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?

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Dead Chapter 19

Book 1: The Dead

Chapter 19

I wish I could have been logical about it, I wish I could have been the strong survivor I wanted, and needed to be. But at that moment I wasn't thinking about the risk, or Monica or Caleb, or Simon. I was thinking about my mother and all she represented. My home, my family, and my old life. The only things that separated me and those things were a door and a few stairs. I called out to her, pulling away the chairs we had used to barricade the door. Although I wasn't aware of it Monica and Caleb heard me and Caleb was running towards me. But he was too late, and I was able to open the door, bursting, almost falling, into the stairwell. By this time my mother had disappeared from view, I leapt the stairs two at a time, vaguely aware of Caleb catching up to me.

As I turned and ran up the next flight Caleb turned to Monica who was also following. ‘No,’ he said, speaking fast but quietly, handing her his bag, ‘get to the Ute, I’ll get Will’
‘Okay, but what if there are more up there?’ Monica asked, and Caleb thought for a moment
‘If we can’t make it out I’ll throw something out a window, don’t wait for us’ Caleb was wracked with fear. When I pulled him out of the distraction mission he felt safe again, and that feeling grew when we made it to the pharmacy and found the drugs with little issue. But now he was in just as much danger, possibly more, and he was choosing to keep going. But we felt indebted to me, I put my friend at risk to placate his fears. This new feeling of safety started with me, he couldn’t abandon me. I wish he had.

My mother had exited the stairwell and was now on the first floor, this gave me hope. If she was already one of the dead she would have turned and attacked us when we broke in. As I reached the door and grabbed the handle Caleb caught me and grabbed my shoulder pulling me back before I opened it. ‘What do you think you’re doing?’ he almost yelled, forgetting his fear in anger and concern
‘It’s her,’ I replied shakily, ‘it’s my mother’ Caleb drew back at that, understanding but still afraid. After a moment he shook his head and began again, ‘it doesn’t matter, Will, we can’t go after her’
‘But what if she’s alive?’ I asked wishing it her true
‘Do you really believe that she could be? Really?’ Now I shook my head, looking away, knowing he was right but not believing it. I turned back to argue that I had to find out, I had to be sure, but the words never left my mouth because when I turned I saw a solitary deadman at the beginning of the stairs below us.

At first I tightened my grip on my weapon, one deadman would not put up much of a fight, but before I could dash over and kill it before could attack us another appeared, then another. Eventually five appeared and sounds of more began echoing up the stairwell, I realised that the underground car park must have many dead inside, and our noise attracted them. Caleb went to fight his way down to the ground floor but I grabbed his arm, ‘no! There’s too many,’ I told him, now giving up on being quiet
‘Then what can we do?’ We asked, pulling his arm away. I got the sense he blamed me for this, fair enough, I blamed myself. But the least I could do was help find a way out ‘there will be another stairwell somewhere on this floor,’ I said, yanking it open, ‘come on!’

We ran through and slammed the door shut, Caleb and I pulled and pushed and managed to turn a vending machine on its side to block the door. But the first floor was not like the ground floor, it hadn’t been cleared out by Todd’s distraction and the noise from our entrance was attracting deadmen out from around corners and inside rooms. There were less than what originally was outside the hospital, but there were still much more than we could handle ourselves. ‘We don’t have to kill them all,’ I began, trying to sound confident and resolved ‘we just have to find the stairwell’
‘If we follow the main corridor we will probably find one,’ Caleb put in. I pulled out the gun from its holster, dropping the weapon that I had had with me since this whole nightmare began. I actually felt a twinge of sadness leaving it behind, it was useful and had become almost a safety blanket to me, but now it had served its purpose, the time for quiet kills was over.

Me and Caleb moved forward, not running for fear of falling or being surprised, but moving quickly nonetheless.  Caleb used his axe to kill the first few we came across, but it wasn’t long before I had to use the gun to stop one of the dead from reaching him as he dealt with an elderly deadwoman. I missed, the head anyway, I hit it in the shoulder, but the force of the shot knocked it back slightly and alerted Caleb, who quickly turned and finished it off. With a slight nod to each other we continued. But it wasn’t long before I stopped him, grabbing his shoulder, speechless as my mother wandered into one of the rooms at the end of the hallway.

I began to run down the hall, Caleb calling after me. I was afraid he would catch me and stop me, but he was delayed by one of the dead emerging from a room in front of him, I turned to make sure he was able to deal with it, but I was able to reach the room my mother was in before he caught up with me. Full of hope I turned into the room, hoping to see my mum alive and unharmed, I didn’t even wonder at how she could have survived this long, or why she would still be her. I just wanted to know that a member of my family was still alive. But she wasn’t, she was standing alone in the room, acing away from me and I could see a large blood stain from her neck down the back of her shirt. Then she turned around, finally noticing the meal that had idiotically been chasing her. Me.

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