Demon

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We silently scan one another, inspecting each other's figures and conditions. Both of us groups realize that neither of us are much of a danger. The two Japanese, a man and a woman, both look very weak. Their skin clings to their bones, both looking like small, scared children as they hold each other closely in the corner. Another man and woman hold, who I'm guessing is their teenage daughter, tightly and securely between them. The last, who's an African American woman, presses herself against the wall but holds out a small handgun. She points it defensively at us, her eyes blazing.

"We don't mean harm," I say, breaking the eerie silence.

She doesn't move the gun as she says, "Put your weapons down and I put mine down."

Brenda and I look at each other for a second, then nod and follow her orders. I look back up and see her slowly putting down the gun. Her tense shoulders fall and the tension gets sucked out of the room.

"My name is Alice," I introduce myself to the frightened people. "This is Brenda, Johnny, and Chris back there." I point towards the unconscious blond at the front of the store. "We're all weak and injured, so you don't have to worry about us."

"We do," the woman who set the gun down says. "The name is Shayla. Shayla Canty. I've been betrayed more than once, so I don't plan on trusting you until you're worthy. Until then, I stand by my gun and you stand back."

I nod and settle down on the floor, a good distance away from them. "I understand."

Brenda retreats from them and sits down next to me. She asks, "Is it okay if we stay the night here?"

The other group looks at each other, their faces unreadable. They begin to speak quietly and urgently to one another. It takes a few minutes of debating, but they end up with an answer. The light-haired father and husband is the one to speak. "You can stay the night."

"There's two more people in our group," I warn them. "One is our leader, the other is a very helpful man. He can get mouthy sometimes but he's loyal to this group. They're scavenging the market."

"Good luck to them," Shayla scoffs.

"Why is that?" Brenda asks nervously.

"The market doesn't have much of anything left. What's there is mostly spoiled food," the wife replies. She gives a polite smile. "My name is Tessa. This is my husband, Lenny. And our daughter Katelyn." She nudges her daughter to speak, but Katelyn doesn't say anything. She looks more like her brown-haired mother than like her father, but her eyes are bright like her father's and she has a porcelain complexion.

"This is Naoto and Mia Yamashita," Lenny introduces the quiet couple. They give curt nods but their faces don't change expressions. "We had one hell of a day."

"I think we all did," Brenda agrees with the nod of her head. She then goes back to the important subject. "So no food, but do they have medical supplies possibly?"

Lenny and Tessa look at each other and shrug. "Not sure, it wasn't something we really needed to look for at the moment. We just searched it this morning."

Brenda and I nod at the information and then scoot back to the front of the store. I check Chris's pulse as Brenda peeks outside. Chris is breathing normally and his heart has slowed to a healthy pace. I feel the eyes of the group on me and I explain his conditions.

"He wasn't infected in any way?" Lenny asks. "That's quite odd."

"It's extremely odd," Brenda agrees. "He just came down with it. He's not even acting the same."

"Aggressive?" Lenny asks.

"Yes," I reply. "He's barely letting me touch him."

"You seem to be getting along fine," Shayla interjects.

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