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?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Dead Chapter 17

Book 1: The Dead

Chapter 17

We had to move forward with the plan, the map we found had neither helped nor hindered our chances, nor helped placate our fears. There were still too many unknowns, how many of the dead were between us and the pharmacy? Did they even have the medicine we were looking for? Monica had a list of what Nicole thought would be useful, and we all had memorized the names of the most important. We knew what we were looking for at least.

The plan from here was too move carefully towards the pharmacy, eliminating any dead we found and blocking any other routes into those areas to create a clear path to and from the pharmacy. Wendy stayed in the Ute, lying down so any dead that approach will not attack her, if there became too many too kill or escape from we decided she could drive away, returning later for us when there are less dead around, if any of us are still alive. But worrying about possibilities is pointless, for now the ambulance bay was clear, it was the inside that held the unknowables, but that was soon to change.

There was a corpse blocking the automatic doors from closing, though there was no power now anyway to make them close. Hesitantly Monica, Caleb and I walked into the hospital, sweaty hands grasping our weapons, our eyes searching for any sign of movement. The first one we saw appeared from behind a pillar, closest to Monica who, without noise or hesitation, swung her axe and split its head open. Caleb reached a set of double doors leading to the emergency ward and slowly, silently, closed them and locked them as Monica and I dragged a row of joined chairs over to block it. We stacked a few more and used a vending machine to block of a hallway without a set of doors. After that we fell into a rhythm, enter a room, kill the one or two deadmen inside it before they even recognized our presence and blocked the doors that we wouldn't be going through. After that first room most passages leading away were small and easily blocked.

The area before our last turn however snapped us back into reality as when we closed a large set of double doors with glass windows two dead and disfigured figures appeared in the hallway. Caleb and I quickly ducked down and motioned Monica to do the same. My heart was thumping in my chest and I began to breathe harder as I wondered, had they seen us? I had no way to know without risking being caught. Several long minutes went by until Monica crawled over too us and gestured for us to crawl away around the corner. I began to breathe easier when we got around the corner, even if the two dead had seen us, I doubted they would be aggressive enough at that sight to break down the door and chase us around the corner. I began to realize though that if any zombies got through our barricades or were waiting for us at the Ute we would be caught completely off guard. I breathed deep. I couldn't afford to panic, the only way now was forward.

We finally made it to the pharmacy area, we were lucky and only saw three of the dead there, anymore and it would have been difficult to take them out without a struggle. I saw that two of the floor to ceiling windows had been shattered, I assumed the dead had been using that to get in and out of the hospital, and most of the dead in this area were drawn away by Todd. I wondered how we was doing, I hoped-no prayed-that he had managed to escape the dead and was either returning here or making his way towards the clinic and the others. We turned two rows of chairs upright and used them to block those holes, closing the curtains on the others. Caleb and Monica entered the pharmacy and began their search while I guarded our most vulnerable point, a glass door to the staircase. Because we didn't know how many dead there were on the other floors it was more than possible a large amount of dead were waiting just out of sight.

I heard a rustle of cardboard and plastic as I heard Monica call to Caleb, ‘found them!’ I couldn't resist smiling when I heard that, it made me think that we were really going to make it. Caleb and Monica were in the pharmacy for a while, sorting out what they should take and whether or not they should risk two trips. As they argued I felt content to be left out of that conversation, I had had enough of making life or death decisions, especially when it was other’s lives I put at risk. I checked the other entrances, they were still clear. Through one of the windows I could see a few more of the dead than before, but nothing to worry about, they didn't seem like they had caught our scent or were aware of our presence.

As I walked around the sitting area I avoid the bodies, apart from the two dead we killed there were three discernible corpses, those that were too damaged too… eaten to become one of the dead. It was times like these, when I’m more hopeful and less stressed, that the realities of my new world get to me, I fought a gag reflex in my throat. One of the dead we had killed had grey hair, I assumed he must have had a family, I began to think of my father, of my grandfather, not for the first time I wondered whether any of my family was still alive.

But, thankfully, I was taken out of my melancholy by Caleb exiting the pharmacy with a large, full, bag over his shoulder. ‘We've got everything we can,’ we said, more calm and hopeful than I've ever seen him, ‘are we okay to leave?’

‘Let me check,’ I replied, I wanted to make sure we weren't going to be mobbed just as things began to look up. The parking lot outside was still mostly clear, as was the path we made behind us. But when I went to check the stairwell something made me freeze, something I didn't expect to see, something I didn't want to see. My mother.

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