“It's right up here on the left.” Lyric pointed to the drive way with a Wrangler and pick up parked in it. As they pulled in a guy stepped out of the barn and walked toward them. When he got closer Lyric recognized him as her cousin Indiana's friend Ryan. The three of them had played together as kids, when she'd visited during summers but she hadn't seen him in person in year. Sure they were Facebook friends but that didn't mean anything. Hoping he would recognized her she slipped out of the jeep gesturing for the guys to stay put as she did.
A screen door slammed as she rounded the front of the vehicle, stopping her in her tracks. On the front porch stood a Susie Indiana's best-friend, and a guy in his teens holding a shotgun.
“Holy shit! Lyric!”
Her attention swung back to Ryan who smiled, jogging toward her. “Hey Ryan, I didn't think anyone would be here. I thought you'd be at the school.”
He grimaced, his face fell and she knew something was terribly wrong. Tears welled up before she could stop them. “There gone aren't they?”
Ryan nodded solemnly. “All except Indiana, but she took off a little while ago. Something about recon.”
“So the school wasn't safe.” She drew a ragged breath as the doors to the jeep opened and shut behind her.
“It was at first, then we had to go for supplies and needed to know what was going on.” He looked toward the house, his voice hitching. “My Dad got bit, and it went downhill from there. Dan made Indie, Susie and me bug out, by the time we got back everyone was gone. Some took off, but we don't know to where.”
Lyric nodded her mind drifting to their recent run in with the trigger happy hillbillies. She sank down to half sit, half lean on the bumper. A hand rested on her shoulder and absently she muttered, “Ryan this is Marcus and Ira, guys this is my cousin's friend Ryan. His family owns this place.”
They shook hands and Ryan jerked a thumb toward the house. “You guys look beat, we've got food and hot showers if you're interested.”
“How...?” Lyric started to ask pushing away from the bumper and moving toward the house. The idea of a hot shower and real food rejuvenating her.
“Solar panels.” Ryan said, falling into step with her. “Dad wanted to go off the grid. Everyone said he was nuts but it paid off.”
Lyric stepped into the kitchen, Susie sat at the table alone her hands wrapped around a mug of steaming tea. Running a hand through her wet hair Lyric joined her. Not having any clean clothes they both had borrowed some from Ryan's Mother. They exchanged glances. Apparently Ryan's mom was a fan of cutie shirt. They both wore a pink oversize sweatshirt, Susie's had a doleful puppy and on her's was bunnies. Smiling Lyric said, “I'm pretty sure we qualify as fashion victims right now.”
Susie snorted a laugh, smiling. “Let me get you something to eat.”
At the thought of real food her stomach let out a gurgling rumble. “That'd be great. All I've had today was Twinkies and chips.”
Getting up Susie walked over and pulled a plate out of the oven. “Um... I was wondering what happen to your hair? I don't mean to sound...” She trailed off for a moment as she set the plate on the table. “It just looks like you took garden shears to it.”
Lyric ran her hands over her hair, what had been down to the middle of her back was now less than shoulder length. Just the thought of what had happened made her want to take another shower. She's washed her hair several times while in there already. Susie looked at her expectantly setting down some silverware.
“A zombie's hand got tangled in it.”
Susie's face squished up in distaste. “Oh gross, I'm so sorry. When you're done eating do you want me to even it up for you?”
Author's Note: Unedited Version