Survival - 9

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Melpomenes Heiress
Posts: 552
Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 9:49 am
Location: My Ocean of Dreams

Survival - 9

Post by Jadynara » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:56 pm

As I came to the end of the page, I half closed the journal and sank back into the large bowl like chair that was tucked into the corner of what I now knew was Elysia's living room. Tears slid down my cheeks, reading their story was like watching a movie play out, I could see it all in vivid detail. I looked to the kitchen where I could see the inherently beautiful woman who had lived here, to the door where her loving husband had stood admiring her and smiling at his son... it was heart wrenching to know someone had absconded with their children. I felt their pain acutely and it mingled with my own.

As the tears fell, it occurred to me that perhaps Becca should read through some of the information here. She might not care about the love story but she would be obsessive over the information about the disease. Before the fallout, Becca had been a doctor, and she was certain that there was a cure. Knowing the origins of the infection would be invaluable information. I looked around the room for something I could use to mark the places in the journal that held information about the children and the disease, and spotted a high lighter in a container on the ledge between the living room and the kitchen. I unfolded myself from the chair and walked across the room to grab it as Jenn walked in. She smiled and hugged me before taking up a spot on the rug and surrounding herself by books like she had the day before. I grabbed the highlighter and wandered back over to my chair marking the passages about the children and the disease.

When I finished I sat back and thought for along while about how they must've felt. I opened the book back up and re-read the last page... they must've come back, how else would this story be here in these pages? The cover of the journal was worn and dirty, it had obviously been traveled with. Why would they come back here, knowing they were being hunted? I had so many questions, and could only hope that the answers lay with in the pages of the journals I had found. Unfortunately, today I was out of time for reading, there was work to be done around the camp and we had decided to do some hunting before lunch so we would have fresh meat for dinner. I marked my place by folding over the corner of the page and got up and headed for the door bending down to ruffle Jenn's hair on my way past.

She looked up with a smile, "See ya later Kenz. I finished my stuff after breakfast, let me know if you guys need help with anything else, otherwise I will be here." I nodded,

"Be safe and pay attention to the sounds around you, you don't want anything sneaking up on you." I said and walked out the door. I made my way back down to where we had been living to find Becca and Chrysta finishing up the dishes and putting them away on a little shelf they had dragged out from one of the nearby houses. "Thanks ladies" I said as I came up behind them. "Welcome Kenz" they said at the same time. While they finished I went and checked the sensor grid, as I came close it started to emit a low pitched buzz indicating the batteries needed to be replaced. Both women looked up at me, slight panic in their eyes. "It's okay." I said as I went to my backpack and extracted eight double a's and two 9 volts, they were the last two I had in the bag and I made a mental note to add them to the supply search, this set would only last us about 6 days. I walked back and popped out the 9 volts and replaced them with the fresh set. "I'll be right back," I told them, "Going to go check the sensors and reset them so the grid picks them up."

"Okay," Becca said and started pulling fruits and vegetables out trying to decide what to make for lunch. Since we had found the village and all the food she had become incredibly enthusiastic about cooking and all of her options. They were limited but more than we'd had in a long time and it seemed to breathe a bit of life into her. It was nice to see her passionate about something besides finding a cure. I wondered if cooking was something she had enjoyed before the world had spun out of control. Perhaps I could ask her tonight at dinner. As I thought about it, I realized that Becca rarely talked about herself or her life before. She had listened to countless stories from the other girls and I but out of all of us, Becca was the one I knew the least about.

"Can I come with you?" Chrysta asked interrupting my train of thought. "Sure." I said making my way around the fire pit and handing her four of the eight batteries I still had in my hand. As we made our way tot he back wall where the escape tunnel was I kept thinking about Becca, "Hey, can you think of any time Becca really told us any stories about her life from before?" Chrysta looked up at the cloudy layer of filth covering the sky as she thought about my question, " You know Kenz, I really can't. I know she was a doctor and I've heard her say she worked with kids, and I know she had a husband but not because she told me." she looked at me, a somber expression on her face, "Some times she cries at night when she thinks I'm asleep, and she says his name while she's dreaming." she whispered and concentrated hard on watching her feet. I hadn't known about the husband. I resolved to ask Becca some questions in private later. "Thanks for telling me," I said, putting my hand on her shoulder, "I won't give away your secret Chrys."

"Thanks." she said. We walked the rest of the way to the tunnel in silence. I could tell Chrysta felt like she had betrayed some confidence of Becca's. I smiled, slightly shaking my head in amazement at the kind of person Chrysta was even though our world was full of betrayals and danger. As we walked I thought about the night I had found Chrysta, living in the apartment above the dance studio she had called home for so many years. She had boarded up the bottom floor and made herself an exit from one of the windows on the top floor that she could easily use but was not obvious to the Shadow Walkers. Chrysta had been the first member of our group I had come upon, it had been 9 months since I'd seen another person and I hadn't been expecting to see her when I climbed through the window, it was sheer luck on my part that she was asleep when I did or she'd have shot me and my journey likely would've ended there. As it was, I had gently woken her and we had become allies quickly. She was running low on food and the two of us together gathered much more than either of us would have been able to manage alone. We stayed in her apartment for about a month, raiding every store in the area that hadn't already been looted in the initial panic of the outbreak. When the food ran out, we moved. For the first few nights we stayed in different places in the city, the last night we were there, we found a security company headquarters which was where we had picked up 20, light weight perimeter sensors and a grid to monitor them.

Chrysta was walking slightly in front of me and got to the sensor first popping the cover off and pushing the calibration button so that the grid would pick it up, the sensor didn't need batteries so she shoved them into her pocket, and replaced the cover. "So, what do you think about Jenn and all those books?" She asked as we made our way around the outside of the village near the wall, flashing me an amused smile. "I think she's hungry to learn," I said with a bemused chuckle, "and I think she's curious about the things her parents kept from her." Chrysta nodded her agreement.

"I can't imagine living a life so sheltered." She said after a moment of silence. "Neither can I," I said, "but you know how the Zealots were. They railed against all magic." We continued to idly chat about the fanaticism of the religious group known as Zealots until we reached the other post, where I quickly popped the cover off and replaced the batteries and recalibrated the sensor to the grid, before replacing the cover. "Let's go get ready to hunt." I said, and we headed back to the living area.

We met Becca as we were coming back into camp, laying out the traps we would set for the smaller animals, she was hoping for rabbit. I grabbed the rifle and a few rounds of ammo, I had seen deer tracks the day we had found the village and I was hoping that the animals that left them were still around. Chrysta grabbed her bow, there were birds in the woods, we heard them every day when the light came and she was an excellent shot.

"Will Jenn be okay by herself for a few hours?" Becca asked me as we picked up all our gear and started to head towards the wall. "I'm sure she will be fine, but I think we should stop by and let her know we are leaving." The other two agreed and so we turned and made our way to the house where Jenn was buried in books. When we walked in everything was very quiet and it put all of us on edge. As we rounded the corner we saw Jenn face down in one of the books, she was drooling on the page. Try as we might none of us could supress the laughter, and we woke her in a fit of giggles. "Hey beautiful," Becca said, "you remind me of me when I was your age." Jenn stuck her tongue out and then laughed with us.

"We are headed out to try and do some hunting, you going to be okay on your own for a bit?" I asked "I'll be just fine," she said with a sleepy drawl, "I ain't goin anywhere. See ya'll when ya get back."

"'Kay" Chrysta said and the three of us slipped out the door as Jenn laid back down, moving the book out from under her face.
So we're lost, at least we've found each other. Take my hand, if we can't find our way out of the dark, we can make our own light. - Nicole M. Goretzke 2011

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