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?

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Dead Chapter 23

Book 1: The Dead

Chapter 23

I knew I had to do it, the dead were closing in fast, they were almost on the same level as me and I didn't have much time. I tried to stop thinking about it and my fear of being torn apart by the dead overcame my fear of ending up splattered on the pavement. I jumped. I don’t remember the feeling of falling, when I remember I realize I was overestimating the distance, I wasn't falling for long. My memory starts again when I landed on the mattress, thankfully it was big enough that I didn't hit the sides of the Ute. Or Todd. Pain shot through my left leg however, although the adrenaline dealt with it and it didn't seem too bad I knew I would be in pain for a while.

‘Where’s Caleb?’ Todd asked, but we didn't have any time to lose and I didn’t have the courage to tell him yet
‘Just drive!’ I screamed back, scrambling to find a secure place on the back of the Ute. Todd hit the top of the Ute, yelling at Wendy to drive. We accelerated quickly, and Todd almost fell off as he sat down. The dead had reached the end of the fire escape and a few had fallen off in the crush but the now reached for us helplessly, their legs broken. The rest stopped and after a moment their growls and groans had died down, and they began to shuffle back up the stairs. We drove off at an increasing pace leaving behind the dead, my mother, the bike, and Caleb’s body, or what was left of it.

Eventually, when the hospital was out of sight, Todd signaled for them to pull over. We were on a small road with lots of houses, but there were little signs of blood, struggle, or traffic so we assumed it would be safe for a moment. Wendy was the first to speak, jumping out of the driver’s seat, ‘what happened in there Will? Where’s Caleb?’ Monica had also left the Ute with a much simpler easy to answer question: ‘were you bitten?’
‘No,’ I replied looking at Monica, but when I turned to answer Wendy’s question I found I couldn't speak, and for the first time since my father died I began to cry. I hugged Wendy, but in her realization of what had happened she didn’t even acknowledge it. Todd too was shocked, and grabbed the side of the Ute for support. Monica looked down and took a deep breath, but as ever her expression remained unchanged.

After a moment I regained my composure, as did the others and Wendy began to return the hug. I pulled back, drying my eyes ‘I’m sorry,’ I said, trying to think about the matter at hand, ‘we need to get back to the others as soon as possible.’ I began to pull the mattress out of the back, but Wendy shook her head and stopped me, ‘no, Will, you have to tell us what happened in there, how’-she paused for a second and swallowed-‘how did Caleb die?’

Isn't it obvious?’ I replied, almost bitterly, ‘he chased after me, the dead chased after him… and they caught us’
‘How can you be so cold?’ Wendy yelled hysterically
‘Because I have to be,’ I seethed back
‘Everyone just calm down,’ Todd stepped between us. I breathed deeply for a few moments, trying to suppress the rage and guilt, but most of all grief inside me ‘we have to keep going,’ I said finally struggling to stopped myself from yelled or breaking down in tears, ‘none of us are naive enough to think that Caleb will be our last casualty, all we can do is keep moving and right now Simon need this medicine, and who knows what’s happened while we've been gone, we can’t afford to grieve… not yet.’ I pulled the mattress out and got into the passenger seat of the Ute, Monica soon following me and getting in the driver’s seat while Wendy and Todd absorbed what I said and what had happened in silence.

We managed to reach the clinic with little trouble, Todd’s distraction mission had served as a scouting mission too and he had found a route that while it took us through a field avoided main roads and dangerous areas. As we drove closer I noticed two things: the fortifications had been improved, there were no gaps in the windows and a car had been moved to partially block to entrance. The second thing I noticed is that there was a new car parked outside, an old small car. I wondered whether the others had gone looking for new vehicles but I doubted it, even if they had they wouldn't have taken an old car like that. I didn't voice my concerns though, the atmosphere was too tense to add more fear and anxiety. We needed good news, hopefully Nicole would come with some.

We drove in slowly, flashing our lights to signal them that it was us, but with all the visual blocks I wondered whether they would see it. My concerns were answered when Daniel open the front door, flashing his torch to signal that they weren't being invaded or attacked, I wondered now whether we over thought the whole signal thing. As we pulled I convinced Monica to park where it would make it impossible for the new car to leave, if there was something wrong, I wanted to do everything to make sure we’d be safe. Wendy and Todd got off the back, each carrying one of the bags full of the medicine. I couldn't help feeling like we’d traded Caleb’s life for that. I hope it was worth it.

When we reached the door Daniel looked at us, realizing who was missing he silently looked down and then opened the door to let us through. Nicole was waiting just inside and when she saw us she almost ran and hugged me. Daphne appeared from inside Simon’s room, although she smiled at us I could tell she was more excited to see the medicine. Then Nicole saw Daniel close the door and stare at her with sad eyes. She looked at me, distressed, ‘what happened,’ she asked

‘I could ask you the same thing,’ I replied, nodding towards the bullet hole in the floor. Then I heard a voice from behind me, ‘sorry, that was my fault.’

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