All the dead arising, p.5
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       All the Dead Arising, p.5

           Jamie Campbell
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Faith agreed to stay in the apartment and read through all the owner’s wedding magazines while I slipped out. She found the princess dresses fascinating so I hoped they would keep her occupied for a few hours.

  I sat outside our old apartment building, easily locating the window to my bedroom and Faith’s. Everything there seemed so normal, like I could just walk inside and my parents would be there to ask me how my day was.

  I wanted it so badly.

  But it wasn’t going to do me any good wishing for things that were impossible now. I’d come to terms with all the adults being dead but that didn’t mean I stopped grieving for them.

  A part of me knew why I was sitting there on the curb. I didn’t want to acknowledge it but I knew. I was hoping to see the ghosts of my parents. I’d seen so many spirits over the last month but they were never in the crowd.

  Why didn’t they come for us?

  So many other parents stuck to their children, even though they didn’t know they were there. I could see my parents and yet they stayed away from me.


  I desperately wished I could see them, even if just one last time. I wanted them to tell me what I should do, that I was doing a good job of looking after Faith, that the ghosts wouldn’t hurt me if I listened to them.

  I needed my parents now more than ever.

  A wind suddenly kicked up, bringing with it the voices from down the street. My gaze hurried to see who they belonged to. A group of kids were heading toward me.

  They weren’t going to be friendly.

  I quickly stood and started walking, not wanting to meet them up close and personal. Some kids thought the key to surviving after the Event was to band together and intimidate everyone else to get what they wanted.

  My legs moved in as fast a walk as I dared to go. If I ran, they would chase me. Those that ran usually had something they didn’t want taken from them. I didn’t need that kind of attention from them. I just wanted to get back to Faith so we could ride out another night of uncertainty.

  The city crawled with gangs like the one behind me. Some were large, easily having fifty or more members. Others were very small, just a handful of people to tie the group together. They were silly, really. Everyone was out for themselves, it wouldn’t take much for any of them to turn against their group for a better deal.

  I stepped down an alleyway and pressed myself against the wall, trying to pretend I was invisible. It wasn’t that I had anything they could take, but the fear of what they would do to me when they realized I had nothing for them to take.

  Life after all the adults died was not pretty.

  None of the ghosts around me were able to help. They continued talking to me while I tried to ignore them. Sometimes the dead were so loud I couldn’t hear the living. I was certain Faith thought I was going crazy. She could have a whole conversation with me that I wouldn’t be able to hear.

  I didn’t even dare to breathe as the thumping of their footsteps travelled down the road. They grew louder as they reached the end of my alleyway. As long as they didn’t turn, I wouldn’t be seen.

  Two passed by first.

  They didn’t look.

  Another few did the same, the boys and girls talking to one another and keeping them somewhat distracted. There was a range of ages in the group from tiny preschoolers to those just shy of eighteen. They were probably worried about their next birthday. Nobody over the age of eighteen survived the Event.

  That’s what everyone was calling it.

  The Event.

  Now we had before the Event and after the Event. The line was clearly drawn, the world changed in such dramatic circumstances in the space of only a few minutes. If there was anything that deserved to be called an event, it was the Event.

  My lungs screamed for air as I tried to breathe quietly. I didn’t want my voice to travel on the wind like theirs’ had. They just needed to pass me by without glancing my way. That was all I wanted.

  There were more in their group than I realized. They continued to pass by, some even laughing. It was unusual to hear people enjoying themselves these days. The sound would have been beautiful if not made by the enemy.

  And everyone was an enemy now.

  I could trust exactly two people: Faith and Oliver. No more and no less. I didn’t even know if I could trust myself anymore. We were all different after the Event and I was no exception. I’d never been this suspicious or scared before, gone was the light-hearted Everly of the glory days.

  Thankfully, the footsteps of the group faded away

  I finally allowed myself a sigh of relief before I started counting to twenty. Once finished, I shuffled over to the street entrance and dared to peek around the corner. I could see the backs of the group but they were a good block away now.

  Far enough.

  I crept out and started heading back to the apartment. I avoided all the main streets, sticking to the tree-lined roads around my neighborhood that I knew so well. This used to be my playground, now it was like a stranger to me.

  Faith unlocked the door after I gave her the secret knock. I secured it firmly behind me again. If even one of those gang members found our sanctuary, everything we had scrounged together would be gone.

  Perhaps even our lives, too.

  “I’m hungry, Evie,” Faith whined. I had to keep reminding myself that she was only a little kid so I didn’t snap at her. I may have been scared, but she was terrified.

  “I’ll heat up some peas. You like them, right?”

  She nodded. I grabbed one of the few cans we had that didn’t come from Oliver and tried to use the can-opener that I hated. We had an electric one at home, this contraption was like a knife that I had to dig into the can.

  “You need to use it the other way around.” The voice made me jump. I hadn’t heard the ghost sneak up on me. I turned to face her, instantly recognizing the woman from her photos around the house. “Turn it around, so the sharp point goes into the can.”

  I looked between her and the opener, for a moment startled. She kept gesturing with her hands, showing me what I needed to do. The sudden coldness in the room was emanating from her. She may have been dead, but she was very much alive to me.

  I was finally able to move again and used the can-opener the way she was showing me. It worked much easier that way and the lid came off effortlessly. “Thank you.”

  “You need help, but so do we,” the ghost said. “You can help us, I know you can.”

  “I can’t. You’re all dead. There’s nothing I can do.”

  “There is, you just don’t realize it yet. We are in so much pain and more danger is coming.”

  Goosebumps prickled all the way down my spine. “I’m not the one you’re looking for,” I insisted. Just because I could see them, it didn’t mean I could do anything about what had happened.

  “What are you talking about?” Faith asked. She stood in the archway between the kitchen and living room, a picture of confusion.

  My gaze went from the dead to the living. “Nothing, just talking to myself. I’ll bring in your peas in a few minutes once I’ve warmed them up.”


  She waddled off again. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as easy to get rid of the ghost woman. She watched us both intently, giving me the heebie jeebies that I couldn’t shake.

  “Please just leave me alone,” I whispered.

  The woman didn’t leave but she didn’t say anything further either. The air hung heavy between us, cold and damp. I poured the peas into a container before heating it over the camping stove. At the least, the ghost had helped me a little bit.

  Maybe there was more to seeing them than I thought.

  Chapter Six

  Six Months After the Event

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