Survive the Night

Chapter One

Hello All, it's been awhile but here I am once more. Like I may have mentioned before I love horror movies, and since the only thing, that really scares me is.....ZOMBIES. I can handle Michael Myers and Freddy, but humans tearing into my flesh and eating me alive is very scary.

So, I started to write one and I need to know if I'm on the right track, so here is the first chapter. If you like I'll keep going.

Without further ado here is the first chapter of my story.

Survive the Night

One morning when the world went dark and the dead stalked the planet Reed Navis and her family must learn to survive each other and learn to trust in each other or become one of the undead. Who said parenting at the end of civilization would be easy?

Chapter One

Reed sat on the roof as the dawn broke through the clouds. Staring at the beautiful hues of pink had a somewhat of a calming effect on her. Hereby morning’s soft light is where she did the most thinking and talking…mostly to herself, but anytime away from the group to sort her plan out or to pray for the safety of her of children. All she wanted in the world was to be able to raise her children with regular issues, not waking up every day in this hell on earth surrounded by carnivorous human’s hell-bent on eating someone for lunch. Everything was different now but no matter what she wasn’t alone…there was always Nico. Since the day on the highway when her daughter and she fled before the gunshots rang out.

Reed closed her eyes, leaned her head back then slowly exhaled. “Please give me the strength to move and breath another day. Please,” she whispered. “I have to get a grip,” subconsciously she rubbed her right hand. Depending on the weather Reed could gauge how useful her hands would be. With dwindling supplies and so many different personalities in one room wasn’t full of harmony and bliss. Tensions flared. Reed dropped her head.

“I knew I’d find you up here,” a low toned male voice said from behind her.

Reed straightened her back but remained silent.

“Come on, Ree, really? You know she’s young and emotions are running high I just wanted to help defuse the situation. . .”

Reed spun around so fast her body contorted. Her brown eyes burning with seething anger. Nico instantly paused. “Don’t you dare try to explain MY daughter’s honest threats to me, Niko. I know what she said, and she meant it.”

“Honestly babe? Really, she’s only eighteen, how honest were you at her age? Think about it,” Nico walked up to behind to rub her neck. “If she really didn’t wanna be here then the only person that prevents that from happening is herself, you do know that right?”

Reed turned her attention at the rising sun. “I’ve always tried to teach my kids to never shy away from the truth, can’t live with a lie burrowing inside your chest. I had her when I was young, so we grew up together, Kyra and I have a strange bond. No matter what she thinks I will always give her everything I have.” Reed’s voice cracked.

Nico walked over to sit next to her. He wrapped his arms going her, she always felt safe in his arms.

“I know you would. And in all truthfulness, she knows that babe, you’ve got pretty awesome kids. If anyone can handle this, it’s you. I hope Dylan and his mother got out before the closed off the town. In my own deception, I pray Dylan is alive because I don’t want to think of him any other way.” Nico placed a loving kiss on top of her head.

“I’m sorry,” Reed buried her face into his chest.

“No matter what happens you are the star that lights my path.”

“You’re such a poet.”

Nico shrugs not bad for a new age librarian, huh?”

“Guess so,” they laughed at that moment it was just the two of them. Reed’s shoulders slumped.

“Well, welcome to my pity party.”

Reed couldn’t help to smile whenever she gazed into his brilliant green eyes. His brown hair caressed his broad shoulders. Even with the ash smears on his face, he was the most handsome man you’d ever seen. A smile tugged the corners of her mouth. “You’re an asshole, Nico. How do you do that?”

“I’ll never tell,” he kissed her on the mouth. “Listen,” he pressed his forehead against hers, “I know it’s hard to smile but we’re alive and the kids are alive so why not smile for that huh? Reed, I know you’ve had it rough, especially with boys, because that’s what they are, boys. I am not a boy trying to be a man. I am a man. I’m not here to control you or take over your voice and spirit.” He cupped her face. “You’re the fire that drives me and everyone around you and it’s that fire that makes me forever in awe of you. I love you, Reed. I’m not here to dim your shine, I’m here to help you realize how much I love you no matter whether we’re being chased by zombies or not just don’t shut me out. And don’t think I haven’t noticed you massaging your hands. How bad is the pain?”

Reed subconsciously rubbed the fleshy part of her thumb, “I’m good.”

“Really?” Nico nodded at her roving fingers.

“So,” She stopped massaging her right hand. “It’s nothing, my hand is a little stiff. I can take the pain, Nico.”

“Reed,” Nico cocked his head to one side. “You’re not taking the pain alone, babe. But you don’t have to do it alone.” He grabbed her hand slowly began to massage her hand and fingers. “I’m not dumb Reed Navis, you’re not the only one who watches everything and everyone. I’ve noticed you’re not sleeping and when you do you whimper. I just want to be able to take of you and the kids.” He kissed the back of her hand. “I know this isn’t the bright and shiny future I promised you the night I gave you this little trinket,” he stared into her eyes while his fingers traced band of diamonds around her finger. “Do you remember?”

Reed laughed but inside the memories of brighter days now plagued her conscience. She ran her trembling hand across her forehead. She loved Nico, he was everything she not only wanted but what she needed in a man. Now surrounded by the stench of death her mind was far from trying to plan a murder. Her family’s survival was much more important than trying to plan a wedding.

“Do you remember what I said? What I promised you?” he stroked the side of her face.

“Of course I remember,” Reed remembered each and every precious moment they shared, especially the night he asked for her hand in marriage. Since Nico wasn’t home, the boys were with their dad, and Kyra had to close the restaurant Reed yearned for a glass of wine and a warm bath. When she opened the door to her apartment everything seemed quiet. Once she stepped across the threshold she kicked off her shoes then tossed her keys on the table. She closed her eyes, then exhaled it took a few moments until she heard soft Native flute music flowing from down the hallway. A sly smile crossed her face the farther she moved down the hall toward her bedroom. Soft Native flute music filled the air and along the wall leading the way were a stream of beautiful stones and candles. She pushed the door open and gasped. Never had she seen anything so beautiful, so uniquely beautiful. Her bedroom aglow with white candles spread out on a base of smooth stones. Different photographs were strewn across her bed. Reed moved closer, not only had he included some of their memories but also of times with all the kids. Tears stung her eyes.

“Nico?” she croaked staring at the photos. Reed picked up one picture she didn’t recognize. It was a picture of Nico with his brown hair and baby blue eyes posing in a white button-up shirt with a thin black tie and vest to match. Nico was the most handsome man she’d ever seen. He was so quiet but rugged and good with his hands…in every way. In gold script on the bottom of the picture read, “From now till forever I pledge my heart to you, to my best friend. Always.” Tears streamed down her face. “Nico?” She said louder.

“I’m in here, baby. “I’m right here. Come here.”

As Reed neared the bathroom her favorite scent of warm berry wine candles wafted into her nose. Littered on the bathroom floor he’d scattered rose petals where he knelt with a black velvet box in his hands.

A rush of emotion clogged her throat.

“This is amazing,” she glanced around the small but intimidate space. “How did you do all this?”

“Is that really the question you want to ask right now?”

Reed giggled then shook her head.

“You’re nervous I know but that’s why I’m here,” he reached out for her hand. “I love you, Reed Navis. I realize now that I’ve loved since I saw in that dimly lit bar. Every day since there has not been a moment where just the thought of you brings a smile to my face. You not only enchanted me but my son, Dylan too so we want to give you ring to begin the bound of my family and your family to be ‘our’ family.” Nico opened the box to expose two stunning rows of diamonds. “I will always remain by your side.”

Reed gasped. Her body shook so hard she couldn’t speak.

“Will you marry me?”

Reed nodded. “Yes.”

Nico popped the ring out of the box and slid it onto her finger Reed fell on to Nico’s lap and began putting a flurry of kisses on all over her face. Nico erupted in laughter as he fell back on the rose-covered floor.

Reed blinked as the memory faded. “You said you’ll always be with me,” she sniffled.

“I meant it. Don’t shut me out. We fight each day, together. Our family.”

Reed intertwined Nico’s hand in her own. “I appreciate you so much. You saved the boys and you saved me. I didn’t believe love would find me and even though we are surrounded by dead you’re love saves me every-day. I just don’t know how to fix all of this?”

“Who said you had to? You can’t fix this world the only thing you or I can do is to be here for each other. It’s not always going to be happy fuckin’ unicorns, but we’re all alive.” He wiped her tear-soaked face. “Alright?”

“Alright,” Reed leaned over to place a long loving kiss on his soft lips.

“Don’t start,” he mumbled between kisses.

Reed cleared her throat.

“So, what’s the plan for today?” Nico held her hand.

“What a way to blow my high. Damn, right back to business, huh?” Reed tore her gaze away from the depth of Nico’s eyes and caught her smiling again.

“Hey, you ever walk around in a zombie apocalypse with blue balls?”

“Uh, no,” she snickered. She loved this man. He’d come into her life at the moment when she’d lost hope. when she was at her lowest. He cared for and respected her children even after the loss of his son. Even though dirt smudged his face he was still the most handsome man she’d ever seen.

“Reed?” Niko locked eyes with her.

She shook her head. “Sorry, I was just thinking.”

Nice smiled. “I figured, you’re always thinking, so what’s the plan?”

“What’s the food situation look like?”

“Bleak? I’m going to have to make a run with the boys and take Gus, hate to say it but he’d be better than Captain Dumbass. Are you going to be okay with him?”

Reed gave Nico her side eye. “What’s your deal with Gus?”

Nico grunted. “You don’t see he looks at you. There’s just something about him not taking this shit seriously. His gun-no attitude might get someone killed.”

“He’s a kid, Nic.”

“This isn’t a video game either.”

“Truth. Yeah, take him with you.” Reed nibbled her bottom lip. The thought of her twin thirteen-year-old boys, Lucas and Wyatt being out there around the flesh eaters always put a knot of fear in the pit of her stomach. The new motto of this world was Kill or be killed. “Okay, just be careful.” She kissed him then stood up, grabbed her gun and began to walk away.

Niko rose to his feet. “I love you, Ree.”

Reed turned her head. “I love you more.” She winked then descended the ladder to disappear into the dark warehouse.

“Mom,” Wyatt stepped up behind her.

“Shit, Wyatt,” she held her chest. “You scared the hell outta me.”

“I’m a super ninja,” he joked.

Reed put her hand on the side of his angelic face. Without a recent hair-cut his naturally curly hair resembled a small afro. “Yeah, buddy you totally are for sure. Get ready, Niko is going on a supply run so tell your brother, I need you both to be ready.” Reed noted a wisdom reflecting in her young son’s brown eyes that never subsided even before this new shit storm of a life. “What’s wrong?”

“It’s Kyra,” he began.

“Oh God what now,” Reed began to walk past him, but Wyatt held her arm with a strength more powerful for his age. She stopped to stare down at his hand then into his eyes, instantly Wyatt let her go.

“I heard what Kyra said to you. She doesn’t love you as much as you think she does. I am not sure how I feel about that, I love her, but she’s wrong. So, I have a question,”

“What is it?”

When Wyatt opened his mouth to speak his words were never truer. “You’ve always said to speak the truth, it’s better to be hurt by the truth than to try to live with a lie.”

Reed’s expression softened. This child understood more than most adult people. She nodded. “Yep, Wyatt. It is true. Telling the truth may hurt for the moment but the truth can always be forgiven.”

Wyatt stepped closer. “I think just maybe she should have lied.”

Reed threw her arms around her youngest closer to her. She hugged him tightly for a moment, afraid he may feel her choking on her sobs. Reed wiped her face, then gently placed a kiss on the top of his head. “No, Wyatt, she did right. Her feelings are true to her, plus I’m pretty sure she didn’t mean it. Women are emotional creatures, you’ll find out.”

“I hope so, Mom but sometimes I doubt it.”

“Families don’t always get along, but at the end of the day we’re family and that comes first.”

She released her son. “Go tell your brother and Gus to get ready.”

Wyatt turned to leave.

“Hey and tell your sister if she wants to go with the others it’s her choice.”

“Okay, Mom.” Wyatt planted a gentle kiss on her cheek then raced off with his morning orders. No more crying over homework, or over fighting for the remote now every day centered around survival. “Fuck,” Reed licked her lips as she ran the palms of her hands down the front of her faded jeans.

When Reed caught a gaze at Nico she couldn’t help but smile. “Okay, folks let’s make it quick. Before the last attack, Tony said we weren’t far from Fort Campbell so I say we keep with that plan.”

“Oh, you’re gonna listen to Tony now? Funny you didn’t want to listen to him when he was alive.”

“You wanna come with us, Dave?” Nico asked. “When we were attacked I didn’t see you trying to save anyone but yourself,” Nico grunted.

“Bitch,” Dave hissed under his breathe.

Nico stepped forward. “Excuse me,”

“Look we don’t have time to argue. It’ll be getting cold soon and I don’t know about any of you, but I don’t want to spend the winter outside. The highway isn’t far from here. And hopefully, it hasn’t been picked clean. Hit it quick and come back.”

Dave B. Cowen. He was a short, square of a man covered in coarse dark hair. The biggest thing about him was by far his ego. He believed he above all else knew the answer to everything but when shit gets rough Dave is the first to turn tail and run. Maybe he should go with Nico, but she knew Nico would never leave her fend for herself, like it or not, she was now Dave’s babysitter. “Fuck,” Reed groaned under her breath. Even if she wanted to go, there’s no way she’d leave Nico to deal with Dave and Ellen especially until the older woman would be able to travel. Ellen Beaufort and Gus Nelson were found hiding inside the gas station when their group stumbled upon it after a few sleepless nights without any real shelter. By dawn the following day the group which was smaller now were on the move again. Finding the warehouse was a Godsend, but hunger didn’t make the cramped situation any easier.

“Be safe.”

Nico reached out to caress her face. “We’ll be back before sunset. If not then by first thing in the morning, you gonna be okay?”

Reed nodded.

Niko kissed her forehead then whispered by her ear, “Try not to kill him while I’m gone, huh.”

Reed giggled. “I make no such promise.” Reed kissed the palm of his hand. “Just came back to me,” she whispered.

Nico winked, “Always.” He stepped away making Reed immediately miss his closeness.

“Take care of each other.” She shot a glance at Wyatt who returned her gaze with a slight nod before he turned to follow Nico. Reed ran her fingertips against the coolness of her steel blade. She stood frozen watching as her family disappeared from her sight.

“I sure do hope Niko knows what he’s doing out there? The dead could be anywhere I mean you just let your kids go off into danger. Damn, you must be brave or stupid.”

Reed turned her back to him as her anger roiled within her. “Try not to kill him,” Nico’s words whispered in her ears. Slowly she exhaled.

“You must be addicted to the dick, huh? I do remember hearing that he abandoned his son? I mean what kinda father would leave his child behind?”

Reed dropped her head and began to count softly to herself. “Not today, Dave, if you value your pitiful fuckin’ little life you won’t push me, not today.” She turned around to point her finger at him.

“Awe did I say something wrong? Come here Reed I can give you a shoulder to cry. Or maybe you just need some different dick?”

“You know what Dave maybe I do need some dick, but by looking at your small frame and baby hands being you’ve probably got the smallest dick in the group. Just in case you didn’t know, size matters.” Without another word, Reed walked away.

Ellen laughed.

“Stupid bitch,” Dave complained once Reed was out of earshot.

“You brought that on yourself.” Ellen chided.

Dave stalked over to Ellen. “What do you know, old woman? You probably haven’t had a good lay since the turn of the century.”

“That may be true but I know a lot more than you do obviously.”

“You don’t know shit,” Dave sneered.

Ellen took a step toward Dave. “Ha! You don’t scare me, I do know if I were you I’d wise up or shut up.”

“Psh, like they’d kick me out that need me, more than they need a helpless old woman.”

“We all have our attributes.”

“You can’t even make it on your own, Ellen. Your worthless and you just wait, I’m right. Reed only cares about herself.”

“And why would anyone care about you when you’re so shitty to people?”

“I’d be a better leader than Reed.”

“Then do it, your all talk little Davey. You’re pissed at her because she can do the one thing you can’t?”

Dave folded his hairy arms across his chest. “What can’t I do?”

Ellen smiled. “Survive.”

“Shut up, you old bag,” Dave said as he stomped anyway like a defeated child.

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