“Mama, no!” Maya yelled as her mother was swallowed up by a group of zombies.
She burst into tears, she couldn’t save her mother. Her older brother had made it to the pickup truck and was waiting. Maya laid the tailgate of the truck down and crawled in, her dog Mercury, followed closely. They began their travels down to road, her mother’s scream echoing in her ears. Her silent tears and thoughts were interrupted by her brother banging on the glass of the truck. She glared at him with red eyes, he motioned for her to lay down. Maya told the dog to lay down, she followed suit and covered them with a heavy blanket. She heard the rumble of something she hadn’t heard in awhile, another truck. Mercury gave a low growl, Maya pressed a finger to her lips. The truck veered off the road, the next thing Maya saw was a gentle face. Mercury and Maya whimpered.
“Don’t hurt us!” Maya whispered.
The gentle face smiled, it was a lady.
“No worries, come with me. Your dog can come too.” The gentle face said.
“ Okay… I am Maya. Come, Mercury.” Maya called to the dog.
“I am Sophia.” The face smiled.
The two walked to a mini-van, Maya held her dog’s collar cautiously. Sophia opened the door, Maya’s heart screamed in her chest. At least 4 other children were in the back, one child probably not even one.
“Maya, these are your new survival mates.” Sophia remarked, actually proud.
Maya felt her skin go pale as she saw the hollow faces of the children. Maya looked at her dog, wondering if this really was a good idea.
“Wh-what are your names?” Maya stuttered as she crawled into the van.
A dark skinned boy looked at her. That look is one Maya would never forget. A look of fear, sadness and pain, hit his eyes.
“I’m Grayson. This,” He gestured towards the baby, “ is Layla.” He responded in a very solemn tone.
“What about you two?” Maya said, gesturing to the two young (who she assumed in twins) toddlers.
“Natalie and Skylar.” Grayson said, “They don’t know how to talk.”
The baby started to get fussy, Grayson lifted her. Ten minutes passed and the baby continued to fuss.
“Give her here, Grayson.” Maya said, gently adjusted the baby in her arms. “Sophia? Is she teething?”
“I never had children, I don’t know.” Sophia responded shrugging.
Maya rolled her eyes and offered her pinky to the baby. The baby stopped crying and cooed as she sucked and chewed the finger happily. Grayson’s eyes got huge.
“How did you know!!” He asked, obviously awestruck.
“Lots and lots of cousins.” Maya giggled intently.
The mini-van fell silent, the only noise was that of the baby.
Later that night, Sophia laid down the seats of the van. She rolled out sleeping bags and instructed them to go to sleep. Sophia was the first to fall asleep, she started snoring quickly.
“Grayson, what are things like here?” Maya asked curiously.
“This women is a nutcase! She found us all and is ‘raising’ us!” Grayson said in a hoarse whisper.
“There is something we can do.” Maya said with an evil look in her eye. Mercury started dreaming about that time, kicking and whimpering. “Come with me.” She finished.
The two crawled out of the window and opened the hatch. Maya motioned for Grayson to help her move the twins. They moved Natalie and Skylar up to the front and blocked them and Layla in with a few pillows and bags. Grayson held the front of the sleeping bag by Sophia’s head, while Maya held the bottom. They turned Sophia and slid her out. They laid her sleeping body in the grass and smiled at her.
Maya opened the driver door on the mini-van and Grayson got in the passenger side.
“Good job, Grayson.” Maya said as she drove off into the night.
Grayson just smiled as he turned to check on the littles. All three were asleep, he just hoped they stayed asleep.
They found a meadow they parked the mini-van in until morning. The three little ones didn’t know that Sophia was gone. They managed to find a group that would take them. The twins and Grayson found a home, but Maya insisted on raising Layla herself.
Maya watched as her adoptive daughter roamed with the other children of the group.
“You have done a good job with her, Maya.” a young mother from the group told her.
“Yeah, and she will never know that I am not her real mother.” Maya smiled
The beautiful blonde hair, blue eyed toddler stumbled over to her.
“Momma, I am thirsty.” Layla smiled up at her mother.
“Go see Daddy.” Maya smiled, nodding toward the tall handsome dirty blonde boy planting seeds.
The toddler skipped away and played on.