A/N: this is for a contest, at a library. has to be less than two pages, soooo. it is ridiculously short. but enjoy. it is a one shot, however. review, please. i need the feedback for the contest.

I'm running. The zombies are chasing me, and I have no more precious bullets to slam into stupid zombie skulls. These zombies are the fast ones, not the shamblers. Stupid sprints. I'm running out of energy and I'll need to stop soon to catch my breath. My lungs are burning, my throat is on fire. I feel the cracked concrete beneath my feet and my shotgun bouncing on my back. I head for the old motel I saw coming into this tiny zombie town. I'd say ghost town, but that would be a lie. It's a zombie town, through and through. It is a small town, though, the population sign I saw coming in said 'unincorporated'. Unfortunately, within minutes of arriving, I attracted three zoms. I burst through the door of the hotel, slammed it behind me and jammed a chair under the doorknob. Thump. Thump. Thump. The three zoms slam into the door and each other. Hopefully, the chair will hold long enough for me to find a place to barricade myself in and catch my breath.

I hurry down the hall, poking my head into each room to be sure I'm alone in here. Nothing on the first floor, and the motel is only a two story. I sprinted back to the front door, the zoms hadn't gotten in yet. I could hear them moaning and slapping the door with their rotting hands. Hmmn. I guess that chair was stronger than I thought. I hurried through the long hall and up the stairs to the second floor. I quickly checked all the rooms, thought I was doubtful there were any zoms in here. Zoms generally stay on the ground, they don't like stairs, or heights, unless there happens to be people at the top of those stairs. I'm halfway down the hall when I hear it. Music. A song I used to like, from the Before. A Beatles song, to be exact. Zombies don't turn on radios, so it must be another person. Whoa. It's been months since I've seen any non-zoms. Haven't seen anyone since Nick turned. Or almost did. He got bit, started showing symptoms, told me goodbye, went off and shot himself. Then it was just me.

The prospect of seeing someone is so exciting I skip checking the last few rooms and jog to the end of the hall. I probably would have heard something if there were any zoms in here, but it's always good to be cautious. Cautious keeps you alive. Now I'm right before the open door, the music is louder. No longer the Beatles. I notice a dried blood stain on the carpet. I take a deep breath. I have to be careful now. Scaring whoever might be in there could well be fatal if I'm mistaken for a zom. With the zombies, you always are on the watch, if you're spooked, you shoot. You attack. You kill. Another deep breath. The song changes, and I hear a male voice singing along softly. Time to make my move.

"Hello?" I call from outside the room. The music abruptly shuts off.

Then, a returning voice. "Is someone there?"

"Yeah. Can I come in?" I reply.

"Yeah." I go into the room. There's a guy, probably around fifteen or sixteen, sitting on the bed. It's been ages since I saw anyone who didn't chase after me and try and eat my brains. "Uhm. I'm Finn." Finn said, flipping the radio back on.

"I'm Kaline." I said, sitting on the bed opposite him. I looked around the room, taking in the clothes strewn over the floor, the TV hooked up to a tiny generator with solar panels set up near the window, the Xbox console with not one, but two controllers. Strange for a boy living alone. Posters of bands were stuck on the wall, all of them were pretty beat.

"You surviving?" In the After, there is no 'how are you's' there is only 'you surviving's'. How you are feeling is no longer important, only staying alive.

"I am. Are you?" I ask, turning his question back to him.

"Yeah. This motel isn't bad. The zeeb's don't usually notice I'm here, so it's not bad. Not bad at all."

"Dude. I don't ever stay in one place for longer than a week. How long you been here?" Huh. Making small talk in the After. Strange, talking at all. It's been since Nick that I've talked with anyone at all.

"Uh. About three months." Finn replied. Suddenly, his expression collapses in on itself, and he starts to cry. I have absolutely no clue what I should do. I hesitantly reach out and pat his shoulder, and through his sobs he says: "Will you please stay? I can't d-deal with the l-loneliness any longer. You're t-the first p-person I've s-seen in six mo-months. Please s-stay." He pleads. Well. What can I say to that?

"Okay. Yeah. I'll stay." Finn smiles weakly through his tears as I say that.

"Thank you." Kind of a new beginning, I suppose, after Nick. I think I need Finn almost as much as he needs me. We'll stick together now. Watch each other's backs. That sort of stuff. Sticking together with this kid I just met. Better than being alone, this sticking together.

I think it's a good thing.