I couldn’t tell you how long we’d been driving. Time hardly even registered with me and I’d only barely noticed when Luca pointed out to me that there was another survivor. Now we were back on our way with this other person sat in the back with Joe, Lazarus? I think that’s what he said his name was. I’d just gone back to staring aimlessly out the window trying to ignore the concerned looks I could feel Luca throwing my way.
My mind wasn’t anywhere in particular, which was good as I felt that if i did I would just fall apart. I don’t know how much further we’d driven but a few minutes after picking up Lazarus something caught my eye. “Luca stop the car,” I said sharply, managing to make Luca slam the breaks on and jolt the car to a sudden stop. I jumped out before anyone could even say anything and snuck closer to what had caught my eye. A walker, which was surprising enough seeing as we hadn’t seen any for the entire stretch of road, which had been a fair way, was moving with the sense of determination which they only had when they’d found something of interest. I checked the wind direction and moved so I didn’t attract the attention of the creature from my sent. I crept forward, suddenly picking up the faint sound of crying ahead of both me and the thing. I slowly stood up, being careful not to make a sound. I was faintly surprised by what had caught the attention of the walker, and not because it was yet another survivor along this deserted stretch of road but because this survivor looked around 8 or 9 years old and shouldn’t have stood a chance of making it in this hell hole.
I quickly jumped the walker and dispatched it easily before it even realised what had happened. The girl curled up against the car, crying gently and shaking violently. “Hey, Hey, it’s alright, I’m a friend. I’m human,” I spoke gently in an attempt not to scare the girl. She turned to me with shining deep brown eyes and a dirt smeared face. I smiled, trying to appear friendly, “Hey sweetheart, It’s ok. Are you on your own?” She nodded, remaining quiet. “what’s your name?” I attempted to get her to talk.
“A-Arianne,” she croaked.
“that’s a pretty name. I’m Sophia” I smiled, keeping the tone friendly, like you would with a lost child. Only we were all lost in this world, “how old are you Arianne?”
“nine,” she said timidly. My heart dropped, she was just a child. Nine years old! “I’m ten in.... 17 days,” She took a moment to try and count the days.
I smiled gently, “would you like not to be alone anymore?” I hoped it wouldn’t scare her off, and I really hoped she wouldn’t freak out when she saw the others, I knew they could be a little intimidating.
She took a moment before nodding, “will you look after me?” It took all my strength not to start crying, she sounded scared and vulnerable, she was so young, and if I was honest she reminded me of Tammy. I nodded back, “there are a few of us, the others are in a car not far from here. We can all look after each other. How does that sound?” Her gentle eyes lit up at the sound of other people being there.
I found some people today. A group of other alive people, a girl called Sophia and three guys. One of them was ok. The other two were a bit scary, I hung onto Sophia when we got to the car, I didn’t really look up at them, trying to hide away. I listened to Sophia talking to the big guy at the wheel of the car.
“she’s nine, I found her about to be eaten by a walker,” she argued. It seemed the big guy wasn’t too keen on having me around. I felt bad, I didn’t want to get in the way, but I wanted to have some people to be with.
“she’ll only be a liability,” he counteracted. I looked down at the floor, feeling unwanted.
“she’s nine for god’s sake,” Sophia’s voice rose. She was getting upset with this scary big guy. But the way they were arguing reminded me of my mum and dad, like they cared for each other and it was just another disagreement.
“Fine. I’m not looking after her.” He snapped.
“Fine. Joe sit up the front for a while,” I watched as the nice looking guy, Joe scrambled into the front of the car and Sophia helped me into the back with the other guy. He smiled at me slightly and responded, feeling shy and out of place. I felt Sophia climb in behind me. The car was huge with three rows of seats and space for a bit of luggage. Sophia threw a quick glare at the big guy in the front before Turning back to me, smiling gently as she pulled out some things from a small bag and began cleaning me up.