Chapter 3- Humans

2171 Words
Calum’s POV    I was finally home on leave back in Savannah, Georgia. I had been talking with a group of friends from high school about all of us getting together for a few drinks right when we all got back. The six of us were close all through school and all joined the army together. We were all stationed in different places now but it was by chance that we all got leave at the same time.     I had been at the house to see my parents and spend some time with them and to put my things in my old room while I was here. My mom hadn’t changed a thing in there. I spent some time moving around my room looking at all my old things, remembering the various memories. I found an old picture of me and a girl I was once deeply in love with. I hadn’t talked to her in years but kept up with her on social media. She had gone to college after high school while I went off to defend our country. A lot of times I wondered if that was the right thing to do.      My mom was getting dinner ready so I went to bug her in the kitchen as much as I could. Growing up she would cook and I would sit at the table and talk to her, or I would have all my friends over and we would sit at the table and drive her crazy.     “So, what do you plan to do while you're home?” My mom asked me.     “Well, I’m getting together with the old gang tonight for a few beers,” I answered.     “Who all is included in this old gang? I distinctly remember there were eight of you,” she tells me with a smile.     “The only ones we don’t have with us are Alora and Aziel. I text Aziel and he’s been busy with work,” I told her.     “Do you even talk to Alora anymore?” She asked with a weak smile.     “No,” I answered but didn’t go any further than that with the conversation.     I knew she was with someone new. She seemed happy on social media, but I found it odd that after they graduated college this new guy hadn’t turned her into his wife yet.     After I ate dinner with my parents I went to the local VFW cantina to see all the guys. When I got there, all five of them were at a table waiting on me. They saw me as soon as I stepped through the door and all got up to hug me. We were that type of friends.      Quinton is as tall as me with red hair and blue eyes. In high school we called him Red. Treyton is a little shorter than us and had a thinner build. He was a spunky guy with dirty blond hair and blue eyes. Reid is a short stocky guy with blond hair and light brown eyes. Ryland is still a goofy looking dude. He’s a smart guy, just needs to get rid of the glasses. Zane is tall and thin with black hair and dark brown eyes.     We all sat down and started to talk about old times and what we were up to now. None of us had wives and a few of the guys had girlfriends waiting back in the towns they were stationed at. I didn’t have any attachment. It just made my life easier that way.     “What all should we do while we are home?” Treyton asked.     “Relax?” Quinton said.     “You’ve gotten boring in your old age,” Reid said.     We all laughed because Quinton was the oldest of our group. We always made old jokes when it came to him.     “We should take a quick road trip,” Zane said.     “Where too?” I asked.     “San Diego to see Aziel,” he said.     “That’s tempting but that’s on the other side of the country,” I told him and took a drink of my beer.     “It is a long drive but what else do we have to do?” Zane asked.     “Spend time with our parents and other people,” I said.     “Besides we only have a week of leave so I don’t want to waste it in a car with all you idiots,” Quinton said.     I chuckled and took a sip of my drink. We were soon on our third round of beers when we felt the ground under our feet start to shake violently. We all held onto the table and looked around. Everything was shaking and jerking about. How the hell was there an earthquake in Georgia? The lights in the building went out. When the earthquake stopped all of us stood up from our seats to leave the VFW to see what was going on.     I stepped out into the parking lot and looked around. All the lights were going out and suddenly we were in complete darkness. I looked up into the sky to find no moon or stars to be seen. There must be clouds that had moved into the area to block out the night sky.     I went to my truck and tried to start it. It didn’t turn over so I popped the hood to see what was wrong. I heard the other guys trying to start their vehicles too and none of them would start. I grabbed my flashlight to help me see what was going on. I grabbed my phone from my pocket to find it had no service. I guess the earthquake or whatever the hell that was, knocked out all the signal towers close by.     “What the hell do you think is going on?” Quinton asked as he walked up with his own flashlight in hand.     “I have no clue,” I answered.     I looked around as the others came walking up to Quinton and I. Everyone had a flashlight and two of the guys had backpacks full of who knows what. I shined my light around listening to the city go quiet and completely dark. Then I heard the screams in the distance of people in trouble.     “Come on,” I said to everyone and started to lead the way towards the noise.     I had no idea what we were running into but we were all trained to run towards who needed help, not away. Running into the close by neighborhood, I shined my light around to assess the area and see why people were screaming. I saw a lady on the ground who looked like she was struggling to breathe. I knelt down next to her to assess what was going on and to see if I could help her.     “Ma’am I’m here to help,” I said.     I shined my light down on her face to find her skin was turning from red to gray quickly. I placed the back of my hand to her forehead and it was ice cold. I looked around for the others that were in my group. They had found people to try and help also.     “I need you to keep breathing ma’am. Can you tell me what happened?” I asked her calmly.     Within a matter of seconds I heard Treyton scream out, “holy s**t!”     I shined my light over towards him. I watched as he scrambled to his feet grabbing at himself frantically.     “What’s going on with you,” I asked.     “He pointed his hand towards the ground and said in a frantic voice, “he disappeared. Like turned into dust and was just gone. How is that even possible?”    I shined my light to the space where he was pointing to just see clothes and no person. I paned my light around to see people falling to the ground that had turned red. I looked down at the lady that I was helping just to see that she had disappeared like the person Treyton was helping. What the hell was going on?     Quinton came running up to me saying, “Everyone that turned red is then turning gray and then disappearing into dust.”     “We can’t help them then,” I said standing up.     “What if what’s happening to them happens to us?” Reid asked running up to Quinton and I.     “I don’t have an answer. I have no idea what this is,” I tell them.      Soon we all regrouped, still listening to people screaming all around us. We needed to get somewhere. I needed to get home to see how my parents were. We all needed to check on the people we cared about. That would be our first order of business.     “Ok everyone. Go home and check on your parents. Pack supplies if needed and meet me at the old courthouse in an hour,” I told them.     “Got it,” everyone said.     We all went in our separate directions to go check on the status of our loved ones. I reached my parents house within a matter of minutes because I ran. I busted through the front door seeing that everything was dark.     “Mom. Dad,” I called out.    I got no answer so I started searching the house for them. I went to the kitchen first to see my mothers clothes she had been wearing today on the floor. My mother was gone like so many others now were. I felt my heart sag in my chest at the loss of such a great person. I felt the sting of tears in my eyes, and couldn’t find my voice to call for my dad to see if he was still alive.    I stumbled away from the kitchen in pure shock and sadness taking over my body. I stumbled into the living room to find my dad’s clothes there on the hardwood floor next to the couch. I fell to my knees next to his clothes and grabbed the shirt that was there loose on the ground. I shook as I held it in my hands and let the tears fall down my face.     How had this happened? Why had this happened? I needed answers, so I pushed myself to my feet and walked down the hall to my room. I grabbed my bag and got two extra sets of clean clothes packed. I moved to the nightstand and grabbed my pistol, all of the ammo and the holster. I put the holster on my belt and secured my gun to me. I grabbed my portable charger for my phone just in case we got service, though I had no idea who I would call.     I then saw the picture of Alora and me from years ago. I grabbed it, put it in my bag then moved to the bathroom. I packed a first aid kit before going back to the kitchen and getting extra batteries for my flashlight, several bottles of water and rummaged around in the pantry for non perishable foods. I grabbed out several protein bars, dehydrated fruit, and several cans of canned chicken.     I left the house, closing the door behind me. I stood on the sidewalk looking back at the place I grew up, had friends over and made thousands of memories in. I shook my thoughts away and ran for the old courthouse to meet back up with all the guys. I was the first one there so I sat down on the bench out front. I silently started worrying I was the only one that was left.     I started running all the information through my head once more. There had been an earthquake or a shockwave that knocked out all electricity, cell phone service and no vehicle was running. People were dying, but was everyone dying? As I sat there thinking everything over, I heard someone running up. I looked up to find Reid running up with a pack and his flashlight. Then I heard more feet running towards me. Soon all six of us were at the courthouse sharing information.     “Did anyone find any survivors other than us?” I asked.     “No,” everyone answered as they shook their heads.     “How are we the only ones?” Zane asked.     “I wish I had answers, but we need to go looking for survivors, guys,” I said.       With that, we formed a team of six soldiers, moving through the city looking for others to help and to see if we were truly the only ones left.  
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