A long run helps Estella clear her head. The cold air scours her skin, leaves her sinuses and lungs feeling raw. Her legs burn, but she keeps going, as if exertion will somehow exorcise the confusion, the inexplicable longing she’s been wrestling with for days. None of it makes a lick of sense to her, and the very fact that she doesn’t understand her own mind is frightening.
At long last, she completes the two-mile loop and returns home. A brief hop into the shower cleanses the sweat and brings up memories that put a burning in her cheeks. She flees, still dripping wet, and hides in her room under a mountain of blankets.
Estella had resigned herself to the idea of going out in public. She was even prepared for the crowds and the strange sights.
What she wasn’t expecting was the NOISE.
Everywhere, from every direction, something seemed to be clanging or ringing or whistling, and it mixed with a disjointed chorus of human voices to create a cacophony that was nearly deafening after the peace and quiet of the woods.
Wrinkling her nose, she looked up at her knight, utterly aghast.
Izzie headed back to the spot that she’d been at the night she met John back when things were bad. She looked around and smiled when she saw the unmistakable motorcycle. She kept going until she found him.
Almost five months ago to the day, the outbreak started. People were assured that it was a simple flu, that a cure was being worked on and that no one should worry.
A week following.. Those who had been “sick”, had died and New York erupted into chaos as the biters took over the city. Slowly, city after city became overrun with the living dead, out to rip apart every living human they encountered.
Now, only small tribes and groups of people remain in this world of undead. Always moving, always fighting, never trusting one another and biters are never too far behind…
Finally, a place to rest. Somewhere calm.. The small group, with members from all over the states, had settled down in a clearing in the woods. While Sara wasn’t too pleased with the location, it was better then nothing. She protested the fire, but instead of fighting with the leader of their group, she retired to her tent.
Just as the brunette had laid down, and seemingly closed her eyes for just a moment, an ear-piercing scream ripped through the silence and startled her awake. Without a pause in her movements, Sara yanked on her boots and collected her backpack, packed very sparingly with only what she needed. How no one had seen, or heard, the undead was beyond her understanding but this was the hand they were dealt.
Grabbing her sawed off shotgun, she forced it between her belt and her jeans before grabbing her pistols as she exited the tent. The number of walkers alarmed her, how could there be so many?! No one heard them!? Raising her gun, she took out a few walkers, before she heard the sound that no one would ever want to hear in this day..
Click, click, click.
“Shit, shit, shit-!” Sara growled as she reloaded her gun as quickly as her hands would allow; what had started out as a peaceful night for her small group, that had finally found a place to rest, had turned into a night of terror as a horde of walkers suddenly emerged on them.
When she heard someone yell run, she didn’t think twice. She didn’t think about the possibility of being bitten, of being lost, or of loosing her group.. It came down to fight or flight, and the latter option was her best. When it all boiled down, it was fight for yourself or die. And Sara wasn’t ready to die.
Running through the woods with no light, though, was much harder then anyone would have imagined. Several times, she tripped, nearly fell – and did, at one point, fall down an embankment. She hadn’t even seen it, until it was too late.
Ending up at the bottom of this.. steep hill, Sara winced out in pain as she landed into a shallow river, of sorts, and glanced around quickly for walkers. When she didn’t see any, she slowly stood and frowned. Soaking wet, now, tired.. cold.. She had to find somewhere to rest, and to try and get her bearings.
Another while of walking along a dirt road, in god knows where, found Sara a cabin. She checked her surroundings, as best she could, before nearing it. Knocking gently on the door, she placed her ear to the door.. but didn’t hear anything, so she forced her door open and closed it. Locking it, and placing a chair infront of it, under the door handle - for good measure.
Sighing, she took the closest seat she could find and plopped down into it. Running her hands through her long hair. “Shit..” she mumbled. It was odd, being all alone again.
“I still don’t understand it,” Estella groused, combing out her hair and braiding it neatly. “I have a perfectly good dress. I have FIVE perfectly good dresses. What do I need with more clothes?”
In the weeks since she’d agreed to be John’s ward, she’d grown quite accustomed to the shelter of the spacious apartment he called home. The various devices had taken a while to figure out, but she liked to think that she was learning quickly. The only problem with the sudden abundance of security was that she was beginning to feel leery of the outside world, especially after the knight explained how they were no longer in her own time.
Estella stood in the shower and stared at the razor like she wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.
One of the periodicals John was having her read had explained about the modern-day propensity of women to remove excess body hair below the neck, but she was having trouble grasping the concept. In any case, she’d seen the knight shave his face on more than one occasion (he still teased her about her initial reaction to the sight of his face covered in shaving cream; it had taken an hour and a bribe of cookies to get her down from the top shelf of the pantry closet).
How hard could it be?
Ten minutes, a good deal of soap, and several nicks later, there was a good deal more smooth skin showing than she’d ever seen on herself before. Oddly pleased with the results, she finished washing, dried off, and rubbed herself down with a heather-scented balm she’d come to enjoy.