The Complete book of Hope's Unfinished Works

This book has every one of Hope's unfinished stories. She thought it would be nice to have all of her stories documented into one big book. So here it is.
Life in a New Standpoint
Tale as Old as Time
Thrown for a Twist
What to Do with the Wotters
The Tale Untold
Trouble in Paradise
The Divine


3. Chapter 3: Rick.

Dreams are something that can take you away from this world, but because I live in this apocalyptic world you can't help but dream of it.

In my dream my family and I are all sitting at our old mahogany dinner table, it is like it was just another average day in my household(Before the apocalypse). Nathan was playing on his phone while taking bites of his food, I was studying for the ASVAB and Susie was going on and on about her day, while my parents "Listened."

My dream really seems as if it is reality, but the whole mood shifts when my family goes dead silent. They were silent because they were all dead. All four of them shift their decomposed heads to look at me and simultaneously say "You let this happen to us."

I wake up in sweats in a strange unknown bed. It takes me a second to remember what had happened the day before. People tried to take my weapons and then I blacked out. Did they take me in? I wonder if this place is the light I was headed for.

I take a look around me; I am in a stone room lying on a bunk bed. The room has a musty smell, but it feels like it has recently been inhabited. Over to the side is the door out of here, but it is made up of bars.

"Am I in a prison?" I say aloud. I walk towards the door and look out. There are stairs leading to another level and a sign straight in front of me that says Cell Block C. I don't see anyone, but the place does seem pretty clean.

I turn around and notice that whoever has taken me in left a bottle of water and an opened can of peaches. I take a drink of water which feels marvelous going down my parched throat. Water is something that is great to have a lot of, which isn't always the case.

I look at the peaches and my stomach growls with glee. I pick up the can and down a few peaches making sure to pace myself.

I walk back up to the door and yell out "Hello?" I am strangely very composed about this whole situation, which isn't like me. In any other situation I would probably be having a panic attack. I think the reason I am not freaking out is all that I want is to be with people and the fact that I am with someone, good or bad, satisfies me.

I know that I was only alone for a day, but there is nothing worse than the actually feeling of being alone. I always use to think of myself as independent, but truth is no one should be alone in this world. I pick up the can of peaches and eat a few more of the sugary delicacies. Food on a real empty stomach is something that is unexplainable.

I only stop drinking because I hear a jingle of keys and a creak from the door. I quickly put down then can; embarrassed that someone had to see me pigging out. I swiftly use my arm to wipe away the peach juices.

When I look up there is a tall man standing in front of me. The man has a brown beard, he is wearing a brown shirt, has on black jeans, and a gun on his waist. He is very handsome for someone of his age.

The only thing I can think to do is say, "Hi." I also flash a light smile. The man looks back at me clearly un-amused by my friendliness.

He brings his hands together in front of him, "What's your name?"

I stand up to go greet him, "Annabel." I reply while shaking his hand. He shakes my hand in return, but is very hesitant and has a confused look on his face.

"Did you or do you have a group?" he inquires.

I fidget while memories of my family swirl through my head. "I was with my family."

I take a seat back on the bed and close my eyes to stop myself from crying. He takes a step closer to me, "And your family?"

I take a deep breath and my heart starts to pound, "They're dead." I answer silently. He nods at me in return to this. I avoid eye contact.

"3 questions," he begins. I am still not sure of his name, but I want to find out. "How many have you killed?" He leans against the wall not taking his eyes off me.

"How many of the turned?" I look up at him in question. He nods once again. I am not so sure about how to answer this, what was I supposed to do be keeping track of how many I've killed?

"I never have liked having to do it, but I know we have too. Killing the turned has become a part of our life now, it is what we do. I am a good shot, I just point and shoot, there's nothing to it." I shift my eyes down to the concrete floor. A lump starts to form in my throat; I really don't like killing them. I know they're not people, but they once were. All of them were once like you and me and now they're dead.

"Too many to think about." I reply with my final answer, which I hope is to his satisfaction.

"Where'd you learn to shoot?" he probes.

"Is that one of the three questions?" I say furrowing my eyebrows. He shakes his head no.

"Um, my dad was big time into hunting so he taught me to shoot."

The un-named man goes straight to the next question, "How many people have you killed?" 

My heart sinks into my stomach at the thought of having to tell him my answer. I have killed before, but I am not proud of it. Telling a lie never works out. "I have killed." I say this so inaudibly that I am surprised he even hears me.

"Why?" He takes a seat next to me on the bed.

"Why." I mumble, "He killed my mom." I say this looking him straight in the eye. I can tell he wants more of an answer.

So I tell him the story.

It was my brother, mom and I; we were actually doing pretty well. We had food, water, and shelter. For a while during that time I thought we were all going to be okay.

My mother, Sally, was cooking some beans while Nathan and I played cards in the living room. We were in the middle of nowhere it is a wonder that anyone found us. Of course they found us, people always find ways to take what others have.

The man barged in yelling things at the top of his lungs. My mom instantly came running from the kitchen only to be grabbed by the man. He had a gun pointed at her temple, but my mother's eyes showed no fear. He wanted our guns and any food we had. I tried bargaining with him, "You're on your own, we could help you, it doesn't have to be this way." The more I pleaded the tighter he held my mom.

When I turned to grab him some of our food I heard my mother spit on the guy's shoes and she shouted "Don't Annabel." I didn't know who to listen to, my mom or the man that held her at gun point.

As I turned around the man fired his gun into my mother's head, her petite body falling to the ground. I screamed in terror as my mom laid bleeding in front of me on the ground.

Without a second thought I ran with all my might into the man, somehow forcing him to the ground. I grabbed his gun which had fell from his grip and shot him. That all happened so fast it was unbelievable.

I look up at the man and his eyes are looking at me with grief. He begins to talk, "I lost my wife during childbirth, and I could only imagine what that would have been like."

I nod back at him, "I don't feel right for doing what I did, but he was just another corrupted soul in the Apocalypse. I even looked at his name in his wallet, Caesar Martinez." 

The man now stands up, "Name's Rick by the way. We can't come back from the things we've done, and we have all done something we're not proud of. You are welcome to stay here, but I should have you know there is a really bad flu going around. We have the medicine for it though, so hopefully everything will be okay.''

I smile slightly to myself hiding my full happiness. Rick turns around to walk out, but just before he does, he turns around wide eyed and asks, "What did you say the guy's name was?"

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