Something Wicked This Way Comes *ON HOLD*

Emmeline Walker was a normal girl who had no worries going to school with her best friend Georgie. She had loving parents and doting brothers, everything a girl could want. Then comes along the virus. People are dead and dying all over the world, and the world seems to end when Emmeline catches the virus and blacks out. When she wakes up, however, in a new world where the dead never really died, she learns that the virus wasn't the end of anything, but the beginning in a new world of horror.

This is a story about zombies, beware. :)

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7. Fights and Promises

~~Throughout the next couple weeks that stretched on into months, I lived with Shin and trained until I thought the flesh from my bones would fall off due to exhaustion. He was Spartan with his techniques, but I had never been a quitter and my gymnastics couch was just as hard on me so I was semi 'used to it. My flexibility returned after the first two weeks of training myself and my senses for Shin's attacks increased until it was to the point he could no longer sneak up on me. Concerning the Infected I was terrified of them once I learned what they had been in the beginning, absolutely petrified at the thought of fighting them, but that all changed one day when we had to do a run and we were surrounded. That was also the day I learned another secret about myself.

~~~~~~*~~~~~~

Shin stared at me, his gaze solid like stone and I stood in the defensive pose he had taught me; feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, my right hand palm facing down slightly above my heart, left hand in a loose fist with my thumb facing the ceiling situated near my hip. I widened my stance a little further and when I saw Shin's movements mirror mine, I lunged forward and struck my foot out hoping it would connect with his shoulder but faked it and threw a punch to his abdomen quickly after when he dodged my first strike. It connected with a grunt and Shin quickly took a step back and spun around me to stab his elbow into a pressure point on my lower back. I quickly lunged forward and did a front flip, narrowly missing his attack and then I was surprised a second time when he legs swept mine out from underneath me right after I landed again. 

I quickly leapt to my feet and found my defensive stance again and we ended up in another staring contest. By this time we had been training hand to hand combat now for over three hours and I was sweating buckets. Shin had made a couple runs by himself to get training clothes for us after he had agreed to teach me, so the grey sports bra I had on was black with sweat.

Shin released his stance and gave the motion for a break, which I was thankful for. Twilight brought over my water bottle in his mouth and dropped it next to me and sat, his tail waging waiting for a rub. I obliged with a laugh and took a long swig, and splayed my legs out with my back against the cold concrete. It was full-blown winter now and snow had even flittered down in a small flurry a couple of times. It never stuck since during some days it reached the high 60's in California, but it was cool to see at night. I has grown up in Colorado when I was younger so it always brought back memories.

"Alright, Today we're going to do something a little different." Shin spoke into the silence and I glanced over at him curiously. "We are going hunting."

My stomach dropped and I looked down in dread. It had been coming for a while yet, but I was still not looking forward to going out there against those things.

"Do you think I'm ready?" I asked seriously.

"I wouldn't let you come and slow me down if you weren't. We need to gather more blankets and supplies for the next couple weeks since we are running low and I won't be able to do it with just my two hands." He informed me.

I reluctantly nodded my head and rose to my feet to get ready. We wore black, because even though I loved color and the Infected couldn’t see us better if we dressed brightly, there were still groups of survivors out there that were dangerous to interact with that had equipment to easily spot us if we didn't blend in. It was like living in a city of gangs with people constantly fighting over territory and supplies...sometimes even people, especially women.

They were often ruthless and some people would die in these wars between factions, which I thought was completely stupid. We need all the humans we can get to fight these monsters and instead there are people fighting over women out there. It made me sick. Of course, there were also the peaceful groups of people too, but they kept to themselves and were extremely well hidden within the metal jungle of Los Angeles.  Shin had once been an army commander back before he retired due to a failing heart and had mostly been in charge of training for communications for submarines and army bases. He was great with his hands so building things like tables and smelter metal into swords was something he could do with his eyes closed. Not

to mention he grew up in a family of martial artists so he knew many techniques of fighting that helped him out even before he joined the army.

I got lucky with my chances of meeting him since he never ventured farther out from his designated ranges. He was also somewhat reclusive and never interacted with people unless he absolutely had to. Apparently I had caught his interest when I had yelled at the Infected, as he called them, and they had ignored me which was extremely odd. Apparently they can detect someone moving behind them making any barely noise so to ignore potential meat, as he had called me, was unheard of. Especially since I had been screaming at them and waving my arms around like a panic-driven chicken.

I laughed at that when he said it with an admonishing look towards me and his lips puckered in distaste. 

Picking up a black back pack that molded close to my body I stuffed it with two water bottles and a thin blanket with some throwing knives that bundled around my wrists and around my right ankles. I laced up my calf boots and stood, looking down at the six dogs who were looking up at me expectantly. A week after I had started training, he had made me take over training the dogs as well with no explanation as to why, although I began to think he was just worried about his heart condition when I had overheard him one day mumbling to himself about 'losing time' and how he held his chest like it was about to explode outward on him. It terrified me because he had been the only human I had been in contact with that I could trust for ages. If he died I would be left alone in the world and that thought had almost set me into a panic.

Plus he had later said half to himself and half to me that dogs were a mans best friend because you could trust them more than another man by your side. I had to agree with him since I had grown up with dogs and had seen it once or twice before. For instance my old bulldog pickles would always welcome me home from school with a wag of his butt always happy to see me. I loved that dog and had had him for seven years before he passed away. I decided to pick Twilight and Deck to come with us this time because they were both fast and had good power plus we found out that Rosy seemed to be pregnant because she was getting fat. Living in the world we were in it was impossible to find a vet or even a doctor to help out with things like neutering and spaying animals. So since none of the pups except Mickey, who was neutered because of an old owner, had their balls taken out that meant Rosy and Anne were probably going to end up with pups soon. I loved puppies, but this really wasn't the place or time for them.

I situated the harness pack around Twilight so Deck could guard and told the others to 'alarm guard' which meant if anyone or anything entered the place that wasn't Shin or I, to attack and

disable or kill. Regular 'guard' that Shin used on the dogs when I first arrived was the command that said to watch a guard without aggression.

After we were set and I had picked up the twin swords that crisscrossed my back as my weapon of choice with a small gun tucked into the side of my bra, we climbed up the ladder to the ledge that hid the second window. When Twilight and Deck had joined us up top I  knocked it back down with a kick and it fell silently onto the concrete and blankets below. Shin turned the lock that connected the chains that held the bars welded to the window in place off and we crawled though to the small fire escape outside. We quickly looked around and not sensing anything, dropped the metal ladder. Shin closed the window back up and quickly joined the dogs and I on the ground before pushing the ladder back up. We moved to where the stashed hook to pull it back down was and double checked it before moving around the building into the morning light. 

I hadn't been outside the factory walls since I had first come here and my heart stuttered with fear at the thought of leaving but I clamped it down. I had a job to do now and I had to focus, if I wanted to be successful. The sun blazed through the cold morning and I breathed in the crisp air, surprised at how clean it had become since the last time I had been out. The natural sun and heat also felt amazing on my skin and I basked in it, enjoying the slightly peaceful moment. I looked in front of Shin and he gestured at me to follow him, which I quickly did. We made our way around the perimeter while he told me all he did to keep it secure before making our way to the hidden tear in the fence we had come through the first time.

It was hidden behind some thick bushes to where it was almost invisible and I admired Shin's idea of molding the fence with the branches to make it seem immoveable. When we exited we started down an abandoned street of other warehouses that looked like they were sets for a horror movie.

Although I knew that Shin had set up multiple traps within them, I still felt naked, out in the open. We rounded a bend in the road and came up to a four-way stop. It was quiet, like the surrounding silence seemed to suffocate the noise in the area. I crept up to Shin and he pulled out the familiar map of downtown Los Angeles that I had memorized and pointed at an area down four blocks.

"This is where the old Home Depot was located before it was swarmed by the surrounding gangs for the tools and wood to fortify their hideouts. A couple of groups have been caught unaware by hordes of Infected in this area as well, so we have to tread lightly." Shin told me. 

I nodded. "What are we going there for?" I asked.

Shin folded the map back up and placed it within his jacket. "Seeds. If possible soil. And heat lamps. We need to start our growing season for food in the future. I've already found a place where we can start a makeshift garden. We're going to need it and once summer comes it will be one of the only things to

sustain us because almost all of the food preservatives will have expired soon." he explained. I nodded in understanding and we took off down the streets close to the buildings and skirted around any alleys since that where the creatures loved to hide. 

Maybe because it was dark and the weather was less forceful with the buildings to placate some of the wind and rain, but it seemed like after every feeding the creatures would amble around for a while before heading back into the alleys.

The city was huge, stretching more than a couple miles in each direction for just downtown. When we crossed under a bridge awe ended up coming across a Walker that used to be a 35 year old or so black man that Shin quickly dispatched. 

After that we eventually made it to Little St and west 7th street which was about a block away from the Home Depot. We had been lucky with our hiding spots and had yet to come across anymore Infected. Twilight and Deck were stealthy like wolves and made no noise as well, but Infected ignored animals so it didn't affect them as much. A block away from the Home Depot, Shin stalked up to a tall building and found the fire escape before pulling it down. I pulled the bags off of Twilight and followed up the ladder quickly.

"Twilight! Deck! Scout!" the two dogs shot out with answering barks and I watched them as I continued to climb, a seed of worry entering my heart. I knew they would be okay, but I still prayed for God to watch over them. When we command the dogs to scout, what that means is that if any Infected are close by in groups of 2-3 or by themselves, for them to attack and kill. Like I said, Infected ignore animals, but they could still get injured if a Walker ended up getting the mind to fight back.

Shin and I made it to the top of the building and we ran to the opposite ledge, where we could see the Home Depot clearly, especially with the binoculars we had brought. We each found a point on the roof where we could see everything and situated ourselves there while taking in everything around the building. In this world, it was always a must to search ahead and make a plan before moving forward because you literally never knew what was going to be around the next corner.

Taking my binoculars, I steadied them on my nose and looked out at the store with trepidation. I REALLY didn't want to see what was probably the inevitable and I shuddered when I looked through the lenses. The parking lot to the Home Depot was actually pretty empty, with a few in tact cars and a few that had crashed into a pole here and a cart rack there. A few Infected were ambling around and the front doors were wide open. Almost every glass window was shattered open and I spotted a yellow sedan peaking out of the opposite wall, the front end smashed and in pieces. 

I swiveled the binoculars and noticed the group of Infected located slightly behind and to the right of the building and made a note. 

"Emmeline." I glanced over at Shin and my hand automatically reacted by shooting up to catch the walkie talkie thrown at me. He nodded at me and we turned it to the designated channel. 

"Can you hear me?" the voice that came through was pure static but still understandable and I nodded over at him and asked the same question.

Before leaving the base we both had decided that Shin would go in by himself with Twilight and Deck to watch his back while I gave updates from our vantage point on the roof. That way I could keep an eye on things.

I re-positioned myself on the roof to get a better view while I watched Shin make his way down the street. The pups were running along-side him and I trained my sights along the streets, worry making my stomach tingle. The sun was now coming up over the horizon, streaks of orange and red highlighting the blue sky. 

The minute he made it inside the walkie talkie crackled. 

"No Infected in the entrance. I'm heading over to the plant section towards the back." Shin updated.

"Copy that. Be careful around corners." I advised. My heart was pounding a mile a minute and I kept my eyesight trained on the windows, and the streets, trying to keep an eyes on any movement of any kind. 

It was strange not being on the ground and having such a high vantage point is something that during training I had never done before. Thinking about it I stood up and walked away from the edge and did a 180 so I could see the whole surrounding area. It definitely was a big city, with groups of skyscrapers and square office buildings littering the horizon. Originally I had been from Colorado, in the southern corner in a town called Durango. I had never been in a city bigger than Denver and Los Angeles was litterally a giant metal playground.

Turning back when the walkie crackled again, I lifted it to my face and waited. 

"On my way to the gardening equipment. There was a Walker inside. I quickly dispatched it."

"Copy that." I repeated. Frequent updates is what I demanded so I'd be able to track Shin to make sure he's safe. 

I grabbed my binoculars and zeroed un on the front doors and my heart sped up again. I quickly grabbed the walkie talkie and radioed Shin.

"Shin, get outta there! A group of Infected are entering the entrance I don't know what caught their attention." I quickly explained. His voice came over the speaker in a gruff manner.

"Copy that."

A crash echoed in the street below and I looked down over the edge to see a human rushing through the front door of the building across from me after knocking over a trash can to get rid of two Infected on his trail.

~~I smiled, glad to know he had gotten away. Every human counted , and although most in the city were lower than dirt in terms of their morals, it lightened my heart knowing there were still survivors. The door slammed shut and I imagined the people bolting it from the other side.

I refocused on the store again and caught the crackling of the walkie talkie. I held it up to my face, waiting for him to talk, but all I heard was static. My heart sped up and I grimaced when I had yet to hear anything for ten minutes.

At the twenty minute mark I was pacing and I brought the talkie up to my mouth.

"Shin?? Answer me please. What's going on down there?" I whisper-yelled.

Another five minutes and there was still nothing, even after two more tries. When the half hour mark passed I was running back and forth from the edge that had the best view of the Home Depot to the fire escape, thinking I had somehow missed him on the way back.

At the 45 minute mark I gathered by stuff and descended. This wasn't right. Shin was supposed to let me know what was going on every ten minutes and almost an hour had passed after my last contact.

I hated to admit it but something probably went wrong down there and that made me panic; I couldn't lose Shin, the only person I've been in contact with since waking up. 

I had no idea where others were, I wouldn't even know what to do to survive honestly. I wasn't prepared for it in any way.

I rushed down the fire escape and paused on the pavement below, glancing upwards. I wanted to be off the ground where they couldn't reach me, but the thought of Shin hurt or fighting against those monsters outweighed my fright with the need to protect him. 

Like a shot I was down the street, the soles of my boots making small clacking sounds every time they touched the concrete. When I made it to the entrance, I hid behind a flipped over car and peeked around the corner.

I had forgotten about the group of Infected that had entered right before Shin cut off and only now remembered as I watched them amble around the entrance. A window behind the car and to the left was broken and looked like easy access if I jumped through it, but found the action was harder to get started as I sat there paralyzed.

Once more I pulled from the strength within and with a jump up, I ran towards the window when almost off the Infected were facing away from it. I tightened my fists and when the ledge was in front I leapt forward. Treating the ledge like a catapult, I executed a jump where I front flipped through the broken window and landed on both feet with no damage before running around a corner to hide behind a shelf with shattered sinks. 

I held my breath and waited for any movement around me or changes in the atmosphere that indicated I had those creatures on my tail. After a few minutes I decided to head forward and I ran around the

corners, my eyes peeled for Shin or the pups. The silence inside the building was deafening and when I rounded the last corner with no sign of him my panic spiked. I ran back the way I had come and shook my head at myself when I forgot he was in the garden area gathering gardening supplies. I sprinted down with my heart pumping adrenaline through the halls and passed into the metal fence where the rotting flowers sat around the tables.

It was ironic in a sense that in the world where the dead came back to life, the plants did not. Of course they needed lots of water and sunshine, both of which they had a shortage of, but you get my gist. I heard a loud curse to my right and immediately crouch low behind a table, slowly peaking around it. Shin was kneeling behind a metal locker that had the lock busted and a group of about five Infected was dead at his feet, all decapitated. The pups were okay, guarding him while he wrapped a cloth around a bleeding wound.

My heart stopped. Wound? What kind of wound? I quickly stood up and walked over to him on a small war path. Shin looked up at me in surprise and ill concealed astonishment, but I kept stalking over to him and grabbed his hand. 

"What are you doing here Emmeline?!" He demanded. I stared at him, somehow furious that he would ask that question when he was hurt.

"Quiet." I hissed out. I finished unwrapping his hand and the dark red and pink flesh wound in the shape of a bite made me stumble back in disbelief.

No. It couldn't be.

"Is this a bite wound?" I whispered needing confirmation that it wasn’t.

Shin looked down at his wound and looked back up at me with a haggard face, refusing to speak. But then again, the moment his solemn eyes met mine I knew and speaking was no longer necessary.

"No no nO NO NO NO! NOOO!" I shrieked. I absolutely did not care about the Infected that could hear me anymore and I showed that with extra force by going up to punch the metal locker. It dented with the force I put behind it, leaving the shape of my fist and I cried. 

Not again. I was going to lose someone again. 

I got ready to shriek my denial out once more, but Shin leapt to his feet and quickly covered my mouth with his uninjured hand. I pushed him away, so livid with anger and grief that I could barely see him past the haze of red that showed up in front of me. He jumped forward before I could move and held my shaking body with his arms wrapped around me, holding my face to his chest.

"Emmeline. Emmeline, listen to me. I need you to calm down okay?" He cooed. I struggled against his hold, but he kept tight and the pups around me whined. I didn't want to calm down. I wanted to cry my eyes out and wail about how unfair the world was. I wanted to scream out the anger and

disappointment of having someone leave me again. I wanted to punch my frustration out at being helpless. Anything, but accept it like it wasn't happening. 

I pounded my fists against his chest and he smoothed his hand down my long hair that was now right below my butt. I never got the urge to cut it since it held memories of my life before and it was a comfort to me, but right then I would have shaved my head to have time turn itself around so I could make it to his side in time to protect Shin.

He was like the father that I had lost and honestly, though I had never admitted it to myself, he was now my family. At that thought I wrapped my arms around his thick waist and cried like I never had before. He was here, in front of me, and I could do nothing to help him. He would die and turn into one of those monsters, and I don't know if I was strong enough to pull the trigger to end his life. I knew I wasn't. How could I be?

I felt the energy drain from me, although the adrenaline that rushed through my body, ready to punch something at a moments notice, never dwindled but still raged under my skin like a wildfire. I was grateful for it since I needed some form of strength. I pulled back and quickly wiped my eyes, blinking more that were threatening to spill over back behind my eye lids. Shin looked at me sadly and I couldn’t help but smile at him.

He kissed my forehead and grabbed my cheeks, smoothing them over with his rough thumbs. "Good. Now, we need to discuss our next step. I'm not sure how long it takes for the virus to kick in, but usually with 24-48 hours is what I've seen from the people on the news. When that time comes Em...I want you to pull the trigger." My heart squeezed painfully but I forced a nod out. I wouldn't let him become one of them.

He nodded, his eyes smiling at me that I had accepted. "The dogs are going to need you now more than ever now too, especially Rosy and her pups. I'll teach you all I know about the dogs and the garden and the upkeep of the perimeter..." Hero sighed and dropped his hands to stare at them and then back at me. "I thought I'd have more time. I'm-"

A screech sounded behind us and we both whipped around, our weapons at the ready. I had brought my sword with me, leaving my glaive behind since I knew there would be lots of running, but right then I wished I had decided differently. Infected appeared on the fence, clawing at it and screeching. More appeared around corners and they stumbled up to the fence till it was nothing but a mob of inhuman shrieking and decaying flesh that made me want to cover my nose.

The fence bent in the center and I stared, horrified, as it caved in. More Infected appeared from the store entrance and began to amble towards us, their arms outstretched. Shin quickly pushed me behind him and took out his double short swords, his machine gun swung from his shoulder and I stared at it transfixed. 

"Emmeline. Run!!" 

The command entered his voice, but it swept past me like empty air and I slowly moved to his side, my own sword at the ready. My handheld Glock 47 was stuck in the top part of my pants, a backup.

Shin looked at with me urgency and raised his voice so it bellowed, but once more I ignored it. "I've been running all my life from something; my moms death, my brothers leaving home, my college life, the brats who bullied me at school, the thought that my family was dead. No more running. I choose to fight with you Shin."

To protect you, I thought.

 The Infected charged at us and immediately my body reacted like I fought these creatures every day. Shin's training had been flawless and now that I was fighting in real life, my body became like a well oiled machine as I flowed into movements to cut them down and avoid their groping hands.

Deck and Twilight lunged forward and ripped out the throats or clamped onto limbs to keep them still, while Shin swiped his swords through necks that split like butter.

I charged forward and kept low, using my knees to propel me forward. I used the momentum to take my sword and slice through the air like a razor sharp club and when I hit flesh for the first time to have it split in two in my hands, I shuddered.

But in excitement. 

At first it was alarming, having to deal with these creatures so soon, and then the apprehension disappeared and was replaced with anticipation to see what I could do. 

I thrust my arm forward while turning to the side, dodging a fat one to see my blade go in under the chin and through the jaw to the brain in what used to be a 30 year old woman. She collapsed and I quickly pulled my sword out to slice through the necks of two middle aged men. The mob of Infected kept coming, yet I was in my element. I slashed through jugulars and collar bones, sliced through skin in the stomach and heard the bones crunch from the pressure I put on them. I never thought I'd find it fun, but I found myself smiling because otherwise it would break me.

My hands became slick with blood that exited veins like black sludge, and the vomit that came up I forced back down countless times. With each one I sliced open I felt my adrenaline pump through me even stronger than before and I smiled in triumph. 

I lost track of time and space, just slicing through anything that got in my way or grabbed me. My hair swished around like a glittering gold cape and I glanced Shin fighting armed to the teeth with his own group. 

A yell sounded from him and I back flipped away from a bodybuilder type Walker to dodge around his enormous build. Shin was on his back, using a pole to hold back two teenage Infected that ambushed him from the sides. His bitten hand was spilling blood and running down his arm. Deck lunged at one of

the boys legs and pulled back with an iron grip, furious snarls coming from him. Twilight was circling 3 others and would lunge at them if they stepped forward.

I smiled, proud of them. Another group of Infected ran around the corner and I knew that it was now my turn to show my stuff.

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