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Day: April 16, 2021

Smoky Mountains – Epilogue

Smoky Mountains
Jason Crow


The morning after Joel and I made love for the first time, there was some odd tension in the air. Adam and Ellie acted all weird and didn’t look us in the eyes. It took me a while to figure it out, but when I finally asked them, it was clear they had heard us making love.

Adam wasn’t mad or offended. Thank god! But the moment they said they heard us, I almost shit myself, and my stomach churned at the idea we probably had to leave. Adam noticed the tears welling up in my eyes and immediately put me at ease. If we could assure him this was something we both wanted, they’d accept that and let us be. During our talk, I noticed Ellie squirming uncomfortably in her chair. We made it clear to Adam we loved each other, and this was something we both wanted badly. He paused for a second to size us up and then started smiling.

As Adam started explaining how he and Ellie got involved in a sexual relationship, I was shocked initially. But when Joel began to laugh and asked Adam if he was still sure he was gay, the ice was broken. The four of us agreed not to make a fuss about it, but we had to keep the intimacy inside the bedrooms. And that was that. Joel and I averaged on our lovemaking almost twice a day. Most of the days, we started and ended the day with a good, long lovemaking session. The few days we didn’t have sex in the morning, we made up for it in the evening. Or the other way around, of course.

Life inside the shelter was good. Adam and Ellie were very kind to Joel and me, and we all clicked on a personal level. We divided all the chores and even made the dreaded schedule we talked about earlier. After the initial stress about our situation wore off, it was almost as if we were a regular family. Almost.
We were all very strict about keeping the sex inside the bedrooms. There was only one occasion where we ditched this agreement. Joel and I got our first vaccine, where Ellie and Adam took their second. Adam warned us about the side effects, but we waved these off. It couldn’t be that bad. Boy! Was I wrong… Joel and I were watching a movie when I could no longer control myself. I got on my knees in front of the couch and started sucking Joel’s cock while fingering myself furiously. I barely noticed Ellie and Adam walking in, and they didn’t say anything. They just sat down on the couch that was positioned across the room.

I only realized they came in when I sat up to let Joel fuck me. I didn’t care that they were looking. I was too horny to care about that. And the moment Joel started entering me, they went for it too. That was the first and only time I saw Adam’s dick. It looked fat to me and not nearly as lovely as my brother’s. I came A LOT. I lost track, but if I had to guess, it was fourteen or fifteen times. Joel spurted his cum inside me four times before we were both completely spent. Ellie and Adam’s bodies were slamming loudly and obscenely as we looked at them.

Joel and I discreetly left the room and took a shower together. When we came back into the living room, Ellie and Adam were sitting there as if nothing had happened. We flipped on the TV and watched a movie together and didn’t talk about it. When it was time to hit the sack, Adam spoke up and was very clear. This would never happen again. When we got our next shots, we would each stay inside our own bedrooms until the vaccine’s effect wore off.

The funny thing was that neither of us knew if the vaccine had the desired effect. We didn’t dare to test it, and we didn’t just want to rely on some notes on someone’s computer. But we took the vaccine anyway because we figured it wouldn’t hurt us.

The second wave decimated the A.W.A. On all the camera feeds we had available, there were barely any A.W.A. people left. I was both sad and relieved at the same time. The A.W.A. was a bullshit militia we didn’t want to have around. But it killed another bunch of people. And there weren’t too many people left in the world.

The third wave came six days after the second. The fourth and fifth each eighteen days later. Ellie calculated the sixth wave would hit us fifty-four days after that. She was positive about this because each time, it multiplied by three. The sixth wave proved to be the last. Thank god! We waited another fifty-four days for a possible seventh wave. And just to be sure, we stayed down for another two hundred days. But after this, we were sure the bugs had stopped coming but asked SHIVR to keep an eye on the holes in the ground.

The four of us had a very existential discussion about mankind. By the time the fourth wave started, we had contacted thirteen other shelters in the US. Some of these had contacts with other shelters worldwide, so we knew we were not alone. But we did raise the question if we needed to reproduce. Ellie wasn’t ready for that yet, but I wouldn’t mind having a baby. Especially in the safe and secure environment we were in now.

So between the third and fourth wave, we went out with the Cybertruck and gathered some much-needed supplies for that. A baby bed, diapers, bottles, you name it. Adam visited two pharmacies to gather additional medication and the pill for Ellie.

When I started missing my period, we were all thrilled. I had to try one of the pregnancy tests Adam got, and it turned out positive. I was pregnant! We had all the equipment down here to make sure I could deliver the baby, and Adam had quickly grabbed his old study books from the house to catch up on delivering babies.

During my pregnancy, Joel was extraordinarily protective and considerate. He wanted to do my chores so I could rest. Thank god Adam and Ellie talked Joel out of it and convinced Joel I wasn’t sick. Just pregnant. The last few weeks were tough, though. I was getting really nervous about actually giving birth. But the moment our little girl was born, all doubts and uncertainties were gone. Our little Dina was beautiful. A true bundle of joy. I needed a few days to recover, but I was back on my feet sooner than expected.

A week after Dina’s birth, SHIVR suddenly announced there was an incoming message. Adam and Joel went to the control room together since Ellie and I were bathing Dina at that moment. We were drying Dina and putting on her diaper when Joel and Adam came back. The moment I looked at Adam, he scared me. His usual kind, open, and friendly face was completely gone. Adam looked bitter and angry.

Joel told us about how Robert contacted us. At first, Adam was thrilled to talk to Robert. But it quickly became clear Robert had left Adam, Ryan, and Ellie to join an elite group of people inside a government bunker. Robert was one of the people selected by the government in a secret program. He lived inside that bunker surrounded by scientists, artists, politicians, and other ‘vital people for society’ for over a year now, with the task to stay alive and form a new society together. Adam was devastated that Robert had left him. Robert tried defending his actions by saying he pointed Adam, Ryan, and Ellie to the shelter behind the house. But Adam would hear nothing about that. He just couldn’t believe the love of his life left him in such a selfish act.

After Adam left the room to be alone, Joel also told us how Robert had confessed he found himself a new boyfriend. He apologized dozens of times for that. Robert said he assumed we were dead. He just kept defending himself and pressed that he did everything in his power he could. He sent some morse-code signals to us, which was strictly forbidden. He supplied Adam with the thumb drive, which could’ve cost him his spot inside the bunker. And he kept saying that he did show us the safety of the shelter. So Robert was convinced it wasn’t his fault. According to Joel, this was the moment something snapped in Adam. He just walked away and let Joel finish the call, which was something Adam would never do under normal circumstances. Joel said he didn’t mind. Had it been up to him, the call would’ve ended way earlier.

It took Adam a few days to recover. We only saw him during breakfast and dinner. He locked himself inside the storage room to work on the Flux Capacitor. He stopped trying to fix it a few months before, but when he came out of that room, he had a massive smile on his face and was holding the Flux Capacitor triumphantly in front of him. From that day on, we started wearing clothes inside the shelter, and we basically never talked about Robert again. I tried it once, but Adam said Robert was dead to him, and he couldn’t care less about what happened to him.

Almost two years after the first wave, the country was getting back to a new normal. The rough estimate about the current population was that there were about sixteen million Americans left. I was shocked when I first heard this number. We quickly learned the US had done quite well because of all the preppers. The UK was left with a little under four million. The world had lost more than 99 percent of its people. A mind-blowing number.

In the US, we had a new president, a small army, and a police force. A few hospitals, spread out across the country, had opened their doors, and a medicine distribution system was set up. The USA was now roughly divided into four quarters. Each quarter had two small hospitals near former big cities. But no one wanted to live in the cities anymore, so these were moved to other places soon enough. Everybody preferred to live in the country now.

As time passed, small communities had formed, each of them completely self-sustaining. Most of the bodies had been removed from the streets and out of public buildings. These were burnt in huge piles because burying them all was simply too much work. The four of us gave Ryan a proper funeral between the fourth and fifth wave. We found a nice spot under an old willow at the edge of Adam’s yard, close to the former National Park.

The housing estate near our shelter got occupied after the fifth wave. About twenty-five people started living there, and we kept close contact with them. The nearest significant settlement was a two-hour drive away. This settlement housed around a hundred-fifty people and was a big city by modern standards. We visited it regularly, but we all preferred the shelter. We took a vote on living inside the shelter or move to the house above the ground. Only Joel wanted to go and live in the house. He didn’t have a real reason for it, other than that we should live above the ground instead of hiding like bats in a cave. The fact that we’d have to miss SHIVR when we’d move out was all the convincing Joel needed to stay underground.

Joel and I noticed Adam and Ellie slowly drifting apart. They started visiting the estate near us every now and then. But they ended up going there almost every day. Adam met a cute guy about half his age, and they became lovers soon enough. Adam started sleeping there every other day, leaving the three of us alone with Dina inside the shelter. We didn’t mind too much. Joel and I were a family now, and we could take care of our own. Adam’s boyfriend had a younger brother, and the day he was introduced to us, it immediately became clear Ellie was very interested.

Blake was a year older than Ellie, and he was a very handsome, very friendly guy. Three months after Ellie and Blake started dating, Ellie asked if he could move in with us. We ended up living down there with the four of us and eventually had five kids. Joel and I were blessed with a boy, Tommy. Ellie and Blake got twin boys and a girl. They did what the new government asked of us. They wouldn’t force us, but people were urged to get three kids or more to get the country back up and running. We figured two great kids were enough for Joel and me. We never quit having sex, thank god!

Interestingly, we never learned the truth about the bugs and where they came from. The new government did put the best scientists on it, but they never really figured it out. After some research, it was positive they weren’t alien. Using carbon dating on the bugs, they learned that some of these were almost a million years old. So the global consensus was that it was some sort of fail-safe mechanism from mother earth. An emergency brake on global overpopulation.
Joel and I ended up growing old together, raising our two magnificent kids to be kind and decent people inside an entirely new world. Looking back now, I think we did a fantastic job.

The End.

Copyright 2021 – Jason Crow
All rights reserved

hoc ultimum non dolor sed agendas

That’s it! My first ever novel-sized story. I can only hope you all enjoyed it. I had a lot of fun writing it and learned a lot while writing. It started out as a project I wanted to do just for myself. If one or two people enjoyed it too, this would already be a nice side effect. But this honestly wasn’t my main focus. Looking back, I was a bit scared the ‘Plot only’ chapters would put people off, but I didn’t hear any complaints about that. From the beginning, it was clear to me that I didn’t want to have a sex scene every chapter. I had a story to tell. Yes, that story contains sex which is interesting for a niche group of readers. But the story was more important than the sex to me. I assume you understand. Oh. Before I forget… Sorry about the dream sequence in chapter three! I usually hate dream sequences in stories, but I needed some action at that point and couldn’t come up with anything else. So my deepest apologies for that.

I also feel the need to apologize for a few things. First of all: Asheville. This city was kind of randomly chosen. I visited the region a few years ago while I was on holiday there with my family. It’s a beautiful area, especially around the N.P. I was ‘scouting’ for a location where the story should take place (I use Google Maps for that…) I came across the area, and it immediately brought back some memories. I stumbled across it after reading an article about the opiate crisis and that a county in that region (sorry, I lost the article) had a lot of troubles with it. I needed a place with these problems, and since its location was familiar ánd near the N.P., the area was set. Nothing personal about it, and I felt the need to make clear why this location.

The next thing I want to apologize for is the use of some words. I hate the ‘N-word’, for example but I needed to use these words to create the much needed tension. And I needed a way to make the A.W.A. (COMPLETELY fictional and cliché, by the way!) more evil in its intentions. And the A.W.A. was randomly chosen. There is no link whatsoever to N.W.A., MAGA, N.B.A., A.S.A., NASA, W.W.F., or any other stupid shit. It is fictional. Period. If you think differently, I’m sorry. But it is what it is.

As always, I couldn’t do it alone. Edward-of-Ford helped me out with proofreading. He gave me some precious pointers for my next story too. Thank you SO much, E-o-F!!! I really couldn’t have done it without you! He is a very talented writer, and he writes about the stuff I like. So I guess you’d like it too! Check out his stories here: https://archiveofourown.org/users/Edward_or_Ford. And drop him a message if you like what he did. I know he’ll appreciate it.

I know a lot of you would like to see the story continue. But don’t get your hopes up. This won’t happen. Not by me, at least. And I know a lot of you would’ve like to read about all four of them gettin’ jiggy. But IMHO this was just too far-fetched and out of character for at least Adam, Joel, and Mia. Ellie is a bit more adventurous, but she’s a minority in this group. I wanted to focus primarily on Joel and Mia’s budding relationship. I used Adam and Ellie for added excitement and story arch.

Another thing you also may have noticed is the Epilogue. I added it later, and I feel bad about it. It just isn’t ‘on par’ with the rest of the story, but I just couldn’t do better, and the story could use some closure. I wrote it a while after the story itself was done, and it shows. I need to find a way for my mind to get back to the story. It didn’t work this time. I struggled with the same problem in the Zafar story, which made me decide to publish only when the story is finished. That, to me, is the only way for me to stay involved in the story enough at the moment.

All in all, I hope you liked my efforts. It took me almost nine months to write. I’ll focus on one or two short(er) stories now. Maybe I’ll write another big one in the (near) future but I haven’t figured out the premise for it yet. And no! It won’t be Smoky Mountains Part two! So stop bugging me about that 😀
Thanks for all the comments! These really motivate me to keep going.

Stay safe!

Thanks again, Ed!

Smoky Mountains – Chapter 26

Smoky Mountains
Jason Crow

Chapter 26 – Race against time
Day 6.

The moment I ran outside, I knew we were safe. There, in the middle of the street, was a big Cybertruck. It had a massive dent on its left front and a headlight was missing because of that. There were also a lot of scratches over the entire left side. Adam was standing beside it, looking around to see if he could find us. I ran over and threw myself at him, my arms tightly around his neck.

“You came for us!!” I said, kissing him on his cheek as tears rolled down mine.

“Yeah. I couldn’t just leave you here. Could I?”

“Hi, Adam! Great to see you, man!” Joel said, trying to act all cool and giving him a fistbump. But I could hear the relief in his voice clearly.

“Come here!” Adam responded and gave my brother a tight hug.

I looked at the car, and it looked great! I never expected Adam to come and get us, so I couldn’t believe our luck. I brushed my fingers over the dent on the front and looked at Adam.

“I’ll explain later,” He said. “Hurry! Get the stuff you need and throw it in the back. Ellie and I calculated we should make it, but it’ll be tight. So hurry!”

Adam opened the trunk, and we each grabbed the clothes, the guns, and our backpacks. These were still lying on the ground in the middle of the street. I was carrying the bag from my last food run, so I threw that in too. Adam got behind the wheel and Joel got in next to him. I closed the trunk, and the moment I was in, Adam raced off. He drove off with such speed, my door slammed shut by itself.

This was something I never felt before. I was pinned into my seat with such force I thought only racecars could deliver. This was a pickup truck. Not a racecar. And on top of that, there was no loud sound of a roaring engine. Nothing but the wind floating by the car as we rocketed away.

“Buckle up,” Adam said. “Turns out we’ve only got ten minutes left. It will be close.”

I’ve never seen anyone drive like this. Adam floored it toward the corner and pressed the brakes really hard, just before rounding the corner. His steering motions were tight and deliberate, and he had a very focused look on his face. The moment we were on a relatively straight part of the road, I finally managed to fasten the seatbelt.

“You’ve done this before?” Joel timidly asked with his hands firmly around the handle above his door.

“Yeah. Robert and I took an advanced driver training course at the Road Atlanta circuit,” Adam said without taking his eyes off the road. “My grandfather on my mother’s side is Finnish, so I wanted to pay tribute to my rally driving roots.”

“I see,” Joel responded. “What about the broken headlight?”

“That? Well… That was just… one second,” Adam said.

There was a big car standing in the middle of the road, almost blocking the road in front of us. But according to the tracks in the grass beside it, Adam already figured out how to avoid the car. Adam almost didn’t slow down and steered into the grass. Through the front window, I could see the steep ravine beyond the small patch of grass. I sucked in a breath from fear, but Adam didn’t seem to care about the canyon. And I had to admit his steering was top-notch.

“There was a big truck in the middle of the road. I couldn’t get around it, so I pushed it out of the way,” Adam continued after we were back on the road again.

“Why did you do this?” I asked.

“Do what? Bump into that truck? I couldn’t get to you without doing that. And It’s only a… WOW… car,” Adam said, barely avoiding a crossing deer.

“No. I mean, why did you come and get us. You put yourself in danger for two strangers,” I said.

Adam paused for a second, and I saw him looking at me in the rearview mirror. I noticed Joel looking at him expectantly as we were flying over this mountain road.

“Look, Mia. Yes. We are strangers. But in this new world, there aren’t that many good people left. And my parents always taught me to help other people whenever you can. If you can’t have it in your heart to help other people, then why do you have a heart?” he said, and I thought I saw a small tear in the corner of his eye.

“And you’re two really nice kids. That helps a lot too,” he smiled.

“I don’t know how we can ever repay you, Adam,” Joel said.

“You don’t need to repay me! I don’t need or expect anything in return. The only thing I ask you two is to help out when we’re at the shelter. You know… cleaning, cooking, laundry. We’ll make a schedule and divide the work. We’re not a hotel. That’s all there is to it.”

“Of course!” I said. “It’s just that… We’ve never met anybody who was kind to us without expecting something in return, you know?” I said, realizing how it must sound but not caring about that.

“And now you have. One sec. There’s the truck,” Adam said, slamming his foot on the brake.

We slowed down to a walking pace. Our car barely fit through the small gap between the truck and the rocky wall to our right. Adam steered carefully, but I was sure that one week ago, he would’ve driven it with a lot more care than he did now. The loud screeching noise on the left caused Adam to groan softly.

“Thought I had it. Damn! Ah well… At least both sides are evenly scratched now. I’ll just tell people it’s part of the exterior package we purchased with it,” Adam giggled.

And off we were again. I checked my phone and noticed we had only seven minutes left. I didn’t know how much longer we needed to drive, but the anxiety was building inside rapidly.

“How much further, Adam?” I asked, unable to resist any longer.

“About four or five minutes. Why don’t you climb into the back and make sure everything is in a bag. We need to be able to take everything in just one run. The road is basically one straight line from now on.”

I quickly unbuckled and climbed over the back seats into the big trunk. I took all the bags lying around in the trunk and filled them with the clothes and the other stuff. It took me a few minutes, and then I dropped the bags into the back seat. I called Joel, who turned around, and I handed him the shotgun. I took the rifle and crawled back in the seat, right before Adam took a sharp turn onto a practically hidden road.

“This is our driveway,” Adam said. “I’ll stop the truck near the entrance. Get ready to get out.”

I handed Joel his backpack and made sure the other bags were within reach when we’d get out. I was feeling pretty hyped and looked at my phone to see we had four minutes left. Since it was an estimate by SHIVR, it might as well be too late now. Or we could still have hours left. But I was glad we didn’t have to take that chance.

The moment Adam slammed the brakes, we all opened the doors simultaneously. I noticed an odd-looking elevator coming out of the ground, which reminded me vaguely about the Dr. Who elevator. I guessed that was where we were supposed to go.

“Got everything?” Adam asked.

“Just that bag left,” I said, pointing.

Adam grabbed the bag, and the three of us sprinted toward the elevator. I noticed a small, mummified body lying near the entrance and was curious about that but decided it could wait. The moment we were inside, Adam pressed a button, and the elevator went down.

“Just the airlock left, and we’re completely safe,” Adam said, looking impatient.

I glanced around and noticed how futuristic it all looked down here. The white walls, indirect lighting, and overall look were even more impressive in real life. When Ellie showed it to us with her phone, it was amazing. But looking at it in real life was even better.

After the airlock door opened, Ellie came running and threw herself at Adam. I couldn’t resist the urge and threw myself at my brother. We hugged tighter than we ever hugged before.

“We made it, Mia,” Joel whispered in my ear.

“I love you, Joel,” I whispered back.

I broke the hug and turned around to hug Adam. I wrapped my arms around his neck again, and this time he hugged back firmly.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!” I said as tears streamed down my cheeks.

“You’re welcome, Mia! I’m SO glad you’re here now.”

We hugged like that for over a minute, and as we broke the hug, I kissed him on his cheek. Adam smiled weakly, and I could see the tears in his eyes too. The weight I felt lifted from my shoulders was unimaginable. I thought that no matter what would happen now, I would be safe. Safe and surrounded by people that genuinely cared about me.

When I looked over at Joel, Ellie was hugging him, and I felt a slight sting of jealousy shoot through me. It was a short sting, and I had to force myself to ignore it. Seeing my brother hug an attractive girl dressed in her underwear hit me harder than I ever would have imagined. After she broke her hug, Ellie turned, smiled widely, and gave me a firm hug, causing my sting to vanish instantly.

This girl wasn’t after my brother. She was just as glad to see us as we were to be safe inside this shelter. And the way she was dressed. Well… I couldn’t blame her. It was smoking hot down here!

“The bugs are making casualties in the city, Ellie,” a female voice, obviously SHIVR, said suddenly.

We got into a control room and looked silently at the monitors. On the screens, there were a lot of uniformed men falling to the ground. The way it happened was precisely like we saw on the Instagram posts before. These were the same bugs, alright.

“Holy fuck. They’re really back,” Joel said beside me. “And they didn’t see them coming.”

I noticed Ellie and Adam glancing at Joel. It took me a second to realize, but it was probably because of what Joel said. I figured I’d talk to Joel about it but needed a diversion now.

“I don’t mind these idiots going down. They brought it on themselves,” I said with venom in my voice.

“I agree,” Adam said. “But no one deserves to go like this, you know? And we’re lucky to have Ellie and SHIVR. They saw it coming where no one expected a second wave.”

“We’ll have to keep an eye out for the third and fourth then. And, damn! It sure is hot down here!” I said as we all had seen enough and left the control room.

“Why do you think I’m dressed like this?” Ellie giggled.

“Yeah… Well…” Adam stammered. “The Flux Capacitor is broken.”

“Huh? The thing that made the DeLorean go back in time?” Joel asked, surprised.

“Finally!” Adam cheered. “You know that movie?”

“Of course I do! It’s one of the best time-traveling movies of all time! And funny as shit,” Joel said, laughing.

“Some geeky engineer came up with this name for the unit that handles the airflow down here. It’s broken, and I can’t seem to fix it. Maybe we can check it out together?”

“Love to!” Joel exclaimed.

“Slow down, Uncle Adam. Let them get settled in first. And it’s already late. So let’s do that tomorrow, okay?” Ellie smiled.

“Right. Ehh… Follow me. I’ll show you your room,” Adam said, leading the way.

As we walked down the hall, I was very impressed with the way it looked. We saw it on the digital tour Ellie gave us earlier but seeing it was even more impressive in real life. Adam led us to a decent-sized bedroom with a closet for our clothes and a king-size bed with crisp white sheets on it.

“Why don’t you two make yourself comfortable? The bathroom is over there. I reckon you’d like a nice, hot shower after all these days?”

“I’ll go first!” we said at the same time, causing Ellie and Adam to laugh at the way we looked and acted.

“Well… There’s a two-headed shower in there. You can take one together if you want. That way, you won’t have to fight who’s first. I don’t care,” Adam smiled.

I looked at Joel, and he just shrugged.

“I don’t care. We couldn’t help seeing each other naked during these last days. I just want my shower,” he said, acting all innocent.

“You go first then. I’ll hop in after you. Just make sure there’s warm water left for me,” I said reluctantly.

I wanted nothing more than to take a shower with my brother. But I didn’t want us to look like perverts either. I knew we eventually couldn’t hide our love for each other, but this wasn’t the time or place yet. I noticed Joel looking all disappointed, and I winked at him to let him know it was fine.

“Go ahead. Clean towels are inside,” Ellie smiled. “We’ll start working on dinner. You can join us if you like, Mia. Or just relax in your room. Whatever you want.”

“Thanks! I guess I’ll help you then. I love to cook!” I said.

“Great. Oh, Joel?” Ellie said just before Joel entered the bathroom. “If I were you, I’d only wear a minimal amount of clothing after your shower. The temperature won’t go down anytime soon.”

I noticed Joel’s eyes roaming over Ellie’s body. As she said this, I did the same, and I couldn’t blame Joel. Ellie sure had a nice body. But I liked Joel’s way more!

We started making dinner together. It wasn’t anything significant, but as Ellie and I started working on it, we urged Adam out of the kitchen. We convinced him to let the girls handle it this time. Ellie and talked a lot during the cooking and I really started to like her. She was a genuinely kind person with a good sense of humor and a strong opinion about many things. Especially the ‘A.W.A. issue’ as she called it. About halfway through making dinner, Joel entered the kitchen. He was wearing his new boxers with his penis clearly outlined in them. The moment I looked at my brother, I felt my vagina moisten considerably. Of course, Ellie looked at Joel’s body too. Who wouldn’t?

“The shower is free,” Joel simply said.

I looked over at Ellie, and she just smiled at me and gave me a subtle nod.

“You go. We’re almost done in here, so I’ll finish it. Just don’t take too long,” she smiled.

As I walked away, I felt that sting inside me again. Joel and Ellie were both in their underwear alone in the kitchen. What if Joel liked her better? What if he lost interest in me? I liked Ellie a lot, but I wouldn’t let her take Joel away from me.

“Why don’t you wait in the living room with Uncle Adam, Joel?” I heard Ellie say. “I’ve got it covered in here.”

That put me at ease. Ellie didn’t seem to be interested. Or if she was, at least I could take a shower now without having to worry about her preying on Joel. As the warm and relaxing water cascaded down my body, I felt my worries about Ellie fade away. Joel loved me. He said so himself, so why would he want another girl? The more I thought about it, the sillier I felt. We had to be grateful for what we had now. All the other stuff was unimportant. I had Joel by my side down here, and that was all that mattered.

After I dried off, I stood in the middle of the bathroom, hesitant about my outfit. I brought a tank top and a sports bra with me but hadn’t decided what to wear yet. The sports bra would show off my belly but made my boobs look smaller. The tank top would show off my boobs better but would be less revealing. After a small internal struggle, I decided to go for the tank top. I would look more like Ellie that way which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. This way, I was also sure not to provoke anything. After I pulled up my clean panties and pulled down my tank top, I opened the bathroom door. The smell was delicious, and I felt my mouth water instantly.

“MIA! Oh… There you are already,” Ellie smiled as she rounded the corner from the kitchen into the hallway.

We ate dinner together at the small kitchen table, talking about everything that happened over the last few days. After dinner was finished, the boys cleaned the kitchen, and we went into the living room to talk some more. Adam was in his boxers now too. After the initial awkwardness of seeing everybody in their underwear, I hardly noticed it anymore.

“Well… I don’t know about you, but I could use a drink,” Adam said. “You want something too?”

Judging by the whiskey bottle Adam was holding in his hands, it was apparent he wasn’t offering a diet coke. I glanced at Joel, and I could see the doubt in his eyes. But after only a slight hesitation, he lifted his hand and thanked Adam politely. Adam looked at me, and I felt the need to explain ourselves.

“We don’t have very good experiences with people drinking alcohol,” I softly said. “Don’t get me wrong! It isn’t a problem if you take one, Adam. It’s just that… Well… we both decided not to drink. At least not yet.”

“I respect that. And it’s a very wise decision too! But I like to celebrate you two are finally down here with us. So yeah, I’m taking one,” Adam smiled warmly as he poured his drink.

Ellie got some soda for the three of us, and we chatted a lot more. Adam had two glasses of whiskey altogether, and he wasn’t getting angry or rude. He basically stayed the same kind guy he was when we first met him. In all my life, I’ve never felt more welcome and accepted as I did now. It was as if someone draped a warm blanket over us and asked us to cuddle up against him.

“I don’t know about you, kids. But it’s been an exhausting day. I’m turning in,” Adam said between yawns.

We cleaned up in the living room and walked over to our bedrooms, where we stopped in front of the doors. I looked at Adam and Ellie and gave each of them another firm hug. Joel did the same, and we laughed at the clumsiness of the hug between Joel and Adam.

“Good night, kids. See you in the morning. You can sleep in as long as you like. This time!” he said with mock seriousness, after which he started laughing.

“Good night,” Joel and I said at the same time, and we entered our room.

“I like them,” I softly said after the door closed.

I walked in first and could feel Joel’s presence behind me. I expected him to say something, but instead, he pressed his body against my back and started kissing me in my neck. His hands roamed over my belly, and before I knew it, they were under my top, slowly working their way up.

“Hmmm…” I purred.

Both Joel’s hands gripped my breasts simultaneously. They started kneading them, occasionally pinching my nipples between his thumb and index finger. My pussy was getting nice and wet, and feeling Joel pressing his hard-on against my ass only intensified that. Joel lifted my top in one swift motion, leaving me topless. The moment he lifted my top, I turned around and kissed my brother hard on his mouth. Joel returned the kiss and opened his mouth to let my tongue enter. My hands had a will of their own, and before I realized it, they were inside Joel’s boxers, cupping his tight butt.

In the meantime, Joel’s hands found their way to my breasts again, and he was back to massaging them, causing an occasional moan from me. My left hand started moving inside Joel’s boxers past his hips toward my final goal. As I wrapped my fist around the rock-hard shaft, Joel moaned loudly, but it was stifled by my mouth. I didn’t know yet how thick these walls were, but we couldn’t make too much noise, I reckoned.

As I was examining every inch of my brother’s hard dick and feeling his hands roam my body, I realized something. This was the boy who almost gave his life to rescue me. He would do anything he could to protect me. And he loved me. He really loved me. Not just the sex. He loved me. Mia. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him, no matter how long or short my life would be, considering the situation.

“Joel?” I whispered.

“Hmmm….” He moaned. “What is it?”

“I want to feel you inside me,” I softly said, lightly squeezing his dick.

Joel stopped moving altogether and looked me deep in my eyes. I couldn’t place the look on his face, and as time seemed to freeze, I noticed a smile forming. First, it was in his eyes and gradually moved down to his cheeks and mouth.

He didn’t say anything. Instead, he grabbed me by my waist and lifted me off the ground. He kissed the spot between my boobs and neck, which I learned was a very erogenous spot on my body. Joel turned toward the bed and gently laid me down on it. He started kissing me again, and as I felt his entire body pressed against me, I felt butterflies all over my body. The pressure of his hard, boxer-clad dick against my pussy. My hard nipples pressed against his tight upper body. I felt like every nerve in my skin was on high-alert.

The moment Joel started kissing down my neck, sucking each of my nipples as he went lower, I knew I made the right decision. Joel would be gentle and put my well-being over his own pleasure any time. I surrendered myself entirely to my brother’s will. I knew he was nervous as hell since it was his first time too. But because the way he was going seemed so natural and controlled, I wasn’t scared anymore, only anxious to feel what it would be like.

His hands started tugging at my panties, and I lifted my butt briefly to help Joel get them off. As I felt them slide down my legs, Joel kissed the top of my pussy, briefly brushing his tongue over my clit. His body was moving, and as he kissed me some more, I realized he was taking his boxers off. After he started kissing his way up to my face again, I knew I was right. The moment I felt his dick brush against my knee, I knew I wasn’t going to be a virgin much longer.

Joel moved so slow, the tension was almost killing me. The kisses were extraordinarily nice, and feeling his strong, naked body against mine was mindblowing. But I wanted to feel him. Feel his hard cock enter me. Feel him shoot his hot cum inside my soaking wet pussy. Feel… I suddenly realized I was hornier than I’ve ever been before.

Joel was kissing my neck again, and I heard myself moan uncontrollably. The moment I felt the tip of his dick press against my entrance, I stopped moaning and opened my eyes. I looked into my brother’s eyes and saw nothing but love and tenderness. We didn’t need words, nods, or other body language. We knew what was next. And we both wanted it badly.

Joel started applying some pressure, and I felt his dickhead slowly entering me. I sucked in a breath without realizing it, and Joel immediately stopped moving and looked worried. I placed my left hand on top of his butt, gently pressing down on it. All the while looking into his eyes. The concerned look vanished, and Joel pushed a bit harder now.

“Oh my god! This is happening!” A voice inside my head screamed.

My brother’s fourteen-year-old penis inched its way into my fourteen-year-old vagina, taking our virginities with it. He occasionally stopped to make sure I was okay. I secretly wished he didn’t do that. I wanted to feel him all the way inside me. I wanted him to start pounding away. I wanted… I was feeling filled up but in a good way. The rim of his dickhead was touching the insides of my pussy in a remarkable way. This was way better than any dildo or finger could ever make me feel.

The moment his pubes merged with mine and our pubic bones met, I felt the tip of his dick press against something deep inside me. I didn’t know what it was, but it added another level to this already incredible wave of pleasure. My right hand joined my left on top of my brother’s butt, and I softly kissed him on his lips. The look on his face had changed from concentrated to horny as hell instantly. He slipped his tongue into my mouth and hungrily started Frenching me, keeping his lower body perfectly still.

“Fuck me, Joel. Please. Fuck me,” I whispered, not wanting to wait a moment longer.

As Joel started moving back, fireworks went off before my eyes. It felt as if I was about to leave my body as my entire skin started tingling. This all stopped the moment Joel slipped out. Luckily, this lasted less than a second due to a slight move of his hips. He easily slid back in, only this time he slid it in in one quick motion. As his pubic bone slammed against mine, my clit was smashed between our bodies, causing my pussy to contract sharply. I wasn’t cumming, but this was damn close to that same feeling. He moved out again but stopped just in time before he slid out. Joel used long, slow motions, opposed to the rabbit-like thrust I heard Brandi talk about. I couldn’t judge yet, but those could hardly be better than this.

The tingles in my body increased even more, and my pussy contracted again. This happened each time Joel slapped his pelvis against mine. With each thrust, the tingles increased. I was feeling all sorts of new feelings. They were so intense that I didn’t feel my orgasm coming. Joel and I kept looking into each other’s eyes the entire time, but I could see Joel’s focus was off. I already saw that look and knew he was really close too.

“Cum inside me…” I managed to say right before my orgasm hit me.

My whole body stiffened, and I dug my fingers into my brother’s butt. My pussy never contracted this sharply, and I could barely breathe. The fireworks were now replaced by bright flashes of light, and it felt as if I was lifted off the bed. But since Joel was lying on top of me, this wasn’t possible. I lost all sense of time and space and didn’t know if I was alive or dead. I was only feeling that hard piece of flesh inside me. As I was slowly drifting back, I heard Joel moan:

“Ohhh… I’m… Ahhh…”

That moment Joel’s body stiffened. I felt his dick start kicking inside my pussy. Feeling the warm sperm coating my insides, pushed me back up in the clouds. My skin was on fire, and I was positive I’d have a muscle ache from all the contractions inside my pussy. But I didn’t care. Right now, it was only Joel and me making love. We weren’t having sex, and we sure as hell weren’t fucking. We were making love. During my entire life, this was what I imagined making love would be.

As I slowly regained my vision, I felt Joel collapse on top of me. I liked feeling his entire weight on me, and I moved my hands from his butt to his back to give him a warm embrace. My pussy was still contracting every now and then. These contractions caused Joel’s dick to twitch again, which caused my pussy to contract again. After this happened a few times, we both started to giggle.

“Stop it, Mia, I’m not a machine!” Joel said, smiling, and he lifted his face to look me in my eyes.

His look got all serious, and his hand lovingly brushed a hair out of my face.

“I love you,” we said exactly at the same time.

This moment couldn’t be more sincere. We didn’t even giggle or chuckle. It was a deep, heartfelt expression of our love for each other. Joel started to move, and the moment I felt his softening penis leave me, I felt a vague feeling of emptiness. Not a physical emptiness, but a more spiritual one. My brother and I had become one during our first intercourse. Joel laid down next to me, and I turned on my side to let him spoon me. The room was warm enough to sleep without sheets, which was good because I wasn’t going to get up anymore. The events of the last six days drained me out, and feeling Joel drape his arm over me and cuddling up against my back caused me to slowly drift off into a deep, dream-filled sleep.

Right before I fell asleep, the notion of our luck and the current situation hit me again. I was safe in my brother’s arms. We were safe, and no one or nothing could harm us now. We were together, and we were safe!

The End.

Copyright 2021 – Jason Crow
All rights reserved

This is it! I can now check the ‘Write a Novel’ box on my bucket list. The story ends here, but I felt obliged to write an Epilogue. To some, the story might end to abruptly. So that’s why. My thoughts and ideas about this whole journey (not just for the characters, but for me too) are written at the bottom of the Epilogue. If you, like me, are happy with the story and like to make up your own universe after this, I recommend to skip the Epilogue (maybe just my comments at the bottom). It’s not entirely up to par with the rest of the story, and only ties up a few loose ends. If you’re fine with loose ends, just leave it at this.
I realize this is the first time I recommend to NOT read a story of mine :D. But hey! Do what you think is right. I just hope you enjoyed my hard work. After this, a short, sex-only story. After that? Who knows…

Leave a comment, drop me an email, post something on Twitter… Just let me know what your thoughts about the story are. I enjoyed writing it, now I’m curious what you think of it. Just hope you had fun.

et semper postquam feliciter vixit

Smoky Mountains – Chapter 25

Smoky Mountains
Jason Crow

Chapter 25 – Wildlife
Day 6.

During the last stop, I took off my fleece vest. The road was slowly but steadily going uphill, and I was starting to sweat pretty heavily.

“Can we pause for a minute, Joel?” I asked, panting a bit.

“Let’s stop around that corner up ahead,” I hear Joel say from behind me.

After we rounded the corner, we got off and took another sip from our drinking bottles. I looked at Joel and noticed he was sweating too. We didn’t talk too much to get our breaths back, but I felt hungry, and I figured Joel was also hungry. So I reached into the bag fitted around my front wheel and grabbed us both a high-protein energy bar.

As we started munching them down, I noticed the phone was quiet. When I took my phone out of my pocket, I gave a big sigh of relief because I saw we were still connected. They’d probably just muted us for some reason.

“Ellie? Are you still there?” I asked.

Nothing. I glanced at Joel, who looked at me with a puzzled look on his face. The moment I wanted to ask again, Adam’s voice came on the phone.

“One second, Mia. We’re looking into something here. We’ll get back to you as soon as we know more. Can you two start pedaling again? Just in case?”

“Sure thing, Adam. We just finished eating our protein bars,” I responded casually.

I pressed mute on my phone and signaled Joel to do the same. After he did this, I stepped close to him and pretended to fix his shirt.

“Adam sounded worried. Do you think anything’s wrong?” I whispered.

“I noticed that too. But I guess our only option is to trust them and do what they say. They’ve got the bigger picture.”

“Guess you’re right. I just hope it’s not the A.W.A. following us for killing these two assholes,” I trailed off.

“If they are, I’m sure Adam and Ellie will find a solution for it,” Joel said confidently.

We unmuted our phones, climbed back on our bikes, and rode off again. Joel rode beside me, and we were currently at a flat spot of the road, so we decided to step it up a bit and make up for the lost time.

“Ehm… Listen up, guys,” Adam’s voice came on. “We’ve got some bad news and are not going to lie about it.”

“Oh, oh,” was my immediate response.

“Yeah… We’re looking at the satellite feed from Brazil, and uh… I’ll just say it. They’re back.”

These words felt like a punch to the stomach. I looked over at Joel, and all the color had vanished from his face. He stared blankly at the road.

“You mean the bugs, right?” I asked, making sure we were talking about the same thing.

“I’m afraid so,” he softly said.

“Fuck! We should’ve stayed in the store,” Joel said beside me.

“Don’t, Joel. You know that’s not true,” I said, looking at him sternly.

“But there’s also some good news,” Adam said, trying to steer us away from conflict.

“Shoot!” I said, really curious how there could be any good news in this.

“According to SHIVR’s calculations, they won’t be here in another five hours. According to your average speed up until now, we’ve got about thirty minutes to spare. So you’ll make it in time to get down in the shelter with us.”

“Fucking hell…” Joel mumbled.

I couldn’t help but agree. I just didn’t say it out loud. This would mean another four and a half hours of cycling. Without stopping.

“According to our calculations, you’ve got room for two short brakes,” Adam said flatly. “And considering we’ve got thirty minutes to spare, AND considering these thirty minutes are a pretty conservative calculation, we guess that you’ll make it in time.”

“Okay then…” I said. “Well… Nothing to do than to step it up and keep going.”

We pedaled like this for a few minutes, each lost in their own thoughts. I felt the need to take the edge off and wanted to talk. The subject didn’t matter to me, as long as we talked and not thinking about bugs.

“So it was you started calling us on the landline, right?” I asked while pedaling steadily.

“Yeah. We were,” Ellie responded. ”SHIVR pointed out the cellphone masts were going down, and almost at the same time, we saw these two guys approaching the store.”

“Yeah. They told us they did that on purpose. They didn’t know how we did it. Still, they just assumed we were calling someone who initiated the speaker-thing inside the apartment building,” Joel added.

“Adam and I didn’t know what else to do. We figured that simulating an S.O.S. signal by calling the landline three times with pauses in between was the only way to warn you,” Ellie said, a bit embarrassed.

“It worked. We woke up in time, and we… uh… handled it,” I said, glancing over at Joel.

“You can’t imagine how thrilled we were when we eventually heard your voices!” Ellie said in a blatant attempt to avoid talking about how we handled it.

“Listen… We didn’t say it yet. But thank you. Your actions probably saved our lives,” Joel said thoughtfully.

“I’m glad you look at it this way, Joel,” Adam’s voice said, “but as I said earlier, we’re in this together. And I was scared shitless the moment I saw these men go inside with no way for us to reach you. So… You’re welcome, but please! Don’t mention it! We’re so glad we can help you guys this way. And you’re basically doing it on your own. We’re just remote assistance from some call center.”

I heard Joel and Ellie laughing, and I had to laugh too. So, for now, we were more than okay together, and I wouldn’t want to waste any more words on it.

“Just keep going, guys. You’re doing great! We’ll keep the line open and let you know if there’s any news we need to share. You need to focus on getting here as quickly as you can,” Ellie said.

And that’s precisely what we did. We rode for an hour straight, making some occasional small talk. We were making good progress, and the road SHIVR had picked was clear from debris or other nasty stuff. With each corner we rounded and hilltop we reached, my confidence in getting there in time grew. We were exiting a small group of houses when Joel slowed down and stopped.

“Fuck me. We need to ditch some items to make our bikes a bit lighter. We don’t need to haul a fucking tent with us. We’re not going to use it. And if we do need it, we’re screwed anyway.”

“Didn’t think of that. You’re right, Joel!” I said and started untying the sleeping bags and other stuff we didn’t need anymore.

We just kept the food, the drinks, spare clothes, and the guns. We threw all the other stuff at the side of the road. After another sip from the water bottles, we mounted our bikes again for the next stint.

“Damn! Why didn’t we think of this sooner!” I said to no one in particular.

“Adam and I said it to each other hours ago. We were wondering how long it would take before you figured it out. Guess I won the bet,” Ellie chuckled.

“WHAT!?” I said, a bit agitated.

“Hahaha! Just kidding, Mia!” Ellie laughed.

I heard Joel laughing over the phone, and when I looked over, he had a pretty smug face with a big smile on it. I knew she got me, and I’ve always been a good sport with these kinds of jokes, so it didn’t bother me that much.

“Fuck you, Ellie,” I laughed.

The next hour or so was pretty uneventful, and I realized that all the cardio I did before all this started paid off now. I was getting tired, but nowhere near exhausted. I knew I had another three hours of heavy pedaling in me, which boosted my confidence even more.

“We’re going to make it, Joel,” I said, smiling.

“I think so too. Tired?”

“A little. But nothing serious.”

“Same here.”

Joel rode a bit in front of me now because the road was getting narrower. With him bend over on the bike, his ass looked fabulous, even in these pants. Now I knew why Joel kept riding behind me for so long.

“Guys?” Ellie’s voice came on.

“Oh no…” I replied.

“Don’t worry. It’s not that bad. SHIVR spotted a black bear on the road in front of you.”

“Not bad?” Joel asked, surprised.

“Just listen. Turn left the first street you see. After that, it’s an immediate right turn. This road runs parallel to the main road. It’s just through a housing estate. That way, you’ll avoid the bear and can keep going.”

“Copy,” Joel said. “I see some clouds of smoke in the distance. I don’t think it’s anything serious. Can you see what is?”

“Hard to see from the satellite feed. We’ll look into it and let you know,” Ellie said.

“Thanks! Next left, right?” Joel asked.

“Yes. The bear is further up the road, so he won’t see you guys.”

Before we knew it, the street to our left came into view, and we entered it. Ellie was right. There were a couple of houses here. Besides a few toys, some cars, and a few bodies in the street, it was abandoned entirely. We could see some clouds of smoke in the road to the left of us, but it wasn’t much.

“You’re doing great. We got eyes on you via the satellite. It’s the only feed left, but we can see you on it until you’re at our place,” Ellie said.

I felt a bit nervous about the bear, but Ellie’s comforting voice was enough for me to keep focused on riding my bike. About halfway down the street, I saw the source of the smoke. I noticed the house on our left had no windows left, and some small clouds of smoke were coming out of its roof.

“Must’ve been a gas explosion or something,” I thought.

“Look out!” Joel shouted.

The loud hiss coming from my front tire made me feel extremely stupid. Here I was, realizing there was broken glass everywhere, and I didn’t bother to look at the street in an attempt to avoid it.

“Fuck! This is bad,” I heard Joel say. “Ellie?”

“I hear you, Joel. Why have you stopped?” she asked worriedly.

“Mia’s front tire and my rear tire are flat. I don’t think we can ride like this.”

I noticed his voice was remarkably calm, especially considering our dire situation.

“Can you try if you can still ride like this?” Adam asked worriedly.

“I just rode a few yards after I ran flat. That’s not an option,” Joel replied.

“Let alone with a flat front tire,” I said. “I nearly fell after all the air was out of it.”

“Damnit!” Adam and Ellie said at the same time.

“I think we need to find shelter in one of these houses,” Joel said as he looked around.

“Can’t you make one functioning bike?” Ellie said.

“Huh? What do you mean?” I asked, clearly not getting what Ellie was aiming at.

“Replace your front wheel with Joel’s. These wheels are easily interchangeable, aren’t they?”

“One sec,” Joel said, and he started fiddling with his front wheel. “I think that will work.”

Joel pulled at some screws near his front wheel, and seconds later, he dropped his bike and held the wheel in his hands.

“Hold it steady,” he said, pointing at my bike.

Joel basically started doing the same thing on my front wheel, and I looked around for a suitable house to stay in, just in case this didn’t work out. I looked down the street to where we were heading, and my blood ran cold.

“Joel?” I softly said.

“What is it?” he said, a bit annoyed, and looked at my face.

He glanced back over his shoulder to check what I was looking at, and he immediately got to his feet. There, a few hundred yards away, the black bear was walking around.

“You take the shotgun from my bike, just in case he gets close. I’ll try and scare him away with the rifle,” Joel whispered.

“Guys? Do you see that big bear too?” I said into the mic.

“We do now,” Ellie said. “We were checking out some options, so we didn’t look at the screen.”

“Don’t worry too much,” Adam said. “He’s probably more scared of you.”

“Probably,” Joel said. “But still aiming the rifle.”

Joel got on one knee and loaded the rifle. He was looking through the scope toward the bear. I had the shotgun pressed to my shoulder and already made sure it was loaded. My heart was beating in my throat, but I wasn’t as scared as I was this morning. Adam was right. This bear was probably just hungry and afraid of us.

That’s when the bear froze and looked our way. For a few seconds, it was almost a Mexican standoff. Neither moved, but we each knew something was about to happen.

“Please let him run away,” I whispered.

“If he doesn’t, I’ve got him in my sight,” Joel whispered back. ”You don’t shoot until I tell you, Mia. Your range is way shorter, and we might need all these bullets.”


And that’s when it happened. The bear started running, but he didn’t run away. Instead, he ran straight toward us.


A loud bang from the rifle hit the road right in front of the bear. He slowed down a bit but didn’t stop. Joel was pulling at the bolt to reload a new bullet. He aimed again and…


I could see a small cloud of blood coming from the bear’s shoulder, which caused him to roar loudly. Joel was pulling at the bolt again, and…


Another cloud of blood at almost the same spot and another roar.

“Fuck! Scope’s off…” Joel mumbled as he pulled at the bolt. “Get ready, Mia.”


This one hit the bear in his neck. I could see the blood pouring out, but he still kept running. By now, he was getting close, and I figured I could shoot too, but I had to wait.

“Now, Mia!” Joel shouted, making ready for another shot. “Unload your gun on him!”

I never shot a shotgun before in my life, so I didn’t know what to expect. The moment I pulled the trigger, the punch against my shoulder was firm, and the gun pulled up a bit. But the loud bang and fury it released was nothing I expected. It hit the bear dead-center in his chest, and by now, he stopped running and started standing up. I was so impressed by the sheer size of the standing bear, I hesitated. It was only a millisecond, as I realized it was him or us. I pulled the pump-action below the barrel and saw the empty shell fly out. I aimed again, and…


Joel and I shot at the same time. I hit him in the chest again, and Joel hit the bear right in the middle of his forehead. The bear was killed instantly by that last shot. He felt down and didn’t move anymore. I just knew we had killed him and felt a vague sense of pride, despite killing such a magnificent animal.

“FUCK YEAH!” Joel shouted. “We got him!”

“Yeah! We did!” I shouted too, giving my brother a high-five.

“That was amazing!” Adam shouted in our ears, “You killed a bear!”

We walked over to the bear, and after I softly kicked it, we were both positive it was dead.

“I don’t want to be a party-pooper,” Ellie said, “But we still need to figure out what to do with the bikes.”

“We’ve got one working bike now,” Joel said, clearly still hyped from the action.

“We could take turns running and riding,” I offered.

“No way. That’ll be way too hard and way too slow,” Adam said, obviously thinking out loud.

“Then we go and build a shelter in one of these houses and sit it out again. Only with less food this time,” I said glumly, not seeing any other option.

“Fuck this,” Adam said.

I didn’t hear him swear before. I didn’t know if it was a good or a bad thing yet. I glanced over at Joel, who just shrugged.

“Look,” Adam said. “You go pick out a house and start building a shelter as secure as possible. We’ll work somethi…”

“Adam?” Joel asked.

While Adam and Joel were talking, I was scoping the area for more possible dangerous stuff. A few moments after Adam got cut off, I noticed the lights in the only house that had some lights on go out simultaneously.

“I think the power is out, Joel,” I said, feeling the panic build inside me.

“Adam?” Joel asked again but started looking at his phone.

I took my phone out of my pocket and looked at the screen. No service again. I felt a blanket of fear sweeping over me as I realized we were entirely on our own again.

“FUCK!” Joel screamed and started looking around frantically.

“What do we do? Can’t we just take a car and see how far we get?”

“I was thinking the same,” he said, a little calmer now. ”But we only roughly know where to go. That’s not enough. Especially not now we’ve lost contact with them. And in these houses, we’ll probably find keys for the car that’s inside the garage, but…”

“How do we open the garage without power…” I completed his sentence, knowing a car wasn’t an option.

“Right. Let’s start scoping the houses,” Joel said, obviously in survival mode. “We’ll split up to cover more ground. There are about ten houses in the neighborhood. We do a quick scan if the door is open and if we think we can build a shelter in there.”

“Okay. How about food and water?” I asked.

“During the first run, we just check the kitchen. Our main priority is shelter. But since we’re already inside, a quick food check isn’t a bad idea,” Joel said and looked around.

He started untying the bag on the front of his bike and motioned for me to do the same. After it was undone, he opened it, grabbed his spare clothes, and laid them on the curb.

“You do the same. We’ll grab our clothes later. Use this bag to stuff the food you find. Don’t be picky,” he smiled.

“Okay. Let’s go,” I said. “I’ll work my way through these houses. You take care of the others,” I pointed.

“Okay. Work fast. If a house is locked, move on to the next. If there’s nothing to our liking, we can always kick in a door or window.”

And off we went. I didn’t run because I wanted to preserve my energy. I did scope the houses at a gentle jogging pace because time was becoming an issue. The first house was locked, so I quickly went over to the next one. When I opened the door, I noticed two mummified people lying in the hallway at the bottom of the stairs. I ignored them and hurried inside. I checked the first floor, grabbed two bottles of coke from the fridge, and went upstairs. Nothing useful there.

The following two houses were open, and the layout was pretty much the same. The first floor had a big living room, a kitchen, and a hallway. Upstairs four bedrooms, all had large windows with a fancy ventilation system in them. Every house was equipped with a state-of-the-art air refreshing system, which meant every room had a small air vent connected to a central unit placed on top of the roof. These houses were basically a death trap for what was coming our way. I did manage to collect some food and drinks, but that was about the only plus side on my run.

The moment I tried the last house and noticed it was closed, I saw Joel walking over. He saw me looking down and started smiling.

“I think I found something,” He said. “You?”

“Nah. Nothing. All houses have this stupid system with that unit outside. I’m sure the bugs will find their way inside through that. I did get food and drinks, though.”

“At least that’s something. Come on,” he said and started jogging toward a house at the end of the street. He opened the door and entered an entry on our right, halfway down the hallway.

“This is the only house I found with a basement,” he said, going down the stairs in front of me.

As we entered the basement, I noticed it had concrete walls and one small window at the top of the back wall. I also saw it was currently closed, which was a good sign.

“See?” Joel said. “No ventilation system, concrete walls, and only one tiny, securely locked window. We’ll only have to seal off the door.”

“This is good, Joel. Real good! Let’s get stuff down here like a bed, table, and chairs, and some other stuff,” I said as I placed the bag with food in a corner.

We went upstairs and got the stuff down in the basement as quickly as we could. We decided to worry about setting it up later. After we had the necessities downstairs, I looked at Joel.

“I’ll do another food run in the closed houses. I’ll smash a window in with this,” I said, picking up a hammer I found on a shelf in the basement.

“You do that. I’ll start looking for something we can use to seal the door. Back in fifteen?” Joel said, looking at his phone.

“Okay. I set a timer on my phone. according to Ellie’s calculations, we’ve got about forty-five to fifty minutes left before the bugs arrive.”

“Let’s hurry then,” Joel said as he started climbing the stairs.

I emptied the bag, and after just under fifteen minutes, I was back with another supply of food and drinks. I guessed this would last us at least a week, maybe a week and a half if we were careful. I scanned the house for a bucket that could function as our toilet. And since we had a water supply down here, I was getting more and more used to the idea of spending another week down here. What we’d do after that was still Unclear but wasn’t something to worry about now.

As I was scanning for the bucket, I came across a few board games. I took them down with me so we wouldn’t die from boredom. Unfortunately, Risk wasn’t one of them, but Twister, Battleship, and all sorts of other games were. The moment I was downstairs and checking if we were missing something, Joel came down.

“Fuck! Fuck, fuck, fuck!” He kept saying. ”I can’t find anything to seal off the door.”

“Can’t we put towels at the bottom and push some paper into the keyhole?” I offered.

“I don’t see any other option either. But the gaps at the side and top of the door are pretty big. I want to seal these off too.”

The moment I wanted to go upstairs to the bathroom to get some towels, I heard a car horn outside. I looked over at Joel and, judging by the confused look on his face, he was just as puzzled as I was. We didn’t hear a car engine. Was this a fluke? Was someone still alive in one of these houses? We started sprinting up the stairs. I was the first to go outside to see the most fantastic thing I could ever imagine.

End of Chapter twenty-five

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