Everything was too quiet.
The familiar cacophony of chirping birds and the buzzing of flying insects was absent throughout the forested area. It was ominous, the lack of sound, but Anna still decided to trudge deeper through the tall trees. It has been days since they had caught anything and their camp was running low on supplies. She was not going to let her irrational fear get into the way of her responsibilities that she has over the people that counted on her.
But at that point, she could not help but to wish Shane was there with her. At the thought of him being alone in the forest sent a pang of worry throughout her gut but she managed to choke it down with reasoning; he was trained in handling guns and was more than capable of looking out for himself.
She suddenly broke through into a clearing.
The crunch of dead leaves beneath her feet was loud enough to wake the dead and she winced at her carelessness. She instinctively brought the shotgun higher and stood her ground, eyes scanning the immediate vicinity for telltale signs of danger. The break in the forest canopy allowed the bright sunlight to beat relentlessly down on her. Beads of sweat began to form on her exposed back while her vision was blinded by the sun, barely being able to see a few feet in front of her and she knew that she has gotten herself into a tight spot.
Before she could register what happened, she found herself pinned down onto the ground a few seconds later. She trashed around with all her might but the weight on her back remained undeterred while beginning to laugh manically at her pathetic attempt to escape. She then tried to reach for her shotgun, fingernails painfully scratching at the dirt floor as if it would get her closer, but it was too far for her. It was getting harder for her to breathe and her lungs were starting to burn beneath the dull ache forming in her back that felt like it was going to snap into two.
Pain exploded in the back of her head as the man shoved something hard into it, 'Shut yer trap, ya' lil' bitch!' She groaned as she forced her head to stay upright, literally seeing stars spotting her vision. At that point she could only think about the worst thing that could happen to her, her strength having seeped away to leave her too tired to fight back the inevitable. She closed her eyes and waited for the welcoming arms of death to pull her out of this misery because that was a better fate than being raped.
The only thing she wished for was to have seen Shane for one last time before she died. To tell him that he meant the world to her and that she loved him so very much. But then again, that was just the harsh reality of the world they live in now. The world where each second of your life could be your last, the world where the dead has risen back to life.
'Get the fuck off her!'
The thud of the gun hitting against bone was sickening. Anna scrambled onto her feet and quickly backed away, her eyes not being able to pry away from the sight of Shane beating the man who tried to kill her. He had tossed the gun away and was now repeatedly pounding his fists into his face that was tainted in macabre red. She knew that she had to stop him before he killed the man but she was too shell shocked to even move an inch. Her mouth gaped opened but no voice would come out of it.
When she finally had regained control over her own body, she felt the cold surface of the barrel pressing against her head. A whimper escaped her trembling lips as she heard the hammer being clicked into position and could only assume that the trigger was ready to be pulled at any second.
'Sh-Shane,' she whispered.
'Get the fuck off my brother or I'll blow her fuckin' brains out.'