“…So…”

“…That was fun…”

 

“…Everyone, this is Leanne.”

“Hey. Thanks for the lift…”

 

“So, where to?”

“Just somewhere. After all that, I need to rest.”

“We all do.”

Rest, relaxing; seems like a pipe dream. Been non-stop go go go since the assembly. None of us getting any moment to just sit, relax and be…kids. Only one whose been close is CJ.

“I’m hungry! Any snacks or candy left?”

We started as two and now we’re six. Six survivors. Each one of us carrying our own remnants of life before the outbreak; each one of us hoping to bring some form of hope to the future. One day at a time.

*

“Trees are starting to clear.”

“That sign said there’s gonna be a town up ahead.”

“Anyone know what time it is?”

“No clue…whoa!.. Ow!”

 

“What? What’s wrong??”

“Ow…dang, it’s an eclipse. Looked right at it.”

“…Whoa…”

 

“CJ! Cj wake up!”

“…Mmm, no…five more minutes…”

“Cj! Dude, it’s an eclipse!”

“…Yeah right…not falling for that again…”

“Dude…”

“Leave me alone…it’s Saturday…”

 

“Aww, they’re so cute at this age.”

*

“Towns a few miles up the road.”

“Yeah, I’m not really feeling like fighting a whole town of the undead so…”

“It’s alright, there’s a house up ahead. All we gotta do is check it out.”

 

“CJ! Wake up dude!”

“No!”

“…Ugh…umm…we found food!”

“What, really??”

 

“Wow.”

“Yeah, only way to get him out of bed is through his stomach.”

 

“Vic and I will check the house.”

“I’ll come too.”

“Okay, the three of us. You three keep an eye out for anything out here. Vic, Izzy…”

 

“One room at a time. Quick.”

“We’ll signal for you three to come in. Then we gotta work on securing doors and windows.”

“Night of the Living Dead style.”

 

“Isn’t that the one where…everyone dies?”

“…Just mean the strategy Flo…”

*

“Alright. Board up and block downstairs first, then upstairs together.”

“CJ…what are you eating?”

“Oh..well pantiry’s full of stuff. So…pop-tart??”

*

“Done. Nice, feels a bit better.”

“Yeah, I could stay here a while.”

 

“Dab on em!”

“Oh no!”

“Haha, yeah. I’m gonna keep it alive.”

*

“Hmmm…”

“What?”

“I’m just…what is it I’m gonna miss most…”

“Now that most of what we knew is…gone.”

“Yeah…like…videos games or movies or…oh no!”

“What?”

“You think any good books survived?”

“Haha, Flo…sure some did.”

“Don’t laugh, it’s a serious matter Vic!”

“Haha, okay okay.”

 

“Vic, what do you miss?”

“…Pizza, all you can eat by the slice.”

“Nice haha. Leanne?”

 

“Scarefest at the movies…even though we’re living our own version.”

 

“Izzy?”

“Coffee drinks…the really sugary topped heavy with whip cream ones.”

 

“C, what about you little brother?”

“YouTube and shopping for new clothes and my dope kicks.”

“Shoulda figured. I miss, hmm…I miss…car shows. Yeah, classic and muscle cars. Mmm, can’t beat it.”

 

“I miss…waking up to my mom’s homemade muffins on the weekends.”

 

“…I miss…random ice cream trips with my dad after school.”

 

“Miss hanging with my friends before having to go home to my adoptive parents.”

 

“I miss giving our dad a hard time about his singing…”

 

“I miss the looks mom would give us when we’d join in with him.”

 

“I miss…movie nights with grandma.”

In the silence we feel reality begin to sink in. No where to run to, no reason to run; we’re forced to face it. All that it’s become. Who are we supposed to be now that all we’ve known is gone?

“Know what? That’s a good idea. We should watch a movie!”

We all look at Connor confused. “Umm…”

“I think it finally happened. Think my bother’s lost it guys.”

 

“Shut-up haha. I mean it. We should all pick a movie and see if we can recreate it. Why not?”

What else are we gonna do? “I’m in. Vic?”

“I guess…yeah. What movie?”

 

“Uncle Buck!”

“Never seen it.”

 

“Vic sometimes I wonder how we’re even friends.”

“You’re just lucky I guess.”

 

“What about…Jumanji? The original.”

“Hmm…”

 

“I know I know! Harry Potter, but like, how ever we want it to go.”

“Good choice C.”

 

“Wait wait, so we’re basically roleplaying…yeah, no thanks.”

“Come on Leanne.”

“Nope. I’m good. I’ll spectate, I’m a good audience member, much better at that then acting trust me.”

 

“I think I’ll watch too.”

“Vic, come on, we can totally do this.”

“Next time Flo. But you go ahead.”

*

“So Leanne, feel like seeing a movie?”

“…Really?”

“We can at least humor them.”

“…Let’s go out then.”

“Cool. That way we can get slurries and popcorn and candies, the works.”

 

“GOOBERS! Those are the best. Don’t forget Goobers Vic.”

“You’re a Goober!”

“‘I’m Vic and I think I’m so funny and clever…'”

“Your words not mine.”

“You’re so annoying!”

“I know.”

“…Stop smiling…”

“Shh, Flo, the show’s starting.”

*

The show is going well. CJ is really into his parts and even helps out with the narrations. Connor is cheesing it up an CJ is getting frustrated. Izzy surprises everyone with her quick thinking in terms of props and brand new settings, both inside and outside Hogwarts.  

After the first scene, a little audience participation from Vic brings the story into a whole new dark light. Leanne’s quick to “Boo” and makes us all re-do the scene. 

Realizing we need even more help, Leanne finds whatever she can for costumes. Soon, it stops being a show and becomes more of roleplaying to the highest degree. Well, as high as we can achieve.

 

Afterwards, we sit in a circle in our respective costumes, eating the last bits of our candy haul. Our makeshift Sorting Hat holds our wands in it, next to a “goblet of fire” that we had to steal from the ministry in order to maintain order in the underground caverns that connected Hogwarts to Livermorny. 

“I think…we left it on a good note.”

“Yeah, a cliffhanger.”

 

“Did a good job little brother. Proud of you…maybe you should’ve taken up acting.”

“Naw, I like music too much. Plus, acting girls are weird.”

 

“Hint for you CJ, all girls are weird.”

“Vic, I’m the only girl you’ve known your whole middle school career.”

“Yeah, and from you I’ve gathered all the evidence needed to backup that argument.”

 

Here we are, safe again. Yet I can’t help but think…it might not last. Or maybe safety itself has never been meant to last. We as people treat it as a destination, or we did, and when we failed to reach it…we’d grow spiteful. Cold to other possibilities of the world. Cold to our small moments of happiness. Moments like this.

Safety can’t ever be a destination, it has to be something we appreciate in our honest and unexpected moments. Now with the zombies, that fact is made more prevalent. The truth of safety’s fragility is literally nipping at our heels. Everyday’s always been about life and death, now with no phones or technology or celebrity distractions, there’s no ignoring reality.

*

“Man, know what I could really use right now? Pizza.”

“Ooo, yeah. Right there with you CJ.”

“Ha, how crazy would it be to be able to just say. “Pizza, delivery’ and then it’d be delivered at your door.”

 

“Haha, I mean, we kind had that.”

“No no, I mean not with your phone just say it out loud.”

“Would you just say pizza and get a random one or would it already know what you wanted?”

“No no, it’d already know…somehow.”

 

“I’m not against the idea. Try it now little bother…I mean, what’ve we got to lose?”

“Pizza, delivery!”

 

*Knock knock*

 

“Umm…”

“Did you..plan that?”

“No…not at all…I mean, how would I?”

 

“Should we open it?”

“Hold on…everyone, grab a weapon, just on case.”

 

“Everybody ready?”

“Yeah.”

“3…2…1…”

 

The guy leaning against the doorframe falls through. He’s wearing camouflage, what looks like a tactical vest and has bow and arrow are in his hand.

“Think he’s gonna turn?”

“No…doesn’t look like it. It’d have started by now.”

“Vic help me get him into the room. Someone close the door. Leanne and Flo, keep an eye outside. Just in case he wasn’t alone. Izzy, did you find a first aid kit in here?”

 

“I didn’t look for one but I’ll check around.”

“Cool. How’s it look out there you two?”

 

“Good. No one else that we can see. No zombies either.”

He starts to wake up. He tries to sit up but lunges back down holding his ribs. CJ quickly takes away his bow and arrows.

“Take it easy man. You’re hurt pretty bad. Got a name?”

“Te…Teddy…name’s Teddy.”

“Alright Teddy, I’m Connor. Just gonna stitch you up.”

“Supplies…vest…pockets…”

“Okay. You alone?”

“…Yeah…zombies…”

“Don’t worry, we don’t see any out there.”

“No…zombies…zombies…not all…blind…”

 

 

 

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