Megan didn’t know anything was wrong at first. The storm outside, combined with the earbuds blasting in her ears blocked out everything until the knock came at her bedroom door.
She got up from her desk with a sigh, expecting to see one of her brothers at the door. She opened it with a cutting remark on the tip of her tongue, only to have the words die between her tongue and her lips at the sight that greeted her instead.
“Steve.” She was startled, not just to see him in her house, but also by the fact that he was absolutely soaked and covered in blood.
“Carly, hey!” the man beamed. “I was wondering where you were hiding. This place is a mess, we should head out.”
“Steve, what’s going on?”
“Come on, Carly,” Steve said, rolling his eyes. “I know you’ve been stuck here for a while, but you can’t tell me you’ve forgotten your big brother Spencer.”
“You’re covered in blood.”
Steve, apparently calling himself Spencer, just laughed. “They didn’t want to let you come with me. Come on, Carls, we gotta get on the road if we want to make it to Seattle before Monday morning.”
The spark that gained the man the nickname “Crazy Steve” flashed in his eyes and Megan knew there wasn’t any point in arguing. “Yeah, just let me grab some stuff for the trip.”
“Be quick,” Steve insisted, shooing her into the room.
Megan grabbed her backpack, quickly dumping out her school books and grabbing several days' worth of clothes and shoving them in, along with her phone as discretely as possible.
“No,” Steve said, grabbing her wrist so hard she had to stifle the urge to cry out in pain. “Leave the phone here, don’t need them tracking us with it.”
Megan nodded, taking the phone back out and throwing it on the bed.
“Got everything you need?” Steve asked, chipper once again.
“Yeah,” Megan said, starting to zip up the bag.
“Great!” Steve turned and started to head out of the room.
Megan grabbed several more things quickly, pictures of her family from the bedside table and her music player and earbuds before zipping the bag the rest of the way and leaving the room, shutting the door behind her.
Megan met Steve where the hall met the living room and couldn’t help herself from crying out at the sight of her mother and Walter lying on the floor, both beaten bloody and very clearly not breathing.
“Come on, Carly,” Steve said, grabbing her arm and dragging her out the door, no longer caring for delicacy or tact. “It’s time to go home.”
Megan’s last sight of her mother was of her dead body, lying across the entryway, as Steve pulled her roughly out of her home.