Chapter 21

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I was up at 4:30 again and went straight to the bathroom and puked I brushed my teeth and went back to the bedroom. I slept until about 6:30 and went to make breakfast for the three going. Ava was sitting at the island with some cereal.

"Morning Ava." I said and she looked up.

"Oh morning."

"What're you doing up so early?" She hesitated for a moment before speaking.

"Well I was wondering if I could go on the run with you, I haven't been out and about in ages." I waited a couple minutes before speaking,

"When do you turn 12?"

"I turned 12 three days ago. My birthdays September 9th." She responded

"Why didn't you say something? We would have made you a cake and let you play video games."

"It's not important in these new days. I just thought you guys wouldn't care."

"Of course we care, we've cared since you guys found us mid july."

"Oh well in that case, Livs birthday is October 30th."

"Good to know. Now about the run." I started, "Let me talk to Blake and Landon, we're really low on ammo, so you'd have to use the knife or you need to stay close to one of us."

"Deal." She said with a smile and we talked more about the rules of runs. Blake came out a little while later followed by Landon.

"So boys, Ava wants to come with us today. I said I didn't have a problem with it and would just have to ask you." I said.

"I don't have a problem either as long as you've explained rules and everything." Landon responded.

"No. I don't think it's a good idea. She's 11." Blake said.

"Actually I turned 12 on the 9th." Ava cut in.

"I still think no."

"Blake come on. Just say yes, she knows what to do." I argued. We argued for a few more minutes and he finally agreed under the circumstance that she would stick right by someones side and never walk off. We grabbed our bags. And headed out to the truck. Blake and Ava rode in the back and Landon sat passenger, so he could give me directions. We packed an outfit since we would most likely be out until the following day because the store was a two hour drive away and a place that we wanted to go to was a two hour drive from there. The ride was mostly quiet except for the CD's that played. I planned on getting more during this run. I drove for maybe an hour before Landon took over. I got in the back and Bake got up front.

"You excited?" I asked Ava with a smile.

"Yep. This is the first time I've left the house since the farmhouse. With the exception of walks."

"Oh that's right." I responded nodding my head.

"Yea so what exactly are we doing?"

"Well the boys are getting solar panels from the first place, then were going to to another store that's about two hours away from that, to get warmer clothes, and jackets from somewhere that isn't Walmart, or target."

"Will we be out all night?"

"Depends on how long we take in the stores. We'll be home really late I know that, since just driving is fourish hours each way, I don't want to be out in the open though or in the stores for to long." I answered

"Sounds like a plan." She said curling up to take a nap. I pulled out my book and read for awhile. I put my book down after about twenty minutes and took a nap for the rest of the ride. I woke up once the car started to slow down. We got to the solar panel store and everyone got out of the car to stretch. Everyone left the backpacks in the car since we had to get the solar panels for the roof and they wouldn't fit in the bags. Blake and Landon went in first to clear out the store while Ava and I waited outside, they came back outside to let us know it was clear. Up the road a bit was what looked like either a bookstore or toy shop. I looked at Ava then spoke,

"Ava and I are gonna head up the road a little,there's a small store that looks like it might be toys or books. Come pick us up on the way to the next store."

"Fuck no. I'm not letting my pregnant girlfriend and a 12 year old that I'm responsible for go alone." Blake said looking at me.

"I get that you want to protect me, but you can't control what I do. We're going and you can get us when you're done." I responded meeting his stare with a more intense one. He sighed,

"Alright, but if anything happens, anything at all get out of there right away."

"Will do." I responded and Ava and I headed back to the truck to grab our bags. It was probably half a mile away.

"Are we looking for baby stuff?" Ava asked breaking the silence. I nodded,

"And whatever you want or something Liv would like." She nodded and we walked the rest of the way in a comfortable silence. It was about a seven minute walk. I pulled my gun out and knocked hard on the glass with is. I didn't want to break it but I wanted whatever was inside to come up front. We waited about three minutes before I did it again. After ten minutes of standing there nothing had come up. Looking through the glass I saw it was a store more or less themed toward the age group three to about eight. There didn't look to be anything Ava would like or anything for the baby. I looked at her,

"You still wanna go in? Looks like things that Liv would like."

"Yea sure. I gotta start looking for things for her birthday, which is a little over a month away."

"Of course." I responded and I tried the door, which of course was locked. I looked around and saw a shiny thing at the corner of the building I went to look and what I saw chilled me. It was a man being eaten, I skidded to a stop and I must've been a little to loud and it looked up at me and growled, "AVA RUN!" I managed to yell before it started to move quickly to me, it was a normal one so we would be able to get away, but they were still a normal speed. Ava looked confused as I dropped my backpack and ran towards her. Following me was the zombie and as soon as she saw it she bolted towards the truck. I had so many thoughts running through my head. Did it recently turn? Why didn't it come at us when I knocked on the glass? I didn't have time to think. The zombie was still following us even though we put some distance between us and it. We didn't stop running even when the boys ran past us to kill it. We ran until we were in the truck. Breathlessly I looked at Ava,

"Are you okay?" She nodded,

"Why didn't you just shoot it?"

"I have two bullets left. I need to save them for when I need them." She nodded again and I passed her one of the water bottles, which she gladly took. We sat in the backseat panting until the boys hopped in the truck.

"What the hell happened back there Sky?" Blake asked

"We tried to get in and the door was locked and I saw something that might have been able to break the glass so I walked over and saw a man getting eaten. I paused in fear and yelled to Ava to run which she did, and that was that." I responded.

"Why didn't you just shoot it?" Landon asked as we headed to the next store.

"I have two bullets left and I'm saving them for swifts or runners. Or someone if I need to."

"Good point but why did you yell to run instead of running towards her and dragging her along?"

"Some overwhelming urge to protect came over me and I wanted to make sure she had a little bit of a head start."

"Motherly instincts kicking in already?" Blake asked.

"I don't know, maybe?" I responded and the boys laughed

"Well at least you want to protect." Landon said. And I smiled,

"I'm gonna take a nap, wake me when we get there."

"Me too." Ava added. And after what seemed like seconds we were there.

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