I can hear my heart racing; feel my blood rushing through my veins; hear the edge of panic in my thoughts. I have been in so many life threatening situations but this is by far the worst. There was sure to be an end to all the rest, be it life or death, victory or defeat. But as I run through the hallway of a high school in Georgia I can't help but feel that this is only the beginning and it's only going to get worse. The dead are walking and eating the living. The school I am in is about to be completely surrounded. The screams that have been the distraction for those things are starting to die down leaving who knows how many of those things in here with us. And worst of all I have a group of civilians to protect and the group just keeps getting bigger.
Dennis and Ryan are waiting with the Garcia Family for us. I slow down for only a moment to gasp out a few words, "They… everywhere. Got… to get out… now." Jason has run ahead, I know I am going to regret it if he yells out about them because it will create a panic but there is nothing to be done about it. I speed back up and hear the rest running behind me, each asking questions but I don't want to waste time to answer. We need to hurry.
The door is already open and David is staring at me with a look of confusion and fear on his face. I can hear Jason getting everyone ready to go yet trying not to cause a panic. He and I are going to have to have a talk at some point because that is not normal teenager behavior. I take a deep breath and start giving orders. "I have a set of keys. David you have your keys, I would say you take your keys and go to your van Monica but I need you to keep your kids calm. So Dennis how about you take the keys for the mini-van. Alberto you go with David as you have a gun, take a baton with you. Can any of you teenagers drive well at night?" All five raise their hand to show that they can do it. "Ok then, Jason and Ryan we will go with you two since you did so well earlier. Same teams, teens drive, adults will be watching your back. Those of you who are going to be with the children team up so you can quickly jump in the vehicles when they pull up to the doors. Sorry to cut this short but we have to go now." I turn and walk out the door before the others can start to talk or object to anything.
With barely a wave of my hand I loosen up the barricade on the door. The nails and screws will come out easily now, hopefully no one will think about it too much. When the others get to me I am already pulling the nails out of the wood with a black and green hammer and I have a matching screwdriver on the floor next to me. On top of my duffle bag are five guns with two clips each. Alberto grabs the screwdriver off the ground and starts getting the screw to unscrewing the thankfully few screws that were used. Out of the corner of my eye I see David and Dennis grabbing a gun each and handing another to their wives. The last one is surprisingly grabbed by Ashley but it makes since one gun to each group.
It only takes us two minutes tops to get the barricade down. I turn to the others and give my final orders. "Be fast, be quiet, and the guns are only to be used if you have no other choice. You that are staying here and waiting on the vehicles stay as quiet as possible. Signal when you are ready to unlock your car doors so we can unlock them at the same time, hopefully that will attract less attention. Ok let's move." With that I open the door and walk out, Jason right on my heels.
I look around and notice a few in the parking lot but they don't seem to have noticed us yet. Alberto, David, Dennis, and Ryan exit and start to sneak across the parking lot as quietly as possible. Jason takes the lead to the Librarian's Explorer as I hold Gryffindor's Sword ready to attack or defend. As we get close to the Explorer I hear it, there are very uneven footsteps ahead of us. I can't see anything through the shadows but I know that it is there. Jason moves behind me and I take the lead watching my every step. Three steps are all it takes and suddenly it's lunging at me. I slash the things head clean in half, before I even think to move I grab its body so that it won't attract attention collapsing to the ground. Once again I stain my ears to listen for any more of them close by.
There, it's barely there but I can hear something. It is only the sound of crunching gravel but I know that means there is another close by. As I am looking for the source of the noise I hear what sounds like a body hitting the ground a bit a ways away from us and I can only cringe at the noise. That is going to attract some attention to them. But it does do one good thing for me. The one close to me is now moving with a purpose and I can now pinpoint where it is. I walk to the end of the car next to me and look to the right. There behind my target is one of those things that is barefoot. No wonder I could barely hear it. I quickly walk over to it before it can notice me and stick my sword through its head and use it to lower her down. I grab the back of her once white dress and pull it out of the way of the Explorer. There are no more near us so I put Jason next to the driver's seat and walk back to the back of the Explorer to watch for the signal.
As I look over the parking lot I can't help but feel a little envious that their vehicles are lit up by the lights above. I watch their progress and everything looks good. For a moment I think that we are going to get out of here with no problems when I see it. Inside the car they are walking by is one of them and the window is down. Before I can do anything to signal them to be careful or make them notice the danger I hear something that I almost makes my heart jump out of my chest.
"ALBERTO IN THE CAR!" Emily's voice rings loudly through the air. One moment they freeze and the next is pure pandemonium. Alberto looks into the car at the same time the thing grabs ahold of him and pulls him part way into the car. I hear his scream of pain and I know it is already too late for him but I watch as David and Ryan pull him back as Dennis shoots twice. The first bullet misses but the second is a direct hit. They pull him along as they run to the cars. I turn to Jason and signal him to unlock the doors and get in. Sounds no longer matter, they know we are here.
"Get the car over there and get a group. I'm going to provide cover fire and get back to the doors. I'll be in the last car. Try to remain in the parking lot, if you can't go a bit down the road and wait there. Make sure not to get over run." I yell to Jason as start back to the doors. I put the Sword of Gryffindor away and pull out two black and silver S&W 9mm handguns. Jason passes me on the way to the doors and I start looking for targets. I hear the sound of the two cars unlocking and pray the others are safe. The sounds of multiple guns firing rips through the air.
I raise my guns and take aim. The things are coming from everywhere. I know I didn't see that many of those things in the area only a minute ago.
I squeeze the trigger on each of my guns and watch as the two closest to the mini-van fall. All of a sudden I feel like I am in one of those first person shooter games Dudley used to play. As I continue to run to the doors I keep aiming and firing. My mind has once again thrown me into the role of leader, soldier, and teammate. Some of the walking corpses have broken off going after the guys by the cars and are now making their way toward the screaming children. I am firing my gun as fast as I can aim but I can already see that the parking lot is about to be overrun. In the distance I can finally here two vehicles starting up and pulling out.
I am five feet from the doors when Jason pulls away with the first group and as he once again passes me I can see that he has all the teenagers that were left in his vehicle. I reach the doors still firing my gun as Dennis pulls up. There are cries of pain coming from the back so it seems they switched partners. Both of their families are quick to jump into the minivan and it takes off not even thirty seconds after stopping. I stand with Monica as she holds her children close waiting for the Sequoia.
The parking lot is being overrun and they are getting so close. Where are they? One of those things gets within about ten feet from us and I once again squeeze the trigger of my guns only to hear the dreaded click click of empty barrels. "Fuck" I scream as I slide my empty guns into the waist of my pants and summon the Sword of Gryffindor straight into my hands. Quickly I raise the sword and ready myself. Out of the corner of my eye I can see David finally pulling up, the front of his car covered in blood and gore. I rush forward and cut down the things closest to us hoping to give Monica time to get the kids into the car. I can feel the congealed blood covering my hands and but I keep swings and thrusting my blade until finally I hear it.
"James, get in!" Monica screams, panic clear in her voice.
I run to the car and jump in as she slams the door shut behind me. I move to roll over but my duffle bag is caught on something under David's seat. I try to pull it free but it doesn't want to give. Finally I admit defeat for the moment and pull my arm out of the strap. I myself up off the floor of the vehicle and look through the windshield. David is driving through the field to get to the road the others are on. Monica is holding her children as they cry together and David is focused on trying to get us through a maze of those things. Ryan is staring straight at me though.
"Are you ok? Were you bit?" He asks when he can see that I am staring back at him.
"I'm fine. I wasn't bitten. What happened to you two? Dennis was there long before you got there."
"We were closer to the minivan when that thing got Alberto so I helped get him in there. I shut the door after getting him in and Dennis took off before I could get up front. Those things were coming from all over and Dennis was just gone. David pulled out right after him but he noticed me running to try and catch up with one of them. He stopped and I jumped in as quick as I could but that stop was all it took for our path to be flooded. We had to pull around into the field where there was more space and run down the ones in front of us. We got there as quick as we could though." Ryan explains, his voice breaking as he tells about being left behind.
"Ok then. Does anyone know of somewhere around here that we can go for the night? It needs to be fenced or walled in."
"Mr. Gunther's survival cabin." David supplies after a moment.
"Who is he and are you sure?"
"Mr. Gunther is someone that the town has always thought of as a nutcase. He's the type that always said that the world was going to end bloody so he spent a lot of money setting his cabin up. There are ten foot high fences surrounding his property. We should be safe there." David answers but then adds, "He went to visit his daughter a while back and hasn't returned. Don't know how we could get in."
"If we can get there I can get us in. How far away is it?"
"About forty-five minutes away. It's deep in the woods so hopefully there won't be any of those things around." David says and for the first time since I got in the car I can see hope on everyone's faces.
We are behind the minivan now, waiting for Jason to stop somewhere so the whole group can be told where to go.
Up ahead I can Jason pull the Explorer into the parking lot of an empty gas station and get ready to get out of the vehicle and scout the area. I expect to see the minivan ahead of us slow down and turn in but that's not what Dennis does. Instead of slowing down he speeds up and keeps on going down the road. And just like that the group of survivors from the school has lost almost half of its members.
I don't know if we will see them again or if Dennis will remember that Alberto is going to turn just like those people in the Gym. All I can do now is pray that they will make if and that we will see them again. For now I need to talk to the others and get us set up in that cabin. Only time will tell if we will see any of them again but by leaving like that they have chosen their fate whatever it turns out being.
But as I try to put them out of my mind I can't help but wonder just what is going to happen now? My group of seventeen has dropped to a group of ten. As David pulls the gas station parking lot I figure the only thing I can do is take it one day at a time and save as many people as I can. For the first time in years I have a purpose, now I just need to figure out how to do it.
A/N Hey Everyone,
Thanks for the reviews, favorites, and follows. I actually got this up in a week so that is awesome. As everyone knows the holidays are right around the corner so it might be awhile before my next chapter. So, sorry ahead of time if I don't get it out next Monday but hopefully you will all understand. Oh and that wasn't the complete end of those characters, well it is for some, but you will see that later. Bye for now.