Mange led the way in silence; we didn’t have much to talk about, having just met each other. We walked the way I had come for a bit, and then took a detour into the woods. After twenty minutes of winding our way through trees and fallen branches, Mange and I closed in on a clearing with a few tents and a fire pit. This must be the “camp” she had talked about.
People started coming out of some of the tents; they probably heard our footsteps.
“Hey, everyone!” Mange announced cheerily. “I found someone else.”
Soon, more people came out into the clearing, and I was surrounded by lots of strangers. There was Willzer, a tall blonde woman with a runner’s build. She seems nice. And then there was Krisma, a girl not much older than myself with dark, shoulder-length hair and bangs. The last person I managed to introduce myself to for the moment was a guy named Josh. His sandy blonde hair was a buzz cut. He’s really cute. I don’t know why I’m focusing on that right now
They also had an assortment of weapons with them, both handmade and things they had brought with them.
“Just in case anything else should happen,” Willzer explained. “Also, we can hunt any animals we might see for food. Unfortunately, they’ve been hard to come by lately. Probably didn’t survive the earthquake,’ she said, pointing her bow and arrow at a target.
“That was an earthquake the other day?” I asked
Yeah, didn’t you see?” she let the arrow fly, just missing the bulls eye.
Not really, I was too busy running to try and save myself.”
A little while later, I got some more time to chat with Mange in her tent.
“Hey, what’s up?” she asked.
“Why did you say you ‘found someone else’ when we first got here?”
“Well, we’ve been trying to round up earthquake survivors, but we haven’t found many.”
“Ah,” I said.
For the next few days, I accompanied Mange and Krisma on food gathering expeditions. One day, the three of us were a little ways outside the clearing, gathering all the berries we could find, when we heard a sound we’d never thought we’d hear again: machine gun fire.