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Lynndi and her dad just moved to a new state, a new town, and a new school... In the middle of her junior year. Needless to say its a little stressful, but what could make this worse? Every man disappears. Plot twist, I know. Now fatherless, Lynndi has to make it across the country to find a mother she hasn't spoken to for years. But don't worry, she has a companion, and a very unlikely one at that.
This isn't your normal apocalyptic story. Where aliens come down or zombies take over. In this story, women get to rule the world.

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1. Before

“Lynndi?!”

I set the box I had been carrying down and rush to the voice. My dad stands crookedly against a wall, the two boxes in his arms  swaying dangerously.

“Dad! I told you to wait for me!” I say, taking the box on the top from him.

“I thought I could handle it, but, as per usual, you were right.” My dad chuckles, the laugh lines around his eyes crinkling.  

We bring the boxes into the kitchen, and set them with the other boxes scattered in the room.

This is the fifth time we've moved this year; dad's job takes us everywhere. But since it's only me and him, we have moving down pat.

“Well, what do you say to some Chinese take out and a movie?” Dad says, running a hand through his greying hair.

I smile and nod. “I'll order while you set up the cable?”

“Sounds like a plan.”

I grab the take out menu we got from one of the only Chinese restaurants in the small town dad's company moved us to. I scan the menu before calling the number and ordering.

After the order is placed and set to deliver, I slip my iPhone, one of the moving away gifts dad gave me, into my pocket and wander into the living room. Dad is pulling open boxes and rifling through them, obviously searching for something.

“What are you looking for?” I question, taking a seat on the couch, the only piece of furniture in the room.

“The remote. I swear I took it out, but I can't find it anywhere.” He straightens and scratches his head, looking around in puzzlement.

“It's on top of the tv.” I say pointing. He turns, sighs, and picks it up, sending me a side smile.

“What would I do without my Lynndi?”

“You would probably burn the house down making coffee.” I reply laughing.

“You're probably right.” He says, joining in the laughter.  He hits the power button and the tv comes to life. “Ah, working perfectly. What should we watch tonight?”

“I'm feeling The Night of the Living Dead. I'm in the mood to get scared.”

“Honey, you wouldn't get scared even if you were face to face with a real zombie.”

I smile. “That's true.”  I really was unscareable, even as a child nothing could make me scream, much less jump.

Dad starts the movie and we get a quarter of the way through it before the doorbell rings. Dad gets up and brings back the takeout, and we finish the movie.

When the artificial light of the tv finally gets turned off, I stand and throw away the empty take out packages.

“First day of a new school tomorrow, right?” My dad says from behind me.

“Yep.” I say turning to face him.

“Lyn, I'm really sorry that we had to move in the middle of your junior year. I tried to push for the end of the semester but-”

“Dad, I know. And I'm used to it by now.” His eyes are sad as he stares at me, and I smile to show him that I'm really all right. “I should get some sleep, gotta get up early tomorrow.” He pulls me into a hug and kisses the top of my head.  

“Love you, pumpkin.”

“Love you too.”



 

My alarm wakes me at 5:00 am. A brutal time, but I'm up and showered by 5:30. Dad is pouring coffee when I make my way into the kitchen, and he pushes me a mug as I take a seat on one of the boxes.

“How’d you sleep?” He asks as we both relish the bitter taste of our beverages.

“Okay, I wish I actually had a bed frame up though.”

He smiles. “We can set it up tonight when I get home from work.”

“Alright. Do we have any food?” He pushes a paper bag towards me and I open it to find a blueberry muffin.

“I went to a bakery while you were showering. I'll stop by the grocery store on my way home too.”

“Sounds good. Can you give me a ride to school?”

He looks down at his watch and grimaces. “I would, but I'm late for work. Do you mind walking? It's only a mile.”

I shrug and pull my bag over my shoulder. “I need the exercise. I'll be fine... But you know, this wouldn't be a problem if I had a car!” I wiggle my eyebrows suggestively and he chuckles.

“I'll get you a car when you can pay for one.”

“It's kinda hard to hold a job when you're always moving, dad. I think I deserve one!”

“And I think I deserve a vacation but that's not happening either.” I pout but he merely mock pouts back, immune to my puppy dog eyes.

“Ugh, fine. Whatever. I gotta go, can't be late on my ‘first day’.”

“Alright Lyn, I'll see you later tonight, I should be home around 8.” I nod and give him a quick hug before dashing out the door.

Winter is coming, by the cold bite in the morning air. I wrap my arms around myself, wishing I had thought to bring a jacket, but they were probably buried in some box unknown to me.  I trudge dutifully on, out of breath by the time I reach the small high school.  I guess I do need the exercise.

Kids are slowly trickling into the school, exiting cars and busses.  I follow the stream through the front door, and wander the halls until I find the administration office.

I approach the desk and a perky receptionist looks up from behind square glasses, a smile planted on her cherry red lips.

“Can I help you sweetie?”

“Yes, I'm the new transfer student, Lynndi Stone, I was told over the phone to come to the administration desk when I arrived at school?”

“Ah yes, we've been expecting you, Miss Stone. We don't get many new folks in this town, so you are a real treat!” I raise my eyebrow as she rummages through some stacks of paper.

“Is that so?...”

“Mmhmm… Now darling I just need you to sign right there--yep there--...and you are all set! Let me just page your guide and you'll be all set!”

“Oh, that's alright, I can find my way on my own.”

“Oh nonsense, and besides, it's his detention.” She shrugs like it's no big deal that a delinquent will be showing me around the school, and reaches for a microphone. “Jeremy Reynolds, please come to the administration desk. Thank you.”  She pushes the microphone away and gives a contented sigh. “He should be here soon!”

“Great.” I mumble, leaning against the desk as I wait.

Ten minutes go by before a brown haired boy saunters into the office, winking at me as he leans over the desk to talk to the Debby, as I found out her name was.

“So, is this the new chick I have to show around school?”

“Yes, Jeremy, meet Lynndi Stone. I'm sure you two will have plenty of time to get to know each other.” She smiles. And I meet the boys eyes. He gives a lazy grin as he takes me in, and I turn my attention back to the receptionist.  “Lynndi, you don't hesitate if you need something, just come straight to me.”

I nod in thanks and exit the room before the Jeremy dude can say what he clearly wanted to say.  He follows close behind my heels.

“You're quite the looker, aren't you?” I grind my teeth to keep myself in line, The last thing I need is attention on my first day.  

It was true though. I didn't like to accentuate or flaunt it with makeup, but I did catch many eyes. With bright ocean blue eyes and dirty blonde hair that fell in waves, it was hard not to see the Californian in me. My skin was sun kissed from the years we spent on the coast, and I had a good form.  

“So, are you like mute or something? ‘Couse I haven't heard you utter a single word since I walked through that door, though my appearance does make some people speechless.” I stop and turn to face him, exasperated. I just wanted to get to my class and get this day over with, and this dude was not helping.  Though he wasn't sore on the eyes either…

“Look, I can find my classroom on my own. Neither of us has to suffer through this forced welcoming gig.”

Jeremy steps closer, and I have to tilt my head up to look into his chocolate eyes.

“Who said i was suffering?”

“Well I just assumed since this was your detention,-”

“Alright doll face, I'll leave you to roam these dangerous halls alone, just don't forget about me.” He steps back and winks again, before turning and walking away. I roll my eyes at his receding back before I explore the halls to find classroom 2B. I find it five minutes later, and slip into an empty seat.

The first half of the day goes by slow, a ton of boring review for me, and by the time lunch rolls around, I'm considering just skipping to college classes.  

I get in the lunch line and wait my turn for a chance at the food.  But when I do reach it, I start to regret not bringing a lunch. I take the least disgusting item, an apple and what appears to be yogurt, and take a seat at a near empty table.

I didn't meet many people during my morning classes, and I don’t expect to meet people in my later classes. I came to their small town school in the middle of semester, everyone already has made their clicks.  

As I begin to eat the yogurt, which I had deemed safe to eat upon inspection, I feel someone slip into the chair opposite of me. I glance up, expecting to find some emo kid or a cast out, but instead I am greeted with chocolate brown eyes and a wicked grin.     

“How's your first day going, Linda?”

“It's Lynndi, and I thought we had parted paths hours ago.”

He leans back in his chair, his eyes holding a forever mischievous glint. “I thought it my duty to check on you.” He shrugs carelessly.”And you looked lonely.”

“I don't need a babysitter, and I'm not lonely.” I lift my chin up. “I actually like being alone.”

Jeremy laughs. “You just contradicted yourself, darling.”

I narrow my eyes. “You know what I mean.”

“Do I?” He raises an eyebrow. “I'm never alone, and I don't like being alone, so therefore, I don't know what you mean.”

“You're infuriating!” I say standing. I grab what's left of my lunch and stomp the the nearest trash, throwing the yogurt but keeping the apple for later.

“Awe, someone isn't a very happy camper!” I whirl to face him, finding him quite closer than expected, and having to look up into his sneering face to retort back.

“I was fine and happy until you came along. So just stay out of my way, and everything with be perfect! I'll be all smiles and giggles! Just stay away from me.” He cocks an eyebrow.

“I think you like me. And that's why you just can't stay away!” I scoff. The nerve!

“I wouldn't kiss you if you were the last boy on earth, do you hear me? Now please just stay away!!!” I turn away from his laughing eyes and storm out of the cafeteria.

If I ever see that boy again, I might just kill him…

I rampage the halls until I find a bathroom, where I nearly pull my hair out in exasperation.

No one has gotten under my skin like this kid has. He's like a tick. A bug I can't get rid of.

I sigh and look up at my reflection. My face is red from anger and my hair looks like a nest from where I pulled at it. I smooth down the waves and splash some water on my face before exiting the restroom.

 

I find my next classroom with plenty of time, and take a seat near a window.  The teacher comes in and pays no attention to me, instead opening up some romance novel. But soon students began to file in and the novel is put away.

About halfway into the class, the urge to pee catches up with me, and I raise my hand for a pass. The teacher gives it to me reluctantly, and I rush to the nearest bathroom. I make it to the door when the screaming starts.

The screams are everywhere, not just in one classroom, and soon some turn to sobs. Panic begins to boil in my chest as I run to the classroom across from me.

Girls everywhere are screaming and crying and clutching each other, and the teacher is nowhere to be seen.  I run up to a girl and ask. “What's going on!? What happened!?”

Her eyes are blank, and she shakes all over. What could have happened to make her act like this?

They disappeared.” She whispers, so softly I barely catch it.

“Who!? Who disappeared!?” When I get no response, I turn the girl to face me and shake her roughly. “Tell me what happened!!” Her eyes focus on me, clearing for just a second. “The boys-the men, they vanished into thin air. They just,- disappeared.”

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