Not Far

Jean is subjected to a rude awakening when she parts ways with her best friend. She makes her way to Washington D.C. before finally running into a group of survivors, but is she in for more than she bargained for? Will she slowly lose her mind in this lonely world of devastation and no hope?

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1. All Alone

She shook me fiercely, trying to get my attention. My eyes slowly trailed to hers. I-for once-felt scared. I never thought that this would happen. Why was this happening?
  "Jean! It's going to be fine! We'll make it!" She shouted, trying to calm my nerves. A car came zooming toward us, full speed. She jumped out of the way, pulling me down with her. I heard a blood curdling sound from within, a gargling noise.
  A decomposing man emerged from the fiery car. It slowly made its way over to us, limping. I got up, unsure of whether he were actually alive or not.
  "Jean!" She shouted from behind me. The man turned his head to look at her. Blood was oozing out of his mouth and his eyes were a pale grey with no pupil. I froze as he walked past me, and I wrinkled my nose at the awful odor emitting from him. It was a putrid smell that reminded me of road kill. I realized at that moment that he was dead. That false hope I had given myself did absolutely nothing to help mask the obvious dead features.
  She screamed as it grabbed her arm. Quickly, I ran up to one of my holsters and grabbed the sword within. In one swift motion, I chopped the creature's head off. The smell got worse as blood began to continuously pool and squirt from the open wound. She fell over, still stunned by this experience.
  As I stared down at the still alive head, I couldn't help but let my thoughts wander. The creature kept gnashing it's teeth, most likely thinking that it can actually catch some piece of flesh between its rotting teeth. I plunged the blade into its forehead, giving it an end.
  "This is our world now." I muttered with no emotion. She looked up at me, confusion plastered on it. 
  "What? I-I couldn't hear you." She explained. I looked down at her.
  "I said that this is the world now. You could be as skilled as us, but still be killed due to carelessness." I claimed. She looked as if she were offended by my remark.
  "I hope you're blaming yourself, too." She remarks, dusting off her arms as she stood up.
  "Cause you walked right up to that..thing." She pointed out while nodding toward the twice-dead body. I ignored her and kept my focus on the car. 
  "Do you think there was more than one in there?" I asked. She shrugged. 
  "It couldn't hurt to look, right?" She suggested. I sighed.
  "It could. What if it pops right out and, oh, I don't know, bites our face!" I exclaimed. She shook her head while laughing.
  "Let's go this way." I suggested as I began to walk the other way. She looked at me with a saddened look.
  "Jean, I can't go with you." She told me, calmly. I looked back at her. 
  "Huh?" 
  "I'm going back home, to Islip. If you want you can go with me, but, I have to go this way." She explained. I looked down.
  "I-I" I stuttered. She stood in front of me, waiting for a response. 
  "I'll follow you to the state line. After that, I'll go wherever the wind takes me." I told her. She nodded.
  "I'll take it." She said, I could tell she was holding back tears. We began walking, I collected our swords and spears as we walked by, I had a feeling that we were going to need them. Of course, I was right.
  And so, we began our journey out of our quiet mountain town. I wasn't sure where I was going, but she was determined to get back to New York. We reached the state limit of Colorado before we knew it, and she looked at me. 
  "Well.." She started. I dropped all of our stuff.
  "Here. You'll need it." I told her. She stopped for a moment and stared at me with wide eyes. She shook her head.
  "No. You need some too." She claimed. 
  "I don't know if I'm going to leave here. What's the point?" I told her. She grabbed the swords and spears before looking back. I could tell that she was nervous, she didn't want to leave. But weren't we all? We were all terrified. We had no clue what was going on or why it was happening. In a way, both she and I were journeying into the unknown. This world was cruel, and it could take us and the things we love away in an instant. 
  "I guess this is goodbye." She said, grasping the straps of her swords. I nodded. Out of nowhere, she hugged me.
  "Stay alive. Please? For me? Just survive somehow." She whispered. I smiled.
  "Of course." I promised. Although, I wasn't sure if I actually could keep this promise. You never know what could happen in this world of cruelty. 
  She was gone quicker than I realized. I took a deep breath before starting off toward the east. But this time.....
         I was all alone.

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