"We can't wait here forever. The sun will set and it'll be too late. We need to go in now." Aleks insists, whispering to Felix and I as we lie in the tall grass, observing Romero from a distance. A large rain cloud was floating above us all day, threatening to unleash its wrath at any moment.
I can see the auto repair shop that I broke into last week. Still see the blood smeared across the diamond squared windows, the shattered glass door. A row of bungalows line the street across from us and behind that is a field that stretches all the way to the forest's edge. To our left is what would be called centertown. Shops vary in shapes and sizes along the main road with Tony's auto repair shop standing firmly in the middle.
And all the space in between is occupied by walking corpses, decaying slowly as they walk pointlessly in circles, some continously walking into the same wall, others slumped against trash bins, moaning and cawing their horrible sound. The stench is unbearable.
"And what do you suggest we do, Aleks? The town is dead. There's no way we'll make it to a store, supply ourselves and leave unscathed." I try and keep my calm but my anger filters itself out through gritted teeth. She can't be serious. We need food, that cannot be denied, but I am not risking my life for a suicide mission.
"You tell us, Charlie. Your the one who Duked it out back there. How many did you kill with that staff?" She asks pointing at the bloodied branch i've been carrying since we left our hiding spot. The same spot where I single handedly took down several zombies. Felix doesn't say a word. So not surprised.
I knew this would somehow come back to haunt me. But I was sure it would come in a dream.
"I was trashed with adrenaline, Aleks. I don't know how I managed. As for that," I point to the swarm of rotting corpses walking aimlessly in the town square, "That is a whole other fucking ballgame."
"Then let the first inning begin. Who's keeping scores?" Aleks sounds excited, something gleeful escapes her mouth when she speaks. I have no time to drag her down, she's already running down the hill.
Felix sighs and shakes his head. "I thought she had stealth. I think I thought wrong."
"Come on, she's going to die down there." I hold onto my branch, my staff as Aleks called it. I look into Felix' eyes and before we run down to catch up to Aleks, he brushes the few curly strands of hair away from my face and leans in for a kiss.
It feels awfully out of place right now. I shy away. "Not now, Felix." I know he's hurt. But this isn't the time. I spot Aleks down by Main street, knocking out some zombies. She's smart enough not to use the gun at least.
POW POW POW
Nevermind. "Let's go get her before all hell breaks loose."
"Kinda happened already" He says matter-of-factly. I grimace and run down the hill after Aleks.
What happened in the woods was nothing compared to how I feel at this precise moment. Seeing so many of them. Who were they? I try and shake the past lives of strangers out of my head as I knock 'em down but each time I bash a skull in I wonder what occupation they held, if they had children - or worst - parents. I never even knew I had this instinct in me, this will to survive. I'm so hungry.
"Guys, we need to get to the supermarket!!" I yell at Felix at Aleks who are both busy fighting off their own demons. Aleks seems to be enjoying it a bit too much.
"AHH!" I swing the branch sideways and wack the oncoming zombie across the face, ripping off its left ear and taking out its eye. It falls to the ground and I close in and stab the staff down into its soft, decaying flesh, and into its brain. It snaps one last time before going limp. I turn back to Aleks and Felix.
"I SAID WE HAVE TO GET TO -" Just then two boys come walking out of what looks like a music shop. One is armed with a electric guitar and the other is keeping watch. Survivors.
I see the movement. I know what is going on but somehow, I just can't accept it as truth. I feel the first raindrop on my skin. Aleks spins around and I swear it is in slowmotion. Her blonde hair blows in the wind behind her. She pulls her pistol out and without thinking, without even blinking an eye she brings down the two boys.
"NOOOO!" I'm running towards them, hitting random zombies as I make my way to the boys. I don't look at Felix, don't look at Aleks. I just run past them. The boys. They must be thirteen, fourteen. Just a few years younger then we are. Harmless. Their both lying there, still. As if being awaken from a dream, I finally take in my surroundings.
I hear Aleks and Felix fighting off the hoard of undead. I fight the tears, supress my anger, ignore the rage that is threatening my very survival. Get it togheter, Charlie.
Moaning erupts from my left and without even looking - partly because my gaze is fixed on Aleks - I stab my staff inside a zombie's eye socket and leave it there. I've been supressing my anger and sadness for too long.
"We need to get to the supermarket, now! We'll fortify if we need to. Give me your gun, Aleks!" The first lightening strikes in the background and the rain begins to fall hard.
"I'm not giving you my gun." Aleks says, stabbing her knife in the female zombie's ear and then kicking her in the stomach. "Lead the way," she adds.
I catch a glimpse of Felix. He is pale as a ghost. He can't even stand up for them, for me. We're going to die.