"Kate is fine, she is fine..." I mumbled under my breath, closing my eyes. My back pressed against the cool steel as I took a deep breath calming my nerves. I checked my phone watching the bright screen fade away, the picture of two girls vanishing from sight.
I opened my eyes and silently rose to my feet, placing the phone in one of the pockets of my grey sweater. I peeked out of the dirty window, years of dust hung to the frame as I spotted the things outside. They were searching.
I turned to my right the house was sitting motionless like it was holding its breath. The door hung open on a single hinge, windows shattered, and tiles from the roof littered the bare dirt. The yard was almost bare save for a few piles of trash. Tires collected in one corner and metal cars in the other.
I saw one of them move near the tires. It looked so human but I knew it wasn’t when it walked so perfectly. There was no spring in their step or any limp. They were emotionless as they heaved the tires and threw them away, checking again. What were they looking for? Did they know I was here?
One of them turned my way and I ducked down quickly, grabbing hold of the wall. I needed to leave and quickly. I grabbed the closest thing to me, my fingers wrapping around the wooden staff. My blue eyes glanced briefly at the steel shovel now in my hand. It would have to do.
I moved slowly to the door, crouching low to the ground. I took another deep breath, the lingering traces of motor oil and gasoline filled my nose but I merely shook them away. There was no time to think about the cars I helped built or the countless places I have hid in a game with my sister. No, right now I had to focus on leaving so that I could see her again.
I grabbed the door handle and opened it quickly, letting it open swiftly and silently. I caught it from swinging against the steel wall as I softly closed it behind me. I kept to a crouch as I sneaked to the other side, resting my back against the shed. The house door was still open from when I had ran out in a panic. I looked up at my bedroom window and noticed the blue curtains fluttering in the breeze.
I checked again to make sure the coast was clear before I continued. I gripped the shovel tight, watching my knuckles turn white. My bare feet sank into the tall grass as it slithered over my pale, smooth skin. I shuddered and continued on my way, trying to ignore the feeling of little hands slithering up my ankles.
I hurried past the house door, glancing inside at the wreck. The rug on the floor rumpled from when I had bolted outside and scratches marked the walls. I turned to the garage, a pale light shone through the musty windows. I knew supplies would be in there, it would be safer than the house.
No sooner had I thought that luck was on my side, I felt it. The slight jump in the dirt that made me tilt back. I turned quickly on my heels and was face to face with another person. It was a child, maybe a little younger than me.
I took one look into her cold, brown eyes and I knew she wasn’t normal. I raised my shovel and went to strike her but she merely moved out of its path with speed I had never seen. I grunted and twisted towards her, aiming again but she decided that is not what she wanted.
The kid grabbed my arm and struck it hard, making me drop my only weapon. I cursed as she flipped me over, leaving me groaning on my back. She loomed over me and lifted her foot, stomping where my head had been inches before. I stared wildly at the simple pink show with untied laces.
"I hate kids..." I pushed myself to my feet and found myself in the grass again, out of breath. The child did not react in any emotion I could see and I knew I had to end this before others arrived. She started to charge me as I leapt to the side, tumbling into the dirt. I landed on my back, my hand fumbling for anything to use to protect myself.
I saw the girl charge me again and I panicked, my hand slipping into the dirt and finding nothing. The girl leapt into the air and I felt my hand grab something wooden as I thrusted it in front of me. I felt splinters dig into my skin as I held the shovel fast, watching the girl writher on the end. I pushed it away and scrambled to the side.
I felt my heart racing as I watched her cold eyes as they bore into me, tugging at the corners of my mind. I took a deep breath and pulled myself out of the grass and race for the garage. I opened the door with difficulty, my hands shaking and rattling the handle.
I rushed inside not bothering to close the door. My fingers reached for the glass case as I pounded with my fists until I heard the satisfying crack. I watched with glee has the cracks spread further and rippled the case until it finally shattered. I felt my lips tug into a smile as I grabbed the first knife I saw.
I glanced at the small workshop and grabbed an old bag, placing the knife inside. I grabbed other hunting tools from my father’s case and searched for the other supplies. In the corner, I spotted bottles of water and an old bag of trail mix. I threw them in the bag and hunched the old straps over my shoulder.
I moved outside and my eyes moved immediately to the child. She was watching me on the ground, her fingers reaching out for me. I gave a slight nod of satisfaction when I saw the shovel still shoved in her gut. I adjusted the bag and started towards the tree’s, heading for the airport.
I reached the forest edge, silently moving a branch from my pale face. I kept low to the ground as I looked out at the street in front of me. The small street was a mess with people on the ground, motionless. Stores were broken, garbage littered the pavement and nothing stirred in the light breeze.
I stepped out of the forest and onto the cement, pain shooting up my foot. I looked down to see it sore from all the falling I had done in the house. I briefly glanced at the broken glass and garbage and decided I needed shoes. I moved to the store and noticed a man on the ground near the cashier.
I took a second look and saw he had been shot in the head, yet his eyes still held more life than the child had. I looked at the store and saw nothing but empty shelves and broken bags. I looked at the man and glanced at his shoes, tilting my head. I bent down on my knees and slowly tugged off his shoes.
I knotted the shoes tight and moved out onto the street again. It wasn’t safe to be out in the open but I had to get to the airport. I had to get to my sister Kate. I hoped with all my might that she was safe. What about mum? Maybe they had made it in a car? I pressed my hands to my head and shut my eyes tight. I couldn’t cry now, not now. I didn’t cry in front of anyone, why should I start now.
I couldn’t hold it back as I started to choke on my sobs. I shut my eyes tighter and felt tears trailing down my cheeks. I leaned against the store’s brick wall as I felt my body start to shake. I bit down on my lower lip but it only made it worse, my vision was blurred and I started to sniffle. Where was my dad? What was happening? I just wanted my sister...
"H-hey...?" I looked up, quickly clearing my tears. I blinked away the fuzziness and saw someone stand in front of me. His voice was weak maybe he was hurt.
"Who are you?" My voice came out calm and I was pleased that it didn’t falter. I took a closer look at him, he looked almost my age but it was hard to tell with his clothing. He wore black pants with a red and black checkered shirt. He wore a red scarf around his face, his eyes hidden in his shades. He took a step closer and I flinched, grabbing a knife from my bag. "Don’t you take another fucking step."
He held out his hands and backed away quickly. He pulled down his scarf and lifted his shades revealing pale skin and nervous, dark green eyes. "Hey, I won’t hurt you. I just wanted to help."
"Why, because I was crying a little? Well I have news for you mister, there are probably hundreds of people dead and there is not a damn thing you can do to help them so why don’t you help someone who needs it?" I gripped the knife tighter in my hand, glaring at him. Just who did he think he was?
"Um no... Your face and hands are covered in blood and you’re walking with a limp..." I glared then slowly looked at my hands, and it was true. There was blood smeared all over and I caught the twinkling pieces of glass. How had I not felt it?
I shook my head and willed the dizziness to move away. I could hear him trying to speak but I couldn’t understand him. I bit my lip again and felt a cut opening and a warm liquid flow onto my tongue as it settled.
"Hey, can you hear me?" I felt myself shaken and knife taken out of my hand. I looked up at the dark, green eyes that watched me intensely. "We have to get off the street."
"We have to get to the airport." I tilted my head and spat out the blood, watching it fall to the sidewalk and splash in all directions. I wiped my mouth and moved any blood around my eyes.
"The airport? Did you fall and hit your head somewhere, lady? We have to get you to a hospital or somewhere safe." I felt his hand on my back as I straightened myself and looked him in the eyes.
"Lady? How old do you think I am, 30? I’m 17 and call me Lina." I rolled my eyes and grabbed my knife out of his hand as he willingly let it go.
"Well, Lina, I’m Nico and I’m taking you to a hospital."
"Well, Nico, you’ll be dead if you try that. I’m going to the airport, now come on."
"Did you just... but... what?" He tilted his head, a foot taller than I was. I looked up at him and met his confused gaze.
"Look, people or dying, you get that right?" I saw him nod and I continued. "My sister is one of the not dead and I would very much like to see her before we meet up in hell. Now, I’m dragging you with me because I don’t want to see your body lying around anywhere."
Poor boy was speechless as I grabbed his arm and started down the road towards the airport. I felt him stop for a moment and I turned to look at him. "Now what’s wrong?"
He pointed over at an alley way and I saw it, a leg sticking out twisted oddly. I moved closer and noticed it was a man in overalls, stained with years of motor oil. I looked further with its hands twisted and layed soaked in the small amount of sewer water. I saw his blonde hair stick out wildly as it swayed so slightly in the breeze. I turned away from the familiar man’s face and started down the street.
"Hey wait up. Who was that guy?"
"That guy was my father and soon it’ll be you if you don’t figure out when to keep your mouth shut." I gave a soft sigh and shook my head. I really should have taken those anger management classes. "I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it."
"I know. My mom used to say that people were only angry because they had no one there to listen to them." He shrugged and shoved his hands in one of the many pockets he wore.
"She sounds smart."
"She’s dead. I’ve been an orphan since I was 10, I’m 18 now."
I nod and glance to my side. He offered me a small smile, his black clothing was nothing near his actual personality. I shrugged to myself and continued on the road. I could not help but listen to my heartbeat at the thought of seeing my sister, even under the circumstances. She was my everything.