The clouds thickened, obscuring the sun and casting darkness over the endless grassy planes of North America. Evelyn stumbled in the trail of her father and brother, panting hard and trying desperately to keep up. Evelyn tried not to look at the body-strewn ground, the evidence of the incurable virus' passage. Clutching her doll to her chest, Evelyn kept her eyes on her father, trying not to think about what they all could be breathing in. Her father coughed a horrible, hacking cough. “The safe house… It has to be out hear!” hen crooked out.
“You don't know that, Dad. It could all be crap. We need to get Evelyn away," Matthew pleaded.
“You know as well as I do that the virus only attacks of you’re 21 or older.”
“Its not that, it’s just, being out hear… Its not good for a child to be wading through this stuff,” Mathew said as he waived his hand at the carnage, men and women who just died where they stood. Their father coughed again. “Dad! Come on, we need to go!”
“Daddy, I’m thirsty,” Evelyn wined.
“We cant stop now! We have to keep going! Not much further now-“ This coughing fit shook the older man’s body. He dropped to his knees.
“Dad!” Mathew ran to his side. “No dad! Please!” Tears started to well up in his eyes. The old man rolled onto his back, his salt-and-pepper hair matted with sweat. “Mathew. Mathew, I’m sorry. Please- please take care of Evelyn.”
“No. Dad, no. You’re fine. Just, come on. Come on! We gotta go home!” His voice was getting thick with emotion. Evelyn came over. “Daddy. What’s wrong? Daddy, wake up.” Evelyn’s father coughed again, and a small line of blood ran into his half-day beard. “Evey, I love you. Okay Evey? I want you to do something for me, okay? Can you do something for me Evey?” Evelyn nodded, clutching her doll closer to her chest. A tear cleared a trail in the dirt and dust in her cheek. “I want you to remember me and mommy, okay Evey? Do you remember Mommy?” Evelyn nodded again. “Yes,” she whispered. “Okay. I want you to remember mommy and me, okay? Will you do that?”
“Yes,” Evelyn said. She started to cry harder. “Daddy, don’t go!” Her father looked at her, and brushed her black hair, wiping the tears out her big blue eyes.
“Remember Evey. Remember.” His eyes turned glassy.
“Noo! Daddy!” Evelyn howled. Mathew took Evelyn’s hand, realizing that they were on they’re own now. He wiped his eyes. “Come on Evelyn. We need to get out of hear.” He scooped her up, and started towards the city. “Wait,” Evelyn said. She wriggled out of Mathew’s arms and ran back to where her dad lay. She hesitated, gave her doll one last squeeze, and put her in her dad’s arms. Then she ran back to her brother, burying her head in his neck. "I wan to go home mathew."
"We are sweat heart. We're going home."