Norma Post was a ten year old orphaned runaway that was being transported to a juvenile dentention center, when shit hit the fan. There she sat thinking about how she had gotten to this point and figured that she had it coming. She couldn't run forever. She'd had a good run of about two years and up until the point that she had been caught stealing food from a grocery store that was over a thousand miles away from her birth home, she wasn't doing too bad for a little girl that was on her own. It's not like she really had a choice. It was either figure out how to take care of herself or continue to be shuffled from home to home and living in fear of very bad people finding her and killing her.
She remembers all the things her older brother taught her when she was just seven years old and just before her parents had been murdered in front of both of them in a botched armed robbery. She hadn't seen her brother since she was a terrified seven year old and he was her fourteen year old rock for her to hold on to while she shook with a certain sadness that no seven year old should ever know. When he let her go to leave her for good, he whispered to her, "Remember, Norma. Remember everyday, that I love you more than anything and that the first chance that I get, I will find you and we can be a family again. You need to be strong right now and take care of yourself but just know that it wont be like this forever."
The last that she had heard from Asa, he was in Dallas, Texas living with their only living relative, Uncle Hunter, while Norma was sent to Bismarck, North Dakota from their home in Charleston, West Virginia. The main reason that Uncle Hunter didn't take her in as well was because the witness protection program thought it was best to separate the children.
For the first year, Asa had written her everyday and then one day the letters became few and far between. Then the letters just stopped abruptly. She thought he had forgotten about her and that he didn't love her anymore so she ran away because she figured that she wasn't worthy of being loved.
After about a year and a half of being on the run she suddenly had a spark of anger and decided to find Asa just to tell him that she didn't need him and she could take care of herself. So, being in a small town just outside of Portland, Oregon she picked up and ran off to Dallas, Texas to find Asa. Since he had taught her everything he knew about survival in wilderness she really had no worries. It was only when she slipped up and got desparate just outside of Dallas, Texas at a local grocery store. She thought it would be easy and underestimated a small town's security when she attempted to steal some candy. What do you want from her? She's still a little kid. She was so close to Asa she could feel it. He was less than a 10 mile walk from her and she felt like she had failed. Now, she was being transported to juvie in Dallas and she refused to seek out Asa just to get out of her predicament. She did the crime and she figured it was about time that she pay for it.
A sudden jerk of the vehicle jarred her from thought process. Everything happened so fast and she was experiencing what we all feel at some point in our lives, an out of body experience. All she remembers is waking up outside of the fifteen passenger van with the oldest of the female juvenile offenders staring down at her with a blank but slightly worried expression.
With a groan and a gentle touch to a gash on her forehead, Norma asked, "What happened? Who are you? Where is everyone else?" The girl tilted her head while checking out the gash on Norma's head and answered her questions consecutively, "The van crashed after the driver almost ran over a dead body. A dead body that was much too alive for my liking. I'm Gretchen Lancaster. Everyone's dead. You were the only one I was able to save. We need to clean and patch up your forehead but first we need to get out of here. We need to find a safe place to hide while those...things are out and about. I don't know what exactly is going on right now but I think the best we can do right now is stick together and hide."
Norma stared at Gretchen for a few moments. She decided that it would be best to stick with Gretchen for the time being but she needed to find her brother. Asa might be in trouble and even if she was angry at him she still needed to find him because he was all she really had left in this world.
"I need to find my brother! He's all I have left! Even if he doesn't love me anymore! I just need to find him! Please, Gretchen!" Norma exclaimed in a slight panic that if she didn't find him soon enough, she'd never see him again. She tried getting up too quickly and instantly fell down again. Gretchen helped her up gently and said, "Alright then. I know Texas like the back of my hand. I'll help you find your brother but we gotta be careful, okay? And we really need to make sure we clean up your forehead soon. We don't need it getting infected."
"Deal!" Norma said with smirk.