Chapter 5: Car Crash
Six days had passed since the day in the school. Peter and Allen had forced their way into a small corner shop near the centre of London. When they had found their way in they immediately made sure that no one else would. Allen grabbed a stack of shelves and moved it towards the door. He tipped it over so it fell in front making the door unable to open. Piles of brown and blue foil packed peanuts fell to the floor, along with various coloured tubes of Pringles. Allen looked at the mess on the floor and lost himself in thought. He shook it off and went to go help Peter.
Peter had made his way to the back of the shop. He had taken another shelf stack from the back of the shop and was manoeuvring it in front of the door that led to the upstairs of the building. He had managed to get it to the counter and pushed it over, so it was leaning against it. Allen came over and grabbed the top that was sticking out over the counter and Peter grabbed the bottom, and lifted. Allen steadied the shelf stack and slowly lowered it on top of the counter. Peter then lifted up his end and Allen slowly lowered his end to the floor. When it was on the other side of the counter Allen pulled it towards him to right the shelf stack. Peter jumped over the counter and grabbed one side of the shelves and Allen grabbed the other and they moved it to the door. The then tipped the shelf stack on its side so that it wouldn't be as easy to knock down. Peter and Allen sat down together with a massive exhalation of air. Allen smiled. Peter looked at him and also smiled. It was the first time in days that he had seen Allen smile. Then a sudden fit of laughter erupted from Peter.
Later on Allen was eating something to keep his strength up. Peter had already eaten so he just sat in a corner going over everything that had happened in the last few days. Before going too deep into thought he quickly looked at the window. The shutters of the shop were down. There was a small gap that was part of the design of the shutters. Through the shutters Peter could see down a street. The clouds were baked orange and the sky was pale blue. The day was nearly over. A patch of light shone through the gap and lit up Peter's face. He watched the setting sun and let his mind go back six days.
Peter was stood in the class room. The infected boy was just stood there staring. Peter dare not move.
"Allen," he whispered.
Allen stirred as if suddenly he had woken from a trance. He slowly turned his head to see his surroundings. Then he saw the dead man on the floor and Peter stood there. He looked past Peter and saw the small boy.
"It's ok, Peter, I'm back," Allen whispered back.
"What do we do??" Peter asked as quietly as he could.
Allen slowly looked around the room again. He saw a door to his right. He came up with an idea. He slowly moved backwards. He started to raise his arm behind him. He slowly let his fingers make contact with the window. He pushed gently.
"The windows are plastic," Allen explained, "if we can get into the next classroom then one of us can hold the door whilst the other breaks the window through. As the windows are only plastic it might take a while but I get a feeling that he won't try to go round."
"Sounds like a plan," Peter said nervously.
All the while that Allen had been checking the window; the tension in Peter had been growing and growing. He knew that the infected could lunge at him at any point. Maybe it was because he was standing still that the infected boy didn't try to attack yet.
"Ready??" Allen asked.
"Go!" Peter shouted.
They both bolted for the door. The infected boy began to run forwards. Peter got to the door first and swung it open. He dived through. Allen followed the next second. Peter ran for the window. Allen turned around and closed the door. Just before he did he saw the flash of the rage filled eyes. The boy slammed himself at the door, scratching, biting and hitting the glass as hard as he could. Luckily for Peter and Allen though, because the in the middle of the glass was a mess frame that prevented anyone who broke the glass from getting through. Peter was at the window holding his chair leg. He swung at the window. It bounced off. He swung again, but this time harder. A small crack appeared in the window, but the table leg bounced off. He swung again. The crack widened and spread. A small chip fell out of the other side. Peter smiled. It was working. He swung again. This time the table leg went through the window. Not a lot, but enough widen the hole. Peter then held the table leg so he could jab the window. He trusted it at the small hole repeatedly. Every time there was a sound of cracking plastic. Peter hit and hit. Soon half of the window was cracked and the hole was big enough for him to get his hand through. Peter threw down his chair leg and began to punch the plastic. Bits and bits fell away with every punch. After a minute or two there was a hole large enough to step through. Peter tested by putting half his body through the hole.
"We can get through now," Peter called to Allen.
"Not a moment too soon," Allen called back.
The infected child had managed to break all the glass and was hammering at the mesh. Allen stuffed his table leg in the handle so that the infected couldn't turn it, and then ran for the hole. Peter jumped out and landed with a forward roll. A few seconds later Allen landed beside him, though he stayed on his feet.
They both heard a sound coming from above them. They looked at the window and saw an infected boy looking down at them. It was a different boy. He made the same raspy noise as the hunched man did and then disappeared.
"We've gotta get to the car quick," Peter said.
Allen nodded. They both ran. The small path leg round under the bridge corridor. It then opened out onto the play ground. There were some stairs leading to the car park to their right. They turned to run to the stairs when they heard glass smash. They turned around to see a window had just been broken and there was a little infected girl climbing out.
"How many are there!" Peter shouted.
They both ran for the stairs. The little girl managed to fully climb out of the window and started to give chase. Peter and Allen were in the car park and weaving through the cars. Allen reached the driver's door. He opened the door and got in. Peter reached the passenger seat door and opened it. He stopped to look across the car park. Two small infected boys ran out of the office door, and the little girl just reached the top of the stairs. Peter snapped to his senses in a moment of panic and got in the car just as the engine was started. Peter began to drive at speed out of the school. The three infected children ran after the car. Allen quickly turned to his right and began to drive down the road. The children reached the gate after about 10 seconds and carried on running after the car, even though it was going too fast for them to catch up. The car sped round a corner and the infected were out of sight.
Allen didn't stop driving at speed.
"Allen, slow down they've gone," Peter said, beginning to fear a crash.
Allen didn't respond. Peter looked at him. Allen was wearing a face of fierce determination.
"Allen," Peter said slowly, "you won't find them by driving fast. You'll only attract attention to us. We can head to the train station without having to go at speed."
Allen slowly turned his head. He meant to take his foot off of the accelerator but his leg locked. Allen looked at Peter with resignation in his eyes. He wanted to rush in to save Helen and Samantha but he knew he couldn't. Peter and Allen both looked forward at the same time, and just in time to see the parked car. There was a moment of silence that seemed to last forever. Then there was a flash of blue and a bang. Debris shot across the road and pavement in all directions. Peter and Allen's car carried on for a few more feet before it came to a stop. Peter and Allen were both in mild shock and their chests hurt from where the seatbelts had forced them backwards in an attempt to stop them going through the windshield. Peter shook himself into his senses. He released his seat belt and opened the door. The framework has crumpled so Peter had to force the door open. His vision was slightly blurry but it was coming back fast. Allen woke up and released his seatbelt. He tried to open his door but it was too broken. He sidled onto Peter's seat and used his door to get out. Allen stumbled when he stood up and held onto the roof of the car to steady himself. He shook his head to regain full use of his senses. Peter was more alert now.
"We have to get out of here," Peter said, looking around the streets. "Those children might be on our tails, and the sound of the crash might caused us unneeded attention"
Allen nodded. If he talked he would throw up.
With minor cuts and bruises the two of them set off running down the street to find the nearest place to rest properly. This is how they lived for the next five days. They moved from shop to shop, shelter to shelter, making sure they were safe at night and could move in the day. When they found a new place to hide, they always secured the exits. They mainly chose shops because of the food.
Peter woke from his thoughts. Allen had just finished eating. The sun was just below the horizon now. The sky looked beautiful. A single tear rolled down Peter's face as he thought about the sun set. About how all this infection and killing was going on through it all the sun set was still just as beautiful as before. Peter wiped his eye with his sleeve. They had both found new clothes in a previous shop. It didn't matter that they stole. No one was around to see.
"We'd better get some sleep," Peter called to Allen.
Allen nodded. He didn't talk much anymore. Peter lay down where he was. He covered himself in his jacket and closed his eyes. Allen did the same but in the middle of the shop. Outside the infection raged on.