I started out on my own. Trying to find out where to go. First I was looking for food then it became looking for somewhere to go so that If I slept or fell asleep I wouldn’t have to worry about being attacked.
For about a week I was struggling to survive. Killing the undead and having to move to a new spot due to being woken up in the middle of the night by a zombie that was just walking and moaning near my area or one that kind of snarls and moves and acts like a human. I finally started to find some houses in a neighborhood with scraps of food still in them fresh enough for me to eat. I found a path or trail to go to, it started on the roof of a house and someone had built bridges leading to a hole about 6 feet high on a wall of dirt and rocks. I got into the hole and it led me to voices I heard. I kept following them as it went deeper underground and when I got there I saw a group of people sitting and eating. They all stopped and stared at me.
I asked, “how long have you guys been down here?”
And an older man, maybe in his 50s said,
“About two months. Have you been alone since the dawn?”
At this point I was just losing more and more energy by the second and was extremely hungry and light headed. The effort I had to put into getting through the trail made me feel like I was going to faint any second. But I still managed to speak.
“Dawn? I’ve been out here on my own for about a week. I don’t remember what got me here. The last thing I remember is going to sleep. I was talking to my mom the night before”—( I break down a little thinking that I still don’t know where she is and after I calm down I start speaking again)
“I saw her the night before and laid in bed and watched tv until I fell asleep. Then I woke up in an empty house with no one else there, no food, no water and not a single soul around me. I was alone”
Once I lift my head back up to finally make eye contact with him again I see everyone is still looking at me. This time with the same look on their face, a look of awe and disbelief.
A young girl stood up and walked over to me carrying a cup of water. She was white with black hair and brown eyes. She was wearing a black t shirt with holes and you could see the scratch marks on her skin through them. Her jeans were black and had holes in them as well
“Here, drink this. You look like you haven’t had anything to drink in days.”
I reached out my shaking hand to grab the cup. My entire body went from scorching hot from the summer sun to ice cold once I touched the cup. I felt a single drop of water on the outside of the cup run down my hand as I lifted the cup up just to watch it slide down so slowly. I’m brought back to reality when she speaks again.
“Are you going to drink it?”
“Yes I’m sorry I’m just a little weak is all. Thank you”
I finally lift the cup to my lips and drink the water, my throat hurts while I’m drinking it but I can’t stop because at the same time it feels so good to finally have fresh cold water.
“How long have you guys been here and how did you build that trail to get here?”
The man looks at everyone else who besides the girl still has the same look on their face and are frozen still. He then looks at me.
“It started out as just a hobby between my son and I but after what happened I lost him in a fight with walkers. I looked for him for weeks and couldn’t find him. But the trail, it felt like God sending me a message to finish it now and to not wait. So I found some help and got most of it done with the help of a young boy named Henry but after about three days of working he kept saying he could hear these faint voices coming from the distance. By the 5th Day I was working on the hole and Henry couldn’t reach it so when I wasn’t looking he ran away. I had been working for maybe about an hour. Going back and forth on the hole not even realizing the sun going down more and more and that there was no voice behind me anymore. I turned around and called for him. I didn’t hear a yell back so i walked around our camp to find him. I didn’t. I… Started waking further from the camp and I heard a growl louder than I had ever heard in my life. I couldn’t move after hearing it. It scared me almost lifeless. Then I heard a scream…”
He paused and started to cry.
The girl who gave the water walked to him and held his arm.
“George, you don’t have to go that far right now. It’s okay.”
The man exhales, he exhales harder than I’ve ever thought possible.
The girl looks at me and exhales as well.
“Okay you need to get some energy, I’m sure you’re about to pass out. We have plenty of food and drink to go around and adding another soul won’t hurt. Am I right?”
She turns to the group and they all nod and start to chatter. I follow her over to the table and sit down
“So how long have you guys been here?
“We’ve been here for months, what’s your name?”
“I’m Alan. What’s yours?”
“My name is Amy.”
She hands me a plate just clean enough for me to see my face in the reflection. My hair is no longer straight and long, it’s short and dirty. I can see grass and dirt all over my face.
“Man I look a mess”
” I was thinking the same but didn’t want to be the first one to say it. But it’s okay we can get you all cleaned up. Would you rather eat or clean yourself up first?”
I look at the table of food, the bottles of water and what appears to be lemonade.
” I wanna get cleaned up first if you don’t mind”
She laughs a little again and grabs my hand.
“Not at all. I’ll walk you over to the bathing area.”
As she walks me to get cleaned I realize how big this place is. Once you reach the hole you crawl about half a mile in at an angle. Then once you reach the end there’s a maybe 3 foot drop and you walk through what seems to be a doorway. Once you’re inside it looks like a dining room of a mansion but built in a cave. There’s tons of lights sitting on the floor in boxes and food and water are in what seems to be small sections or maybe rooms.
Once we get to the bathing area I see towels on a wooden container. Next to it lays a small box of what looks like soap.
“So here you are Alan, go ahead and get cleaned up. There are towels, our own made soap and extra clothes for you over there in the corner. Don’t worry about cleaning up the water. It’s fine if you leave some on the ground, were in a cave.”
I laughed and thanked her. As I turned around she touched my shoulder.
“I know it was rough out there on your own. They saved me. I was on my own too for a long time. I thought I was going to die out there. I killed walkers and managed to run away from a breather. While I was running I fell into one of George’s traps. He saw me and helped me out of it and walked me to the hole after we got more supplies. Don’t worry. He knows how important it is to stick together. We’ve never been more than 4 or 5 feet apart when we’re out there. You’ll be at home with us.”
I can’t explain how good it felt to hear that last sentence come out of her mouth and into my mind. I had felt scared, lost and alone for so long but once she said that I felt all worry being lifted from inside. The things I had to do on my own, the nights I spent with my heart racing trying to sleep without being mauled and not even waking up to know it. It just felt good to feel at home.