One Eye Open

A girl finds herself in the midst of a broken world when the "Rage Virus" spreads.
WARNING: Some material may be inappropriate for Children under 13
CRUDE HUMOR, SOME LANGUAGE, AND VIOLENCE.

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13. Chapter 13

I ignored Seth's comment and took a look around. What looked like a mall was just across the parking lot. So this is how they got back and forth without getting caught by zombies.  Why didn't I think of it?  The sun was just over the horizon, that's why it was blinding me.  The wind blew softly and for a couple of seconds, everything seemed alright.  Like I would wake up from this horrible nightmare and realize that my family was okay and no one got sick in the first place.  I wanted to believe that so badly.  

"Woah, are you okay?" Chris was talking to me.

I broke out of my trance and looked at him, confused.

"What?"

"You're bleeding." he stated, matter-of-factly and reached over to open one of the pouches on Seth's tool belt.

"Hey! What are you do-" He stopped midsentence when Chris pulled out a faded gray cloth and handed it to me after wetting it with some water from his sports bottle.

"Thanks," I said, relieved and happy that I could finally clean my face up.

"Come on, we don't want someone to take our stuff back at the store." Seth said to Chris, sounding a bit impatient.

I didn't bother to ask what he meant by that because he might use that against me. We all began walking across the parking lot to the mall entranceway.  I had just finished wiping my face and I looked at the cloth.  Dirt and grime coated the now dirty cloth.  A bit of blood could be found along the edges of the cloth and I made a face in disgust.  I couldn't possibly think of how I would've looked with all of this stuff on my face.  Although the sun was blinding, it was just beginning to head down.  The short walk to the mall entrance was awkward.  I didn't know whether or not to give back the cloth or to keep it, so I just shoved it into my jacket pocket.  Finally, Chris decided to be the nice guy and break the silence.  

"So where are you guys from?"

June and I both answered at the same time-"Chicago."

His brown eyes widened a bit and he turned to look at us.  Even Seth was a bit surprised and raised his eyebrows.  I didn't understand why that was such a big deal.  

"Chicago is 200 miles from here.  How did you manage to come here without getting yourselves killed?" Seth asked.  

He made it sound like we were reckless idiots.  

"A car and legs." I replied calmly, but with a hint of venom in my voice.  

We approached the entrance doors, but instead of opening them, they went off to the side where the bushes were.  Seth bent down and picked up something while Chris started whisper-shouting things up at the roof.

"Luke! Hello? Throw down the ladder! Luke, are you there?"

No response.  After five minutes, I was starting to think this guy was a bit crazy.  He seemed to know what was going through my head because he threw me a nervous smile.  June shuffled around behind me, trying not to look at them.  While we both waited for something to happen, I sat on the ground, leaning against one of the columns.  I adjusted the weapons in my arms and watched Chris gradually become more and more agitated.  Just as things were about to get interesting, Seth stepped in and pulled Chris back.  Then he threw an object as hard as he could up over the building and out of our line of sight.  I heard a thud and someone scream out in pain.  I tried to suppress a laugh because of the long string of swears that followed.  Pretty soon, a head popped out.  The boy had light brown hair trimmed neatly in a sort of crew cut, his eyes groggy like he had been sleeping.  He glared at Seth, aware that he was the one that threw the rock.  Seth grinned up at him when he gave him the bird.  Wordlessly, he pushed down a roll-up ladder and disappeared.  So they were prepared too, huh?  Seth started climbing without a second thought.  Chris looked at us as if he was going to use the 'Ladies First' phrase, but I shook my head and let him go first.  I was still shoving the weapons in between my belt and pants so I could use both of my hands so June went before me.  I wiped my hands on my jeans before grasping the worn out rope.  They must have done this sort of thing a lot.  When I reached the top, I zipped up my jacket.  Luke nodded to us, acknowledging our presence before Chris turned to say something. 

"Come on, I'll show you around."

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