A to Z Challenge, short story

F is for Followers


This is a continuation from a series I started for the A to Z Challenge so you might want to read the previous ones first to fully understand what’s going on. ^_^ I’m currently super behind on this challenge >_< but still not going to give up!

Read the other ones here:
1. A is for Absent
2. B is for Blood
3. C is for Concert
4. D is for Death
5. E is for Engulfed

April 6 – F is for Followers  

The little boy’s hand shook as he pressed a bottle against his chapped lips, sucking down the few remaining drops of water. His tongue circled the rim of the bottle, desperate to find more but there was nothing left.

His shoulders slumped. Lowering the bottle to his side, his eyes went to his sister. “Shiro,” his sister grumbled, binoculars to her eyes, focused on two strangers wandering up ahead, “I told you to stop wasting time. We’re falling too far behind.”

Shiro released a row of dry coughs, tears stinging his eyes as he tried to get them under control. “But I’m so thirsty, Sue.”

Sue rolled her eyes, lowering the binoculars from them. She glared at him. “Stop with the melodrama. It’s barely been 5 hours since everything’s gone to shit.”

His frown only deepened, his lip quivering as he held back his tears. “I’m scared.” He whispered, wasting no time to wrap his wobbly arms around his sister. She hugged him back, wrapping him up in a safe and secure embrace. “What’s going on? Why is this happening? How are we gonna live without Mommy?” Tears streamed down his sunburnt dirty cheeks.

Sue rubbed his back then tightened her grip on him. “We’ll figure it out. We’ll be fine.” She swallowed hard, blinking back the tears glazing her eyes.

Shiro was just 9. She was only three years older than him but in a world that was coming to an end, age didn’t matter. There was no time to cry over boo boos or the lost of a mother, there was only time for survival. “Come on, get up.” She pulled him to his feet. “We need to follow them.”

She ignored his dead eyes and dragged him along with her. They weaved around fallen trees, street signs, and electronic billboards. Eyes steady, hearts racing as they followed the strangers into the city. When they were a decent distance behind them, she reached into her bag and handed Shiro her bottle of water. It was half full but he drunk until there was a measly few sips left.

Her attention returned to the strangers. From this distance she could see one was male and the other female. The woman walked confidently ahead of the man, long colorful braids swinging back in forward as she stayed alert to her surroundings. She even glanced back a few times but Sue ensured they were far enough away to avoid being spotted.

The man, on the other hand, limped behind the woman in a bit of a daze, rubbing his head as if he’d forgotten he’d acquired an injury there. He stumbled over some debris in their path before the woman turned back to say something to him. When the woman returned to her quick pace, Sue’s eyes focused on the backpack on her back. “They must have supplies.” Sue whispered to herself.

Shiro licked his dry lips and scooted closer. “What would they have?”

Sue shrugged. “I don’t know. Water, for one. Snacks, extra clothes,” she paused, swallowing the lump in her throat, “a weapon.”

“A weapon!” Shiro squealed, backing away from his sister as if he’d just learned she carried a plague.

“Yes, Shiro,” she muttered, placing a finger to her lips, urging him to watch his voice, “a weapon. You know, something that can protect us from those freaks that attacked us last time.”

Shiro’s face instantly went dark. Sue turned away to keep from witnessing the sadness sweeping across it. She cringed. She didn’t want to remember but no amount of time would ever erase it from her mind.

Sue shut her eyes tight but the images still came, as vivid as the moment they actually occurred. Her mother, foolish enough to believe something good might’ve come from the fallen spaceship, went to help the injured survivors. Except, they weren’t injured and they weren’t human or Astran. They were blood thirsty killers that ripped their mother to shreds. And they didn’t stop there, they murdered everyone they could find within the area. They would’ve murdered them too if she hadn’t carried her brother through the wreckage and to safety.

“Will they share with us?” Shiro’s question pulled her out of her nightmare. She looked down at her brother, staring into his wide hopeful blue eyes and frowned.

She looked away, leading him into the shadows for cover from the broken buildings lining the street. “Wasn’t planning on asking.” She tipped toed across the broken glass on the sidewalks. “We’re just gonna take it from them.”

1 thought on “F is for Followers”

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