I Love You With All That's Left Of My Heart

A freak illness spreads far and fast throughout the world. As Iris knows it, with her family being threatened, and her friends states away, they will fight to survive and thrive in the increasing toxic environment. Will the undead outnumber them? Or will they be able to live with the smell of dead flesh forever?

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4. A Bump In The Night

The girl that rescued them from the streets walked out with a smile on her face. And walked into the living room where Iris had been pacing back and forth. She saw the tall red head woman leaning against the door way. 

"Well?" Iris asked, finally coming to a stop.

"She isn't infected and her wound is healing up nicely. You saved her."

Iris' eyes filled to the brim with tears as she lunged forward and hugged the mysterious woman. "No. You saved her, thank you so much. For everything."

This caused the girl to chuckle before wrapping her arms around Iris to hug her back. "Anytime." After they embraced Iris broke the silence. "I'm Iris. The girl you saved is my sister, her name is Kaveeta."

"I'm Jean. Who's the little girl?"

Iris looked back at her sleeping figure. "I saved her before we came here. Her name is Anya. Hey, not to sound ungrateful, but I really need to get out of here and get to Colorado, like as soon as possible."

"Why Colorado?"

"I'm meeting some people there. I need to leave as soon as it's clear outside."

"I don't think your sister can make it without medical treatment. That's a pretty long drive."

"What are you implying?" 

"Me and these people can't stay here and survive. I feel like a caged animal. If you bring us along, I promise we can all be useful. Strength in numbers right? We all have skills that will help you on your journey."

"How many people?"

"Five. Including myself."

Iris thought on this for a moment. Jean had a point and this girl obviously had a plan. "And how are eight people going to fit in my truck?"

"I have have two SUV's in the garage next door. It's through an alley that is closed off."

"And you can take care of my sister the whole way there?"

"On my life."

"Alright Jean. Get packing because we are leaving in thirty."

Tryston made a left on the dirt road that led to the mountain. He knew he would be the first one there so he had to get high enough for a vantage point. He stopped when the mountain turned into a line of trees and parked his car. Immediately starting to set up a camp for when his friends arrive. 

He didn't like being alone, but he found that the higher up you are, the less likely that the undead would be there. After a few hours of hunting food and cooking it with a small fire, he grabbed a blanket and placed it on top of his car and climbed up the hood and to the top with his binoculars. 

Iris was driving the first of the two SUV's. Anya was in the passenger seat, a woman they called B was in the middle row. She had black hair and blue eyes. She was a soldier in the army before this all started. Kaveeta was laying in the back of the truck with Jean closely monitoring her and making sure she didn't move too much. The SUV Behind them held the remaining people. Iris felt a pang in her chest and felt her heart break, thinking of Veda out there, somewhere. She could only hope that she was waiting in those mountains with Tryston. She squeezed her dog tag that had her name engraved in it. Something Veda gave her as a gift. 

Veda was in the passenger seat, drawing in her sketch book while Finn drove and her two cousins were fast asleep in the back seat. Something about drawing always relaxed her and she is quickly learning that even when everything is going to shit, it helps her cope. Finn would occasionally check on Veda, only didn't use words. He just killed her mom in front of her and he's afraid that one wrong word would cause her to snap. He looked at the her a minute too long when a large body hit the front of their car and smashed the windshield, causing Finn to spin out of control as the car started to flip and roll down into a ditch. 

Veda woke up to a pounding in her head. She pressed her hand to her head and felt warm liquid, moments later she noticed that she was hanging upside down. She looked around and saw that Ellie wasn't buckled in and her shin bone was piercing out of her leg. It made her dry heave. Then, it was silent, all she could hear was the sudden moaning of the undead as they were closing in on them. They were sitting duck and she was the only one conscious. "Finn?" She whispered, but got no response. She supported her weight with her left and and forced the buckle to release her as she awkwardly fell. She started slapping Finn's face gently, trying to wake him. His eyes started to flutter open. "Get up Finn."

The young man looked at his surroundings and heard the horde of undead. "Fuck. Get Chester, I'll get Ellie out."

She just nodded as she crawled out of the broken window, cutting her palms on the shattered glass that spread across the concrete. She quickly got to the back and got Chester out by cutting the seat belt than dragging him out, still unconscious. "We can't stay on the road. We have to take the woods."

"No way." Finn said while he dragged Ellie out into the grass and left her on her back so he could check himself for wounds. "We need to find cover."

"No! We are so fucking close Finn. We continue on foot."

Finn knew it was pointless to argue with his friend so he picked Ellie up and put her across his shoulders and started to go into the woods, taking the long way to the mountains and hoping to not get stuck.

"Turn right." B said as she was leaning between the two front seats.

"I know where to go. I've been here plenty of times. I didn't ask for a GPS."

"We've been driving for hours and I peed in a cup at least four times. I need to walk."

"You will in a few minutes. Just stop complaining because it's not helping anyone or anything." Iris continued. Slowly losing her patience. She made a right onto the dirt road and slowed down a bit. The turns were sharp and it had rained earlier so she wasn't taking any chances. Every few minutes she would see one of the undead just roaming about. Waiting for their next meal. She had imagined, just for a second, what it would be like to be the victim before quickly shaking the gruesome thoughts out of her head.

She came to a stop next to a car that had a blanket on top, but no owner, however a smile quickly spread across her face because she knew the owner of the car. She exited her vehicle and called out his name. "Tryston?" There was no answer. "Tryston, you there?" Again there was no sound. She turned around and faced her group. "Alright guys. Set up camp, we'll be here for awhile. Stay in groups of two."

"Who the hell let you be in charge?" B asked, stopping the remaining people to stop unloading. 

"I did." A man's deep voice came from behind Iris. 

"Tryston?" She asked turning around to face her best friend. 

"Hey girl." He smiled before Iris jumped up and embraced him. He was six foot compared to her 5'3". 

"And who are you?" B asked, ruining the moment. 

"She is the only one willing enough to make the calls around here. Unless any of you are ready to make decisions that put everyone elses life at risk, by all means speak up." Tryston took the silence a a sign to continue. "Iris has experience making hard decisions and I don't know about anyone else but I would fight and die for her. She's my best friend and I trust her with my life. As should all of you. We are not a big group, so we need to be strong and stay together. I say we vote. Anyone want B as the leader?" Not a single person raised their hand. Unlike Iris and Tryston, they knew who B really was and what she had done. She was selfish and only cared for herself. "Hands up for Iris." That's when everyone, including B being the last, raised their hands. "Good. What should we do then Iris?"

Iris took a deep breathe. "I don't think we should unpack the cars, we might need to leave in a hurry. If you need something then take it from the trucks individually. Better safe than sorry. Other than that we should get a small fire going, one that shouldn't be noticeable." 

They nodded and started walking to get wood. "Jean, you stay with my sister and make sure she's comfortable. I want Anya with you as well."

"Sure thing." She smiled before smiling and walking to the back of the SUV. 

"That sounded really good." Tryson said when they were alone.

"I think I saw it in a movie once." She said honestly. "I don't know why you wanted me to be leader. I have no idea what I'm doing."

"But you'll learn, and I'll be here every step of the way."

"Thanks buddy. Have you heard from Veda at all?"

"Not since I left. I'm sure she'll be here soon, we just have to wait it out. Come on, lets get some tents up for these people."

"Our people." Iris corrected him. 

"Yeah." He smiled. "Our people." 

It was nightfall and they were all sitting around a small campfire. It was nearly pitch black, but they could make out each others faces. They were actually laughing and having a good time. They were getting to know each other. Even B was cracking a few jokes every now and again. Their laughter died down when they heard a crunching sound coming from the woods. 

 

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