Chapter 6:

The Place Called Rust

Don't Die, Will

"Yes, I am Nolan." He looked at the girl, "Olivia, put down the gun. They are not threats."

"Tell him to lower his first."

"Dad, put down the rifle."

David looked at his son. Then he turned to the girl. It didn't feel like she would put her gun down so easily.


David closed his eyes and clenched his jaw.

"Huh...fine." He lowered the rifle.


David made a small fire. He took out the fishes he caught and sliced them beautifully. Put some salt he had left. Used few sticks to stick the fishes all together and placed them to get cooked. When the fishes started to cook, it spread a mouth watering smell. Will and Nolan were sitting a few metres away from the fire. The girl named Olivia didn't join them. She just stood leaning against a tree far away. Julia and Lucas were talking in the tent as usual.

When Will ran away from the bus, he thought that he wouldn't see any of his classmates ever again. So, he got caught off guard meeting Nolan like this. He didn't know whether to feel good about it or not that he was still alive.

"How have you been surviving?" Nolan broke the silence between them.

"Ahh, i-it's been rough...sometimes." He never really talked to Nolan so he was a bit hesitated, "But it's fine now."

"Figured that out." Nolan started to clean his bow with a piece of dirty cloth, "I thought you were dead."

"Well, guess you were wrong. I am pretty much alive."

"Yeah, guess I was wrong."

David rolled his eyes to see them without moving his head. He was listening to their conversation but didn't want to interrupt.

Will looked at Olivia. It felt like she was moving far bit by bit.

"Ah, your friend doesn't seem like very friendly."

"Hm? Olivia? Don't worry about her, she's just like that with the people she isn't used to with." He stood up and took his belongings, "We probably should head back."

"Y-you're leaving?" Will stood up too, "You can have a meal with us."

"No, it will get dark soon and I don't want to feed on your food." He said. "Oh..."


"Are you guys part of any community?"


"Yeah. A place secured with walls, foods and weapons."

"No. We just move each day and use tents at night."

"Oh..." Nolan said, "It's a bit dangerous, isn't it?"

Will didn't say anything.

"Olivia and I are a part of a community named Rust."

"Tell me more about it." David stood up. He seemed interested.

"It has walls, plenty foods and weapons."

David put a hand on his beard. He was thinking something.

Nolan scratched his neck, "I-if you like, you could join us. We've been searching for some manpower."

"Really?" David asked, "You think they will let us join?"


How far is it?"

"It's not far." He pointed at the south, "Roughly 30 to 40 minutes from here on foot."

David put his hands on his waist and looked at the south. He kept clenching his jaw. He looked at Julia, Lucas and me. He rubbed his face quite a few times and said, "We'll pack our things."


David went to the tent and started packing, "Pack everything up. We are moving."

"Where?" Julia asked.

"To a better place."

While they were busy packing, Nolan went to talk to Olivia.

"What's going on? Why are they all packing all of a sudden?" Her arms were crossed.

"They are coming with us."

"What!" She was surprised, "We don't have enough food already. You want us to starve to death?!"

"I know that." He rubbed his face as if he was under pressure, "He's my friend. And I feel bad leaving them alone here."

"How will you convince Jack then?"

"I don't know." He leaned against the tree, "I'll manage him somehow."

"You better do that. 'cause I don't want any trouble."

He nodded.

After packing their properties, everyone headed for the south. Nolan was leading the way followed by David, Julia and Lucas. Olivia and Will were behind them. The path they took was a hidden road through the forest. So they had difficulties to move faster than usual. As they were walking, Will was stealing glances from Olivia. Now that he saw her up close. She was gorgeous. Her short hair suited her nicely. She was wearing a white cropped tank top which was exposing her midriff, a tight jeans with a jacket tide around her waist. 

"What are you looking at, creep?" She noticed.

"I ah-" He was embarrassed, "We haven't actually 'met' yet. I am Wi-"

"Don't talk to me as we are friends. Which we're not."

"Ah, o-okay." He scratched the back of his head.

He didn't say another word. His first ever impression with a non-blood related opposite gender was ruined.

Creep. It kept rolling in his head.

Some deads were seen along the way, but it wasn't a problem. They all managed to get by pretty easily. By the time they reached their destination, it was almost night.

"We're here." said Nolan.

It was like a small town with only few houses in the area surrounded by tall thick walls. The entrance was blocked with a heavy metal gate. Two guard towers were also there. It was like the heaven for the new comers.

"Who's there?" A guard flashed a light on Nolan's face.

"It's me, Nolan." He tried to cover his eyes from the light.

"And who are these people?"

"It's Olivia and we found some people. They are friendly."

"Are they clean?"

"Yes, they aren't bitten."

The guard looked at them for a second and said, "All right. Stand by."

The gate got opened and a strong light flashed on the new comers. A crowd of a few people were coming there way.

"Well well well, who do we have here." the one with the flashlight said.

It was a bit dark to see the person's face at first because it was dark. But as soon as he got used to the darkness, he immediately recognized the unforgettable face of a bully.

Long time no see, Arthur.


"Stay here for now," Nolan gave them an empty room, "The one who runs the place, Jack will be here soon."

As he was leaving, David stopped him.

"Hey, kid."



Nolan smiled a bit and left.

"I am so thirsty." Julia sat on a bed.

"We did have some water. I don't know if we still have though," Lucas searched his bag, "There, here you go."

"Thanks, Lucas."

She drank the whole bottle and lied down on the bed, "Ahh, I am so tired."

"Don't get to comfortable, young lady." David crossed his arms, "We still got things to do."

"Whaaaat? But I am tired."

Will sat on another bed. He put his hands on his head. When Arthur saw him, he wasn't surprised seeing Will alive or anything. Moreover, he had this look on his face as if he was happy to get back his old toy. That frightened Will a little bit. They didn't talk though. Nolan brought them directly here. People were looking at them and gossiping. That didn't bother him much. He was more worried about Arthur. His breathing got unstable suddenly. His chest kept going up and down. It felt like he couldn't breathe.

"Will, you okay?" David noticed his son.

"Ahh? Y-yeah, I am fine." He lied, "I am just ahh, just a bit tired." he rubbed his knees.

"You should get some rest. Also drink some wa-"

"May I come in?" A stranger interrupted their conversation.

"Of course, of course."

"Hello, I am Jack." He forwarded his hand, "The one of who runs this place. Well, sorta."

David shook his hand.

"And this is my wife, Grace." He let a woman get in the room, "She runs with me."

"Hello." The lady said, "Nice to meet you."

"Nice to meet you too."

"Nolan said he found you people in the forest."

"He sure did."

"You're welcome here. Stay as long as you want." He said, "Got to fill up some papers but maybe we will do it later. Rest for now. The room beside this also yours. Nolan will show you around the place later."

"Thanks, Jack."

Jack and his wife left the room. Nolan was standing outside.

"We need to talk." Jack said to Nolan as he was passing by him.

Nolan signed and started to follow them. They ended up in the discussion room.

"Jack, I can explain."

"That won't make any difference, Nolan." He said while sitting on a chair, "You fucked up, again."

Nolan kept silent.

"We don't have enough foods to survive the coming winter, we are almost out of ammo, don't have a doctor and God knows what else." He seemed angry, "And you kept bringing new people in."

He didn't say a word. 

"Listen, Nolan. I like you, you're a good kid. You get your job done. But this can't be overlooked. Even if we kick them out now, it will create a bad impression. You get that?"


"Promise me that it won't happen again."

"I promise."

"Good. Now go."

Nolan left the room.


Will came out of the room to use the bathroom. Julia was sleeping. David and Lucas were spending time with some poker cards they found.

"You must be Will!" A beautiful girl grabbed his arm.

He got caught off guard. He knew this girl. Her name was Emma. She was famous for having a perfect figure and a charming personality. Which she didn't lose yet. It wasn't even possible for random boys to approach her. And now she was talking to Will. He couldn't believe it.

She knows my name?!

"And you're Emma." He was so embarrassed that he couldn't look straight at her face.

"What? You know me!" 

"Y-yeah, we were in the class. E-everybody knows you."

"Aww, that's so nice." She said, "Come, let's go outside. People are waiting."


She kept pulling him to go outside with her.

"But I ahh, I am a bit tired. I-I should get some rest."

"Don't worry, you'll be fine."

How could Will turn down a beautiful lady?

"Well, i-if you insist so." He awkwardly smiled. 

Emma brought him outside. The field was massive. Some people were practicing shooting with bow and arrows, some were gossiping and others were busy making dinner. A few feet away, there was a big tree and under that, a big round wooden table was placed. The table was surrounded by people.

"Good job, Emma" One of them was Arthur, "You were able to get him out from the cave. I knew I could count on you." He smiled.


He looked at Emma. She acted like she was guilty of something.

"S-sorry, Will. I had to."

"I am going back." He was a bit annoyed and disappointed. He turned back to go away.

"No, Will. Come join us."

This voice...

He turned back.

"M-Manny?" [Note: If you can't remember the person, go see chapter 2]

Manny smiled. Will was kinda happy to see a friend alive.

"I-I thought you were dead. Y-you were bitten."

"Luckily, no. I am quite alive. But unfortunately," He touched his right leg, "I had to cut off my right leg."

Everyone got quiet all of a sudden. A few second passed by with awkwardness and silence.

"Ahh, this bullshit." Arthur broke the silence, "Come on my friend! Join us!"

He put his arm around Will's neck and grabbed him. It seemed like he was a bit too friendly. Which he wasn't.

"N-no, L-leave me."

"Shut the fuck up and sit."

He forced him to sit beside him. He saw Ethan, he wasn't in the bully gang but Will never interacted with him. Ruby, the girl with the glasses. She was a nerdy. And there were Emma, Manny and Nolan. He also noticed some new faces. As he was exploring the people he saw Olivia, she was chewing a gum. He looked away instantly as he remembered the incident from earlier.

"We all thought you were dead." Arthur it was.

"W-why do you care?"

"Why won't I?" He laughed, "You're my buddy. My buddy Willy."

I am not.

"Let's play a card game." Manny suggested, "That's how new people will get to know Will and he'll too."

"What game?" A girl asked.

"Let's call it," Manny thought, "Rapid fire questions."

Ethan laughed, "That game already exists, stupid."

"Shut up, Ethan." He took out some poker cards, "Let me explain. You draw cards, whoever gets the highest point, asks the lowest point card picker a question."

"What a stupid game, Manny." Arthur stood up from his sit, "I would rather go get a beer. Anyone wanna join me?"

Nobody replied. 

"Fine then." He walked away, "Play your stupid game."

"Don't mind him. He's just an asshole." Manny whispered.

It seemed like people weren't really a fan of Arthur. Manny put the cards on the table. Everyone drew and showed their cards.

"I am the lowest." Nolan looked at his card.

"I-I'll ask." Ruby was a bit shy, "H-have you ever been in love?"

Nolan put the card down, "No."

"So have you-"

"No no, One question at a time." Manny collect the cards. Ruby seemed a bit disappointed.

"It's me." Will said, "I picked the lowest card."

"What scares you the most?" A girl asked him.

"Well, ahh..."

I want to say Arthur, but...

"Spiders. Yes, spiders." He lied to avoid trouble.

Everyone drew again. 

"Ah no." Olivia rubbed the corner of her forehead.

"Oh my, I got you." Emma smiled, "So tell me Olive, who was your first kiss?"

"God, you didn't have any other questions?" She said.

"It's your fault for picking the lowest card. Don't blame me now."

"First kiss..." She tried to think, "It was a dork, when I was in 7th grade, my friends gave a me a dare to kiss the most stupid guy in the class. So, I did."

"Wish that was me." Ethan smiled.

"Shut up, Ethan. You're never getting a kiss." Olivia and Ethan seemed close.

Everyone drew again.

"Again, the lowest card." Will said.

"Hallelujah!" Emma exclaimed with joy, "It's me again."

It made Will a bit nervous. He felt uncomfortable. Emma put her hands on her cheeks supporting the elbows on the table and leaned forward to Will a little.

"I'll ask you the same question." Her eyes were shining, "Who was your first kiss?"

He seemed a bit shocked. He moved a little.

"I ah...I-i" He scratched his left eye brow, "I never kissed anybody."

"Whaaat?" Emma looked a bit surprised, "But you're so handsome. How Can someone not kiss you?"


"I ah..." He was even more nervous, "Th-thanks for the compliment."

"Tell me, Will." Will hated this look of her. It was frightening, "Would you mind making me your first kiss then?"

"Okay, that's enough!" Manny gathered the cards, "One question at a time!"

Emma was disappointed, "Why Manny?! It was just getting good. I hate you."

Thanks, Manny. You saved me there. Will thanked him in his mind.

They kept playing. It seemed like Will was getting used to them. It was a different feeling for him as he never had any friends. Arthur never joined the game. He went to sleep early after drinking some beer.


David woke up. It was still late at night. He had to empty his bladder. Lucas was still sleeping. He got up carefully from the bed. Got out from the room. 

Nolan told me the bathroom was this way. He looked right.

On his way there, he peeked at Julia and Will's room. They were sleeping like a log.

 Good for them. He smiled.

To get to the bathroom of the 1st floor, a person have cross the discussion room. That's what David was doing. The hallway was dark so he had to move carefully until he heard some noise coming from the discussion room. It seemed like two people were chatting.

"What are we gonna do?" A voice asked. A female voice.

"Don't ask me." A male voice.

Jack and Grace?

He slowly got closer to the room without making any noise.

"If we don't do anything fast, they will surely kill us and take over someday." Jack said.

Grace said, "We haven't told this to anybody. If it spreads out people will freak out."

"Oh fucking God." Jack put his hands on his head.

"What's the matter?"

David's deep voice shocked Jack and Grace.

"You?" Jack stood up, "What are you doing here?"

"Who's gonna kill you?" He kept coming closer to them slowly.

"N-n-no one." Jack lost his cool, "You must've misheard us. Why don't you go back to sleep?"

Grace was too scared to talk.

David said nothing. He slowly approached Jack as close as possible. Jack stood still. David brought his mouth close to jack's left ear.

"You either tell me...or I tell the others."

Jack was completely broken down. He began to sweat.

"Okay, okay," He rubbed his face and exhaled, put his hand on the table and finally looked at David.

"We have some issues."