As a quick little authors note, whenever you see an asterisk (*) in the middle of a paragraph, scroll to the bottom to see an authors note for more information, or something I'd like you all to know.
Annabelle was going insane.
She could feel her mind slowly deteriorating as she trudged down an empty road. Annabelle was tired, Annabelle was thirsty, Annabelle was starved. Annabelle was an empty shell.
Rain was pounding down harder and harder as the day progressed, Annabelle's brown hair was pressed against her face, grey eyes dull and had no spark to them.
Annabelle hadn't slept in days. She'd been on the move every hour of every day. It had certainly effected her movement and fighting skills, Anna had nearly been bitten by a couple of deadies that she'd come across in an abandoned home.
Lightning struck not too far from where Annabelle stood, yet she remained unfazed as she continued walking in no specific direction.
Annabelle was tired, she knew she needed to rest soon. But where? There wasn't a place that was safe near here. Overturned cars and trees she could barely climb were her only option here.
Her thought process was slow, as if there was some sort of blockage to prevent her from thinking clearly. Still, she took her time to think of where she could be safe.
Deadies could easily surround her in a car, and there wasn't a large enough chance that she'd be able to get it working. Sleeping in a branch could keep her out of reach from the deadies, but she could shift in her sleep and fall.
Although neither options could have outcomes where Annabelle moves on safe and sound, the young girl still needed sleep. She veered to the right, walking far enough into the forest where she couldn't be seen from the road, and where she could easily make an escape if needed. Annabelle placed her hand onto a large oak tree trunk, looking for grooves where she could place her feet and hands.
Annabelle dug her hands into the bark, placing her right foot on the base of the trunk. She lifted her left foot and placed it onto a tiny groove that could barely hold her weight, and used her arms to pull her onto the nearest branch. Annabelle repeated this until she had climbed a good eight feet above ground.
Annabelle took off the brown leather belt that held her loose shorts to her much thinner body, and looped it around her and the thick branch. This should keep me from falling, she thought. Securing it a little more, she closed her eyes and waited for sleep to come.
It was late, Annabelle had waited for her father to come home from his double shift that night. He was a homicide investigator, which meant that he'd leave early in the morning and return late.
She was only twelve, Annabelle Wilson had so many bright years ahead of her that had been cut short. Sleep clouded her vision, but she had to stay up. Especially that night. It was around eight o'clock at night when the first reports surfaced.
The reporter had a gleeful smile as he reported some rather awful news, his slicked dark brown hair and cheesy smile made Annabelle's stomach turn. "Up to twenty people have been rushed to the hospital this evening after being attacked by friends and family. Most of these victims having bite marks or chunks of flesh taken out of them." The reporter continued on, explaining what these cannibalistic people looked and acted like, and how to deal with them. "Everyone is advised to stay calm and to go to nearby buildings and stay there unless told otherwise. Stay classy, Georgia." The channel returned to its normal programming - a random episode of Catfish!* where yet another person had their heart torn and ripped to shreds.
By nine, another PSA interrupted the show, telling people to stay away from the cannibals, and not to provoke them.
By eleven, the original news reporter was replaced by a young woman with blonde hair and blue eyes, telling people to "put down" the cannibals with grey skin and foggy eyes, along with anyone who'd been bitten or scratched. The way she had said put down, with such a smug and happy smile made Annabelle's stomach turn and heart clench.
Where was her father?
Was he okay?
Did he get hurt by one of those...things?
Thoughts ran through Annabelle's mind like a stampede. It wasn't until the door slammed open that her thoughts stopped. There was her father, dressed in a black suit that had been torn and had blood across the front of it. "Dad!" Annabelle exclaimed, running to her father and wrapping her arms around his waist. She was a head shorter than him, standing at 5'3.5 at twelve and a half, she was nearly at his shoulders. Annabelle felt one of his arms wrap around her. "Are you alright?" she questioned, letting him go. She watched as he turned and closed the door softly, turning the lock with a click!
Annabelle's eyes followed her father as he drew the blinds and turned off the lights on the bottom floor. "Pack your things, the government is saying for everyone to evacuate and head for the city until everything is under control," he said, pushing Annabelle up the stairs. Annabelle gripped the railing as she ran upstairs, closing the shutters and turning off lights as she went.
Annabelle opened the door to her bedroom quickly, and dug around in her closet for clothes and her large duffle bag. It was on the top shelf of her closet, next to her other pairs of shoes. Annabelle jumped, sticking out her right hand to grab the bag. Her fingertips touched the material lightly, pushing it back a little farther. She huffed, and grabbed the shelf just below the bag, hoisting herself up and putting her feet on the first shelf toward the bottom.
Annabelle grabbed a fistful of the bag and threw it to the ground. She jumped back down and picked up the blue duffle bag. Placing it on her bed, she unzipped it and went back to the closet.
Her collection of clothes was tiny - she'd had quite** a few arguments with her father about having no clothes to wear to school - but she dug through the closet nonetheless, pulling out various t-shirts, sweaters, and tank tops and neatly folding them in the bag. Annabelle moved to her dresser, pulling out jeans, shorts, and sweatpants alike. She pulled a couple of books and photos from the top of the dresser and placed them in the bag. One photo in particular made her heart squeeze. It was a picture of her mother, Lydia Wilson, and Annabelle when she was nine. They were at a beach in Miami, visiting her aunt Kaylie. Her father was behind the camera, making funny faces while her mother tickled her.
Annabelle smiled and put the picture in the side pocket of her bag, promising to herself that she would keep it safe. She put a pillow and a thin blanket in the duffle, and she put a second pair of shoes on top of that.
When Annabelle came down the stairs, her father was stuffing canned food and packaged snacks in a black bag. Annabelle watched as her father zoomed around the kitchen, grabbing water bottles and a first aid kit.
Annabelle stood there for a moment, letting her mind wander. "Dad?" she called out. His head snapped towards her, a look of worry crossed his face. "What's going on?" Annabelle's father stayed quiet for a moment.
"It's not safe here, b-but the government is getting it under control. Things'll be back to normal before you know it," he said, but he sounded like he was trying to convince himself more than he was trying to convince his daughter. Annabelle watched her father as he pulled something out of his pocket and looked at it for a moment. Her father turned to her for a moment, and handed her a pistol. "For protection," Annabelle nodded. He ran through quickly how to reload and aim properly, also warning her about the safety, muttering a word of promise to teach her more later.
Taking the bag from his daughter, Annabelle's father walked to the car and began to put the bags in the boot of the silver Ford Explorer*** until Annabelle advised him otherwise. "If we need to leave the car to escape some of those things, I'd rather not waste time on opening the trunk."
Her father smiled, impressed at his daughter's quick thinking. Patting her shoulder, he closed the door. Annabelle sat in the passenger seat as her father put the bags in the backseat. She waited for him to start the car.
Annabelle was tired, it was nearly midnight. She felt here eyes droop, and soon enough, she fell asleep to the sound of the car driving along the road.
Okay! That was a long ass first chapter, I hope it wasn't terrible and unreadable.
*Catfish is a show where people who've fallen in love with others after meeting them online, but have never seen them in person. In most cases, the other person in the relationship isn't who they say they are. Almost everyone ends up crying, but it's actually a good show.
**quite/quiet I've noticed in a lot of fanfics that people always confuse the two words, which is one of my pet peeves.
***Silver Ford Explorer - the car is actually modeled after my mother's, which will be mine in three years.