Charlotte Jones is stuck in a world where love is looked at as a disease. She is caught talking about becoming a Shadow with her friends Talia and Madi. Shadows believe in love, which most think is bad. The three friends must now escape without getting caught. If they are caught, they'll be given a choice. A world without love or death?


38. A Year Later

Talia's POV


It’s been a year since the revelation. Even though a year has passed, I am still grieving the death of Charlotte and Madi. Many others had fallen in the fight as well. Jessie died before the fight even began, because of her interrogation beating.

After Charlotte died, Kyle was angry. He went directly in to the line of fire, but he was shot in the chest and died in seconds. Xavier ran to try and save Kyle, but he was shot too. Xavier was shot in the stomach. He tried to army crawl back to the tree, but he didn’t make it; he bled out.

I tried once to run and grab Charlotte, but it was too late. She was shot in the shoulder, thigh, and lower chest. There was no hope. Madi was gone too. Madi had tried to run, but she could barely even walk. She ended up falling and was surrounded by about three Odies. Before she was shot, she screamed, “Keep Fighting!”

Bang, bang, bang.

Three shots in the heart, and she was dead. Her words still ring in my ear everytime I go to sleep, and in my nightmares. I have night terrors of Madi and Charlotte coming back and saying “Why didn’t you save us Talia? You didn’t even try.”

Which is sort of true. I could’ve at least tried to save them, but I didn’t. I was too afraid to help my best friends. If I could though, I would give anything for them to be alive. But I know there’s nothing I can do.

Glenn died because his gun got jammed, and it misfired, shooting him in the gut. Zach has grieved ever since. Michael was trying to run more ammunition to Darrel, but it was bad timing. He ran right in to a line of fire, and took several bullets all over.

Several more Shadows died, but no more from our group. We won the battle though. We took the Odies down, and we restored peace and freedom in nine-teen of the states so far. Right now, we have troops in Alaska and Hawaii. Alaska and Hawaii have always been free states. They don’t have any Odies, and they hate the Odies just as much as we do. We’re trying to get them to form an alliance with us.

All of us have regular houses within the states now. I live with Becca in Concordia Kansas. It’s a nice, small town. Right Next door is Zach, who is alone. The rest of our group is scattered, only keeping in-touch and up to date over the phone lines.

The reason we split up, is that our group is the head of this operation. We all need to monitor different areas. The most important area is Oklahoma City, because that’s where it all started.

Images flash in my head as I think of Oklahoma. The blood, the bodies, the gunshots. I try to suppress these memories, but I can’t.  I also remember Claire, explaining what had happened to her back at the facility. She still has problems because of that; flashbacks, memories. She told me of how they made her kill infected children.

They picked her, out of all people, to execute children that were caught with the ‘infection’ of love. They would go in her room twice a day and hand her a pistol. They would take her out of her room, to a cellar. There would be two or three children, crying, screaming, chained to a wall.

Claire hasn’t opened up about the rest yet. We all know what happened next though. It’s terrible. Horrific. Claire is in Sacramento California with a little girl she rescued, Mya. She also told us that they let her play with the children before she would execute them. Crule. They told her if she opened her unlocked door, they would make her kill one hundred children. Inhumane.

Everything is going as planned though. We expect that everything, everyone, should be free within another year. Until then, I will grieve in sorrow. I will still cry myself to sleep. And I will still have nightmares of my murdered friends. But I know that in a while everything will be back to how the old world was. And we will all be free, forever.

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