Lying on the floor in some run down building long after the first rays of sun began to rise - despite the fact that she had been tossing and turning in the cold night - Zoey couldn’t help but muse how one of the things she missed most was the noise.
Maybe it was the fact one of the prominent things in her childhood was the hustle and bustle of crowds, but the silence was as unnerving as it was comforting. Noise meant solitude; no threats nearby but no companionship either. Zoey was not a person meant for isolation. It had been just a week – had it been a week? – since her other group had fallen apart. She had been with them for so long, to think that Evan could’ve just turned on them in some sort of … frenzy.
Zoey shivered, pulling her hoodie closer around herself for warmth as the haunting image of frantic eyes ringed with splashes of crimson flashed through her mind. Unbidden the memory of blood curdling, suffering screams belonging to the eyes – now engulfed in flames – was summoned up immediately after, ringing in her ears. Echoing in the silence outside her mind. It was only broken by a crackle of a discarded radio piercing the air. A familiar loathing well up in her heart with the noise; maybe the silence wasn’t so bad.
"Come, experience the re-birth of man.” The message was distorted; sounding wrong even by its usual standards by the abandoned radio’s dying batteries warping the words. “The New World Order awaits you.” The young woman’s fingers dug into her hoodie, muscles tense long after the last gnarled syllable trailed off with a sick and twisting note as the batteries gave their life for that one final message.
Zoey hated radios.
The little abandoned building fell silent once more, and for a pitiful moment Zoey considered just lying there for the rest of the day. What was the point? Finally though the circus performer dragged herself up off the hard ground and her makeshift backpack pillow, beginning to roll her joints and crack out the stiff feeling that had settled in her bones. Only when she felt sufficiently loose did Zoey begin digging in her bag to pull out her last piece of food, the bag of chips crinkling with each movement. Were it not the last piece of food she had the heart to scavenge off the bodies of her companions the young woman might’ve been content to just stay huddled in a morose ball in the dilapidated building. As it was she was in such shock she barely took anything, and now regretted it. To top it off, there were sounds the night before – worrying sounds that had pierced the quiet with a threat nipping at her heels in warning to move on.
Woefully underprepared, if only her family could see her now.
Once the short meal was done Zoey crumpled the trash up and tossed it to the side before turning her attention to the equipment set to the side. A quick look over her knife, fuel and torch to make sure nothing happened to them during the night and she reattached the items to her belt before slinging her bag over her shoulder and starting her trek with little fanfare. There was little else to do to prepare.
Outside Zoey pressed close to the building, abandoned and run down, sticking to the walls as she skirted along the edges of the empty buildings on the border of the city. From what she could tell, it was just barely out of range of The Event’s light, having not run into any of those … things. At the same time there were few other people she could find either. Solitude, with its crushing silence and loneliness was safe. Safe from those mutated monsters, and safe from the monsters hiding in human skin. Safety was really all Zoey had now, as she wandered along aimlessly without group nor purpose and only her quiet, light footsteps as company.
Silence descended once more.