This had to be one of the hottest days of the long summer. The sun burned down, warming the metal of the truck that Shauna Connolly was sitting on, making it burn through her jeans. She had been stealing clothes from people's homes and clearing out stores, but it never crossed her mind to get a pair of shorts so she wouldn't melt in her skin-tight black jeans. Whomever had these jeans before her, they had to have been younger than fourteen, or they would have been skinnier than a twig.
Her blue tank top was drenched in sweat, clinging to her body and making her more uncomfortable than she already was. The stench in the air burned her sinuses, but there was no way to get rid of it since she was getting so close to the city - but she was desperate for food and she couldn't find any in the woods. All she had left was a box of Saltines and a small bottle of honey, which was beginning to crystallize.
She adjusted the strap of the Claymore on her back, but after a while of fussing with it, she just pulled it off and set it next to her on the hood of the olive green military truck as she chewed a stale saltine. She ran her hand along the top of her head, which felt like she just went swimming or she just got out of the shower, and the hair that fell loose from her high ponytail dripped sweat steadily down onto her thigh.
Stuffing two saltines in her mouth at once and setting the white sleeve of crackers on the truck, she got to her feet, turning around on the truck and raised the binoculars that hung on her chest to her eyes. She scanned around, looking for a lead for food, finding only a few haggling walking corpses; until her eyes fell upon a massive looking building. It appeared to be a warehouse, but she couldn't tell since she was so far away.
Lowering the binoculars, she squinted, trying to find it with her bare eyes so she would know where to go. For all she knew, the place could be loaded with food, something she was dangerously low on, or water, which she had none at all. The past few days she was drinking from a river that she boiled above a small fire, but she ran out of matches so that wasn't an option anymore. Her throat was dry and scratchy and her stomach was rumbling furiously, begging for the smallest amount of food that wasn't a salty white cracker. Once, her and her squad in Iraq were sent a batch of hardtack, which tasted terrible, but Shauna would kill to have a small square of salty flour since it filled her stomach for hours.
She hopped down from the hood of the truck and swung the door open – the sleeve of crackers and claymore in hand – and stepped up to sit in the even hotter truck. She didn't dare roll down the windows before, but now she was so hot that she rolled them down, no matter how dumb it was. If a dead meatbag didn't take her down, the heat sure as hell would, and she didn't feel like dying right now.
She backed up the truck, twisting the steering wheel to go check out the building she saw in the distance – her curiosity getting the best of her. As much as she knew it was a bad idea, she was desperate, and she would risk her life to get some water. Her encounter with some men in a tan truck wouldn't stop her, even though she knew they would be looking for her right now; scouting the roads and the woods just so they could get their fuel back. Luckily, they didn't see the truck she was driving, nor did they get a close enough look at her; they only knew they were looking for a woman who was average height with long brown hair in a ponytail.
She lifted her hand from the steering wheel to wipe her brow and dab her eye, which was burning because sweat just dripped inside of it. Holding the hem of her shirt up to her eye, she kept her left eye glued to the outside making sure to not hit any trees and to find the road.
"Jesus, who would have thought sweat could burn?" She joked to herself, her voice rough and dry from her lack of hydration. She dropped her shirt from her hold and scooted back further into the seat, and leaned over the steering wheel to search for the road she turned off of. There was a meatbag outside of the driver's side window, stumbling about and inclining its hung head to the direction of the truck as Shauna passed it. It's black hair fell on strings in front of its face and its lips were completely decayed, exposing blacked teeth and gums; Shauna's face twisted in pity, her eyebrows pulling upward as her sorrow grew when she kept staring at it.
She tore her eyes away and watched the road in front of her, finally seeing the gray pavement that was the road. She pressed her foot slowly onto the brake, as truck barely squeezed in between two trees and made a sharp left turn to head toward her destination. The engine hummed quietly as she sped up, and she quickly pressed down the clutch to switch gears, sped up, then changed gears once more so she was going a steady fifty miles an hour.
Leaves covered the road from the absence of cars driving on it and the air began to smell fresh the longer she drove. There was still a small amount of the rotting smell, but it wasn't as overwhelming as it was if she were in the city.
She propped her elbow on the open window, setting her head down on her palm as she drove wearily. A good night's sleep was also on her to-do list; and she wasn't thinking about a short two hour nap where would have to keep one eye open. She just wanted somewhere totally safe to rest her eyes for a whole eight hours – hell, she would even sleep in a jail cell for all she cared, no matter how claustrophobic she was. It's been a long time since she's even seen another living person. Every time she thought she saw one, they would slowly turn their rotted gazes in her direction and try to eat her.
After driving for what felt like hours, the building came to view, emerging from the horizon with tall fences that were tipped with razor wire.
"A prison?" She exclaimed loudly, bringing in her elbow and banging on the steering wheel with her opposite hand, her eyebrows stitching together in frustration. There was a chance that it contained weapons, but she didn't want weapons as much as she wanted food and water. She glanced over to her backpack next to her seat and fished through it while keeping her focus on the road. Feeling the cool metal she was looking for, she pulled out a Desert Eagle. It was chrome plated silver with a black leather handle that she received from her brother for her birthday after she came back from Iraq. She only shot it a few times, since it was such a nice gun and she didn't want to ruin it, and now it was a weapon that she used if she got in a tight spot. Her M16 ran out of bullets a long time ago and the Desert Eagle was dangerously close to running out as well, but she knew a place where there would be stacks of ammo for it – she just needed a map to get there because she didn't know exactly where she was.
She slowed down as she came closer the the prison, and eventually stopped, ripping out the keys from the ignition and leaning forward to grab the thick military jacket from around the back of the driver's seat and stuffed them in the front pocket. Meatbags were stumbling about outside the car, turning their attention to the mysterious truck, examining it for fresh food for lunch.
Shauna reached over to strap the backpack onto her back after stuffing the gun back inside it, then held her claymore tightly. She slowly closed her eyes and took a deep breath, trying to calm her racing heart that was pumping enough adrenaline through her veins to drown out her blood. Her hand moved to the handle of the door, pulling it and pushing the door open by ramming her shoulder into it. She immediately ducked down, losing her balance and falling hard onto the road, hurting her tailbone. She swiftly recovered after a tiny wince, then got to her feet and crept up to the front wheel of the truck. Her eyes scanned the inside of the prison fence, searching for any meatbags, and there were surprisingly none to be seen. Either someone cleared it out or the dead is just lurkin' inside the building, she thought to herself.
Familiar groans sounded along with the sound of shoes rubbing against the pavement in an uneven way, bringing Shauna's eyes up to see a bald corpse stumbling in front of the truck. With her sword gripped tightly in her hands, she waited for the meatbag to turn the corner and as soon as it did, she leaped out, plunging the silver blade cleanly into its neck. The rotted gore of the undead corpse oozed out, running along the blade and dripping down onto the road as she steadily lowered in down, trying not to make anymore noise than she already did. Once the meatbag touched the ground, she pulled out the claymore and swung the strap over her right shoulder and peeked up above the hood of the truck – finding the closest corpse to have its back turned, so she bolted out from behind the truck, keep her head low and she approached the fence. After getting only a few feet away, she leaped onto the fence, her fingers lacing around the wire as she pulled herself up. The clatter grabbed the meatbags' attention, and she heard the stumbles and hungry moans getting closer to her.
Shauna's chest began to pound as she climbed faster, grabbing the jacked from her forearm and swinging it over the razor wire, making it safer to climb over. The meatbags below her grabbed at her feet as she continued to climb up, swinging her leg over the wire when she got close enough. Her hand flew out behind her to gain balance as she swayed backward, grabbing onto the sharp razors on accident, slicing into the palm of her hand. She flinched and cried out, causing her to become completely unsteady and stumbled over the fence, crashing down hard on the earth below – her head bounced from the impact, causing her to slowly slip into blackness just as she thought she saw someone running up to her.
Muffled voices sounded from the darkness. Shauna slowly became aware of her surroundings, feeling her right hand above her head with something tight around her wrist. She tugged at it, but she couldn't bring it down to her side. Her arm fell asleep, and so as soon as she moved it, she felt pins and needles pricking through her fingers.
More sounds came, slowly beginning to clear up and becoming understandable. She wiggled the fingers in her left hand, feeling something bulky wrapped around it, constricting her movements. Slowly, she opened her eyes, seeing an old man with a white beard and a boy wearing a sheriff's hat sitting next to where she was laying, watching her. She burst into a silent laughter, closing her weary eyes again.
"Why didn't you tell me it was Christmas?" She croaked in her Southern accented voice, which was completely unrecognizable to her because of the dry desert in her throat. "I would have brought the boy a present," she added and the laughter turned into a dry coughing fit.
"Carl, go fetch her some water," the bearded man instructed the young boy and immediately obeyed, quickly getting up and exiting the room. She opened her eyes wider and lifted her head from the pillow to examine her surroundings that had concrete walls and and bunk beds, with a metal toilet to her right.
"How the hell–?" She began, completely confused as her eyes shot from the old man to the prison cell around her, tugging at the handcuffs.
"Ma'am, calm down. We're gonna help you," the old man soothed.
"If you're gonna help me, then let me out of these damn cuffs," she hissed, struggling to sit up on the bed as she pulled herself up to the wall behind her. The boy came back with a blue metal thermos and cautiously held it out to Shauna, clearly scared that she was going to hurt him. She was going to refuse, but instead she greedily snatched it from his hands, bringing it to her lips and gulping it down, welcoming the feeling of a hydrated throat. The water began to pour out from around her mouth as she tilted it back further, trying to get as much water in her body as fast as possible but she didn't care – the water was cool against her skin.
"I'm Hershel," the old man said as she lowered the empty thermos and sloppily wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. She didn't respond as she handed the thermos back to the boy – apparently named Carl – and he took it back, glancing over at Hershel with a puzzled look on his face. "This is the time when you introduce yourself," Hershel added expectantly, his tone unchanged. Shauna gave him a side-long look.
"I don't have a name," she said, pulling at the cuffs again. "Now you can send me on my way." Hershel caught his breath as if to say something, but instead got to his feet, reaching backwards for a set of crutches that Shauna hadn't noticed that was leaning against the wall behind him. She watched him limp out of the cell, and she noticed he only had one foot. Carl followed him out, glancing back at her as he turned to his right and disappeared from her view.
She leaned her head back against the concrete wall behind her, closing her eyes gently, confused as to why they wouldn't let her go – or even why they brought her inside the prison. Unless there was a bigger group hanging around, she wondered how a one-legged Santa Clause or a twelve year old boy was able to drag her inside by themselves. Her mind kept wandering back to why? All of the other survivor groups she had stumbled across tried to kill her and dump her body, or they wanted to kill her to eat her. Not only did she have to worry about the dead eating her, she had to worry about the living eating her; but these two people weren't trying to do either of those things. The more she thought about it, the more her mind tied itself into knots, confusing herself more than she needed to be.
A/N: Thanks so much for reading! I FINALLY REWROTE THE FIRST CHAPTER! YAY! This is a rewrite of All That's Left, a story that I wasn't very proud of.
I am currently working on two other stories right now, and that means it will probably take a while for me to update this one, but I promise I will! Check out my other stories too!
Sorry for some mistakes, I can skim over some when I'm proofreading. Please favorite/follow and review! I love to hear your opinions, so I know where the story is going, like whether I should continue it or not. Also, I will leave some decisions up to you guys! At the end of some chapters I might ask what you guys think should happen, and I will actually listen to you!