Willy nodded, completely out of breath from both running and lugging around a heavy axe. 

“Is Jeromy okay?” He asked. “He looks very sick…” 


“He is, but he’ll be okay once he gets some rest,” julia smiled. “Anyway, need something to eat?” She took out one of the boxes of crackers and held it out for Willy to take.

Willy nodded and graciously accepted the crackers. He nibbled on one silently, still feeling a little choked up from his crying earlier.

"…We should make a plan," Julia said suddenly, after a rather long silence. "Jeromy needs as much rest as possible and we won’t be able to keep this area as a shelter long. We’ll have to make backup plans, too, in case we’re wrong about some things."

She took a cracker for herself.

"While Jeromy’s asleep and can’t hear me…. if somehow I don’t make it… will you make sure he gets this?"

She handed Willy a small, white-gold band with tiny diamonds around it. “It’s our mother’s engagement ring from my father… it’s all we have left of her; except my memento. I have a feeling this should be his… and I have a feeling that you need something to keep ‘your word’ on. Y’know… to keep you going.”


Willy nodded, completely out of breath from both running and lugging around a heavy axe. 

“Is Jeromy okay?” He asked. “He looks very sick…” 

"He is, but he’ll be okay once he gets some rest," julia smiled. "Anyway, need something to eat?" She took out one of the boxes of crackers and held it out for Willy to take.


Willy ran along with them as fast as he could, but the axe he dragged along with him slowed him down quite a bit. 

He knew it would probably help to let it go, but he couldn’t seem to get himself to do it. Thus, he continued on as quickly as he could. 

The three of them managed to escape to the inside of an abandoned and nearly empty store. Julia regained her breath fairly quickly, but Jeromy leaned against a wall and sat down. He was wheezing, and his fever had worsened.

Julia took a cloth and some water from her bag and got the cloth wet. “Lie down,” she told him, and he complied. She placed the now damp cloth over his forehead and eyes, trying to get his fever down. He coughed, but made no other sound as he finally regained his breath and began to calm. It wasn’t long before he fell asleep.

Julia sighed in relief, and looked back over at Willy. “You okay?”


Willy quickly retrieved his weapon from a now dead zombie and took a swing at another one, taking its head clean off. He gave a nervous laugh at how lucky that was, and swung again, hitting a zombie’s thigh. He managed to tug it out just as it lunged at him and he hit it again in the side of the head. 

“J-Julia, I would recommend that we try to run before we get swarmed!” He called to his companion, hitting another zombie square in the jaw with the end of the axe. 

Julia nodded, just as Jeromy managed to blow a zombie’s brain out with a well-aimed shot. However, more were on the way, having heard the gunshots clearly from quite far away.

"Like I said before, we need to get out of Thneedville," Julia told the two boys. "Jeromy, do you think you can run?"

Jeromy gulped and nodded, but he was sweaty and shaking. Julia knew it wouldn’t be a good idea, but they had to get away.

The twins began to run, making sure that Willy was closeby in their flee.


Willy let out a choked cry as the zombie started attacking Julia. She obviously needed help, but he hadn’t done much fighting through his entire time spent out in this wasteland. This was going to be tough.

Grimacing, he held up the axe in his hands and dashed to take a swing at the zombie attacking Julia. He tried to pull away for a second swing, but the axe was lodged into the creature’s side. He pulled back quickly as it made an attempt to bite him and he turned to Julia.
“I think I may need more practice doing this.” He said, chuckling weakly.

"Nah, you’re doin’ awesome," Julia reassured him as she shot again and missed. Four zombies were around them now, and Julia sighed in defeat. "HALFWIT, WAKE UP! I NEED YOUR HELP!"

Jeromy’s eyes shot open, and he slid off of Julia’s back. He held his hand out and Julia handed him his gun. Jeromy then took Julia’s shovel off his back and handed it to her.

Jeromy narrowed his eyes, and immediately shot a zombie’s eyes out. Julia gripped her shovel tightly and slammed it into another zombie’s face. Two down.


Willy accepted the bottle and took two big gulps before stopping himself, remembering that he should be saving.

“Yes, we should.” He said to Julia. “I have not seen a good place yet, but, I was not particularly paying attention, so I may have missed something.”  

"I’m sure there’s some better land to hide in outside Thneedville. We’ll find a way out, and then—" Julia began, but she heard a hiss behind her.

Quickly she took Jeromy’s handgun and shot the zombie in the shoulder. “Dammit,” she yelped. “My aim isn’t as good as Halfwit’s….. and I can’t use the shovel without two hands!”


Willy gulped and wiped his face with his sleeve, a little embaressed. His sobs eventually got quieter until he was simply sitting on the ground and shaking. He gripped the strap of the bag on his shoulder and took a deep breath, shakily standing up. His mouth tasted sour and his throat was dry, so his voice sounded cracked as he spoke. “How i-is Jeromy doing…?” He asked, smiling weakly.

"He’s feverish, but he’ll be fine. He hasn’t gotten proper nutrition for some time, but we have what we need to survive. Speaking of which, here," Julia said, reaching into her sidebag and pulling out a water bottle. She handed it to her friend. "Drink. We have some crackers, too, if you need."

She looked around for any sign of undead, and then motioned for Willy to follow. “We should find shelter. Maybe even make a campsite sometime after we get out of Thneedville.”


Willy nodded slightly and then burst right into tears againt, dropping to his knees. He hadn’t had any intention of doing it, but the tears burst out suddenly and gave him little to no time to hold them back. “I… thought… I w-would… d-die… with… out…” He choked out through his tears. He couldn’t finish.

Julia sidehugged him gently, using only one arm, using the other to hold up the sleeping boy on her back. “Go ahead and cry, Willy. You need to, I know you do.”

Jeromy stirred, but didn’t wake. He was obviously pale and shaky.


Willy, a little too absorbed in his own thoughts, didn’t realize at first that he was being called. It took him a few moments to snap out of it and look up to see what was going on, and he recognized Julia instantly.

He let out a choked noise and started dashing towards her, the axe slowing his speed quite a bit. 
“J-Julia!” He cried out, his voice cracking. “Oh my god…” 

"Willy, I…. I had no idea you were still….. where’s….."

Julia realized instantly what had happened. She had had to do the same thing with her own parents.

"She…. oh. Oh, Willy…." Julia sighed. "You didn’t have to do it, did you…?"


Willy stood over a circle of rocks he had placed around some loose soil. His face was soaked with a mixture of blood and tears, and his hands were shaking uncontrollably.
2 minutes ago, he was forced to kill his closest friend and only companion in this horrifying world. She had been infected,…

It wasn’t long before Jeromy’s fever returned, and Julia had to force him to drink more water. Julia carried him on her back once again as the two traveled, wandering in the smoggy land, looking for stores to raid for supplies or a good place to find shelter. Up ahead, Julia saw a tall-ish figure cloaked in black not that far off in the distance.

"Wait," Julia gasped. "I recognize that sweater. WILLY! WILLY, IT’S US!"