ROTU BC Please Note: This is a serial novel written by Annelise Ianthe.

© 2012 – 2014

All Rights Reserved.




Chapter 9




Christmas morning loomed bright and clear. I awoke with a headache, and the fever had gone. I’d survived the night, and it seemed, the sickness as well. Pulling myself into a sitting position, I glanced about the room.

Rosa, Mary, and the children sat in the middle of the room, munching on snacks and drinking the last of the Coca-Cola. It wasn’t healthy, but at least they were making do. Joe, however, was nowhere in sight.

I groaned and stretched my cramped limbs. My cousin turned in my direction. She smiled broadly as she caught sight of me staring at the group.

“Morning,” I said, my voice a tad hoarse.

Rosa smiled and tossed a bottle of water my way. “Feeling better?”

I caught the bottle in mid-air. “Loads, yes. Thanks.”

Mary pushed herself to her feet. She rushed over, and knelt in front of me, giving me an awkward hug.

“You survived, Sis!”

I smirked with amusement. “It seems so. Rose told you?”

She nodded. “She told all of us this mornin’, in case you woke up different.”

“Ahhh. Bet you’re glad I’m not different, huh?”

She grinned. “Yeah. So, what’s the battle plan?”

I shrugged and popped the cap off of the water bottle before taking a healthy swig. “Don’t know. We can’t stay here, though.”

“We raiding Walmart?” Joe inquired as he strode into the garage from the now open side door.

“You seriously want me to drive up there?”

“We need guns.”


“To stay alive?”

I set the bottle down, and pointed to our makeshift weapons. “We’ve got the bats and the lug wrench, bro.”

His eyes narrowed as he stared back at me. “Those won’t last us long, Meg. We need something else. Something that’ll last us awhile.”

I snorted with derision, and rolled my eyes. “None of us know how to shoot a gun, Joe.”

“So? We’ll learn.”

“That’s a waste of ammo.”

“It’s not if we learn how. Come on, Sis. Give a little. Think about it. These things are cropping up all over the place. We’re stuck in a real-life episode of The Walking Dead. We need guns, and you know it.”

I hated to admit it, but he was right. We needed a better means in which to stay alive. The bats and the wrench would only get us so far. The guns would provide us with a small measure of safety, yet I knew they wouldn’t be enough. Not in the long run, but for now, I guess they’d do.

“You can drive in the snow, right?” Joe prodded, moments later.

“It’s snowing?”

He nodded. “Yeah. Not a lot, but it looks like it might pick up later. If we’re gonna scrounge for guns and supplies we best head out soon, though.”

“We heading to Meg’s after?” Chase asked as he crumpled the empty bag of Frito Lay’s corn chips between his fingers, and tossed it aside.

“It’s the safest place we’ve got so far, right?” Rosa murmured.

I pushed myself to my feet, and dusted off my jeans. “If we can make it there safely, I think so, but it’s only temporary. We’re going to have to find a better and far sturdier place. Have any of you been able to get in touch with Elijah?”

“Cellphone got through this morning. He’s alive. So’s Dillon. Said something about Caylee and the baby being at the hospital. I think he’s trying to get to them somehow,” Mary informed.


Joe tossed what was left of the sandwich I’d discarded last night into a plastic bag, and then dumped the soda’s remains in a corner of the room. “Caylee was having an asthma attack the night before this plague started. She’s at Waterbury Hospital. Eli thinks she’s still alive.”

The hairs on the back of my neck rose with apprehension. “We’re going to go rescue her, aren’t we?”

Joe grinned, his brown eyes shining with determination. “Yep.”


“Once we get the guns, and take the kids to your place. Eli’s meeting us at your house.”

I groaned. “You sure you want to do this?”

“Yeah. Caylee’s family. We can’t leave her and the baby behind. Say you’ll go, Meg. That we’ll try.”

“What if we lose someone along the way?”

The hopeful look on his face tugged on my heartstrings.

“At least we can say we tried.”

I glanced about the room, taking in the expectant glances aimed in my direction. “You’re all okay with that?”

Everyone nodded in agreement.

“I suppose it’s a go then.”

A profound cheer erupted throughout the room. We would head to Walmart, and prepare for a rescue attempt. I wasn’t sure if we would succeed. Nor did I know if we would make it out of the hospital unscathed. Joe was right, though. The least we could do was try.