Sequel: Static Screams
Status: bloody

White Noise


When Logan and Lila had returned from their walk, each carrying giant duffle bags full of clothes and shoes, Logan announced it was Lila’s birthday. I cursed at myself. If Holland had been here he would have known. He would have had the days counted in his head, prepared for her birthday. Dammit. I hugged her tight, wishing her an apocalyptic happy birthday. Meaning, happy birthday, as happy as it can be when it’s the apocalypse. She smiled, hugging me back. Then I headed out in search of presents to give her. I thought I had seen a baby store somewhere.

I got about twelve steps outside of the furniture store’s doors, when I heard someone behind me. My knife was in my hand as I whirled around. Logan’s hands flew up in surrender.

“Woah, babes.” She reached out, pushing the knife down out of her face. “Just thought you could use some zombie fighting backup.”

I let out a deep breath of relief that I didn’t stab her in the skull, lowering the knife to my waist. “You should’ve announced yourself before following someone in the fuckin’ apocalypse.” I smiled, motioning for her to join me as I continued walking.

“You’re very right. Where are we headed?” She flipped her head over as we walked, looping her hair into a messy bun on the top of her head. She didn’t stop walking as she did this. When she flipped her head back up, she pulled down some strands on either side of her face, and then grinned at me when she realized I was watching.

I coughed, looking back to the store fronts. “To find Lila some baby stuff for her birthday. Not much, because there’s still months left and I’m sure we can find somewhere else to shop. I’m sure no one wants to carry a diaper bag or et. cetera yet.” As I babbled, I felt Logan’s gaze on my face.

“She’ll love something. Maybe we can find a store to get her something else too.”

“I hope so.”

“We haven’t spent much time at the store today have we?”

“Definitely haven’t. Hey, I noticed you and Lila were a bit, um, sweaty, when you got back.” I kept my head on a swivel, both for zombies and for stores.

Logan’s eyes gave away something, but I wasn’t sure what. “Oh, yeah. We ran into a zomb or two while we were out.”

I quickly snapped my head to look at her. “What?! Is Lila okay?”

“Scar, she’s fine. I was with her, and she’s a badass.” She reached over, resting a hand on my arm and squeezing lightly. “She’s going to be okay, Scarlett.”

The way my full name sounded coming from her lips, made goosebumps run down my back. “You’re right. You’re right. I know you’re right.” I sighed. “I’m just so worried about the entire baby in an apocalypse thing. And if anything happens to Lila or the baby…” I trailed off, words catching in my throat. I couldn’t stand to tell her about Ryan’s death. About how it was my fault. About how angry Holland was at me. If something happened to Lila, it would be my fault. Because Holland trusted me to take care of her.

“I know, Scarlett.” She grabbed my chin in her hand, so I’d look at her. “We are all here to take care of Lila and the baby. I won’t let anything happen to them, I promise.” Her eyes glimmered as she spoke, mouth set in a determined line. I pulled her towards me by the back of her neck, pressing my lips against hers. I let my tongue brush against hers, before pulling away.

“Thank you.” We grinned at each other, and my eyes focused on the building behind her. “Oh my god, yes!” I ran across the street, pulling her behind me by her hand. A beauty store sat nestled between a stationary store and a thrift store for kids. “Perfect!”

When we had a few things from all three stores, we started heading back towards the store. We were walking and laughing, albeit quietly. Before I could tell her a story from my archery days, the growl of a car echoed from down the street. I grabbed Logan’s hand and ducked us into the closest alleyway, hiding behind two large rusted metal trash cans.

“It’s probably ju-”

I shook my head, cutting her off. “No, they know better than to use a car near where we are staying. Especially one so loud. It’s other survivors.” The vehicle groaned to a stop only two stores down from us. I held a finger against my lips and pushed my hand down, to indicate we needed to get lower.

As we stayed kneeling and hidden, we heard three doors open and shut. Heavy footfalls marched back down the way they had come, headed near us.

“Kyle, are you sure you saw something?” the voice came from a man that couldn’t have been older than us. And it came from a few steps away from our spot. My eyes widened at Logan, who seemed to have pulled her gun from her leg without a sound.

“I’m telling you, man. I saw some pregnant woman roaming around this morning. And some blonde chick with her.” A rattle of the chained door at the building we were pressed against had my breath catching in my throat. An escape plan starting bursting out of my thoughts, in case they found us and weren’t friendly.”

“If that’s true, we’ve got to find them. Lolita would love some fresh prisoners and her own child to raise.”

I thought I was going to throw up. I glared at Logan, mouthing ‘I told you so.’ because this was so her fault. No, I corrected myself. This was my fault. My fault for not keeping Lila in my sights at all times.

The two men laughed, and someone else giggled. “You guys are so messed up. Lolita wouldn’t want to raise a child. She’d probably lock it away too.” A female voice spoke from directly in front of our trash cans.

I felt a fire burning in my chest. Fear mixed with anger had a red vignette on my vision. Logan must have sensed the coals of my body catching fire, because she reached over and intertwined our fingers on our free hands. Her touch seemed to simmer the flames, letting my catch my breath.

“Let’s go, guys. There ain’t no chicks around here.”

The female cleared her throat. “Ahem!”

“Except for you, Tana.” Kyle clarified.

The second man snorted. “Barely.” There was a thwack and then he cursed.

“Let’s go nimrods.” Tana ordered, and the footsteps faded away. The car started with a groan, and then rattled down the street. We stayed frozen in our spot, hands clenched on our guns and the others hand. Once the car was far enough away that we couldn’t hear it anymore, we collapsed to the ground.

We both let out a deep breath. “Well that is so not good.” Logan said, releasing my hand to wipe the beads of sweat off her forehead.

“We’ve got to get back.” I stood up, stretching my back, arms, and legs. Logan followed suit, and we headed back towards the store.

I knew Logan wanted to talk about what had just happened, but I had to process it in my own head. So I walked, and I processed.

There were other survivors here. And they wanted to imprison us, and Lila’s baby. For reasons unknown. Were they going to use us as bait? As food? Nightmares of ideas flooded through my skull, until we reached the store. I stopped off to the side, crouched down, and tried to calm my panic. I couldn’t go back to the group, as their leader, and be in a panic as I told them what had happened. Logan didn’t say a word. She rested a hand on the back of my neck and let me calm myself.

Once I felt like I wasn’t on the edge of losing my shit, I stood up, grabbed Logan’s hand, and marched inside the store.

Everyone turned to look as we walked in, glancing at our hands with brief smiles.

I walked into the middle of the store, cleared my throat, and then spoke.

“Guys, we have a problem.”
♠ ♠ ♠
word count;; 1,399

we have plans, friends
White Noise will be ending soon
but no worries
because there will be

a sequel!

get ready