Chapter 3

Walking in to the city was…an experience. There were changed ones everywhere but none that came down low enough to stop us. The changed ones looked just like the ones that we had fought, red soulless eyes and fangs out ready to strike, but they stayed where they were and watched as we moved through the city to find Her. They stayed at the top of the buildings sitting and watching as we made our way to the nest. The buildings where covered in vines, leaves, and great big bushes, even the ones that looked like they reached the sky where covered in the green bush. The cars had been overturned and smashed in. There was glass and blood everywhere. The skies were dark with storm clouds and the bodies were littered everywhere, we had to step over them to get by.

Devon and Robert keep looking at me for some reason. I needed to say something I guess, but what was I supposed to tell them? So without looking at them I said "She's close."

"How about we rest first?" Robert said with a worried look on his face. Then he pointed into a building that said parking garage on it. Devon turned to look at him and with a silent agreement they both walked towards it. I stopped walking and looked up at the changed ones. They looked more like gargoyles than anything else. Watching over the city, but what for? The ones we fought before didn't go for me even though I was fighting them and it was more like they wanted to take the boys more than kill them. They seemed to know something that I didn't and hadn't figured out already. But what was it, what was happening here? There was a flash of a memory then. The sun was shining and the city was busy with life, cars honking and fresh smell of hotdogs. A woman had just bought me one and she was mad that I didn't eat it with anything. I looked at her and could feel the frown forming on my face as I took a bite from my hotdog. The flash ended when I heard my name. The name the women called me. "Chari!"

Devon came running out of the parking garage and took me out of my thoughts. "We found a car with gas in it…um…would you like to fly or ride?" he said that last part with a nervous look at the sky and changed ones. When he looked back at me he read the question in my eyes, the 'what other choice do I have?' question, and then nodded. He led me inside the building. The cars in there where in better shape than the ones outside, although some of them had smashed front windows and hoods that where put in. They were still in the parking spaces that they started in. There was one car in the back with its lights still on and blood splatted on the divers side door. It seemed the person was getting ready to go when they meet there end.

Devon showed me to where they were. He and Robert made a makeshift home using the cars as beds. The seats had been put down for someone to lie down on them. There were three of these cars and one of them was bigger than the others. It was a full sized SUV with its top half ripped off and the doors and font seats completely gone to make more room. I suspected that this one would be mine. I jumped up on the top off the torn car and landed on the inside. Looking around I found many pillows from random cars scattered around as if they had been thrown without care. I sat down in it and fixed the pillows then spread my wings to test space. It was bigger than I thought, like a bird house is bigger on the inside. Something about the roominess of the car and the random pillows made me smile then giggle and I didn't stop until I was laughing so loud I could hear my own echoes ringing out. Devon was chuckling in his own car-bed. "I told you she would like! Do I know her or do I know her?" he shouted at Rob who was fixing the fire he made. The grin on his face was all Devon needed to assure him of his knowledge of me.

I felt…happy…for once. It felt like this feeling was the missing from me and I had finally obtained it. Through laughter and the sight of friends with me I had found happiness? Maybe but I didn't want to linger on the thought. It would be a long day and I needed rest.

0*0*0*0*0

I slept for the first time in a long time. Dreams were not what I expected for the first time, and memories where certainly not what I needed for what I thought might be the last time. But they are what I wanted for the longest time.

Flashes of scenes and memories mixed in were going through fast and slowing down. But two things were the same. One of them was the sound of laughter and joy, the other was a blood curdling scream that wasn't mine. The laughter brought scenes of happy people and sunny days that I wanted to remember. They were all too blurry to understand who was there or what was happening, but one thing stayed the same, the girl I say. The screaming brought the feel of flesh being cut and bones being broken, the want of blood and the need of death. The clearest thing that I last remember is the hospital. I was in a hospital bed with the women who bought me hotdogs sleeping in a chair by the side. She looked like she was getting sick and I felt worried about her, I got up to walk to the bathroom. I had been having bad back pain while in the hospital and could not sleep on my back for the whole time, so I took a walk to try to calm down. When I got to the bathroom I was looking in mirror at me, but something about the girl in the mirror did not feel like me. As if she was pretending to be me and I was falling for it. The pain in my back returned and as I turned around I could see something small the size of inch sticking out of my back. It had ripped my hospital gown. I reached to pull it out and when I touched it I could feel the sensitivity of the touch go back and hit my spine. It shocked me so much and was so painful that I fell over to the floor. The middle of it was blurry but filled with red and black. After it all I saw the women and her blood everywhere, even on my hands. Her head had been across the room and limbs had scattered everywhere. She was no good to Us and had no point in life.

I woke up in a shock, sweat dripping and huffing breath. It was the women's blood that had been on my hands the day I woke. It scared me more thinking that this women could have been someone important to me and in the end I had killed her because She had told me to. I looked out of the cut car-bed, there was no one there, and I became fearful of what had happened to the boys. I jumped out of the car running out to of the building. The blinding light of the day had stopped me short and I used that time to get my sight into focus. When they did I saw Devon and Robert working on a car. Devon was holding the hood of the car up while Robert sat in the front seat starting the car.

It was a topless convertible with a shiny red glossy paint and black race strips on the hood of it. "Do you think she's okay? Like, really okay?" Robert said with a worried look, "Cause I feel like we're riding all this way to our deaths." He looked at Devon, who was looking at the engine of the car, and didn't look away until he looked at him.

"Dude, how many times have I told you, she's not gonna kill us or let anything kill us."

"Yeah but she could, I mean the changed ones were pretty strong, what makes you think she won't be stro-" Devon cuts him off short with the look in eyes, anger rolling off of him in waves.

"She's good!" He looked back down at the engine working and pulling things in the car, "okay, you can start her now." When Robert started the car I walked out of the shadow and into the daylight.

"Moring" I said to them both while walking towards them. It was really a bright morning, the first since I woke up. When I reached the car there were flashes of light then a memoir of the girl in the mirror. She was smiling and laughing. She reached for a car door the same time I did and sat in the passenger's seat, she always sat in the passenger's seat. When she sat down she leaned over and kissed the driver on the lips. She loved him and he loved her. The flash went away when I heard the slam of the car door. Devon and Rob were sitting in the front and I sat in the back. I looked at the back seats and then knew why the hood of the car was gone. My wings could have never been able to get in or better yet sit comfortably in this car.

The car started and we were moving. I was the one giving directions based on how strong the felling were. We were heading north of the city towards the water. Another flash hit me. It was the wind blowing in my hair, the city passing by me. In the memory it was night and I was sitting in a car. There was a nervous feeling in my stomach that had been there since I got the call to come out of my house. We were driving to a party in the middle of the night and I had snuck out of my house. The flash went away when the suns light hit my eyes.

We drove for almost half an hour and reached what seemed like the tallest building in the city. We got out of the car and looked at the building for a while. The energy rating of the building was so great I thought that I could see smoke coming out of every side of this it. I looked at Devon and Rob as if to ask "are you ready?" They both nodded and we walked in together. The lobby of the building was filled to the prim with bodies, but these ones where alive.

"No! Go back! Go back to you came and never return! It's safer, go back!" there was a women with a white dust covered face. She had torn and tattered clothe on that seemed to fall off when she stated to wave her hands at us. "She'll kill you boys, go back, and run as fast as possibly!" she seemed to be talking to the boys and warning them about me…or the changed one that was behind her? The changed one reached out her hands and took the women's head in her hand. With a twist of the wrist the women had stopped screaming. She looked as though even in death she was saying her warnings to the boys.

The changed one looked at me with curses in her eyes. All the other live ones looked at her and me when she walked over. Their faces in awe as if they had not seen a changed one walk upright and now they say two. Our wings matched in size but not in color. Hers were a darker gray almost stormy, while mine were lighter and more silver. We matched each other's stride as we walked up to each other. Her eyes that soulless red while mine a deep hazel. She looked at me for a while, breaded her teeth in a grin, hissed and said "She's been waiting for you." In her eyes I could see the storm rising and the lighting sparking. I was last piece of the puzzle She needed. But for what?

The changed one turned around and walked to the far end of the room where a hole had been cut into the ceiling. She flew up and disappeared. The people in the lobby all looked at me expecting me to do something. I stood there for a while until one man came up to me. He was fat and bald-headed. He stood in front of me looking behind me. The boys, with weapons in hands, came closer and I put up my wings to stop them.

"Aren't you scared of me?" I looked him in the eyes and he tied his hardest to look at my wings.

"No!" he said simply while shaking his head. He finally looked into my eyes and I saw all that he was. A father, a son, a husband, a working man and more than anything a coward. There were people he let die so that he might have one last chance at life.

"Then you're a fool." I told him this in a large voice, one that was finally mine. He looked me in the eye and backed away when I took one step towards him. I walked past the old man and under the hole in the roof, and then tuned around to look at the boys, "meet me up there". I am and lifted myself like the other changed one and followed her up to the top floor. It was a long flight up and every floor brang something new. In the second to third there were people living in them. They were just as ragged and dirty as the ones in the lobby and even more men filled the third then women. Then on the fourth to the fifth there were dead bodies or as She sang food. Then the many changed ones that were on the levels after. Frist the dead ones, then the live ones that packed the upper levels. When I got up to the top-level and landed the first thing I saw was a flurry of wings and feathers. They had surrounded the center of the room with wings of different colors. The bodies were all naked and in a position that a baby would be in when in their mothers arms. I did not even finish the step when I felt all their eyes open and look at me. When I landed my foot the wings fluttered and they all flew to the walls surrounding the room. In the center of the room She sat there.

"Welcome to the New Age"