Emily Cardin – 18 Years Old

I slowly walk through the woods, passing by many animals and trees. Leaves crunch under my feet, making loud noises that echo through the trees. I don't bother trying to keep quiet to avoid walkers since Josh's camp is pretty close by anyway. I clutch my chest, trying to keep myself calm. I haven't been bitten or anything, but it's just I have a sinking feeling about a lot of stuff that's been going on, and I just don't know what to focus on anymore.

In the past three months, so many things have happened to me that hasn't happened in the past year since I was alive. I joined a group, lost Connor, got into a coma, and met many new people. I honestly don't know what to think of it all. On one hand, it's nice to be next to people that care about you, but on the other hand, I still don't know much about any of them. I realize I'm caught up in my mind and shake my head, I just need to be calm and focus on getting back.

By the time I make it back to our camp, the sun had set completely, and the stars are just starting to come out. I see that Josh has set up a fire, and everyone is sitting around it, laughing and giggling. It makes my heart warm up a bit and makes me forget for just a quick moment that the world has ended. Once I start to head up the hill, I notice Rebecca staring at me. She smiles and waves me over to join them. I consider not for a second but seeing everyone sitting down and enjoying themselves makes me walk over.

Everyone is sitting down and talking. Shane and Taylor sit next to each other, having a peaceful conversation. Richard, who I realize I haven't spoken to yet, sits next to Alice, and they both laugh while they roast marshmallows. Sophie sits by herself but is having a conversation with Nick, who sits right next to Rebecca. Josh sits on his own chair and brings out a pack of marshmallows for all of us to eat. Seeing everyone together makes me smile for a bit, so I take a seat on a log next to Rebecca.

"Well look who finally decided to show up," Rebecca says, smirking, "Did you enjoy your walk in the woods?"

"Yeah," I quickly answer, "I just needed some time to think about things."

"We all do," Rebecca admits, grabbing a stick and a marshmallow and sticking through it.

I grab a stick myself and Josh hands me a marshmallow, looking at me grimly. I try to avoid his gaze, but it's clear to me that Josh isn't having fun. I ignore that thought and stick my marshmallow on my stick and roast it over the fire. All of the conversations have ceased, and everyone quietly looks at the glowing fire in front of our eyes. It's very peaceful to hear the fire crackle and pop in the night. It reminds me of the many times Connor and I had to camp out in the woods together.

I notice Lewis is absent in this little festivity we have. I look around for him but see him nowhere. I'm starting to worry about him, where could he have gone?

I try not to focus on Lewis though, and just roast my marshmallow.

"You missed a lot while we were apart," Rebecca says, interrupting my train of thought.

"Really?" I say, "What did I miss?"

Rebecca quickly looks down, only to shift her gaze to me. Her eyes twinkle due to the fire. Just like the stars in the sky.

"Well for starters," She starts, "You missed… Shane going ballistic over the escape mission. He started to flip out and he cursed himself out for not thinking of a better solution."

"Really?"

"Yep, I had to pull him together, so we could find the others. We easily found Nick, covered in zombie blood. He smelled awful."

We both giggle and I start to laugh out loud when I notice Nick looking at us but smirking himself. After Rebecca pulls herself together, she tells the rest of the story.

"Anyway, once we found he helped us find Taylor, breaking down in a broken shack over Alice and Fredrick. She didn't know if they died or survived, so it really took a toll on her."

The mention of Fredrick's name makes my heart break for a second, but what really gets me is Rebecca mentioning Taylor's breakdown. I never really thought of how Taylor must've taken the whole escape herself. Hearing it now doesn't make me feel any better about what happened that night. Hell, it almost reminds me of how I reacted when Connor sacrificed himself.

"It was hell the first few days," Rebecca continued, "We didn't have much of our stuff, and Taylor constantly attracted walkers. It wasn't easy surviving with her."

"Did you consider kicking her out?" I blurt out.

I quickly regret the words I say, and I feel like Taylor's eyes are burning into my skull, but Rebecca answers easily.

"For a few days I did, but Shane and Nick talked me out of it. Besides, I was kidding, of course, I mean, I wouldn't leave her defenseless or anything. It was just a quick thought."

I nod and turn my attention to the fire. Thinking on how awful those first few nights must have been for them.

"I'm really sorry we didn't try and find you guys," I say.

Rebecca looks at me and smiles.

"Don't worry about it." Rebecca answers, "You had to get out of there in a hurry because you had Alice with you."

We both then stop talking for a bit and just stare at the others. I watch Alice and Richard roast marshmallows together and see Taylor and Shane quietly watch them as they do. Sophie looks up at the bright stars in the sky, probably thinking about her family. Nick just sits down and probably daydreams, and then I watch him overshoot his stick so now it's roasting in the fire instead of his marshmallow. Josh just looks down, and I can't tell what he's thinking about, could be a number of things.

Seeing everyone here makes me think about Connor, and how much I miss him again. It's been three months since he saved me and Alice, and I can't get him out of my mind. Will I ever see him again?

Then, a crushing realization hits me. What if I do never see him again. What if he really is dead, his body decomposing back at the city, and I fled. What if I could have saved him, but I somehow didn't notice how I could. What if he's dead, and the last thought he had was of me hating him in his last minutes of life.

"Oh god," I say, out loud.

Rebecca watches me but doesn't say a word. She must know I don't want to talk about it. About Connor...

"You want to talk about what happened to Connor?"

So, I guess she does want to know.

I desperately don't want to say anything about him, but I really need to tell someone about it. I have told Josh and Lewis about Connor, but I never told them what happened to him, other then we got split up. But I never want to delve into what happened to me during that night, and that moment of when I lost him.

We stay quiet for a little while longer before Rebecca gives up.

"If you don't want to talk about it, then I understand. But you should know, keeping something like that inside you, isn't healthy for your body. Trust me when I say this if I spent my entire life focusing on fucked up things in my past, I would be dead right now. You got to learn when to let something go."

I sigh and stare at the fire, that is now finally dimming out.

"Did you find his body in the horde?" I ask.

Rebecca looks at me, almost sadly. It causes my heart to race with fear.

"We didn't find him anywhere. The horde was too thick and big, so we couldn't go back to see if he made it or not. I'm really sorry Emily."

I stare down. I knew they probably didn't find anything of Connor, but it was worth a try I guess.

"Thank you for telling me Rebecca," I say.

Rebecca smiles and looks at me.

"That's what friends are for, right?"

The word friend brings down a shockwave into me. Is she serious? I don't know anything about her besides a few things. But, the more I think about it, the happier I am. I may have lost Connor and Beth. But I can make new friends without them, right?

We both smile, and I take my stick out of the fire with my marshmallow. Which is completely black and is melting. Rebecca notices and laughs her ass off, which causes the others to take notices and laugh too. I try to take it off the stick, but it burns the second I touch it. I pull my hand away and notice Rebecca laughing louder.

"Oh man, that was great." She says, wiping her eyes.

"Have you never roasted a marshmallow before?" Nick suddenly asks.

My cheeks burn, but then, I quickly smile.

"I wouldn't be questioning my skills, Nick, since I see that your stick is on fire." I counter.

Nick quickly looks at his stick, which is indeed, on fire. He shouts for a bit before realizing that walkers can hear us, and he throws it in the fire. Everyone is unable to contain their laughter. My heart lights up as everyone laughs together, making me forget about Conner, at least for a little bit.

Maybe we really will be okay.

Charlie – 23 Years Old

It's dark outside, and not a single sound can be heard. All of my men have probably gone to sleep, except my security that patrols the town. I sit at the edge of my bed, fully outfitted with my armor and guns. The entire assault has been planned, and soon, tomorrow night, we will attack the survivors that dared threaten my status as a leader. So why do I feel so sad inside? Shouldn't I be happy about the next few days? I know somethings been troubling me, and I know exactly what it is, but I don't know how to confront it, or how to confront her.

Victoria's birthday is coming soon, it's happening in seven days to be exact. Right now, if the world was alive, I would have been wrapping her gifts and ordered champagne, just for the two of us. But that was all ruined when she died. I haven't known what to do since then. During her last birthday, I just focused on surviving, running into new groups, and building our own little town, our own camp. I can't remember the last time I properly thought about Victoria like this. I was so focused on myself, that I never really thought about her anymore.

Shaking my head in frustration, I rise up and walk toward the windows to draw the curtains. I grip onto the soft fabric, but just before I pull the curtains, something catches my eyes. The sky, full of stars, all shining and twinkling in the night. They seem to radiate with light. Something about seeing the cold, dark night, filled with stars in its sky, is very comforting to me. I feel like Victoria would feel the exact same way.

A smile grows on my face for the first time in the apocalypse, a genuinely happy smile. I close the curtains, blocking out the light, and the last glimpses of my past.

As the night draws nearer, more and more survivors across the globe blow out their candles, turn off their lights, and get some rest. The walkers wander aimlessly in fields and cities, desperately searching for meat to fill their empty bodies. Many military officers in California, get one last look at the stars before shutting their curtains and joining their colleagues.

Somewhere in Townsend, a sixteen-year-old boy walks around, not knowing anything about the area he is in. He takes in the remarkable number of stars in the sky, smiling for a bit before hearing gunshots in the distance. He then quickly retreats to an old house across the street to avoid confrontation, and finds a secure house with bits of food and water inside. Just the place where he plans to spend the rest of the night.

Somewhere on the same highway, Emily Cardin was once walking, a lonesome military HMMWV sits quietly as a muscular man digs through his cooler and finds a bottle of alcohol. He sits in his chair, star gazing as he drinks. He hums old music that he seems to enjoy and smiles as his pet dog lies down and takes a nap right beside him.

Five miles away, in a town called Lunenburg, a teenage couple reside away in a small house, going unnoticed by the walkers that roam the street. The girl quickly falls asleep, smiling knowing she is safe with her boyfriend. The boy takes a little while to rest though, securing every nook and cranny in the house, only to then, feel safe enough to sleep with his girlfriend.

Lewis sits in the woods, alone, cold, and really hungry. The bright red mark engulfs his cheek, but he can barely feel the pain anymore. He looks up, unable to see anything in the sky due to the trees blocking his view. He sigs and watches the walkers that roam in the woods at night, feeling a bit depressed, and very guilty of himself.

And once the moon finally shines brighter than the stars, the main group crawl into their tents and wish each other goodnight. Josh lies alone in his tent, worrying. Nick, Shane, and Richard all quickly sleep, and all of the girls quietly sing before they decided to rest. The entire world grows quiet, and soon, for the first time ever, things quiet down, for this broken world.

I hope you all like that, I am extremely sorry for taking so long to write, so I hope this chapter was able to please some of you. If you're confused by the ending, well, sorry about that, I didn't know what else to really put after Charlie's POV, so I kind of did my own thing. If you guys want an explanation for why this chapter took so long, well, the real reason was, I was lazy. I mean, its summer, and with school coming up for me soon, I'm taking all the days I can to relax. Sorry if you're pissed, I probably would be too so at least we agree on something. Hope you liked this chapter. See you guys soon, hopefully.

Take Care

-CandleFire45

P.S: This is not the end to the story, If it feels like that, then you got it all wrong, I'm going to continue this, I just thought this would be a cool way ending this part.