Who watches the news? Honestly, who gives a damn? Too many clips and stories about the stock market, what the president ate for lunch, what country has the most flu breakouts… The news was always full of mediocrity, there was really no reason to watch it unless you had nothing better to do with your life than let the media fill your brain with shallow financial worries or hypochondria. It was hard to tell the difference between stories that were relevant to everyday life of if it was just some stupid filler about some other country’s transportation problems.
Naturally, when the world is turned upside down, Colton Conners is one of the last people to know about it – or at least why. Colton and his family were, unfortunately, part of the lucky population to be living at Break-Out Zero/Zero
. That is to say, they were practically living at the fence of where the end of the world began. Colton had been nowhere near a telecast when his family was suddenly rushed out of their home, abandoning their perfectly suitable lives and thrown into a military caravan for ‘transport.’
Unfortunately for the military’s perfect plans of evacuation and safety, the motorcade was interrupted by a rather unpleasant interruption. It was befuddling enough being hauled across – or even out of town, no one seemed to know at this point, but when the convoy was attacked The Conners family, along with every other family and soldier, suddenly knew the true meaning of Hell.
It all happened so fast. Everything was a hairpin decision. Every step was adrenaline driven. Screaming. Gunfire. So much gun fire. It was so loud! It was everywhere. And there were growls. Hissing and growling. It sounded so unnatural. Everything was blurry and Colton couldn’t tell up from down. Mom was screaming at him. Dad was yelling at all of them. He could barely hear what either of them was saying through all the other noise. So much pushing. A lot of pulling too. Everyone was trampling everyone else trying to get out of the vehicle. The one thing Colton made certain to concentrate on was keeping a hold of his sister’s hand. He saw that his dad had a hold of his mother and Colton would be damned if he was going to let his sister get lost in whatever the hell this mess was.
And then there was blood.
It only took a second. One measly little second when he glanced down at his feet once they made it out to the street again. He looked and he saw their neighbor just a few houses down from their own. He couldn’t remember the guy’s name – he was pretty new to the neighborhood, but he’d seen him once and a while in passing glances. He was generally a friendly face and Colton really had no reason to dislike him. But there was no warmth in the expression he saw as the body lay lifeless on the pavement. That body was all sorts of wrong. Things were missing and in the worst kind of way. Gunshots would never do anything like that to a guy. What the hell was going on?! Only one second. He looked up to follow his parents and they were gone.
He couldn’t find and sign or trace of them. Or the direction that they went. He didn’t hear his dad yelling for him. Or his mom screaming for him. They were simply… gone.
His eyes were frantic as he searched for their parents, his hand clasped tighter onto his sister’s, afraid that he would lose her too if he took another instant to do anything else but hold on. Then he heard the growling. So close, it sounded so close. Colt turned around and yanked his sister to him, wrapping his arms around her and clutching her tightly. He practically froze when he saw what was gaining on them and about to pounce. A zombie?! You’re joking!!
Pale flesh, milky eyes, bloodied from head to toe, tattered clothes, and a thirst for their meat. Just before it had the chance to jump on Colton and his sister, they were lucky enough a soldier with a heavy assault rifle saw the thing from the corner of his eye and took it out. Completely? Colt had no idea. He didn’t dare sit still long enough to find out. He took off faster than he ever knew he could, dragging his sister with him. This was… ridiculous. Zombies weren’t real! What the hell is going on!?
Colton wasn’t taking any chances. He ran. He ran as long as his legs could carry him. Anything his sister had to say was carried off with the wind. He wasn’t stopping for anyone or anything. All he knew is they had to get out of there and find some place they could stay out of sight.
He managed that eventually. He had run them long enough that they made it out of the suburbs and into town. Eventually he decided on settling on ducking into a video store. It was the closest place that wasn’t locked and it seemed quiet enough. Of course, once they had their rest, his sister was adamant about going back to look for their parents. Colton disagreed completely – his reasoning behind his decision to press forward and hope to reunite was the fact that no one would want to go back
to where they had just been running from
! Their parents wouldn’t be back there and neither would they.
For the most part, he and his sister tended to get along as well as siblings tended to. Arguing with the other though, was also quite a skill that both seemed much practiced in. Each knew how to push the others buttons – and quite well. By the end of the fight Colton had gotten so frustrated with his sister that he welcomed the reprieve of her absence. “One less person I have to worry about then!”
He regretted saying that only hours after. But not having seen his sister for two weeks? His regret was starting to consume him…