The Survivor Chronicles (Book 3): The Forsaken

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Authors: Erica Stevens
Tags: post apocalyptic
the door and then at them. "Right now we don't have a choice, we're stuck here, but we're going to need those keys if we get the opportunity to escape."
    "We can't leave," Rochelle said firmly.
    "Absolutely not," Bobby agreed.
    Al took a deep breath, he wasn't irritated with them, he completely understood where they were coming from, but their words only served to remind him of the people he was opting to leave behind. People that he would have sacrificed himself for, but he couldn't sacrifice the children. Although Riley, Xander and John weren't that much older than Josh and Rochelle. They would understand though, he knew they would, and he knew that Carl would have made the same decision had he been the one still standing in this house.
    "They could be dead already, and if they're not, do you think they're going to make it down this street with those people out there?" he asked. "We need the keys, and we need to start preparing ourselves for those things in case they come in here. The most important thing is that we keep you kids safe, the others are extremely capable of taking care of themselves."
    Mary Ellen hurried from the room and returned with the two sets of keys, a notepad and a pen. Peter took the car keys and slid them into his pocket as Mary Ellen handed Al the pad, pen, and truck keys. "You know how to get to the cabin in New York," she said.
    Al nodded and began to scribble down instructions for how to get to the cabin. "Mr. Dade..." Josh started to protest.
    "They're right, we can't stay here," Peter interjected.
    The reassurance didn't make Al feel any better as he jotted a sorry at the end of the note that he knew completely failed to convey the true depth of how sorry he was. Forgive me , he added and placed the pad on the coffee table.
    With a heavy heart and a much heavier gate, he returned to the front door. He'd made many difficult decisions in his life, some he hadn't been proud of, but this was by far the worst. "We will look for them," he vowed.
    He was about to rise up to look back out the window again when he heard the distinct thud of a boot hitting the porch. For a second his heart soared as he recalled the heavy work boots Carl and John had been wearing the last time he'd seen them, but even as the thought crossed his mind he knew it was wrong. They wouldn't be strolling up to the front door amongst that crowd out there.
    Gesturing the others back, he moved away from the door and plastered his back against the wall next to it. The dull thud of the boots sounded across the porch to the bordered up window where they paused before turning away and walking back across the porch. Al held his breath as he heard the distinct thud of more footsteps climbing the stairs. Mary Ellen pushed Rochelle further behind her and toward the kitchen.
    Peter closed his eyes as he remained next to the door and Bobby pushed Josh behind him as he nodded toward the kitchen and Rochelle. The boots sounded over the porch again, stopping outside the front door. Al wasn't so sure his old ticker could take much more. It hit his ribcage with a thud so forceful he was certain they could hear it outside as the knob began to rattle.

    He tried to push Riley's hands away but she was as persistent as a dog digging for a bone as she tugged at the bandages wrapped around his leg. The fresh blood staining the inside of the wrap didn't startle him as he'd already felt it seeping from the injury. Tossing the bandages aside, she sat back on her heels and focused on the two strangers still hovering in the doorway.
    "You," she said and thrust her index finger at the girl. "Go to the bathroom and see if you can find me some clean bandages, if not I need towels and tape. Antiseptic of some kind would be good too."
    A wolf with a bone , he decided over her protective and commanding attitude. Though the girl had begun to silently cry, she didn't question the command as she turned on her heel and rushed from the room.

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