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    From Here On

    This story is set in Massachusetts within the Walking Dead Universe. It follows a group of survivors as they focus on making it through each day and has some parallels to the show. The summary is as followed:

    Story in the Walking Dead universe set in Massachusetts. Civilization was falling. Governments crumbled, communication fell, and the world was in disarray. Our only option was to adapt. From here on only one word matters, "survive"

    It's rated M for course language and violence.

    Chapter 1: The New World

    The sound of the cans clinking together pierced the silence as a hand rummaged through the shelf. The fingers wrapped around the can and pulled it off the shelf.

    “Raviolis,” The man whispered to himself as he looked down at the can in his hand. His hazy blue eyes shined with a glimmer of joy. He lowered the can into the sack slung on his shoulder and began gathering the rest of the cans on the shelf, putting them one by one into the sack.

    “What a find.” A second voice sounded from the other side of the kitchen. The voice belonged to a second man. The man was on one knee in front of an open closet and was tearing open a case of water with the hunting knife he held in his hand. His dark hair stood messily upon his head, showing signs that it hadn’t received a proper cut in a while. He put each water bottle into the open backpack that was lying next to him on the floor. After all the water bottles were in his backpack he zipped it shut and slung it over his shoulder. He walked over to where the first man was standing and picked up a can.

    “It’s the best we’re gonna get.” The first man declared.

    “It ain’t perfect, but it’ll do. Life’s not how it was before.” The second man responded.

    “I know… it’s hard to believe. I’ll take that.” The man outstretched his hand. The second man dropped the can in his hand. The first man packed the can into his sack and pulled the opening shut.

    “GUYS!! Come see this!” A third voice called from another room. The two men gathered their belongings and headed into the other room. A third man was looking out of a window. He was larger than the first two and his broad shoulders were intimidating. He shared the same wispy golden blonde hair and hazy blue eyes as the first man. He pointed out the window. “Look.”

    The two men looked out the window to see what the third man was signaling at. Outside the house walkers lined the street in a large quantity. They traveled aimlessly around the neighborhood, their feet shuffling along the pavement and grass. They were not heading to an end destination; they just walked until something caught their attention. Besides the walkers, the neighborhood was empty. It was deserted a long time ago. Doors were in left open when the families who once occupied the house left in a rush.

    “They’re building up.” The second man observed.

    “We should probably start heading back.” The first man declared.

    “We still got one more house to search.”

    “Do you not see what’s out there?” The third man interjected.

    “It’s a straight shot across the street. We book it; kill any of them that get in our way.” The second man’s eyes flared, their hazel green color contrasting against his dark hair. “We always finish a run.”

    The first man breathed out heavily and ran his hand over his wispy blonde hair. He weighed the options in his thoughts.

    “Fine, it’s a straight shot. No noise.” The first man finally ordered as he pulled out a hatchet. The second man nodded and readied the crossbow in his hand. A bolt was in place and the string was drawn back. The third man stepped away from the window and pulled out his own hatchet. Suddenly the stairs creaked as a fourth figure climbed down them. In his hand was a pistol, lowered at his side. The first man repeated himself. “We’re heading straight across the street. There’s a lot of them out there, so no noise Jarrod.”

    “Alright.” The fourth man, Jarrod, nodded. His blonde hair was curly and his eyes were emerald green. He holstered his pistol and pulled his knife out of its sheath.

    Without saying another word, the men opened the door to the house and stormed across the street, sprinting as fast as they could. A walker came close to the first man and he struck out at the walker with brute force. One strike to the head and the walker crippled, falling limply down to the ground. The man pulled the hatchet out of the walker’s head and continued his path to the house. Another walker stood in front of the porch stairs blocking the entrance to the house. A bolt soared through the air and hit the walker square between the eyes. The second man pulled the bolt out of the fallen walker’s head as he rushed by. The four men trampled up the stairs and into the house. Seconds later the sound of walkers knocking against the door could be heard.

    “Let’s move quickly.” The first man panted, still catching his breath after the sprint across the street. “Jarrod you look around in the bathroom for medicine. Brady and I will check the kitchen. Ethan you head upstairs and check the bedrooms."

    “Got it.” The second man replied. He readied his crossbow and climbed the stairs. With every step he climbed his weapon remained aimed at the top of the stairs in case something unexpected appeared. Once he reached the top he continued down the hallway until he reached a door. He extended his hand out and turned the knob. The door began to open, but something on the other side caught the door and prevented it from moving very far. The second man, Ethan, pushed his weight into the door and knocked over the chair on the other side forcing the door open.

    “Shit…” Ethan whispered as he peered into the room. A young woman was backed against the wall. She held a small knife in her hand and fear was spread across her face.

    - - -

    When the outbreak began to spiral out of control, the National Guard was deployed to help set up and organize camps for survivors in buildings that were evaluated by the National Guard to offer the maximum amount of protection. The National Guard brought stray people into these camps and offered them physical protection. They also supplied food, water, and other necessities. The number of casualties increased as time passed and members of the National Guard were transferred to other camps to deal with the losses. Eventually some camps were abandoned altogether. This camp was set up in the local high school.

    The high school was located at the end of a small street. It was surrounded by parking lots and fields used to host athletic events in the past. Surrounding the fields were woods. The woods offered protection from the dead. They would often become lost among the trees and never find the school. The National Guard easily spotted stray walkers that stumbled into the open field and quickly disposed of the threat before a problem could occur. There were two streets that were connected to the campus. One of the streets was located along a hill and was barricaded at the top. The other street was used to access the school and led to the front of the building.

    There were only a few doors to the building that were still accessible. The other doors were barricaded. Inside the building, classrooms were made into bedrooms that were split between families and individuals. The people could use the showers in the locker rooms to bathe, but shower time was limited to conserve water. Many of the inhabitants gathered in the cafeteria to spend their time. There were numerous tables scattered across the large room, offering enough space to have private conversations. The gymnasium was used as a space for the children to run around and play in. Although the school wasn’t home, the people staying at the school were content with their shelter.

    The National Guard running the camp had dwindled since the organization of the camp and only a few remained stationed at the school. The few that were left had grown attached to the people living at the camp. Numerous people at the camp had stepped up and taken a leadership role along with the remaining guardsmen. The National Guard armed those that stepped up and they were organized into groups that were deployed on runs to gather supplies. As the National Guard grew close to the survivors, they allowed them to participate in making some of the executive decisions regarding the camp.

    The night darkened the camp. The survivors were gathered in the cafeteria. Since food had to be rationed, meals were distributed at certain times and the people had just finished their dinner. Using battery operated lanterns the people sat at the tables immersed in various conversations. The windows were covered by sheets so the light could not be seen from the outside. The light would attract the countless walkers stumbling about the school grounds. The walker built up on the school grounds during the periods when the guardsmen didn’t clear them out. At one of the tables the children were playing a game with a deck of cards.

    “Go fish.” A little blonde girl claimed with a smile on her face.

    “That’s not fair!” A small boy with red hair complained. He held the most cards out of all the children and was becoming frustrated.

    “James. It’s just a game.” A woman who looked like his mother interjected as she walked by. She ruffled his hair and went on her way. She had the same bright silky red hair as the child. Her facial features were tender and a charm radiated from her appearance. Her voice was soft and caring. Her name was Hannah Carroll. Hannah, her husband Andrew, and their son James were rescued by the National Guard when they made a sweep through various neighborhoods looking for families. She made her way over to a table occupied by three other women.

    “Hey girls.” She smiled to the other women.

    “Here, have a seat Hannah.” The woman closest to Hannah greeted, patting the open space on the bench next to her.

    “Thanks Karen.” Hannah said as she sat down in the empty space offered by Karen. Karen’s chestnut colored chair flowed wildly down over her shoulders. “How is everyone?”

    “Same old, same old.” One of the other women replied. Her hair was blondish brown and her eyes were a gorgeous deep green. Her name was Janice Harrison. Janice and Karen were the younger of the women sitting at the table. Janice was a nurse working at the local hospital when the outbreak occurred. The hospital staff was divided into groups and assigned to the survivor camps in the area. Karen Kendall was working as a waitress in order to pay off her student debt. She constantly joked about how the outbreak paid off the debt better than any job she had ever worked. The final woman was Amelia Morse. Amelia was a guidance counselor at the school they were staying. Her husband Mark was a mechanic. He helped scavenge cars and other equipment for the camp. The couple was accompanied by their two children. Emily was the older of the two and at seventeen years old she felt she needed to rebel against the world. Mike was her younger brother. Mike was thirteen and always found a way to stir up trouble even if it was unintentional.” Amelia shared a similar hair color to Janice, but stress of raising a family dulled the shine.

    “You don’t want to go hoping things change though.” Amelia interrupted. Her brown eyes emanated a feeling of warmth. She was right. The camp had not faced a casualty in a few weeks and most days were overwhelmingly calm.

    “She’s right.” Hannah agreed.

    “This can’t last forever.” Karen proclaimed. “I can’t wait to get back to the night life.”

    “Some of us are too old for that life.” Amelia laughed. Her statement caused the rest of the women to laugh and smile. Their laughter was quickly interrupted by the sound of the cafeteria doors opening. Four men stepped into the cafeteria. They were accompanied by a young woman. The woman stared down at the ground awkwardly avoiding all the eyes that were focused on her.

    “New arrival?” A man in camouflage asked as he approached the group. The man, Tim Sylvester, lead the camp at the school. He stood tall and proud and his muscular built filled the uniform he was currently wearing.

    “Her name is Alexis.” The first man replied. “We also gathered quite a bit of supplies.”

    “That’s good to hear, Jacob.” Tim turned to face Alexis and extended his hand. “And Alexis, it’s a pleasure to have you in this community.”

    “Thank you.” Alexis said timidly as she shook his hand.

    - - -

    Two of the men from the supply run sat at one of the tables in the cafeteria. Both of them were eating canned raviolis. Jacob Connors and Brady Connors were brothers. They shared the same wispy blond hair and hazy blue eyes. While Brady was larger than Jacob and far more intimidating, Jacob was the older of the two. Upon arriving at the camp, the two brothers did anything they could to contribute and Jacob quickly took up leadership in the camp as National Guard members were transferred to different posts. Jacob had led the supply group on the earlier run through a neighbor to pick up and medicine and food they could find.

    “I’m glad we found these.” Jacob smiled as he shoveled another ravioli into his mouth. “You lose appreciation of how good this food actually is when you’re able to eat… well, you know… better food.”

    The two brothers laughed.

    “I know what you mean.” Brady continued. “Who would eat this shit when they can go to a five star restaurant?”

    “Now this is the five star restaurant.” Jacob laughed. The laughter subsided as the two continued to eat the raviolis.

    “Can I ask you something?” Brady stared down at the bowl in front of him.

    “Go for it.” Jacob replied.

    “Do you miss them?”

    “Them?”

    “Yeah, you know… Mom and Dad.” Brady’s voice began to quiver at the mention of their lost loved ones.

    “Every second.” Jacob responded without hesitation. “But we have people to look after now and that keeps me strong.”

    “It’s just hard to realize...” Brady paused as he looked around the room. “Everyone here is in the same boat. We’re not the only ones. Every person has lost someone. It’s tragic.”

    “It’s a terrible world out there now, but we got each other’s back like always.” Jacob replied.

    - - -

    Alexis sat alone at a table. The new camp and all the new faces overwhelmed her. She kept her face lowered and her curly brown hair dangled over the table. Hours earlier she had been sitting alone in an abandoned house, thinking about everyone around her who had been lost. Now she was surrounded by countless living souls and it was a great deal to take in.

    “Here.” A hand tapped Alexis on her shoulder. She looked up and the man who rescued her was standing next to her. His arm was outstretched, offering the granola bar he held in his hand to her.

    “Thanks.” Alexis replied quietly as she took the granola bar from his hand. He took a seat across from her and opened his own granola bar. “You never told me your name.”

    “What?” the man replied.

    “You never told me your name. The other guys said something, but you didn’t.”

    “Ethan Levitt.”

    “Well, thank you Ethan.” Alexis smiled.

    “For what?”

    “Saving me. I heard the guys talking about how you were the one who didn’t want to finish the run without going through the last house. Thank god you did.”

    “Yeah, some luck huh?” Ethan smirked.

    - - -

    Hannah opened the door to the classroom that served as her family’s own bedroom. Her husband, Andrew, was sleeping in the cot positioned up against the wall. James was sitting on the floor besides his own cot playing with two super hero action figures.

    “I think it’s time to go to bed James.” Hannah scolded.

    “Yes mom.” James responded obediently. He placed the action figures in a bucket and reluctantly stepped on to the cot pulling the sheets over him.

    “Goodnight. I love you.” Hannah whispered as she kissed her son on his forehead. She stepped on to her own cot and wrapped her arms around her husband.

    “I love you Andrew. You know that?” Hannah said softly.

    “I love you too babe.” Andrew replied half asleep.

    “Can I tell you something?”

    “Sure, anything.”

    “I feel so bad for James. Everything we were able to experience as kids; the luxury of a nice home, new toys, all the candy on Halloween, he’s going to miss it all. He’s so young and innocent, but we both know one day he will lose that innocence. This new world is tough, Andrew, and he doesn’t deserve to have to go through all this. I just wish I could make this all go away and give him what he truly deserves, a real childhood.”

    “This will all be over soon.” Andrew reassured her. “Before you know it, this’ll be a thing of the past. They’ll figure out a way to fix everything and our lives will be back to normal. This isn’t permanent.”

    “I have a bad feeling about this though. There’s so many of them. No one other than the National Guard has come to help and all the power lines are down. Even if it’s not permanent, it’s not going to be over soon. And when it does get over, it’ll be too late. I need help to be strong.” Hannah could feel the tears starting to drip down her eyes. Andrew turned around and held her tight. That was all he could do. The new world they now lived in was cruel and merciless and Hannah had come to accept that.


    All comments, suggestions, and criticism is welcome!

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    Hey there B-lew . Great work so far. Nice start. Looking forward to more.

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    Chapter 2: Light Among Darkness


    The morning sun drenched the school in sunlight. The people at the camp were already up and about. Most were gathered in the cafeteria, eating breakfast and preparing for the day’s tasks. The kids ran around, smiling and laughing. This was a reminder to all those who watched that the world was not completely lost. There was always a glimmer of hope in a sea of darkness. A young Asian carrying a large backpack quickly made his way across the cafeteria. His name was Allen Yu. He was young and vigorous. His positive attitude and smiling personality made him a favorite among those living at the school.

    “Hey guys. Jake, I got all the supplies.” Allen greeted the group. Jake, Hannah, and Janice were sitting at the table talking among themselves when Allen interrupted.

    “You sure that’s all of it?” Jacob asked.

    “Yeah, positive.”

    “Thank god that’s all.” Hannah laughed. “Any more and Allen would be falling on his side.”

    “Ha..ha… funny.” Allen retorted. “But really, can I put it down now? It really does weigh a ton.”

    “How are you going to carry that all the way outside if you can’t even make it down the hallway?” Janice asked playfully as Allen dropped the bag on to the table.

    “He’ll need a cute little red wagon to wheel it around it.” Hannah joked.

    “I’m not seriously carrying this all the way up that hill, right?” Allen asked, concerned about what he might have to do.

    “Yes Allen. You are.” Jacob replied bluntly.

    “Figured.” Allen replied in disappointment. He picked up the bag off the table and slung it over his shoulder. Jacob stood up and picked up his own bag.

    “Let’s go, we have a barricade to fix up.”


    - - -

    The sun shined down upon the football field. While the air was still crisp during the cool spring of New England, the sun offered some extra warmth. Andrew Carroll was bent over the ground, leaning on his knees. He struck the small shovel into the ground, digging a hole. Jarrod Lawrence sat in a chair on top of the press-box. The box was once used to provide commentary during high school football games every Friday night in the fall, but now it served as a look-out spot for the camp. Jarrod peered down at Andrew through the scope on top of the hunting rifle he held in his hands. He watched as Andrew’s shovel struck the ground over and over again. Andrew then opened a small bag and dumped some of the bag’s contents into the hole he had made.

    “Hey!” A voice resonated from behind Jarrod, startling him.

    “Dammit, you almost gave me a heart attack.” Jarrod responded.

    “Sorry.” The voice belonged to Cassandra Johnson. Cassandra made her way over to Jarrod and sat down next to him. Her bright wavy blonde hair reached down past her shoulders. The light hair color made her smile shine even more radiantly. “I just came up here to pay you a visit.”

    “Oh really?” Jarrod asked playfully.

    “There’s really not much to do inside there. So yeah.”

    “And you think there’s something to do out here?” Jarrod asked. “I’ve been sitting up here all morning watching Andrew dig holes. Sound fun?”

    “No, not really.” Cassandra laughed. “There’s nothing wrong with some company though.”

    “I guess I can’t argue with that logic.” Jarrod smiled. The sun gleamed off of his curly blonde hair.

    “It must be lonely to just sit up here all by yourself.”

    “You get used to it.”

    “You know… why haven’t we spent more time together?”

    “You tell me.”

    “Well, let’s change that. Tonight, if you’re free.”

    “You make it sound like there’s actually something to do around here.”

    “So it’s a plan?” Cassandra asked.

    “Yes, it’s a plan.”

    “I’ll see you later then.” Cassandra smiled. As she stood back up, she leaned in to Jarrod and kissed him on the cheek. Jarrod smirked. Cassandra disappeared behind him and headed back down the ladder into the press box. Jarrod picked up the hunting rifle and peered down the sight once again.


    - - -

    Karen and Brady stood outside the front of the school. Surrounding the area was a makeshift barricade constructed from scavenged material the National Guard had brought back for building the wall. The barricade provided a safe border from the dead and allowed the camp’s inhabitants to go outside safely for a breath of fresh air. Brady stood looking out a hole that was cut into the barricade. A shotgun rested in his hands.

    “There’s nothing out there.” Brady commented.

    “That’s a good thing though.” Karen stood beside him, a pistol sat in its holster strapped around her waist.

    “It just makes me nervous, you know?” Brady replied.

    “Everyone is nervous these days. You can’t rest easy.”

    “Remember the last time it was this calm? Only a few national guardsmen came back after a supply run.”

    Karen patted Brady on his back. “Everybody is here at the school. You have nothing to worry about.”

    “I’m just thinking, what if we lose the rest of the guardsmen? You can’t stop worrying; anything can happen in the blink of an eye.”

    “If that happens we’ll make it, we’re strong.” Karen assured him.

    “I hope.” Brady replied.

    “We will.” Karen said with much more strength.


    - - -

    Jacob and Allen pushed a part of the barricade located at the top of the hill back into place. Walkers had built up against the barricade and pushed the siding out of place, leaving a gap between the siding and the dumpster that were being used as part of the barricade. This allowed a few walkers to sneak through the opening and down the hill towards the school. The walkers were eliminated, but the siding had remained out of place.

    “Ok, I think it’s all set.” Jacob said as he leaned against the barricade. “Now we just have to tie it to the dumpster to help keep it in place.”

    “How are we going to do that?” Allen questioned.

    “The bungee cord. We’ll tie it around the handle of the dumpster and then the pole that’s bracing the barricade.” Jacob explained using his hands to motion what they were going to do. “Can you grab the cord out of the bag and pass it here?”

    “Yes sir.” Allen replied obediently. He opened the bag by his feet and looked inside for a few seconds. He pulled out the cord and handed it over to Jacob.

    “Thanks.” Jacob grabbed the cord from Allen and began wrapping it through the handle on the side of the dumpster.

    “Hey, I was thinking maybe I could come along on a supply run sometime.” Allen said breaking the silence. “I hate being stuck here, left to do menial tasks.”

    “Do you think you can handle it?” Jacob asked.

    “I think so. I’m pretty quick on my feet and I can handle myself. I’m smart. I’ll know what to do.”

    “The rules are different when you’re out there. Just because you’re smart doesn’t mean you’ll know what to do. There’s a lot of stuff that happens out there that you only know how to deal with because you’ve been there before.”

    “Well how am I supposed to learn if I never go out?” Allen questioned sternly.

    “Fine…” Jacob paused. “You can come with us tomorrow. But you have to be careful. And I mean careful. We don’t want to lose anybody out there.”

    “Thank you Jake.” Allen said with gratitude. “I promise I won’t be dead weight.”

    “Good.” Jacob finished tying the ends of the bungee cord together. “The barricade is finished, let’s get back.”

    “Sounds good.” Allen replied.

    “Oh yeah, a test for tomorrow. You have to carry the backpack with everything in it back to the school, I’ll take the empty one.” Jacob laughed.

    “You’ve got to be kidding me!” Allen exclaimed.

    “Nope, I’m not.” Jacob said as he scooped up the empty bag. He started walking down the hill. “Come on.”


    - - -

    The automobile shop was deserted. The door had been left open and cars were still in the parking lot. Mark Morse stood beside a car siphoning the gas out of the tank. His hair was jet black besides the signs of gray appearing above his ears. A pair of glasses rested on the bridge of his nose. Mike had been a mechanic before the outbreak happened. His hands worked with meticulous fashion as he tuned up and fixed cars. His knowledge about cars and other equipment had made him a vital asset to the camp. Ethan wandered around the parking lot searching the abandoned cars for any sort of supplies that could have been left in the trunk or seats. He kept one hand on his crossbow in case a stray walker stumbled into the shop’s parking lot.

    “You’d think there would be someone stupid enough to leave something important behind.” Ethan commented.

    “You don’t give people enough credit.” Mark replied. “But statistically, someone is bound to leave something behind.”

    Alexis, who was perched on the hood of one of the cars, laughed. “Can you explain to me the math behind that?”

    “Unfortunately I cannot.” Mark smiled.

    “She says three words all of yesterday and now we can’t get her to shut up.” Ethan interjected.

    “Hey!” Alexis replied. “I take offense.”

    “I ain’t complaining.”

    “If you haven’t noticed, Ethan has quite the way with words.” Mark explained.

    “I’ve noticed.” Alexis shot Ethan a look. Ethan smirked and continued pacing around the parking lot. The group fell in to silence. Mark screwed the cap on to the container, which was now filled with gasoline, and placed the container in the back of a truck. He grabbed another empty container and began siphoning gas out of a different car.

    “Soooooo.” Alexis continued. “I haven’t really learned anything about anyone yet. I mean I haven’t really been here that long, but what do you guys like? Where are you from? How’d you get here? Stuff like that.”

    “Well I’m Marcus Morse.” Mark said as he continued to siphon the gas. “I’m married to Amelia. We have two kids, Emily and Michael.”

    “I met Emily. Very nice.” Alexis interjected.

    “Raised them best I could.” Mark smiled. “Well the national guard was making sweeps through neighborhoods when this all first started. They picked up me and my family and brought us to the school, same school my wife was a guidance counselor at. We were there before a lot of others who are there now. It’s come a long way since then.”

    “What about you Ethan?” Alexis asked.

    “There’s nothing to tell.” Ethan replied as he looked down, avoiding Alexis’ eyes.

    “There’s got to be something. It’s not like you’re a ghost or anything.” Alexis joked, but Ethan just continued looking down.

    “There’s nothing.” Ethan said now looking up. “I don’t have a family, not anymore. Not since those bastards… Like that one…” A walker had stumbled into the parking lot. It noticed the group standing by the cars and stumbled towards them. Ethan readied his crossbow and took aim. He pulled the trigger and a bolt flew silently through the air, hitting its mark. Ethan went over to the collapsed walker and pulled the bolt out of its head.

    “I think it’s time to get going, shall we?” Mark announced.


    - - -

    The heat of the sun beat down on Andrew as he continued to till the ground. Once the hole was large enough, he dropped a handful of seeds in. He pushed the dirt back in and moved a couple inches to the side and began digging again.

    “Hey, I brought you some food!” Hannah called to Andrew. Andrew looked up and smiled.

    “What a nice surprise, I was just about to come in and get some food myself.” Andrew responded as he got to his feet.

    “You’ve been working hard all day. You deserve it.” Hannah smiled as she kissed Andrew. “You’ve made a lot of progress.”

    “Let’s just hope they actually grow.”

    “They will honey.” Hannah assured Andrew.

    “I’m not a farmer. I worked for the agriculture department, but it never required anything like this.”

    “Honey.” Hannah said shushing him. “You’re doing fine.”


    - - -

    “I hate seeing all these canned goods.” Emily Morse said as she opened up the cabinet doors. She looked just like her mother when she was her age. “How about some fresh food for once?”

    “I agree.” Janice replied. She opened a can and poured it in to a large pot. “Or even a nice microwave pizza.”

    “I hated those, but you know what, I would kill for one right now.” Emily laughed. “We’ve had chicken noodle soup for the past couple of days.”

    “I really wish I could bake.” Amelia chimed in as she also emptied the contents of the cans into the pot. “Cookies, brownies. I was the mother who always had something for the kids’ bake sales.”

    “Even homemade birthday cakes.” Emily added. “They were never as good as the ones my friends had. They bought the cakes from the store and there’s just something about that frosting.’

    “At least she made it for you.” Janice replied. “My mom never even got me a birthday present. We didn’t exactly have the money for it when I was growing up.”

    “Well, after everything that has happened I’ve learned to appreciate a lot of thing much more.” Emily smiled. “Except for Mike, I don’t know about him. He still keeps trying to play tricks on me.”

    Amelia and Janice laughed. Emily brought over a handful of cans and placed them on the counter. She joined in with the others and helped pour the cans into the pot.

    “If it weren’t for this, I would be thinking about prom right now.” Emily said sadly.

    “Oh, honey.” Amelia replied as she brushed Emily’s hair with her hand.

    “I’ll never get to wear a dress and feel like a princess. I still don’t even know if John’s alive. There goes my date.”

    “I’m sure John’s alive and I’m sure he’s thinking of you too.” Amelia reassured Emily. John had been Emily’s boyfriend before the outbreak. “You know what, maybe we can arrange some kind of prom here. I don’t know what we are going to do about dresses, but we can definitely find some kind of CD player for music.”

    “If it makes you feel any better Emily, that would be my first prom too.” Janice added.

    “Thanks mom, you’re the best.” Emily said hugging Amelia.


    - - -

    “Cheers!” Jacob exclaimed as he held up a bottle. Jacob and a few others were sitting in lawn chairs on the roof of the school. A small fire was going and the group held drinks in their hands.

    “To what?” Ethan asked. “Jarrod getting some?”

    “Hell yeah.” Brady added. “How do we even know though?”

    “I told you. I saw them with my own two eyes.” Ethan replied. “Walked passed them on my way up. They were going into Cassandra’s room.”

    “And you know Cassandra.” Jacob added. “She can be all over the place.”

    “I don’t think there’s one guy here she hasn’t come on to.” Brady said.

    “Um, she never has to me.” Allen replied. The group erupted into laughter and then settled into silence. The fire slowly burned and the flames reflected off each person’s eyes. The sound of a door opening and the emergence of a head caught everyone’s attention. Alexis emerged through the doorway.

    “Hey, guys.” Alexis greeted.

    “What are you doing? This is invite-only.” Jacob laughed.

    “I didn’t know.” Alexis replied dejected.

    “It’s ok. Come on over!” Ethan said, signaling Alexis over with his hand. “They’re just playing with you.”

    Alexis walked over and took a seat next to Ethan. She stared into the flames for a couple seconds before speaking up. “What do you guys do up here?”

    “Forget about how shitty the world is now.” Ethan replied.

    “I hear ya.” Alexis said. “Before you guys found me, I was all alone. I didn’t have anyone to talk to or laugh with. I had a group, but we got split up. Those things, whatever they are…”

    “We call them walkers.” Brady interrupted.

    “Those walkers, they tear everything apart.” Alexis continued. “People, buildings, groups, families, everything.”

    “And that’s why we come up here.” Jacob said. “You can’t go all this time without laughing once.”

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    Your an amazing writer, I particularly enjoy how instead of just telling us stuff about these characters you also show us what they are like, the only tip I have so far is try not to include too many characters right away otherwise you may find it difficult to include them in on each chapter however so far this isn't a problem in your work. I really like Jacob he seems cool I hope he becomes a badass. So far so good, keep them coming and if you want any pointers from a fellow writer then feel free to PM me :D
    Last edited by shadix99; December 21st, 2013 at 08:51 AM. Reason: Typo

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    Thanks shadix! I'll definitely PM sometime for pointers. I try to include every character in each chapter, and I've already noticed it can be difficult sometimes to do that, so hopefully characters won't be left to sit on the back burners. If it does, just let me know and I'll try to fix it and adjust accordingly!

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    I've been meaning to read your stories and haven't got to it, when I saw you checked out mine I finally broke and read. My expectations were not only exceeded but they were blown away.

    I mean its clear that you've wrote before and write very well. Personally I enjoy dialogue over action and I think your dialogue sweeps any type of dialogue I've wrote on my stories yet :p. the characters all seem great thus far.

    Your a grade- A writer for sure and I wouldn't worry about lack of comments or readers, this site seems to just not have the biggest fanfic sections or fanfic readers. But rest assured your writing is perfect. I couldn't find any imperfections grammar wise at all and it flowed really nice. :D

    If I have any minor critiques it would be that The character Emily at this point doesn't have as much originality to her as the others. But I'm guessing you'll develop her :) .

    I only picked out that one thing because there's nothing else to pick at. And because I'm 17 so of course I'll look to relate to the characters that are close to my age.

    Oh also a little writer tip and you don't have to listen but I started using a cast list because I have a big cast and not everyone can get dialogue every chapter. So that may help you out a bit . (And us, especially in the earlier chapters)

    Keep up the good work because this is very very good material

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    Thank you, intheclear! I actually just got around to reading yours(school is very busy) and I'm equally impressed. I noticed the cast list in yours and I was actually thinking of implementing it as well, it worked really well in your story to help keep track of characters.

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    Yeah, school was holding me back from reading yours as well. :p this is my first technical day of break so I'm happy I got around to reading.

    Yeah the cast list is helpful to me too incase I forget to write someone into a chapter. Use it if you wish ,all of us who write on here need to help each other out in every way possible :D

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    I love this so far, I look forward to chapter 3

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    Chapter 3: Pressure

    The sun spilled through the window of the classroom. Hannah sat on her cot, pulling her black combat boots on one at a time. As she tied her boots, she couldn’t help but smile. Her eyes had caught sight of the young boy lying asleep in the other cot. She didn’t want to wake her son, but it was already late into the morning. Hannah walked quietly over to the other cot and bent over the boy.

    “James, it’s time to get up.” Hannah said sweetly as she gently shook her son.

    “What?” James replied half asleep. He slowly opened up his eyes.

    “It’s time to get up.” Hannah repeated herself.

    “I don’t want to.” James said as he rolled over.

    “It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to, you have to.” Hannah laughed as she tickled her son.

    “Alright, alright. I’ll get up mom.” James conceded through his laughter.

    “That’s what I thought.” Hannah smiled as she stood up.'

    “Can we have pancakes?” James suddenly asked. “I don’t get why we can never have pancakes.”

    “I’ll see what I can do, but no promises. Now get dressed.” Hannah replied as she playfully threw a shirt at James.

    - - -

    Janice and Karen sat at a cafeteria table filling empty bags with supplies. They shoved food and water bottles into the two bags. The bags were going to be used by the group going out on the supply run. The two were heavily involved in their conversation when a third woman came and sat down at their table.

    “Hey, girls. Mind if I help?” The woman asked. Her dark mahogany hair fell straight down over her shoulders. Her smile was gentle and looking into her eyes was like looking into a lake on a moonless night. They were dark, but rich with emotion.

    “Sure, we could use all the help we can get.” Janice replied. She divided up her supplies and pushed them towards the woman. She grabbed another empty bag and handed it over. The woman began to delicately put the supplies into the final bag.

    “How is everything, Emma?” Karen asked. The woman was Emma Kendrick and she was one of the newer additions to the community.

    “The same old, same old.” Emma responded. “I’m glad though. I’d rather not have anything bad happen.”

    “I think everyone is feeling the same way.” Janice added. “Maybe we should take the kids outside to the football field to play. Some fresh air would do them good.”

    “Andrew would kill us if we did that.” Karen laughed. “He’s been working for so long to turn that field into an agricultural masterpiece.”

    “Imagine if he succeeds.” Emma said in awe. “Fresh vegetables.”

    “I would love a salad.” Karen declared.

    “We’ll have to tell the group to be on the lookout for salad dressing.” Emma joked.

    “So, how’s Cameron?” Janice asked, shifting the conversation. Cameron was Emma’s boyfriend.

    “He’s good. He really wants to go on a supply run though.” Emma informed the two.

    “I wonder why he never is allowed to go.” Karen stated sarcastically.

    “Karen…” Janice responded. “Don’t say things like that.”

    “How do you even deal with him? The way he acts?” Karen asked coldly.

    “It’s just normal guy behavior.” Emma said avoiding Karen’s eyes. Without a word, she stood up from the table and walked away.

    “Good job, Karen.” Janice harshly told Karen after Emma disappeared. “That is not what you say to someone.”

    “It’s true though. I’m not sorry for saying the truth.” Karen replied. Janice shook her head and the two carried on filling the bags with supplies in silence.

    - - -

    Out on the football field Andrew and Mark were both bent over, planting seeds into the ground. The goal was to plant as many seeds as possible. This had already taken Andrew a significant amount of time. The field was huge and it was a large amount of ground to cover. If the plan worked though, the group would have plenty of fresh vegetables during the summer and into the fall.

    “So you were put on lookout?” Andrew asked Mark.

    “Yes I was.” Mark replied with a simple answer.

    “How come you aren’t hanging out on the top of the press box? Isn’t that where you’re supposed to be?”

    “That would be boring.” Mark answered with another simple response.

    “That’s what Jarrod usually does. He sits up there doing whatever the hell he does to keep him occupied.” Andrew continued.

    “Have you looked around?” Mark questioned. “There’s fences around this whole damn place. There’s no need for a lookout. My energy is better spent down here, helping you.”

    “Well, thank you. I appreciate the help.”

    Mark stopped digging and looked up at Andrew. “Fresh vegetables. That’s definitely a good enough reason to be down here helping you. The faster this gets done, the faster we get them. I’m surprised that people aren’t jumping at every opportunity to help.”

    “I wish they would.” Andrew laughed.

    - - -

    Alexis stood in the doorway watching Ethan as he gathered up his gear for the supply run. Ethan moved around the room grabbing miscellaneous tools and weapons. He grabbed a utility belt and attached it around his waist. The belt held a pistol and a hunting knife. He threw some ammo cartridges into a backpack. Using string, Ethan then attached a quiver holding bolts for his crossbow to the backpack. He put the backpack on over his shoulders and picked up his crossbow. Then he turned around, facing Alexis.

    “How long have you been there?” Ethan asked.

    “Not that long.” Alexis replied.

    “Well it’s time to move out of the way.” Ethan said as he moved towards the door. Alexis backed out of the doorway so Ethan could walk through. After exiting the room, Ethan began to walk down the hallway. Alexis followed.

    “I just want to talk.” Alexis pleaded as they continued walking down the hallway.

    “About?” Ethan asked.

    “What happened before you got to the school.”

    “Why are you still asking? I don’t want to talk about it.”

    “It was obviously serious if you’re this guarded about it. Sometimes it’s better to talk about things like that. Get it off your chest.” Alexis explained. Ethan stopped in his tracked.

    “Quit harassing me about it. Okay?” He replied. Before Alexis had a chance to respond a voice called out her name.

    “Alexis!!” Cassandra called out as she hurried to catch up with them. “Am I interrupting anything?”

    “No.” Ethan quickly responded. “Not at all.”

    “Oh, good!” Cassandra replied cheerfully. “Well I just wanted to know if you wanted take a walk with me, Alexis. We can get a chance to introduce ourselves, seeing as we haven’t got to yet.”

    “She would love to.” Ethan replied for her. Alexis frowned.

    “Yeah… I would love to.” Alexis echoed Ethan’s words.

    “Great!” Cassandra smiled. Ethan began to walk off in the opposite direction of the two women.

    “This isn’t over!” Alexis called out to Ethan.

    “It’s over!” Ethan quickly shouted back.

    - - -

    Jacob, Brady, and Allen stood around a table packing their gear for the supply run into their backpacks. Jacob briefed the other two about the supply mission. Similar to the other day, the group was heading to a neighborhood. They were to gather any food and medicine they could find in the houses. As he spoke, Jacob watched Allen seemingly copy every move he made, from placing the bandages in the outermost pocket to the number of extra ammo packages he grabbed.

    “Are you sure you want to do this?” Jacob asked Allen.

    “Yeah, I’m sure.” Allen replied. Jacob noticed that Allen was still stuffing supplies in his backpack, breaking the copycat behavior. “Why does everyone doubt me?”

    “I’m not doubting you.” Jacob assured him. “I’m just making sure you’re still comfortable with coming.”

    “We’re like a family.” Brady added. “He’s just looking out for you.”

    “Well… thanks. I appreciate it.” Allen responded, shrugging off the comment. He continued. “I noticed there aren’t any weapons. How are we supposed to defend ourselves?”

    “We have weapons.” Jacob told him, pulling out his pistol to show Allen.

    “Ok. That sorta answers my question. Let me rephrase. How am I supposed to defend myself?”

    “With this.” Jacob pulled out an object covered in cloth. He unwrapped the cloth revealing another pistol. He handed the gun over to Allen. “Here you go. I trust you and that you’ll know how to use it.”

    “I promise you I won’t break that trust.” Allen replied, his eyes shining with confidence.

    - - -

    In the gymnasium, Amelia and her daughter Emily sat in the bleachers as they watched the children running around on the basketball court. The children had endless amounts of energy. They spent countless hours running around in circles, playing games. They made Emily smile. She remembered all the time she spent running around in the backyard, using the swing, and playing tea party.

    “I remember pushing you on the swing in the backyard.” Amelia smiled. “You would never let me push you too high because you were afraid of falling off.”

    “Well duh, it’s super scary being that high.” Emily laughed.

    “You were lucky. You got to spend your time outside. They’re stuck in here.”

    “I guess so.” Emily replied with a sigh.

    “Something wrong, honey?” Amelia questioned.

    “It’s nothing.”

    “I’m your mom. You can tell me anything.”

    “Well, I don’t know if you’ll remember since it’s been forever since you were my age…”

    “Hey, I’m not that old.” Amelia interrupted, laughing.

    “Mom, you’re old.” Emily stated before continuing. “It’s just… all girls my age dream about the family they’ll have one day. How they’re going to marry prince charming and how their huge white wedding will look so beautiful. Then they have children and get to watch them play like they did when they were a kid. You’re so lucky you got that, mom.”

    “One day you’ll have a family to look after too.” Amelia replied.

    “Yeah, right. Families are hard to come by these days. I don’t see anyone going on dates here. We just always worry about how we are going to get through each day, even if we’re comfortable here at the school. I’m just going to be lucky to live to be as old as you are.”

    “Don’t say that, honey. You know, if you were talking to your father about this he would tell you that you have to have a little hope. And I’m going to tell you the exact same thing. Put on a smile. You’re young, beautiful, care-free. A boy is going to come in here one day, take one look at you, and his breath is going to be taken away.” Amelia reassured Emily.

    “Thanks, mom. You’re the best.” Emily smiled.

    “Now come give me a hug.” Amelia told her daughter. She opened her arms and Emily leaned over wrapping her arms around her mother’s waist. Amelia wrapped her own arms around Emily.

    “Emily!” A familiar voice called out. The voice belonged to Emily’s younger brother Michael. Michael was accompanied by James. “Come play tag with us!”

    “Go.” Amelia told Emily. “Enjoy being young.”

    Emily smiled at her mother before standing up and walking down the bleachers. “Coming Mikey!” She called out as made her way down. The two boys cheered in unison as Emily walked towards them.

    “You’re it.” Emily told Michael as she tapped her brother lightly on the shoulder. Before Michael had a chance to respond, Emily ran away from him.

    “I’m gonna get you!” Michael called out as he chased after her.

    - - -

    Alexis and Cassandra were outside at the football field. They stood at the top of the bleachers looking over the top and down to the ground below.

    “How do you like it here so far?” Cassandra asked.

    “I haven’t been here that long, but I like it.” Alexis replied.

    “It’s a nice little community. Especially the guys, not a lot of choice in this world.” Cassandra smiled coyly.

    “Yeah, I kinda noticed your behavior with the guys.”

    “Hey!” Cassandra said, taken aback by Alexis’ comment. “You have to have some fun. Any day could be your last.”

    “I wasn’t judging.” Alexis reassured her. “You’re allowed to do whatever floats your boat.”

    “Well… I’ve noticed something about you too.” Cassandra said, disregarding what Alexis had said.

    “And what is that?” Alexis asked.

    “You’ve spent a lot of time with Ethan since coming here.”

    “So?”

    “Between you and me, he’s kinda a buzzkill. I tried, he wasn’t really interested.”

    “Oh, it’s nothing like that.”

    Sure.” Cassandra said with doubt. “You can tell me the truth. We’re friends, at least I hope.”

    “It’s just Ethan was the one who saved me. I feel comfortable around him, that’s all.”

    “Well, if you’re looking for pointers you can always come to me. I’m sorta a pro.”

    “Thanks, I appreciate it.” Alexis said, telling Cassandra what she wanted to see. Cassandra simply smiled back.

    - - -

    Ethan and Jarrod were in the garage loading up the truck for the supply run. Ethan dropped a few empty bags into the bed of the truck before taking his own backpack off and setting it in the bed of the truck as well. Jarrod lifted two cans of gasoline into the truck and followed suit with his own backpack.

    “So, you and Cassandra?” Ethan questioned.

    “What about me and Cassandra?” Jarrod replied.

    “I heard you guys got pretty personal.”

    “It was a one-time thing. We hooked up and now we move forward. Nothing personal about it.”

    “Don’t matter. She got what she wanted. Now she can cross you off her checklist.” Ethan responded. Jarrod rested his hand on the tailgate of the truck and turned towards Ethan. His face looked like he had heard enough and his eyes gleamed with anger. Before he could say or do anything in response to Ethan’s words, the sound of footsteps diverted Jarrod’s attention away from Ethan.

    “Great...” Jarrod said out loud as he watched Jacob, Brady, and Allen move towards the truck. “You’ve got to be shitting me…”

    The three men ignored Jarrod’s comment and continued towards the truck. They each took off their backpacks and set them with Ethan’s and Jarrod’s.

    “You’ve got to be shitting me.” Jarrod repeated himself. “You’ve seriously got to be shitting me. We’re seriously taking this kid along with us?”

    “I’m not a kid.” Allen answered. His heart sunk with Jarrod’s words.

    “I didn’t ask.” Raising his voice, Jarrod continued on with his rant. “What the hell are you doing, Jacob? We have a system and you decide you’re going to mess with it. For what? So that every person here will like you? He’s going to be a liability. He’s gonna piss himself the second a walker gets within two feet of him.”

    “Listen, I’m in charge of our supply group. What I say goes, whether you like it or not. I have everyone’s best interests in mind. If I thought he was going to be a liability, I wouldn’t be bringing him.” Jacob answered Jarrod calmly. The rest of the group stood silent.

    “Well you’re wrong.” Jarrod declared as he stepped toward Jacob, getting in his face.

    “It’ll work.” Jacob replied. At those words, Jarrod backed away.

    “I don’t know, I’m beginning to second guess you.” With those words, Jarrod turned and opened the back door of the truck. He climbed into the back seat and slammed the door behind him. Jacob stood there silent and unmoving.

    “Shall we?” Ethan asked as he placed a hand on Jacob’s shoulder. His words were a signal that it was time to leave rather than an actual question. Jacob nodded and the rest of the group climbed into the truck.

    - - -

    Hannah and Emma poured the contents of the cans into a large pot. It was their day to prepare the meals and on the menu was a canned vegetable medley. The two women laughed and smiled as they did their job. They seemed to enjoy each other’s company and the extra help made the process of preparing the food much quicker.

    “So, you’ve never told me how you and Andrew met.” Emma said to Hannah.

    “It’s a boring story. Nothing really interesting.” Hannah replied.

    “It can’t be that boring, it’s a love story. I still want to hear it.” Emma smiled.

    “Well let me start off by saying that we were in the same high school Spanish class. Do I still have your interest?”

    “Of course. Keep going.”

    “Ok. We were in the same high school Spanish class and so was his best friend Alex. I had the hugest crush on Alex. He was a football star and had the looks. Andrew was a nice kid and all, but he wasn’t like Alex. So the winter ball was fast approaching and Alex asked me to go with him. I obviously said yes. Well at the dance, Alex ditched to hang out with this other girl. They hung out all night and I was alone. After a while, Andrew came over to me and asked me if I wanted to dance. While we were dancing he told me that he wanted to ask me to the dance, but Alex beat him to it. Although he was sorry that I was ditched, he was happy that we got a chance to dance. And I ended up being happy about it too. A couple days later he asked me out on a date and the rest is history.” Hannah smiled.

    “That was quite the story.” Emma responded.

    “I learned a lesson too. Girls always fall for the jerk before they meet the right guy. It takes a bit of falling down before you realize what’s good for you. That’s my take on it anyways.”

    “I think you might be right.” Emma sighed.

    “Something bothering you?” Hannah asked.

    “I don’t know… It’s just Cameron. People have been talking about how he acts. I hear what they’re saying, but part of me doesn’t want to believe them. I don’t want it to be true.”

    “Just because people say it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily true. I would decide what to think based on what you believe. That’s the best way to make a decision sometimes.”

    “Well what do you think?” Emma asked Hannah.

    “I think there’s some truth to what some people are saying. That doesn’t mean they should say it, but there’s truth. Cameron can be a jerk, especially when he doesn’t get things the way he wants. He’s not necessarily a bad person… just…” The sound of a door opening interrupted Hannah’s train of thought. A man walked into the school’s kitchen. He had wavy brown hair and similar colored eyes. His face was cold and strong, complimented by his strong physique.

    “Don’t think just because you stopped talking I didn’t hear what you said, Hannah.” Cameron informed Hannah. “I hear you calling me a jerk.”

    “Cameron…” Emma pleaded. Her face showed signs of worry.

    “It’s fine Emma.” Hannah told her. She turned to address Cameron. “I’m sorry Cameron, but it’s true. The way you act sometimes is hurtful to other and we were just trying to figure out how to avoid conflict in the future.”

    “Thanks.” Cameron stated sarcastically. “I don’t need some bitch who talks about me behind my back telling me what to do.”

    “Cameron…” Emma pleaded again.

    “I don’t know who you think you are, Hannah. Leave the task of running this place to those who actually have that job and stay out of other people’s business.”

    “I was just trying to help.” Hannah replied with tone.

    “Yeah, well it’s not working. And thanks to you, I forget what I came in here for. No reason to stay now.” Cameron announce before he stormed out of the kitchen angrily.

    “I’m sorry.” Emma quickly apologized before leaving the kitchen in pursuit of Cameron.

    - - -

    Jacob sat in the front of the truck, driving. Allen sat next to him in the passenger seat. Brady and Jarrod sat in the back seat while Ethan sat in the bed, resting against the back of the truck’s cab. Jacob quickly turned the truck on to the neighborhood street. As soon as the truck made its way on to the new street, Jacob suddenly slammed on the breaking causing the truck to come to an abrupt stop. A horde of walkers had invaded the neighborhood and were tightly roaming the small area…

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