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?

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Dead Chapter 22

Book 1: The Dead

Chapter 22

Even though Monica and Caleb had agreed that something being thrown out the window was a sign for Monica to leave with the supplies, she and Wendy remained there. Neither of them wanted to leave but they still fought. Wendy wanted to go back into the hospital to help them escape, but Monica knew that there was not much they could do. While they may have been able to act as a distraction, it would only last as long as it took for the dead to tear them apart. Monica suggested they waited, to see what happened next.

They had only waited for a few moments before Wendy lost her patience ‘that’s it I’m going in,’ she said, heading towards the entrance, but Monica grabbed her arm
‘You can’t!’ she said fiercely, ‘all you will be doing is putting your own life at risk’
‘But we can’t just sit here we have to do something,’ Wendy pleaded, frustrated at her inability to help her friends. She felt useless, she had done nothing while the others entered the hospital and Todd risked his life, she had only sat in the car. She knew she could do more to help, she had to. Monica and Wendy looked at each other for a moment, both considering their options and struggling to think rationally, Monica spoke first, ‘alright, the only thing we can do right now is make sure that when, and if, they get out that we can escape without’- but she stopped speaking as she and Wendy became aware of a sound in the distance, getting louder.

As the noise got closer they began to recognise it and their fear and worry dulled as they realised it was the motorbike, Todd was coming back. They ran towards the sound as Todd approached the hospital, and before it had even slowed to a stop he jumped off the bike, pulled of his helmet, and grabbed Wendy in a tight embrace. ‘I told you I’d come back,’ he said, grinning
‘I didn’t doubt you would,’ Wendy laughed back. Monica let them have their moment, but they had more pressing matters to attend to ‘We have to talk,’ she said putting her hand on Wendy’s shoulder to remind them of her presence and their situation. Todd pulled back, his grin fading as he saw her grim expression, ‘What is it?’
‘It’s Will and Caleb, their trapped inside the hospital,’ Wendy explained. Todd went to question them further but his words were stopped by the sound of a gunshot echoing from the hospital.

The ran over, when they got there Monica spoke, ‘that came from the roof’
‘Are they trapped up there?’ Wendy asked, horrified
‘Maybe not,’ Todd said, thinking fast, ‘Is there a fire escape.’ No one spoke but the all ran around the side of the building and found a fire escape. However, ‘it goes down two floors?’ Wendy noted, disappointed
‘Somebody must have broken the lower level to try and escape,’ Monica surmised, ‘maybe there’s one on the other side?’
‘No,’ Todd stopped her, staring at the hospital bed Caleb had thrown out the window, ‘I’ve got an idea.’

I reached for his flailing hand, but the dead pulled him out of my reach. As Caleb disappeared into their masses I turned away, grabbing the door and trying to slam it. But one of the dead that was not distracted by the meal they had just been given walk into the doorway and would have grabbed me too if the door did not knock its reaching hands away. But it did get in the way and the door wouldn’t close. I kept pressure on the door, trapping the dead man who was still reaching for me, but no matter how much I pushed the door wouldn’t close while the zombie was there. I released the door and the dead man fell through onto the roof, before it could get up or more deadmen could reach the door I slammed it closed, leaning against it.

The deadman had gotten up, but I was faster and my gun was already in my hands. Even in my anger, fear and grief my aim was good and the deadman collapsed in a heap, a bullet hole through its head. Leaning against the door I could hear snarling and tearing from behind it, the sounds sickened me as I knew I was hearing my friend being ripped apart and eaten. I knew I needed to get out of here, it was my fault Caleb was dead he had come after me and I owed it to him to escape and tell the others. I searched the ground and saw a tool box, obviously someone had been repairing something up here, which also explained why the door was unlocked.

I didn’t want to take away my weight from the door, so I reached with my foot and eventually I had it. I grabbed a large spanner and wedged it between the door handle and a thick wire that was connected to the doorframe. Sick, both literally and figuratively, of the noises coming from the door I quickly turned away. A few moments afterwards I began to hear banging from the door, obviously they had finished with Caleb (God I hoped they had killed him, I would never forgive myself if he became one of them) and now they were coming after me. I realised now that I had no plan, I had ran here out of fear and panic, but now I was trapped. But then I heard the sound of a car horn coming from below.

Quickly I ran to the ledge, expecting to see my friends and the Ute, instead I saw something better. A fire escape. But my joy was short-lived as the door burst open and the dead, covered in fresh blood, came charging through. I moved quickly, swinging over the ledge and speeding down the first flight of stairs, but the dead were faster and by the time I was there they had already reached the ledge. Faster and more desperate than before I skipped the last few steps of the second flight, I could now see the Ute, and thankfully I saw Todd gesturing wildly in the back, at least I had lost a second friend. Yet. But I had to stop myself as I realised with horror that that was where the fire escape ended, and I was still on the first floor. But then I saw why Todd and the others had led me here, and why the Ute was so close to the fire escape, they had loaded the mattress of the bed into the back. They expected me to jump.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Dead Chapter 21

Book 1: The Dead

Chapter 21

Nicole had been completely taken out of her element. She had a job, she was doing well at university and had good relationships with her friends, but now she was, for all intents and purposes, trapped inside a clinic and in charge of 4 other people. She didn't know how she was put in charge but she understood why, Simon was injured and while that injury was healing his infection was getting worse, he rarely left the room he was set up in. The same could be said for Daphne, who, on the rare occasions she left his side, did little more then ask were the others were with the medicine and why they weren't doing more for him. Nicole had known Daphne for a long time but she was still surprised with the way she was acting. Although with what has been happening the past few days Nicole thought she should be more surprised that the rest of them were taking it so well.

Daniel had managed to recover his senses and make himself useful. Without being asked he began helping Brooke and Nicole with barricading the clinic and ensuring that it was safe. However he still often seemed to fade into the background, and he was not the most vocal of people. Even if he does have the capacity and knowledge to lead a group, he did not have the social skills. Brooke was intelligent, calm and had no qualms in giving her opinion. In fact she and Nicole fought often over decision such as gun training, which Nicole was opposed to. She didn’t think it necessary yet and she knew that scared people with gun training but only one gun is not a good idea. But Brooke didn’t know the others well and the way she met them and her suspicious behaviour meant that they turned to Nicole for leadership.

While they were barricading the clinic Nicole began to wonder at how intelligent it was to stay in one place, no matter how defendable. Now the clinic only had one exit/entrance but Nicole had found a deployable fire escape on the second floor, meaning if that entrance gets blocked they could still escape making the clinic an efficient fortress. But it was still only a clinic, there was little food here that would last long, especially if the power goes (and Nicole knew that it would eventually). Basic medical supplies such as bandages were aplenty but besides that Nicole was worried. If Will and the others didn’t return soon she would have to send more of the small group away to find food, but with only one gun someone would be left defenceless. If they had more people, more time, and more supplies they may have been able to set up a system to acquire food safely and regularly.

But was that wise? Staying in one place meant that without distractions the dead outside would gather, attracted by the smell and sound but unable to get through. Until either their resources ran out or they number increased to a point where they could break through. Nicole knew-hoped-that there was a solution, but for now she could only wait and see whether the others would return.

Daniel walked over to her when she was quietly contemplating that issue, among others. ‘Are you alright?’ he asked and Nicole blinked, noticing his presence for the first time
‘Fine,’ she replied, trying to smile, ‘just thinking’
‘You don’t have to try and calm me down anymore Nicole, you can talk to me’
‘Who said it was you I was trying to calm?’
‘You?’ Daniel looked amused, ‘you’re probably the most level-headed one here’
‘You should have seen me when the found me,’ Nicole joked. Daniel realised what she meant and shook his head, ‘I didn’t even think Nicole, your family are they…’
‘I don’t know,’ Nicole replied, looking down
‘Well I’m sure’- Daniel began but was stopped when Brooke ran over and grabbed his shoulder, she looked startled. ‘What’s wrong?’ Nicole asked quickly, in a hushed voice
‘There’s someone outside,’ she replied in an even quieter voice.

They quietly moved to a small gap in the furniture and random things blocking the windows that had been left open for this exact purpose. They couldn’t see much, the sun was glaring in their direction and although they could definitely see movement the angle was bad as whoever, whatever, it was approached the other side of the building. Daphne emerged from Simon’s room, and seeing them peering through the window jumped to the positive outcome. ‘Are they back?’ Daphne said far too loudly for Nicole’s liking and even as they whispered warnings and gestured for her to stop she approached the door.

Daphne reached the door before their warnings did, but as she began to grab the handle she was pulled away as Daniel moved her out of sight, his hand muffling her protests. Nicole moved slowly until Daphne could see her, after a few gestures Daphne finally understood the situation and Daniel let her go. The three of them were now behind a pillar in the centre of the room while Brooke was still struggling to get an idea of what was outside. Scenarios ran through Nicole’s head: Could it be Will or one of the others? Why wouldn’t they come in? Could they be injured? Or is it one of the dead?

But it didn’t stay a mystery for long as the door, unlocked by Daphne’s foolish actions, slowly opened. Brooke could probably see the person now, and it definitely was a person, but from Nicole’s vantage point all she could see was the barrel of a gun appear. As Nicole hid back behind the pillar, struggling to control her breathing all positive outcomes of this encounter left her mind. The one she decided on was that it was one of the raiders, or more, come to exact revenge. She saw Brooke’s revolver one of the chairs near the pillar, Brooke had been showing Daniel how to clean it before this began. More scared than she thought she could ever be, Nicole watched silently as Daniel reached for the gun. Then she heard Daphne scream as a gunshot rang out.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Dead Chapter 20

Book 1: The Dead

Chapter 20

The time Wendy spent waiting in the Ute felt like a lifetime, she kept listening for a gunshot or a scream, any sign that her friends were alive. That sign came when Monica appear, struggling to carry multiple bags, and slammed her fist against the window. Wendy jumped out of the Ute, forgetting where they were and why they needed to be quiet ‘where are Caleb and Will?’ she asked, fearing the worst
‘Inside still,’ Monica replied quickly
‘What why?’ Monica sighed before continuing, ‘Will freaked out and ran into the stairwell, and Caleb went after him.’ That’s when they heard a gunshot from the first floor, they both turned quickly and stared in the direction it came from.

‘What was that?’ Wendy asked, her eyes wide, ‘was that them? Are they alright?’
‘I don’t know,’ Monica replied darkly as she turned away and walked towards the Ute
‘Where are you going?’
‘The first floor will be infested with the dead, we can’t help them’
‘So you’re just going to leave them?’
‘There’s nothing we can do,’ Monica said through clenched teeth, not looking at Wendy. Wendy thought rapidly, trying to find a logical reason for her and Monica to help them, or some miraculous escape route for them, but nothing came to her. But she couldn’t leave them, no matter how highly the odds were stacked against them. ‘Fine,’ she said as she grabbed Monica’s axe and headed towards the ambulance bay doors. Monica went to stop her, but they both stopped when they heard a window shatter and saw a hospital bed fall from the first floor.

I believed it now. I didn’t before but now I knew it. My mother was dead, and worse than that she had become one of the creatures that tore my life apart and now appeared in every nightmare. Caleb had caught up and stopped behind me when he saw her. ‘I’m so sorry,’ he said and he reached out to put his hand on my shoulder. But I moved first, ‘no I am,’ I replied, grim and emotionless as I walked over to my mother, who had begun to outstretch her arm, and fire a bullet through her head. I didn’t cry, or scream, or break down, I had become the emotionless survivor I needed to be. Or at least that was what it looked like. But inside I knew that I would never get this image out of my mind.

I was pulled back into reality when Caleb pushed the hospital bed out the window. Looking around I realised that he had slammed the door shut and now the dead outside were trying to break it down, but they weren’t too desperate yet. ‘Why did you do that?’ I asked, gesturing towards the broken window
‘It’s a signal,’ he replied, breathing heavily as he searched the room for a weapon or something he could use to barricade the door. He found it when he pulled back a curtain and found that the room had an extra bed. But before he shoved it against the door I stopped him. ‘No, if you do that we’ll be trapped in here,’ I tried to explain, but he wrenched away from me
‘So what do you propose we do?’ he yelled in frustration. I empathised with him, what could we do? I stared at the bed, and then at the door, which had begun to shake as the dead doubled their efforts.

A thought suddenly appeared in my mind, I quickly explained to Caleb, ‘we use it as a battering ram’
‘What?’ Caleb looked at me like I was insane, I may have been
‘Before they break down the door we break it ourselves, using the bed, that should knock them down and give us enough time to make a break for the stairwell.’ Caleb began to nod, agreeing with my plan, but it wasn’t perfect, ‘but how do you know how far away the stair well is?’ he asked, ‘we can’t outrun those dead forever.’ I searched the walls around the room, then finally found what I was looking for next to the weakening door, the fire escape plan. I grinned, the stairwell was close, close enough to give us a good chance of getting there before we get overrun by the dead. I turned to tell Caleb the good news, but was stopped when a hand broke through the thin wood of the door, reaching out to me.

I jumped back, there was no time to explain or wait. Caleb and I grabbed one side of the bed and after a second of absolute fear we charged forward. The door splintered into several pieces and the dead behind fell, either backward or to the side. The bed got stuck in the door before we were both through, wedged in the doorframe by a piece of the door. I helped Caleb climb over the bed, ducking underneath the frame as the dead began to pick themselves up and more began to appear. We ran, faster than I had ever run before, although everything felt like it was in slow motion, every time another zombie would appear in front of us my heart would stop, and every time we had to turn a corner I felt terrified. I wished Caleb could lead, that he could be the one making the decision to turn here or stop. But he hadn’t seen the location of the stairwell, I had. So I had to lead him.

We finally made, and just in time. The dead were fully aggravated now, affectively charging at us, and over the course of our run I had used most of the bullets left in the gun, and Caleb’s axe was covered in blood, and his arm slack. But the door finally came into sight, and when we yanked open the door and blocked it with our own bodies we finally felt like we could relax, but we couldn’t. The sounds of footsteps should have at least dulled when we entered the stairwell, instead they seemed louder than before, echoing through the stairwell. I realised that while the threat from the first floor had been dealt with, we now faced a new threat from below and above. We were on the other side of the hospital, the first floor wasn’t as empty as the other side, and the dead left in the underground and the upper floors had yet to be dealt with. I slowly walked over to the railing to look. The upper stair cases were clear, but those below were filled with almost as many zombies that we had just fled from. And they were just as mad.

The dead from the first floor were now slamming the door we had entered from, but that didn’t matter now, I grabbed Caleb away and the broke through, only to join with the mob appearing from the lower levels.  We ran up the stairs quickly, taking them almost three at a time, though we had stumbled a few times, our determination kept us moving. The original plan was to make it back down to the first floor, but that was impossible, there was no way down now, only up. On the third floor I paused for a second to glance through the window in the door, only to see it filled with dead, oblivious to our presence, for now. That floor wasn’t an option so we kept climbing. Eventually we came to a door marked “roof” and that was when Caleb stopped me. ‘No!’ we yelled, his face red and his eyes wide, ‘if we go in there we’ll be just as trapped as before!’
‘We don’t have a choice!’ I yelled back, terrified as I saw that the dead had started on the same flight we had just stopped on.

I burst through the door, my eyes stun by the sudden light, it was almost sunset and the sun was directly in my view. I held the door open and went to pull Caleb through. But Caleb didn’t come through, Caleb fell. And the last I saw of him was his terrified face as the horde grabbed him and pulled him back into the darkness of the stairwell.