hello it's the Peeters" Zoe chimed as she knocked on the door. The door opened hesitantly and fingers wrapped around the door frame.
"Are you.... uhm ya know... okay?" A males shaking voice responded.
"As fiddle as a whistle! Zoe smiled as she shoved her face closer into the crack. "We seem to be out of food, mind sparing us a cracker or two?"
"We barely have food for ourselves. I'm sorry." Before the man could close the door a shoe jutted into the crack.
"I'm sorry, you seem to not have heard my sister correctly. She asked for food." Zachary tilted his head and moved so he now in the frame of the crack.
"Were a big family! Listen I'm sorry! Please just leave!"
Zach removed his foot and let the door close.
"Woopsie! Wrong answer!" Zoe's voice dropped as she moved to the side to give Zach room. He brought the axe on the doorknob until it was no more. He stood back and forced his heel into the door. The chain hung on to dear life and an axe brought it to an early grave.
"Should've given us the food!" Zoe grinned as her brother pulled out a small hand pistol and aimed it at the four frightened faces huddled in the living room.
"1!" [i Bang] "2!" [i Bang] "3!" [i Bang] "4!" [i Bang]
"How could you!" The man from before jumped onto Zach's back but before he could bring a small blade to Zach's neck, Zoe stabbed him in the shoulder and forced him onto the floor.
"Don't you fucking dare a lay a finger on my brother!" Zoe was seething with fury and kicked him multiple times in the gut until blood started trickling from the corner of his mouth.
"Get the food, I'll handle him."
Zoe found cable wires and forced the defeated man into the chair. She tied him up and forced him to face his murdered family.
"Why did you have to kill them? Oh god no." Tears poured from his eyes. "My babies... my girls..." He cried out.
His wife and three daughters laid lifeless on the floor.
"You should've just given us the food when we asked for it!"
"Did you get everything?" "Enough to last us for a week. Plus first aid."
Zach grinned as he tightened the straps on his bag.
The twins attention were directed toward the old radio over the chimney.
"1. 2. 3. I repeat. 1. 2. 3."...
"How bout' it Zach? Up for a camping trip?"
"I don't see why not, we deserve the vacation."
"You guys deserve to die..." The man groaned in agony as his wounds dripped.
"I forgot about you!" Zoe grabbed a knife from the kitchen counter and stabbed it into his thigh. "Scream! Scream!"
The two headed out the door with their fully equipped bags. The man was left screaming for help or wishing for death from inside. They heard inhuman groans walking toward the screams.
They looked at each other and smiled in satisfaction.
[h3 [center Yukine]]
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/Y9QRnuf.jpg]][size12 "Damn American's..." Yuki's hands were shaking as he finished tying the last wire together. "I really hope this works." He grabbed his bag sitting next to him and ran. Ran as fast as his lanky legs would let him. From behind a large explosion went off. It was strong enough to even give him a little push.
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