A/N: I know. I've gone crazy. I need to stop watching Resident Evil.
Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight. Or any zombies. Thank God.
Until the End
Four months. That was all the time it had taken for the world to end. It seemed like such a minuscule amount, not enough time to build a house or even create a life. But it felt like forever. When there's nothing to look forward to, no light at the end of the tunnel, four months of hell can start to make a person lose his or her mind.
It started in February 2012. I'd expected the apocalypse, but not in the form of flesh eating, undead monsters. I remembered being excited for the iPhone 6 coming out in the summer. No one knew how it had started, but once it did, there was no stopping it. I had yet to see a zombie for myself up close. Jacob never let me leave the safety of our group. It was the same with all the women and children. We had been very lucky for the most part. We had started just shy of fifty people, the only ones left in Forks after the evacuation, but now there were only thirty of us traveling towards Brazil.
My father had been one of our leaders, he and a few Quileute men, Sam Uley and Billy Black. We had lost Billy early on; he'd broken his leg and with no doctor to help him, he had become a liability. After a tearful goodbye and good luck, he made us leave without him, giving us all his guns but one, insisting he would hold off anything that came our way. We were traveling slowly, trying to find other survivors on the way.
My father, Charlie, had been bitten two months after we left, and hid it from me until he started to change. The change took twenty four hours, and he decided to die instead of fight it. I didn't find out about any of it until after Jacob shot him. I never even got to say goodbye. He hadn't wanted me to see him like that, his eyes going glassy and losing all sense of humanity. He'd made Jacob promise to take care of me from then on. I didn't even cry when I learned my dad had died. I'd simply looked at Jacob and held it in, returning to my cooking.
My eyes clenched at the memory. The only things I had left to remember my parents were their wedding rings. I had had my mom's since I was eleven, when she died of breast cancer, and Jacob gave me my dad's after he killed him. I was thankful my mother hadn't lived to see what the world had come to. I resented Jacob a little after Charlie's death. I knew he was only following my dad's orders, but I still wished he had just let me see him one more time, if only to say "I love you" and "I'll see you again sometime." At the same time I was thankful Jacob had the strength to kill Charlie. I knew if it had been me with the gun, I wouldn't have been able to do it.
Now we were living in stolen campers, siphoning gas from abandoned vehicles and getting food from convenient stores. Technology didn't work for us anymore; cell phones didn't get signals and electricity was a no-go. The only kind of communication we had that still worked was our radio, but we had no speaker to reply to any broadcaster. Plumbing thankfully still worked, and we used generators for a while until we realized the sound alerted the monsters to our presence. We spent a whole month in Colorado looking for survivors. No one came to us, though. People were terrified. Everyone was scared of the chance that the zombies would gain some intelligence on top of the instinct to constantly feed, and then they would be the superiority. They were definitely the majority right now. We guessed they outnumbered humans ten to one. We went from eight billion people in the world to only about one billion. The last country for the infection to hit was Australia. Because no one knew how it started, no one knew what to do to keep it from spreading. Australia had been everyone's evacuation target, but everything went wrong when the virus spread there, too.
I was currently in one of the five campers, cleaning the pots of grits from breakfast. My camper contained only women except for three young boys. There were two girls I'd gone to high school with, Jessica Stanley and Lauren Cohen. There were two little girls and their mothers. I didn't even remember all their names. We lost people every week—I figured there was no point. There was one other camper of women, only seven more, and the rest of our group was men. We'd had whole families of the fifty of us, married couples, old and young, but once one died, the other didn't last long. We even had a divorced couple on board. They bickered all the time, but they were stuck having to help each other. It would have been comical if the situation wasn't so morose.
"Hey," Jacob said, walking into the camper. I looked up from my dishes to give him my attention. He was shirtless, as always, with two guns secured on a belt and one on his muscular back. The June weather in Texas was very hot, and I chased a bead of sweat running down his chest with my eyes. "Come outside. You can do that later." I said nothing, and followed him out.
Before the infection, I'd had two best friends: Alice Brandon and Jacob. Alice, her boyfriend, and her family had evacuated with the others, all headed to Australia. I hadn't seen or heard from her since. We'd graduated together the May before, now only a year ago. Jacob and I had been friends since birth, but now that he was one of our leaders, he was always giving me orders, always in a rotten mood, trying to figure out what was best for all of us. He wasn't my Jacob anymore. I knew it wasn't his fault, but I hated the fact that he thought I had to do anything he commanded. Now I only had one best friend, and I had no idea where she was.
We traveled through the country, taking as many back roads as we could. Sometimes I didn't even pay attention to where we were; it didn't really matter to me anymore. The people spoke of how lucky it was that we hadn't run into any hordes yet. In all truth, the most number of zombies we had seen at one time was about twenty, the time my father had been bitten. We'd been in Colorado, and I'd watched from the safety of our camper, between the bars that had been placed on the windows, as our men fought the undead. We lost quite a few that night, and the women next to me cried more with every gunshot that rang through the air.
I wanted to fight, I wanted to learn! If we weren't careful, soon all the men would be gone and we women would be clueless to defend ourselves. I'd told Jacob this many times, and his answer was always the same.
"Have you given any more thought to my suggestion?" I asked him as we walked towards the others.
He didn't answer me, so I rolled my eyes and huffed loudly. He was irritating me again, and I wanted him to know it.
"Bella, it won't come to that. Soon we'll be in South America, and we'll have the colony. We'll have bigger numbers, and you won't need to worry about defending yourself."
"No buts, Bella." I walked in front of him and stopped so he would have to listen to me.
"Just hear me out, okay? What if this whole "free of infection" colony in Brazil is a trick? What if the zombies have figured out a way to lure perfectly good flesh into their hands?" He put his hands on his hips and looked at me skeptically. "I'm serious, Jake. They could have huge numbers, and if you would train us, we could help! I mean, at least give us guns or something!"
He threw his head back and laughed. "Me, give Bella Swan a gun? Bella, you would hurt yourself before you would even aim the damn thing."
"And besides," he continued, "zombies can't even talk. The man on the radio is definitely a human. You see why I can't let you have a gun? You know nothing."
Well, that certainly pissed me off. And I knew the man on the radio was human. I'd fantasized about that voice many times, but I was using every little excuse I could to get Jake to teach me. "Maybe I would know such things if Mr. Asshole Leader would let me get even ten feet near one."
"Your dad asked me to protect you. That's what I'm doing."
"I'm sure Charlie wouldn't mind you teaching me how to save myself," I argued. He scoffed.
"You're so stubborn," he said, walking around me without another look. I ran my fingers through my hair and followed him, trying to keep the familiar anger down.
We had stopped for the night in Lubbock, and planned on leaving tomorrow morning. We had portable tables set out, where people were talking in groups or listening to the radio. The colony in Brazil had managed to broadcast, and it was always the same voice with the same message. I decided to join the rest next to the radio.
The same honeyed voice I'd been hearing for the last month poured out of the speakers as I caught the end of the taping. "If you are out there, we can help you. We are located at the Serhs Natal Grand Hotel in Brazil. We offer food and shelter, free of infection. We have over two hundred survivors here. Please let us help you." The man's voice sent shivers up my spine; it terrified and excited me simultaneously, but it had nothing to do with what he was saying. I had to admit to myself that I'd started to grow a crush on this man after hearing his sexy voice for the last few weeks. I had to stop myself from listening to the recording all day. Sometimes I felt wrong to trust it, and other times I just felt retarded for thinking such things when clearly there were much more important things to worry about. I couldn't help but imagine a beautiful face and body joined with that voice, telling me everything would be okay. I tried to make excuses like I only feel something for that man because he's the first person to give us real hope in so long or it's just the depression finally setting in.
I shook my thoughts away quickly, disallowing myself to focus on it any deeper. I was being a silly girl, and it needed to stop.
That night, a commotion woke me up, and I rushed to the window to see what was going on. I could hear gunshots firing, but I couldn't see anything. The women around me woke up, too, looking around. I ran to the door and opened it. My eyes adjusted to the darkness, and I asked Paul, the man guarding our camper, what the hell was going on.
"Zombies," he said. "Not too many, though. About ten. I think they smelled the garbage and came to investigate." More gunshots…that meant Paul was lying to me. There had to be more than ten. What they were doing in the middle of the woods, I could not fathom. They mostly stuck to the cities. I looked around, trying to see more, but Paul pushed me back inside and closed the door. I ran to the window on the other side and peeked through.
He was lying to me. Thirty, perhaps forty zombies were present in the clearing, I peered farther back and realized there were even more than that. With only seventeen men and lesser guns, we stood no chance. I ran back to the door, ignoring the girls' cries for information. I pushed the door open just in time to see a zombie bite into Paul's neck. He screamed out in pain. The other girls crowded behind me and started screaming like a bunch of banshees. The sound and sight of flesh being torn from bone had me frozen in place, but when the zombie let go of Paul's body and took a step toward me, looking at me with white eyes, I snapped into action. This was the closest I had ever been to one. He was wearing a tattered pair of overalls, and the top of his head was balding with a few matted gray hairs. Pieces of his cheeks were torn off, pale skin hanging from the bone. He must have been a farmer.
I grabbed the emergency fire extinguisher in the doorway and slammed it into his face just as his arms reached out for me. His head separated from his shoulders easily and fell to the ground with a dull thunk. I smiled in victory and held up my weapon for the next one coming toward me, not so far away. Before it got close enough to hit, however, a gun was fired behind me and killed the zombie. I looked back to my unneeded rescuer.
"I had it under control, Jacob. You should be helping the others," I said angrily.
"Get back inside," he ordered, taking me arm and pushing me back into the camper. I landed on my side on the floor and glared at him. "We're leaving. There's too many," he announced to all of us. I caught him looking down at Paul's body, void of emotion. He shot him in the head and closed our door before walking away. He drove the truck pulling us, and we were soon pulling back onto the highway.
We didn't stop again. We'd lost four men that night, and we weren't taking any more chances camping out anywhere. We headed straight to Brazil, never stopping for anything but gas. We didn't even look for more survivors on the way. I just kept to myself, not speaking unless spoken to. I listened to the man on the broadcast over and over, finally allowing myself to be drawn to the sweet tenor. I looked through the windows constantly, waiting for the moment we would arrive at the hotel safe house.
Finally, four days later, just when the sky turned dark, we drove close to a giant steel wall about twenty feet tall, obviously there to keep the monsters out. There were zombies surrounding it, so we didn't dare get any closer. We all stared in amazement as people on top of the wall waved flags at us. My heart beat fast in my chest with anticipation. Once we were inside that wall, everything would be okay. The trouble was…how were we going to get in?
"Look," Fran, one of the girls in the camper, said. "They're shooting flares that way. They want us to go around." Sure enough, we headed around and eventually came to a high barbed wire fence just outside the great wall. We watched as part of the steel wall opened like a garage door. A few men came out with guns and started shooting at the zombies trying to climb the barbed wire fence. I had never seen so many of the creatures at one time, and I was shaking at the thought that we'd have to go through them to get inside. More men came out and started shooting.
A man got out a microphone and started telling us how to get in. "You're going to have to get through here fast. We'll help keep them off of you," he said. We started moving quickly, running over zombies as we went. One leapt on our roof and started clawing at one of the windows, but the men inside the fences shot him off quickly. They opened the gate for us and let us through, firing off constantly. We went straight through the steel wall opening, and were greeted with many diverse, curious faces.
A/N: Can anyone guess whose voice it is on the radio? Haha. I don't plan on this being a very long story. Maybe 10-15 chapters. Should I continue it? Let me know with a review!