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After five months with the lost boys, Buster had come to have very little in life that he cared about other than the clothes on his back and the baseball bat that never left his hand. That was as far as ownership went these days, seeing as every thing else the boy "owned" he had had the fortune to have found in the first place. His sneakers had been found in an abandoned store, while his back pack filled with snack bars and bottles of water was more of the same - something he'd found that he could rightly lay no claim to. At least, not in any legal sense, but the world worked in much simpler ways now. Namely, finder's keepers. Most of what he had found he had no connection to, less you counted his sneakers and his underwear and those condoms burning a hole through his backpack, but there were a very few choice items Buster had been clinging to ever since he'd found them in the rubble of the world.<p>
Months ago, he had had the fortune of finding a walkie talky left behind in an old gas station, just clinging on to dear life there in the store. A quick change of batteries and a fiddle of the dial had solved the problem, and after many days of idle fiddling with the frequency and shouting out into the nothingness, he had gotten a signal back. More importantly, a signal that belonged to a familiar voice - and one that wasn't already at camp! Imagine the boys surprise to learn that one of his closest friends from back when the world had been worth honorable mention was alive, and well, and living in the Sam's Club for safe keeping? Now, Buster had heard of Opal doing some strange things, but the stories that came over the walkie talkie were certainly some of the oddest things he had heard. From the way Opal had spun it, they lived like Spiderman and she sustained herself on a diet of generic Benedryl. Opal may have been a little odd, yes, but after so long with so little, that blast from the past felt like some semblance of normality.<p>
Thus far, the two had kept to their respective locations, changing batteries whenever they ran dead and keeping themselves amused with idle chat and convoluted stories about people that were dead and not there to protest about the absurdity of the story that was being told in the first place. Today was different, though, as Opal, in all her infinite wisdom, had demanded they go on a mission - a mission out to the suburbs, to the house she had once lived in and, once upon a time, the both of them had sat in the living room playing games for hours on end and hardly remembering a word they'd said throughout the entire process. No, he didn't know what the hell she was getting at, nor what the hell she had insisted he go into the suburbs for - she hadn't said, she'd refused - but, with camp growing tedious and repetitive, Buster couldn't see a reason not to go on the fool's errand. (Other than the zombies, of course, but if he let them get in the way of his fun, he would never have any of it.)<p>
Buster crept through the silence of the back yard, having decided that hopping fences and creeping through back yards would be a better idea than sticking to the side walks of the suburban streets. So far, his idea hadn't come to bite him in the ass, as he hadn't even seen a single corpse, undead or otherwise, all afternoon. It was a good sign, though the silence on the other end of the walkie talkie wasn't. He pressed his finger to send out the signal, letting out a hopeful pip. "Opal? Where are you, man?" Buster rounded on his heel to look around the yard, sparing the house looming over him a look. No, this was the right house - he'd recognize those pink and orange polka-dotted curtains anywhere. "If you're not here soon I'm breaking into your house and shitting in your bed." Did it matter that she wouldn't be sleeping in that bed, ever again? No, of course not - it was meant as an incentive.
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It wasn't very fast, not as fast as a car, but the moped was much faster than her bike and the battery on itwas still full. She was certain she could complete a drive from the club to her home and back at least twice before she ran out. The feel of the wind in her matted hair was welcome, very much so, even if it was still pretty hot. Wind beat stagnant air any day. She was able to breath, even if she was concentrating hard on the streets. After weaving in them for a while she moved to the sidewalk and then the grassy areas, whichever was clearest. She often forgot that the carnage had been so wide spread, it was easy to being locked in the club where your only clue to the outside world was the dead geeks in the parking lot and the still moving ones that trampled them. Opal wasn't sick, but it was overwhelming to see everything like this. It was the primary reason why it had taken her so long to return to her cozy little suburb to see how it had panned out.<P>
The gate was broken and the former guard office was just a barren shack of broken windows and a door hanging on one hinge. She winced, riding right over the yellow line, right through what used to be protected by one of those blinking red posts, the sort that raised up and down for residents and guests with a code. It wasn't until she got past the guard office when she noticed the sound of her walkie. Perhaps it was her former concentration on the road, the way that she had put all of her effort into that task, that kept her from noticing the beeps before. She slowed to a stop, it was quiet enough to risk it, and pulled her pack to the front, fishing around for the walkie which was now talking. "Buster, I will make zombie snacks out of you if you go near my fucking bed." She threatened, which was sort of out of character for her. But she felt protective over her told life, even if she had no promise that it still existed. Soon enough though, she was continuing on and before she knew it, pulling into the familiar drive and fiddling with the wires until the moped turned silent. It was painfully silent.<P>
The vision of her home was familiar, though somehow not. It was made alien by the blood, tarnishing her memory of it. The garage door was particularly colorful with a splatter that reminded her of something that would be left after a firing squad was done. The door itself was peppered in holes and one part in particular looked to be the victim of an axe. It had definitely seen better days but she was surprised to see it held up. Perhaps the virus had spread so fast that looters and squatters hadn't had a chance to make a home out of her home. Opal spared a quick glance at the front door, a hopeful glow filling her as she noticed that it remained closed.<P>
As Opal rounded to the back yard which now lacked a proper fence on one side. She noticed two things, her childhood trampoline which now housed a dead walker, and Buster, looking a little worse for wear himself but not much different than the last time she had seen him. She waved, giving him the same smile she always had, it too might have looked a little worse for wear, but it no less genuine. The brunette gave him a little hand signal that stated 'follow me' as she continued up the walk which was more cracked than she remembered. As she arrived at the back door she smiled, the storm door and windows, had held up nicely. "Thank god for Texas tornados." She said in a hushed tone, never thinking in a million years that she would be happy for the natural disaster that had sent her father into a preparation frenzy. Hell, her house might have been fit to live in still, had it not been for the fact that the club was much more impenetrable. <P>
Opal gripped the door and reached for the keys she had held onto all this time before she noticed something was wrong. The hand which had previously reached for her pocket froze as the other turned the knob that should have been locked. She pulled open the door easily and the next. Someone had certainly managed to break into her home. The girl lead the way into the suburban house, taking in the scene from the kitchen. Pantry doors open, old boxes everywhere, bugs crawling freely in the madness. There was a smell which seemed to radiate from the fridge and it threatened to bring her lunch back up. "Lock the door!" She quickly managed as she ran through the kitchen and into the living room where it was thankfully less rank. The scene was equal madness but a little less severe, sleeping bags and pillows strewn about in haphazard piles, a few articles of clothing here and there. It begged the question, who had been here and where were they now? She shot buster a painful look, still taking it all in, "Welcome home, yea?" She forced a laugh, crossing the living room to check the front door before taking the stairs two at a time until she found the safety of her own room. It was a mess but she knew that most of it was her fault. Her bed looked dirty and slept in and had a few blood stains that she wasn't aware of, but the pair of underwear she had left hanging on her closet door still remained untouched and aside from her jewlery box on the floor, it all looked rather... normal. This was better than she could have hoped for.