Better Times.....

Discussion in 'Journals and Stories' started by EnvyDemon, Jul 25, 2019.

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    EnvyDemon

    EnvyDemon Member

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    "Welcome to Math 210 for Winter Term 2015. I'll be passing out the syllabus shortly."

    Charlotte felt like she was going to fall asleep. Even Syllabus day was extremely boring in class. Charlotte was also rather tired, her flight didn't get in until late last night.

    --------

    "Attention" the speaker blared "United Airlines Flight 5518 to O'Hare is now boarding at Gate 2."

    "Finally" Charlotte said, putting her phone in her purse and standing up.

    "Eager to get out of here so soon Sweetie?" Nancy asked as she remained seated in her chair. Charlotte frowned at that remark.

    "No, it's not like that mom" she replied "It's just that..."

    Nancy cut her off "You want to get back to school... I get it." Nancy slowly got up. "When I was your age, I wanted to get away from my parents too, and, for me Austin was far enough away from Dallas." Nancy paused for a moment, grabbing her purse. "Come on, I'll walk you to your gate."

    The two continued to the gate as Nancy continued to tell her story. "It may not seem like it, but I was in college once, and so was your father. I know what it feels like sweetie. The unprecedented amount of freedom you have is rather accelerating, just don't skip classes, that's a pitfall."

    Charlotte rolled her eyes at that remark. "I don't skip classes Mom, I know better than that."

    "Good." Nancy responded as they approached Gate 2. "Now... your father told me to ask you when you're planning on introducing us to your girlfriend."

    Charlotte cheeks got a bit red. "Mom... not..here in public... it's still Tennessee you know."

    Nancy laughed a little "That, or you don't want to talk about your girlfriend with your mother."

    "Mom!" Charlotte exclaimed

    Nancy laughed a bit more before hugging her daughter. "Have a good flight, we'll see you over spring break. I love you.

    "I love you too mom." Charlotte said as she returned the hug before heading to her gate.

    -----

    "And when you take this equation..." Dr. Stevens glanced at the clock. "Oh... my apologies, it's 10 minutes when dismissal was. Class dismissed." Suddenly, the lecture hall became filled with people packing up their laptops and books as a group of students headed for the door. As she was getting up, her phone notification went off. She got a text from Stephanie.

    "Meet me at the Lighthouse Beach" it read. Lighthouse Beach was just off campus and overlooked Lake Michigan, showed by the Grosse Point Lighthouse. It was a rather cold day and there was snow on the ground, so Charlotte wondered why Stephanie wanted to meet her there, however, not having anything else to do, she responded with a simple "omw" and headed over.

    It was around a 10 minute walk to get there, the beach still covered in snow. She shivered a bit when the ever eccentric girl she dating turned and said "Hiya" with a large smile on her face.

    "Steph.. it's really cold" she said, putting her hands in her down jacket.

    "And it's likely going to get colder." she said turning around towards the water. "I heard on Triple N this morning that a massive storm is going to hit at the end of the month."

    Charlotte rolls her eyes "Great" she thought. "So... why am I out here." she said as she followed Stephanie.

    "I like the snow." Stephanie responded, all matter a fact like, before reaching down into the snow.

    "What are yo.." Charlotte got out before she got hit in the face with a snowball.

    "Surprise Motherfucker!" Stephanie shouted laughing her ass off. However, it wouldn't belong until, in her laughter, Charlotte threw a snowball, hitting her girlfriend straight in the face, almost knocking off her glasses.

    "Hey!" she shouted, a bit more seriously "You almost hit my glasses off."

    "You know that saying about glass houses right?" Charlotte said, before getting hit with another snowball.

    Stephanie snickered. "Well then, I guess this means war." Charlotte said, reading another snowball.
     
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  2. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    I liked this! It really gives some insight into Charlotte and all..maybe be interesting to see a piece between her and Clarence...

    Come to think of it, a hub where we write little snippets of life for our characters pre-apoc would be pretty interesting.
     
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    EnvyDemon

    EnvyDemon Member

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    "You know Charlotte, you would think the Seahorse Coffee just off campus would get more traffic."

    Charlotte rolled her eyes at Emily's remark. She sometimes questioned why she was friends with her, other than the fact she was a talented guitarist. Emily came from a rather wealthy family in Upstate Pennsylvania and had very little idea of class consciousness. Charlotte usually hated those types of people, but Emily seemed to be an exception. Seahorse was a large coffee chain based out of Seattle, and honestly, she just didn't think their coffee was that good. Above that, they didn't even offer live music. There was a smaller coffee shop, locally owned, just off campus, on Chicago Avenue that had a small stage area and offered Charlotte's band, Political Machine, the opportunity to perform.

    They arrived at the shop, where Stephanie was waiting outside in a chair.

    "What took you so long slowpokes?" she asks giggling.

    Emily looked at Stephanie, then back at her heavily guitar case, then back to Stephanie, and headed inside the shop. Charlotte followed her inside, motioning Stephanie to come in after them.

    The three proceeded to head to the stage. Plastered around the room were flyers that read "Political Machine - 7pm - January 24th 2015" in a rather dark coffee shop filled with people. Charlotte took a seat at her drum kit as Emily took out her guitar and started tuning it. Stephanie stepped up to the microphone.

    "Good evening Chicago!" she yelled, in a bit of an exaggerated tone. "Are you ready to rock!?"

    A few claps and cheers came from the crowd. Before the band got started.

    Sometimes I wake a up and, see there is no one there
    I wonder if you are here for me
    I question my sanity

    Locked in The Dark Room

    Locked in The Dark Room

    Is it that I'm blind or just everything is black
    Or are you right behind me, at my back

    This room is like hell on earth, if I'm not just dead
    I'm waiting for you to come and free me, from my dread

    I pound and pound, yet no one hears
    But I wonder and wonder, are they even there

    I scream for hours on end, yet you never come
    Do you even care or, are you done,

    Locked in The Dark Room

    Locked in The Dark Room

    Is it that I'm blind or just everything is black
    Or are you right behind me at my back

    This room is like hell on earth, if I'm not just dead
    I'm waiting for you to come and free me, from my dread

    Locked in The Dark Room

    Locked in The Dark Room

    The room filled with the sound of clapping. Charlotte hoped to possibly sell some CDs, or at the very least, promote the band's Soundcloud.
     
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    EnvyDemon

    EnvyDemon Member

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    "Temperatures in Chicago are going to reach record lows this week." the TV blared. "The National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Warning for the city. Individuals are recommended to stay inside and wait out the storm. Back to you Julia."

    The Camera Cut to Julia Fairbanks, anchor of the Triple-N news desk.

    "The World Health Organization is continuing to investigate the disappearance of several medical volunteers in Bosnia and Herzegovina...."

    Charlotte pulled her blanket up, and shivered a little on her couch. It was cold in her apartment. A moment later, Stephanie walked in with a cup of hot chocolate and plopped herself next to Charlotte on the couch.

    "Whatcha Watching?" she asks

    "The news." Charlotte responds "Trying to figure out how long this blizzard is going to last."

    As Charlotte was saying that, something interrupted the commercials.

    "New At Spiffos, the Double..." it cut out with a black screen for a second before a loud "This is Triple N, Breaking News." interrupted.

    The scene cut back to Julia Fairbanks. "Good Evening, I'm Julia Fairbanks. We have breaking news out of Austin this evening. Our local affiliate reports that a man reportedly high on bath salts walked into the bar and attacked two patrons." Julia looked over her shoulder for a second. "Hold on." she said "My producer is telling me that we have a reporter in Austin. We are cutting to Veronica Wu in Austin. Veronica?"

    The scene cut to a bar in Austin, where Triple-N Reporter Veronica Wu stood in front of a bar in the background, there was a lot of blood splattered on the windows and a man who looked to be receiving treatment for for what looked to be a bite wound by Paramedics.

    "I am standing in front of the 99 Beers Bar and Grill in downtown Austin, where witnesses say that a white male in his 40s came in asking to use a phone, saying that he was 'attacked' by homeless people. Then, around 5 minutes later the man is reported to have emerged from a restroom where he was tending a wound and attacked at least five people in the bar."

    "Didn't your parents go to college in Austin?" Stephanie asked before Charlotte shushed her.

    Veronica walked up to a man, with the subtitle "Daniel Taylor - Witness" flashed under his name.

    "Can you please tell us what you saw?" she asked

    "Yeah, that psycho walked into the building and went off to the poor bartender and said that he was attacked my a homeless man bit him and his phone broke." the witness said, he looked like he was in a bit of a shock.

    "And then what happened?" The reporter asked

    "He went into the bathroom to clean his very visible bite wound, then, he came out... and he started... biting the bartender, and then attacked a couple of the other patrons. We were lucky the police arrived on time."

    "Hold on, sorry to interrupt you, we need to head back to the newsroom. Julia?"

    "Yes, thanks Veronica, we had a statement released from the Austin Police Department released on Twitter. It reads, 'Situation Contained, One Suspect Down, 3 In Hospital, Critical Condition'. We also have confirmation that the suspect was shot and killed, and an autopsy is being preformed.

    Stephanie has gotten under Charlotte's blanket at this point, the skin contact causing her to shiver.

    "So... was Austin always this violent." Stephanie asked.

    "Why do you think I've been to Austin?" Charlotte responded.

    "I mean, didn't you parents go to college there?"

    "Well, yeah, doesn't mean I've ever been."

    Stephanie turned towards the end table and takes a sip of her hot chocolate, taking most of Charlotte's Blanket with her. Charlotte gave her a look, then turned back to the television.

    "Apologies, this is a rapidly changing story, we're cutting back to Veronica in Austin. Veronica?"

    "Right, we have gotten and update at the number of victims is up to five, and, 3 victims died on their way to the hospital, and" the reporter motioned to the group of paramedics "it seems a group of paramedics are rushing to the man, not sure if that vic..." her sentence was interrupted by a scream, followed by the man pinning the EMT who was helping him down, biting him in the neck, the camera catching it. A few seconds later, a group of police offers rush into the scene, nearly knocking over the reporter, a second later the camera cut out and it reverted to the news room.

    "Our apologies... we're having some technical difficulties. We'll be back in a few moments. This is Triple-N."
     
    #4 EnvyDemon, Jul 27, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
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    EnvyDemon

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    A few days later, Charlotte was sitting on the couch, as she pulled out her cell phone and dialed the very familiar number and then heard, again, the very familiar sound of her father's pre-recorded voice.

    "Hello, you reached Clarence and Nancy. We currently cannot get to the phone right now, but if you leave your name and number we can get back to you. *BEEP*"

    Charlotte sighed then began speaking.

    "Mom, Dad, it's Charlotte, I hope you get this, but things are getting bad. Please call me back when you get the chance."

    Charlotte ended up hanging up the call and put her phone down, before receiving a text from Emily reading.

    "Things are getting bad. Sampson and I are planning on leaving town. Is Steph with you?"

    Charlotte responded, typing out "No, she isn't why?"

    It took a few seconds for Emily to respond.

    "Sampson is taking his truck, and heading home, we were wondering if you want to get out of here before things get too bad."

    A few seconds later, the tv blared.

    "Beep. Beep. Beep. Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. This is the emergency alert system. This is not a drill. All residents of Lake, Cook, DuPage and Will Counties Illinois, and Lake County Indiana, are too remain in doors until further notice. A Pandemic alert has been issued. Please remain indoors."

    A few seconds later the TV cut back to Triple-N, now with a ticker on the bottom repeating the warning.

    "Just a moment, we have breaking news." Julia Fairbanks broke the interview. Followed by a loud "This is Triple-N, Breaking News"

    "We have just received word that the government just issued a Pandemic Warning in multiple major cities, including, and..." Julia looks to her producer then back "Hold on, we're getting the list here." she paused for a few seconds before turning back to the teleprompter "Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Louisville, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Seattle, and Philadelphia," Julia paused for another moment, "We have also received word that the White House is going to be given a statement, however, Triple-N has also heard that there are procedures in place to in case the President needs to evacuated out of Washington, we go to our repor.."

    Charlotte turned off the television, before picking up her phone to respond to Emily, before realizing that she no longer had cell service. "What the hell." she thought, before grabbing her bag, and starting to pack, she needed to get to Stephanie's Dorm.
     
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    EnvyDemon

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    Things were getting bad in Chicago, as Charlotte grabbed her things and left her apartment. She didn't know if she was coming back, but, she needed to get out in a hurry. She closed up the house and locked up, and exited to the street. The street however, was mostly empty, as the streets were mostly empty. There were police cars driving around, but, they didn't seem to care about Charlotte being out, and apparently, they had more pressing concerns.

    She headed to the building then realized that she couldn't get in, due to the fact the door requires you to scan a student idea. Charlotte knocked on the door, trying to catch the attention of two girls in the lobby. They looked at each other, then at her, before opening the door.

    "Are...are you okay."

    Charlotte nodded "Yeah, I'm fine..." she took a look at them. "Is Stephanie here."

    They nodded. The lobby of the dorm has quite a few people inside, including one girl in the corner, receiving treatment for what looks to be a bite wound. As she was heading towards the elevator, Charlotte looked over and then back to one of the girls. "What happened?" Charlotte asked

    "A Sick Man came from around the corner, and bit her... she managed to get away, but... it looked like it hurt."

    Charlotte took the elevator to the 5th floor, and went over to Room 502, Stephanie's, and knocked on the door. A few seconds later, a familiar face opened it. "Charlotte!" she gave Charlotte a hug. "I tried calling but cell service is out. Are you okay?"

    Charlotte squirmed out of Stephanie's grip. "Yeah, I'm fine. Look, Emily and her boyfriend are getting out of the city. I don't think it's safe here."

    Stephanie nodded "Oh..." Stephanie grabbed her backpack, already packed "I was planning on heading down to your place to see about lying low there, but, that sounds like the better option, let's say we ge..."

    "HOLY FUCK AHHAHHAHAHA" A loud scream interrupted from the lower floors of the building.

    Charlotte was started by the scream, however, that was broken by Stephanie tugging her arm. "Charlotte, run." she exclaimed as they took the stairs instead of the elevator.

    When they arrived in the lobby, there was blood everywhere. One of the girls from earlier was torn in half, and the man giving the injured girl treatment was also on the floor, shaking and stumbling around. The bit girl was over a campus safety officer, munching on his neck. Stephanie stopped for a moment, despite Charlotte shock, grabbed a fire extinguisher, and bashed the girl over the head with it. Charlotte was in shock at what she just witnessed, but Stephanie screamed "CHARLOTTE MOVE YOUR ASS!" as she grabbed the officer's Glock 17 from his holster. Charlotte paused a few seconds before rushing to the door.

    The next few minutes consisted of them rushing though the streets towards Emily's apartment. Eventually, Stephanie and Charlotte came upon a police road block. A few seconds later, a group of infected sprinted from the alley, as Stephanie shot a few the got close, while continuing to fall back. It was obviously that Stephanie was just thinking on her feet, as she pulled the still shell shocked Charlotte into a building.

    "Fuck..." Charlotte muttered "you..shot them...."

    Stephanie put her hands on Charlotte's shoulders. "You need to calm down, we didn't have a fucking choice. You saw the scene in the dorm, right?"

    Charlotte nodded, as she stood up and ran towards the back door. However, at just that moment, an infectee charged out of the bathroom and pinned Charlotte. Charlotte however, managed to keep it off of her, long enough for Stephanie hit it off with the chair before helping Charlotte up.

    "Charlotte, are yo..." and at the moment, the infectee got back up and bit Stephanie in the back, sinking its teeth in to get neck. She screamed as Charlotte grabbed the gun and fired a shot into the back of his head. Stephanie fell to the floor, cursing.

    "Fuck... Charlotte... I need you to.. I need you to shoot me." Stephanie caused a bit, and tired to stop the bleeding from her neck.

    Charlotte was still shell shocked from her first kill, then looked down at Stephanie. "Wait...what...you want me too.."

    Stephanie nodded

    "You can't ask me to do this."

    "Well... Charlotte... you saw how that girl in the lobby turned right... I don't want to become one of them... can you..."

    Charlotte panicked "Stephanie... I... I'm going to go get help..."

    "Charlotte...Charlotte...Please...Charlotte." her yells were getting more and more desperate as Charlotte ran out the back door.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Charlotte shook herself awake in the driver's seat of the pickup truck, outside of Mt. Washington. She woke up from her nightmare again. She lives the same moment every night. "Why didn't I just shoot her?" she asks herself. When she returned later that day with Sampson and Emily, Stephanie's Body was gone, which, in hindsight, meant that she likely reanimated and wandered off somewhere. She only hoped that Chicago was firebombed as she had heard, maybe someone put her out of her misery. Charlotte would not have known.

    She felt it kind of ironic, sleeping in this truck, that once again she was in a pickup truck, fleeing from her problems instead of facing the music. Once again she was running, this time, from the mall. Maybe she was a coward after all.

    Fin
     
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