"Are you... Are you? Comin' to the tree... where they strung up a man. They say who murdered three. Strange things did happen here. No stranger would it be. If we met at midnight in the hanging tree..." Laura's soft words seemed echoed through the forest. Walking a long side Derin, a boy of sixteen-years-old.
"You really like that song, don't you? Derin said, turning his gaze to Laura.
"It's the only thing that seems to keep me sane anymore." Laura whispered out. Her words may have been quiet but easily heard. It was rare that she'd studder or choke on her own words. Especially to those who need to hear them.
"It seems we all need something to keep us sane... By the way," Derin said, a light smile on his lips, he walked over a log that was stretched across the dirt path in front of them, "Why do you sing that so often?"
"It was the last song I heard... Before everything went to hell..." Laura said. There was no hint of sadness in her tone, "It's by Jennifer Lawrence. And my parents loved that song... It seems like forever since I last saw my family."
"Yes." Derin said, sadness in his tone.
Noticing his sadness, Laura spoke up in her monotone voice, "There's no use in being sad, you know."
"Being sad wont, not only not bring anyone back, but also make them sad to see you that way."
"How would they be sad?" Darin questioned.
"Ever since I was little, I believed in God. Now, with that being said, I was raised to believe that there are only two places you can go. Heaven. Or Hell. However, I also believe that some gets lost on their way. They can be following us now, you know. Well, I'm getting a bit off the direction I was going..." Laura paused for a moment, stoping in her tracks to think of her words. "What I mean to say, I don't think everyone leaves. I think that they're somewhere. And I highly doubt that they would want you sad."
"I guess. I wasn't raised like that though..."
"How were you raised?" Laura said.
"My family didn't believe in anything we couldn't see." Derin said.
"So since you couldn't see the virus, you thought everything was dandy?" Laura asked a small, rare smiled appearing on her face.
"Yes." Derin said, "I guess that way of thinking didn't prepare my family..."
"Heh, it didn't prepare anyone." Laura said, "No one could have seen this shit happening from the start... Even I thought it was a little fairy tale-ish to think of zambies coming." Laura said, with the same small, sad eyed smile.
"Zambies?" Derin repeated.
"It makes them sound more... Less frightening."
"Where were you from when the virus was spreading?" Derin asked.
"There is no need for useless information." Laura said.
"What do you mean?"
"We all keep moving to survive. One day, You'll leave with a bigger group. And I'll leave with the same group I've been in for seven years... We wont see each other anymore. So there is no need for old stories... There is no need to bring up the past too much."
There was a long pause that seemed like hours.
"What do you miss most?" Derin asked, "I mean besides family and your friends."
"I miss anime."
"The hell's that?"
"It's the name of cartoons that come from Japan. Depending on how you see it maybe cartoons inspired by anime..."
"That's why you don't dig into the past... What did you miss?"
"Food I didn't need to grow."
Laura chuckled. It was the first time Derin saw her laugh. He gazed at her in surprise.
"What's wrong, didn't think someone so quiet could smile?" Laura said teasingly.
"Well... Huh..." Derin studdered thingink of words.
"Don't strain yourself to much." Laura smiled, "I was only joking... What type of idiot doesn't think anyone could have a personality."
Laura walked ahead of Derin, opening the gate. Balancing the logs she held in her arms, she opened the unlocked lock, and opened the gate swinging it open and standing infront of it so the harsh wind couldn't close it. Darin walked in and then Laura. She carefully closed the gate, again balancing the logs.
"Well, times sure has changed." A familiar husky voice rang out, "In my day, it was the man who opened the door for a lady... Especially an older one at that."
Darin stood there dumbfounded.
"Times have changed, Chuck." Laura said "And I'm not that old, I'm only twenty-four."
"Oh really? Than it must be all that dirt from the logs ya bring in..." Chuck said grinning. "Here, I'll help ya with that."
"Thanks." Laura said.
"D-dog you can follow Chuck and me to where we put the logs."
"D-dog?" Derin questioned.
"Always coming up with names..." Chuck said chuckling a bit, "Laura, go ahead inside. Looks like a storms coming."
"But wont you need help? I mean it's pretty windy and-"
"Laura, we got this." Chuck said cutting off her words, "Go ahead inside."
Laura stood there for a second before walking towards an old brick building.
"That girl, always thinking of otheres. You know, before I met Laura, my name used to be Charles Gregerman." Chuck said.
"Really?" Derin asked.
"Yep, she was the only one I knew about three years ago. I used to be in a different group. It was very small. Only my wife, son, and about five others. We called ourselfs the lone rangers..."
"What happened to them?" Derin asked.
"They died. A huge Zombie hored came. I guess about a couple twenty or so. Some didn't make it. That some, sadly, included my wife and son."
"What happened next?"
"They died. That's just what happened." Chuck carefully placed the wood on top of the rest, "I was a coward. Ran away. Three years later I met Laura. She helped me get passed it. For someone her age, and for her generation she's the smartest one I know. But then again I only knew my son... You know what she said?" Chuck stroked his long grey beard.
"The moment you decide to forgive yourself is the moment you decide to change." Chuck sat on an old stump.
"Hey!" a women said, "It's getting windy out here. Snow's coming down hard too. You guys better get in here." the woman pointed to the old brick building.
"You mean it's hail?" Chuck said.
The woman gave Chuck a look that said 'stop foolin'.'
"We'll be there in a second Janet." Chuck said smiling.
"Now, son, I want to let you in on something..." Chuck said.
"We all respect Laura. I mean, she helped us. Sadness. Sucide. Anger. Jelousy. For each one of us, she helped us in some way. She made us a place a stay. That old building, she built with her boyfriend not to long ago. She tries to protect us. To us she's the sanity in this world... Since she protects us, we want to protect her. There will be no disrespect to her, or any of those ladys in that house. Got it?"
"Yes..." Derin said.
"Try 'yes sir'." another man came from behind Derin.
"Filipe, how's it going?" Chuck said.
"Janet and Emari found some cigarettes..." Filipe said taking out a box of maches and a cigarette.
"Lucky you, eh? I guess that must be a nice birthday gift."
Filipe nodded, "It is."
"And to think you forgot." Chuck said patting Filipe's shoulder as he walked passed him, "You should stand closer to the house. You know how Laura and Marcus is."
"Don't I know." Filipe said, walking back to the house with Chuck and Derin.
That night, they had cooked veggies and rabbit, as they did most nights. The place they lived didn't have much Zombies. They lived off of an island, about ten miles away from the mainland where zombies were more prominent.
Where they lived was known to them as the 'Safe House'. The place, that no matter what they did in the past, they could always come back to. The place that they'd be excepted no matter what their faults where. The place were family stood. The place were they were happy, even for a moment.