Sarah studies her map....huddled in the corner of an abandoned subway system break room. It's pitch black and she only lights candles when she needs to.
She's very careful. Even when she does light candles, she hangs carpets on the door to make sure the light doesn't get out.
She looks over the map. She knows that she'll need to scavenge for food today. She thinks. She's been around the nearby buildings. She has been here about 6 weeks. Afraid to move on.
She grabs her belongings and stuffs it into her backpack. As she packs, she sees her Mom's bracelet.
Her mom was always practical. But she was nice. And she tried to explain things. Her father was very matter of fact. He would say something and never say more.
A small line of tears crawls down Sarah's face. She remembers her mom's passing as if was just yesterday.
She grabs her backup and slips out the door. This her 10th place this year. She may come back, but you never know.
As she walks she carefully places some chalk dust and threads along the path. Signs to tell her if somebody's been there. Sarah's trained her memory over the years. You can never be too careful
As she gets out of the subway, she stays in the shadows. Clinging to the alleys and edges. Her sense are hyper alert.
There are eyes watching her. She can feel it. All she can do is hope that they're not the wrong eyes.
She's a tough girl. With over a dozen years of martial arts. The last person who attacked her was knocked out dead with a kick.
It's not like Sarah has much. But in this new world. When the world ended, people do crazy things to survive.
It's hard to stay sane. She keeps herself sane by writing poetry. Or reading books. Nobody really reads anymore. But first. food.
She's learned to look for things in places other people wouldn't think. And she knows one of those places is in the schoolhouse. When she gets to the school, she finds her secret entrance.
In the school house, she bolts towards the earthquake food reserves. She knows the routine. She runs in. Grabs a few cans. And prepares to get out. She's not picky.
She stands to leave and hears footsteps just before a body barrels into her. Sending her flying, knocking all the air out of her lungs. She recovers quickly and kicks him in the head.
She glances at him. He's an ex-military. Tattoos on his arm. Muscles the size of her head. Her training is nothing compared to military training. She sprints away as he recovers.
"SARAH!" She stopped. And slowly turned around. "Cory?"
Cory was a childhood friend. "How are you alive?"
"Alive? What are you talking about? We're all worried about you"
"You've been missing for weeks. Your father is crazy worried. Please come back."
Sarah looks confused. "What are you talking about? I have no home. Everybody's dead. For many years." This is a mind game. They're coming for her.
"No Sarah...We're worried about you. I know things have been crazy since your Mom died"
The memories of her mother's cancer come rushing back. Sarah's eyes widen. She drops to her knees. "Turn on your phone Sarah"
She turns it on. It flickers into reality. "Take me home"