Annabelle took a long drag off of a cigarette as she took watch along the wall. She sat on a beach chair that bent under her weight, glancing at a boy around the same age - fourteen - as her. He had blue eyes and shaggy blonde hair. His nose was long and pointed and he was a bit of a pain at times. He appeared scrawny at first glance, but had gained quite a bit of muscle in the last few months.
"You shouldn't be smoking," he said in his southern drawl.
"Fuck off, Colton." Annabelle replied as a gust of smoke blew from her mouth.
"I prefer Cole, thank you very much." he replied with a sly smile. "Gimme that," Cole said as he grabbed the cig. He took a drag, smoke coming out of his nostrils.
"'You shouldn't be smoking.'" Annabelle mocked him as he passed it back. Cole chuckled, shooting her a glance.
"Not even a good brand anyway," he said, looking to the distance. "It's a fucked up world, Bellie."
"Maybe we're just fucked up people," she replied.
"What's the point?" Annabelle asked him, flicking the cig to the ground. Cole looked at her again.
"Point of what?"
"Living," she replied grimly. "We're all gonna die. And if we don't, the people we care for will. And when they do..." she thought of her father then. "This world's gonna change you, and when I go out...-"
"Don't talk like that,"
"-when I go out...I wanna be me. I wanna go out - my terms, my way, my choice. I don't wanna be...pulled apart in the middle of the street. I don't wanna be bit, chewed like I was some sort of dog treat.
"I. Wanna. Die. Without feeling pain, without suffering or going through another funeral." Annabelle finished, balling her hands in a fist. Cole grabbed the hand that wasn't holding the pistol, squeezing it tightly.
"It's unavoidable, Anne. Unavoidable." he said. She looked away in shame - she had no idea what came over her to say that stuff, it just slipped out. Cole's left hand grabbed her chin roughly, forcing her to look at him. "It's the goddamn apocalypse. You won't make it ten seconds if you think like that - get out of your damn pity party and grow the fuck up, or get the fuck out."
Cole dropped her chin and looked away, but still had a strong hold on her hand.
"Don't be such an asswipe about it." Annabelle muttered under her breath, jumping off the wall and going inside.
It was a tiny gated community, filled with friendly people who called the place Mansonburg. It was about as large as four houses long and six wide, placed in the center of a field that was perfect for farming.
There was a stream ten minutes away, and a BigSpot not too far away from there. Everyone there was given chores that rotated every hour or so.
A large makeshift sundial was placed in the center of the place, someone rung a bell every half hour.
The entire place - except for a three yard radius for tents, fires, and buildings - was farmland.
The wall was made of scrap metal and chickenwire, with barbed spikes surrounding that.
Annabelle had stayed just over a month now, a man named Bob found her when he had gone to a pub.
Moving along to the center of the field, Annabelle stood next to Julia, a girl in her mid twenties with blue hair - blonde grew in from her roots - who wore rather short shorts and a tight shirt which she had cut in half.
Annabelle pointed to a stick stuck in the ground in the middle of a circle of twenty four lines - twelve big ones outside of twelve little ones.
"My shifts over on the wall. What's the next chore?" Annabelle said as Julia picked up a notebook. There were twenty pages filled out - one for the chore list and rotation, the next fifteen as a record of everyone who had been there and died, and the last five were inventory.
"You've got...." Julia ticked down the list until she found it. "Its your lucky day, miss Annabelle. You're going to the BigSpot with Jordan and Lucy." Julia placed the notebook on a chair and stuck her hands in her pockets. "You leave in ten minutes, so I would head down to Community and get some bags and the list."
Community was the largest building in Mansonburg. It was basically the town hall - meetings were held, laws were formed, and community storage was there. It used to be a barn with two floors and even a cellar. When Mansonburg was first formed, only a couple of months after the breakout, they knocked out the stalls that once held cattle and horses and made rooms. The cellar turned into a large supply storage room, the first floor was split in half - the front was a receptionist/waiting area, the second half was a big meeting room. The second floor was records, and storage for the things the group returned from their runs.
Annabelle jogged over there and opened the doors. There was a desk to her left where an elderly woman sat, Annabelle often referred to her as the Keeper - that's exactly what she was, she kept everything organized and knew where everything was.
"Hello, Annabelle. What can I help you with?" the elderly woman said.
"Hi, Gertrude. I need the supply list for the BigSpot run today and some bags."
Gertrude opened a drawer in the desk and pulled out a large file. She began sifting through it and pulled out a small piece of paper. Annabelle took it and looked over it.
2 boxes of Prenatal medicine
3 packets of vegetable seeds
1 (tiny) flower pot
2 Polaroid cameras
"Seems reasonable," Annabelle said and shoved the paper in her pocket.
"The bags are right here - Johanna's group just got back from the baby store and didn't put up the bags.
Annabelle took the bags and smiled at Gertrude and said, "Thanks, Gertrude."
"Stay safe, dear!"
"Oh, shit!" Annabelle muttered as she pressed herself against the stone wall. She reached for her knife and stuck her head around the corner.
A huge herd was slowly walking by - at least seventy deadies walking past her. She kept her head around the corner until the herd seemed to thin out. "Think, Anna, think." she whispered.
She looked around her until something caught her eye. The ladder of a fire escape glinted in the sunlight, just across the road from her. Annabelle ran over to it and placed her feet onto the rungs and climbed. The ladder went up ten feet until it attached to a fire escape, which went all the way to the roof.
Annabelle pulled herself up onto the fire escape and ran up the stairs. It went up a few flights and opened up to the roof.
"I'm really, really, really high up," she said when she looked down. Then, in pure stupidity, Annabelle walked a few feet from the edge and ran, then jumped. She flew a few feet before roughly landing against the wall, her arms barely holding her up. Annabelle's feel scraped against the wall as she strained to pull herself up.
Annabelle, when she managed to get on the roof, lay down and took deep breaths. "All of this just to get past some deadies," she mumbled. Annabelle stood and looked across the street where the herd was, only to find air in their wake. She groaned and looked at the sky, "Are you fucking kidding me?"
So that's the end of the chapter. I'm sorry I haven't updated in forever, but I'm not sure if I should continue this. It doesn't seem like people like this story. If you do, and want me to continue, comment saying you want me to.