Disclaimer - All rights belong to Teletoon, Cartoon Network, and the creators of TDI and TDA. No profit is being made in the making of the fanfiction. This alternate-universe episode of TDI contains stunts performed by written teens. Do not try any of this at home.
TKN's Message - This story is due to a trade-off of art and writing between myself and Cuttie Art Girl (visit her profile on Deviant Art, I demand you all). This is also perfect for me to shake the writer's block I have on my novel. I work on fanfiction and my novel simultaneously. So please enjoy, we all love zombies and action and more fun things!
Oh, and fair warning. If you are a Duncan, Alejandro, or Chris fan, you are seriously not going to like this story. That's not to say they are assured to die, they are just going to be villains. Sorry, Winter.
Pairings - Main pairing is Leshawna/Noah. There are several side pairings, but to reveal them would be to spoil who survives, as they would need time to pair up. The couples were suggested by Cuttie Art Girl.
Rating - Rated M for extreme violence, character death, and zombie attacks. Also, romance and nudity and kissing. You decide which is more scarring.
Chapter 01 - Unnatural Natural Disasters
Noah hated water. Oh sure, he liked to drink it, but he hated being immersed in it. He hated swimming, it was too physically tiring. Most of all, he hated swimming with others.
Wasn't he in luck swimming in dangerous waters with twenty-six panicked people?
"We're all gonna die," Beth screamed in terror, thrashing around. "We're gonna burn up and drown!"
"Where's my money?" Heather shrieked, pumping her fists. "Where's the suitcase full of money? Chris Maclean still had it, where'd it go?"
"Help," Owen shouted, "I'm drowning, and I'm getting all wet too!"
Noah growled in frustration as he looked back at the small Hawaiian island that Chris had picked for the finale of Total Drama World Tour. How he had wished he had just been allowed to leave when that started. Honestly, who would want to watch a showdown between the mean-spirited, immoral witch known as Heather, and the manipulative, womanizing jackass known as Alejandro? Two villains competing meant one villain winning, and that was more than Noah wanted to see, like a trolling hacker in an online game winning a championship.
Noah was now more concerned about himself right now, rather than those two. People were panicking all around him, the water and air was hot, and he wasn't the physical type. Everyone had retreated into the ocean the moment the volcano started to make funny noises after Heather had thrown the dummy into the lava, and the natives warned them of a pineapple-induced eruption.
Now everyone, even the lousy host and co-host, were there, as their own had sunk from flaming lava rocks from the volcano. It would have been neat to see, like a powerful spell from a fantasy game, if he weren't within burning, crushing range.
"Where on Earth was help?" he thought as he thrashed in the water. He saw Cody was carrying Sierra, who was still too injured to walk, and in this case swim, on her own. "Does Hawaii not have a rescue team? Or did Chris Maclean dismiss all help for the sake of drama?
"He did make them compete around real lava," he thought bitterly as he looked at the host, who was screaming about his hair being ruined. Hatred and frustration began to broil in Noah, like a terrible losing streak online could do; however, this was real. Chris Maclean was the reason they were all in this position.
And Noah wasn't the only one thinking this. Leshawna had swum over to Chris, and was now shaking him by the lapels. "You moron," she hollered, heard over all the panicked shouting. "You stupid bastard, you freaking idiot!"
"Don't hold back, Leshawna," Noah thought, allowing himself some satisfaction for this, "tell him how you really feel!"
"The one thing in the world that would agitate a volcano, and you make it part of the challenge? We're in this mess because of you, Chris!"
"Let go of me, you hippo," Chris shouted in return, trying to wrench Leshawna's hands from his designer clothing.
Noah chuckled as he watched them fight, then he felt the water churn aggressively. He looked around, trying to see what was going on, and started to feel panic creep up on him. The air was starting to smell like ash, the heat from the lava coming from the volcano blazing on his skin. He could see the island being coated in lava, burning up the stands they had been sitting in a hour ago.
"All this," Leshawna continued to shout, "because you couldn't be bothered to pay attention to the one detail on volcanos! Gimme a reason, Chris, gimme a reason why I shouldn't snap your scrawny neck right now."
As much as Noah enjoyed this, the churning sea was worrying him too much. He then saw something that looked more beautiful than anything in the world: a life preserver.
"Thank you, sweet merciful God," he said as he seized it. Rope was still attached to it, rope from Chris's boat. Part of Noah was wondering what he should do, the other part wondering how he could hide the life preserver from the others.
The water seemed to thrust him towards Leshawna and Chris, and the life preserver caught the host in the side of the head. After Chris sputtered angrily, he realized what had hit him, what Noah was holding.
"That's mine," Chris shouted, grabbing ahold of it, trying to rip it out of Noah's hands. "Give me that, I'm the host! I get this, or I swear I'll kill-"
"Shut up," Leshawna said as she grabbed the host's shoulders and yanked him back. "You ain't gonna take that from him! We just need to keep our heads on our shoulders, and then we'll-"
A bloodcurdling scream startled all of them, coming from Lindsay. She was pointing towards the island, but right now, it was being obstructed by a rather large wave, formed by a boulder crashing into the water, coming at them.
"Well, just when you think things can't get worse," Noah said. He was starting to see his life flash before his eyes, and everything in his chest and stomach tightened.
At that moment, he was sure he was gonna die. And the one responsible was trying to steal the floatation device he had again.
Leshawna had frozen up when she saw the wave coming at them, then she heard someone calling her name. Gwen was swimming towards her, looking as scared as Leshawna was. The goth girl seized her best friend's hand, holding onto her, panicked whimpering escaping from her green lips.
"Just hold on, sugar," Leshawna told her friend. "Hold on, we won't let this end us! We've survived worse!"
Gwen nodded frantically, glancing over at the giant wave rushing at them. Leshawna held her friend, and then something was pushed onto her shoulders. She was blinded for a few seconds, then it was forced down her arms and helped her stay afloat.
Noah, holding onto the rope that was tied around the life preserver, stared at her as she looked over at him after he had jammed it on her. They didn't say anything, Gwen didn't either, they only had a second before the wave finally hit them.
Leshawna could only feel rushing water, knocking the wind out of her, keeping her under. She could feel Gwen holding onto her arm, but she couldn't even see her best friend. The water was hot, uncomfortably so.
When her lungs felt like they were going to burst, she resurfaced, mostly thanks to the life preserver. Another wave crashed into them, knocking them under. When they resurfaced, a third and then a fourth, unrelenting and spinning Leshawna around so much that she didn't know which way was up anymore.
As the waves crashed into them, she felt Gwen yanked away from her. She reached out, fighting the rushing water, but she was gone. Leshawna felt herself screaming inside, because she couldn't underwater.
The waves kept coming, she didn't even see the others anymore. She started feeling woozy, blacking out…
The next thing Leshawna remembered, she was sitting in wet sand. Not sitting up, sitting down in a resting position. She blinked a few times, trying to steady herself. But as far as she could remember, one second she was a pinball, underwater as the waves continued to crash, and the next second, she was sitting on a beach.
She looked out at the water, on the horizon. The sky was crimson in the distance, like something from an apocalyptic movie. As zonked as she was, she could feel herself drained even more by the sight.
Leshawna felt barely able to breathe from exhaustion, an irony that didn't dawn on her until she started to breathe normally. Her limbs felt like they were full of lead, her head still swimming. As much as she tried to think about it, the last few minutes of a volcano erupting, tidal waves, and washing up on a beach seemed like something from a bad action movie, or some kind of cartoon.
"Leshawna, keep yourself together," she said to herself. "You managed to stay in one piece, you just need to carry on."
"Right on, sister."
She flinched at the voice, and looked over to see Noah, sprawled out on his back. He looked even more worn out than she did, barely moving his mouth when he talked. "Now can I get an amen?" he added.
"None of your lip," she spat. "Things are bad enough, I don't need Noah the Turkey rearing his head."
"I will not rear anything. I will not do anything, I am more than happy to lie here and let death take me."
"Do not talk like that, do you hear me?" Leshawna snapped. She had meant to shout it, but somehow she couldn't will her voice to go anything over slightly raised voice. "Just… don't."
"All right, Leshawna, you go it."
She got to her feet, and walked over to him. "We ain't gonna get anywhere lying here, let's start looking." She reached down for his hand to pull him up.
"No thanks, like I said, I want to lie down here for a month or two-aaaaAAUGH!"
Noah's scream of pain as she pulled on his hand made her drop him immediately. He sat up, clutching his palm, and Leshawna caught a glimpse of his palm. It was marked with rope burn, badly too.
"Are you satisfied?" he growled as he hissed from the pain. "I'm ready to conquer the world! Kratos, move over, I'm going on a warpath instead of you!"
"I'm… I'm sorry."
"Oh hell, I can't complain so much, it's only because of you that I'm alive and have these burns," he muttered, managing to stand up now. "Hadn't been for you, I'm sure I would have drowned; physical fitness isn't my thing."
"Listen, Noah, you were the one to jam the life preserver on me, and I don't know why, but… wait! Gwen! The others!"
She looked up and down the beach, scanning everyone. No sign of anyone else was around, nobody at all except her and Noah. Leshawna was starting to hyperventilate as she thought of all of her friends: Gwen, Bridgette, Harold, DJ, Tyler, Beth, Trent, Lindsay, and Owen. Even all the others, those that she didn't know well or didn't get along with, she felt herself worrying about them.
She started to run down the beach, calling out their names. Noah, watching her in incredulous belief that was running after all that, started to follow, shouting, "Listen, Super Woman, you can't save anyone! Have you noticed we're in a little bit of a tough spot ourselves?"
Leshawna didn't hear him, her mind racing with horrible thoughts of what happened to the others. She thought of Chris Maclean again, and growled in hatred. She continued to call out for them in increasing desperation. "Gwen! Gwen, where are you, girl? Harold baby, you better be all right! Bridgette! Beth! Tyler!"
"This was only supposed to be a half-hour finale," Noah grumbled as he tried to follow her. "How did I get stuck with the woman who has less mercy than the natural disasters I just faced? Why does life hate me so? Oh, now I'm ranting to myself, I'm really starting to hate you back, life-"
During mid-curse, he tripped over something and fell flat on his face in the sand. Leshawna stopped calling out and hurried back to him, trying to help him up. He merely flopped onto his side and groaned, his feet resting on what he had tripped over: a length of pipe that had been on the boat, more than likely.
"It's nice here," he moaned, staring up at the sky. Leshawna mentally smiled at how ridiculous he looked, with sand all over his face and body. "Just let me lie here, nothing looks so much more pretty."
"Referring to me, turkey boy?" she joked, then shook his shoulder. "Come on, get up, we have to look for our friends."
"No, don't wanna."
"Listen Noah, I'm the oldest over four siblings, you ain't gonna win arguing with me."
"Ha! I am the youngest of nine siblings, I have built-up immunity to older siblings!"
"Do you have to argue with me, turkey boy?"
"Again, I refer to being youngest of nine. The family was only quiet when we were all asleep, and not so with some of my siblings with how loud they snore… I had to wear earplugs when I was asleep. Of course, I tried to wear them awake, but Mom didn't like that-"
"Noah," Leshawna shouted, shaking his shoulders more, "focus! We have a huge issue on our hands! Our friends?"
"Oh, don't you dare go down that route with me, Noah! You have friends among the others! What about Owen?"
"Owen," Noah said, sounding lucid by this point, staring up at the sky, "nice guy. Broke my arm in the Yukon, knocked me off Niagara Falls and got me eliminated, let Alejandro hypnotize him…"
"Okay, I can deal with this, at least you are remembering something," she muttered. "Go on, what about the others? You have to like others."
"Annoying Sadie and Katie," he mumbled. "High-pitched, squealing fangirls. Katie's cute, likes Trent. Sadie's all right, likes someone else, don't care who."
"Go on! Come on, wasn't there a girl you liked secretly or something?"
"There was," Noah mumbled, staring up at the sky. The light blue sky that remained despite the red horror in the distance reminded the bookworm. "There was Bridgette. Smart, pretty… any guy would be happy to have her. She never noticed me."
"Oh come on now. Now I know you're a little out of it, you're putting yourself down?"
"She and Geoff broke up over Alejandro's treachery," he continued. "She apologized repeatedly, but he was deluded with fame again… he wasn't good for her anyway."
"Yes, well, let's not speak ill of Geoff, he's a good guy deep down, and I don't want anything to happen to him, even if he did hurt my girl."
"Don't know how anyone survived all that, don't know how we did. Maybe Iron Woman and Crazy Girl…"
"If you survived, any of them could."
"Only because of you."
"And I only survived thanks to you."
Leshawna and Noah stared at each other for a few seconds. There was something that Leshawna wanted to ask him, but couldn't find it in her to ask right now. Currently, she was thinking his eyes were actually quite friendly when they weren't rolling or giving that cynical look he was known for.
Noah was also thinking too that Leshawna had nice eyes. He had always thought, secretly, that a girl could really be known by her eyes; Leshawna had those kind of eyes that let you know how competent and strong she was, but still vulnerable and emotional.
"This is getting unrealistically mushy," he thought, then broke eye contact. "Um, I'm feeling much better now, head's steady."
"Good, that's good," Leshawna muttered. "Listen, we gotta go find them, who knows what could be happening to them?"
"What are you talking about?" Noah asked as he sat up. "You think there is something else to worry about besides the volcano, and the waves, and the idea that Chris fired all the lifeguards to save money for his hair gel?"
"You let me think about how I'm going to kill Chris. But remember those reports of a mysterious virus around Hawaii and California?"
"I heard reports were coming in from Mexico and Oregon too. You raised hell over that with Chris."
"Well, I told him we shouldn't do a show's finale on an island that was having a viral outbreak of some kind, but no! He said the money was too good, that the governor or whatever was paying excellent money for good publicity over Hawaii!"
"And we ended up filming one of their islands melting under lava. What wonderful irony, don't you think?"
"It's not funny to me, Noah."
"Do I mess with your coping mechanics? Don't mess with mine."
"Yeah, well, I had a lot to do when waiting for that dumb finale to start, and all I could hear from the people on that island was the trouble that virus outbreak was causing. They kept saying we should all leave the island."
"Well, we did."
"We don't know if this island is any safer! Last thing we need is to be sick as well as lost and without food or water."
Noah finally brushed the sand off his face with the back of his hand. "Okay okay, I get the crisis." He looked back into the mainland, which looked like the classic lost-on-an-island setting to him: sand for a few yards, then tall trees thick enough to obstruct any sight into the island. No sign of human life at all, and in fact, very little sound over the waves coming in.
"Just give me a couple minutes," Noah muttered. "I just want to try to push away the thoughts of doom, flashes of Madagascar, Cast Away, and Dead Island."
"We won't have any singing lemurs, you don't need a volleyball because you got me, and… what was the last one? Some kind of horror movie?"
"No, game, video game. Zombie-infested paradise."
"Oh, how fun. You trying to scare me now?"
In the woods, far away but still able to be heard, there was some kind of shriek, an animal of some kind. The two couldn't tell what it was, but it sounded like terror over anything, and when another scream was let out, it was cut off suddenly. Though far away, it sent shivers up their spines.
"I am most certainly not trying to scare you," Noah muttered, looking at Leshawna with fearful eyes, "but I think life is."
Another part of the island was also full of fear, panic, attempted reason, and hunger (well, the last one was just Owen).
"Where's Katie?" Sadie was screaming, running around the contestants on the beach. "I can't find her!"
"Great Flotsam and Jetsam," Owen hollered, wading onto the shore and carrying the bandaged Blaineley on his shoulder. "I think I wet myself back there, but I really can't be sure! Did the water get warm for any of you?"
"This is like the opening of Lost," Cody muttered to himself, hacking and coughing up sea water and kelp that had been caught in his mouth. Sierra, on his back, plucked sea weed off him as well.
All of the others had washed up the shore, most panicked but some still keeping their heads on them. Lindsay desperately tried to calm down DJ, who couldn't stop whimpering. Tyler helped Trent and Justin make it to the shore, both so tired that they could barely stand. Izzy and Eva were helping out Chef, who was unconscious.
Harold, who was desperately looking for Leshawna, came across Courtney, who was barely conscious and holding onto a piece of the destroyed boat. He helped her to the shore, trying desperately to get her breathing again. With his CPR training, he performed the steps perfectly, using the process to keep himself calm.
Finally, she spat sea water out in his face, blinking and coughing. Still sore and exhausted, she could barely move, but did see Harold kneeling over him. "Wh-where are we?"
"I don't think we know," Harold said. "Just stay here, try not to move much, I've got to go help the others."
Courtney watched, amazed, as Harold sprinted back to the water, helping a struggling Heather out of the water. When the queen bee furiously shoved Harold into the water as he tried to guide her, Courtney felt the utmost hatred for her.
Chris was also being a pain, shoving Geoff out of his way to get to shore. "Way to go, you bunch of little, rotten bastards," he shouted, all cool demeanor gone completely. "You ruined everything, and I almost drowned! I'll get you all for this, you'll never appear on another show! I'll get a bunch of new teens next season, just to prove you're not worth shi-"
"Shut up," Gwen shouted from behind him, knocking him over. She hurried onto shore, crying out, "Has anyone seen Duncan? Leshawna?"
No one answered her. The goth girl looked around desperately, trying to find her best friend. As she did so, she literally ran into Bridgette, who was heading over to Geoff. Both winced from the pain, then frantically checked to see if their friend was okay. They locked in a relieved hug, just happy the other was fine.
"Are you okay?" Bridgette asked when they pulled apart. "Are you not hurt?"
"I'm fine, just fine!"
Trent was running over to them, kicking up sand in his haste. "Thank goodness, you both are still all right!"
"We're fine, yes," Gwen said, managing a smile for her caring ex. Bridgette smiled a little too, but when she heard someone screaming out in the water, her lifeguard days kicked in and she immediately ran back into the water. Trent and Gwen watched her go, then looked back at each other.
"Have you seen Leshawna? Or Duncan?"
Trent shook his head, then a shout from the water alerted both their attention. Duncan was cursing at Harold, pushing him away as he said something about the nerd not touching him. Gwen bolted for her boyfriend and hugged him as he waded out of the water.
"I'm all right, babe," he assured her as she looked him over.
"Are you sure? I was so worried, not everyone has shown up yet, and… and…"
"If they're alive, they will be here. Dear God, your eyes are bleeding."
Gwen froze at this and tentatively touched around her eyes. They came back slick with a substance other than water, but it wasn't blood. It was her eyeshadow, almost all gone but leaving streaks on her face.
She immediately hit Duncan's arm, to which he laughed and tried to hug her, but she was too distraught still. Gwen started looking around everyone gathering around the beach, and the lack of her best friend made her start feeling panic again.
"Where's Leshawna?" she called out. "Has anyone seen Leshawna? Oh God, Leshawna!"
She called out her friend's name, running on wobbling legs, her voice even more raspy. She looked into the ocean, but all she could see was Harold, Bridgette, and Sadie helping Katie out of the water. Gwen felt her head spin something fierce, and she collapsed on the beach.
Several minutes went by as the cast of Total Drama tried to recover from being in the most cataclysmic any of them had ever experienced. Everyone was asking where they were, but no one truly knew except just another island of Hawaii.
Lindsay and Beth were trying to comfort DJ still. Tyler was helping Sadie with making Katie comfortable. Harold and Bridgette were tending to Courtney, while Cody and Owen tried to help Blaineley and Sierra. Izzy was observing Chef Hatchet, her combat rival, respected nonetheless.
Though people were still hysteric, Bridgette and Harold were the most collected. They were the only ones with experience in life-or-death situations, Bridgette having been a lifeguard and Harold's time in the Possum Scouts.
"Okay, everyone's cold and wet, and we don't know where civilization is," Bridgette summed up how royally screwed they were. "I think the first thing we should do is build a large fire, and then decide who should walk the shoreline to see if there is an outpost."
"Maybe we're lucky," Harold said, managing a small smile, "and there is a tropic resort right around the corner."
"They probably would have evacuated," Bridgette said, "what with the volcano eruption from the next island." She shook her head and muttered, "I'm sorry, I'm rambling; my head is not where it is."
"You never did know where your head was at."
Both of them looked over at Alejandro, who was glaring at the two of them. The handsome manipulator looked between them, then stared down Bridgette. "Look you two, no one is going anywhere; we are staying right here and waiting for rescue."
"You don't make that call, Al," Harold retorted.
"Don't call me that," Alejandro screamed, startling them both. Bridgette almost grabbed Harold's arm, but managed to stand up for herself as she glared right back at the handsome teen.
"Just calm down," she told him. "We are all under stress, we just need to focus now. So please, just-"
"Like I've said, I don't trust you, you stupid, blond whore," Alejandro spat, glaring her down. "You can't help us, we aren't going to listen to-"
Harold shoved Alejandro, hard. The Latin teen recovered and balled up his fist, intending to smash Harold's face. His wrist was grabbed by Trent, who stared down Alejandro. "Dude, let it go," the musician hissed. "Turn around, walk away, and leave them alone."
Yanking his hand away from Trent, Alejandro stomped off, grumbling. Bridgette sighed and looked at Harold and Trent. "I know I should hate him… he's immoral and sinister, but he just lost a million dollars, almost killed-"
"So have all of us, Bridgette," Trent said. "Don't give him any excuse, he doesn't have any right to call you that."
"Right," Harold said. "Now we need to make a fire. Why don't you two do that?"
"Alright, what are you going to do, Harold?" Bridgette asked her friend.
"I still don't see Leshawna. I'm going to take a look around for her, maybe she drifted further. It's really worrying me that I cannot find her…"
Leshawna was worried too, but more about Noah. The cynic had collapsed again, lying on the beach and staring up at the sky, muttering how much he wanted to just let the tide wash him away.
"Please, just let life finish me off," he said to her. "Life has always hated me, I may as well get it to stop by giving in."
"You stop that talk right now, Turkey," she spat, kneeling down next to him.
"Leshawna," he said, glancing over at you, "I'm too tired to come up with a response to that. My head hurts so much…"
She stared at him, then felt his head. A bump and a small cut were in his hair, which made her immediately nervous. "He might have a small concussion," she thought. "That's why he keeps fading on me like this."
"Noah, I need you to concentrate," she said. "Talk to me. Um… tell me about home."
"I… I spent all of it in my room, doing homework or computer games."
"You never left the room to be with family?"
"Does dinner count?"
Leshawna shook her head. "How can you be so cynical about family? They're… family!"
"I'm the runt of the litter, remember? They only noticed me if I was bleeding from the ears."
"Stop that, think of something else. Think of the show, tell me what you remember!"
"I remember," he said, squinting hard, "I remember the finale was between Alejandro and Heather, after they eliminated Cody. I wanted to go home, I didn't care to see them compete. Cared less about their so-called romance, cared even less about Heather winning."
"Try something positive."
"I remember Duncan and Gwen fell for each other."
"That hurt Courtney!"
"Two for one, I'm working happy here!"
Leshawna strained in frustration, grabbing the length of pipe and using it as a walking stick as she paced around. She couldn't stand waiting around like this, but she couldn't leave Noah like this. Taking a deep breath, she headed back to him.
"What else do you remember? Relationships?"
"Were there any good ones?" Noah muttered. "Lindsay and Tyler never hooked up after she forgot him, Owen and Izzy broke up, Geoff dumped Bridgette even though that one kiss was an accident, you and Harold never hooked up-"
"Your talk of love is really depressing me! Will you stop?"
"What can I say? I hated this season, I hated being on it, and the only real love I saw was Sierra trying to remove Cody's underwear when he was asleep."
"Noah, we ain't going anywhere until you talk about something positive!"
There was silence for half a minute. Noah looked at Leshawna the whole time, staring into those brown eyes of hers. He knew no matter how stubborn he could be, she could be much more stubborn. It was a very admirable characteristic to him, if it wasn't always used when arguing with him, he might have found it attractive.
"Well," Noah said, "positive… positive… Ezekiel turned into a monster and fell in the volcano-"
"How is that positive?" she shouted.
He flinched, and added, "He didn't suffer?"
"You don't know if he's dead! I swear I saw him get blown out of it before he hit the lava."
"There you go, something positive."
"I said that, not you!"
The two stared at each other, then, despite everything, despite their argument, they both burst into laughter. Leshawna felt her sides hurt as she guffawed, Noah sat up as he cackled. After a minute of this insanity, they looked at each other.
"This has seriously been one f'ed up season, hasn't it?" Leshawna said.
"Don't you know it," Noah replied. As he sat up, he said, "Well, if I have to say something positive, neither Heather or Alejandro earned the money. All their scheming and back-stabbing and evil plans were for naught, they didn't get squat."
Noah chuckled as he slowly stood up, Leshawna handing him the pipe. She picked up the life saver, as well as a long plank of broken wood from the shipwreck. "Well, we got our walking sticks, are you ready to traverse the beach to find our friends?"
"Guess so. Then we'll get off this island, fly off on Rainbow Dash, and visit the Magical World of Ponies!"
"Noah, don't tell me you're a Brony!"
"My sisters love the show, I know more about it than any guy should… except that there are many guys who know more than they should. I wonder if it's still considered weird to like a kid's show so much?"
Leshawna chuckled as they walked. "You're not so difficult to talk to when you're not trying to be a creep."
"I don't try to be a creep, I'm just myself!"
"Listen Noah, if you want to-"
Some rustling in the jungle startled them, it was loud and sudden, like something had fallen. Both exchanged glances, silent with apprehension.
"Wait, why are we scared?" Noah said.
"Probably because you brought up the zombie island video game!"
"You brought up the very real disease on the Hawaiian islands!"
"We're both being ridiculous, how about that?"
"Sounds fair to me."
They both turned to the jungle, walking slowly towards it. "Hello?" Leshawna called out. "Is someone out there?"
"We're shipwrecked survivors from a reality show," Noah called out. "I know that sounds incredulous, but you really cannot make this stuff up!"
"Come on, is someone there?"
More falling and crashing sounds deep in the jungle were their reply. Noah and Leshawna exchanged glances again, and then he asked, "If a survivor calls out for help, and no one is around to hear him, does he still make noise?"
"Noah, you're crazy," she responded, chuckling a little. "Don't make me hit you, though… for some reason, I got a real bad feeling!"
"So do I. Look, it's probably an animal or something, let's keep going."
The two continued to walk down the beach, slow and talking between the two of each other. They didn't see something crawling towards the edge of the jungle, on horribly mangled legs but undaunted as it reached forward. Its sharp, bloodstained teeth gleamed like the red sky.
"So what are we going to do?" Katie asked Sadie. "We're horribly lost!"
"I have no idea what we're going to do," Sadie admitted to Katie. "We might have to forage for food and drink distilled pee like in that bad movie we watched late at night once!"
"Ew, I don't want to drink pee!"
"Me neither! Do you think we'll have to do that?"
"Will you two knock it off?" Eva snarled. "I swear, being marooned with you two is worse than any other fate."
"Eva, lay off," Tyler snapped. "Come on, we're all stressed, you don't need to attack the two."
The contestants and cast of Total Drama were huddled around three large fires that Harold, Bridgette, and Trent had built. Everyone was enjoying the warmth, but still worried. Several of them had gone down the beach, both ways, for about an hour, and hadn't found any sign of civilization. They had come back to where they had all stopped, and made fires as night was coming.
Dusk was a dark, malevolent purple, the void of the night sky mixed with the distant volcanic eruption. Some of the teens were worried, they heard roaring or growling, but had settled that it must have been the distant volcano.
"All we need is a smoke monster and a bald guy with a knife collection," Cody was saying to Sierra. "Do you think Chef has some knives?"
"I have knives," Izzy told him. "Not on me, I mean, it would be cool to carry a bunch of knives, but they're cold and I like warm things on my body."
Cody tried to convince himself that that wasn't a flirt, but he couldn't help but notice the redhead winked at him. Sierra pulled Cody a little closer to her, but sounded neutral when she asked, "Izzy, what do you think we're gonna do for food?"
"Food?" Geoff, who was nearby, asked in a huff. "It's only been a few hours, why is everyone so frantic? Can't we just realize now that the coast guard or whatever will see the fires and come pick us up?"
"No need to snap at us, jeepers," Sierra muttered.
"Ignore him," Izzy said. "Bridgette tried to talk to him, and he was being a real jerk."
Geoff glared at her, but felt deep down, she was right. He looked away from his fireside companions to the third fire, where his ex was sitting. Bridgette was between Trent and Courtney, and he felt a small pang of regret, but he still had his pride.
"I don't know why you tried talking to him again," Courtney said to Bridgette. "He's being a real jerk, shipwreck notwithstanding."
"I can't help it," Bridgette admitted miserably. "I just thought he would… that after all this, he would realize that fame and popularity aren't what it's all about!" She buried her face in her hands, taking deep breaths. "I'm so pathetic."
"Bridgette, stop blaming yourself," Trent said. "You really have been too hard on yourself. You felt guilty when Alejandro kissed you in surprise."
"That's right," Courtney said. "He kissed you, not the other way. He froze your ponytail to the pole, that's why you were eliminated."
Bridgette sighed, shaking her head. "I don't know what to think about right now… I am just scared and emotional, I guess."
"Perfectly understandable," Trent said. "Plus, we haven't found Noah or Leshawna yet."
"I know." The surfer girl looked over at Harold, who was going from person to person, asking if they had seen Leshawna or Noah. No one but Gwen had any information, and she was so zonked that she had curled up with Duncan by the fire.
The punk had glared at anyone who dared to look at them, challenging them to bring up again how their relationship had started over Courtney's broken heart. He pulled her closer when Harold walked by, frowning darkly and then staring in the fire.
"I cannot stand this," Duncan muttered to her. "We escape all that hell, and they're still giving us shit. You'd think they'd have priorities."
"They're frustrated and want to lash out," Gwen muttered against his chest, snuggling to get closer. "Just ignore them…"
"Your so-called friends are among them."
"They're still my friends, Duncan," she protested, frowning at him. She glanced over at Bridgette, Trent, and Courtney, then sighed. "At least, I hope they are. I know Courtney will never forgive me, but-"
"Forget Courtney, forget all of them. You don't need them."
"Dude!" DJ, who had recovered and was sitting near them, spoke up. "Have a little respect. We all need to stick together."
"Alejandro's talking about leaving camp," Justin said, trying to style his gorgeous hair. "I don't know about you, but if he does, I'm going with him."
"But you can't," Beth exclaimed. "Alejandro doesn't know what he's doing!"
"No one does, Beth. Not Chris, not Chef, not you or me, no one does. But I'll be damned if I stay sitting here, the beach sucks. It's good for posing for sexy movies, but the sand gets everywhere and it's coarse and rough…"
"Yeah, thanks for that," Duncan grumbled. "But for once, I gotta agree with you, pretty boy. Me and Gwen are leaving here if others are."
Before Gwen could say how she didn't want to do that, an outraged cry from Heather alerted them all. "Damn it, Chris," she was shouting, "what do you mean the coast guard won't be looking for us?"
"It's because of that disease outbreak on the islands, the boats are mostly for emergency evacuation," Chris snapped right back. "Look, don't worry, I'm sure when they realize the island was overflown with lava, they'll send someone around."
"To circle that island, maybe, but what about here?"
"Heather, chill yourself, okay? I'm an A-list celebrity, they're going to look for me like crazy; you all are lucky I am here."
"It's because of you we are here," Eva shouted, storming over to him. She was about ready to strangle Chris, but Chef stood in the way. She continued to shout, "We ought to throw you in the fire to keep it going!"
"Chris wood makes the best wood," Izzy agreed.
"Burn the witch," Owen shouted, not sure what he was agreeing on.
"Everyone stop!" Bridgette cried out, standing up. "Please, just calm down!"
"Calm down?" Alejandro snapped back. "How are we supposed to calm down?"
"Don't you start on her again," Trent shouted.
"Then I will," Heather hollered, walking over to Bridgette. "We are lost on an island, no food or water, no shelter, no immediate help, and you think we're all going to sit around and sing at the campfire, you surfer bimbo?"
"Heather, shut up," Gwen called out, pulling herself away from Duncan. "Stop ragging on Bridgette, she's not at fault here."
"I don't need to be lectured by you!"
The two rivals rounded on each other, with Bridgette trying to get in-between. Heather pointed at Gwen, continuing. "You cheated on your friend with her boyfriend on live television! And now you're going to lecture me on blame? That's a laugh!"
"This is a completely different situation," Gwen shouted back, but felt some blushing of shame come to her pale face. "We don't need to fight or argue here!"
"Oh, I think we do! Some of you losers want to just stay here tonight, instead of going to find help!"
"It's always best to stay in place when lost," Beth reasoned, standing up. "What, you want to go get lost in the jungle? Walk down the beach nonstop?"
"They're right, Heather," DJ said, standing up and patting Beth's shoulder. "Listen to them, we're concerned for everyone's well being."
"Our 'well being'?" Heather shouted right back. "I lost a million dollars over this whole thing! That little rat bastard Ezekiel better be burning in hell now, he cost me everything!"
"Will you all please stop fighting?" Sadie shrieked, covering her ears. "Please just stop! You're not making this any better!"
She and Katie were trying to block out the sounds, while Tyler desperately tried to calm them down, not wanting to see or hear them lose it. He looked at his fireside companions in desperation, and Lindsay acknowledged this.
"I think we need to just sit down and wait, Helga," she said, standing up and approaching the queen bee as well. "All this arguing, it's getting us nowhere."
"Hear hear," Owen said, clapping. Blaineley, still bandaged and leaning against him, nodded like an agreeing mummy. Sierra nodded a great deal as she pulled herself closer to Cody.
Heather sulked over all the requests to stop the fight, she wanted nothing more than to scream her frustrations out. It worked at home, it worked on the show, and she wanted nothing more than to shriek until Gwen's eardrums burst. She instead just narrowed her eyes at her goth nemesis, and hissed, "Next morning. Next morning, I and everyone with sense is heading down the beach. You can stay here with your surfer bimbo friend… if she is your friend anymore. If anyone is."
She stopped off, leaving Gwen thunderstruck. The goth girl couldn't even bring herself to look at Bridgette, fearing too much that Heather was right. She went back to Duncan, sitting down in the sand with a heavy sigh.
"I don't want to leave with her," she whispered to him.
"We'll leave despite her, not because of her. We aren't staying here, Gwen, it's not going to work."
"But what about Leshawna? I cannot leave without seeing where she is."
"Leshawna is either on a different part of the island or she's dead. You have to accept that."
Gwen felt her frustration boiling over again, like if someone turned on the heat under her. She glared at her boyfriend, hissing, "Don't say that. Don't you dare ever say something like that again! Leshawna is fine, she…"
She stopped when she heard some rustling deep in the jungle. Everyone heard it, as it was continuous, like something or somethings trudging through the thick environment. Everyone froze, then they all started crying out.
"We're over here, and with no food," Owen shouted. "Please tell me you brought food!"
"Get me away from these losers," Blaineley and Chris were both shouting.
"It's a rescue," Katie said to Sadie, Lindsay, and Sierra. "We're going to be rescued, girls!"
They all let out squeals of delight, nearly deafening Cody and Izzy. Izzy stepped away from them, and shouted, "Okay, come save us already! But if you're the RCMP, um, we're not home!"
As everyone stood up and started to approach the jungle, the excitement was thick and they started cheering. Even Eva was smiling in relief, glancing over at Gwen. The goth girl smiled back and said, "Looks like we don't have to branch off after all! Boy, that argument seemed pointless, huh?"
Eva nodded, chuckling. "Yeah, only our resident nerd seems upset. Must be still worried about Leshawna."
Gwen glanced over at Harold, and his expression, highlighted by the campfires, sent a shiver up her spine. The nerd was completely pale, even more than her, and he was clutching his shirt so tight that his knuckles were white. She could see his fear behind those tinted glasses of his in his eyes, and heard him muttering to himself.
Dashing over to him, she asked, "Harold, what is wrong with you?"
Harold didn't answer at first, his eyes glued on the jungle. She had to grab his shoulders and shake him, until he looked at her. "That virus they said was infecting the Hawaii islands-"
"Harold, stop that now," she hissed at him. "That's been overblown by the media, we were told by the officials here and Chris that the islands were safe!"
"Then if that's a rescue… why is it coming from within the jungle?"
Gwen hadn't thought of that, and now that she was, she wished he hadn't said that. She slowly approached the edge of the jungle, trying to look into the void of shadows and trees. The noises of approaching figures was growing louder, she could hear sounds that resembled humans.
"It's just a search party that is heading through the jungle, nothing odd about that," she thought, trying to calm herself down amid all the cheering. "Those grunting sounds are them struggling through. Even if Leshawna had been telling me that this virus or disease or whatever it was, even if she told me it was like a nightmare epidemic, that doesn't mean it's them."
She glanced over at Harold, who was retreating to the campfire. He picked up a log, the top-half on fire, and slowly approached the jungle. Courtney was watching him too, and approached him.
"What are you doing, Harold? If you want a torch, that's not really the proper kind… be careful, you're going to burn yourself or something!"
"What's taking them so long?" Geoff was asking the excited girls next to him. Lindsay shrugged, giggling in her excitement.
Gwen started to feel apprehension tighten her throat. From a small glint of the moon, she swore she saw something reflect in the jungle. She peered in, moving slowly closer to the edge of the jungle. She swallowed, hating Harold right now for putting the fear in her heart.
"All the reports ever said," she thought, "was that this virus sometimes caused people to go crazy and attack others, like some kind of new rabies. But it also made them sluggish. All cases have been taken to camps to help cure them, they said a cure was imminent.
"There is absolutely no reason to treat this like a horror movie, Gwen," she kept trying to convince herself as she struggled for a good view of those approaching. "Although… if it was… you're that dumb girl slowly going towards the approaching danger, the one you always said was an idiot, and that she was going to die first.
"She's the warning, the dead girl that goes first to show how evil and bloody the movie gets… no, stop it! Damn you, Harold, it's a rescue party, how dare you bring your nerdy fantasies into here-"
Her thoughts were cut off when the first being from the jungle lunged at her, sharp teeth gleaming in the moonlight as it headed for her neck.
"And I really hate it when they cut off the song at the end."
"Oh, I do too! That's such a drag, and usually the song isn't even close to over!"
Noah shook his head, adding, "Darn those wacky, radio DJs, trying to be so hip but being… what's the word, unhip?"
"There's many words for it. Wait, are you asking me for slang?" Leshawna said playfully, smacking his arm. "You really wanna ask the sister for some street words?"
"Don't go playing the race card with me, I'm Indian. I'll throw it right back at you… jiggy?"
She barked with laughter at his fake slang. Noah was actually impressed how he could make her laugh so much, he always thought she was a prude. Looking back, knowing she was best friends with Gwen and Bridgette, maybe that had been a rather presumptuous thought.
"You're crazy, Noah, but I guess you're all right."
"Oh, you guess, huh? Most girls are thrilled when a boy takes them on a moonlit walk down the beach, but you just are 'all right' with it. Forget the diamonds, then."
She laughed more, grinning at him. When she saw him smiling right back, they both forgot their troubles, even if they were major troubles. Right now, both were glad that the other wasn't as bad as they thought, if not really good company.
Noah was about to say something when rustling from the jungle alerted them. Leshawna flinched, then sighed. "Just some more animals, now. Don't let our imagination get the best of us."
They nodded, walking away from the rustling. Before they found the courage to talk again, a moan from the jungle carried over the crashing of waves on the shore. Noah turned slowly towards the area the sound seemed to come from, eyes wide, hands shaking.
"That," he whispered, "did not sound like an animal."
"It's… probably just some kind of crazy beast," she replied. She was clutching the pipe, steadying her hands. "Look, it's late, we both got shattered nerves, don't…"
She stopped when someone stumbled out of the jungle, crashing through the foliage like a drunk or dazed person. Noah and Leshawna both stared, watching this person collapse on the sand. He pulled himself up, grunting and moaning.
"Um," Noah stammered, watching intensively. His mind screamed for him not to, but common manners, practically instinct, won over. He stepped forward and asked, "Hello? Are you okay?"
The man looked over at him, and Noah saw dead eyes and bloodstained teeth gleaming in the moon. They shone brightly, just like the reflection of blood that was all over the man's mouth and neck. The cynic tried to say something, but fear locked him up.
The bloody man opened his mouth, and let a hungry moan, reaching for him. It grabbed Noah's sweater vest and lunged forward with its beast-like teeth. Noah thought he heard high-pitched screaming, maybe Leshawna or maybe him. He raised his plank of wood just in time, and the man bit into it.
The weight of the man lunging at him slammed down on Noah, knocking him down into the sand. His attacker bit down hard on the wood, splintering it and cutting his lips. Undaunted, the man released the wood and went for Noah's throat again.
That was when Leshawna grabbed the man's shirt collar and hurled him back. She might have been shouting, but his mind was screaming enough to block out reality's noise. He thought he heard her threaten his attacker, but the madman was getting back up.
Leshawna swung her pipe, hitting the man in the upper chest. Noah heard bone crack, the same kind of crack when he broke a bone in the Yukon. He winced, but the madman barely flinched. He came at Leshawna, reaching for her, moaning hungrily again. Blood was dripping from his mouth.
All Noah heard next was a metallic impact against bone. Leshawna had hit the man in the head with the pipe. Only there wasn't really a head left. The man's head seemed to cave in like rotten fruit, teeth falling out of the smashed mouth. He flopped onto the beach, not moving, arms still reaching out for his prey.
Leshawna and Noah didn't move. Both were panting, eyes wide, and then the smell of a very dead corpse hit their nostrils. Noah puked all over himself, Leshawna heaved to the side. They gagged and spat, coughing and hacking.
More deathly moans alerted their attention. Three more people like the first man were coming out of the jungle, attracted by sound and smell more than likely. They eyed Leshawna and Noah, and all three headed for her, moaning with intense hunger.
"Zombies," Noah managed to say, barely a whisper. Then, in a terrified voice that he didn't even recognize as his own, "ZOMBIES!"
Leshawna snapped out of her terror first. Wiping the sick from her mouth and chin, she shouted at them. "Stay back, I'm warning you!"
They didn't, they came at her. She hit one in the shoulder, right in the collar bone, and knocked the thin wretched over. It started to stand back up again, undaunted, as the other two closed in.
"The heads," Noah was shrieking. "Go for the heads!"
Leshawna squeezed on the pipe, growling as she pushed all fear aside and let it be replaced with her competitive side. "Do these monsters want my blood?" she thought as she choked up on the pipe. "Then let them try to take it, but they're going to have to get through all of me first!"
She swung the pipe like a baseball bat at one of the approaching zombies, slamming it in the temple. It went down with a guttural grunt, twitching on the sandy ground. The second one, she brought down the pipe square in the forehead. It staggered backwards, even more sluggish than before, as if swimming through molasses, and tried to come at her again.
A second blow killed the second zombie, smashing in its brains in its broken skull. Leshawna rounded on the third zombie, as the scrawny, Hawaiian shirt wearing ghoul came at her. It was faster, it was growling at her, clawing at her with bloody hands. She swore, for one terrified moment, that it was saying her name in the midst of its ghoulish snarling.
That nightmarish thought was destroyed along with the zombie's head, as Noah had stood up and brought a large rock down on it. The ghoul's cranium was crushed into very sick pulp, eyeballs popping out of their sockets. The dead zombie fell on them, squishing them for even more gross sound effects.
Leshawna whirled around, holding the pipe like if it was a real weapon now. She heaved, muttering, "Come on… come on, where are you?" Looking around, peering into the dark jungle, she waited for another attack.
It was only when Noah said her name repeatedly that she was shocked out of her battle rage. She almost dropped her pipe as the adrenaline started to die too. "What… what happened?"
"Zombies. Those were-"
"Don't," she shouted, startling him. "That's not… possible!"
"Oh yeah? Look at them," Noah shouted, pointing at a couple of the dead bodies. "Those guys have their intestines ripped out of their stomachs and dangling out. Do you know of any living beings that can do that while attacking someone?"
"It's… it's not…"
"Face it, Leshawna, you were right! These people… they're not people anymore. People cannot walk through jungles and then lunge at others when their intestines are 'out-testines'!"
"The… the virus," she stammered, her mind racing. "They… they said it was like a case of rabies… they said it was contained in the areas it had broken out in… the… the news said that… the islanders… Chris… they said we would be safe."
"And you know, they all turned out to be wrong. Dead wrong… pardon my stupid pun."
He would have continued, but then the wind blew, roaring wind that rattled their ears. Then both realized it wasn't the wind that was making noise, it was moans. Lots and lots of hungry moans, far off in the distance. It was almost one long cry at once, and it shook the two teens down to their very souls.
"What is that?" Leshawna asked, gripping her head.
"That's… that's like the Cry of the Undead!"
"What the hell are you talking about?"
Noah threw away the rock he had been holding so tightly to that his fingers hurt. "It's just… in zombie research, people-"
"There's no such thing, Noah!"
"Leshawna," he shouted back at her, then lowered his voice when he couldn't bring himself to anger with her. "Leshawna… you saw them. You just killed four walking corpses trying to eat you with their guts hanging out. Zombies… they're real."
"Shit," she muttered. "Just… but what is that?"
"Zombie research, well, before it was real, said that zombies are attracted to sounds, smells, and sights. They shamble about, and when they see or sense food, they begin to moan. Some people believe it's like a scavenger cry, that it's not only because of their own undying hunger, but to alert other zombies to come help."
"Are you saying zombies are like some kind of rat or vulture?"
"That's possible, but I don't know what real zombies are like, just the fake ones people think of during zombie outbreaks and apocalypses."
Leshawna shook her head, then looked at him. "Are… are you saying that we're in the middle of a zombie outbreak?"
"I think we just shipwrecked ourselves onto one."
Leshawna and Noah looked into the jungle, then up into the sky where all the moans seemed to be carried about. Leshawna had heard wolf howls, but these sounded like a chorus of hungry moans. So much more chilling, it made her shake. She clenched her bloodstained pipe, and grumbled, "All the more reason for us to find the others and get the hell out of here!"
She walked over to the ocean, washing the sick off of her arms. As she scrubbed off the blood and gore from the pipe in the wet sand, Noah was right beside her. "I don't think you've fully grasped this, Leshawna."
"Wash yourself off, you're covered in puke."
"Leshawna, the island is baying for blood! This island probably had an outbreak, a class three outbreak!"
"Wash yourself off as you speak, Noah, I don't want to waste another minute!"
He grudgingly squat down in the water, hating to remember how he had almost drowned a few hours ago. As the vomit was being scrubbed off by waves and his hands, he shouted at her over the surf, "Class three outbreak, Leshawna!"
"Speak in normal terms, will you? Some of us didn't fantasize about end of the world bloodbaths!"
"It's actually normal terms for outbreaks-"
"Noah, I am so not in the mood to argue! Just please!" She was looking at him in such a mixture of emotions that he couldn't tell what was the primary: anger, fear, sorrow, or panic. "Please tell me what I need to know!"
"Okay, look, class three outbreak means that the infection of whatever is infecting people is at city-wide levels. Class one is just those rare cases, class two is like a village or small town, class three would be a large city or in our case, an island. The news has been calling these class one outbreaks, looks like we were lied to."
"Gee, the mainstream media lied while also spreading a message of doom. How original."
"Yeah, I blame MSNBC too," Noah quipped as he finished scrubbing off his sweater vest. "But the point is, you hear all those zombies? That is not just a few zombies, that is a whole, freaking crowd of them."
"Why are they still moaning?" she asked, listening over the surf. She wished the sound of the waves could drown them out, but they could still be heard. "What's causing that?"
"My guess? One found something to eat, and now all the nearby zombies are moaning in response, and others are moaning in response, and others to that are moaning in response, and the chain reaction continues. It's the Cry of the Undead, like a coyote howling to bring its buddies to the feast."
"But what caused that, Noah?"
"They probably found some animal to eat, or maybe some poor sap who they're chasing or eating."
"Wait, were they set off by the ones that came at us?"
"I doubt that. If the Cry of the Undead started near us, we would hear them near us to begin with, not so far away."
"That's a relief, I guess. Then…"
She stopped moving suddenly, as what just dawned on her made her heart skip a beat. When Noah saw her terrified expression, it didn't dawn on him until a few seconds later. Her eyes were wide in horror, and she started wading back to the shore, adrenaline pumping again.
"The zombies found the others," she shouted. When she hit the beach, she started running down the shore, heaving but unrelenting. Noah could barely keep up with her, hearing her cry out.
"Leshawna, stop yelling," he was forced to yell, "you'll attract more zombies!"
"We have to help them," she shouted back at him. "Oh God, please God, please don't let any of them die! Bridgette! Harold! Beth! Tyler! Gwen!"
Gwen fell back in the sand, her attacker coming at her with snarling moans. The bikini-clad zombie lunged down at her, and she managed to scoot away at the last second, a chomping of teeth at where her ankle was a second ago. It snarled in hunger, sharp teeth glistening with drool and blood, coming at her.
The sounds of screaming from the living and moans from the undead filled the air so suddenly and sharply, Gwen thought her eardrums exploded for a second. In a daze, she saw the zombie come at her again, and she kicked at its head feebly.
Blond hair came off on her black boot, and she slammed her foot on its skull again. There was a crack, and the zombie's movement slowed considerably. Blood was leaking from its head injury, and it was now crawling at her.
She kicked its head more, grunting with every thrust of her leg, until she broke open its head, smashing its brain inside its skull. The zombie twitched, and she stared at it, at what she had done. Then another zombie started lumbering towards her from the jungle, stepping on the one she had just killed, coming at her.
Gwen scrambled to her feet. Something ran by her, she didn't see what, and it threw her off-balance. She started to run away too, and then saw zombies coming down from the left side of the beach, coming out of a gap in the trees from the jungle far down.
The goth girl heaved, panic and sick starting to overwhelm her, but her adrenaline helped her overcome it. Fight or flee response was over, the former had won, and now she was determined to take down these monsters.
She reached at the nearest bonfire, grabbing a long plank of wood on fire, and swung it at the zombies. They weren't deterred, fire was not a fear to them like anything living would be. She slammed the fiery log against one of them. Its hair caught on fire, and she hit it again, breaking open its skull and killing it.
With a vicious growl, she ran after another one that was coming after Bridgette. The surfer girl was paralyzed with fear, barely able to walk away from the approaching ghouls. Gwen slammed the burning log on the one closest to Bridgette, mashing its head to pulp. She swung at another one, and finally the charred part of the wood broke away, leaving her with a stump of a weapon. The zombie collapsed but was getting back up.
Her boot heel came stomping down its head, once, twice, thrice. It exploded, reminding her of an overripe melon. She stepped back and rubbed the brains from her boot in the sand as she looked over at Bridgette.
"Get out of here," she shouted at her friend.
Bridgette could only stammer in terror, looking around her as she saw her friends being attacked by the zombies. All she and Gwen could hear were screams, horrible, bloodcurdling screams, and the moans of the undead. Gwen shouted at Bridgette again to run, but couldn't even hear herself over the noise.
The goth girl grabbed her friend and pulled her away from the incoming zombies, towards the ocean. Gwen's head felt like it was going to pop like that ghoul head she had stomped, her heart was going to explode, and she was almost ready to lose all bowel control.
A high-pitched shriek that made her head rattle came nearby; it was either Katie or Sadie, she couldn't tell which. She saw flashes of green and orange, something stabbing a zombie in the eye. Beth was dragging a petrified DJ towards the shore too, the short girl's adrenaline the only thing giving her the strength to do so.
Some zombies were coming from the right side of the camp too, and Gwen saw them coming down towards Trent, Courtney, and Geoff. She let go of Bridgette, trying to tell her to defend herself, but didn't know if the words came out. She only knew she grabbed another burning log at the base and charged after the zombies closing in on the others.
She swung hard on the first zombie, breaking its neck with the blow to the side of its head due to most of its neck torn away. The second zombie of the group was bashed down, brains splattering the wood that broke down as well. Gwen picked up a nearby rock, and started bashing in another zombie's head with it, blood and gore splattering everywhere.
Screaming could be heard nearby, it could have been herself. When she looked up, she saw Cody wrestling one of them, it trying to bite his face. Sierra, despite her injuries, launched herself at the zombie, knocking it down. She was trying to beat the zombie's face against the sand when more advanced on her and Cody, reaching for them both.
Gwen heard more screaming nearby, it sounded like Lindsay. She couldn't look though, a zombie was closing in on her. She leapt back and the zombie fell down in its rush for her. Before it could stand back up, she stomped it to death.
Someone grabbed her shoulders. She grabbed the person's head and tried to push back until she heard a very human cry of pain. Stopping, she saw Trent with red marks on his face where she had scratched him. She tried to apologize, but he was already pulling her away, just barely missed being grabbed by a few more zombies.
Gwen led Trent back to Bridgette near the water, screaming at him to watch her friend. He was protesting, she was shrieking obscenities at him to do it as she bolted back towards the others. She could hear Owen hollering for help, Sadie or Katie screaming bloody murder, and caught a glimpse of Justin swinging a burning log at a few approaching.
"Duncan," she screamed out for her boyfriend. "Duncan!"
She couldn't see him, all she saw was fire, zombies, and the others all running around. Chef and Tyler were grappling with them, being overwhelmed. Harold was beating one down with a branch, Courtney hiding behind him in terror. Gwen headed over to her and pulled her to her feet.
"Get out of here," Gwen shouted. "Get to the beach!"
"No," Courtney cried back, "no, I can't leave him!"
The CIT struggled out of Gwen's grasp, managing to pick up a rock and attack the zombie Harold was going after. Gwen groaned in exasperation, and then felt hot, putrid breath behind her.
She turned to see a zombie, sharp teeth coated in blood, leaning in for her neck. She winced, ready for the pain, but the only pain that came was to her hair when something knocked the zombie's head clean off its shoulders. Eva stood nearby, holding a large tree branch that was stained in blood.
"Move, girl," Eva shouted.
"No no, get to the beach," Gwen yelled at her. "Help the others, they need you!"
Eva glanced over at the small crowd gathering down by the water, and nodded in response. She, along with Harold and Courtney sprinted down there, as Gwen looked around frantically for Duncan. She thought she saw him, but it was Izzy's green clothing, almost a blur as she sprinted by that made her think of him.
Gwen heard Tyler bellowing, whether pain or battle rage she didn't know. A warbling scream of agony that came from someone she couldn't recognize drowned out everything else for a few seconds. The screams continued, but Gwen's world was sent into a daze when something slammed into her.
Knocked down to the ground, she struggled to stand back up, as the person who pushed her over stepped on her shoulder. She saw a flash of navy blue amid blurred vision of intense pain she was feeling, but pulled herself up. Nothing felt broken, just there would be a bruise later, if she survived this.
Heather was screaming nearby. The zombies were coming at those near the water. Izzy was yanking a zombie off of someone, shanking the ghoul through the eye until it stopped twitching. Gwen, acting almost by some kind of response that she had now set, picked up her third burning log and charged after the zombies.
This one faired her better, as five zombies went down before it finally broke apart. One ghoul grabbed for her, and she shoved the rest of the wood into its gaping maw. With a twist of her body, she threw the zombie headfirst into one of the bonfires, burning its head as well as bashing it open.
Then she finally saw Duncan, holding a large tree branch and swinging it at a zombie tauntingly. He played with it for a couple seconds before dashing forward and swinging at its legs, knocking it down. He bashed in its skull, shouting many explicits and garbled words.
Gwen headed for him, dodging another zombie. She stomped down on its skull when it collapsed after the failed lunge. She very quickly thought a prayer, thanking God above that these were the slow, lumbering kind of zombies instead of Olympic sprinters like she saw in some movies.
She screamed out his name, he looked over at her and then pointed before her. Whirling around, a zombie was closing in on her, almost sprinting at her. Gwen had no time to react, but the redhead who leapt at the ghoul knocked it aside. Izzy, holding what Gwen saw now was a broken, sharp piece of wood, stomped down on the zombie's chest. She jammed her shiv into the zombie's eye, piercing the brain and killing it instantly.
Unable to pull it back out, Izzy leapt back as she whipped around. She shouted a name Gwen didn't catch as she sprinted towards one of the campfires. Gwen only cared about heading for Duncan, and when she reached him, he grabbed her wrist and started pulling her away from the camp.
He was screaming that they had to run, she was shrieking back that she couldn't leave them. Only the approach of a zombie stopped them, and he shoved it against a tree. Grabbing its head, he bashed its cranium against the tree over and over until it stopped moving. When he let go, he stepped back, panting for air.
Gwen was also heaving, but her mind was processing something. The sounds of screaming and moaning were much lower, but still there. She looked at the camp, and saw many figures writhing on the ground. Living and dead bodies lay in the sand, and some zombies were… some were eating people alive.
She grabbed a large branch at the edge of the jungle, running back and screaming at the top of her lungs. She ignored Duncan's cry for her to come back, and swung down on a zombie that was eating someone's arm. The person was still alive, their fingers were grasping for help. As Gwen beat the zombie down, one thought kept racing through her head.
"Please no one be dead," she thought, again and again. "Please no one be dead! Don't die, oh God, please don't die!
"Leshawna!" Her thoughts drifted to her best friend as she fought another zombie. "Leshawna, I need you so bad now! Oh God, I need you, where are you when I need you the most, to be strong?"
As she kicked a zombie down and bashed in its head with the breaking branch, she thought over and over how much she needed Leshawna, how sorry she was for everything, and continued to pray no one was dead.
She saw movement, and she swung her branch at the target. The zombie was knocked off-balance, and her branch broke, but she followed up like Izzy had and jammed the broken wood into the zombie's eye socket. As the zombie fell backwards dead, she lost her footing and fell onto her back too.
Her vision was blacking out before she hit the ground, and even soft sand felt like a colossal blow to the back of her head. She reached up, hoping someone could hoist her up to go back fighting. Adrenaline was failing her, every single part of her body was screaming in pain and exhaustion.
"Don't let it win," she thought to herself, her other hand grasping for something to defend herself with. She felt so helpless as all of her senses began to fail. She couldn't hear anything, her ears burned so much. She couldn't smell anything, her nose felt burnt out by all the rotting corpses and fire. She couldn't even feel the tears in her eyes that would have stung.
She did, however, see the zombie coming down on her, bloody maw open as it hiss-moaned in hunger. She prayed it would be quick, she prayed her body was numb enough to not feel this.
Gwen blacked out before the zombie leaned in, moaning for her blood…
To Be Continued.
So who survived? Who died? And most importantly (well, maybe not most importantly, all things considered), who's hooking up during this chaos?
Yeah, that's how dire of a shipping fanboy that I am! Pairings are just as important as survival! You all think I'm like Alfred? I'm definitely more like Crystal.
Oh, and I haven't forgotten my novel, this was written in parts over about a month.