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, 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. 

No comments:

Post a Comment