We’ve been quarantined, trapped, forgotten and hiding for three months and fourteen days now. We run because we have to. We hide because we can’t be found. We live by sheer luck. The world has abandoned us.
In the beginning, there were eighteen of us; now there are only four, myself included. I can’t even remember the names of the ones we lost. I won’t even try. I’ve learned to not create a personal relationship with anyone; never knowing how long they might be there. I know the other three of our group only by length of time.
Sam, the eldest, says there may be other groups of survivors out there somewhere. At first, I thought for us to go and search for them, strengthen our numbers. Sam made me realize that we could never do that. If we ever ran across more humans in our movings, then that would be a completely different story. But to go and search would be dangerous, even more so than it is now. We’ve only survived this long by running to hide and hiding where we run.
We only travel at certain times during daylight. We can’t move at night because they are out there and see a millions times better than us. We can only stay in one place for two days tops, less they find us. They always find us if we stay longer. We learned that lesson by losing fourteen people. A hard lessons, but our life is hard.
My name is Keiara Long. Or that was my last name. I can’t remember any more; tragedy and intense fear does that to people. Sam is oldest of us, he says he was a vet in the downtown area. His medical training, although it be with animals, has proven to help us out a number of times. J
oshua and his cousin Cole aren’t even from the city. They say they were traveling before returning to college on the west coast. I told them they should fire their travel agent. Yesterday we moved to our new locations, deep within a state library. The piles of books are perfect for building a fire to stay warm. Although we dare not light one at night for fear of being spotted.
Sam says that we can stay here one more night, then he wants us to travel across town to the opera house. There we can raid the costume closet and find warmer clothes. Plus, he says, the rafters atop the theater will be the perfect place to spot intruders. From there we can make it out of town, where their numbers are smaller. The only problem might be shelter would be hard to find once out of the city and past the suburbs. Hopefully we’ll make it, because if not…I’d rather not think about it. There are things in this world now that are worse than death.
Joshua has military training and Cole is a volunteer firefighter. Everyone contributes in their own way; everyone except me that is. I’m just a seventeen year old girl from cross town. I lost count on how many times I should have been caught and turned if not for Cole saving my **** every time.
If things were different, I might have had a chance with him. He’s brave, smart, and cunning. His sharp eyes are the color of sun-bleached stones and his hair shags around his face like a wonderful chocolate dream. But I know I should think those things. What if our numbers came down to three? If I let myself become attached to him, I might as well have walked out in the shadow of the moon and yelled at the top of my lungs.
My life may never be the same. The world has seen to that.