I just joined up to post some 3D fanart. I’ve been enjoying Choice of Games for a long time, but I haven’t felt compelled to come to the forum or do art until Safe Haven. I just love it. Here’s my take on Tommy.
welcome to the forum @obieblu… i recognized you from somewhere (i like one of your OC, the blonde one to be exact… hint = the one in “good morning selfie”
oh i have to called @ParrotWatcher, Tommy is one of his fav NPC, and thanks to him we can save and romance Tommy now
@Curious_Boy Thanks! ( I just fixed the post to show the pic instead of html. :-/ )
You’ve seen my stuff before? Well, Tommy is based on the model I used in Good Morning Selfie… so I guess he works for you.
If that’s the case, my thanks to @ParrotWatcher for getting Tommy rescued!
well… its an understatement
yes, i can see that
EDIT : forgot to mention, you can join fellow survival here Zombie Exodus: Safe Haven Thread for more discussion about
I made one of my MC’s, a 'roided-up redneck cop named Dave. Dave would scare me in any situation other than a zombie apocalypse.
Its the first time I’ve tried to draw a human face without obscuring the ears. The zombie was easier, although I initially tried for a somber appearance I couldn’t do it hence settled for a cartoonish design. Originally I wanted both the Human and Zombie to face each other upside down as a kind of mirroring but tops are still difficult for me to draw so I kept the overall design quite basic. I suppose its my style or the best of my current abilities.
Zombie Exodus: Night Fallen
Ladies and gentlemen, The Legendary Trio is back to present to you a project months in the making. This time its essentially a super fanfiction; a universe shared by our three main MCs of the great Jim Datillo’s Zombie Exodus: Safe Haven hit game. Their storylines intertwine and will expand as the adventure goes on. In order to achieve this, some not all MCs of the game will experience all the scenes of the game; some will be character-specific. We have found a way to do this without confusion, and we believe this has allowed to craft a great multi-protagonist adventure through the eyes of three unique teens looking to carve their place in this new, dead world. All of the SH cast will be present, but some of our own changes will be made about their fate and place within the group - after all, we are not looking to copy the plot of the game - we seek to craft our own, custom interpretation of it.
Having said all that, it is clear that there is violence, gore, use of alchohol, and sexual content - as there are in the game - so you’ve been warned.
(And, as always, any feedback is appreciated immensely.)
Fenris trots over to the door and gets up on his hind legs, placing the front ones on the door’s smooth white wood to keep him upright. His tongue lolls out as he pants and playfully paws the door, as if he already knows who’s on the other side.
Cassidy calmly descends the stairs, wearing just a blue pair of shorts and a baggy white t-shirt. The girl towels the last remnants of shower water from her long, light-brown hair as she pads barefoot across the living room, and then pulls Fenris back by the collar, tossing the towel on the couch with her free hand.
“Cass, you ho!” a girl’s voice hollers from the other side of the door. “Let me in!”
Smirking as she recognizes the voice, Cassidy looks through the door viewer and sees Sylvia standing there, impatiently thumbing the strap of the small backpack slung over her shoulder. She chuckles and unlocks the door, pulling it open as an excited Fenris rushes past her.
He jumps up to meet Sylvia, planting his front paws on her thighs and almost toppling her over. She’s used to it, however, and isn’t even fazed as the large Siberian Husky puts almost the entire weight of his body on her; she’s had years of practice, both with Fenris and with her own dog–a big German Shepherd named Duke.
Cassidy leans against the doorframe, grinning as Sylvia bends over to lavish him with affection, scratching behind his ears with one hand and below his chin and the sides of his snout with the other.
Sylvia wears a pair of black sneakers, tight, black yoga pants, and a white tank top that accentuates her curves, with a dark choker necklace around her neck. Her pretty face, as always, is drowned in dark makeup, the style of which would paint her a Goth in the eyes of most people. The color of her jaw-length sable hair is a stark contrast to her pale skin as it falls around her face, lightly obscuring her features.
“Admiring the view, are you?” she asks as she pets Fenris, lifting her head and fixing her inky, almost black eyes on Cassidy’s vivid emerald ones.
“Hmmhm,” Cassidy hums appreciatively, letting her grin turn into a smirk. “Very much so.”
Sylvia stands back up as Fenris, content with the attention for now, trots back inside. She walks up the steps to the door and Cassidy grabs her top, pulling her in for a deep kiss, which Sylvia is more than happy to reciprocate.
“Come on in,” Cassidy says when they pull apart, nodding to the entry hall behind her. “Syn should be here to pick us up in a few minutes.”
Slipping her hands beneath Cassidy’s tee, Sylvia crooks an eyebrow at her. “And you just finished showering?”
“Yup,” Cassidy chuckles as she extricates herself from Sylvia’s grasp, and then heads off towards the stairs. “You know I get ready fast,” she shrugs noncommittally once she’s halfway to the upper floor.
“Besides, you know he’s gonna be late,” Cassidy stops and tosses a grin at Sylvia. “Guy’s probably still in the middle of jacking off.”
Sylvia laughs, “True.” She follows Cassidy up the stairs, glancing at Fenris lying on the rug in front of the TV and winking at him as she climbs the steps. He yawns as he watches her go, tongue lolling out and a small howl filtering out of his airways before closing his jaw with a loud snap.
When Sylvia enters Cassidy’s room, she finds it in that sweet spot between utterly messy and completely organized that she’s learnt to expect from the other girl in the years they’ve known each other.
Cassidy’s violin sits comfortably in its case near one of the corners of the room. Her electric guitar, like always, is neatly on its hanger, to the left of her desk, right above the amp, but the acoustic one is on its stand on the other side. Her desk is strewn with unfinished drawings in various stages of completion and sheet music. To anyone else, it’d look like a complete mess, but Sylvia’s learned to identify Cassidy’s singular way of organizing things.
Sylvia flops down on Cassidy’s bed, lying diagonally across it with her arms crossed behind her back as she watches Cassidy select something in her desktop computer, and soon, music starts playing from her amp.
It’s an upbeat tune, played on an acoustic guitar, but that has a calm melody that fills the room, especially after the vocals start. Sylvia raises an eyebrow at Cassidy’s back when she partly recognizes the song.
“Is that Billie Eillish?” she questions.
“Yep,” Cassidy nods as she queues up a few more songs from her playlist, “Bellyache, to be specific.”
Cassidy sings the first few verses of the song under her breath as she finishes making her selections, and then spins her chair around until she’s facing her wardrobe. She walks up to it and yanks open its doors, casting an appreciative look over her clothes.
“So,” she begins, poking her head from behind the door on her right to look at Sylvia. “What do you think I should wear to Maddie and Brody’s ‘Snowa-palooza Party’?” she asks, making air quotes as she speaks the last part before going back to sifting through the hangers.
“Pfft,” Sylvia scoffs loudly. “You say that as if you have anything but All-Stars, t-shirts, jeans, and leather jackets.”
Cassidy chuckles as she sets her sights on a graphic tee–a white tee with cut off sleeves and a stylish Dia de Los Muertos skull drawn in black on the front. She gets a pair of ripped black skinny jeans as well and walks away from the wardrobe, laying her selections on the bed. She looks over to her amp and nods approvingly when Snap Out Of It by Arctic Monkeys starts playing.
“Bitch please,” Cassidy remarks sarcastically as she brings the baggy t-shirt she’d pulled on to go downstairs over her head, exposing the smooth, pale skin of her braless torso. “You know you love my style.”
“Nuh-uh,” Sylvia quips, biting her bottom lip as she hungrily stares at Cassidy’s naked breasts.
“Yuh huh,” Cassidy says, crossing the room to her dresser and picking out a pair of matching black, lacy underwear and bra.
“Nuh-uh; it’s way too edgy.”
“Riiight,” Cassidy draws out, climbing onto the bed, the underwear forgotten, and straddling Sylvia’s hips. “’Too edgy,’ says the girl who drowns her face in black makeup every day of the week,” Cassidy teases as she rests her hands on Sylvia’s sides and slides her tank top up until her hands stroke her ribs.
Sylvia scowls with mock offence. “Oh, c’mon, you edgelord; you love my style and you know it.”
“I do,” Cassidy purrs softly, her slight Irish accent slipping back into her speech. She halts the movement of her hands on Sylvia’s ribs and cups her face with both of them before pressing their lips together.
Cassidy runs her tongue over Sylvia’s bottom lip, and they immediately part for her. Sylvia’s hands trail over Cassidy’s hips, slowly rising until she’s gently cupping her naked breasts. She fondles them as Cassidy does her own round of exploring, moving her left hand from Sylvia’s cheek and placing it on the nape of her neck, entwining her fingers on her dark hair and teasingly tugging at it. Her other hand makes its way over to the waistband of Sylvia’s tights, and she slips a few of her fingers beneath it, trailing them over the curve of her hips until her hand is at the base of Sylvia’s spine. From there, she tiptoes her fingers over each vertebra, moaning as Sylvia thumbs one of her nipples, and then smiling into the kiss as her own touch makes Sylvia arch her back off the mattress.
She finally slips her tongue inside Sylvia’s mouth, and Sylvia’s own tongue is waiting for her when she does so. They move in tandem with each other, creating a hungry, if not needy, rhythm. Finally, they both gasp–they’d stopped breathing somewhere along the way–and lay with their foreheads pressed together, breathing hard. Eventually, Cassidy starts trailing small, open-mouthed kisses along Sylvia’s jaw, neck and collarbone, smiling against her smooth skin whenever the small flicks of her tongue against it send a shiver of pleasure coursing through Sylvia’s body.
Cassidy is about to turn more adventurous, beginning to lightly tug Sylvia’s tank top up her torso when Sylvia’s phone rings loudly in her backpack. They ignore it, because of course they do. And then they do it again when it rings a second time. On the third one, Cassidy pulls back and lays her forehead against Sylvia’s.
“You should probably get that,” she chuckles, a bit breathless.
Sylvia pouts, “I don’t wanna.”
Cassidy chuckles again. “But you should. I bet you ten bucks that it’s Syn calling ‘cause he’s at the front door and we haven’t answered.”
Cassidy pecks Sylvia’s lips and then climbs off her, retrieving her previously discarded underwear and clasping her bra while Sylvia answers the call. Next, she gets rid of the shorts and slips on the panties she chose, pulling on the jeans straight after. Sylvia disconnects the call and crooks an eyebrow at Cassidy.
“You heard the doorbell, didn’t you?” she snickers, shaking her head.
“Yes, ma’am,” Cassidy grins at her before throwing on her tee, and padding over to the other side of the room. She picks up a pair of black, high cut All-Star shoes and a pair of white socks. “Now be a dearie and go open the door for him, will you? Tell him I’ll be down in ten minutes, and then we can go.”
Sylvia shakes her head, grinning, and complies. She grabs her backpack and goes out the room just as Out of My Head, by Loote starts playing. Cassidy tugs on her socks and then the sneakers. She then walks over to her amp, nodding her head in rhythm with the music and singing it under her breath. She raises the volume a few decibels and grabs a black and white flannel shirt from a hanger in her wardrobe, throwing it on over her tee and leaving it unbuttoned.
She pulls her hair from under the new addition to her outfit, letting it fall in smooth waves until it ends at the middle of her back, and then walks over to her dresser, grabbing an eyeliner pencil from the box of makeup on top of it and carefully drawing a thick line over her waterline and the corners of her eyes, giving them a sharper appearance and accentuating their bright emerald color. Next, she applies some mascara, thickening her long eyelashes, and then some dark eye shadow. The finishing touch is a light-pink lip gloss, which enhances the natural color of her lips and goes well with the natural pallor of her skin.
She slips a lithe silver bracelet onto her right forearm, and then thinks about doing the same for the left, but ultimately decides to leave the artful tattoo sleeve on her forearm completely on show. She got it done less than six months ago, and the elegant and colorful flower patterns are completely of her own design; all the tattooist did was brand it into her skin. The last accessory she puts on is a thin leather necklace, with a small and delicate-looking green crystal hanging from it.
Before leaving her room, Cassidy turns off the amp and shuts down her PC. She grabs her wallet and phone from her desk, chuckling to herself when she sees four missed calls from Syn on the smartphone’s screen. She turns off the lights and locks the door to her bedroom before walking to the stairs and hurriedly descending them.
She immediately spots her two best friends when she gets to the landing. The pair is in the living room, with Sylvia leaning against the couch and Syn crouched between the coffee table and the TV, playfully wrestling with Fenris as the husky affectionately nips his hands.
He gives Fenris one last scratch behind the ears before rising up and grinning at Cassidy.
“Sup Cass,” he greets her.
“Hey man,” she grins back at him as she crosses the living room, fist bumping the fist he offers when she gets close.
She leans back and takes a look at him. He wears a close-/fitting white t-shirt with a single horizontal blue stripe on his chest, black jeans and white and blue running shoes. His muscled torso is emphasized by the black jacket he wears, with a blue stripe circling each of his biceps, and his brown hair is styled quite effectively, if a bit too tidy for her friend in Cassidy’s honest opinion. His warm brown eyes are, as always, a bit obscured by his glasses, but not less intense in the least, and it looks like he even shaved for the occasion, as she can’t see any stubble on his chin and jaw.
Cassidy reaches over and ruffles his hair a bit. “There we go. Now that’s more like our Syn,” she grins again, and then crouches at Fenris’ side, giving him a few scratches under the chin. “See ya later, boy,” she coos, petting him affectionately and hugging his large head.
“Now let’s go,” she says, already turning to leave. “We wouldn’t want to keep you away from Maddie’s bikini-clad booty any longer than is necessary,” she winks at Sylvia as she passes, who chuckles as she falls into step beside Cassidy.
Syn rolls his eyes, though neither of them can see it as he follows them. “You just wanna get there so you can get wasted, Cass,” he laughs, sliding into the easy banter they’ve always had.
Cassidy just snickers as she takes her house keys from the bowl in the hall and holds the door open so her friends can pass and she can lock it. “Guilty as charged,” she chuckles as she makes her way to the passenger side of Syn’s pickup truck, where Sylvia is already climbing onto the middle seat. Syn laughs loudly, climbing onto the driver’s seat and starting the vehicle’s ignition. Cassidy climbs inside the truck as well and nudges Sylvia a bit more to the middle, closing the door afterwards.
“Hey, if you can’t at least talk to Maddie at this party, I’m losing all faith in you popping any cherries any time soon,” jibes Cassidy as Syn pulls out of the driveway and into the suburb’s slow traffic. “I’d sooner believe that a zombie apocalypse is about to happen.”
“Actually, hasn’t Jaime sent you two any articles about this new virus that’s been spreadin’ lately?” questions Syn, glancing away from the road to look at them.
“Yeah, actually,” Sylvia says. “I didn’t read too much, but supposedly it’s spreading really fast. I think some parts of Asia and Africa have already been quarantined, right?” she asks.
“Yup; According to the stuff he sent me, there’s some scary shit happening over there,” he says. “What about you, Cass?”
“He sent ‘em,” she shrugs. “I didn’t read ‘em.”
“Why not?” Syn and Sylvia ask at the same time.
“Dude, the guy sent me conspiracy theories about that stuff. He even asked me to try to break into some government websites to see if I could find anything,” she exclaims, throwing up her arms. “Fuck that. I’ve got better shit to do, and that as a bonus, don’t involve getting arrested. Not to mention that it took me almost two weeks to hack the City Hall’s site; I don’t even want to imagine how long it’d take to break into a military database…”
“Heh,” Syn chuckles, “Fair enough.”
He reaches over and turns on the truck’s radio, and a song by Killswitch Engage starts playing. Sylvia instantly wrinkles her nose in disgust, “You’ve gotta be shitting me.”
Syn and Cassidy both laugh at her dislike for the band. “Nope,” Syn says, smiling. “This is what we’re listening to on the ride there.”
Sylvia sighs loudly and rolls her eyes. “You two have awful taste,” she states flatly.
“I mean, we’re friends with you,” Cassidy quips, grinning sarcastically at Sylvia. “I thought that alone made it established fact.”
The trio laughs in unison, falling into a companionable silence for the remainder of the ride.
Syn parks the truck around the corner to Milford Lane and the three of them climb out of the pickup. Kicking the door closed, Sylvia releases a long whistle, scanning the sculpted shrubbery on the left and the immaculate suburban avenue on the right. Cassidy takes Syn’s backpack from the truck’s bed and chucks it to him, doing the same with Sylvia’s before slinging her own over her right shoulder.
As they get closer to the house, they spot some of their classmates walking up the driveway, most sprinting from parked cars wearing shorts, flip-flops, and bulky winter coats. They catch a glimpse of Taylor Regan, Madison’s best friend, as she runs up the driveway, her coat flying open and granting them almost a full view of her small light green bikini.
They cross the street and walk over the cut grass to where there’s a small break in the bushes before hopping a short fence into the backyard. Music fills the air; tall speakers belt out a hard beat as the lead singer moans on about teenage romance in a scratchy voice.
Sylvia wrinkles her nose again when she hears the song.
“And you said we have shitty taste,” Cassidy jokes when she sees Sylvia’s expression.
“Oh, you still do. This just managed to be worse,” Sylvia deadpans in response, making both her friends laugh.
They step around the garage, passing an expensive looking cherry-red sports car. In the rear of the house, a mass of teens comes into view. The back area is immense, with a C-shaped pool with a built-in Jacuzzi, a long deck with tables, chairs, and several tapped kegs, and a separate stand decorated as a full tiki bar. A beach ball floats around the pool. Snow piles dot the far side of the landscape, but aside from a light coat of fresh snow, the grounds are clear. Right around then, a new song starts–Pumped Up Kicks by Foster the People.
“Aw hell yeah,” Cassidy grins at her friends, nodding along with the beat. “I love this song.”
Syn chuckles as he scans the scene before him. He spots Jonah hobbling near a large corner speaker, dancing offbeat and spinning in drunken circles. His naturally curly hair hides under a huge straw beach hat, and his floral shirt seems over-the-top even for him. Some girls passing near him point and laugh, though Jonah either doesn’t care, or is too drunk to have noticed. Syn bets on the latter.
Jonah spots the three of them and makes his way over, clapping Syn on the back and throwing his arms around Syn and Cassidy’s necks, hanging between the pair.
“Yo, you guys made it,” he says as amber-colored liquid sloshes onto the floor from the red solo cup he holds, barely missing Cassidy’s clothes.
Cassidy rolls her eyes and nimbly removes Jonah’s sweaty arm from her neck before moving out of his grasp. Sylvia shakes her head in amusement as she watches Cassidy’s expression.
“Hey, Jonah,” Sylvia greets him.
“Oh, hey Sylvia!” he blurts out animatedly, pushing the cup towards her. “Want this? I’ll grab another.”
Sylvia just shakes her head. Jonah smiles and puts a hand on Sylvia’s shoulder. “I know I’m feeling good right now, but let me just say something. Thank you for being my friend. I know I’m not the most popular kid, or the coolest or whatever. But you’ve been there for me; through the bullying and my parents’ divorce; when I feel down on myself; when I didn’t make honors last year. You were there for me.”
Cassidy rolls her eyes again, and Syn tries to keep a straight face. Jonah hugs Sylvia. “We’re gonna have a good time.” Just as his chin touches her shoulder, he hollers “Marcus!” Sylvia pulls away and turns around as Marcus, another junior and the apparent bartender, steps past. “Marcus, load me up!”
The trio glances around the party as Jonah heads off to the bar area.
“Someone’s gotta reel in that dude,” Cassidy says. “Otherwise he’s gonna spill his guts to every chick who gives him even a passing look of pity, and he’ll have a bitch of a hangover tomorrow morning to top it off.”
Sylvia shakes her head with a smile while Syn chuckles lightly.
“Welp, I’mma go get us some drinks,” Cassidy suddenly says, clapping the both of them on the shoulder and walking off towards the house. “You two go find a place to leave our stuff or something.”
“A’ight,” Syn nods. He and Sylvia head in the direction of the large wooden deck where some of the kids they know are playing a card game.
Cassidy makes her way over to the house’s kitchen, dodging some of her less sober classmates and nodding to some whom she actually likes. She steps through the doorway to it and walks over to the large ice box that’s currently occupying most of one side of the kitchen, opening the Styrofoam lid and taking a can of Coca-Cola out of its ice-filled depths for Sylvia. She then considers grabbing one of the many bottles of vodka littering the granite counters, but decides on asking Jack Slim, Madison and Brody’s older brother, for a bottle of whisky instead. She grabs a stack of unused solo cups and a small plastic bowl from the counter. She fills the bowl with ice cubes and then throws both the can of Coke and the cups into it before making her way back outside.
Cassidy walks along the pool, avoiding errant splashes, and crosses over a row of beach chairs to the grill area. Three huge barbecue grills sit side by side, steam rising, smoke billowing, and orange flames licking various cuts of meats and an assortment of fruits and vegetables. Madison stands off to the side, engrossed in conversation and well away from the clouds of gray smoke coming off the grills.
“A thousand dollars’ worth of food right here, Cass,” Slim bellows. He turns a bottle of Jack Daniel’s over his mouth, and then douses a rotisserie chicken with the same bottle. The fire rages up, licking the meat, the outer skin now seared black and crackling.
“Sup, man,” Cass fist bumps Slim with her free hand, nodding to the bottle he holds. “You got any more of those? I only found vodka in the kitchen…”
“Yeah, hold up,” he says as he hands her a spatula. “Flip them burgers for me will ya?” He doesn’t wait for an answer and walks away as soon as she’s holding the spatula. She flips the burgers, and after a few moments Slim comes back, carrying a full bottle of Jack Daniel’s with him.
“Here ya go,” he grins. “Just don’t chug it like you did last time, yeah?” he finishes with a chuckle, taking the spatula from her and handing her the bottle.
“Thanks, Slim,” she smirks. “And I’ll make no such promise,” she hollers over her shoulder, already walking away.
The deck is in the shape of a hexagon, with plush seating on all the walls and a foldable table in its middle with four foldable seats around it, and there’s a small coffee table set near the benches in the crook of three walls. Sylvia leans back on one of the cushioned benches, lazily watching the party. Syn stands near the table with his arms crossed, watching the game.
Sylvia perks up from her seat when she sees Cassidy walking up the steps to the wooden deck, and Syn takes his attention away from the game Derrick, Jeremy, and Lizzie are playing, his face breaking into a grin when he spots the bottle of whisky dangling from Cass’ right hand.
“Aw, hell yeah!” Syn says, taking it from her.
“Where’d you get that?” Jeremy asks, both his eyebrows shooting up in surprise.
Cassidy smirks at him, throwing Sylvia the can of Coke. “I’ve got my sources.”
Sylvia grabs the Coke out of the air and snorts at the comment as she pops it open. Syn takes the bowl from Cassidy and puts the cups on the coffee table, taking a few ice cubes from the bowl and throwing them inside two of the cups.
Cassidy playfully cuffs Lizzie on the side of the head and speaks in a teasing tone, “You still haven’t learned how to play, O Your Great Edginess?”
“Fuck you, Cass,” Lizzie says in a voice devoid of emotion, licking the end of a cigarette before lighting it.
“Nope, she hasn’t,” Jeremy says, smirking at Lizzie, who flips him off.
Syn pours some whisky in the cups he filled with ice and hands one to Cassidy.
“Cheers,” they both say, and then gulp down a swig from their cups, wincing slightly as the amber-colored liquid burns their throats.
“That’s the good shit,” Syn croaks with a smile, making Cassidy laugh as she swallows the singing in her throat.
“Yo, any of you three wanna join?” Derrick asks. “Lizzie needs a partner.”
“I don’t need a partner, and neither of them played before.” Lizzie’s face turns red, showing the first bit of color on her eerily pale skin since the trio arrived.
“You’re losing so badly,” Jeremy says, glancing sideways at Sylvia. He shuffles in his seat and lifts a can of Bud Light to his mouth, missing and spilling some on his shirt.
“Why don’t we raise the stakes?” Lizzie says with a mischievous smile. “Lose a round and do a shot. Lose the game, and you have to streak through the party.”
“Are you serious?” Derrick asks, incredulous. “You’re so going to lose.”
“I guess,” Jeremy says uncertainly, wiping his shirt with a dirty napkin.
“What do you say, Syn? Help me beat these guys.” Lizzie pulls a chair over for him.
Syn shrugs, “Why not?” and goes to sit, but Cassidy grabs him by the arm.
“Nuh uh, you cuck,” she says as she drags him over to where Sylvia lounges with her feet up on the coffee table. “That’s not why you came here today, and you ain’t leaving without doing that.” Sighing in defeat, Syn drags his feet and follows her.
“Well, looks like you’re in a world of trouble, Lizzie,” Derrick says with a wide, toothy smile.
“Thanks for nothing, Syn,” Lizzie says with a roll of her eyes, and he shrugs apologetically in response.
Cassidy sits beside Sylvia and pours herself and Syn another shot, putting a bit more whisky in his cup than hers. Sylvia raises an eyebrow at Cassidy when she sees it, and Syn gives her a questioning look.
“Just so you won’t pussy out…….again,” she shrugs nonchalantly.
Sylvia shakes her head slightly, and then tips it back as she sips her soda.
“I swear to God, Syn,” Cass gestures at him, pointing at his chest with the hand holding the cup. “If you don’t at least talk to Maddie, I’ll officially disown you.” She leans back on the cushions and sips the drink.
Syn grabs the cup she poured him and rolls his eyes as he leans back, “Yeah, yeah, whatever. I’ll get on that.”
“Yeah?” he says, staring at the deck’s wooden ceiling.
“Syn, look at me.”
He gives her a bored look, “Yeah?”
“Go talk to her,” Cassidy nods her head in the direction she last saw Madison.
“Now?!” he asks, incredulity seeping into his tone.
“C’mon, Cass,” he pleads.
“Syn. Go. Right now,” she stares at him. “I’m not kidding. You can do it. C’mon.”
He sighs loudly. “Okay. Okay,” he says, rolling his neck and shoulders. “Okay, I’ll do it.”
“There we go!” Cassidy grins.
Syn sips what’s left of his drink, and then pours himself another one before walking away from the deck, a nervous spring in his step.
“You think he actually has a chance?” Sylvia raises an eyebrow at Cassidy.
Cassidy looks at Syn’s back, considering their friend for a few moments. “Yeah,” she says, her voice taking a serious tone. “Yeah, I actually think he does.”
Sylvia looks skeptical for a moment, but eventually nods, sipping her Coke again. Cassidy downs the rest of her drink and then reaches over and plucks the can from Sylvia’s hand before taking a swig of it. She leans over and pecks Sylvia’s lips, pulling back before either can deepen the kiss.
Cassidy puts the can of Coke on the coffee table and closes the bottle of whisky, putting it inside her backpack. She then stands and offers her hand to Sylvia, who looks at her with an expression that’s a mix of amusement and surprise.
“C’mon,” Cassidy says with a nod towards the pool. “Let’s take a dip.”
Sylvia shrugs and takes Cassidy’s outstretched hand. Cassidy pulls her up, and then the two make their way off the deck, waving goodbye to Derrick, Jeremy and Lizzie.
As the two walk to the small makeshift cabana on the other side of the backyard, nearer to the pool, Taylor winks at Cassidy from where she swims with some of the other cheerleaders, and Cassidy resists the urge to roll her eyes as the group of young girls dissolve into giggles.
A seed of an idea sprouts in Cassidy’s mind, and her lips curl in a smirk as she and Sylvia approach the cabana. She opens the door and slips inside, closing it before Sylvia can follow her.
Cassidy immediately puts down her bag and shrugs off the flannel shirt, pulling her tee over her head afterwards. She crouches down and opens her bag, taking out her two piece bathing suit before stuffing her shirts in it. She unclasps her bra and ties the bikini’s top in place, and then takes off her sneakers and socks, stuffing the socks inside the shoes. She slips off her jeans next, and then her panties, quickly pulling on the bikini’s bottom. She folds her trousers and puts them in the backpack before zippering it and slinging it on her shoulder, grabbing her shoes from the ground afterwards.
When Cassidy steps out of the cabana, Sylvia gives her a questioning look, raising an eyebrow.
“What?” Cassidy shrugs, smiling innocently and batting her eyelashes. “A lady’s entitled to a bit of privacy every now and then…”
Sylvia squints suspiciously at her, “Right…”
“Anyways, go get changed,” Cassidy says, pointing with her thumb over her shoulder at the cabana.
“Uh huh,” Sylvia drawls out as she steps around Cassidy to get inside the makeshift changing room.
Cassidy quickly makes her way over to the side of the pool, and drops her bag on one of the beach chairs, putting her sneakers beneath it. She then walks to the pool’s edge and sits on it, dipping her legs into the water and tipping her head back as its warmth envelops them. She quickly gathers her long hair in a bun, keeping it well above her shoulders so it doesn’t get wet before dropping down into the water.
She glides away from the pool’s edge, her lithe body effortlessly cutting the water. A few snowflakes fall and disintegrate over the heated pool as the sun dips down in the sky. In the vast lake of water, surrounded by her peers, Cassidy feels alone, forgotten by the world. She feels peaceful, though the storm raging overhead gives her an uneasy feeling, like the exhausted clouds might release a sudden barrage. As she ponders this unsettling sensation, Jonah staggers to the edge of the hot tub; she’s never seen him so drunk. He smiles and skips, moving off-beat to the music.
Cassidy glances back at Madison’s group, and though dozens of kids separate them, she sees Madison give Syn a quick hug and grab his hand before pulling him away from the group she was with and disappearing behind their classmates.
Water splashes against Cass’ face, and she turns to look at the perpetrator. Taylor Regan laughs as she swims closer, with her dark hair, almost jet black now that it’s soaked in water, clouding the water around her shoulders and back.
“Hey,” she smiles. She tilts her head back and catches a snowflake on her tongue. “That’s kind of fun. Try it.” Taylor swims closer, and Cass feels the warmth of her body.
Cassidy sticks her tongue out and catches a single flake, which melts as soon as it lands.
“I like your tattoo,” Taylor says. She grasps Cass’ hand and raises it out of the water, tracing the outline of the tattoo with her fingertips, running them over the vines and roses branded in Cass’ skin. “Did it hurt? I bet it hurt.”
“Here, turn this way so I can see you in the sunlight.” Taylor turns Cassidy’s body in a half-circle, their legs bumping in the warm water as her body twists. She hears giggles from across the pool, but doesn’t look over.
Cool breath blows across Cassidy’s cheek. “You had a drop of water there,” Taylor whispers.
She studies Taylor for a moment, the curves of her face and neck, rounded shoulders, the way her chin barely touches the surface of the water, and her eyes, deep and gray. But Taylor’s not staring at her, and Cassidy knows who Taylor is looking at, whose attention she’s trying to grab; it’s why she’s doing this in the first place. She knows that if she were to follow Taylor’s gaze, she’d see Brody.
Cass circles her arms around Taylor’s waist and pulls her closer, pressing their bodies together. Taylor is surprised for a few moments, but then wraps her arms around Cassidy’s neck.
Cassidy leans in, pressing her right cheek to Taylor’s left cheek and whispering in her ear as she watches an amused Sylvia treading the water towards them, “Next time you wanna grab Brody’s attention, think twice about using me. I want no part of your bullshit drama.”
Just as she finishes, Sylvia taps Taylor’s shoulder and Cassidy pulls away from her.
“She’s mine,” Sylvia states flatly. “Go back to your friends.”
Taylor looks between the two of them, her face becoming flush with anger, before indignantly swimming away, earning a round of laughter from her friends.
“So,” Sylvia turns to look at Cassidy, crooking an eyebrow. “A lady needs her privacy, huh?”
Cass shrugs nonchalantly and smirks at Sylvia. “Yep,” she says before pulling Sylvia closer and pecking her lips. “A lady needs her privacy.”
“Hey, Syn,” Madison gives him a quick hug. “What’s up?” she pulls back and smiles at him, checking out his chosen getup. “Glad you made it here.” She grabs his hand and leads him away from the crowd.
She wears a light blue swimsuit with a white sweater around her shoulders, and as snow falls again in heavier waves, it sticks to her hair, coating it in a layer of gray-white. A song pops on the nearby speakers—a melodious grunge-style ballad. Syn fails to make out the lyrics, though he hears words like ‘generation,’ ‘disco’ and ‘polar bears.’ As a sort of rock purist, he finds the song almost grating, like a dentist’s drill, though he’s quite sure he shouldn’t mention that to Madison.
“Do you like this song? It’s Disco Dead by Gold Rust. They’re like my favorite band. Ever hear of them?”
Syn laughs nervously. “Nah, but they sound pretty good!” he guiltily lies.
“Cool,” Madison says, moving her head to the repetitive, ear-biting beat. “Maybe we can go to their show at the Hippo Lounge in June. That place is awesome.”
“Hell yeah,” Syn says, jumping at the opportunity despite his nervousness. “I’ve wanted to hang out with you for a long time,” he finishes, relaxing a bit.
“I don’t think I’ve ever asked you,” Madison says, breaking the small lull in the conversation. “But what’s your favorite kind of music?”
“Oh, mostly metal,” Syn says, putting his left hand inside his jacket pocket and raising the cup to his lips. He takes a sip, then gives Madison a half shrug, “Or, y’know, just rock in general.”
“I see,” she smiles, gently punching his arm. “A metalhead, are you? Ok then. What’s your favorite band?”
“Killswitch Engage,” he answers without a moment’s hesitation.
The music crescendos and he can’t hear Madison’s next words. She leans in and touches his shoulder, sending a chill along his back. He can feel her breath for a moment, and the world seemingly pauses as he looks at her, mind almost entirely absent now from her actions. His eyes focus on her mouth, and he catches the word ‘kiss’, but loud voices swarm from behind, followed by a small pack of Madison’s friends. They drag her along the path to the pool house, and then they disappear inside the small shack.
Syn heads towards the pool, passing the grill station, and Slim shoves a burger into his hand, saying loudly, “Syn! My man, how’ve you been?”
“Doing great, dude,” Syn says, laughing with renewed confidence. “You got any bourbon to go along with this burger?” he asks, holding it outwards.
At this, Jack laughs. “Anything for you, bro; one shot of JD comin’ right up!” he says a bit too excitedly. The tall boy lifts his bottle of alcohol over Syn’s mouth, who gladly opens it up and accepts the stream of whisky. It burns down his throat, and he nods at Jack, smiling.
“Ah, thanks man,” he says, swallowing the singing in his throat.
Jack laughs again, and responds with a simple, “Uh huh.” He then gives himself another drink from the bottle, this time tipping it almost all the way over as he tilts his head unnecessarily far back. Syn just grins, shaking his head, and wanders away, taking a huge bite from the hot burger in his hands.
Moving on, he passes the DJ booth, where Jay Somerhall stands like a bamboo tree in a steady wind, tall and leaning over as he holds a headphone to his ear and bobs his head to the beat of the queued song. Gold Rust gives way to Black Rose by Volbeat.
Out of the corner of his eye, Syn spots movement, and then turns just as Anthony Tirillo catches a foam football right by his head. “Ohmygod-so-sorry,” he says in one short breath and launches the ball at a duo of distant figures. “Where’d you get that?” He points to the food in the boy’s hand, and Syn raises a finger to the grill not more than eight feet away. “Thanks, Syn. Oh, did you see Madison? She’s been talking about you all day.”
“Yeah, I saw her for a minute.”
“Oh, there she is,” Anthony says, before running back to the outer area of the yard. Glancing back at the pool house, Syn sees Madison and crew leave the area, laughing and stumbling, a cloud of telltale smoke seeping from the open shack.
Cassidy leans against the pool’s wall, with her arms wrapped around Sylvia’s waist as she leans against her. Cassidy lays her chin on Sylvia’s shoulder, swirling the index finger of her right hand around Sylvia’s belly button.
“Hmm…” she lazily drawls. “We should get out… I’m getting kinda too hot here.”
“You are one very inconstant betch, you know that?” Sylvia chuckles.
“Yes, ma’am,” Cassidy presses her lips to Sylvia’s cheek before the girl moves out of her arms. The pair climbs out of the pool and then goes over to where they left their bags. They pull out towels and begin drying themselves off, and then head off to the cabana to change.
When they come back, they spot Syn on the other side of the pool, and wave to get his attention. They sit on one of the beach chairs; Cassidy leans back on it, keeping her legs out of it so Sylvia can sit where her legs would usually be stretched out. Syn sits on the one next to it, a big grin on his face.
“Judging by the sheer giddiness on you face, I’ll take an educated guess and say things went well?” Cassidy smirks at him.
“Yup,” he says, still smiling. “Things went hella well.”
“Ha! Told you you could do it.”
“And here I was,” Sylvia smirks, “Thinking one of us would have to marry your hairy ass out of pity…”
Syn playfully kicks her shins, chuckling. “Asshole.”
To the side, they see Lizzie suddenly stand up and flip the table on the deck. The diamond board goes one way, pieces fly another, and the cards flutter through the air. Jeremy falls backward in his chair, spilling his beer and a plate of nachos. Derrick slides to the side to avoid the shrapnel of plastic and cardboard.
“Cheaters, all of you,” Lizzie says and storms away through a sliding glass door into Madison’s house. Derrick drops to the ground and frantically collects the pieces as cards fall to the ground and dampen on the snow-stained ground.
“Sheesh,” Cassidy says. “Talk about sore loser…”
Sunlight streams over the party like lights from a dance hall, and the crowd of classmates who skipped school for the last party of the year erupt in cheers and dancing, as if some almighty power encouraged their revelry.
Jonah wanders over to the trio, a bottle of some green liquid in hand, and stumbles over to Syn, clapping him on the shoulder. “So glad you came. Best party ever.”
Before he can answer their inebriated friend, however, a siren draws the trio’s attention towards the street. At the unmistakable blare of a police car, Syn and Cassidy share a nervous glance. No one else seems concerned with impending doom, and Syn looks for a suitable escape path. Not until the siren screams closer and closer do the partygoers show any reaction. Looking to the street, the flashing blue-and-red lights grow ever closer, and they see their classmates tense around them.
Cassidy briefly wonders what’d happen if the school found out nearly all the seniors ditched in order to go to a party where alcohol was served. She takes the bottle of whisky out of her backpack, uncaps it and chugs the drink for a few seconds. Syn and Sylvia stare at her, their eyebrows nearly at their hairlines.
“…….…What?” she questions, looking between the two of them.
“Uh…” Syn stutters. “Why did you just chug about ten shots of whisky?”
She shrugs. “If I’m getting arrested, I may as well get wasted before it happens.”
From down the street, the police cars race towards Madison’s house, and silence ripples across the party. The music goes off, and no one moves, every face locked in anticipation.
And the cruiser passes right by the house; followed by another, and another. Not one cop car stops at the house party.
And as the last blue-and-red light fades and the sirens drift into the distance, the crowd goes wild.
Cassidy and Syn release a relieved sigh at the same time, and Sylvia chuckles at them.
“Bet you two almost had a heart attack,” she says.
Cassidy slaps Sylvia’s arm. “Oh, shut up, you git.”
Syn chuckles, and then the three fall back into conversation as Jonah hobbles away.
Sometime later, Sylvia silently watches Cassidy and Syn talking. They lounge on the wooden deck where they’d met their friends before, but neither of them is there now.
“No,” Cassidy tells Syn, gesturing animatedly. “Like, you lead a rebellion, and you can be a noble or a sort of slave. And, like, there’s this chapter when you’re in the woods in the middle of winter… My dude, lemme tell ya, never have I ever thought I’d value mules so much.”
Syn laughs. “Text me the name later; that game sounds fuckin’ aweso–”
Sylvia tunes out the conversation as she spots two figures past the furthest line of partygoers. With so much distance between them, she can only make out large details. The two stagger and sway like drunkards, and both wear tattered uniforms of some kind, maybe street workers or garbage collectors. They cross the far-off lawn at an agitated pace and wave their arms like insect antennae scanning the air. Her stomach tightens; something doesn’t seem right with those two.
Movement from just across the street yanks her attention, and she sees a group of a half-dozen people shuffle toward the party in much the same way, but now she can see something is amiss. Their bodies are rigid and twisted, arms and hands grossly extended, faces swollen and teeth bared like snarling animals. Tattered, dirty clothes hang torn, with bits and pieces of mutilated flesh visible beneath them. A chorus of moans nearly overwhelms the music of the party.
A scream draws her eyes further down the street. In the middle of the road, two of those crazed-looking semi-humans are holding down a flailing woman. Her vision tunnels, the sounds around her becoming drowned out, and it seems like she can’t focus on anything but the trio, her mind racing to understand what’s happening. Blood flies as they bite her flesh and tear her skin, dragging out her innards and stuffing them into their mouths as her body stops thrashing, and starts spasming, incapacitated.
Staring at the surreal scene, she spots the mob moving closer, encroaching around the house like the maw of a beast.
“Cass, Syn, go inside the twins’ house. Now!” Sylvia yells as she runs past them. They follow her, shouting for explanations as Sylvia runs to a group of kids beside the pool and yells something at them. All of them stare at her with looks of indifference or confusion even as she points to the mass of deranged semi-humans moving across the street.
Cassidy looks at what Sylvia’s pointing and grabs Syn’s arm when her eyes meet the crowd of tattered humans as they stumble towards the party, some of them bloody from feasting on human flesh.
“Start rounding up kids!” she yells in his ear, pointing at the hobbling mass. “’Cause I’m pretty sure those are zombies!”
The boy’s eyes widen as he takes in the sight, but then his brain takes control and he snaps into focus. “We gotta warn them,” he says. “That’s what Sylvia’s doin’.” He follows after Sylvia, with Cassidy hot on his heels.
A loud drumbeat drowns out Sylvia’s voice; trying to get through to these kids is like trying to punch a wall. She leaves them and dashes to the DJ table, grabbing the mike from Jay. The speakers groan with feedback, and Sylvia shuts down the music before lifting it to warn her classmates, but Jay’s huge hands grip it, and the two of them struggle for the mike.
Syn tackles Jay to the ground and the microphone flies out of his hands, landing on the floor and making the speakers belt out a loud ‘thud’ sound.
And then the screams begin.
Everything happens at once in a whirlwind of running teenagers, gnashing teeth, blood sprays, and twisted limbs. A pair of girls run by, both chased by one of the altered humans, his face a decomposing mess of sloughing skin and jagged bones. He grabs one of the girls and drags her into a snowbank, and all that follows are flashes of red on white. Cassidy stops on her tracks as she spots two workers fighting over Tommy Duncan, his limp body scourged with claw marks and missing chunks of flesh.
Syn climbs off Jay and grabs Sylvia’s hand, dragging her to the house’s entrance. Cassidy turns on her heels and follows after them.
Someone collides into Cassidy, knocking her over. She rolls with the momentum, and ends up crouched with one knee on the floor, looking to whoever knocked her down. She spots Lizzie on all fours, dark lines of eyeliner dripping from her eyes. Not stopping to think, Cass grabs Lizzie and pulls her up, dragging the girl after her as she continues running.
As they pass the pool, Cassidy spots Jeremy lying upside down on a beach chair, with his head split open as a man chews on his leg like it’s a humongous spare rib. In the pool, floating face down, she recognizes Derrick’s motionless body.
Hearing the sounds of fighting nearby, Cassidy turns her head and sees Slim standing in the grill area, fending off the attacks of a deranged trio with a shovel. With each strike, he utters the battle cry of a gladiator, but his opponents keep coming despite the multiple gaping wounds Slim’s caused them, dragging their feet forward like ghouls straight from a horror film.
As she scans the area for her friends, Cassidy’s eyes come to rest on Taylor, with her body pressed against the side of the pool house as a figure forcibly holds her back. Taylor beats the man’s chest, but he keeps pressing forward, his teeth snapping ever closer to her face. Taylor screams as her arms fail to resist against the entire weight of the man’s body and he lurches forward, biting her cheek. He pulls his head back and a spray of blood flies from Taylor’s ravaged face, painting the pool house’s wall with red, and then he goes back in for a meatier chomp.
Cassidy and Lizzie reach Syn and Sylvia, who stand at the house’s porch, looking for an escape route. The four of them dart inside, and then run towards the doorway to the kitchen, since that’s the only exit no one’s running to, with Cassidy running ahead and taking the lead.
A body slams into her as soon as she passes the threshold, forcing her back against the fridge, as another ghoul launches himself at Syn.
Syn throws a punch at the man, his right hand striking the ghoul across the jaw. The man reels back, but soon lurches forward again, and Syn grabs the nearest weapon–a large frying pan. He pulls his arm back and then strikes the man with the pan, the force of the blow sending the ghoul spinning towards the kitchen’s wooden door. Seizing the opportunity, he kicks the zombie as it turns its back to him, launching it forward with so much force that it collides with the kitchen door, crashing straight through it and launching wooden splinters in all directions as it stumbles outside to the backyard.
Cassidy struggles against the zombified woman, grabbing her forearms and pushing the woman’s leg back with a kick. The zombie staggers backward, and Cassidy releases her arms, before grabbing blindly with her right hand at the counter to her right.
Her fingers close around the neck of a bottle, and, without thinking, she swings it like a bat, hitting the woman’s head from the right to the left. The bottle shatters and sprays both of them with vodka and glass shards, but the woman barely seems to register the blow, instantly springing back up and flinging herself, arms open, at Cassidy.
Cassidy grips the shattered bottle with both hands and drives it forward, burying the jagged ends of the glass into the woman’s neck, putting her entire weight behind the attack. The two shuffle forwards on the small corridor between the kitchen island and the counters to the right. Cassidy twists the shattered bottle, burying the jagged ends of glass even deeper into the ghoul’s neck as they stumble. That’s when Syn grabs the woman by the hair and pulls her off Cassidy, taking a hold of the back of her head afterwards and smashing it against the island’s corner, denting her skull.
The boy grabs the woman by the waist and heaves her up, forcefully dumping her on top of the island. The woman’s head hits the granite countertop with a sickening crack, and he darts forward immediately, grabbing the back of her head again. He pulls it up and then slams it down with as much force as he can muster, and this time a spray of blood follows the sound of bone shattering, painting the area in front of the woman’s head in a crimson semicircle, like a ghastly halo. He repeats the action several times, ravaging more than just the creature’s face. Afterwards, he grasps the frying pan’s handle and lifts it above his head, smashing it down on the woman’s cranium. The creature’s skull cracks open as the the boy drives the edge of the pan inside it, effectively obliterating its brain and finally ending its undead life.
Sylvia and Lizzie stare as Cassidy puts her hands on her thighs and leans over, desperately gulping down air. Syn towers over the dead creature, also breathing hard. He moves to Cassidy’s side and helps her up as a few dry wheezes escape her chest. “Let’s go,” he says to Sylvia and Lizzie, nodding towards the broken door even as he walks towards it. “It’s only just begun.”
Syn and Cassidy exit onto the backyard, followed closely by Sylvia and Lizzie. Jonah runs at them outside. “What’s going on?” he asks, looking more confused than concerned, still holding a beer bottle in hand, though it’s clutched like a weapon.
Sylvia grabs his wrist and tugs him along, ignoring his line of questioning; she doubts she could convince him in this sorry state anyways. The five of them walk up to the closest wall, and Syn helps a still wheezing Cassidy climb it. Sylvia and Lizzie follow and, lastly, Jonah. As Jonah clumsily attempts to find a handhold on the smooth wall, the zombie Syn had kicked out of the kitchen rounds the corner of the house and spots them. Syn quickly boosts Jonah up and over, but the inebriated youth fails to latch on to the top of the wall and topples backwards, impacting the ground with a thud.
Syn diverts his attention from Jonah for a moment, running towards the zombie. Once he’s close enough, his hands shoot out and wrap around the creature’s neck and head. Spinning, the enraged boy tosses the creature, sending it flopping to the grass below.
Before the ghoul can recover, Syn brings his right foot crashing down onto what remains of its skull a few hard times, reducing it to a bloody pulp.
A loud scream prompts Syn to look back at Jonah. The drunk youth feebly tries to fight off another zombie, but his attacker sinks her teeth into his neck. Blood spurts on the grass from the wound, and more gushes over his clothes as well as her.
Rage boils in the pit of Syn’s stomach, and he dashes over to Jonah, violently kicking the zombie’s head. The undead careens backwards into the brush, and Syn wastes no time in seizing it by the face and bashing it against the wall. He moves backwards a few paces and then launches another violent kick at the creature’s head, crushing it against the brick. There’s a loud crack, and then he stomps it again. And again. And again. He stops when something snaps away from the zombie’s head; its jaw falling to ground. The zombie tips backwards, exposing its mutilated facial features. It moans loudly as it falls sideways, and in another fit of anger, Syn smashes his foot down on its head again, this time killing it for good.
Inhaling and exhaling angrily, the boy looks over at the lifeless body of his friend. He can do nothing but stare at the corpse as rage and guilt go to war inside his chest, and he fights the lump that’s appeared in his throat.
“Syn!” Sylvia shouts worriedly from over the wall. The distorted, almost desperate pitch of her voice is what breaks him out of his trance. “Syn! Jonah!” she shouts again, even more visibly conflicted.
Running his hands over his face, Syn turns away from the grisly and bloodied remains of his friend and puts distance between himself and the wall. He runs at it and then plants his foot on it as he jumps up, using the momentum from the run to boost up and grab the top of the wall. Grunting, he pulls himself over it, and drops down on the other side, landing on his feet.
Sylvia casts him a saddened look when she doesn’t see Jonah, and he shakes his head slightly, not yet capable of wording it. Cassidy kneels on the floor next to her backpack, holding her asthma inhaler as Lizzie stands off to the side, looking panicked out of her mind.
Cassidy releases her breath, and rises from the grass, no longer wheezing quite as badly as before. She looks at her friends and notices Jonah’s absence, but also the looks on their faces, and just nods defeatedly as a cacophony of police sirens, gunshots and blood-curdling screams fills the air. A grim substitute to the music that was playing not five minutes before.
Syn shakes his head, as if trying to clear it, and then says decisively, “We need to move. Now.”
Everyone nods grimly, and they make their way to his truck, taking care to keep low and out of sight as they traverse the manicured lawns of the suburban avenue.
Cassidy throws her backpack on the truck’s bed, as do Syn and Sylvia, and then Syn helps Lizzie climb into it, before climbing onto the driver’s seat himself. Cass and Sylvia go around the pickup and climb inside the cab as well.
“Where are we going?!?” Syn asks, adrenaline-high. As he has been.
“To my house,” Sylvia says, worry dripping from her voice. “I have to make sure Barry’s okay.”
Syn nods, “Okay. Okay. Yeah, that makes sense.” He shifts the truck into gear and pulls away from the curb, joining the now utterly chaotic traffic of the Nightfall suburbs, and speeding off towards the city proper, where Sylvia lives.