Little droplets of water trickled from leaves and landed on Annabelle's nose. She was peacefully sleeping in a branch high above the ground, her brown hair tangled and matted. Annabelle woke up mid afternoon the following day, the rain had long since stopped and birds were chirping.
It would have been peaceful hadn't she realized where she was.
Annabelle panicked, shifting around so fast that she ended up rolling off the branch. She waited to hit the ground, but impact never came. Her belt was tied around her waist and the base of the branch, leaving her dangling by a couple of inches.
Annabelle wrapped her legs and an arm around the branch and went to untie the belt, thinking of a plan of how to do this unscathed. The brown belt came loose and fell down to the very bottom of the oak tree. "Dammit," Annabelle swore as she grabbed at the branch with her other hand.
Annabelle tried to swing herself up onto the branch, she trying lifting herself onto it but nothing seemed to work. She groaned, wondering how she would be able to get onto the branch when she heard a snap!
Annabelle looked up to the base of the branch she'd wrapped herself around, seeing a large crack and splintering wood and before she could say "Oh, for shits sake!" the branch broke off and she went flying.
Annabelle fell a good three feet before she managed to grab onto a thin branch that bent under her weight slightly. Annabelle panted heavily, grunting as her feet scraped against the bark of the tree. Attempting to pull herself up, she strained her arms and tried to walk against the tree. The branch bent more and more until it pointed down and Annabelle was slipping. Her fingers clawed at the branch, bark digging into her fingers and she slid until all the had left were browning leaves. She was five feet above the ground - Annabelle wouldn't die from impact, she'd only get hurt a little. Nervously, she looked to the ground. She'd been afraid of heights for years, what made her even consider the option of climbing a goddamned tree!? Although it had kept her safe through the night, she hadn't considered that she'd end up being afraid.
"Oh, for fucks sake!" Annabelle jolted awake as her father exclaimed, slamming the brakes and hitting the horn a couple times. Annabelle rubbed at her bright blue eyes, pushing herself up and looking at her angry father.
"What's wrong, dad?" Annabelle asked. Her father's eyes were blazing with fury, he only saw red.
"Every goddamned brother and their mother had the same idea as us -" he pointed angrily at the road, packed full of people in their cars. "I'm getting out to see what's going on, you lock the door and don't open it for anyone." Annabelle nodded, leaning over to latch the door as her father got out. She watched as he jogged over to a woman with short grey hair who had her arm over a girl who appeared to be no older then Anna. They sat inside the boot of their car as they began talking.
Annabelle waited for at least ten minutes before her father waved her over with a smile. Biting her lip, she unlocked the door and took the keys with her and locked the car as she moved over to her father. Annabelle was quite shy, and the woman noticed this as she hid behind her father. Her features were soft, her hair was in a buzz cut and her thin lips smiled kindly at Annabelle who couldn't help but smile back.
The woman reached over and brushed a piece of Annabelle's brown locks, which reached just above her shoulders at the time, and said gently, "You must be Jasper's daughter," Annabelle nodded softly, moving out from behind her father slightly. "Annabelle, he tells me your name is. A very beautiful name for a just as beautiful girl, this is Sophia." Her other arm squeezed the shoulders of the young girl beside her. Annabelle waved shyly, looking at the girl in a blue shirt and green shorts.
"Carol, what's going on here? Why are we evacuating?" Annabelle's father, Jasper, asked. Carol shrugged as she furrowed her eyebrows.
"The government stopped reporting after eleven. There's no radio, the tv shut off before we left. No service on the phones. We're in the dark out here, with all of those things on the loose." Carol said, hugging her daughter against her.
"I'm sure that this'll all blow over in a couple of weeks." Jasper reassured Carol.
"And if it doesn't?" bellowed a husky man with cold eyes. He slammed the car door shut, obviously angry at the conversation the other two adults were having. He wore a grey tank top and hair puffed out from the top. Annabelle yelped and hid behind Jasper again. Sophia flinched and Carol squeezed her hand and looked slightly flustered about the whole situation.
"I don't think you should be saying that in front of the children," Jasper said, furrowing his eyebrows at the man. Jasper could smell the putrid stench of cheap alcohol and vomit on his breath. The man threw down an empty beer bottle, brown glass splattering all across the ground, landing on Jasper's shoes.
"I can say whatever the fuck I want to, dumbass!" the man exclaimed. "Carol, Sophia! Get back in the car." he sneered. Carol gave Annabelle and her father an apologetic smile before complying and leading Sophia into the car.
"C'mon, Belle." Jasper said as he lead her back to the car. She unlocked the car, and as she opened the door a massive boom went off, the ground shook and fireballs erupted in the dark, starless sky. Annabelle turned around and shielded her eyes at the sight, the town was being blown to bits by bombs before her very eyes.
Annabelle started breathing unevenly, and then she let go of the branch. Biting her lip to keep from screaming, Annabelle's arms flailed and her hair went in all directions.
Her eyes were clamped shut, and a violent jolt went through her body as she hit the dirt. Pain erupted at her core, spreading like wild fire in her body. A river of obscenities flew from her mouth as she placed a hand on her back. Her nose was bleeding, a large bruise was forming on her ribs
Annabelle struggled to lift herself up and basically crawled to the base of the tree. Her hands guided her up into a standing position, bending over to pick up the leather belt, securing her loose pants to her hips. She exhaled a deep breath and began slowly walking back onto the road. Annabelle groaned as she twisted her body, wiping her nose with her dirty grey shirt.
Annabelle trekked on what seemed like a pointless journey for hours until she stumbled across on what used to be a cute little home. The deck was falling apart and the wood was splintering, the mailbox labeled 2236 was overflowing with unopened, yellowing mail. Annabelle grabbed a few letters, opening the seals that had lost it's stickiness long ago.
Ronnie, it read, the CDC has been working on a cure endlessly, I suspect that we should find a cure very soon. It's only been a couple weeks before the virus was detected and a tabloid has gotten information from an "inside source."
Everyone thinks it's Milton - he's been acting rather strange as of late and seems guilty.
Milton, however, has been denying his involvement with anything. And get this - he says it was you! I laughed in his face at the accusation, there isn't a chance that you would do such a thing.
Say hello to June and Jamie for me,
Milton was sacked after he claimed that these individuals were actual people - just sick people.
I fear that there isn't a cure, we're all just wasting our time. The media has been reporting about this...epidemic. Jason is planning to tell the reporters to get everyone out of the city in a few days. I want you and the kids to get out of the city and head to Atlanta - I'll meet you there soon. But if I do leave, I'll have a warrant for my head.
Annabelle found herself wondering what had happened to this family - she imagined June and Jamie as young little kids with bright eyes and rosy cheeks, cute little tykes that were wise beyond their years.
Annabelle saw a happy ending for Ronnie and Robbert and the two kids. She saw something amazing, that little light at the end of the tunnel for them. Annabelle saw something happy.
Annabelle smiled, she really did have hope for the tiny little family.
Annabelle opened the screen in front of the door, the black netting in front of the glass was ripped and the wooden door itself was unlocked. It was a quaint wooden house at one point, with wood painted white and only the first floor and an attic. There were three windows, two large in the front and one in the attic. It had a nice little porch with a bit of outdoor furniture that had been eaten by termites only a little after the apocalypse began.
The inside had long since rotted, the wooden floor had been ripped up and the chairs and tables turned over. A large hole was in the center of the small tv, wires spilled out and it's core was exposed.
Annabelle walked around cautiously, her knife out and adrenaline pumping through her veins. There was a thick layer of dust everywhere, it spewed up in a cloud when she moved her foot even slightly. Annabelle sneezed quietly and banged her arm against a beige wall, the paint might have been white at one point and peeled off at the edges.
She continued banging and waited for a sound of a walker. After a few minutes of silence, Annabelle continued forward and dropped the opened letters on the floor, walking forward into a dirty kitchen. Everything had been turned over and broken. Annabelle ripped open the cabinets, and found a large can of peaches. Her stomach grumbled at the sight, and she immediately pierced the top with her knife.
When she got it open the sweet smell of peaches made her moan, it had been forever and a day since she'd last eaten. She are it quickly, the sickly sweet syrup dripped down her throat*. There were a few more cans in the cabinets which she took gratefully, Annabelle moved out of the kitchen, moving toward the bedrooms. The first door she opened had vibrant pink walls, a small twin bed with a Ravenclaw blanket draped over it. There were a few notebooks piled on a small wooden desk. The pages were filled, both with drawings and words. Out of curiosity, Annabelle pocketed the notebooks she found in the blue duffle bag she had over her shoulder. She picked up a couple of good books as well, stuffing them in an already crowded bag.
Posters of teen movies clung lifelessly to the wall, Twilight and such had fallen to the ground long ago.
A stuffed animal was sitting on a chair, it was a tiny bear that had a cute little bow on it.
Nothing seemed of value in it - just teenybopper magazines and pillows thrown askew. Annabelle dug through the drawers, picking up a jacket and pants that would fit her snugly. She picked up a black tank that looked rather clean for sitting in a dusty house for three years.
Shorts that frayed at the end looked like it would fit nicely, other than the fact that she'd need to wear her belt. A black pair of converse would be half a size too small, but she tucked them in her bag anyway.
After grabbing a couple pairs of socks and even a pair of underwear - she made a mental note to boil that in hot water later on - she left the room without another thought.
The next room had oh-so-obviously belonged to a boy at one point. The room was messy, trash lay all over the place (at least where the dirty clothes weren't). And with that, she left the room (although she did take the Slytherin blanket that was on the bed).
The final bedroom was clean, and it had a tan wallpaper that peeled. There was a master bedroom connected to it, the tile floor and a small shower were grimy. One look at the mirror told her she needed a shower. Desperately. Her eyes were dull and dirt covered her entire body. She looked sweaty and that she rolled in a pigsty. Her brown hair was knotted (she'd lost her hairbrush long ago) at the back.
She took almost anything she could find, an unopened bar of soap, shampoo and a small hairbrush.
Annabelle soon after left the bathroom and went to the basement. She dashed over to the water heater, and stuck a flask into it. Annabelle refilled a plastic waterbottle as well before taking the water in the water heater in her hands and rubbing it on her face. She rubbed her arms as well, wiping the dirt off of her.
Annabelle smiled - she felt at least a little clean. After Annabelle left the basement, the pulled down the ladder and opened the hatch to the attic.
It was humid in there, spiderwebs were all over the place and boxes took up a large portion of the space.
Annabelle pulled herself up and walked around, inspecting a bust and a picture or two. Annabelle turned a corner made by boxes stacked up, and what she saw made her gasp. A few boxes toppled over a male walker who lay trapped under them. His rotted hands reached out for her and his jaws snapped. A swimming trophy was lodged in his shoulder, and the clothes he wore were only blue shreds.
Annabelle couldn't let him suffer like this, "Sorry, brother," she mumbled as she took her knife and drove it into it's eye. Not too far away from the boy were two other bodies, both with holes in their temples.
Annabelle sighed, and left the house feeling the sharp pain of depression settling in her stomach.
This family didn't have their happy ending after all.
I'm sorry this chapter sucks - it's unedited and I write as I go along. Thanks for reading, anyway. And, yes, Annabelle will be crossing paths with the group sometime soon.
*Hehe. If you have my humor, you'll understand why I'm laughing.