six: not alone
I'm running as fast as my legs will let me. My yellow cardigan is drenched with sweat and my jeans feel heavy on my hips. I make it around the bend and stop. From the corner of El Taho street, I notice the front door of my house is off its hinges and resting lazily against the busted frame.
My heart sinks and I feel the warm, dry bile forming in my throat. I fall to my knees and vomit whatever it is that came back up. This isn't happening. This can't be happening. Zombies don't exist.
I get to me feet and see someone stumble out of my house. Her gray hair is untucked and tangled and even from here I can notice her beautiful skin peeling off her face. Grams struggles to stay on her two feet, she trips in the steps and falls on her face.
I sneak around the Carter's house and try the car doors. They're locked. I try to force the image of Grams out of my mind. I need to get out of here! I desperately attempt to break into the car but my measly strenght can't even help me smash a window. I check over the hood of the car and see nobody safe Grams on the ground.
"Fuck..." I finally let out my anxiety through one little word. I crawl back around the car and find a tire iron in front of the garage door. I pick it up, jump to my feet and swing the tire iron at the driver's side window, shaterring it to a thousand little jagged pieces. Before I even unlock the door from the inside, there comes a blaring sound. Car alarm.
I look around and see half a dozen zombies, some coming at me faster then others. They're decaying at different rates, I notice. No time for observation, I need to get out here fast!
I unlock the door, slide inside the car and search frantically for a set of shiny keys. The alarm is so loud, I can barely concentrate on searching for the keys.
"Come on, come on."
My hair keeps falling in my face, obstructing my view. I reach inside my jean pocket, pull out a bright pink elastic and tie my bushy brown hair back into a ponytail. There. I resume my search and scream when I feel cold hands on my shoulder. I jerk up swinging the tire iron inside the car and see Felix Holloway, standing outside the window.
His eyes express a deep sadness; bloodshot, puffy around the lids. I look past him and am amazed to see more of the walking dead coming towards the car. The sound of the alarm.
"Get in the car!!" I yell, hitting the steering wheel. I'm scared. Felix doesn't move, just keeps staring at me. I swear again and step out of the brand new Mazda3. Felix still doesn't move. I grab him by the hand and pull him towards the passenger side door and tell him again to get in the car. This time he does.
I get back inside the car and finally find a spare key hidden in the glovebox. I stick it inside the ignition and the car starts with a low rumble. The alarm stops and I shift the gear in reverse. The green Mazda3 pulls out of the driveway and then I shift into drive and zoom down the street.
I don't look around, I don't talk to Felix, I do nothing but drive, drive as fast as I can. As the city floats around me, I think back to this morning. This morning.
"She's dead." Felix whispers into the window. It pulls me out of my thoughts and I look at him. I pull over on Kennedy Boulevard. Silence reigns inside the family car.
"Who's dead, Felix?"
He looks at me as if noticing i'm there for the first time, noticing his surroundings for the first time.
"Annabelle. She was...she was coming at me." He says before losing control of his emotions. Deep sobs came and went for nearly twenty minutes. I couldn't say anything or do anything and it was probably for the best.
We drove around town all night, seeing nothing but rotting corpses walking around aimlessly. In a matter of hours, Del Rio relinquished life. And somehow my parents are involved in all of this. David was right. I decide to leave my home, leave behind everything I know and head to Houston. 10 miles out and the radio begins to fade to a static noise.
This really is happening...