“Courtyard. Ready CJ?”
Now in a triangle formation we open the double doors to the courtyard.
“Vic, know what else we could do?”
“We can figure out a way to hop over to Brad High. It’s right there, it’d be easier than taking on zombies.”
“Good idea. CJ, think you’d be up for that?”
“Parkour! My brother goes there, we can meet up…”
Vic and I look at each other concerned as we crouch behind a wall.
“We can try…”
“It’s almost two. Haven’t heard any of the bells…”
“Maybe they were turned off?”
“We didn’t get food.”
“There’s a vending machine just past Mrs. Bright’s class guys. It’s the one with the best stuff.”
“Got any cash CJ?”
“Haha, I’m kidding. We’re gonna smash-n-grab.”
“We’ll smash it open and you fill us up, got it?”
“Make it quick.”
“You know… *CRACK* “There was never a wack-a-mole zombie edition.”
“We’re living it now Flo.”
“I see em.”
“Almost done CJ?”
“We gotta go, now!”
“Get it off!”
“I’m trying…Vic, help!”
“Flo… *WHACK* *SMASH* *GURGLE* “We might’ve bitten off more than we can chew.”
*WOMP WOMP* *TUMBLE*
“Come on, get on!”
“Everybody on? Hang on!”
“Where are we going?”
“The goal is the parking lot. We need a car, cause well, a golf cart is like a temporary zombie outbreak transport.”
“How you doing C? Any bites or scratches?”
“No…ripped my sleeve, but no blood.”
“You know him CJ?”
“Yeah. This is my brother Connor.”
“How do you do?”
“Um…good…how did you find us?”
“Pretty much by accident.”
“It all hit the fan fourth period. The bell rang and we were walking to english when I heard a scream from down the hall. One of the teachers was biting one of her students…
“At first I thought it was some weird prank but…the student was trying their best to get away. Kicking, punching and reaching out to anyone passing by for help. We all stood in shock…
“The sound…the sound is what shook me out of it. The kid pulled away as hard and fast as he could in one jerk…he landed on his side…the teacher held his detached arm in her hands, chewing away at the socket. The kid was leaned up against the lockers, trying to stop the bleeding, growing more and more pale in the face.”
“How we gonna get into a car?”
“Break a window.”
“What if there’s an alarm?”
“Gotta be quick.”
“Something durable, an SUV would be best.”
“How about that one?”
“Nice eye little brother.”
“Let’s go. CJ…”
“Haha…yeah. I’ll unlock the doors then everybody in quick.”
“You know how to hot-wire a car?”
“Nope. Process of elimination, never fails.”
Vic and I rush CJ into the back as the alarm sound echoes. “Guard the food and supplies CJ.”
“What about Connor?”
“We’ll take care of him.”
“Think you should kill the alarm first.”
“No. Jumpstart first, I’ll kill the alarm on the road.”
“Sounds like behind us…”
“Both sides too.”
“Got it. Load up!”
It’s been ten minutes of us driving, and the alarm is finally off. Of all the things, we somehow pick a minivan.
“It’s roomie. Lots of space back here.”
“Where we going Connor?”
“No idea. My plan was escape the schools.”
“My house is close. I have better supplies there.”
“And your parents?”
“My step-dad is most likely at work.”
“And your mom?”
Vic continues to stare out of the window. His faded reflection has a look of both sorrow and fear. “…I dunno…”
As we pull into Vic’s driveway the front door’s open but there’s no sign of zombie attacks. “Maybe it hasn’t spread this far Vic…”
“Then why were we the only car on the road?”
“Want us to go in with you?”
“We should all regroup. Stock up on whatever we can and toss it in the van.”
Despite the mid-spring heat, the air inside’s cold and damp. A smell hits us as we begin to make our way upstairs. A mix of stale coffee and moldy fruit.
“Vic, where’s your stash?”
“My room, hall closet and game room.
“Connor and CJ get the closet, it’ll be a small box of knives with a few flashlights. But stay quiet, might not be alone here.”
“I’ll get the game…”
“No Flo. Go to my room. Two backpacks full and ready, you know where they are.”
“Vic, be careful.”
“You know me Flo. We’ll meet back up in the kitchen.”
Vic’s house is eerily quiet. I’ve been here at least a hundred times but now it’s, unwelcoming.
Vic stands in the doorway to his game room. Staring at his mom.
“Mom…no…not you. You always said you’d never let yourself turn…”
She steps towards him, arms outstretched. He’s frozen, tears run down his face.
She’s inches away from him. “…Vic…”
In one motion he plunges a knife into the side of her forehead. I place my hand on his shoulder. “I’m…I’m sorry Victor…”
We’re all gathered in the room around him, silent.
* * *
“Hey man…how’re you doing?”
“Eh…trying to plan.”
“I know that wasn’t easy.”
“I mean it. I haven’t told CJ yet but…the first one I killed was my boyfriend Matteo.”
“I think we’re all set Vic.”
“Yeah, last pack loaded up, much better food too.”
“Awesome job little brother.”
“…I’m sorry about Matteo.”
“…What happened to Matteo?…”
“After we saw the kid get attacked we ran to the nearest classroom. We thought we’d be safe.
“We sat quietly waiting when one smashed through a window landing right onto Lindsay. It took out the front of her neck in one bite. Matteo grabbed a hand full of sharpened pencils and stabbed it in the head.
“It seemed like we’d only been hiding a few seconds. We left the room and walked into the hallway where it was…covered in death. There were seven of us when we opened the door, by the end just Matteo and I were left.
“Jake was the last one out, he knocked into the metal drinking fountain while trying to close the door. The dull thud echoed down the hallway. We stared at him panicked. Then as if we read each other’s minds, we all took off in a sprint down the hall. A bunch of em were heading towards the water fountain. Jake was looking back when he started running and slipped in a pool of blood, losing his footing instantly. I looked back just in time to see the fear overcome his face, as two of em began their frenzy.
“Michelle ran for the stairs and one of the zombies chasing us broke off to go after her. We heard a scream and then the zombie fell all the way down the stairs behind us. The five of us pushed through the doors to the courtyard. Michelle was standing on the roof, she dove head first from the top of the second story.
“When I was heading back towards the middle school I passed by her body. Her eyes were black, she’d begun to turn.
“Matteo wanted to make a dash for the car but Diana, Sheryl and Zane wanted to go to the field in the back. Head for the trees for easier cover and hope to find shelter.
“Matteo and I were on our way to the parking lot when we had to duck into the office. A mob of undead headed straight for us. We held the doors closed and kept as low as possible. The doors shook as the hoard sped past.
“Our backs were turned away from the door…one of us should’ve been watching our backs.
“A turned office assistant snuck up on me. Matteo wrestled him back. He lunged for Matteo but Matteo countered with a right cross sending the zombie flying back.
“We were asking one another if we were okay. When the zombie launched back up at Matteo, knocking him against the wall and then onto the floor. That was the first time I’d noticed, the smell of them…wet, rotting flesh.
“It was on top of Matteo jerking, trying to get its head past Matteo’s arm barrier.
“It happened fast: I grabbed a pair of scissors and stabbed it in the head. Matteo pushed it off of him.
“I thought he’d be relieved but instead…his face showed panic.
“I got some of its sweat in my eye and in my mouth…”
“But did it bite you?”
“No…but I don’t…”
“And that was it. Within thirty seconds his eyes went black. He took the scissors out of the zombie’s head and handed them to me.”
“Get it done quick.”
“It’ll happen soon.”
“I love you babe…”
“I stabbed him as soon as he turned. It took me a while to leave. When I did I ended up finding you three.”
“I’m so sorry big brother.”
“Thanks C. At least we still have each other.”
“…At least you got…to say good-bye.”
“…True. I’m sorry Vic.”
“I’ll be fine. We need to close the windows and doors. Make sure we’re secure.”
I sit next to Vic on his bed. “Vic, I’m here…”
“It’s just, I thought I knew. I thought I had a plan for everything and…my mom…I just, didn’t realize how much I was still…”