The town seemed completely different than what i remembered. But, that’s a stupid thought. Of course it was. It’s the end of the world, for christ sake. After dropping those weirdos off at the town, N and i continued our search for my parents. I Had a sick feeling in my stomach, I didn’t want my parents to end up the same way N’s did. I Didn’t want them to be one of those….things. But, really…what kind of messed up person would want that?

“How close do you think we are?” N broke the silence

“Pretty close, if i remember right. Their house should be down the next block.” i stated.

“You mean the one that’s on fire, or the one with all the dead bodies?” He asked.

“No, the one after the one on fire. With all the doors and windows boarded up.” i responded.

All he could do was nod. I obviously didn’t like the fact that these houses were now mostly empty. This is where i grew up. I remember sneaking out of my parents house, and walking a few blocks down to visit my best friend. He lived with his mom, and she was pretty lenient when it came to me coming over and staying up all night with him. To be honest, i just don’t think she cared. It was a bad divorce from what i had heard, and i think she just wanted him to be happy. I Wondered if he was still alive. Even though we lost touch after i moved, of course i still cared for him. Maybe he was on his way back here to find his mom? Maybe our paths would cross again? Doubtful, but in these times, all we have is hope and faith. Seeing my parents house, i pulled into the driveway, and parked. N Hopped out, and grabbed the shotgun he kept in the back. I looked over at him.

“What’s that for?” I asked.

“I hate to say it, bro. But, these are pretty dark times. They could be-” I interrupted him

“I don’t want to think about that. I heard from them a week ago. They’re fine. Put the gun back” I demanded.

“Sorry, but no can do. While you may not want to think about it, it’s a possibility. I’m not going anywhere without this thing. Not again.” he said, lowering his head for a moment.

“You never told me what happened, really. Well, Bits and pieces. But, never the whole story.” I walked over to him.

“You won’t ever hear the whole story, either. It’s not something you bring up in casual conversation. It’s not something you really talk about.” He sighed.

I Patted his back, and he looked up at me.

“Would you like me to just go in? Check things out.” He asked.

“Why wouldn’t I go in? It’s my family.” I stated bluntly.

“That’s exactly why. I’ve already seen the worst that can happen. No need for you to go through all of what i did.”

“They’re not-” He interrupted me

“You need to accept that there’s a possibility that they are, J! This isn’t a fucking disney movie where everything ends up in some happily-ever-after bullshit.” He yelled.

“Don’t feed me that crap. They’re alive, i just know it.”

“Yeah, well i thought the same fucking thing, J. The exact same fucking thing. Stop this denial bullshit, and just….be prepared.”

I Rolled my eyes and walked in front of him, towards the front door. Nothing was wrong with them. They were fine when i talked to them a week ago. They’re okay. They’re fine. They’re alive. I Didn’t want to even think of any other outcome other than my parents greeting me with a smile and wrapping their arms around me. My little sister running up, and tackle-hugging me. That was how it was going to be.

I Knocked on the door. No answer. I Knocked louder. Still no answer, Finally i screamed.

“Mom! Dad! It’s me, J, and my buddy N! Please open the door!”

N sighed and opened the door. He slowly crept inside, keeping his gun pointed in front of him. The house was dark, and silent. Well, with the exception of the screams you could hear outside. I quickly ran through the house, checking every room that i could. I finally opened the last door and heard a small yelp.

“Hello? Ma? dad?” i questioned. “it’s okay. please come out.”

A small figure arose from behind the bed and ran towards me. I soon felt little hands wrap around my waist, followed by quiet sobs. It was my sister. I Kneeled down and wiped the tears from her eyes. She looked at me, and half smiled, but it soon turned back to a look of utter heartbreak.

“It’s alright, sis. I’m here. Where’s mom and dad?” I asked. She began to bawl once again.

N Sighed, almost like he knew what she was going to say. I Really didn’t want to hear it. I Wanted everyone to be here, and for us to skip off into make believe land filled with happiness, rainbows, and the occasional happy-go-lucky unicorn. But, unless i did some form of a drug, that wasn’t going to happen. I Knew i had to hear it. It was my sister, i had to be a big brother to her. I Had to reassure her that everything was going to be all right. She slowed her breathing and looked up at me, tears still welling in her eyes.

“They….They….They’re gone.” She mumbled.

“Gone? Did they leave you behind?” i asked.

“N-no. Some scary man came and took them. He called himself a savior. He asked who all lived her, and mommy and daddy said it was just them. He took them, and i never saw them again.”

“when was this?” I questioned.

“A little while after you called. He destroyed the phone, too. Said something about not telling others about this place, and because of that….he took them.”

“Do you know where the man took them?” I said, Feeling an inner rage growing for this unknown, so-called savior. 

“No. I’ve been in my room since they left. They….They didn’t even say goodbye.” She cried.

“We’ll Find them, sis. I Promise you we will.” i said, as N pulled me away from her to whisper into my ear.

“we’ll find them? Best not to make promises you can’t keep. She already saw them being taken away…i don’t think she wants to see them…well, as something other than her parents.” He said quietly.

“I’m going to find them. I’m going to find this savior. I’m going to get my family back, and kill the fucker that broke us up” I glared back at him, his eyes widened momentarily. 

“I…I don’t think i’ve ever heard you swear.” He stated.

“No one has ever fucked with my family.” I whispered, leaning back down to my sister.

“Go get a couple of drinks from the fridge, and we’ll go look for them, okay?” I smiled at her.

She nodded and ran off to the kitchen. I stood back up and looked over at N.

“If they’re dead…I will Murder that man in the most fucked up way i can think of.” i said, clenching my fists.

“I’ve never seen this side of you, bro.” He said, still shocked at my initial vulgar language.

“Like i said before…Nothing like this has ever happened. There was no need for this.” I said as i left the room, and met my sister out in the Living room. 

She Smiled and Handed me a bottled water, with some lemonade mixed in, along with another plain bottle of water. I couldn’t help but to grin at her.

“It’s your favorite. I remembered.” She beamed.

“Thank you,” I hugged her, “I love you very much.”

“You’re the best brother ever.” She wrapped her arms around my waist once again and hugged me tightly.

N Broke the silence as he walked out of the room.

“We should get going if we’re going to find them” He stated.

I Nodded back and tossed him a water bottle, then grabbed my little sisters hand, leading her outside. As we reached the driveway, my eyes Widened and then soon turned into a glare. My truck. My everything. It was gone. 

“Fuck!” I exclaimed.

“What’s wrong, Big brother?” My sister asked, looking up at me with her big, bright blue eyes.

“N-Nothing, Sweetie. We’re gonna have to walk for a while, though okay? Until we find another car.” I said.

She nodded and i looked over at N. He was heartbroken. Just as i had everything in that truck, so did he. Pictures of his parents, friends, and others that were lost to this apocalypse. At least i still had my sister. He had me, yeah. But, it wasn’t the same thing. I Grabbed his arm and gave him a look as to say, 
“i’m sorry.” He sighed, and nodded. It was time to move forward.

After passing a few blocks of houses, we ended up getting back in to town where we had first started. None of the cars we had found were working. Either they were on fire, being used, or completely out of gas. I almost wanted to stop checking them, since i already knew they weren’t going to work. Nothing was working out as i had planned. This sucked, to put it lightly.

As we were walking, i noticed a lot of people staring back at us. Some even picked a radio up and spoke into it. I Knew they were saying something about us. It had to be, with as creepy as these fuckers were.

We soon were face to face with a very large building. It looked a lot like a prison. I was about to comment on it when suddenly, right before me stood my parents. They were being lead by a muscle man with gun pointed to their backs. They looked over, and their eyes widened. My sister saw them, and grinned. She soon let go of my hand.

“Mommy! Daddy!” She screamed in excitement as she ran towards him. 

I reached my hand out to stop her, but she was already gone. The giant man quickly turned his attention to her, Pointed the gun, and fired. My heart broke, and was lit on fire at the same time.

“NO!” i screamed as loud as i could. 

N Stayed silent, and his jaw dropped from what he had just witnessed. My parents began to bawl, the man behind them shrugged it off and pushed the gun up against my mothers back, as if to say “Keep moving, scrub.” My sister laid there between my parents and us. Lifeless. All she had wanted to do was to see mom and dad again, and this….this fucker ruined it. Ruined this. Ruined her. Ended her.

“You mother fucking piece of shit!” I screamed as i began running towards him. 

The man calmly pointed the gun at me, and fired.

At least i’ll be with my sister again.