This is the fourth chapter of Life After Death/Original.

Susie and Jonathon, who was a young, tall man with short, black hair, walked out of the apartment, and headed over to the SUV, as Oliver and David went inside. Nick stood in the foyer of the building, and watched the conversation between Jack and Devon, Bill, and Pete.

"Now, Zain said you were heading back to your camp?" Jack asked.

"Yeah," answered Bill, with a slow, cocky nod.

"Well, if you want to prove yourselves -- prove you are an asset and can contribute to our group, here -- we're gonna take a l'il drive down to your camp. Me, Zain, and you three. We'll get a feel for you, see how you work together, how strong you are. When we get back, I will make my decision. Got it?"

"And what if we don't live up to your expectations?"

"You're out; all of you." Jack smiled in a sarcastic way. "You guys are a group. I'm not gonna split you up. Either you all can contribute, or none of you can. That's how it is."

There was silence for a while. Nobody spoke, there was only the fast rumble of the SUV's engine.

"Okay," Devon said. "I'm in."

"Sure," Bill agreed.

"No..." Pete mumbled. "I can't go back there."

"And why the fuck not?" Jack asked.

"He mentioned someone named Tina," Zain answered for Pete. "I guess his girlfriend died or something."

"She was my sister!" Pete angrily yelled. "She died not even a day ago! I'm not going back to that place, I can't! I...I'll just break down again; I won't be able to help."

"You go...or you are all gone." Jack threatened.

"Look," Devon started negotiating. "What if he proves himself another way...he could help around here. Me and Bill can go with you two, and Pete can do some stuff for the rest of your group. Please...don't throw us out."

"I can keep an eye on him," the woman beside Jack, Jennifer, said. "Make sure he doesn't try any stupid shit. Susie and David can help me, too."

"I don't think that's going to work," Jack protested.

"It has to," Devon pleaded. "You can't throw us out over this, it's not fair!"

"Fine, if you quit your damn whining."

"Thank you."

"Yeah, whatever. Now, uh, Pete. You try anything here, anything, that will endanger my people...I will not hesitate to kill you. Do you understand, son?"

"Sure," Pete replied.

"Sure? Yeah, sorry, not the answer I was looking for. Care to try one more time?"

"Yes, I understand."

"Good." Susie and David came over to the six while Oliver and Jonathon went inside the apartment.

"We're done with the supplies," Susie said.

"Alright, now, me, Zain, and these two here, Devon and Bill, are taking a run. They said they have a camp, and they still have supplies, and it will let me and Zain see if they will be able contribute to our group. Pete, here, lost his sister today, and can't bare to go back, so you two and Jen are going to give him some jobs to do around here and keep an eye on him. Okay?"

"Sounds alright to me."

"Yeah, same here," David said. "We'll keep him out of trouble."

"Thank you," Jack turned to Devon and Bill. "Now, go on, get in the car. Zain, I'll be right back, gotta go check in with Heather and Charlie." Zain nodded.

"Hold on," Bill said as he put his hand up. "We're leaving now?"

"Yeah, we are."

"It's gonna be dark soon."

"We'll have to hurry then." Bill stared at Jack for a second, but then him and Devon got up and went to the SUV. "Pete. Come on, I'll take you inside. Give you the grand ol' tour."

Pete got up, and followed Jack, Susie, and David into the apartment. Nick was still inside, and joined the four as they went inside. They climbed up a flight of stairs onto the second floor, and opened the door with the number 204 on it. Inside, were Oliver and Jonathon outside, smoking on the balcony. A woman with long, black hair was in the kitchen cutting carrots. A young boy with shaggy, brown hair was sitting at a dining room table, beside a slightly older girl with long, blonde hair eating cereal. The woman in the kitchen noticed Jack at the door, and rushed over to hug him.

"Oh, sweetie, I missed you," she said. "You've been gone a long time, I was worried."

"We were gone for two hours, Heather, that's hardly a long time."

"It seemed like longer. I guess it's because you've been out a lot lately." The young boy got up and walked behind the woman.

"Well, don't get too comfortable to me being here."

"Don't tell me you are going out again, you just got back!"

"I guess Susie didn't tell you...we have guests." Heather looked behind Jack, and saw Pete.


"Dad," the boy said. "Can't you stay, just a little bit? You never spend any time with me anymore."

"Sorry, Charlie," Jack said. "I have to go and get a feel for the other two men. Zain's outside with them, right now, ready to go. I promise I will be back soon."


"Come on, bud," David said to Charlie. "Let's go play some Go Fish or something." David went inside with Charlie, and Susie and Jennifer followed.

"Alright, I need to go now," Jack said. "I've told Susie, Jen, and David to keep an eye on Pete here while I'm gone. His sister died and he can't bare go back to his camp to help us get supplies." Jack turned around to Pete. "Well, Pete, this is it. A basic apartment. Better get familiar with it, because this is where you'll be staying if you and your friends do what they are told." Jack turned back around to Heather, and kissed her. "I gotta go now, bye, honey."

"Bye," Heather said with a slight frown. Jack left, and shut the door behind him.

Outside, Zain, Devon, and Bill were waiting inside the SUV.

"What the hell's taking him so long?" Bill angrily asked.

"He's got a family," Zain replied. "Two sons and a wife, something you two will never understand..."

The three went silent for a few minutes, until Jack emerged from the apartment.

"Finally," Bill exclaimed. "We can get this shit done."

Jack opened up the driver seat door, and sat down.

"You boys ready?" he asked while looking back at Devon and Bill.

"Yeah," the two said, almost simultaneously.

"Good. You give me the directions, and I'll drive."

"It's outside the city," Devon said. "On Highway 11."

"Highway 11 it is."

The SUV backed out of the parking spot, and drove down the road, into the abyss.



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Previous Chapter: Chapter 3 Next Chapter: Chapter 5

Life After Death Chapters
Act One Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7