Day 1, 8:00 AM
The second Bren noticed he wasn't in his bedroom he quickly snapped his eyes open and he shot up. While sitting up he banged his head on something, Bren groaned and he rubbed his forehead.
Wondering what he banged into, he looked up and saw that it was a roof? A roof of a car to be precise. He looked down at his body and he saw he was still wearing his pajamas while he was barefoot. Bren, freaking out, jumped and he accidentally banged his head against the roof again and he rolled off the back seats he was sleeping on. Now he's on the floor of the car.
"What the fu-" Bren cut his sentence short since all he wanted to do was get the hell out of this random car he has never seen before and then try to find out who kidnapped him. Whoever they are, is a weirdo. Like seriously who takes someone out of their bed and just leaves them in a car, Bren thought, a car out of all the places. Bren sighed and he tried to open the door but couldn't.
"Stupid Goddamn childproof shit," Bren grumbled to himself. He looked around and he saw in the front seats that the keys of the car are still in the ignition. Bren squinted his eyes looking at the keys. Why would they leave the keys in the car? Bren wondered.
He stared at the keys thinking it could be some kind of trap. He sat on his knees and he stretched his arm out to get the keys from the ignition. He pulled them out and he pressed the unlock button on the key then he opened the door from the back and he stepped out. He looked back at the car he woke up in and it was a red Prius.
Bren's eyes widened when he saw what was in front of the car. It was another car, a grey Chevy. The two cars crashed into each other and it was a massacre. The Prius Bren woke up in and jammed itself into the side of the Chevy. The front of the Prius was destroyed. Both headlights were broken and the engine was popped open and inside was some smoke like the car burnt out or something. On the side that the Chevy was hit, the front and back door were caved in and it looked like there was some blood on the inside of the car.
Bren went to investigate what was in the Chevy and when he tried to open the door from the side where it wasn't hit, which was the driver's seat. He was shocked that he could just open the door and he didn't have to break the car window to get in. What Bren saw in there almost made him throw up, almost.
He's seen a lot of dead bodies in his life but none as mangled as this. There was a girl who was sitting in the passenger seat. She looked around 30 years old and she was a white, blond girl. Her head was smashed against the window and since the windows were tinted, all Bren could see from the outside was a little blood. The blood covered her entire face and there were pieces of brain scattered around. Her eyes were opened wide staring off into nowhere, no longer having the need to blink. Her eyes lost their color, now they were just as grey as this car. Death clouded them. Her blood was everywhere, it was a mess.
Why didn't the airbags in both cars not go off? Bren thought. Bren clicked his tongue and he crawled into the driver's seat so he could close the woman's eyelids to cover her grey eyes. He may have killed a few people but he still has respect for the dead. This woman did absolutely nothing wrong unlike Bren's victims. They all did one crime or another so Bren fully and wholeheartedly believed they deserved those deaths.
Bren took a good long look at the woman again and he figured he could look into her wallet since she doesn't exactly need it anymore. He reached into her left back pocket and he found what he was looking for. He got a phone and a wallet. The was an average IPhone 8 but when he checked the bars on top of the phone it said "No Service". Then his eyes traveled to the date which was written right under the time. He saw it was 8:07 am on January first. Bren wanted to look further into the phone but when he swiped up it revealed a passcode and this girl didn't use Face ID for some reason.
He had no clue how to get into it so he just threw it to the side. Bren started to search through the woman's wallet. He saw about a thousand coupons in this little wallet and 5 cards. Credit card, Visa Card, Costco Card, ATM Card, Bren looked through the cards. A drivers license. Bren froze, seeing that this girl had a name and that she had a life made Bren feel a little guilty about going through her stuff.
It was a strange feeling. Bren has felt guilty before but it's been a long time since he felt anything except empty. The only thing he would feel would be annoyance since he would have to work instead of being at home alone. He looked at the mangled girl again then down at her driver license. Her eyes were blue. They look so happy, so full of life. This was the first time in awhile that Bren has ever felt sympathetic towards anyone. The ironic part is that the first time Bren has experienced emotions like this was for a dead girl.
Bren had no clue why he was feeling this way for someone he didn't even know the name of 5 seconds ago. He stared at her name. Ban Mikhael. Bren tilted his head. His face showed no emotion but he did feel bad for this woman. Ban seemed to be someone who had a happy life, someone who had their life together, someone who had people who loved her.
Bren just shook his head a bit. Now is not the time to be feeling shit damn it! He was so caught up in the picture of the girl he didn't even notice the three big letters on the top of the driver's card. It said "New York State" in big bold blue letters. When Bren finally saw that, his face only showed one emotion. It was pure shock. His mouth hung open a bit and his eyes widened just reading those three letters over and over again. I'm in New York but... how? Bren wondered.
He was confused about what was happening. Someone took him from his home, which was in Nevada, and they put him on a plane and they flew him to New York? Then they put him in a car only for them to crash into someone and they left Bren in the car. And they did all that in one night and without Bren waking up.
That was when Bren finally realized something. This was a car crash in the middle of the street, where are the police? When he woke up he should've been surrounded by blue and red lights from the police cars and the ambulance. The cops should've found him and they would've taken him home. Where are they? Bren put the wallet down and he went back outside. There wasn't a single soul in sight. As Bren looked around the barren street he found more empty cars that either crashed into other cars or into some buildings on the side of the street. It was as if he was the last person on earth.
Before he had his guard up but now he'll make sure to be on high alert. This street looks like the apocalypse happened and he wasn't about to find out if there are zombies on other streets without some kind of weapon. He'll make sure to be cautious but Bren did feel a little fluttering feeling of hope in his chest.
At least this is something new, it's... interesting. Bren couldn't help but to smile to himself just a little. He began giggling a bit then the giggling turned into laughing. He slapped the front of the Chevy with pure joy like a person slapping their knee because they were laughing too hard. He got his wish. The same wish he's been begging for for the last 5 years.
Still having a smile on his face, he was a bit out of breath from all the laughing. I won't be bored anymore. Bren ran his hand through his brown hair finally calming down and he saw Ban through the tinted window of the Chevy. He figured he could be nice and cover her with a blanket or something.
He would never bother to dig her a grave but he wanted to be a bit kind since he's in a good mood right now.
Bren looked around a bit and he realized he wanted to test something out. He looked at all the buildings around him and he decided to go walk this one two story home, one of the only buildings that didn't have a car rammed into it, and he stepped up to the door and he rang the doorbell.
No one answered. He waited 30 second before ringing again. He knew the doorbell worked since he could hear the loud buzzer from inside the house. After two minutes of waiting and no one answering the door Bren chose to let himself in. He twisted the doorknob and it was unlocked. He opened the door and he first saw a living room when he first walked in. He examined the room and found it had a brown couch with 4 throw pillows. There was a TV mounted on the wall in front of the couch and there were a few potted plants around. He saw pictures hanging on the wall. In the pictures was a family, there was a mother, a father, and two little girls. One girl looked around 4 and the other one was a little baby and she was in the mother's arms. The only way Bren knew it was a baby girl is because she was wearing a pick dress. The family was all dressed up like they were at a party.
Bren stopped staring at the pictures and he searched more of the house. He walked into the kitchen and he saw that there was still food at the table. It was beef stew, it was just sitting there and the stew smelled a little rotten. It must've spoiled since it hasn't been refrigerated. How long has this place been isolated? Bren didn't know, he wasn't even 100% sure what city he was in right now in New York.
Then Bren finally remembered something. When he was watching the news he heard the reporter talking about the citizens of New York City appearing outside the city all at the same time. Then some barrier surrounded New York City not allowing anyone to go in. It acted as a wall no matter how much you try to push through it you just can't. They even tried bullets, bulldozer's, and some low-grade bombs.
It was at this time that Bren realized he was inside the barrier or the "Bubble". The very thing that scientists can't find any sort of way into. The strange thing was Bren wished he could be inside the Bubble just last night before he went to sleep. Bren pinched the bridge of his nose and he squeezed his eyes shut. This whole thing started to give him a headache. He wasn't completely sure if he was in New York City. It was just a theory besides how could he have even gotten in this place anyway. It's a totally ridiculous thought to think that someone just appeared in here just because they wished for it.
Bren slowly opened his eyes and looked at the stew, even if it had gone bad, Bren had just noticed how hungry he was.
Bren thought that after he searches the house, he'll find a blanket or a sheet for Ban and then he'll make some breakfast in this kitchen. So he walked out of the kitchen and he walked to the flight of stairs between the kitchen and living room.
Bren walked upstairs and when he reached the top of the flight he saw a hallway with four doors. He opened the first door on the right of the hallway and he saw that it was a bathroom. He figured there was nothing interesting here so he closed the door and he walked towards the next door. It was a nursery. It was probably for the baby girl he saw in the picture. There was a white crib, changing table, some toys lying around, and the walls were even painted pink.
Bren went across the hall and he opened the third door. It had a king sized bed in the middle and there was a wardrobe with a mirror at the corner of the room. There were a few crosses around the room. There were even novelty sculptures of Jesus Christ and his mother Virgin Mary. So this is the parents room and they were religious, huh. Bren simply hummed and noticed that on the parents bed were white sheets and white blankets. He smiled to himself that he could find something to cover the dead girl in the car with. He closed the door though he figured that he could put her in that blanket after he looked at the last room.
Bren put his hand on the doorknob and as he was about to twist it open he heard a child cry from inside the room. Bren furrowed his eyebrows and he slowly opened the door. What he saw inside that room was something that he most definitely did not expect.
Bren still had his left hand on the doorknob and his right hand on the door frame just staring at a little girl crying on the floor with a dead baby lying next to her.
The girl was sobbing her eyes out. Her face was in her hands and her auburn hair looked like an absolute mess. She was sitting on the floor with her back leaning against her bed. Bren winced since he never knew what to say to a child who was crying especially when their dead baby sister was lying right next to her.
Bren cleared his throat so the little girl can know that he was in the room. The little girl looked up at him and she was so glad that someone older was here. She thought that he would know what to do since every adult seemed like they knew everything. The little girl got up from off the floor and she ran to Bren and hugged him. She only came up to his waist though so it was more like she was hugging his legs.
"Please, please help me." The little girl cried to him as she hugged him tighter. Bren was feeling really stiff right now since this little girl just came up to him and hugged him out of nowhere. He wanted to push her off him but he wasn't so heartless that he was going to do that. He just patted her head hoping that will help calm her down a bit so she could explain everything to him.
"Help my s-sister p-please, help Ivy!" The girl cried, "S-she's not m-moving, what d-do I do?"
Bren just looked at the girl who was burying her face into his jeans and he looked back at Ivy. Ivy is 100% dead and from the looks of it she's been dead for a few days at least. You can smell the stench of a rotting corpse from all the way across the room.
Bren held his breath a bit wondering how he should break the news to the girl. He didn't want to make matters worse than they already were. That's when Bren made the girl stop holding his leg and he knelt down to her height. He's not sure what this kid wants to hear but if it was him he would've wanted the person to tell him the truth and not sugarcoat it. So he did exactly that.
"So," Bren started, "Ivy, she's... gone."
"Gone?" The girl sniffed.
"Yeah, sorry but it's too late to help her." Bren said awkwardly.
"W-what d-do you mean?" The girl started to cry again. Her brown eyes were watering and her nose was red and runny.
Bren has never felt more awkward in his life. He didn't know what to say to this girl and he cursed the Gods for putting him in this position. Bren didn't want to explain the cycle of life to this kid. He wasn't really in the mood to ruin a child's innocence with crap like this.
Bren looked to the side for a quick second and then he looked the girl back in her brown eyes. "Do you want to hear the truth?" Bren asked.
The girl nodded quickly, she wanted to know what's wrong with her sister.
"Okay then, I have just one question to ask you." Bren said.
The little girl tilted her head and she just stared at Bren expectantly.
"Well uh, do you know what death is?" Bren asked the girl.
The little girl simply shrugged her shoulders, "Kinda. D-doesn't that um mean the p-person is s-sleeping for a long time." Bren just nodded his head. Apparently the kid did understand the concept of death.
"That's right and that's what happened to Ivy. Do you understand now?" Bren really didn't know kids. He thought that just telling her the truth would be enough to stop her from crying but now she was screaming and crying. Oh sweet Jesus, the kid is screaming now. Goddamn shut up!
Ivy still looked small so she was probably just a couple of months old. So why. Why is this girl crying even though she barely spent anytime with this baby? The kid kept screaming for her mom and dad and Bren had to cover his ears with his hands so he could block out the girl's screams. He just kept his hands over his ears waiting for the kid to calm down so he could talk to her but she wasn't. She started to grip onto her hair and she even stomped her feet against the floor. What the hell? If she’s gonna throw a tantrum I’m leaving.
The little girl stomped her feet again and she started to wipe her hands all over her face spreading her snot and tears everywhere. Bren cringed when he saw that, he had no idea how to calm this kid down.
Then the child did something Bren didn't think was possible.
She screamed louder. Really loud.
Bren literally fell backwards landing on his butt. Her screams were so loud it was unnatural. Bren just looked at her in horror and his mouth was agape. He could barely hear his thoughts anymore. The only thing he could hear was her screams. It doesn't even count as screams anymore this girl is now screeching. She can't even breathe anymore, her face is turning purple but she doesn't stop her yelling.
Bren could swear his ears popped and they started to ring a bit. Then he started to feel the floor beneath him start to vibrate. He thought that it was an earthquake but then he realized that it wasn't any sort of natural disaster. Bren watched the girl practically having a mental breakdown and her screeches were getting so loud now that they started to crack the glass of the window in her room.
Bren crawled backwards and he pushed his back against the wall in the hallway while the little girl was shouting at the top of her lungs at the doorway of her room. Bren had to admit that he started to panic and he had to run now before the girl decided to scream until the whole house came down on top of him. Bren picked himself up and he shot towards the stairs but before he could make it down the stairs. He saw a girl running up the stairs.
This girl looked around his age and she had dark skin. Her hair was black and in cornrows and her eyes were a dark brown. She looked around 5'5 and she looked very fit and athletic. She had a jersey on and she was wearing jeans with some black vans. She reminded Bren of Jerome from back home.
"What's going on?" The girl yelled so Bren could hear her.
"I'm-," Bren started but he just shook his head and shrugged his tense shoulders.
The girl who looked around the same age as Bren ran up the stairs. Is she stupid! Bren thought. This house is about to collapse!
Bren cursed under his breath and he ended up following the girl back up the stairs. He thought there was no saving the little girl but he could help the stranger who was dumb enough to run up the stairs which was towards the screaming.
By the time Bren made it to the top of the stairs the house stopped shaking and there weren't anymore screams. It was just quiet little sobs.
He saw the teenage girl kneeling on the floor holding the little girl in her arms. Her right hand was petting her head and her left hand was running up and down her back in a smoothing motion. She stopped her crying!
"Shh darling it's okay now. You don't need to worry I'm here to help, I promise." The teenage girl consoled the little girl. The little girl didn't reply she just cried in her chest.
The teenage girl let her cry it out. She could see the dead baby in the room and she figured it was why the child in her arms was crying.
Bren was just amazed. She made the kid stop crying, Bren acted like a chicken with its head cut off when the brat started crying.
"What's your name?" The teenage girl asked with a gentle tone when the child had finally calmed down.
"C-Cecilla, but I l-like Cece," the little girl answered.
"Okay then Cece, how about we get you out of this room. How about we take a bath to clean you up a little." The older girl comforted Cecilla, "We can have some toys in the bath like ducks and boats then we can talk a little afterwards, okay?"
"Really!" Cece's face brightens up at the thought of having a bath. She didn't know how to bathe herself yet so she figured that she would wait for her mom to come home and give her a shower but her mother never came home for the entire week. All Cece's been eating was junk food since she couldn't cook, she also didn't brush her teeth because no one told her she needed to do it. She didn't brush her hair for a week either since her mother would always brush her hair for her. So as if right now Cece could resemble a wild animal.
"Yes really, my name's Zoe. It's great to meet you Cece," The teenage girl said with a warm smile on her face.
"I'll show you the bathroom! All the toys are already in there." Cece pulls Zoe's hand excitedly towards the bathroom that Bren was standing next to.
Zoe noticed him and she wanted to talk to him privately. She wanted to know why the house was shaking and why she could hear a little girl screaming from a block down. Zoe thought that Bren was abusing Cece in some way and she was not going to stand for that. Child abusers were always the worst of the worst.
"Cece why don't you pick out all your favorite toys, I'll be there in a minute okay," She patted Cece's head and Cece didn't think twice about it and she went in the bathroom choosing all her favorite toys.
"What the hell happened?" Zoe glared at Bren thinking he was the one who hurt the poor little girl. She even saw a dead baby in Cece's room! How could she just let that slide if there was a possibility that Bren had anything to do with it.
"Whoa, quit with the glaring would ya," Bren raised his hands in defense, "I just came in this house looking for food and I heard some girl crying and then I saw a dead baby next to her. She asked me what happened to her sister and I told her the truth." Bren didn't want to tell this Zoe everything so he kept Ban a secret and he didn't tell her that the original reason he came in this house was to get some weapons.
"You told a child that her little sister was dead!" Zoe whispered yelled since she didn't want Cece to hear, "What's wrong with you!"
"Hey if I was a kid I would've wanted someone to tell me the truth instead of sugar coating it." Bren defended himself.
"What the fu-, you never handled children before have you?" Zoe tilted her head at Bren accusingly.
Bren just scoffed and he glanced at the bathroom door which Zoe closed when Cece walked in there.
"Whatever man, I'm out of here," Bren thought this girl was high maintenance as hell.
He took a breath in. This is why I never like people. It was obvious that this girl was someone who is very friendly, kind, and she was brave. But Bren always believed that bravery was just another word for stupidity. That's exactly who this girl was. She was stupid and she acted on all her emotions. Bren knows he shouldn't just assume things from first impressions but he was making all his assumptions from the things that were clear from the start.
1) She ran up the stairs of a house that was shaking, thearnting to fall apart. That’s stupid on a whole other level.
4) She's defending the little germ infested monster just because the brat's a kid. This shows stupidity and kindness.
Bren knew this girl for two minutes and he already knew the kind of person she was. She judges people without any proof. Bren may judge people but at least he has reasons behind his judgements. Bren turned away from Zoe and started to walk towards the parents bedroom to get a white sheet for Ban and he figured he may as well bury the baby if he can find somewhere to bury it. He doesn't mind doing that as long as Zoe didn't bug him.
"Wait!" Zoe grabbed Bren's arm. Bren turned to look at her wondering what she's doing. "Sorry if I was being rude, what's your name?"
In reality, Zoe was scared. She woke up in a strange place with no one around and when she heard a kid crying she felt so happy. She was happy since the time she awoke in the middle of the street she couldn't find a single person. But now that she found Cece and Bren, she thought that they could temporarily stay together until they found other people.
Bren just sighed and he shook Zoe off his arm. He didn't like people touching him, "My name's Bren and it's fine I guess."
This was when Bren started thinking. Zoe may be a stupid person but what were his chances of meeting another person in this place. The only reason he saw two people today was because of a series of coincidences, it was nothing more than that.
If he doesn't want to go insane from being alone he'll need some sort of communication with human beings. Bren decided it was probably best to stay with Zoe and unfortunately Cece until they find other people. It was as if Zoe and Bren were in some sort of silent agreement.
Bren kept walking to the parent's room and he heard Zoe ask something behind him, "Hey! Where're you going?"
Bren turned around once again to face Zoe. He was considering if he should actually stay with this girl, she's so nosy. "What d'ya think? I'm burying the baby. No need for the kid to see her sister rot anymore."
Bren wasn't lying, he was planning on burying the baby but not because of the brat who wouldn't shut up before. He just had high respect for the dead and he felt as if he should do this. Bren was simply saying this so he could trick Zoe into thinking that he wasn't that bad of a guy. He wanted her off his back.
"You'll really do that?" Zoe was surprised. She didn't think Bren was a bad guy but she definitely thought he was a moron. Now he doesn't seem to be that bad.
"I may as well," Bren said, "I'll make some breakfast afterwards, I'm starving. Now go bathe the kid."
"You know her name is Cece."
Bren waited until Zoe walked in the bathroom then he went for the parents room. He grabbed some sheets so he could cover Ban with them. Then he'll go bury the baby. The only reason he won't bury Ban is because she's too big. He has to dig a 6 feet hole for her and he respects the dead but not so much that he'll dig a 6 by 6 foot hole for her.
He has to be careful about Cece though. That kid can make a whole house collapse if she so pleases. He'll need some kind of explanation from that kid after her bath.
In the meantime though, Bren was thinking if he should make some waffles.
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