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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5. Options

"What the hell was that?" B asked, immediately jumping up and holding up her gun.

"I think its obvious." Tryston said while standing up.

"Calm down, it could be a survivor." Iris pointed out.

"They would've said something by now." Jean cut in.

Iris took in her surroundings the best she could, thinking of all of her options. The noise was either a survivor looking for safety, a crazy person wanting to take what little they have or the undead. She didn't like any of those options. "Alright. Everyone get in the cars that you came in except for Tryston. We will check what it was. B you stay out and be their guard. Everyone move."

"You realize I don't have a weapon right?" Tryson said while turning his flashlight out.

"I know. I just trust you more than anyone else to have my back. Besides, you always preferred melee weapons right?"

"Yeah, but that was just in video games."

"I understand. If you don't want to go-"

"I never said that." He interrupted before looking around and grabbing a large wooden stick. "Let's get this over with." He smiled.

They walked briskly through the woods, trying to make out what the noise was. They stopped in their tracks when they heard another cracking sound, this time it was followed by a painful grown. Iris looked around and saw yellow eyes that started to stick out in the darkness, like they just opened all at once. They were surrounded, but none of them attacked. "Oh shit." She whispered while trying to look for an escape route, finding none.

"Why aren't they attacking?" Tryston asked as they went back to back, trying to stay calm.

"Maybe they can't see us? Maybe only hear us? Or the other way around? We should try and stick to the shadows and maybe walk right pass them." She whispered.

"I'd rather try than just wait here to die."

"Alright, follow my lead."

"All due respect, but no way in hell. I'm the stealthy one, you follow me."

They started to tip toe through and made it past a good bunch and they didn't even attempt to attack. They didn't even look at the two. They were just staring ahead of them. Iris tried to keep her composure, but the smell of blood and death was almost to much. She couldn't breathe. They were about mid way through, still trying to avoid touching the undead, sometimes only missing by an inch.

"Where the fuck are they?" B asked, as she stood guard.

"It hasn't been that long. Maybe it was a friendly." Jean said as she covered Kaveeta with a thin blanket to stop her shivers. 

"Unlikely. What if we just left?"

"And where would we go? This girl obviously has a plan. We are better off with her."

"Oh yeah? And when do you think we will all get along and see eye to eye huh? We would be the worst group known to man."

"You don't know that. Let's just let this ride out. See where it leads us."

"Fine, but as soon as I see that she isn't fit to lead us, we are leaving and never looking back."

"But-" Jeans sentence was cut short as they were sent to the ground from it shaking violently. "What the fuck was that?"

"I don't know, but start the car. If they aren't back in five, we are leaving."

Tryston and Iris had been dodging and running from the undead after they came in contact with a huge shadow. They hit a dead end when they saw a large mountain in their way. "We went the wrong way!" He shouted before looking behind them and seeing the very thing they were afraid of. It was the size of a three story building and its muscles were bulging out of the little bit of fabric that was left on it. It brought its large hand back and swung at Iris, making contact and sending her against the hard rock. It then grabbed Tryston and squeezed the air out of him. "Iris!" He screamed with everything he had left. 

She got up slowly and aimed the gun at its head the best she could due to the darkness and shot ten rounds into its skull before it finally dropped her friend. "Run!" She shouted as they ran in any direction that the thing wasn't. 

"Did You hear that?" Finn asked out of breath.

"Gunshots. That has to be them. It came from the direction of where we need to be. Hurry! I can't lose her." Veda shouted as she quickened her pace.

The beast was just as fast as it was strong and was on their heels. Iris looked back a second too long and didn't notice the big hill that dropped down into a line of trees. Tryston tried to grab her hand to stop her, but ended up going down with her. The beast tried grabbing at Iris, but only got a hold of her necklace, ripping it off. It was bumpy and every now and again they would roll across a sharp rock. Tryston was stopped by hitting a tree abdomen first and curled a little at the impact, causing his air to be knocked out of him. 

Iris kept going a few more feet before rolling on a slight incline and fell a few feet until meeting the same fate as Tryston, only her head took the impact. Tryston helped her up and checked her head. "Are you alright?"

"No. Are you?"

"No." They both looked up. They saw the the large creature didn't follow and was thrashing its arms like crazy. "We need to get back to camp."

"Yeah. Let's take the main road. It will take less time." 

After just a few minutes, they made it out of the woods and to the road, noticing headlights coming from a speeding car. "Stop!" Tryston said while going in the middle of the road. The car came to a screeching stop, almost hitting the man. 

Iris went to the drivers seat, her pistol aiming at the driver and anger built up when she saw the driver. "Get in the back seat B."

"We waited-"

"Get in the fucking back B!" She huffed out and did as she was told. Letting Iris and Tryston in the front, Iris in the drivers seat. "Is my sister back there?"

"Yes." Jean said quietly.

"Good. Why is everyone in this car?"

"We thought it would be safer if we were all together so we left it at the camp. We also lost two people before we got out. The camp was over run."

 Iris turned to face Tryston. "We can stay on this road and maybe we will run into Veda and Finn."

"I mean it's possible, but the odds-" He cut himself off when he saw the hope and determination in his friends eyes. "Let's do it."

They were driving until the sun started to come up when they saw a car that was tipped over in a ditch. Iris stopped the car. She got out of the car, followed by Tryston and B.

The car was totaled. The front windshield was shattered, blood and flesh covered the cracks. The passenger side window was broken and shards of glass littered the ground with blood mixed in. There was a puddle of dark red blood, she noticed a very familiar looking notebook in the mess. As she picked it up, tears rushed down her red cheeks, she tried keeping her composure, but her head was going to the worst possible scenario. 

"What is it?" Tryston asked.

"Veda's sketch book." She said as she took notice of a trail of blood. Her legs had a mind of their own as she followed it, not even thinking where it could lead her. It was a short journey as she came to a stop. It was like all of the air left her body. She couldn't breath, couldn't move, she was just there. All she could do was watch in horror as a small horde were all hunched over and munching on their victim. They didn't take notice of her as she stood there. The love of her life was gone. No more. She tried to take a step further, but was stopped as Tryston put his hand over her mouth and picked Iris up with his other arm, taking her away from the carnage and back to the SUV where everyone waited. 

"What are we gonna do?" B asked. "The camp has been overrun."

"We can find another place. Some place we know." Tryston said while still comforting his long time friend.

"California." Iris whispered.

"What?"

"California. We are familiar with things there than we are here. We could find a safe place and make a camp. We can survive."

"That's a long shot." Tryston pointed out.

"We are already half way there." She said as she wiped the stray tears. "If anyone doesn't agree or will start problems, you can leave now. I need people who will contribute and work together to survive."

Tryston was worried on how quickly Iris' emotions shifted, but went with it. He figured it was her way of copping. 

"If you are with me, than get in the car. We are leaving. Now."

Veda and Finn made it to the camp and saw an SUV that was parked by a fire that was almost out. "It looks so empty." Finn pointed out.

"They have to be here. Stay with my cousins, I'm going to check this place out." When she got to the middle of the camping site, she noticed two dead bodies that looked to be ripped apart, causing a vile taste to fill her mouth before hunching over and vomiting. The noise seemed to attract a horde that made notice of the sick girl. But it wasn't the undead that caused her heart to race. It was the massive like creature charging at her. She could hardly stand back up before she was picked up by the monster and brought up to see it up close. She noticed something catch the light and knew what it was. She grabbed the chain of it before sticking her knife in the creatures thought, bringing it down to cut the muscle. 

It let her go as she fell and landed on her back, hard. Causing the air to escape her. She crawled away while the creature was distracted by the small knife. She had to of hit a nerve or something. She could breathe again as she got up and ran back to where her cousins were. 

"What happened?"

"We need to leave. Now!"

"What about Iris and Tryston?"

Veda looked at Iris' dog tag. "She's fucking gone man."

Finn put Ellie back over his shoulder and motioned for Chester and Veda to follow. He knew Veda was strong, but he didn't know how long she could keep her composure. Their plan went to shit and there was nowhere left to go except for one place. California.

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