(Warning Cringey Content: zombie gore and things, based off a dream I had, You're welcome)
“Journal entry, it’s been approximately 3 hours since the zombie outbreak,” I write out loud as zombies silently stare up at me. “I figured I should probably write some of this down in case it could help survivors in the future.” ‘I’m assuming there will be a future.’ “It’s night time. I am at the local Gas N Get, I climbed onto the roof to fix the cable for the tv and the next thing I know…my manager is getting eaten alive by my coworker. I should be more disturbed but it was honestly a little funny considering they both kind of sucked.” ‘And she was sucking up to him to get away with not working all day.’ I look over the edge at my ex-coworker, who was still tearing into the man’s large stomach. She had taken him down so easily. “The zombies are stronger than their normal human counterparts. I saw one take someone down twice their size like it was nothing.”
My other coworker was trapped in the office and from the crashing noises, maybe not much longer. He was an okay guy, in fact he worked silently, never caused any trouble, never spoke to me at all really. I start to have thoughts that’ll get me killed, and emotions. Things like pity, maybe I can save him. If he turns out to be a creep I can just shove him off the roof, he’s practically a skeleton. I crawl over the roof to where the office window is. Hopefully my hoodie will be enough. I tie it to something sturdy-looking and hold onto the other end knock on the window. For an arm-staining moment nothing happens, other than the banging from the other side of the door pauses for a second.
Then my coworker slams his hands against the window, obviously he’d been crying, he looks up at me and for a second his eyes fill with hope. ‘This is where the zombies burst in, right? Or… I look around quickly to see a zombie approaching me, but it isn’t crazy. Blood is on its mouth and its lifeless calculating eyes are weighing the distance between the ground and me. Then it just walks away. My heart is pumping, ‘it, it can’t climb the ladder right?’ I crawl back up onto the roof ignoring the coworkers cry of confusion, he bangs on the window begging me to help him. I race to the caged stairs, no zombies yet. I had closed the caged door on the bottom but not locked it, mostly because it was a rusty pain in the butt. I slide down the ladder and grab the lock fumbling a little with the key in my urgency. I don’t dare look up, I don't dare breathe, I’m panicking. If I see a zombie now, I’ll drop the lock or something.
I hear the relieving click and then let go looking up to make eye contact with the calculating zombie. It tilts its head and then smirks making a clicking noise with its tongue that all but screams, ‘I was so close to getting you.’ that was a little too human as it walked away. I’m frozen, shaking, mouth open in horror. Finally I collect myself and climb back up to the roof. I feel a little safer now, at least until the zombies could jump 10ft in the air. I go back to the window and once again climb down to knock on it. He reappears almost immediately and I gesture for him to open the window and give me his hand. Now most people wouldn't be able to fit out of the window but he easily could, probably, hopefully. He flinches when the door gets slammed again, it’s starting to splinter.
Thankfully, it was a nice door meant to protect the manager's office, but it was no metal bathroom door. Seriously he would have probably been safer in one of the restrooms. I watch him fumble with the latches and then feel a sense of dread when the window barely cracks open. “Watch out!” I yell and stomp on the window, breaking it off so it falls to the ground. The doors are about to give and I don’t need to coax my coworker at all. He scrambles up the file cabinets and somehow with his tiny arms pulls himself up to the window. He starts to squeeze out but now the zombies are collecting.
“Hurry!” I exclaim, arms starting to feel sore. He offers his hand and I yank him out to his hips. He arches his back as the zombies reach up as if to see that they could. I grunt and tell him, “Crawl up me quickly!” He yelps as a zombie jumps swatting his jacket. “Thank you!” He gasps as he practically rips my arm out of its socket getting his footing. He climbs up on me quickly but tries not to hurt me. My arm is numb, “Now pull me up,” I grunt and offer my free hand. He braces his feet and grabs my hand. I pull and he freaking lets go.
I jerk to a stop thankfully my adrenaline feeding my arm what little strength it didn’t have. I screamed a little. I end up pulling myself back up by myself, feeling my arm muscles tear. ‘Great’. “What was that?!” I scream still high on the rush from falling. “I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” He holds out his hands, they’re bloody. “I didn’t mean to but…” ‘He’s just hurt and terrified.’ I think and collapse on the ground massaging my shoulder, “crap now we’re both hurt.” I huff. “You’re hurt?!” He exclaims, “Where, what happened?” “I tore muscles and hurt my shoulder, saving you.” I respond passive aggressively. We listen to the door break open and the zombies destroy the office looking for him. He goes white listening to it.
Shaking a little he checks his wounds, which end up being pretty extensive. Hands, arms, one of his shins. Turns out my smashing of the window didn’t help when it left jagged glass, wood, and metal. I wince when he lifts his jacket to see that it cut up his stomach too. He starts panting, “I’m screwed now aren’t I?”
“What no,” I respond almost immediately, we’re right above a store, we can get you everything you need for those cuts in a minute once those zombies wander away.
“No you don’t get it,” he laughs shakily, “shit, I’m anemic.”
“Anemic? What, you don’t eat enough?” I ask confused but start to get nervous since he is freaking out.
“No I don’t have enough red blood cells, look if I pass out I need you to-” “You could pass out?” “Listen! He exclaims, “I need you to help stop the bleeding, if I pass out lift my legs above my heart it’s cause my brain isn’t getting enough oxygen, and that’ll help.” He starts stripping and ripping up his shirt and starts tying the strips around the various cuts on his body. “I take iron vitamins so hopefully I won’t but just in case I’d rather not die, you know?” He pants, pale and sweaty. I’m really starting to regret saving him. Already he’s become a burden, but I don’t think I would have liked to hear him screaming right below me either. Torn to pieces like the manager. I’m just staring at him, he hesitates and for a second he looks scared glancing at the edge. 'He’s thinking the same dark thought that flitted through my mind earlier.' But the thought of how strong he pulled on me makes me hesitate. When adrenaline kicks in, size doesn't matter, it’s who’s more desperate.
“I’m sorry,” I say, “It’s a lot to process.”
“Why’d you save me,” he asks suddenly, he gets a far away look probably reliving his own trauma of the first three, and a half now, hours.
“Haven’t you watched zombie movies?” I laugh, “You gather people to help your chances of survival.”
“People like me don’t survive very long in zombie movies.” He says intensely, some personality coming through. I blink surprised, he’d never shown he had a spine before. “If you were thinking about ditching me, that’s fine I understand. I’ll repay you for helping me now, by risking my life to protect you until then. That’s how this works right, you saved me so I owe you my life?”
“Just once, I guess. But how do I know that I can trust you?” I murmur.
He blinks, “Come on, we’re not actually in a zombie movie, I have no reason to stab you in the back, I won’t benefit in any way by taking out the,” he uses quotation marks, “stronger survivor.”
“Unless it’s the kill me before I kill you kind of deal, those happen all the time.” I say jokingly. He holds out a bloody bandaged hand, “Then let's make a deal to never kill the other.”
“No leaving them behind either?” I ask, mostly for him.
“I don’t care if we part ways. I just don’t want to be betrayed.” I look at him skeptically waiting for his intense gaze to fade into a laugh and him make fun of me for taking him seriously. Then making a “Hmph.” Noise I shake his hand, “No betrayal, I couldn’t stomach it anyway.” He smiles and then leaning further back against his back rest, he closes his eyes, “I’m tired.” He sighs. Head falling limp to the side almost immediately.
I freeze, “Hey, hey are you serious?” I shake his shoulder and watch his head wiggle limply. “Crap.” I lay him on his back and lift his legs. ‘Glad no one can see this, cause this is weird.’ I think. ‘Maybe if I was standing and wasn’t crouching…’ He snorts, throwing an arm over his eyes, “Might need some medicine soon.” He mumbles as I put his legs down. Then smiles, “I was just sleeping by the way, but it’s nice to know you care about me.”
“Next time I’m letting you die!” I say embarrassed.
“Nooo.” He slurs obviously not fine. “You promised.” He passes back out. I watch him breathe until I convince myself that he's not gonna die suddenly then move to the edge of the building waiting for the zombies to move on, as you can imagine, they don’t for hours and hours. I nod off in the warm night air.
I wake with a start when a couple trucks pull up, I open my mouth to warn about the zombies just in case but the zombies start shambling towards the truck and the trucks open fire. I move backwards quickly covering my ears and ducking down to avoid stray fire. “I think they know about the zombies.” I say this to my coworker. He looks like he’s about to vomit, head up off the ground panicked at the sound of gunshots. The truck drivers whoop and call out that the outside is clear. They go inside and start clearing the inside of the store as well. “Gather everything that you can carry, let’s empty it out and take it back to the base.” I hear the order and know that I’m gonna hafta make myself known. I go to the edge of the roof, “Need the keys to the drug cabinet?” I call and immediately get a gun pointed at me, I duck.
“Sorry kid, you work here?” The man calls.
I pop back up, “Well, used to, was on the roof when they went rabid.” I gesture to the fallen zombies.
“Anyone turn after getting bit?” He asks, “tryna figure out what kind of zombies we're dealing with.”
I point to the previous manager, “He’s the only one that got bit that I know off, and that was hours and hours ago, I feel like he’d have turned by now.”
“Unless they take days,” the man muses, “well, come on down we could use your help.”
“And keys,” another chuckles. I take a deep breath, ‘Let’s hope I’m not immediately killed.’
“On my way.” I inform. I crawl down the ladder and turn to see the calculating zombie from earlier. I feel the air leave my lungs before I realize it’s hurt. It’s panting holding its arm across its bullet riddled chest. Then turning its head to me amused, gives me a very vocal, ‘You win this round’ expression. Before dying, I gawk at it for a while then as the men come around the corner, unlock the cage door, closing and locking it behind me just in case. Making a wide berth around the zombie I look up at the large, muscular, red necks. They gesture for me to follow them and I realize nervously that I’m being escorted, one on either side and one in front and behind.
“Can you tell us what happened here,” the obvious leader asks me, being the most intimidating and having an actual scar on his face. “Farming equipment accident,” he says brushing it with his thumb, “We’re all friends from the farmer’s market, don’t be nervous.” I laugh awkwardly. It was hard not to be uncomfortable when I was surrounded by bloody, dead bodies and big men with guns.
“Well, I was sent up to the roof and everything in the store was normal when I left. Then after I was up there for like ten minutes I heard screaming.”
“Who was screaming? Do you know?”
“The manager.” I responded immediately, “My coworker was late and when he saw her from a distance he went to see what was up. She was in her work uniform and everything. Then she just attacks him.”
“Where did all the others come from?”
“The field behind her they just ran out of it like a pack.”
“Do you think that they were waiting?” A different man asks.
“It’s too soon to know.” The leader says and then gesturing to the glass cabinet, “If you would?” He grins. I unlock it and watch them fill bags full of cigarettes, drugs, alcohol and everything else in the store. “We’re pulling everyone we can to the police station and others are in a school, we’re keeping contact with each other and trying to set up some sort of base operations, do you want to come with us?”
“What are the rules?” I ask head down calculating my chances of survival versus betrayal of either staying or going with them. “The same as everyday life, other than stealing, that is, these are necessary resources.”
“Do you take…everyone?” I ask carefully.
“Of course, as long as they aren’t a zombie.” He laughs.
“Even if they’re hurt?” I touch my shoulder subconsciously.
“Are you hurt?” He asks concerned and I flinch away a little worried that I was getting myself in a much more dangerous position, zombies were predictable, humans weren’t. I had no idea if there really was a safe haven or not.
“I’m going to stay.” I say suddenly. “The roof is safe enough, I’ll set up camp if I have to but my mother should be here to pick me up soon, I can’t just let her see all this and not be there to show her I’m fine.
“Do you need a ride?” He asks again, looking like a concerned father, “I can take you to your moms, it’s dangerous to be out right now.”
“What about phones, radio transmissions, are they all still working?” I ask, pulling out my phone and stare at the silenced warning alarm. “The government sent out a warning to stay in your homes and lock your doors but that doesn’t protect people from their own loved ones that are turning.” ‘I need to think about my coworker.’
“What about hospitals?” I ask, “Can you take me to one?”
“No!” One of the other men exclaims, “They’re risky, we don’t know whether or not people turn but if they do it’ll be overrun in a matter of minutes.”
“It depends on how badly you’re injured, we do need to lock down hospitals, doctors are imperative for our survival, we don’t know how long we’ll have to ride this out and we don’t wanna die from a nasty splinter.”
“We’ll need more men,” Another man says slowly, “But you’re right.”
“My coworker got cut by glass while we were escaping, he’s anemic and probably needs a blood transfusion.” I decide to try to trust these men.
The leader's eyes widen, “Why didn’t you say something sooner?!”
“I didn’t know if I could trust you yet, you did come in guns blazing!” I stutter as he and some men drag me back to the roof, they carry the feverish and unconscious coworker to their truck, “I’m leaving you in charge Scotty, keep them in check. We’ll meet back up at the police station.”
Comments (0)See all