You know what a blood-brother is right? Two best friends cut their palms and shake hands, going from best friends to blood-brothers. It lasts even if the bond of friendship doesn't. A blood-brother is forever. Well, this story isn't about two boys who become brothers. It's about girls, becoming sisters.

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Chapter 1

Prologue - Clover and Ruby

The crisp night air felt good in my lungs as my best friend Ruby and I giggle in our backyard camp-out. My mom suggested dad make us this tent because for some reason she want's to watch the news all night. Ruby is a year older than me but it's not a big deal, in a few months I'll be eleven, too. We're only about eight feet from the house, but it's still exciting. We're drawing together like usual, we mostly do faeries and mermaids but not really the girlish kind. They usually have swords and similar things. I see a tiny spider in the corner of the tent, but I don't say anything because Ruby hates them. But, she saw it anyway and sat up quick and screamed really loud while I flopped around trying to kill it with my shoe.

Sure enough, my dad comes out to check on us. "Girls?" He asks.

"Yeah?" Ruby and I say in union.

"We're okay!" I shout, "It was just a spider!"

"Okay. Well, be thinking about going to sleep soon, it's eleven." He says before going back inside. We don't care if it's eleven, our parents are letting her stay three nights this time, though I don't exactly know why. But we're little, why let the excitement leave by sitting and considering the whys? We never did. We went back to our chatting and giggling as we lay in our sleeping bags. We both slept with blankets still, but we didn't care. We were best friends, pretty much each other's only friend. We shared a bond stronger than anything else. We lay there laughing until we drifted off to sleep.

The next morning we're sitting in the living room watching the television. Day two of Ruby's stay over. My mother comes in wearing her pink robe and slippers. "Girls." Se says,

"Yeah?" I say back,

"Do you remember how I wanted to watch the news last night?" she asked us,

"Yes." Ruby said, and I nodded.

"Well, it was because some very strange things have been happening." She said in her most calm yet serious voice. "People have been getting very sick here in America, and nobody knows why. And it's started to happen in Canada, too."

I didn't understand why being sick was so important. "Why don't they just stay inside or go to the hospital?" I asked.

"Well..." she said slowly, "because so far nobody knows how it spreads or how to fix it. And not everyone is willing to just stay home. There have also been some problems with things besides people. Dogs can get it, some birds are probably carrying it, it's just a very bad disease."

I sat quietly and thought about it for a moment. "Why don't people move to where the disease isn't going?" I asked.

"Some people are," She said, "but a lot of the airports aren't letting anyone leave because it might spread it more. That's part of the reason we're letting Ruby stay over."

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"Ruby's parents are taking precautions and making their house cleaner and safer in case we all have to stay at home for a long time. And when she goes home, you'll go with her for a few days while we fix up our house." She said.

"I remember mom saying something about non-perishables and first aid kits." Ruby said. "It must be really bad, she doesn't like to buy anything." Mom snickered at the comment. I was torn between nervous about the disease and excited about a whole eight days with my best friend. It would be the most exciting week of our lives, I thought to myself.

Little did I know at the time, the best week would lead to something totally different.

When we went to Ruby's house after her stay at mine, we were greeted by an extremely tall chain fence surrounding her property with barbed wire around the top and a caution sign saying it was an electric fence. I wondered what that would do against the disease. "Ruby, Clover, make sure if you play outside not to come down near the fence." He mother told us sternly. We nodded and stared. It must've been ten foot tall. More than double my mother's height. Going up the driveway we saw extra stone blocks and bricks and other things in piles from when they redid most of the house. There were also big bags of sand stacked up that looked like walls. I hoped we were allowed to play around them.

Inside we saw that they had bricked up the walls another layer making them thicker. The rooms felt smaller and darker. They put iron bars on all the windows as well. It looked like a house someone would hide in during a war, which was both scary and interesting. They also showed us their new basement, which was like a bomb shelter in the movies with a whole extra house in it. I was amazed at how fast they made it. We went up to her room and sat on the bed. "I guess when I go home my house will look like this too." I said.

"Yeah, it's weird but it makes me feel like i'm in a movie." she said.

We went back downstairs quietly, playing spies. It was one of our favorite games. We sneaked around to see what her dad was doing. He was watching t.v. just like my parents. The news sounded serious, and our ears perked up when the anchor woman said "may be disturbing for young audiences.". We crouched on the bottom step watching with eager eyes as before us flashed scenes of insane people with the disease screamed in straight jackets in both hospitals and asylums foaming at the mouth. Then they went to graveyards and parks showing what looked like zombies from movies with rotten skin and pus, wandering around and even throwing up all over the place. That was when we went back upstairs, scared out of our wits.


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