The Road to Wolfe (The Sanctuary #4) - Nikita Slater Page 0,1

again, the zombie was gone, my family was gone, and I was lying on a deserted road. I was terrified and confused, but I wasn’t a Primitive.

Now, I am one of several survivors travelling from Sanctuary to Sanctuary. Searching for my family, I’ve been travelling for six long years. Every time I reach a Sanctuary, search the city and come up empty-handed, I leave with the next group of travelers as they head out. Most people who leave Sanctuary are in the same boat as me, searching for lost family members.

We travel together, occasionally mixing up our group as people discover their families or give up the search. Right now, we are between Sanctuaries, in a dangerous no man's land, where hordes of Primitives can easily get to us. We thought we'd be safe in this town. There's no gas here, no people, no reason for the Primitives to be hanging around. Yet, here we are, under attack.

I cringe as I hear another high-pitched scream that cuts off abruptly, probably because the screamer’s throat was just ripped out. Another of our group has gone down. This horde is big, with far more zombies than I’ve ever seen in one place. At first, they were taking us out one at a time as we headed down to the creek for water or hunted for food. Then, as our defenses became weakened, they attacked en masse, swarming over us like a cloud of mosquitos. Now here I am, hidden away under the loose floorboards of an old abandoned house, with four children.

I squeeze my eyes shut tightly and wrap my arms around the little bodies clinging tightly to me, their frail arms gripping my clothes as we wait for the verdict above. It doesn't take long, maybe five more minutes, then an eerie silence falls. The battle is over.

I know without looking that we’ve lost. If the humans had won, we would hear them mourning the dead and calling out to each other. We emerge slowly from our hiding place, looking for any signs of life, but the humans are either dead or turned. I'm forced to comfort the little ones as they cry against me. What are we going to do now?

I try to organize the children, calm them down so they don’t attract any straggling zombies, but I'm battling my own grief. Not over the people we've lost here. I don't let myself get close to anyone anymore. No, I'm battling my grief because once more my path back to my sister and my grandparents has been destroyed. Without the protection of other people, I won't be able to travel. We’re sitting ducks out here.

My last thought is confirmed when I hear a growling sound from behind me. The tiny hairs on the back of my neck stand up and I slowly turn my head to the side, looking out of the corner of my eye.

Just inside the broken door of the broken house is a Primitive lurching drunkenly inside and sniffing the air. I silently beg the children to keep quiet, to stand still. While some Primitive senses are sharpened, sight it is not one of them. If we don't move, the Primitives might not see us.

"Run!" Lisa screams, untangling her hands from my skirt and rushing to the opposite side of the room. The other children scatter while I remain frozen to the spot.

Stupid, I think to myself with numb dismay as I watch helplessly while the zombie takes down an eight-year-old girl. I look away, squeezing my eyes shit tight while my stomach lurches painfully. There's nothing I can do for her. Children don't survive the Turn, so this one will die a bloody heap in the corner. I want to feel something, anything, but I feel nothing. Only anger. My sorrow died many years ago, along with any sense of contentment I might have been able to find. Everything died when I realized we can't win this fight. There’s no way to find any semblance of peace in this world we’ve been forced to endure.

I hope the other children are running away as fast as they can. Once the zombie finishes, he’ll start looking for his next meal. Of course, there's a good chance the Primitive’s brethren are just outside the door where the children ran. I won’t be able to help them any more than I could help Lisa. As soon as the zombie is done with her, I'm next.

I hope he tears out my