Shoot to Kill. (On hold)

Rhyan was your typical fifteen year old up until two years ago. That's when everything changed. That's when the Infection broke out.

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1. Chapter One

Chapter One

 

POV: Rhyan

 

I can’t bring myself to breathe. But the pressure in my chest is telling me to. Well, either breathe or pass out, and that’s not a good idea for someone in my situation.

Five of them? How am I supposed to deal with five with a flipping bow and arrow? My hand goes to my lower back for the second time, in hope that my 9mm is going to be there. It’s not. It’s on the kitchen counter, right where I left it.  

Mr One Arm starts stumbling in my direction. He’s doing pretty well for a guy with only one and a half feet. The closer he gets in my direction the more I realise this is going to be my best chance…maybe my only chance.

I draw the string back. With the bow in place and the arrow poised in position, I lean round the tree and aim right for the eye socket. But he/it keeps looking in random directions. Almost like he’s got a crick in his neck he can’t quite seem to release. Not that I’m complaining, if he catches sight of me. I’m dead meat…or dead feast.

Whoosh.

He goes down with a gurgling scream and I sigh with relief. The others rush towards the downed Infected with screams and yells of distress. But they start to spread out when they realise the noise wasn’t caused by a scrumptious human.

I lean quickly back out of sight, but it’s too late. It saw me.

Throwing myself forward, I don’t look behind me. Their ear piercing screams and yells of alarm tell me everything I need to know. The chase begins.

I’m screwed. I’m too far from the gate, I can’t run that far and what would happen when I get there? I can’t exactly ask them to wait while I unlock it. Unless…

“Daniel!” Shouting uses up precious oxygen and cause me to slow down slightly. When I do, I feel something graze my back. Without looking back I pump my arms and leg faster. The woods are a blur around me. The loudest sound is my heart in my ears and the whoosh of the air entering and leaving my lungs. I look up from the ground and squeak when I see Jabba the hutt in front of me. He’s just standing there. Dribbling blood down his hairy chest, obviously realising I’m about to plough straight into him. But I don’t. I drop down onto my leg and skid straight through his parted legs, startling both of us. His momentary shock allows me to regain my footing and keep running. Although I don’t know how long I’m going to be able to keep going.

I can’t hold the laugh that surfaces. Did I seriously just do that? Talk about James Bond moment.

“Rhyan?” Oh thank god!

“Help me!” I burst through the trees and see Daniel by the gate. From the looks of it, he’s just got back from hunting himself.

Shock holds him still for a split second before he draws his own gun and starts firing off shots.

I draw an arrow from the quiver strapped to my back as I spin and fire it straight into Jabba’s chest. It takes two of Daniel’s bullets to cast him to the ground. I’m surprised he doesn’t cause an earthquake with the size of him.

When the last of the Infected falls to the ground, I can’t help dropping to my knees.

“You okay Ry?” Daniel’s hand lands on my shoulder.

“Just open the damn gate please Dan!” I gasp. The world tilts as he hauls me to my feet and ushers me through the gaping gate. I stumble and Rosie goes to catch me, but I push her out the way, dropping to my knees in time to eject the contents of my stomach.        

I’m surrounded by concerned voices asking what happened? And Am I okay?

Daniel answers for me as much as he can before helping Rosie get me to my feet. When my legs give out on me, he picks me up as if I’m a rag doll and follows Rosie all the way up the hill and into the main house where mine and Emily’s room is.

He sets me down in one of the chairs at the island in the kitchen before following Rosie’s orders and getting me a drink of water.

Charlie comes over and sits down beside me at the island. He watches me with concern while I drink the water greedily. When I’m done he takes the glass from me and shifts so he’s facing me. “What happened?”

Taking a deep breathe, I go to answer only to be interrupted by Rosie. “Do we have to do this now? It’s kinda obvious and I would like Rhyan to get some rest.”

He sighs before agreeing. Smart man. Rosie isn’t the one to get into an argument with, though if anyone’s going to win an argument with her it’s him. They both seem to have a soft spot with each other though they’ve never done anything about it. They’re both well into their fifties and are the parental figures for most around here. Emily and I included. Emily!

“Where’s Emi!” My voice shakes and I can’t help but feel a slight twinge of embarrassment, come on Rhyan! Put your big girl knickers on!  I clear my throat.

“She’s with Mary and the others picking blackberries. She’s fine.”

I nod, allowing Rosie to guide me out of the chair and into the living room where she makes me lie down on the sofa. Before my head even hits the pillow I think I’m out for the count.

 

OOO

Emily’s tickling giggle alongside Phee’s deep chuckle makes our takeout pizza taste all the more delicious.

Mum’s leaning back against dad on the other sofa as she nibbles on a slice of peperoni pizza, while dad tucks into his meat lover’s pizza with gusto. Every giggle makes their smiles wider.   

Emily snuggles deeper into my side as we sit on the other sofa. The Winnie the Pooh blanket tucked tightly around her small six year old form. The piece of pizza in her hand long forgotten with her eyes glued to Jungle Book playing on the telly.

It was Phee’s idea to put it on, for Emily’s sake she’d said. But she seems to be enjoying it just as much as Emi, chuckling along with her from her spot on the floor, her skinny fourteen year old form lost in the large pillows she’s sprawled herself across.

My gaze is drawn to mum and dad when their laughter cuts off abruptly. I watch in horror as they start to disintegrate into the leather of the sofa, till there’s nothing left, no trace of them being there.

I want to scream but it’s trapped in my throat, choking me. I look to Phee, she’s walking out the door without looking back, calm but sad, the sag of her shoulders shows me so.  

I try to call out to her but nothing comes out my parted lips. No sound. Nothing.

Looking down at Emily, I will her to look at me but everything’s lost to her, with her eyes still glued to the telly, she’s completely oblivious.  

“Rhyan!” My body shakes.

“Rhyan wake up!”

My eyes open and my body jerks when I wake up with a start. My eyes search around my room, before finally resting on Emily. Her eyes are wide with fright; large deep, green orbs glistening slightly with tears.  

“Hey bubs, it’s okay, I just a bad dream.” I sit up and open my arms. She crawls into my lap without hesitating, wrapping her skinny arms around my waist before burrowing her face into my neck.

I look over her head and out the window, the moonlight glints off the glossed windowsill. Someone must have moved me up here before everyone went to bed. It does get cold downstairs at night.    

“I miss mummy.”

My heart always breaks when she talks about the family that we no longer have. But right now, after that dream, it brings tears to my eyes and makes my throat close.

“I know bubs, me too.” She pulls away, looking up with more knowledge than an eight year old should have.

“And Fifi and daddy. I want them back, I want them here!” Big fat tears spill over her cheeks as she climbs back into my lap.

“They’re always with up bubs; they’re watching us from heaven. Remember? If you want to talk to them, do, they’re always listening. They’re always watching their little baby.”

She continues to cry as I rock her back and forth in my arms, murmuring words into her ear until she passes out in exhaustion. I lay her little body under the covers before quietly leaving the room and tip toeing down stairs, careful not to wake anybody up.

That’s the third time this week I’ve had that nightmare. It’s a painful reminder that they’re no longer with us.

I’ve told Emily that Phee is dead because I don’t want her to keep her hopes up that one day we’ll see her again, but there is a chance she’s alive as she was in Ireland with our aunt when the infection broke out here. Although, a couple months ago word got out that the infections spread to Ireland even with all their efforts to keep it away. I hope with all my heart she’s still herself and not one of them cannibal monsters that are the Infected. They’re no longer human; I refuse to think of them as human. They care for nothing but feasting on human flesh. I hope with all my heart she’s still the red haired gothic that went to Ireland and still loves chocolate and draws none stop. I hope with all my heart that she’s still my little sister.

After the Infection broke out, I was left no choice but to come to Rosie’s. I knew I could trust her, also, I knew we’d be safe. I’ve always thought Rosie was slightly off her rockers. But when I arrived and found she was prepared for this, I decided she was absolutely mad and that I loved her for it.

Rosie lives in one of three mansions that are set out on a few sprawling fields. It turned out that these three mansions became our home and the people who became to live here became our family.

The infection drove a few families here; they were unwilling to go to the big cities like the authorities wanted them to. So we fortified a wall around the three mansions, a large brick wall, it took two months of us working all day to do it. But we did it and made ourselves much safer in the outcome as the infection spread like wild fire, a fire that is still spreading and isn’t tameable unless with death. There is no cure, leaving us to use guns and use the unlucky saps that have became infected as target practice.

When I wander into the kitchen, I light one of the fat candles before pouring myself a glass of the room temperature water that’s already been purified. We’re not entirely sure if the water is clean still, so we’re not taking any chances. It is in the city, but the country may not be so lucky. We lost electricity a while back and now we rely on wood to cook, heat the house and obviously light. Though Gerald, one of the fathers of the families that came to live here says he knows a few friends that can get us generators. They’ll come and live here as well though. We’re already slightly crowded, I guess we’re about to get even more so as it’s the parents and their six sons.         

“What are you doing up?” I follow the voice and find Rosie standing in the door way I’d, only moments ago come through.

“I had the dream again; bubs woke up and got upset.” I shrug looking back down at the floor. “I couldn’t bring myself to go back to sleep.”

She sighs and leans back against the counter across the room. “Do you want to talk about it?”

She knows all about it, we’ve talked about it in similar circumstances before, multiple times.

Shaking my head, I gather a dry splint out the cupboard before going to the only lit candle in the room. “It’s nothing we haven’t talked about before; I just wish it would stop.”

She’s quiet before saying, “Gerald’s already left to pick up Chris and his family. It’s going to get busy when they get bac-” She cuts off mid word, panic blooming across her features. I’m about to ask what’s wrong when I hear it, the rattling of the cans and noise makers. The ones we put on the gate, because it’s electric we’ve had to secure it with a chain and lock. But we added the noise makers for extra security.

“When are they due to get back?” My voice is hushed but even that seems to panic Rosie even more so.

“Not for a good three hours!”

I break into motion, grabbing the small handgun out the culinary draw; Rosie has the same idea only it’s with her revolver.

We startle when the front door opens with ease. I walk down the hallway till I reach the end and brace myself out of sight. When the scuffle of boots is closer, I spin out with my gun up only to nearly fall over when I see who it is.

     

 

 

 

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