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

The next morning, Jack woke everyone up at around noon to prepare for the gun practice. He approached Susie and Jennifer, who were packing ammo and guns in the duffel bag Devom had brought for the trip.

"You two planning on coming?" he questioned them.

"Yeah," Susie answered. "We need a little practice."

"Good. The more, the merrier."

Jack then walked over to Bill, who was sitting on a couch, staring out the window.

"Hey," Jack said to him. "You and Devon gonna come along?"

"I guess I will," Bill replied. "Don't know about Dev, but he probably will. Ask him when he gets outta the shitter."

"Yeah, will do."

Jack turned to Pete, who was sitting beside Bill.

"I presume you are staying back, again?" he asked Pete.

"Yeah, I still need a little time to get over...all of this," Pete explained.

"Alright, I'm fine with that. You stay safe here, Pete."

Jack turned around to talk to Zain, who was sitting on a recliner, drinking a juice box.

"I want you to stay here," Jack informed him. "We need someone who can shoot to stay behind, just in case."

"Alright," Zain said. "I wasn't really up to the idea of going back into the country again, anyway."

Jack walked over to the dining room, where Heather was sitting, with a glass of water. 

"We'll be leaving shortly," Jack told her.

"Okay," she responded, clearly saddened.

"What's wrong?"

"I already told you, Jack. For the past couple weeks, we have barely spent any time with each other. You're always out on supply runs, or parking cars around the apartment as a barrier. You're never around here, and when you are, it's just to tell me you're leaving again. I hardly feel like your wife anymore, I-"

"Heather, don't say that. You need to stop worrying, I'll be fi-"

"No! Don't try to calm me down or stop me from worrying. I'm always worrying; every second you are out there and not here. What happens if you die out there? Or...if I die here while you're off doing god knows what? This is the end of the world, we should be spending as much time as possible before the inevitable happens. Everyone else is capable of getting supplies or fortifying the building. You have two children, for christ's sake! Charlie is only thirteen, and he barely sees you anymore; you're like a stranger to him, now. And David..."

"I take David on runs with me."

"You think that makes up for everything else? What, are you playing favourites with your own fucking kids?"

"No! Of course not!"

"Then spend some god damn time with Charlie. It's only a matter of time until one of you is gone. For good."

Heather looked into the living room, and saw that everyone in there -- Jennifer, Susie, David, Oliver, Jonathon, Pete, Zain, and Madison -- was staring at her and Jack. Jack heard the flush of a toilet, and the opening of a door, and turned around. He saw Devon walk down the hallway, and approached him.

"Hey there, Devon," Jack greeted him.

"Hey, Jack," Devon replied.

"So, are you coming to gun practice?"

"I don't know, maybe."

"Well, I think you should. You would be a big help with teaching everyone else. Bill's coming too."

"Okay, I guess I'll come. How long will we be?"

"All day."

"Really? Ugh, yeah, sure."

"Alright. We're leaving in five."

Jack looked back at Heather, who gave him a disappointed glare, and sat back down. He sighed, and walked down the hall. He entered the last room on his right, and saw Charlie sitting there, drawing.

"Hey, bud," Jack said with a smile.

"Hello," Charlie replied, not even looking back at Jack.

"So, uh, I'm going out again."

"I know."

"And I won't be back until tonight."


"Yeah, son?"

"Why do you have to leave again?"

"Because, I'm the leader of this group. I need to help out as much I can and make sure people are doing their part."

"People don't need you to do that. Zain can watch over people, he's a good leader, too." Jack thought about what Charlie said for a moment.

"I know other people are capable, but I need to keep this group together. If something goes wrong, I need to be there. I need to take responsibility for what happens. I'm not gonna drop that weight on anyone else's shoulders."

"Well, you're never around. You don't have to go on every single run."

"I know, but this one, right now, is a really important one. I'm one of the few people who can shoot good, and I need to train people. I'm leaving Zain here, just incase anything goes wrong. I promise, Charlie, I will be back. And I will try to limit the amount of runs I go on. Okay?"


"I'll see you later, have fun."

"Yeah, right."

Jack left the room, and took a deep breath. He was shocked about what just happened. He didn't expect Charlie to rebuke him. He continued walking down the hall, where he saw everyone packed and ready to go.

"We're ready," David informed him.

"I can see that," Jack responded. "Well, we best be going then." Jack walked over to Heather, who was still sitting at the table.

"I'll be back tonight, Heather. Then...I'll try to stick around more. I'm sorry." He held his arms out, and she hesitantly hugged him.

"I love you," Heather said.

"I love you too."

Outside in the parking lot, the group gathered around the SUV. Jack opened up the trunk, and Susie threw the bag of guns in the back. Jack, Susie, David, and Jonathon got in the SUV, while Devon, Bill, Jennifer, and Oliver got in one of the sports cars. Jack drove out of the parking lot with the SUV, and Jennifer did the same with the car.

Half an hour later, the two vehicles parked on the highway, deep in the country. They were far away from the city, so that the gunshots wouldn't attract the zombies to the apartment. They had picked a spot near a forest, so they could hang their targets up easily.

"Alright, people," Jack said. "This is it. This is where we will train you to become good shots -- great shots. Right now, Jennifer and Susie are tying cans and bottles to the trees as targets. We have a lot of guns here; five pistols, two rifles, and even a shotgun. Me, Devon, and Bill are going to be helping you with your stance, aim, etc.. We will be at this for most of the day, and probably won't be back until after dark. We just got a lot of ammo, so this hopefully won't be a huge waste of bullets, but we still need to be careful with what we use."

Susie and Jennifer returned from the forest.

"Alright, we tied everything up," Jennifer said.

"Good. Now, let's get started." Jack opened up the bag of guns, and started passing them out. "Guns are dangerous, they aren't to be fucked around with. You aim at the trees, and fire. You want to turn around, you take your finger off the trigger, and you aim the gun at the ground. We don't need anyone getting shot because you are too stupid to use common sense. Alright, show me what you guys got."

David, Oliver, Jonathon, Susie, and Jennifer all shot at the treese. David missed by only a few inches, and Susie hit the target. Everyone else missed completely.

"I guess I'm not as rusty as I thought," Susie said with a grin.

"No, I guess not," Jack said. "Okay, clearly the rest of you need to keep trying. Fire a few more shots."

Everyone except fired a few more rounds. Susie hit all three targets, David hit two, Jonathon and Jennifer both hit one, and Oliver missed all of them.

"Your stance is off," Bill pointed out. "You're standing too stiff, and you're holding your arms too straight. Relax more, let your arms down a bit."

Oliver aimed down his sights, and fired. This time, he hit the target.

"Good job."

"Thanks," Oliver smiled, and went back to firing.

"Susie," Jack said. "Why don't you help Jennifer out. You seem to be doing great, and she could use some help."

"Okay," Susie said as she returned her gun and went to help Jennifer. Devon walked over to Jonathon to help him out, and Jack went to assist David.

For the next six hours, David, Bill, Jack, and Susie, due to her perfect accuracy, helped the other four with their shots. By the end of the day, they had all become much better shots, and were much more confident in their shooting.

"Hey, uh, it's Devon, right?" Jonathon asked.

"Yeah," he replied.

"I just wanted to thank your for your help. I know you're new here and all, but I appreciate you helping me out. I'm a lot better of a shot, thanks to you. So, yeah...uh, thanks."

"No problem at all."

It was getting dark, so the group decided to pack their gear up, and leave for home. Jack threw the bag of guns into the back of the SUV, everyone piled into the two vehicles, and they drove away.

Meanwhile, at the apartment, Madison and Heather were sitting at the dining room table. Heather was letting out her anger with Jack to Madison.

"He doesn't care about his family," Heather complained. "He keeps going out, coming back, going out. It's really pissing me off. Charlie is so sad that he never sees his dad. I'm just thankful you're here to spend a bit of time with him every once in a while."

"It's no problem, Mrs. Kappick," Madison said.

"I told you to call me Heather; none of that 'Mrs.' crap."

"Heather. And Jack cares about you, you're his wife, and Charlie and David are his kids. He's just caught up in trying to be a leader and dealing with these new people. Give it a while and he will be around more."

"I don't believe that. I don't know what it is with him, but he doesn't listen to anything I say. I'm worried this family is going to be torn apart permanently."

"Try to think positive. Thinking negative is only going to have negative results. That's what I was always told."

"Oh, Maddy. Your mother would be proud of you."

"Too bad she's dead..."

In the living room, Nick was reading Charlie poems from a book, while Pete and Zain sat back and listened.

"Here's a good one," Nick said, and began to read. 

"There's little joy in life for me,

And little terror in the grave;

I've lived the parting hour to see

Of one I would have died to save.

Calmly to watch the failing breath,

Wishing each sigh might be the last;

Longing to see the shade of death

O'er those belovèd features cast.

The cloud, the stillness that must part

The darling of my life from me;

And then to thank God from my heart,

To thank Him well and fervently;

Although I knew that we had lost

The hope and glory of our life;

And now, benighted, tempest-tossed,

Must bear alone the weary strife."

Outside the apartment, seven silhouettes stood, looking up at the light shining out of the apartment. Two of the people were holding a latter. They went up to the building, and placed it against the wall. Four of the people climbed it, while three went around to the front. One of the men opened the door up, and put a walkie talkie to his mouth.

"Mark," the man said. "You guys ready?"

"Ready when you are, Don," Mark replied. "Just say when."

Don and the other two people walked up one flight of stairs, to the second floor. They looked around, until they saw the door with light shining from behind it. 204. They approached it, and Don knocked on the door three times, and spoke into the walkie talkie again.




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