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 - Yes, I finally updated! The problem was that I am always writing on my novel, and thus fanfiction will take a solid second place. I have to admit, this chapter was really difficult at times; hopefully, it doesn't come out too bumpy. So what I am saying is: be critical. I'd appreciate it.
Warning, the following contains scenes of extreme violence, profanity, and character death. Also, you may think some of the characters are a little OOC, but I like to think life-threatening situations and dire circumstances change people like that.
Chapter 02 - Escape from the Dead Rising Island
Noah hated running. He hated having to break out into anything more than a light jog. Gym class back at school had been a major pain, and he had been hoping the show wouldn't require much physical prowess when he joined. He would be happy to not have to run throughout all of his life.
Wasn't he lucky to be running for his life?
"Leshawna," he heaved, feeling his heart hammer in his chest from the stress, "please slow down!"
"I ain't slowing down, Noah," she responded as they sprinted down the beach. "My friends are in trouble!"
"You… you're armed with a pipe, it's the middle of the night, and we don't even know where they are," he tried to reason with her. "Please, stop… I'm gonna throw up again."
Leshawna did stop, but only because she herself needed to catch her breath. For the first time in her life, she resented her size. She had always been fine with her body, but now that she was running nonstop and combating monsters was making it hard for her to carry her own.
She watched as Noah fell down on his hands and knees, heaving but nothing except sickly spit coming out. Though she felt a tinge of guilt for having him run so much, her mind was primarily focused on finding her friends.
If there was one thing she didn't want to think about, it was the monsters they had just fought. The undead, zombies, whatever they were called, she just wanted to think of them as freaks. The amount of blood and gore on their bodies, how their teeth had sharpened like a shark's, it all looked like something from a horror movie.
"I'm living a horror movie," Leshawna thought. "Oh, Gwen would know what to do, she's the one who watches that freaky…"
When she thought of her pale friend, her second wind came to her. Forgetting the exhaustion, and the pains in her legs and chest, she started walking forward, clenching the slightly bent pipe. Noah had to wheeze to remind her that he was still there.
"Please," he begged, "remember… that I am a twig, according to you, and thus zombies will pick their teeth with me."
"You do realize," she said as she at down next to him, "that if we don't keep moving, we may not find the safety that we need from these freaks."
He nodded, moaning as he moved into a sitting position, wiping the sweat from his forehead. "I don't know what's worse. The fact that I'm soaking wet from our storm escapade, that there are zombies after us and we have no real weapons, or… no, never mind, there's nothing worse than that."
"Yeah, I sure can't think of anything worse than that right now," she admitted. Shaking her head wearily, she looked him over and said, "When you get our strength back, let me know. We need to keep on moving."
"I don't know who's going to kill me first," he muttered in-between his heavy breaths, "the zombies or you."
"Stop talking like that, we ain't gonna die. Where's your backbone, Noah?"
"About ready to snap from how tired I am, thank you very much."
Leshawna groaned. Noah could certainly be sardonic, and it wasn't helpful during their current predicament. Still, she had remembered what he had said earlier about coping mechanisms, and decided not to give him an earful. It'd be pointless, she didn't want to waste her breath on chewing him out; he was just as stressed and scared as she was.
After a couple minutes, Noah managed to catch his breath. When they carried on walking, he spotted a fallen branch near the trees, and picked it up. The wood looked and felt strong, but he said, "I'd be much happier with a baseball bat, a katana, or maybe an AK-47."
"Isn't that a terrorist weapon?"
"No, it's just a gun; just because some terrorists and criminals use it doesn't make it evil. What, you'd rather not have a gun just because some bad men used it?"
"Why are you always trying to pick a fight with me, Noah?" she snapped. "Don't we have enough problems without you snapping at me?"
"I'm sorry, should I lash out at the zombies? The ocean? I'm having trouble enough with all that is happening, don't make it worse by asking me to curb my tongue; your tongue is just as sharp, and you don't see me telling you to can it."
"I'm not asking you to can it, string bean, I'm asking you to stop being so abrasive."
Noah sighed heavily. He had had this conversation before so many times with family, especially his parents. Cody had lent him a book about Albert Einstein at Playa Des Losers in the first season, and it had mentioned how incredibly stubborn the well-known genius had been. While he wouldn't admit it out loud, Noah was proud to have the same stubbornness as one of the world's most brilliant minds.
This sparked something inside of him, mostly driven to make peace with Leshawna. "Okay, let's change the subject," he muttered, "um… five most brilliant minds in history."
"I'm trying to make peace, so talk about something interesting, keep our mind of flesh-eating zombies," he said, gripping his branch weapon as he gestured with his head towards the forest. "So c'mon, five most brilliant minds of history."
"Noah, I couldn't begin," she started, then sighed and chuckled. "You probably wouldn't know anyone I mentioned, I studied a lot of African-Canadian history, as well as other subjects in history. There's a lot separating you and me."
"Can't be that bad, now look who's being abrasive."
Leshawna groaned as they continued to walk across the beach. She didn't know why she was throwing these walls up at Noah, maybe she was just worried that they'd argue or something.
"Okay then, Noah," she said, managing a little smile. "Who are your top five? I don't really have a top five."
"Easy enough, though some are a little cliché: Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Leonardo da Vinci, Sun Tzu, and Steve Jobs."
"Eh? Steve Jobs?" Leshawna repeated with a chuckle. "What about Bill Gates?"
"Heck no! Proud Mac user, true and true!"
"Seriously, me too, the family grew up with them."
"Nice to know we have something in common, I feel so much more comfortable now-"
Upon saying this, and looking back Noah would kick himself what was obviously jinxing it, one of the zombie freaks stumbled out of the jungle. It moaned, blood spurting out of the incredible bite wound in its neck.
Noah screamed, more high-pitched than he would care to admit to, and swung the branch. Due to his lack of experience in anything physical, his attack came too low, and instead of a blow to the forehead, he hit the undead being right in the mouth. This promptly knocked out most of the ghoul's teeth, and when it bit down on the branch, it was mostly bloody gums.
The zombie was undetermined by having a crude tooth removal, and it tried to wrestle the branch away from Noah, gripping it with its mouth and hands. It struggled with undead might, unrelenting in its strength. Though it only had a couple tries, as Leshawna brought her pipe down on the beast's noggin. Noah watched as wham, bam, thank you for saving my life ma'am.
The cynic shoved the dead zombie off of him and pried the branch from its mouth, some of its teeth still in his weapon. He groaned as he looked over at Leshawna, muttering, "Okay, chalk up another time you saved my life. You're going to level up before I do."
"Sweetheart, I have no idea what you're talking about, but I'll take it as a 'you're welcome.'" Leshawna replied. "Now shall we get going?"
Noah nodded as he pulled himself up on his feet, with some support for Leshawna. They walked for about five minutes before they hit a dead-end.
The sandy beach turned into a rocky cliff, waves crashing into the pathless shore. As the ocean splashed onto the rocks, Leshawna sighed in regret as she started forward, but Noah grabbed her arm.
"You're kidding, right?" he said, over the crashing of waves. "You cannot try to walk across this!"
"We have to keep going forward, Noah."
"One slip, you end up being the crash of the waves and the rocks of the cliff. This is a death trap."
"Well, there's a river near the center," Leshawna said, pointing at the rushing river that emptied out over the rocky shore. "I'm not going to go wading through that, it's moving too fast."
"Then we gotta do the most suicidal thing I can think of," Noah lamented. "We gotta go… in there."
He pointed at the forest, which was so dark that it seemed to absorb the moonlight. Leshawna winced, exchanging glances with him. "Um, just how are we going to that, string bean?"
"Beats me, maybe we can walk as close as we can near the shore or that river's side. Down by the riverside, as the saying goes… damn, maybe we should scratch that plan."
"Noah, can you think of anything else?"
"Other than turning around and going back the way we came, no… except panicking and lying on the ground crying."
"I'll go with the riverside one; I trust your judgment."
"Really?" Noah asked, blinking in surprise. He actually felt a little touched by this, and didn't know what to say. Not many listened to him, not even family.
"Every time the family gets together for dinner, all my siblings go first; by the time they get to me, everyone's eaten and ready to leave."
"Noah? Ready to go?"
"Y-yeah, I'm ready," he replied. "You can lead the way… I guess I trust you."
"All right, I do. You're the party leader, the tank, the one fighting the zombies."
"What do you mean by 'tank'?"
Noah had to explain the computer game slang to her, but as they made it to the riverside, Leshawna was only partially listening. All she could think about were her friends, wondering how bad off they were, if they were trapped or hurt…
And after five minutes of walking on the shoreline, she added her exceptionally sore feet to the list of things on her mind. Wet, sandy shoes were the worst thing in the world on her mind right now, she'd rather have more zombies than these damn feet right now!
She started cursing under her breath, a very bad habit of hers that only came when she was stressed, and Noah heard some of it. It was some of the worst swearing he had ever heard, and he spent most of his time on the internet.
"Sheesh," he commented. "I know things are bad, but really? You're gonna be like that?"
"Oh damn it, was I doing that?" Leshawna murmured. "I swear, I didn't mean to…"
The moaning howl of a zombie startled them, from further in the jungle. They both looked to see numerous ghouls, about twelve, wandering around. Their glossed over eyes shone in the moonlight, and their silhouettes seemed to be accented right down to their sharpened teeth. Leshawna and Noah were frozen in place, transfixed on the zombies, until one of them looked their way.
They gasped and hid behind a tree. The zombies' moaning, groaning, and growling echoed throughout the trees.
"What's irritated them so much?" Leshawna whispered. "I mean, they weren't making a noise until now, did they see us?"
"More than likely smelt us, our wet human flesh travels well in the air."
Leshawna groaned, then grabbed his arm. "Look, hiding ain't gonna us, so let's just head up this river. There's gotta be a shallow point, or where it's not so fast."
Noah winced as he continued to walk, despite aches, exhaustion, and uncomfortable shoes. He looked at the other side of the river, watched the rushing water, and wondered if swimming across would be better than risking zombies coming at them. No matter how tired he was…
One of the zombies let out a particularly loud moan, reminding Noah of a nature documentary where it discussed coyotes baying to alert others that it had found food. He looked back and saw one of the zombies stumbling towards them, almost tripping on the foliage.
"Damn, damn, damn!" Leshawna declared, unwittingly alerting the other zombies. The two ran, and she refused to let go of his arm. Though her grip was a little painful, he didn't want her to let go.
The baying of zombies, some gargling on blood and bits of flesh stuck in their throats, seemed to follow Noah and Leshawna as they ran down the riverside.
Eyes were fluttering open, a gasp escaped the mouth… the night sky above out of focus as the stars swum around inside it.
Struggling to sit up, the limbs were too sore to do so at first. A rush of adrenaline gave new life to them, and everything focused for a few seconds.
"What… the… them…," were the first thoughts as the person slowly regained consciousness. Sitting up, the thoughts became more lucid. "Zombies… they were all over the place… fought them… did I survive?"
With a pained grunt, the person sat up and made an attempt to stand up on shaky legs. "They were killing someone… they came at me… Gwen… where is… came at… bit… Gwen…"
Another strained groan as the being stretched their very stiff limbs and back. Cracks and pops could be heard as they straightened out, gasping as they looked around. Eyesight wasn't normal, only able to make out the bonfires that were still there, and human figures around the area. Conversations and pained cries filled the person's ears, rattling their already fragile mind.
"Everyone… who… did anyone get bit? I saw… someone bit… Gwen… Gwen was… argh… think! Think…
"Think, Gwen! Damn it, focus! You… you are Gwen! Gwen Ingrid… do not lose focus on reality! Now stand up straight, you are needed! NOW!"
Yelling at herself mentally did the trick, and with a big shiver and a deep breath of air, she became fully lucid. Looking around, she only half a second before Bridgette seized her in the tightest hug the goth girl had ever received.
"Oh, thank God," Bridgette cried out, squeezing her so tight that Gwen thought she might break one of her ribs. "Are you okay? Are you coherent?"
The surfer looked deep into the goth's eyes, the latter blinking from the shock of it all. "I think I am," Gwen said, looking back at her friend. "Was I… was I bitten?"
"No, no you're fine! Tyler saved you when you passed out, he fought off them and carried you back to us… away from where those… those things came from!"
"They're zombies, Bridgette, they were… are they all gone?"
The surfer nodded, whispering fearfully, "But we don't know if anymore are coming! All we have are branches to defend ourselves… and… and the… the…"
Bridgette's eyes filled with tears immediately, and she pointed towards the bonfires. The contestants of the show were all over the place, some of them dragging the corpses of zombies away into a pit a couple more were digging. Gwen then saw Tyler crotched over someone, and when she approached, she truly couldn't believe what she was seeing at first.
The blond body was almost covered in blood from the neck down, bereft of life. Tyler held her tenderly, sobbing uncontrollably. Gwen watched him crying, still unable to fully grasp what she was seeing. Then, as sudden as a blink of the eye, she did: Lindsay, her neck violently open, lay dead in her former boyfriend's arms.
Gwen covered her mouth in horror and turned away, just to see Sadie screaming in anguish. The larger BFFF was over her platonic twin's body, clutching her shoulder. Katie was covered in vicious bite marks, parts of her mangled horribly. Sadie's crying was so shrill, it seemed to pierce Gwen's heart every time.
She turned away, and almost stepped on Heather's body. Bile rose in her throat as she saw the mauled remains of her rival, and she fought back against it. Heather's face, right arm, and legs had all been torn apart by the undead, an indescribable horror that made Gwen initially feel nothing but sorrow and pity for the girl she had hated the most.
She turned to see Cody staring at her, looking her over as if to check for bites. Gwen felt ready to faint from what she had seen, and Cody, who she had always thought wasn't very observant, seemed to noticed. He practically caught her when she dove into his arms, clinging to him.
Her body was shuddering something awful without control for a few seconds. When she thought she managed to cool it down, she could feel Cody shaking. She looked into his eyes, and though he tried, he couldn't say what had shaken him.
"Who… who did we lose?" she managed to ask him.
"Lindsay, Katie, Justin, Heather, Blaineley, Chef Hatchet, and… Sierra."
Gwen could only stare, and Cody gestured behind him. Though the goth girl didn't want to look, she still did. Sierra's body lay on her side, blood all over the sand underneath her. The bald, temporarily crippled fangirl had put up a fight, there was blood and pieces of rotting skin on the bottom of her shoes and her fists.
"She defended me," Cody said, his voice thick with sorrow and guilt. "She couldn't even walk, and she was protecting me from zombies. When they tore into her… I couldn't stop them. I couldn't stop them from killing her…"
Gwen gripped his shoulders, looking him in the eye. "Cody, do not blame yourself," she said. "You aren't to blame, it was those-"
Duncan's voice seemed to pull her out of a horrible pit. She turned to see her punk boyfriend approaching her, sand all over his hands and pants, signs of digging. Gwen threw herself at him, embracing in a tight hug. He returned it, but only for a few seconds as he muttered, "Come on, we're getting out of here!"
"What?" Gwen asked as she was released from the hug too soon for her desire. "But… the others…"
"We don't have time to bury everyone, and those bastards might be back for more," Duncan said, taking her arm and pulling her with him away from the bonfires.
Before she could protest, a bloodcurdling scream startled her and everyone else. She recognized the screamer: Owen. The large teenager was holding his hands up defensively, Alejandro standing in front of him and holding a large branch.
"Just accept it, you were bitten," Alejandro hollered. "You're going to be one of the muerta, you fat moron!"
"No, no, I swear," Owen protested. "I wasn't bitten by anyone! Please don't club me to death!"
"Just shut up!"
Alejandro was about the bring the branch down on Owen, before someone tackled him. The handsome Latino was knocked down, and he violently struggled. He punched his attacker in the face, busting his glasses.
Harold screamed in pain and fell off him. Alejandro heaved in frustration as he glared at the nerd, who squinted right back him and declared, "How dare you try to kill Owen!"
"I know he was bitten, you fucking moron!"
Alejandro tried to pick up the large branch, but someone stomped on it to prevent him. That person was Courtney, and she quickly pulled the manipulator's weapon away from him. "Don't think for a second," she hissed at him, "that you can make the call like that."
"You're going to trust Harold's word over mine?" Alejandro shouted. "Harold? That nerd? Over me, senorita?"
Courtney looked over at Harold, who was struggling to find his glasses. "Well, if anyone knows anything about those things," she said, "it would be him. Harold, if someone's been bitten, will they turn into one of those… like in the movies?"
"That's highly possible, but not assured," Harold stated. "We don't know what kind of strain this zombie virus is, if that is indeed what exactly we're fighting. There's many kinds-"
"Shut up," Alejandro declared. "We don't want to hear any more of your stupid, pointless ramblings!"
"I want to hear," Courtney shouted right back at Alejandro. "I want to know what he thinks! He saved so many of us tonight!"
"He didn't save enough of us."
Alejandro's thoughts could be seen when he glanced at Heather's body, and the Latino's eyes became darker. With no compassion, he stomped on Harold's glasses and kicked them with a load of sand in his face. The nerd sputtered as Alejandro shouted, "Owen was bitten, and I'm going to take care of him!"
"I wasn't bitten," Owen shrieked in fear. "I swear!"
"There's no way a fat ass like you made it out of that attack unscathed," Alejandro replied. His eyes narrowed as he added, "We're going to have to deal with you appropriately now."
"Wait," Gwen shouted, running over to the arguing group that everyone had eyes on. She approached Alejandro, asking, "You said he was bitten? Are you positive?"
"I'm sure of it."
"His side, though it'd take forever to find."
Gwen looked at Owen, the large teenager sweating bullets and feeling his large form. There was so much blood and sand on him, it was impossible to tell where and if he was injured. The goth girl looked at Alejandro, and then at Courtney, then finished by saying, "I'll look him over."
"You're wasting your time," Alejandro spat.
"No, she's not," Courtney shot right back at him. As she went to help Harold, the others all exchanged glances.
"I don't know what to do," Bridgette admitted to Trent, who was closest to her. "What… what if those things come back? What if there are more out there? Are they really… really zombies?"
"We're all pretty much in the dark," he replied. Bridgette could see his hand slightly tremble, though he was trying to clutch it. Trent had never been good at concealing his feelings, and she realized this must be him doing his best to hide his terror.
Without putting much thought into it, Bridgette grabbed Trent's trembling hand and squeezed it to try and calm him down. He looked at her gratefully, and she managed a small smile.
DJ walked by them, shaking as bad as Trent. "This just ain't possible," he muttered to himself. "We cannot have had people… people die!"
"Dude," Geoff said to him, "you gotta snap out of it! You're kind of staring into oblivion there!"
Geoff and Beth tried their best to snap DJ out of his shock, while Cody and Izzy tried to pull Sadie away from Katie's body. Tyler had managed to let go of Lindsay, but still continued to stare at her, the incredulous and grim sight still not fully registering.
"Wasn't I just yesterday," he thought, "trying to remind her of the good times we had? Wasn't I just trying to convince her to take me back? Now… now…"
Duncan waited impatiently for Gwen, as she continued to inspect Owen. Alejandro paced around, passing by the punk more than once. At some point, he stopped next to Duncan, and muttered, "You realize she's going to get us all killed, right?"
"Watch it, Al," the pink growled at the manipulator.
"Gwen will insist on saving everyone, she's trying to spare Owen right now," Alejandro continued. "And don't forget, her fat friend isn't around. She's going to get herself killed, and you too if you let her continue this bleeding heart method."
Duncan stared him down, then glanced over at Gwen. She was still inspecting Owen, as Courtney and Harold watched. Actually, the nerd was trying to watch, but he had to squint hard.
"Are you going to be able to see?" Courtney asked Harold. "My sister once lost her glasses, she had a really hard time seeing."
"I'll be fine, I think. Don't worry about me."
"Are you kidding? You saved my life back there."
"You saved my life during the confusion too."
The two stared at each other for a few seconds, then he let out a small chuckle. "Kind of hard to imagine this… you and I fighting zombies together… it all feels like some video game or a nightmare."
"Definitely the latter for me, and well, I never thought I'd say this, to be honest," she admitted, her voice filled with guilt, which seemed almost as surreal coming from Courtney as the zombies were to Harold. "To be honest… I am glad you are here. Something like this happening, I know I can trust you."
Gwen walked up to the two, continuously glancing at Courtney, as if scared she would attack her any moment; the goth girl's suspicions were rather justified, as after Courtney's elimination, the CIT would lunge at Gwen and snap at her in her unrelenting fury. Gwen was too nervous to argue back, because she had thought Courtney would physically attack her if she tried to.
Still, after zombies had killed several people she knew and almost dying herself, her feud with Courtney wasn't going to keep her from speaking. "Harold, Owen doesn't look like he's been injured. No bites or scratches… could he still be infected?"
"Only if he ingested anything, like if some of a zombie's saliva got in his mouth," Harold said, scratching the back of his head. "Unless this is an airborne virus… it is possible we all are infected, and those with certain traits are immune."
"Seriously?" Courtney exclaimed. "We could all be infected? What kind of zombies are these, Harold?"
"It's impossible to tell. There are so many different types of zombies and infections," he explained to the two. "For now, I say if Owen hasn't been hurt by those things, he is safe."
"Thank God," Gwen said, wiping her brow. As she glanced to the side, she saw the body of Chef Hatchet. It was so badly mauled, she wouldn't have recognized the bad cook except for his trademark apron and little chef hat on his head. Courtney saw her looking at the body, and sighed miserably.
"Chef never gave up," she told the goth girl. "He fought those zombies as they bit him, clinging relentlessly. He must have killed fifty of those monsters… he was so brave."
"A soldier to the end," Harold murmured, casting a salute towards Chef. "I knew the guy had a soft spot, and he died defending us. I am sure more of us would be dead if it wasn't for him… Chris just ran."
"What, seriously?" Gwen declared. "That bastard ditched us?"
"He must have, because he's not around here, dead or alive," Courtney explained. "He must have run as fast as he could, away from here. Left us to die to those freaks… I don't know why I am surprised, surely I should have suspected he wouldn't do that. Chris, of all people…"
"I guess we all hope for the best from people when there's a crisis," Harold replied.
"I know… you two sure came through for all of us…"
Courtney realized who she was talking to: Harold and Gwen. Two of the people she should hate more than anyone, the guy who cheated her off the first season and the gal who stole her boyfriend. And yet, after the horrible ordeal, these were the two people she felt closest to and safest with.
"So, what are we going to do?" she asked them.
"I'll tell you what we are going to do!"
Duncan had approached the three, glaring at them. "We are going to get the hell out of here!" He beckoned to Gwen, adding, "Come on, we need to leave!"
"But… but wait," Gwen began to protest.
"There's nothing to discuss," he shouted. "Those monsters could come back any minute, they could smell all the dead bodies! We have to leave!"
He rounded towards the survivors, calling out, "We are leaving! Now!"
"No," Sadie wailed. She pointed back at Katie's body, shouting, "I cannot just leave Katie here!"
"I don't want to leave Lindsay like this," Tyler protested.
Cody approached Duncan, saying, "Come on, man, we need to give our friends some respect! They don't deserve to lay here like-"
Duncan groaned in frustration and shoved Cody, harder than he meant to. The geek was knocked over by the push, to which Izzy cried out in indignation.
"You big dumb, mohawked wienie," the redhead hollered. "How dare you!"
"Look, will you all calm down and think this rationally?" Duncan exclaimed. "We are on a strange island, we have no idea where we are, and we have nothing to our name! No food, water, or weapons except for the branches! If we stay here, those freaks will come back and tear us all apart!"
Everyone was watching Duncan, as Alejandro nodded alongside him. The handsome manipulator stepped forward and added to Duncan's speech, "If we head down the beach that way," he said, pointing to the left, "we should eventually find some sign of civilization; if not, we will at least get away from all these dead bodies."
"We cannot leave those who were killed left to rot," Beth protested.
"That's right," Sadie joined in. "I will not, under any circumstances, leave Katie like that!"
She pointed at her friend's body, which sat up at the end of her sentence. Sadie froze as she saw her dead BFFF look around with glazed eyes, moaning a little before dead Katie saw her. With a hungry groan, it tried to pull itself up, slow and awkward.
As zombie Katie reached out towards Sadie, the others started to rise up. Justin, his once beautiful body torn up by savage teeth, stood up as it headed for the living. Heather and Lindsay advanced on Tyler, who was closest to them; sunken eyes as once soft hands grasped at him.
Chef's badly damaged body rose up, growling and groaning, almost as much as he did when alive. Blaineley, who had been feasted on and unable to fight back because of her bandages and casts, was crawling on the sand, looking like a starved mummy.
Gwen winced as all the dead people came after the living. She picked up a thick branch nearby one of the fire pits, trying to shelve her emotions over this. All that mattered was survival, and as she saw Tyler and Sadie paralyzed in grief, she realized it would come upon her to save them.
She heard Duncan shouting at her, calling her back, but she couldn't answer her boyfriend now. As she raised the large branch, she leapt towards Heather's undead form, letting out a cry of mixed emotions.
Leshawna groaned as she washed off her face with the river water. She was sweating like crazy, as she and Noah had been walking nonstop. It wasn't like a normal walk, not a stroll through a mall even. The uneven ground as they walked alongside the river was like a terrible hiking trip.
"Are we there yet?" Noah asked. "Seriously, just lie to me, tell me it's there in a half-hour. I'll trudge on for a half-hour, and then fall on my face."
"Keep whining, I'll mess up your face for you."
"Oh good, an appointment! I am so flattered."
Noah slumped against a tree, groaning as he flexed his shoulders. Leshawna finished washing up, glancing at the river and trying to imagine how hard it would be to swim across. The rushing water was an obvious sign of there being no chance at all.
"Okay, Noah, we'll be there in a half-hour," Leshawna assured him. "But do me a favor."
"Stop talking, got it."
"No, don't you dare. Keep talking to me, just don't be so negative. For my sake, got it?"
"You saved my life enough times to win that. Okay, I'll be very positive for a half-hour. … Tell me how to be that?"
"Why not talk about something that makes you happy?"
"Well, right now, all I think about as far as happy is seeing my family again."
"See now, that's what I want to hear, sugar. Tell me more about them?"
The two carried on walking as Noah gave a small description for each of his siblings. They were busy watching the trees to their left, making sure no zombies were lurking in the shadows; they really didn't want to be chased again, even if the zombies were rather easy to lose at this hour.
Noah was just telling Leshawna about his oldest sibling, who had a family of three kids and expecting another one, when they stepped on a dirt path. They almost didn't believe it at first, looking down at it as if it was totally arcane and out of this world. When they looked to the right, they saw a wooden bridge over the river.
"Holy cow," Noah exclaimed. "Civilization! A constructed bridge! We're not on some deserted island after all."
"Hate to break it to you, but we kind of knew that when zombies came at us, ain't no people dead or alive on an island no one lives on."
Noah stared at her, then burst out laughing. Leshawna had never seen him laugh so hard, it was almost surreal to her. When he managed to contain it, he sputtered out, "You nag at me since the start to be more positive, then you go all literal on me when we find something great! Girl, you crazy!"
"Hey now, don't you be stealing my phrases, string bean."
"Sorry, I cannot help it… hehe! Oh you are too much, Leshawna!"
Leshawna smirked at him, then glanced to the left, down the pathway. It wasn't a very long pathway, it ended at a little shed that had a large antenna. She raised an eyebrow, and started to walk towards it. "Now what's this? A storage shed?"
"Something like that, don't know what the antenna is," Noah commented as he looked at the long rod that reached up past the trees. "I doubt it's a cell phone tower or anything like that."
"Maybe it's a radio tower?"
"In a building that small? Well, I suppose instead of talking about it, we could just look in there."
Inside the shed was a rather small room, that came complete with a television and bed. A lamp nearby the bed with adjustable brightness gave them some light at long last, while Noah looked around for any kinds of supplies.
"What is this, some service person's hut?" he grumbled. "I mean seriously, there's absolutely nothing here."
Leshawna turned on the television, flipping through all the channels. Nothing on the news was of interest, which greatly annoyed her. "You'd think twenty-four teenagers and a cast of a popular reality show," she thought bitterly, "would garnish SOME news when a volcano goes off in the Hawaiian islands!"
"Are you watching some bad American show?" Noah asked. "Come on, you don't want to watch most of what they make."
"Well, I know you're keen on not missing the latest My Little Pony episode," she teased him.
"I'm not a Brony, for God's sake! Now what is the point of this place?"
"I'm guessing it was for someone who was living out of the house, which is probably over the bridge," Leshawna theorized. "But my guess is now, young couples come here to bouncy."
"Seriously, not only do you have a dirty mind, but 'bouncy'? That's what you call sex?"
"It's what I call it around my siblings, I ain't gonna say "sex" around them."
"Well, this has officially become awkward. Let's just cross the bridge and see what's there, shall we?"
They exited the hut and crossed the bridge, only to come into a rather large clearing and small village. Large houses with even bigger gardens speckled the area, with paved roads. Noah and Leshawna looked around incredulously.
"It's like a small neighborhood," Leshawna commented. "I mean… is this a village or a neighborhood? The large gardens and such…"
"Okay, now I'm just royally confused," Noah admitted. "I'm guessing there was a large plantation here or something, and then it became a village."
"Maybe this is just a really nice neighborhood then," Leshawna said. "Well, shall we look inside the houses?"
The sound of a door banging against the wall made them both flinch and cry out, and they saw a zombie at the front door of one of the houses. The ghoul, with blood all over its mouth and hands, was looking at them, groaning in desolate hunger. Its teeth practically dripped blood as it started to shamble towards them.
Zombie moans started echoing around the exotic neighborhood, and more started wandering outside of the houses. All of them were covered in blood and gore, having feasted upon the home owners.
"Aw crap," Noah cursed. "We have a neighborhood party coming out, and they're all looking to feast."
"Run down the road and see where it leads us?" Leshawna asked.
The two, despite all their exhaustion and frustration, started to jog down the road, away from the zombies that were stumbling out onto the sidewalk. Noah strained as he felt his body start to wear out on him. Leshawna noticed in time and grabbed his hand, pulling him along with her. He squeezed her hand in thanks, as he was panting too hard to say anything.
"Damn it," he cursed mentally. "If only… if only I could hot wire one of the cars in the driveways!"
The two rounded a corner to see the road carry on for quite a distance, trees on the left and houses on the right. Zombies were wandering around the lawns and on the street, speckled all over like visible land mines. A zombie child, no older than ten, looked up from the body it was was feeding on; its teeth, mutated razor sharp like the adults, growled in hunger when it saw the two.
"Oh, dear God in Heaven," Leshawna whimpered when she saw it. Noah could see the fear in her eyes, and realized it was his turn. Pulling on her hand, he led her down the road.
"So long as we keep moving," he managed to say as they kept jogging, dodging the zombies that reached out at them, "we're going to find somewhere that isn't infested with zombies!"
Gwen seriously felt like puking as she stared at what she had done. Bile seemed to be in her throat, burning painfully, but she had her mouth clenched shut. Not to stop from throwing up, but to stop herself from screaming.
Heather and Lindsay's bodies were in front of her, massive injuries to their heads. Those blows were dealt by Gwen, by the branch in her hands, the branch still stained with their blood. Heather's body twitched very slightly, but was still otherwise.
It was Lindsay's body that was making Gwen want to scream, cry, and hurl all at once. The sweet blond girl, who Gwen had always thought was so vapid but innocent, lay with her eyes shut, mouth agape slightly as her fingers curled into the sand.
"It looks like I killed her," she thought. "It looks like I killed Lindsay… it looks like I killed her…"
She continued to stand there, staring at what she had done, until she hiccuped. Vomit came out in painfully hot spittle, but she didn't sink to her knees. Bridgette pulled her away from the body, saying words that the goth girl couldn't comprehend, though they sounded soothing.
Gwen peered over to the side, where Eva had finished off Katie's zombie form. Sadie had been hysterical and tried to prevent her, but Tyler held her back. It had taken all of his strength, but he had managed until the awful deed was done.
Izzy was standing over Chef Hatchet and Blaineley's bodies. The redhead looked frozen in place, the branch she had used still dripping with blood. Cody was standing near her, trying to talk to her.
Alejandro had finished off Justin, spitting on the corpse when he was done. Sierra had been taken care of by Courtney, and the CIT kept looking at the former fangirl's crush. Cody had only glanced at the terrible scene once, and wasn't able to look again.
Duncan approached Gwen, and almost wrenched her out of Bridgette's arms. Though the surfer girl was tearfully pleading with Duncan to stop, the punk wasn't up for negotiation. "Gwen," he said to her, "Gwen, are you okay?"
"Am I okay?" she weakly repeated, then shouted it. "Am I okay? How can you ask that? Did you see what I did?"
"You did what you had to," Duncan assured her. "You did the right thing, it was them or you. Don't worry, I don't think any less of you."
Gwen rubbed away tears from her eyes, though if they were sorrow or frustration, she couldn't tell yet. She looked at Duncan, hoping he could make everything better. Bridgette watched the two, clenching her hands in apprehension.
"Alright, that does it," Alejandro's shout startled everyone. "Now do you idiots see why we cannot stay here, God damn it?"
Everyone looked over at him, as he waved around the branch he had just used. "We stay here, we wait any longer, we die! Now get your collective butts in gear, and move!"
"I'm not going anywhere with you!"
Gwen had shouted as she pushed gently away from Duncan. She stormed up to Alejandro, gripping her own weapon in her hands. "You amoral creep! We lost people here, and you don't even care!"
"Caring has nothing to do with survival, my goth chica," Alejandro snapped right back at her. "What, you want to stay here and get eaten by the undead? Be my guest, I don't give a damn about you."
Gwen scoffed and walked away from him, approaching Harold. "Before all this happened," she said, "I heard you talking about the direction of the waves. You think Leshawna is on another part of the island?"
"Yes, with the way the current was going," Harold said, squinting hard as he tried to gather his surroundings, "if you wanted to find her, like I do, you would have to go down that way."
He pointed down the right side of the beach, and if on cue, the howls of the undead filled the night. Everyone living shuddered, and Gwen squeezed her branch club. The moon was shining on the left side of the island (or at least, left as much as they were concerned), leaving the right side in shadow.
"Are you kidding?" Alejandro scoffed. "That looks like death itself."
"You cannot be sure that the other way is safer," Gwen snapped back at him.
Granted, though she didn't want to admit it, Gwen was very concerned about how dark and gloomy it was to the right. It was almost like neon signs were pointing DEATH to the right, LIFE to the left. Every instinct, from her natural ones to her horror movie inspired survival tips, said that the moonlit side of the island was better.
However, all Gwen could think about was Leshawna, who was out there and possibly all alone. Noah was lost too, he deserved a chance too.
"You have no way of knowing that more of those zombies," Gwen spoke again, glaring at Alejandro, "down that way. Besides," she struggled for an argument, and went with, "I'd rather be in the dark than a well-lit banquet for the undead to see strolling down the shore."
"You can go die then, I couldn't care less," Alejandro said back to her. "But don't expect the rest of you to follow you on a suicide mission. You have no food, water, a branch for a weapon, and you're going into the darkness to find someone who is most likely already dead."
Alejandro turned around and addressed the others. "Don't listen to this woman, people! You know she's a liar and is selfish, look how she operated on the show!"
"Oh, if ever there was a case of the pot calling the kettle black," Bridgette muttered, glaring daggers at Alejandro. She stepped up, and said, "And why should we listen to you?"
"Because I'm going to lead everyone out of here to safety! I want everyone possible so we can fight against another attack like that!"
Bridgette could see the logic in that. Divided, the survivors could easily be killed if another swarm of undead attacked. The surfer girl had barely been able to defend herself; she hated it to admit it, but she needed help against something so ungodly awful.
The dark side of the island seemed like certain death, but Gwen wasn't budging from going down that way. The light side of the island was being led by Alejandro, who Bridgette had been seriously hurt by. Gwen had kissed Duncan behind Courtney's back, and Alejandro had kissed Bridgette, manipulating it to look like Bridgette was unfaithful to Geoff, wrecking their relationship.
Before Bridgette could make up her mind, Gwen spoke up again. "Leshawna had on a life preserver when I lost sight of her in the ocean, and Noah was next with her. Leshawna is alive, and I am going to find her. I refuse to give up on my friend, so I'm not arguing anymore."
She sighed as she scanned the crowd of her former co-stars, then took a deep breath. "I'm leaving now, and anyone who wants to help me find our friends is welcome to come. Duncan, are you coming?"
Her boyfriend's words seemed to lock her in place. She couldn't feel her body, it felt so cold and numb. When she managed to look at him, the frown on his face made the horrible feeling occur again. Somehow, she managed to find her voice, and stammered out, "Wh-what?"
"You seem determined to go off to certain death," Duncan snapped, crossing his arms. "You have to admit that Leshawna is more than likely dead, and you, the horror movie enthusiast, are eager to go running off to your funeral."
"This is different," Gwen exclaimed. "This is real life! This is my best friend!"
"And you're asking me to go off and get myself killed over all this theorizing," he argued. The goth girl swore she saw him glancing at Alejandro a couple times as he spoke. "I'm not getting killed over you."
"What makes you think Alejandro is leading down a safe path? We don't know anything here, all we know is the moonlight is brighter that way! That's no reason to believe the way I'm going is assured death."
Duncan scoffed, shaking his head. "I cannot believe he was right," he muttered, mostly to himself, but Gwen overheard him. Before she could ask, he looked up at her and added, "You really have two choices here, Gwen: life or death. That way you are going, there's no light and the moaning seems to be louder. You'd risk that all for Leshawna?"
"Yes, she is worth the risk."
"Well, you aren't."
If Gwen hadn't felt cold and hollow enough yet, that made it official. It was like someone had freeze-blasted her heart, and she could feel the frozen bits of it sinking down in her soul. She had never felt so hurt, so betrayed… and yet, part of her couldn't help but feel she deserved it.
"Duncan," she managed to say, her voice shaking as she fought to prevent her emotions from being shown, "I… I just need you to help me."
"You aren't worth getting killed over, you or that loudmouth friend of yours. You want to go die? Fine. You are really stupid to ask me to do the same when I have a chance of getting out of this alive."
"But," Gwen's voice was pitifully small, "but, Duncan-"
"Just shut up and go! Damn it," he cursed as he turned on his foot and walked away from her, "I cannot believe how demanding you are, I thought you were better than that, but you're worse than Courtney! Wanting me to get myself killed… I should have known you would be a real bitch too!"
As Duncan stormed off, Gwen felt tears sting her eyes, and she couldn't stop them. An incredible hurricane of emotions was whipping around in her, the biggest betrayal. Gwen had sacrificed so much to be with Duncan, to kiss him when he was technically still with Courtney. She had fallen for him, his absence during the season making her yearn for him more, and then suffered all the abuse Courtney, Sierra, and Heather could heap on her.
She had taken all that abuse, both verbal and physical, and been eliminated from the show. All of that because he believed he was worth it. And now, now when she needed him most, he basically told her that she was worth nothing to him. After all that…
Alejandro's chuckle seemed to be timed right as she was thinking this. The manipulator finished his cruel laugh with, "Well, that about covers it. Come on, people, we need to get moving now, we don't want any more drama! If Duncan thinks Gwen is going to her death, who's going to join her?"
"Me!" shouted Bridgette.
The surfer girl approached her gothic friend, who was furiously trying to wipe away the tears from her eyes. Bridgette held her shoulders, looking into that betrayed expression her friend had, and it only fueled her outrage. "I'm not letting Leshawna die, and I'm certainly not following you or Duncan! I'm with her!"
"Me too," Trent spoke up, walking up next to the girls. He crossed his arms and added, "You're bad luck, Al, and I always knew you were a snake, Duncan."
"Fuck you, pretty boy," Duncan spat back at him. "What, hoping to catch your ex on the rebound? That ain't gonna work when you're dead!"
"Why don't you shut up?" Courtney exclaimed, approaching her ex-boyfriend. "Why are you being such a jerk?"
"Because they are heading off to certain death, and expect us to go with them!"
"I cannot believe you! You… you cheated on me with Gwen, and then you go and turn her back on her when she wants your help!"
"Hey, if she's dumb enough to go get herself killed, that's too bad! Maybe you should join her, Princess, you are that thick too!"
"You know what? Maybe I will!"
Duncan couldn't hide how startled he was when he saw Courtney walk over to Gwen's side and plant her feet. Even Gwen was startled, especially when the CIT added, "I'd rather be with her than you! You only care about yourself!"
Alejandro groaned at this. "Okay, this is just getting ridiculous! We needed to stick together, but these four want to head off their own way! Come on, people, you cannot be stupid enough to split up like this!"
Apparently, some of them were. Owen quickly headed over to Gwen's side, desperate to distance himself from Alejandro; the Latino threatening to kill the enormous guy was still fresh in his mind. Cody joined Owen soon after, as did Harold and Izzy. Eva, surprisingly enough, walked over and joined Gwen's team too.
"Fine! Fine," Alejandro shouted, glaring at everyone on the goth girl's side. "You bunch of Total Drama NERDS! Let us all die because of your stupid emotions! But we're going now, and good riddance to you!"
He turned on his heel and walked away from them, Duncan right next to him. Geoff and Sadie were soon following him, the former taking a brief look behind to see if Bridgette would change her mind. DJ, staring at the moon as if it was a reassurance it was safe, gave a sad look back to Gwen, and followed after Alejandro. Beth didn't leave the gentle giant's side, much like the entire time since they had crashed.
Tyler started to follow them, but then stopped as he looked back at his other friends. His eyes wandered until they rested on Lindsay's dead body, and he winced. Clenching his hands, he approached Gwen and said, "Listen, I want to go with you, but… but I can't…"
"Tyler, no one's telling you what you have to do," Gwen assured him.
"Just that, after Lindsay, I cannot let anyone else die. And there's too many people in the other group that need protection. Sadie, DJ… they're really fragile, and I don't want to let anything happen to them."
"If you think that you can protect them, do that."
"Yeah, someone on that team needs to be thinking straight. Look, I'll do everything I can to find you guys when we find safety, just don't give up hope, okay?"
"Tyler, you're a good man," Gwen said, patting his shoulder. "Thank you… watch over them, all of them. They're just concerned about survival, they aren't bad people…"
"You're too kind, Gwen. See you later!"
He turned and ran after the second group, almost tripping like Tyler was prone to do. As he and the others distanced themselves, Gwen let out a loud sigh and looked at those in her team. "Okay," she said, "we need to get moving. Everyone, just keep quiet so we don't alert any more zombies. They may be undead, but there's no telling about their sight and hearing. Right, Harold?"
"Yes. And also, there's the smell factor, wet humans are easy for the undead to smell."
"Well, don't this keep getting better and better," Eva remarked.
As the nine of them set off, Gwen kept glancing over at Courtney. She was trying to figure out what had made the CIT join her side. Didn't Courtney make it more than clear that Gwen was the person she hated more than anything in the world during the season? Shouldn't Courtney have been thrilled to see her marching off to her supposed death?
While Gwen tried to avoid being seen by Courtney, Courtney was trying to avoid being seen by Gwen. The CIT kept thinking to herself that she really, really shouldn't be feeling sorry for the goth girl, not after what had happened with her and Duncan. But for some reason, she did, and that had led to her decision.
"It's going to be a long walk," both girls thought.
Leshawna and Noah slammed the door on the zombie, though its hand was still in the doorway. Bones in the wrist cracked, audible to the living but unnoticed by the dead. The zombie's limp hand reached out at them, and they pushed the door against him.
Its unnatural strength was helping it shove against the both of them, until Leshawna rammed against the door with all her bulk. "Noah," she grunted as she pushed, fighting the zombie's strength, "go get something… anything! Just kill this bastard!"
Noah sprinted into the house, looking around frantically. The two had ducked into one of the houses when there were too many zombies down the street. Luckily, the pack of undead hadn't seen them, but the one on the front lawn of the house had. The zombie had chased them, growling and moaning, and now was trying to grasp Leshawna with a broken hand.
While she fought against the wailing ghoul, Noah continued to search the house. He thought of large knives and headed to the kitchen, but found nothing dangerous except the usual steak knives. "That isn't going to work," he muttered as he hurried out to search the rest of the house.
"Noah," Leshawna's voice was determined but desperate, "this son of a bitch is really being giving me trouble!"
"I'm looking, I'm looking! Man, it's not like there's a huge selection of weapons in the house against a zombie!"
Noah ran into one of the bedrooms, looking around. There was a large cabinet, which featured a great many family photos on the mantle. Noah opened the large doors at the front, and then blinked when he saw what was in a glass case.
"Well," he said in awe, "there is a God after all."
Leshawna could hear glass breaking, then Noah came running up to help her. She didn't see the weapon he held until it was thrust into the zombie's eye socket. The steel blade penetrated the back of the zombie's head, sending blood and brains and bits of skull in a spray on the front porch.
With a death knell, the zombie practically slid off the katana blade as it fell back. Leshawna successfully slammed the door, then gaped at Noah, who held the sword in a rather samurai-like pose. He looked at her, then grinned. "It seems it is my turn to be badass."
"You mean these people kept a ninja sword?"
"Please, Leshawna, it is a samurai sword. See the curve? That is the sign of a Japanese katana blade. And they had it in a display… then I set it free."
"Guess they got it from a vacation in Japan, or something," Leshawna muttered. "I mean, it might be a good place to visit if you're in Hawaii, not as far as other places to visit there."
"We sure did luck out with this beauty. Now, let's see what else we can find in this house, shall we?"
The pantry and refrigerator were still full of good food, and so the two ate until their stomachs hurt. They also drank water and orange juice, feeling hydrated at long last. Leshawna had even found some store-bought cookies, and ate as many as she could.
As she binged on the sugary treats, Noah looked around the house some more. Nothing else seemed to be of interest, except for the answering machine on the phone; the light was flashing, and he wondered if it wouldn't be too rude to listen in. Feeling that they pretty much already did far worse in the house, he pushed the Play button.
The first few recordings were calls from friends, asking if the home owners, whose names were Daisy and Yoshiki ("Odd," was what Noah started to think before he went back to listening). Friends of the couple were desperate to see if they were okay, practically frantic in tone.
"Dude, I've tried your cell phone a dozen times, is it broken or dead or something?" one of them exclaimed. "Please let me know if you are okay, man! I know you two can take care of yourselves, but this… this infection, it's out of hand! We should get off the island!"
The following messages were as worried as the rest, and Leshawna walked up to Noah. The sister handed him a couple of the cookies, saying, "Man, whoever these people were, a lot of people sure cared about them."
"Yeah, it's kind of hard to listen to."
"Makes you realize just how much you take for granted," she mused as he ate one of the cookies. "You have friends and family who love you, and you don't realize it until the situation is dire."
"You like to keep being deep with me, makes me feel like I'm on a special episode of… you know."
"You are so totally a Brony."
"I am NOT a Brony! Why do you have to keep insisting-"
He stopped when the machine beeped and the next message started to play. "Attention," a voice that sounded official yet scripted said, "please pay close attention to the following message. The evacuation of Kauda has begun, as the infection has become too large to contain. Please come to Raccoon Harbor on the eastern side of Kauda, we have supplies there and first-aid.
"Please pack whatever you need, but pack light, as we will need to help as many people as possible. Boats will be departing at 10:30 AM, 3 PM, and 10 PM for the following week. As the situation is growing more dire, we urge you to come at once; the island is overrun by the infection, and you have no hope for survival on your own."
As the message repeated the important facts over, Noah and Leshawna exchanged glances. "Do you realize what this means?" Leshawna asked him.
"Yeah, someone was dumb enough to name a harbor after a raccoon. Who does that?"
"No, you goof! We know where to go for the evacuation! If it's still going, that is!"
Leshawna pointed to a clock on the mantle in the living room, which read 4:23 AM. "If we hurry, we could make it there, and let them know about our friends too!"
"That's pretty good news, but which side of Kauda is the eastern side?"
Leshawna tapped her lips, then looked around the house until she found the homeowner's computer. She turned it on, as Noah commented, "Oh, a Mac user! I hope these people made it, they seem like really good folk."
"Because they keep a katana and use a Mac?"
"Tell me that's not a sign that they're really cool people."
Leshawna chuckled, then opened up the web browser. As she went to Mapquest, she asked him, "What street are we on?"
"I didn't get a chance to check, you want me to pull over and ask for directions?"
"String bean, could you go check the address outside real quick? I'm not going to be able to find a way to Raccoon Harbor unless I know where we are."
Noah went outside to check, quickly reading the road sign and the numbers on the house. Truthfully, he partially wanted to use the katana again on a zombie, while the other part used rather explicit language at himself over how stupid that would be.
"44 Red Mantis Road," he told Leshawna as he came back in the house.
Leshawna typed in the information, and after a little loading and correcting, she was treated to a map of the neighborhood. Zooming out to see all of Kauda, she was surprised to see how close they were to the middle of the island. "It looks like that river we walked up on," she told Noah, "almost bisects the island in general. This is one small island."
"It has a lot of zombies for a small island."
Leshawna then attempted to find directions to Raccoon Harbor, which took a little time, as she didn't know the address or city it was in. "Should I put Kauda in under City," she mused, "since this island looks as big as a city?"
"You got me, I never had to worry about islands until I stupidly said to myself, 'Hey, Wawanakwa sounds tropical, why not sign up for a little show?'"
"You really do regret joining this show, don't you?"
"After all that has happened, can you blame me?"
"Come on, you made friends, like Owen."
Noah shrugged as he watched her try to find directions online. "Yeah, among others that I trust a great deal."
Leshawna was surprised by this, but before she could comment, her attempts at finding directions had finally succeeded. A blue line connecting their hideaway house to the harbor on the eastern side of Kauda looked more magical than the Yellow Brick Road.
"Hot damn! Good work there, sister," Noah exclaimed. "Well, what we need to do is follow this route, and we should be there in… well, it's almost a two hour drive… man, it's gonna take us several hours to get there!"
"Are you forgetting about our friends?" Leshawna asked. "If we travel through the middle of the island, we're not going to find them on the beach!"
"But when we get to the evacuation area, we can tell them that there are friends of ours out there! C'mon, America probably has a whole bunch of soldiers and such there, they're evacuating one of the Hawaii Islands!"
"I still don't feel right about just heading on without trying to find them…"
"Leshawna, we are two people with only a sword and a branch against an island full of the living dead with nasty, big, pointy teeth. And if we find them, then what do we have? Almost thirty people with branches, one sword, and still on an island full of zombies with nasty, big, pointy-"
"Alright, alright, I get your point!"
Leshawna stormed away from the computer in a huff, to which Noah collapsed in it as he watched her sit in the living room. She covered her face as she sighed in regret.
Noah knew that she would be emotional about this. Emotion before reason was how pretty much all the women in his family worked, and his father too; he had always chalked it up as something that the fairer sex would be like, and all experience in the outside world, school and the Total Drama show, had proved him all the more correct.
Leshawna's desire to save her friends despite all the odds and danger was another case to Noah, but unlike most of the other issues of emotion over reason, this didn't annoy him. It actually made him admire her, that she wanted to risk everything to save those important to her. He almost wanted to abandon going to the harbor to help her with this.
"Great, now I'm getting emotional," he thought to himself. "Leshawna, you have corrupted me so… you and Owen."
He groaned as he tried to remove this subject from his head, and started to search the internet. No news about the cast of Total Drama being lost at sea was posted on any major website, and not even on the sites about the show (which Noah had to look up, since he didn't follow the show even though he was on it). Also concerning was how there was no news about the infection on Kauda that he could find.
"The only thing I can find on Kauda is that there are rumors about this zombie infection," he said aloud. "Seems the fact that the island is overrun and being evacuated doesn't warrant any attention… must be more important things to be reported, like one of the Kardashians lost half a pound or Snooki learned a new word."
"Figures, it's probably being covered up to avoid panic," Leshawna muttered. "Hell, I'd be more than a little concerned to learn that the living dead are real. Canada might start packing as much as heat as the USA does."
Noah nodded, then did a quick Wikipedia search for Kauda. The synopsis was rather daunting, and he felt a great sense of dread crawl into the pit of his stomach.
Kauda was a heavily urbanized island, known for being a large vacation outlet. The population was over twenty-thousand, which sounded like it was overcrowded, but the article was assuring in that the island was spacious enough for all of these people. Even more could be fitted, and it was declared to be one of the greatest places to have a home in a non-metropolis city.
"Yeah, fresh air, good neighbors," Noah grumbled, "and a healthy serving of zombies. Come to Kauda, we're just dying to meet you!"
"Okay, Noah, ya big smart aleck," Leshawna said, approaching him as she picked up her branch weapon, "we should probably get going so that we can reach Raccoon Harbor before 10:30 AM."
"You sure you don't want to hit the beach to see if we can pick up your friends?"
"I want to, but if we have twenty-thousand zombies running around, we really don't stand much of a chance."
"Don't worry, we know for a fact that our friends are incredibly endurable; they survived the show."
Leshawna nodded, and as they started for the door, Noah did something incredibly generous that she didn't see coming: he offered her the katana. "You wanna use this?" he asked. "You are much stronger than I am."
"Sweetie, you're sure about this?"
"I trust you, Leshawna. Now please, don't make me get physical with you."
She couldn't help but chuckle. "Was that a double entendre, my dear Noah?"
The visible blush that he tried to hide made her laugh all the more.
The beachside picnic was almost serene, like a picture for a brochure. Gwen and her companions were so taken by how nice the area looked, that they almost missed the dead bodies near the side of the area.
Several dead bodies, zombie and human, lay in the blood-soaked sand. One corpse was slumped at a table, head bashed against the top. Several of them winced, while Gwen sighed and looked towards the woods.
"Hey, guys, there's a pathway up there," she pointed out. "That may lead to someplace with supplies and such."
"Or more zombies," Owen whimpered, tapping his fingers together.
Izzy tut-tutted, twirling a wooden shiv she had made while walking. "I'll shank any undead bastard in the eye if we see them. Don't worry, we're more than capable of handling a few of those dead heads."
"I agree with crazy girl," Eva said. "We can handle them."
The pathway led to a rather fancy looking spa, complete with a pool. Upon entering the building, they found a café inside as well. "This doesn't look like any kind of spa I've visited," Cody muttered. "I mean, I've never seen a café in a spa!"
"You've visited spas?" Izzy asked, giggling and grinning at Cody. "You funny boy!"
"I had a day job there once!"
"Great place to meet women, eh? I would have done the same thing, but I don't really need to meet women. Now aliens, I'd like to meet them, that'd be great, but I don't know any spa that serves extraterrestrials…"
The others let Izzy ramble to Cody as they explored the spa/café. "Hawaiians are weird," Eva commented as she looked around the place, "but I gotta admit… I like the scent of this place. Much better than rotting zombie!"
Bridgette and Trent found as much edible food from the café, and passed it out to everyone. Gwen sank into a chair as she chewed one of the snack bars, her stomach grumbling appreciatively. Courtney, without realizing it, sat down next to her as she ate. The two noticed each other after a minute, and then tried their best to ignore each other.
After a while though, Courtney couldn't hold in what was on her mind. She looked over at Gwen, and asked, "Why did you do it?"
The goth girl almost choked on her food, but managed to swallow it. "Wh-what?" she managed to say, though she knew what Courtney meant.
"Why did you cheat with Duncan behind my back? Why?" her voice raised, but she fought to control it. She felt all her anger burning in her again, her blood boiling, but she didn't want to lose it now.
Gwen sighed, staring at the floor. She had wanted to avoid this subject forever, hoping it would just go away eventually. But now, especially now, she realized it would be best to say.
"Because I didn't think you cared about him."
Courtney's shout alerted most of the others, who came to check to see if they were alright. When they saw that it was just an argument, most scampered off to not be involved. Only Bridgette and Trent stayed nearby, worried where this would go.
"How can you say that?" Courtney exclaimed. "You honestly thought I didn't care about Duncan at all?"
"No, I didn't," Gwen replied. "All you ever talked about when we were on Team Amazon was all the things about Duncan that annoyed you, that you resented him leaving early… you weren't even really together, I thought."
"Of course we were together! How did you not notice?"
"Mostly because you broke up after Total Drama Action, and you two sure didn't seem to be getting along when you did have time together. It wasn't until…," Gwen trailed off for a second, then groaned as if calling out for help. "It wasn't until after I kissed him, that you started to talk about how much you liked him."
"That's… that's," Courtney sputtered, clenching her fists. "That's not true! I know I talked about how I liked him when he was gone! I know I did!"
"Well, if you did, I missed it. If I had known you had cared for him that much, I would have been…," Gwen trailed off again, grabbing her black-and-green hair. She grunted in frustration, and muttered, "I liked Duncan for a while, and when I couldn't see him, I thought about him more and more. And all you ever seemed to do is put him down."
Courtney glared at her, heaving in frustration and anger. She watched Gwen, who continued to stay hunched over in shame. "But," Courtney spat out, "you and I were friends! Why didn't you say anything to me?"
"I was too ashamed… I was worried you'd hate me for liking your ex-boyfriend… or at least, I thought he was your ex. I just wanted you to stay as my friend, since I was stuck on the same team as Heather again, and Sierra breathing down my neck to stay away from Cody…"
Gwen managed to look over at Courtney, her sorrowful eyes connecting with the CIT's enraged look. "I wanted to be with Duncan, and when I finally got the chance, I forgot about our friendship. I just went with my heart, and well, look where it got me… I became the new Heather, my friends hate me, and Duncan chewed me out in front of everyone and told me to go die.
"You sure got your wish for revenge, Courtney. If it weren't for the fact that I want to find Leshawna and save her, I wish those zombies had killed me when I passed out earlier."
Gwen slumped in her chair again, groaning in absolute defeat. Courtney stared at her former friend, and felt all of her outrage disappear. All she could see was someone who followed her heart, and ended up being burned at every possible angle. After all that happened, especially with Duncan's most recent actions, Courtney just saw someone she could only feel pity for, and guilt over what she put her through.
Courtney wanted to be angry. She wanted to be furious and hold a grudge like she knew she could. She could stay furious at someone for months, but now, over the greatest reason to be mad at someone, she couldn't anymore. Duncan had betrayed them both, and she had alienated a friend that she had wanted to keep.
The CIT couldn't bear the emotions, and she stood up to leave the room, walking by Bridgette and Trent. It wasn't until she literally ran into Harold that she felt everything let go.
"Gosh," Harold muttered as he rubbed his sore chest. "Courtney? Are you okay, is everything alright?"
The nerd hadn't heard anything of the conversation between Gwen and Courtney, he had been at the far side of the spa, looking for supplies or weapons. So it was rather shocking to him to see Courtney very obviously struggling with emotions, and even more surprising when she threw herself at him.
He had never thought Courtney would hug him, Harold had assumed for the longest time that she, even before he rigged the votes in TDI, hated his guts. And here she was, clinging to him as she shuddered to hold back tears. Slowly, he wrapped his arms around her and hugged her back.
They stood like that for a long time, while the others moved about the spa. Eva and Owen explored the café for some more food, both of them still peckish. Trent and Bridgette tried to comfort Gwen, and Cody and Izzy explored the offices upstairs.
"You'd think they'd keep something worthwhile, darn it," Izzy exclaimed as she sat on the desk of the manager, twirling around her wooden shiv. "This is just really sad."
"Well, Izzy, I doubt most places stockade weapons," Cody said with a chuckle, "that seems rather insane."
"Why not? If everyone is armed, then no one can try to rob or hurt someone! I mean, would you dare attack someone or steal from them if they could have a broadsword or a couple sais on their person?"
Cody shook his head as he looked through the drawer. Izzy watched him, then grinned and laid down seductively on the desk. When Cody stared at her, she giggled and said, "I'm imagining I'm a naughty secretary. It's kind of exciting!"
"I don't know how you do it. I mean, we just fought zombies, we're on a strange island, and we don't have any idea what is going to happen… and yet you still manage to be your normal self."
"Ain't nothing normal about me, you know that," Izzy bragged. "But hey, I am scared like all of you, I just don't show it. I confront my fears with a battle cry, charging in there with my nipples hard as rock!"
Cody, who had been looking at the bottom drawer, banged his head rather hard against the top drawer. Izzy burst out laughing as the geek rubbed the sore spot. His blush was ear to ear, and he muttered, "Must you say such things? I mean, not that I'm complaining…"
"Izzy's just trying to cheer you up," she explained. Her face softened a little and she spoke more seriously than Cody had ever heard her. "You took Sierra's death really hard… I wish I could have saved her…"
"You fought really hard against the zombies, Izzy, you have nothing to be ashamed of," Cody assured her. "A lot of us are alive because of you."
Izzy sighed as she looked down at the floor, then focused her bright green eyes on Cody. "Well, if this experience has taught me anything, it's that you should do the things you want to, in regards that there may not be a tomorrow, or even an hour following this one."
"Seems to me you always lived like that, Izzy," Cody said with a small smile towards her.
"No, not about everything, but I plan to do so now."
Before Cody could react, Izzy grabbed his shirt and pulled him to her. She was kissing him before he realized it, and when he did, he sank right into it. When the kiss ended, she was staring at him happily.
"I have been waiting," she whispered, "so long to do that."
"Well, yeah! But you were always on about Gwen, and then there was Sierra… Izzy always had a thing for you, and I figured since we're in the middle of a zombie-infested island with no real weapons like an RPG-7, I might as well let it be shown that I always did like you."
She pet his brown hair as she continued to smile and stare at him. Cody had always fantasized about something like this: a girl sitting on a desk pulling him in for a kiss and caressing him was like the start of a very sexy scene. "You know, Izzy," he started to say, but she placed a finger on his lips.
"Can you grant Izzy this one minute of happiness?" she requested. "After all, with how dangerous everything has become… and there's no assured way to get off this island, Izzy just wants to be with Cody. Is that alright?"
"In the grand scheme of things," he said, grinning and brushing her curly red hair, "I think I couldn't refuse a request like that."
She pulled him in for another kiss, and lay back on the desk as they proceeded to make out. This lasted a couple minutes, until an alarm pierced the air with intense noise.
"Oh no no no," Cody exclaimed as he parted from Izzy. "What did we do? Did we set off some kind of burglar alarm?"
"Who puts a burglar alarm on top of a desk?" Izzy mused, covering her ears. "Oh man, I cannot even get to kiss my crush on this zombie-infested island, everything works against me!"
As she lamented, she picked up her wooden shiv and took Cody's hand in her free one. They raced down the stairs to see all the others converging.
"Did someone try to open a safe or something?" Trent was asking.
"I swear, I didn't do it," Owen exclaimed. "Really! I didn't!"
Eva, standing nearby him, nodded. She was holding a lot of large knives, cleavers, and other utensils from the kitchen, passing them around as weapons to the others. As she did so, the others winced at the painfully loud alarm.
"Blame isn't something we need to focus on here," Harold shouted over the noise. "Right now, we have a loud noise calling all the zombies in the area to come towards it. We need to leave, now!"
The group left through the front door, and sprinted across the parking lot. As they were heading up the road, Bridgette noticed Izzy and Cody had not let go of each other's hands. Despite it all, she couldn't help but smile and ask, "Since when do you two hold hands?"
"Since Izzy got her ovaries in gear and told Cody how much she liked him," Izzy exclaimed joyously.
Everyone stared at her incredulously over that comment, except Cody who laughed aloud. Trent asked what was on everyone else's mind, "So when have you two been interested in each other?"
"It's been there since the first season, really," Izzy explained. "Izzy really liked Cody… he was the only boy who didn't act all scared of Izzy and such! It was so sweet, I couldn't help but like him-"
"This is sickeningly sweet and all," Eva interrupted, "but have you forgotten we are running for our lives? Stop talking about your damn love lives, we can keep hormones in check until we get off this damn island!"
"Live for the now, Eva," the redhead challenged her. "Because if you don't, you'll become a zombie with regrets, and that is… SHIT!"
Izzy skidded to a halt as the group came to a crossroads, well lit by the streetlights and blinking stoplights. The alarm was the sight of zombies wandering around the other three roads, crossing the street or gnawing on bodies that had been left there. Izzy's loud exclamation alerted them all, and they turned to see the living.
Hungry growls and moans filled the air, as did the nauseating scent of death as the wind blew towards the survivors. They turned to run back, but zombies were coming out of the buildings they had passed. The moaning of the undead had brought those inside out, and now all of them were hungry.
"Oh dear God in heaven," Bridgette whimpered, squeezing up against Harold and Trent, holding the meat cleaver Eva gave her. "There's so many of them!"
"We're surrounded," Cody noted, looking around frantically. "Should we make a run for it?"
"To where?" Eva growled. "There's probably more in every direction, and if we head back to the spa, they'll just follow us!"
"The wind is blowing up from the spa now, they'll smell us out," Harold remarked, watching intensely as the zombies slowly approached them. The smell of their rotting bodies made him want to gag and throw up, but he managed to keep his stomach in check. "We're going to have to make our stand here!"
Owen whimpered in terror, holding the metal rolling pin he had kept from the kitchen. Trent ground his teeth, and muttered, "Stay close, everyone," as he clenched his knife. Courtney and Gwen backed up, until they bumped into each other.
Both of them looked at each other, and saw how red and wet the others' eyes were; neither of them had had a chance to clean up after their conversation. Owen's frantic blubbering nearby them, along with Eva hissing at him to man up, only further reminded them of their argument.
As they looked away from each other, the zombies were almost upon them. One of the ghouls opened its mouth and moaned at Gwen, fingers falling out of the abomination's maw. Those bloodstained teeth made the goth girl wince in terror, and she called out to the girl behind her, "Courtney?"
"Gwen?" was the CIT's response as she watched a rather large zombie approach, almost waddling towards her.
"For what it's worth," Gwen said as she clenched her carving knife, "… I'm sorry! For everything!"
Courtney felt her fingers clench and relax around the handle of her frying pan. She swallowed, then replied, "I'm sorry too!"
The two girls didn't have another chance to look at each other before the undead lunged at them. Both of them, as well as most of the others, let out fierce cries as they brought down the kitchen utensils, from frying pans to meat cleavers, down on the rotting craniums of the undead.
The second group continued to walk along the beach. Continuously, they glanced at the trees alongside the shore, but nothing was popping out at them. Only the very distant howls and moans of zombies in the air, so faint you had to strain to hear them, reminded them of their situation.
Duncan and Alejandro were leading the group, with Geoff behind them. Sadie and Tyler were walking next to each other without speaking, while DJ and Beth were talking nonstop.
Actually, Beth was asking questions DJ questions about home and family, to keep the gentle giant focused. It was working, for the most part, and DJ wasn't in desperate need of comfort anymore. Still, that didn't stop Beth from holding his hand.
"You know, my brothers and I used to play hide-and-seek all the time," he told her. "And I always won! They could never find me!"
"With how big you are? That's hard to believe," Beth said, smiling at him.
"Oh no, I'm exceptionally good at hiding! If only there were good hiding places around here, I'd show you. If I am reborn as an animal, I will probably a meerkat; they're good hiders."
Beth laughed and snorted, though she tried hard not to do the latter. She blushed when she did, and when DJ gave her an assuring nudge that it wasn't that embarrassing, she blushed even more.
This snorting and laughing made Alejandro's eye twitch, and he cried out in frustration. "Will you two shut up back there? Dios mio, you're driving me crazy! Just shut your mouths!"
"Hey man, lay off them," Tyler snapped. "You're going to attract zombies to us if you keep shouting like that."
"You keep out of this, tonto!"
The sporto growled under his breath, and he glanced over at Sadie. She hadn't said a single word since they left the camp, and he was worried she had gone deep into shock over Katie. Tyler was still thinking about Lindsay, but his mind was telling him to focus on the here and now, to stay alive and protect the others.
"You know," he whispered to Sadie, "maybe we should have gone with Gwen and the others."
The BFFF shook her head. "Gwen is out there looking for her friend," she said, her voice drained of emotion. "She is more than likely going to die… we need to think of surviving."
Hearing her speak without emotion, so unlike her, nearly broke Tyler's heart. Unlike most of the others, he never found Katie and Sadie annoying. It was hard to hate such girly girls when you have three sisters who are all as girly as they can get. He just wished he knew what to say to her now.
"Well, don't worry, I'm sure they will be fine."
"Why didn't you go with them?"
Tyler glanced to the side, twiddling his thumbs nervously. "Um, well, I wanted to make sure this group would be safe, there's less people in it."
"But why? You don't like Alejandro and Duncan," Sadie reasoned, staring at him with mild curiosity. "You don't really know anyone in this group except DJ, right? Why'd you want to come with us?"
Tyler struggled with the question, trying to think of an appropriate answer. As he did so, Geoff, who had overheard the conversation, was now wondering the opposite about himself.
"Why did I go with this group?" he thought to himself, pounding his head with his fist. "Why didn't I go with Bridgette? Stupid pride of mine… damn it! No… come on man, you made the right choice. They are all going to end up dead…"
He was hitting himself so hard that Duncan noticed, and grabbed the party animal's wrist to stop himself. "Are you trying to kill yourself?" he asked. "Practicing for punching a zombie or something? What are you doing, dude?"
"Dude, I think I made a horrible mistake, and I cannot stop thinking about it!"
Duncan groaned and pat his back. "Listen, dude, you made the right choice coming with us! We're going to be safe, everything's fine. Chillax, will ya?"
The punk laughed, which only disturbed Geoff more. The party animal could remember the good times he had with Duncan, especially during the first season. He had always thought highly of him, even during the low points of TDA like Duncan's involvement of having him and Bridgette voted off. But after what had happened between him and Gwen an hour ago, Geoff wasn't sure if he liked this side of Duncan.
"It's not that," Geoff said. "I mean, I want to get off this island, shyeah. But… man, I never should have broken up with Bridgette."
"What, are you still on that?" Duncan said with a scoff. "Dude, she's just one girl. You felt the relationship wasn't going to work, and you broke it up. Besides, was she really that special?"
"She kind of was, dude. If you got to know her-"
"A sappy sweet surfer girl who likes widdle animals, I knew her well enough. Trust me, those kind of girls are not worth fretting over her. 'Nice' never gets you anywhere in life, 'nice girls' are just girls who want everything to be going their way. Bridgette was poison, man, I know you wouldn't be happy with a girl like that."
Geoff groaned, shaking his head. "It's just that… I keep thinking of the good times we had, flirting with her during the first season. Maybe it's because we are on an island again… I just am thinking of good times."
"Like when we put Harold's underwear into smores? That was great!"
"Yeah, I had so much fun with my friends then! Remember the times we had? Like not only those little pranks, but like with my other friends, like when Gwen and I bonded during the whole handcuff challenge-"
"Dude, stop right there," Duncan interrupted him, his face growing dark. "Do not bring up Gwen, I'm serious."
"What? But… but, dude-"
"No, nothing! You shut up about that bitch."
Geoff balked, almost unable to believe what he heard. "Dude… come on-"
"No, I don't want to talk about her, at all! After all the abuse I had to put up with when I started going out with her, she goes and demands that I get myself killed over a lost cause!"
"All the abuse you took?" Geoff repeated incredulously. "Dude, she went through hell too, you're kind of being-"
"I don't want to hear it," Duncan snarled. "Especially from you, dude! You broke up with Bridgette because of what she did with Alejandro, and we all know that he was the one who kissed her! So don't lecture me about giving some dumb girl a little slack when you yourself reacted just the way I am over less dire circumstances!"
Geoff opened his mouth to reply, but didn't. Duncan walked away from him as he stood frozen in place, letting the others passing him by. He pulled his cowboy hat down in front of his eyes, and muttered, "I never should have let her go… I was stupid… God, I was so stupid to not accept her apology… she shouldn't even had to apologize…"
He didn't hear the rustling in the trees behind him as he continued to lament, unable to think of anything but Bridgette and his poor decision. He even thought about Gwen, how badly he treated her during the second season; that overwhelmed and hurt look on the goth girl's face when Duncan shot her down an hour ago… it was horrible…
Geoff let out a major sigh, and thought about turning back and heading after Bridgette, Gwen, and the others. He didn't want to be with Duncan and the others any more now. As he looked to the side, he thought he heard something nearby, almost muted by the waves crashing onto the shore.
He turned and saw the gaping maw of a zombie, teeth bared as it went for his neck. Geoff grabbed the undead being by the throat, just in time, pushing him back with all his strength. The party animal's football training came into play here, grappling with the ghoul.
He let out a cry, which the others heard. As they looked back and saw him struggling with the zombie, they ran towards him to help. They didn't see the swarm of zombies coming out of the woods until they had been flanked.
About twenty of the undead, having seen them thanks to the moonlight shining on them, came at them. Alejandro brained one with his branch weapon, but only stunned it slightly. The others all jumped back and screamed.
"We've got to help Geoff," Tyler shouted.
"Screw it," Alejandro hollered. "Get out of here!"
That's when he saw DJ grappling with a zombie too, trying to pull it away from Beth as she screamed and uselessly beat the monster's chest with her fists; it was inches away from biting into her neck. Sadie was hiding behind Tyler, screaming in terror as the sporto held up his branch like a baseball bat. Duncan had already blitzed away from the scene, leaving the others to fend for themselves against overwhelming odds.
Deciding to take a leaf from the criminal's book, Alejandro muttered, "Well then, every amigo for himself then. Good luck, losers-"
That's when the undead grabbed him, pulling him towards their hungry mouths. He viciously fought back, punching and swinging, but they kept yanking at him. The struggle continued into the forest, out of the moonlight, where Alejandro's desperate screams echoed into the night.
DJ managed to pull the zombie off of Beth, and that's when the wannabe snapped to focus. She picked up the thick branch she had been carrying, and beat the zombie's head, screaming at it. "Back off," were her words amid her furious screaming. The zombie's head was crushed, caved in by the intensity of her blows.
Heaving in desperation, Beth looked at DJ, at the zombies swarming at them from both sides. She snarled and said, "DJ, get behind me, I'll take care of these bastards!"
"I'm not letting anything hurt you! Come here, you rotting freaks, you want to try and bite me?" She shrieked at them, adding, "I DARE YOU TO TRY AND EAT ME!"
From a distance, Duncan could hear the screaming, but didn't turn back. The others were on their own now, and frankly, if they weren't smart enough to run, then let them be eaten.
"What is with those morons?" he thought as he sprinted down the shore. "You just have to run from these monsters to get away from them. If you aren't smart enough to do that, you don't deserve to live."
"Oh, real nice, Duncan," some tiny part of his mind chewed him out, despite himself. "Just let people die so you can survive. Maybe you are the asshole others made you out to be… you just left them to die. You left everyone to die…
"Courtney, Gwen… you are just so concerned about yourself, you never stopped to think about them… and that doesn't just go for now, Duncan. Let's see if you can look at yourself in the mirror when all this is over."
"Part of me still wonders if this was a blessing or a real curse," Noah said to Leshawna as they walked along the sidewalk. "I mean, if we hadn't washed up on an island, albeit a zombie-infested hellhole, we'd have all drowned."
"Yeah, no thanks to Chris," Leshawna agreed. "Seriously, that ass is going to get my foot up his, well, ass, when we find him."
"Assuming the zombies haven't eaten him. Oh, wouldn't that be poetic for them to save his stupid face for last? They'd try to eat his brains, but the amount of hair gel would make even the walking dead gag!"
The two burst out laughing, glad to have something to be mirthful about again. They had printed out the directions from the house they had held up in for a short while, and were now following them on foot. At first it was rather easy, but then when got to the long stretches of road, the zombies turned out to be more plentiful.
"Seriously, it's like some awful video game," Noah had muttered when they hid behind a building to let a small crowd of the undead wander by, "and I was never really good at stealth games."
The two continued to walk cautiously down the road, keeping an eye out of the undead. Any that did come their way, Leshawna got to test out the katana blade. And boy, did she have fun with that!
"I can see why you think this thing is the coolest thing ever," she had exclaimed after she successfully decapitated a zombie for the third time. "Because this thing is the coolest thing ever!"
As they continued to walk, they continued to converse a little more about family and friends. Their debate continued until the road left the city they were in, leading into a forest. The trees were like a wall, with the street heading into the only gap. Needless to say, in the gloom of very early morning with nothing but a little moonlight, it was quite the foreboding sight.
"Okay, you know how in horror movies, the idiot characters go running off into the darkest, most dangerous place they can go?" Noah asked, swallowing hard. "This is it… this is the worst possible place I can think of: the woods. A zombie-infested, formerly overpopulated island, and we're going off for a walk through there with a sword and branch."
"You scared, Noah?" Leshawna asked. "Want your sword back?"
"Heck no, I trust you with it. And you know, Leshawna," he said, looking at her with a small smile, "there's no one else I'd rather be doing this with you."
Leshawna grinned right back at him. "String bean, I'm glad you're here too."
Bridgette screamed in terror as she drove the cleaver down into the zombie's head. Again and again, the zombie flinched with each strike. The surfer girl could barely watch what she was doing, making the cleaver hits weaker and only good to take down one ghoul.
The others were doing slightly better, some much more than others. Izzy and Eva were killing zombies left and right, the redhead shaking them through the eye and the fitness buff smashing in their heads with a frying pan; their tools were coated with zombie blood and brains.
Owen broke his rolling pin on a zombie's head, and hid behind his friends as best he could. The others were all doing as best they could, though the undead continued to come towards them.
"Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God," Courtney chanted in terror as she swung at a zombie. "Keep fighting, everyone! Keep fighting!"
"There's too many of them," Trent exclaimed. "We should run!"
Harold snarled in frustration as a zombie with no bottom jaw came at them. He was almost hypnotized by how the dead man's tongue flopped around. With a strong blow, he killed the undead being. Panting, he looked around as he tried to collect his bearings.
Everyone was surrounded, zombies still coming at them. Some were crawling, the survivors stomping on them. The nerd felt a ton of pressure, as he knew some of his friends here were nowhere near as aggressive as one needed to be fighting against the living dead.
"I won't let any of you down," he thought, then shouted. "There's nowhere to run," he replied to Trent as he slew another zombie. "Keep fighting! Keep-"
One of the ghouls grabbed the nerd's shoulders. It leaned in, he could feel the putrid air the undead being exhaled on his neck. Harold struggled, trying to push the ghoul back… "Oh God, I'm going to die… sorry… everyone…"
A black blade slashed down into the zombie's head, almost cutting in clean in two. The brain halves leaked out of the split skull, and the ghoul collapsed. Harold pulled back as the corpse hit the ground, and the black blade struck another unliving.
The wielder of the blade, which Harold recognized as a machete, slashed and hacked at zombies. Blood and brain gushed out through the slices, and the assault never stopped coming.
All of the survivors fought against the zombies with renewed energy, seeing this savior at action. Eva was most impressed, and she polished off the final zombie. With a satisfied shout, she glanced over at the person who had come to save them.
"Thank you," she said.
"No problem, eh," he said as he adjusted his hat.
It slowly dawned on Eva just where she had seen that kind of lumpy hat with the fluffy bobble, though all was waterlogged. When the person turned around slowly, the streetlights illuminated his face, and her mouth dropped in surprise.
"Hello, Eva," Ezekiel said, grinning at her, almost sheepishly.
"Are you okay? Is everyone okay?"
The others were all gaping at Ezekiel, except for Izzy, who embraced him in a big hug. Cody joined in too, and the three started to talk; the wild girl was also touching Ezekiel's face and hands, looking him over.
"You're all right now," Cody exclaimed. The home schooled outcast had his normal, pale peach tone. His hands weren't claws anymore, his teeth normal, and his eyes were human again.
"It's really funny," he said as he managed to pry away from Izzy, almost bumping into Eva. He turned to the startled fitness buff, and said, "Well, after I-"
He stopped when the gloomy, early morning sky was suddenly illuminated red. The survivors all looked up to see what looked like a flare or firework, the incredibly bright flash briefly casting the city in a crimson glow.
"Is that… a flare?" Trent asked.
"Looks more like a firework," Bridgette commented.
"Who would set off a "flare-work" when there are zombies?" Harold exclaimed. "Idiots! Zombies could follow it!"
"Zombies are following lights like that?" Owen asked. "I mean, I would… but I don't think like a zombie!"
Cody blinked as he watched the flare-work, or whatever it was, as he snapped his fingers. "Guys, I can only think of one reason why someone would set off a flare under these circumstances…"
"… Looks like they are serious about finding the survivors," Leshawna noted as she saw the crimson streak in the sky. "Wow, isn't that risky?"
"Could be, if these zombies are attracted to the flare," Noah commented. "Of course, they might just stare stupidly, or not notice at all. I really know nothing about this brand of zombies, since you know, since I'm such an epic nerd, I…"
He started talking with a lisp, as if he had braces and was a teenaged fanboy overly excited. "I know sho much about shombiesh, ghoulsh, and shinishter shcavengersh of Shedsh!"
"Oh don't be sho… so silly," Leshawna replied, chuckling. "But that's great, now everyone will know…"
When the wind blew, it carried the moans of the dead. Obviously, the dark sky being illuminated had agitated the zombies, and now they were hungry for flesh and muscle. It sent shivers down the spines of Leshawna and Noah, but both of them did their best to cover it up to appear tougher for the other.
"Damn it all," Leshawna muttered. "You were right… I really do not want to be stuck on this island any more! Boy, it's so ironic how many times I've said that in the past year."
"Makes me glad I didn't stay on the first one that long."
The flare was big enough to cast a crimson glare over all of Kauda. The zombies blinked or groaned when they noticed the slight change in light. The bodies of the dead were bathed in red, displaying them in a horrid fashion.
Lindsay's eyes were the only ones closed of the dead, which was best because those captivating baby blues had become ghastly white. Justin, in death, stared up at the sky, as if in awe of the flare.
Katie had been left in a gentle pose by Sadie, while Blaineley lay splayed, her bandages soggy with her own blood. Heather and Sierra had been left alone, though Cody had done his best to give the latter as dignified of a position, hiding as many of the wounds as he could.
Chef's body was still the worst, his stupid little toque and apron still the only the things to make him recognizable. All around the rest of Kauda, those that had been killed and their brains destroyed lay in bloody messes. The island truly looked like a hell, bathed in flare red.
The living that were still present on the island saw the flare as a beacon of hope, former contestants of Total Drama and otherwise. Some of them had reached Raccoon Harbor only minutes after said beacon went off. The military there, a combination of American and Canadian soldiers.
"There you go, everyone," one of the American soldiers said as he helped the family of five onto the large boat, walking up the board ramp. "It's okay, folks."
"God bless you," the mother said as they boarded. The solider smiled and walked away, passing the quarantine area. He tried to ignore the blood splatters on the plastic walls, from those executed after turning into zombies from their bites.
"Captain," the soldier said after he was away from that awful area, "we've already managed to board quite a few of the survivors that passed inspection. I have to say, I'm very surprised we still have some people on this island."
"Indeed, I thought by now, everyone living would have made it to the harbor," the captain said. "If it wasn't for that family you just escorted, as well as more coming, I would think we were here for political reasons… though then again, there's the news blackout on this."
"Strange how it all works out, isn't it? We even have Canadian soldiers, and… that cadet."
"Brick may be an oddball, but I'm sure he'll be fine, captain. We…"
The howls of the undead reached the harbor, and everyone shivered. They then flinched when a gunshot from the quarantine zone exploded, the surviving civilians of Kauda all huddled together in fear.
The blood was still dripping down the tarp of the quarantine area when the soldier stepped out of there with a smoking rifle. He removed the face mask he had been wearing, revealing a pained look as he ran a hand through his short, black hair.
"Sir," he said, "another one… turned. I… I had no choice."
"Cadet Brick, you have nothing to be ashamed of," the captain said.
"I… I don't know how much more I can take of this."
"Just stay focused, you will be leaving with this boat."
Brick nodded, then stared at the road that was leading towards the harbor. That was where the majority of survivors came from, though some came from the beach. Then again, that's where most of the zombies came from too.
"If I manage to get out of this situation alive," Brick thought to himself, "I'm going to fashion school. I've had to kill way so many dead heads… and too many people who changed… I don't care if it's five… I cannot do this any more…
"Still… it's worth it every time we save someone's life… every life we save is sacred…"
Far down the beach was someone who believed that his life was better than every other life, that his hair was more important than other peoples' lives. Chris Maclean, who had been fretting over his hair starting to poke out of place, had seen the flare.
"Oh ho ho, yes," he chuckled. "Yes yes yes! Chris Maclean is getting off the island from these freaks! This is perfect! I'm saved! I'm saved!"
He strut down the beach, humming the theme song to Total Drama, until it hit him. "Wait… what if someone there was a fan of the show?"
The handsome host tapped his lips, then cackled when a devious idea came into his always-devious mind. "I was the only survivor! That's it! Sorry, you talentless bunch of brats, but I'm taking the last boat out of here!"
He cackled again, marching down the beach as he clapped. "How about that? I'm gonna be the winner of the final season of Total Drama! The last one on the island! How about that! And it's better than a million bucks!"
Chris Maclean wouldn't stop laughing and congratulating himself over this idea, also planning how he could avoid any consequences for that volcano mishap on the other island. The host didn't want anything blemishing his record…
... As his co-host, fellow celeb host, and five of the contestants, because to his callous conceitedness, lay dead and rotting on Kauda's shore.
To be continued.
Now, other than Izzy and Cody, no one seemed to have a lot of romance. Well, that's the beauty of a three-chapter story! I didn't want to rush anything, except with our lovely crazy girl and handsome geek!
Still, I have to warn you, don't hold your breath for the next chapter to come out so quickly. I cannot always have writer's block on my novel.