This is Issue 2 of Surviving, Not Living, titled 20 Years Later.
20 Years Later
A thirty-something year old woman is sat in front of a seemingly normal one-story house. The house looked quite spacious and it looked like it had been freshly painted green to blend in with the forest surrounding it. The woman watched the sun set in the background as she took another swig of her beer. That’s Millie or, as she prefers to called now, Amelia. Her face is grey and wrinkley due to age and stress.
“I don’t get the fuss over beer.” A man in his early twenties came and sat in the garden chair next to her as they spoke. It’s Bobby.
Silently, a dark-skinned female walked and sat on the other side of Amelia. Another familiar face - that was Sarah.
“All of the adults I knew used to drink it before all this. They used to get so drunk and happy.” Amelia explained, remeniscing.
“It’s unbelieveable that you remember all that.” Bobby said as Sarah stayed silent.
“You’ve got to remember the good things to get past the bad stuff.” She told him.
“The bad stuff? Like our parents?” He asked. Amelia noded. “What were they like?”
“Oh... Our father and your mother were amazing.” Amelia explained. “Our father was a great fighter and your mother was always full of wise words. They would be proud of the person you have become.”
“Can you tell me how they died now? Please?” Bobby asks. Out of the corner of her eye, Amelia saw Sarah shake her head.
The unfortunately familiar sound of infected’s groaning pentrated the three’s ears, saving Amelia from answering Bobby’s question. Rather casually, the group folded up their chairs and strolled back inside the house. Amelia helped Bobby close the heavy door and he slid four metal bars across the door, securing it tight.
They stood in a fairly big room. Two maroon-coloured sofas faced towards two large windows and a TV cabinet. A television no longer stood there, but the scuffs on the cabinet made it obvious that there must have been a television there at one point. On the right was the kitchen, it was fairly small compared to the rest of the house. A gas stove was connected to a canister and next to that stood a fridge. Three empty shelves had been screwed to a wall above a table with four chairs that were neatly arranged around it. Next to the kitchen were two rooms and another two were the other side of the room, near the sofas.
Still not saying a word, Sarah hugged Amelia goodnight before walking into one of the rooms on the right. She could be heard pulling the shutters over the rooms windows. Bobby and Amelia walked over to the living room’s windows and began to shut them.
“Why does Sarah never speak?” Bobby suddenly spoke up in the midst of the eerie silence. Amelia looked over to Sarah’s bedroom door, checking to see if she was listening into their conversation.
“She feels responsible for your parents’ deaths.” Amelia told him.
“Still? After twenty years?” He asked.
“I’ve said too much already.” She said as she went to hug Bobby. “Goodnight, don’t let the bed bugs bite!”
Amelia quickly walked into her room and shut the door behind her. Bobby sighed as he walked into his room. As he closed his door, all light dissapeared from the living room,plunging it into complete darkness. Once inside, Bobby pulled the shutters across the windows and got changed into briefs and a t-shirt. He undone his wrist watch and set it on the bedside table, before crawling into bed.
That night, Bobby dreamed about what his parents had looked like from the descriptions he had got from Amelia. If only he knew what his parents really looked like, how wonderful his dreams would be.
At a time unknown to Bobby, his eyes fluttered open. Rolling onto his side, he checked his watch - 2:30am. He sighed and fell back onto his bed. He was just about to fall back to sleep when he saw a glimmer of light shining to the side of the shutters. Bobby stood up and walked to them, slowly moving them to the side. Daylight shone across the lawn, which was free of infected. He scratched his head and looked at his watch once more, this time he noticed that the second hand was not moving. Bobby quickly changed into the same clothes as the previous day and walked into the lounge.
As he walked into the lounge, he noticed the already-open shutters. Amelia stood in the kitchen, cooking some baked beans on the gas fire. Turning around to pour the beans into three bowls set on the table, she noticed the sleepy but awake Bobby.
“Goodmorning sleepyhead.” She smiled. Sarah was nowhere to be seen.
“Morning.” He returned the greeting with a rather sleepy smile.
“Grubs up!” Amelia called as finished pouring the beans. Sarah walked out of her bedroom and sat down at the table, nodding a quick thanks to Amelia. Bobby joined the pair at the table.
“We need to go out on a supply run soon, I have no deoderant left and my watch has run out of batteries.” Bobby spoke aloud, aiming his speech at Amelia, like always.
“Yeah, you’re right.” She agreed. “I need more toiletries.”
“We’ll go later today.” He told her.
“Sure thing.” Amelia said. “Can you check on the food plants while we’re gone, Sarah?” She nods. “I think the blackberry and pumpkin plants need to be tended too. The pea ones should be fine.”
End of Issue 2