Sequel: Their Rebellion

When the Sun Goes Down

Small Talk

The streets and highways seemed cluttered with multiple cars, buses and trucks. Accidents had spilled over the roads, possibly from being attacked while driving and abandoned cars sat lazily in between the lanes. Getting to New Jersey was going to be harder than I expected. I looked down at my radio as I swerved smoothly in between cars and flicked it on with a swift movement of my thumb. I jumped as loud static blared into the car, forcing Mama to chuckle quietly.

"Did you expect your favourite stations to be on at a time like this?"She smiled.

"I guess it was wishful thinkin'."I laughed."I have cd's by your feet, Mama. Care to pick one out?"

Mama looked down and her smile seemed to grow tenfold. She reached down and picked up my two large cd cases before plopping them into her lap.

"They're in alphabetical order."I blushed.

It was my thing before everything happened to have an organized place. A well taken care of car. Everything had to be spotless. I guess as of now it didn't really matter anymore.

"Maybe we should play livin' dead girl."She grinned.

"That's a little ironic if you ask me."I said.

She flipped to the back of my second case and her eyes grew wide.

"You have my Zac Brown Band mix?!"She scoffed."I was wonderin' where that went."

"Well, put it on."I tried to hide my laughter as she slipped the cd into the radio.

I kept the radio low, in case any of the guys tried to get in contact with us, as we sang along to every song that played. Once Free started to play, the static of the walky caught our attention.

"Take yer next exit, Adrienne."Murphy grunted as a bang echoed into the background of the walky."Motherfuck -"

I looked at Mama with a questioning glare before the walky spiked up once again.

"Sorry, the girls are fighting in the back."I chuckled as Romeo informed us."We need gas."

"Got it, Romeo. See you in a minute."Mama put the walky down as I swirved my way between two large cars.

We glided down the circular exit and landed easily by a gas station. The price read a ridiculous $4.09 and I shook my head.

"I guess we don't have to worry about the prices anymore."I pulled up alongside the pump and took a good look at my surroundings.

No one seemed to be walking the streets here. It was certainly quiet and uneventful. I took notice that a convienent store sat behind the gas and a small smile perked it's way across my lips. Mama turned, but quickly looked back at me.

"Please don't go in there."She frowned.

"It's okay, Mama. I'm goin' to get some water and snacks. I'm sure most of the stuff inside if savable anyway. Lock the doors. Anythin' happens you drive off, with or without me."I pried open my door, careful to watch everything around me, and stepped out.

Romeo, Connor, Murphy and Noah stepped from the van, weapons drawn. I was more aware of when I needed to shine my pistol, so I didn't bother to take mine out. It was neatly attached at my hip and I knew for a fact I could reach it within seconds if need be. I walked over to the guys, peeking behind my shoulder every few seconds to make sure Mama was safe and sound.

"I'm goin' inside for a few things. I'm sure the owners wont mind."I smiled.

"I'll go with ya. Don't want ya goin' in alive and comin' out dead."Connor winked.

"We'll be back, Noah."I gave one last look at Mama before letting out a quiet sigh.

"Go ahead, Adrienne. She'll be okay."He gave me a comforting smile before we walked our way to the small store.

Connor reached for the door knob, but I quickly took a tight hold on his wrist. He gave me a questioning look before I whispered, "Let me do this, Connor. I've got the experience behind the gun."

"Be careful."I took a hold on my glock before slowly opening the door.

I peeked in, gun drawn, and looked both ways before slowly stepping into the store. No one seemed to be around, but we had to keep our ears open. These people weren't really the quietest, so we'd hear them before they were in front of us. Connor stepped quietly on my heels as we made our way through each isle, waiting for one of the diseased to come out for dinner. When all was said and clear, I turned toward Connor.

"Grab what you can carry and fit in the car. We have to be quick. I don't like leavin' Mama outside without me."I said sternly.

"She'll be okay, Adrienne. She's protected."I shook my head, muttering incoherent words under my breath as I turned away from him.

I kept my gun down low to my hip as I walked through the isles. I smiled as I came across bags of chips and other snack foods. It had only been a couple days since anyone came into the store, so I knew for a fact that they still had to be good. If anything, a little stale. I grabbed multiple snacks, allowing them to rest uneven in my left arm. I walked toward the freezer section of the store and frowned. The drinks were most likely warm, but they would be better than nothing.

I looked down the isle, making sure I was clear before opening the freezer door. I stopped, however, when I saw a door ajar just slightly. I wasn't going to pay no mind to it unless necessary. I didn't want to open a door and find a hord of the diseased. I opened the freezer door, finding water bottles with a slight chill to them. I piled as many as I could carry in my one arm before turning to leave. I raised my gun quickly when someone stumbled out in front of me.

Connor froze, dropping a few cartons of cigarette's in the process. I didn't turn down my gun as he whispered, "Free, cigarettes."

His face fell at the sight, but I kept my gun aimed. I watched as the soft noise from Connor forced the door behind him to swing open slowly. An older man stepped from the room, catching us both in his eye sight. He opened his mouth to screech, but I turned the gun on him, firing a loud bullet into the small store. Connor dropped his cigarettes, but it was muffled against the dead weight of the employee of the store. After he pulled himself from his fetal position, he turned back just slightly.

He gave a loud sigh of relief when he saw the man on the floor, limbs sprawled out around him. Blood began to trickle through the head wound I had just adorned on him and Connor swallowed hard. He gave me a questioning look before saying, "I thought ya were goin' to shoot me."

I pressed my gun to my leg, cocking it back with a smirk.

"Unless you're one of them, don't count on it."I placed the gun in between my hip and jeans once more before finishing with,"Let's go. I'm sure they're worried about that shot."

Connor picked up the cartons he had dropped in fear before we scrambled out the door. I bumped roughly into Murphy, who grabbed me tightly around my shoulders.

"Where's Connor?!"He breathed.

"Right here."Connor walked passed us and headed toward the van.

Murphy watched as Connor dropped the cigarettes in the van and shook his head.

"Ya get cigarettes, but not food?!"He released my shoulders before wiping his face down in frustration."Ya okay?"

"I'm fine. Someone was in there, but I took care of it."I watched as Connor came back, brushing passed Murphy and I once more.

"I thought she was gonna shoot me."He frowned.

Murphy turned his gaze back on me before smiling. I wasn't sure how he was going to take that statement, but I was surprised with what came out of his mouth next.

"If ya don't do it at some point, I'm sure I will."He winked before we made our way back to the cars.

I opened the back door before lying the waters on one end of the seat and the food on the other. Mama turned back at me and snaked her fingers around a fresh water bottle.

"I was worried for you."She said softly.

I looked up, trying my best to give her a comforting smile.

"We'll be okay, Mama. You don't have to worry about me."I grazed her hand lightly with my fingers."I promise. I'm goin' back inside for more things. I'll be right back."

Before I closed the door, Mama was calling out after me again. I turned back in, asking her what she needed.

"Can you grab me some reeses? It's been a long time."She chuckled lightly."And some cigarettes."

"If there's any left, I will."I smiled."Connor grabbed as much as he could."

I went to pull away again, but turned back into the car.

"When did you start smokin' again, Mama?!"Her smiled grew, which forced a grin to spread across my lips.

"Same time you did sweetheart."She winked.

With a shake of my head, I closed the door behind me, making sure she locked them before scampering off to the store once more. I stepped inside, finding Connor with handfuls of cigarettes and food.

"Grab some water, Connor."I laughed.

"I wish they sold alcohol."He frowned.

"I don't think you want to be wasted at a time like this."I stepped away from him, walking into the candy isles.

I was sure to grab a handful of candy, chips, canned goods and more water. By the time Connor and I had finished in the store, it was nearly cleared out. You couldn't be sure when the next time food would be presented in front of you. I closed the back door after neatening everything and took a hold on my jeans. I slowly worked them back to my hips and sighed. Ever since I had been in the middle of this case, eating hadn't been my number one priority.

Mama was sure to notice at some point, because according to her I was too skinny already. Being five seven and weighing nearly one hundred and forty pounds was healthy for me. Yet day by day, if I wasn't fasting on greasy McDonalds, I was drinking coffee and letting food slip my mind. The first good food I had while I was in Boston was the first morning I was here. I licked my lips at the thought of eggs and toast. I got into the car before looking down at my gas meter.

I was now filled and with the spread of the disease, had no need for money. It gave me a good feeling to know I didn't have to spend money wisely, but also feel slightly ashamed, knowing that the end of humanity was the only reason for it. I started up the car before turning to Mama once more. Her hand was buried deep in a Cheetos bag and I smiled. She pushed the bag in my direction, asking, "What some?"

"I'm good."I laughed."Grab my map from my glove compartment for me. If we need a new route into Jersey, we're goin' to need it."

Mama did as told, handing over a cheese stained map. I opened it up as the walky began to static once more.

"Ya lass' ready to go?"It was Noah, so Mama quickly took hold of the walky.

If I didn't know any better, it seemed to me that Mama found salvation in Noah. If I wasn't around, I knew for a fact that Noah would do his best to keep Mama safe and happy. I let a sad smile meet my lips as I pulled out of the gas station. If I wasn't around flashed through my mind over and over. I would do my best to keep Mama safe, even if at my own expense. Her conversation was held short as Noah began driving.

The thought of New Jersey left a small knot in the pit of my stomach. I was happy to have that small amount of hope that it would be a good place to stay. Yet deep down, I had the worry of a lost child. What if New Jersey was over run like most of the places we passed up? What if New Jersey was a lie, just to seal in the diseased and infected? I swallowed hard as Mama passed her water bottle to me. Sweetly, she asked, "You thirsty, sweetheart?"

"I'm okay, Mama."I stated.

The soft music of Zac Brown Band kept me slightly sane as our quick conversation ended. Would this be the rest of our lives? Fighting for survival?

"You okay, Adrienne?"She placed the empty bag of chips by her feet before taking one of my hands.

"Yes."I gave her a smile as she ran her thumb gently over my hand."Mama, if anythin' happens to me,"

I bit my bottom lip, wondering how I could word this to her.

"If anythin' happens to me, make sure you stay away. I don't want you riskin' your life for me. I will keep it my main goal to make sure you're safe, even if I have to sacrifice myself."I said softly.

She tightened her grip around my hand before whispering, "You have nothin' to worry about, Adrienne. That's my main objective as well."

I felt like I was going to get sick after a few moments. I didn't want Mama doing anything risky to keep me safe.

"Don't do anythin' stupid, Mama."I was hoping that wasn't too much to ask for.