Read Glory (Book 5) Online

Authors: Michael McManamon

Tags: #Post Apocalyptic

Glory (Book 5)

BOOK: Glory (Book 5)
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Glory - Book Five

Michael McManamon

Published by Michael McManamon

 

Copyright 2014 Michael McManamon

 

License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase and additional copy for each recipient. If you're reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Book Five

Day 18

Chapter 1

Adam was at the front of the group. They had been walking for the past couple of days.

It had been his idea to leave the cafe
.
We all enjoy it here
,
he had pointed out
,
but it’ll only be a matter of time before they run out of food
.
They also needed to keep looking for other survivors.

No one had disagreed.

Unfortunately, since then, they hadn’t found much that could help them. The usual car crashes. Dead bodies. A few destroyed houses; one of which had been burned to the ground. Nothing worthwhile.

He turned around to make sure that everyone was still okay.

His eyes fell on Charles. They had had to stop to let the old man catch his breath and build back up his energy a few times over their journey. But it had never been for very long. The old man kept plugging along, determination in each stride he took. Even now, Adam saw him walking beside Jane and was in the midst of telling the young boy, Robert, a story.

Adam couldn't hear what was being said, but he knew that it had to be good. Robert's eyes were wide open, as was his mouth, as he sat in his wagon and listened, his stuffed rabbit in his arms. Jane seemed to be taken in by it as well. Although she had to watch where she pulled the boy, her focus kept shifting back to Charles as he spoke.

The young boy broke into laughter. "No," Adam could hear him say. "Nuh-uh. That's not true!"

"It is," Charles replied. "I swear!"

Their voices dropped back to normal and Adam was once more left wondering what they were saying. He didn't spend too much time on it, though. There were too many other ideas starting to develop in his mind.

He thought about Jane.

Ever since he had found her in the upstairs bedroom of the cafe, huddled in the corner, she had seemed a little

of
f
. She would jump at small sounds; make eye contact, then look away. A couple of times he had even thought he had heard her crying.

She hadn't really done a very good job of explaining why she had been up in the bedroom, either
.
She had heard a nois
e
, she had said. But Adam knew there had to be more to it than that.

He had tried to speak to her about it. Yet, as soon as he opened his mouth, he changed his mind and brought up something else.

He didn't know her well enough to talk about something like that
,
he figured
.
He'd give her a little more time.

He thought about Claire next.

Although he didn't know her all that well either, he was beginning to. Over the past couple of days, they had talke
d
a lot
.
And he was beginning to like her

a lot.

He knew that it was a ridiculous feeling to have under the current circumstances
.
The world had been destroyed. They were struggling to survive
.
His thoughts shouldn't have been on a woman. But the truth of the matter was that he couldn't stop thinking about her.

He saw her at the back of the group, eyes downcast. Her feet barely rose with each step she took
.
Not from exhaustion
,
he told himself
.
At least, not physical exhaustion
.
Over their talks, he had found out that she liked to run, often exercised. There was no way that today's walk would have tired her. Whatever her problem was was mental. And he was sure he knew what was causing it.

They hadn't talked much about Claire's time in captivity. Adam had gotten some pieces of the story from her, others from Shelly. But nothing that had given him any great understanding
.
Not that he needed it
.
He could imagine what Big Mike had done to her. There were a few cuts and bruises on her face and neck, and a red ring around her wrist which had just started to heal, to help fill in the details as well.

He felt himself slowing down to talk to her.

As with Jane, he wasn't sure if he could talk to Claire about these things
.
But at the very leas
t,
he could see if she was okay.

He slowed down more.

Jane passed him, pulling Robert in his wagon. He tried to smile at her, but she turned away quickly. As though she hadn't noticed.

Yeah, something was definitely wrong there
,
the told himself
.
Though it was best to only deal with one thing at a time.

Chapter 2

As he waited for Claire to catch up with him, Shelly passed by without so much as a glance in his direction. Her nose was buried in one of the books she had found on a shelf in the cafe. It was one that he had already read, but she had warned him not to ruin it for her
.
They could talk about it when she finished
,
she had said. He had no intention of telling her anything about it.

The only thing he felt like saying at the moment was to tell her to watch where she was going. He had no idea how she hadn't tripped over anything. He didn't want her to hurt herself.

However, he kept his thoughts to himself. He didn't want to come across as over-bearing. Especially since she had already commented on all of the times he had told her to be careful.

She'd be okay
,
he reasoned
.
She's done a great job this far.

He watched Shelly pass, then turned his attention to Claire.

It took a while for her to catch up to him. And when she did, she didn't notice him standing there until she nearly stepped on his feet.

"Oh, Adam," she said. "I didn't notice you there."

He brushed off the slight pang of hurt that comment sent through him
.
She hadn't meant it in a bad way
.
"You look deep in thought," he said. "Everything okay?"

Once he asked the question, Claire's eyes darted away from his own. "Yeah, I'm fine," she said. There wasn't much conviction in her voice.

He took a closer look at the cuts and bruises on her face. "You sure?"

She turned back to him. For a moment, he thought that she was going to lash out and him and tell him to mind his own business. He wouldn't have been able to argue with her about that, either. He was getting close to over-stepping his bounds.

She opened her mouth to speak, but no words came out. She closed it, biting her lower lip in the process.

Adam waited. Through her eyes, he could almost see her thoughts form
.
Should she tell him
?
Coul
d
she?

She opened her mouth again. "I'm fine," she said. "Thanks for asking."

Adam didn't want to push it any further.

They walked for a bit in silence.

As they made their way, Adam found himself nervous about bringing up anything else. He didn't want to say the wrong thing, didn't want to offend her. He supposed her could ask her about something simple like

he didn't kno
w
. It all seemed to have escaped him.

"You know," he said finally. Claire turned to him expectantly. "You look very pretty today."

He hadn't planned on saying anything like that, and his face reddened as soon as he had. He couldn't deny that he had been thinking it. Even with her dirty clothes and battered face.

Claire touched her cheek. Then she looked down at what she was wearing, trying to figure out if he was being serious or not. When she looked back up, a small grin danced in the corners of her lips.

"Thank you," she said. "That's sweet of you."

Chapter 3

Adam stayed beside Claire, but continued to worry about what to say next. Though she had smiled, he was still embarrassed by what he had said. He didn't trust himself not to make it any worse.

He didn't have to worry about it for long.

"Look!" Shelly shouted, her book finally lowered.

"At what?" Adam asked. He hated these moments
.
Was it the creatures? Was it more death
?
His heart begin to race as he ran up to her. Claire at his side.

"That big building,” the young girl said.

From where he was standing, aside from its size, Adam couldn't make out what it was. "We should check it out," he suggested.

Compared with all that they had seen, the building looked hopeful.

As they made their way toward it, Adam noticed that Jane didn't seem all that thrilled. Her eyes nervously glanced from the building to the ground in front of her. Her hand tightened around the handle of the wagon.

"Something the matter?" he asked her.

Jane’s focus shot to him, then away. "It's nothing."

"Nothing? Come on. What's it is?" He didn't mean to pry, but he needed to know if she had noticed something that he hadn't. He couldn't have them walking into a known danger.

"Really, it's nothing," she replied.

Adam didn't believe her. But he didn't ask her any more about it
.
Yet another time he let things go with her
.
He decided not to worry about it at the moment
.
He had bigger things to think about.

They walked a bit farther. Then Jane spoke.

"It's a school," she said. Her voice came out as nothing more than a whisper.

"A school?" Now that she had mentioned it, Adam knew she was right. He could even make out a small playground to the side of it.

And that explained why Jane was nervous
,
he though
t.
Charles had told him that Jane used to be a teacher
.
It was probably hard for her to step into something that reminded her of her old life.

"Will you be okay?" he asked.

Jane looked at the others before settling her eyes on him again. "Yeah, I'll be okay."

"Think we can spend the night here?" Shelly asked. Claire, Charles, Jane and even little Robert turned to him to hear his answer.

He couldn't shake the feeling that they thought of him as the leader now - the one to make decisions. From what he knew, he hadn’t done anything to warrant it.

"We don't even know if it's safe," he replied

"But if it is?" Shelly asked, her words filled with enthusiasm.

Adam couldn't blame her. There would probably be lots of interesting things in a school. Toys and art supplies. Gym equipment. Lots of books. There had to be food too. Schools had cafeterias. And vending machines.

"If it's safe," Adam said, "then I guess that we can stay."

Shelly cheered. To all of their surprise, Charles did as well.

"What?" the old man asked. "You think I want to keep walking forever?" It was the closest he had come so far to making a complaint.

They laughed.

When they got a bit closer to the school, Adam raised his hand and told everyone to stop. Any amusement they had felt was replaced by concern. "I have to check it out first," he said. "Make sure it's safe."

"I'll go with you," Claire said.

"Me too," Jane added.

Adam hadn't expected Jane to volunteer. He thought she would have dreaded wandering around the school. But the more help, the better
.
So long as Shelly didn't want to come along
.
He wasn't going to allow that.

Luckily, the young girl didn't ask.

Adam took off his backpack and handed Jane and Claire each a gun. They weren’t sure what to do with it. Though up until recently either was he.

He searched for the ammunition in his bag and showed them what he knew of loading it. Then he instructed them on how to point and shoot. That was the easy part
.
Killin
g
was a different story. One he hoped they wouldn't have to do.

"Ready?" he asked.

They were.

BOOK: Glory (Book 5)
6.97Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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