Chapter One: Mary

The hand-held radio squawked at me once more that the United States was in a national state of emergency, that the CDC had lost control of the epidemic sweeping across the world, basically dooming us all to an eternity of being cannibalistic beings that hungered for the taste of human flesh. I sighed, turning the annoying device off, running a hand over my hair. I had heard the same message play a thousand times over that week. It was really grating on the nerves.

I was perched at the top of the water tower that was about 150 yards into the forest behind my house. It was supposed to be white, but it was more rust than paint. I placed my feet up on the railings as I leaned back in my lawn chair I kept up there. Mostly, I came to the water tower for inspiration for my writing. Now, I came here to watch for the diseased vermin.

I had my .22 rifle, complete with scope, and my bow and arrows resting on either side of me. I was prided on the fact that I could shoot through dimes at a distance of fifty yards. This skill of infallible shot happened to be one of the most useful skills in this time of turmoil.

My cellphone buzzed from where it resided in my bra. I pulled it out, seeing that the message was from Annie, one of my closest friends from high school.

"CODE GREEN," it read,

"Well, shit," I chuckled. "Atta-girl, Annie! Way to keep things interesting!"

I grabbed my draw-string backpack and strapped my rifle, Excalibur, to my back. I looked down, seeing the lone creature fumbling around, trying to track my scent. I relaxed my body while slowly pulling back the bow, arrow notched. I let out a quiet breath as I let the projectile loose, imbedding itself into the cranium of the vile thing easily.

I climbed down the latter, choosing to ignore my fear of heights (not an easy task, as you might imagine). I only fumbled twice, and I landed on the ground with my life still intact. From there, I slinked through the woods, not encountering anymore deadly things in my path, excluding a black widow that made me squeal.

The tiny house was empty. I had bought it while I was still high on the feeling of freedom after graduating high school, so I lived by myself.

I slid the sliding glass door open easily. I rushed through the house, packing all my clothes up into two suitcases, not to mention the necessary toiletries (thankfully, I had stocked up on feminine supplies). I left out one outfit which I readily changed into: a forest green t-shirt, my dad's old military pants and jacket, white socks, and my most comfortable pair of Nike tennis shoes. My auburn hair was too short to do much with, so I put on a black bandana to keep it out of my face. My purple glasses made the look perfect: a dorky soldier.

I packed my suitcases in the back of my faithful car, Bessie. She was a 2002 Jeep Liberty, royal blue in color. She was a hand-me-down, and I loved her from the top of her moon-roof to her pale leather seats to her muddy tires.

I ran back inside, taking what imperishable food I could find in my pantry, a giant pack of batteries, a flashlight, and my thirty-six back of Dr. Pepper cans. I securely placed these in Bessie before coming back lastly for my sleeping bag, pack of multi-lighters, phone charger, pillow, giant box of various ammunitions, and winter jacket; it was fall and I wanted to be prepared for the cold weather.

At this point, I was grateful that my phone played music. I hooked the music player up to my radio and blasted out "Another One Bites the Dust."

I sped to the designated rendezvous point for Code Green. I had the window down, and I breathed in the fresh scent of fall, choosing to ignore the smell of death that had permeated the air for too long now. I dodged the undead creatures and the stilled cars. I quickly pulled up to the parking lot in Valley Station near my old house. I smiled when I saw the silver motorcycle and brunette waiting for me.

I turned off Bessie, actually happy I was one of the first people there.

"Well, you look like a bad ass!" I yelled to Shannon. She smirked, laughing a bit as she took in my ensemble. She did a half-bow thing.

"Almighty War General, how…prepared you look!"

I rolled my eyes. "Almighty is a stretch…designated BAMF would be appropriate enough."