How are we going to get out of this? We have an army of undead all around and god knows where we are! I know that there is little to no chance of us surviving, even if we make it through this challenge, there will just be another waiting for us. And while the enemy grows with each fallen survivor our numbers only grow smaller, and our resources dwindle more and more. What’s the point in fighting, if there’s no hope of victory?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Dead Chapter 3

Book 1: The Dead

Chapter 3

I started the car and left the driveway, and that was when the chaos started. I found out later that there was a news broadcast over the television and radio, some people stayed in their homes and waited to be told what to do, others got into their cars and drove, mostly to the police station or hospital. Others just ran, the worst of it were those that had recently had vaccinations, the reporters had figured out the pattern but I’m not sure it helped calm anyone. I had to stop the car several times or risk running over people in the street or crashing into other cars. I considered leaving and continuing on foot but I realised that even in a stationary car I am safer than if I were outside. I even surprised myself by how calmly I was approaching the situation, I guess the past few hours have really made the reality sink in. I swore to myself I would never panic or freeze again. I was kidding myself.

Just as quick as it started the chaos dissipated, all the people who had left their homes had left the area, although I could still hear the commotion, I couldn’t see it. This allowed me to pick up the speed about, and just when I felt confident enough to start really moving, I screeched to a halt again as a man about my age leapt in front of my, screaming, ‘let me in quick!’ I didn’t have time to weigh my options or make up my mind, it was either let him in or watch him die as I saw three of the dead approach from behind him. I opened the door and almost took off before he jumped in. I saw the dead come closer and rage filled me again, tempting me to run them over. I took a deep breath and allowed myself to reason, I should crash the car before I left the street simply to sate my anger. I drove on past them.

The man turned to me as we left the street, for the first time noticing the state of my clothes, ‘what happened to you?’
‘What do you think?’ I replied, I may be proud of my achievement but I don’t take pleasure in reliving it
‘Were you bitten?’ he asked quietly
‘What? Why would you ask that?’
‘The news report, didn't you hear it?’ I looked at him questioningly as he continued, ‘The infection i-it is transferred through bodily fluids, like saliva… or blood.’ I had a momentary panic, I was covered in the dead man’s blood, had I been infected? No I couldn't have been, I didn't scratch myself when I fell or get bitten so there is no way anything got into my system. ‘No,’ I finally answered, ‘I wasn't infected, but to be on the safe side I should probably find new clothes. I’m Will by the way’
‘Caleb,’ he answered, I could tell by his tone he didn't trust my answer, but he quickly hid his suspicions with another question, ‘Where are you going? The police station?’
‘No, everybody will be going there we should probably avoid large groups of people, it would only take one dead, zombie, whatever to start a riot. Plus the more people there are, the more chance that one of them is infected.’ He looked at me weirdly again, ‘zombies. It sounds so insane, I can’t even say it without sounding crazy, how are you so calm?’
‘I have no idea,’ I sad with a nervous laugh, ‘I just am, I guess I have to be, and if it helps I've been calling them “the dead” so maybe that’ll help’
‘It’s just so insane!’ he took a breath, ‘I gotta calm down.’ After a few more breaths he spoke again, ‘so if we’re not going to the police station, where are we going?’
‘A friend’s,’ I replied, now not feeling so sure of my decision, ‘he can help, he was probably better prepared than I am’
‘How could you prepare for this?’
‘Well I don’t mean he was intentionally preparing, maybe equipped would be a better word.’

We were getting closer now, I started to see more people on the streets, as well as more cars. Unfortunately this meant more traffic, and just as I was about to get off the main roads the traffic grinded to a halt. ‘Great,’ I said, taking my hands off the wheel, ‘now what?’ We sat in silence for about ten minutes barely moving while people carrying children, possessions, even pets, weaved their way through the cars. ‘Maybe we’d be better off walking,’ Caleb suggested
‘No, what if a deadman was in between those cars?’ I replied , ‘there’d be nowhere to run’
‘I guess… it just seems like we’re sitting here doing nothing. Plus I think your clothes are starting to smell’ he said, wrinkling his nose
‘Um,’ I had forgotten about this, ‘that’s not my clothes’
‘What is it then?’
‘It’s the dead deadman in the boot.’ Caleb had to take a few breaths, his eyes closed as he said through close teeth, ‘why have you got one of those THINGS in the boot?’
‘This was before the news broadcast, I had to prove to my friend that I wasn’t playing a prank on him.’ Caleb sighed again, ‘whatever’ I think he, too, was beginning to accept the situation. Good. I can’t trust someone unless they’re prepared to do whatever’s necessary. When did I become so serious? At least I wouldn’t through him out if he didn’t accept it. I realised I was having a conversation with myself. I think I’m becoming unhinged.

‘That’s it,’ I say, suddenly turning the wheel and accelerating, driving onto the footpath and knocking over mailboxes. At least the footpaths were now clear as the people on foot got closer to wherever they decided was safe. Caleb had grabbed anything he could would onto in the care, too scared to say anything. As I finally got to the end of the main road I was able to turn onto the street I wanted to, which was thankfully clear. It wasn’t until now that I started to worry whether or not Todd and Wendy would still be home when I got there. What if they had decided to run? I may never find them. I was broken out of my thoughts by a shout from Caleb who had finally regained his voice, ’you’re insane!’
‘It worked didn’t it’ half angry half exhilarated from breaking such a basic recognized rule, ‘and it’s not like anyone’s going to be using their mailboxes now anyway.’ Caleb made a strange tutting sound and shook his head, I guess he hadn’t accepted the situation as much as I thought he had.

We finally made it to Todd’s and I was amazed to see them simply standing outside their house with slightly confused looks on their faces. As I got out of the car their faces became even more confused. ‘Will?’ Wendy asked smiling, ‘When did you get your license’
‘Do you know what’s going on,’ Todd asked me, ‘we heard screaming and cars but when we came out there was no one here.’ I stared at them incredulously, how could they not know what’s going on? ‘Haven’t you guys been listening to the radio or watching TV?’ I asked them
‘Um… no,’ Todd looked sheepish, ‘we’ve been… busy’
‘Ugh,’ I replied, ever since they got their own place a month ago it’d been like this, ‘it’s like I told you over the phone, the dead are rising’
‘Yeah right Will,’ Wendy replied humorously
‘No he’s right,’ Caleb said exiting the car
‘Who’s this?’ Todd asked
‘Caleb, I guess I’m with Will? He saved my life’
‘Look,’ I said, fed up, ‘come with me I can prove it to you,’ I led them around the car and opened the boot. The smell hit them like a train and they instantly backed away, but when they realised what it was they moved closer, unwilling to believe. ‘And there are more like them,’ explained Caleb, ‘everyone who got the most recent flu vaccination was infected and they’re infecting others,’ he paused, ‘did you…’
‘No,’ Todd replied, gaining his composure before Wendy, ‘we-we never got vaccinated, we didn’t even know there was one available.’

After explaining my plan to gather people we trust and find a way to survive they quickly agreed to join. Todd went inside to get something to fight with as Caleb looked around for some supplies like clothes. Wendy sat down next to me, ‘so you killed that one in the boot?’
‘Yeah,’ I replied quietly, I was fiddling with my pole-weapon, ‘this actually helped’
‘Are you alright?’
‘I’m not infected if that’s what you mean’
‘Come on Will, you know that’s not what I mean,’ She moved so I was looking at her, ‘I know you, you’ve never even been in a fight before, are you really okay with what happened?’
‘I didn’t have a choice okay?’ I was frustrated now, ‘besides, it’s not alive anymore it was dead, I saw it kill someone right outside my house.’ Wendy frowned and sat on the car bonnet, ‘alright, but if you ever want to talk’-
‘No, listen’-
‘No, Wendy look out!’ But it was too late the deadman approaching grabbed her arm and went in to bite.

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