"Shit. Shit shit shit shit." Haile felt as though that was her personal mantra. Ever since the outbreak the chain of the same damn word was one of the predominant chants in her brain. She had started all the way out in California in the beginning.

"Damn." She shook her head. That seemed like so long ago when it was only a matter of weeks. She had made it all the way down to a small gas station a couple of hours outside of Atlanta-and now she was stuck. "Not just stuck" she muttered to herself "but good and proper fucked." The damn zombies had heard her dog when she knocked over a couple of cans in the aisle, overjoyed at the prospect of food and finally getting out of the car.

"Nika!" She whispered frantically trying to get the 75lb Dobermans attention "shut up!"

The dog finally stopped jumping around the cans and held still as if suddenly noticing the undead that were slowly surrounding the building. Haile rolled her eyes 'a little late don't cha think' she thought to herself. She looked at her gun wondering if she should just end it all right now-"Snap out of it stupid." She thought and gave herself a mental shake. She had someone to find and pity parties were not going to help anything at this point. Quickly doing a mental inventory of her weapons (a shit load of knives, 2 rifles, and three handguns), she grimaced. No way were all but one of the guns useful without drawing more unwelcome company and no matter how many knives she had she couldn't take down that many without getting bitten at the very least. Gathering up the little courage she had left Haile made her was silently to the back of the station toward the bathroom.

The door creaked as she grabbed the handle and turned slowly pushing it open. It was a one stall bathroom and light was filtering through a small window on the wall. She only had one shot at making this work; the doors in the front were beginning to give. Giving a low whistle to Nika Haile opened the window and looked around, breathing a sigh of relief when she realized this side of the building was clear for now. She could see her little black Subaru off in the distance and thankfully only a few zombies were loitering around it. Haile took a deep breath as if to clam her nerves and soothe the shakes she was beginning to get. She had to make this work-she just had to.

"Nika, car." She whispered and helped the dog scramble out of the window. Damn thing couldn't be quiet to save its life-quite literally- but luckily (or unluckily) at that moment the glass in front gave with a groan and shattered to the floor. Grotesque bodies poured in the front falling on each other and walking on top of others to get to the promise o a fresh meal. Adrenaline was kicking in, she needed to get the fuck out of here NOW! Haile ran and launched herself through the window a breathed a sigh of relief-until she felt herself being pulled backwards by her sneaker.

"Fuck!" She whined and went into panic mode kicking for all she was worth, and suddenly she felt the hand no more and dropped out of the window sucking in her breath at the sharp sting in her thigh. She couldn't stop to think or breathe just hauled herself up as quickly as possible and ran for the car. She ducked under the arms of what once had been a man and ran to the drivers side. Nika was waiting and had already taken care of two other zombies that had been there. Haile threw open the door and the dog practically flew inside with Haile right behind her. There were more starting to swarm and as she fumbled for her keys she could hear the bodies shuffling and smacking the car. The back passenger side window was cracking and Nika in the front seat had her haunches tightened ready to spring and lips pulled back into a fierce growl. With shaking hands Haile managed to get the key into the ignition and turn. She couldn't think right now and just ran on auto pilot shoving into first gear and pealing away on the dirt road.

After driving for what seemed like hours but really was only a matter of minutes Haile started to breath normal. "Get a grip girl." she thought bringing her hand from her hair down her face and into her lap. She gave a quick yelp as she noticed a throbbing in her left thigh. Vaguely she remembered a sting as she had fallen out of the window but hadn't had time to look. But now that she was calming down she could feel the blood oozing all over her jeans. Come to think of it there must be a lot of blood because she could feel it dripping all the way down her right foot.

"Don't look don't look." She mumbled to herself. Injuries didn't change anything, she still had to get away and find someplace safe before she could check on her leg. Nika whined and tried to put her head on Haile's lap.

"Not a good idea girl." Haile mumbled "Can't shift with you there." She turned quickly on another dirt road. Her head was beginning to feel foggy and she wasn't at all sure that she was talking out loud. "Maybe I should have stopped to check that leg out after all." She huffed humorlessly.

The world was starting to spin around her creating a fishbowl effect. She could hear Nika barking but she wasn't sure why that was a bad thing? Straight in front of her she saw a sign on a fence. She knew she was getting dizzy but for some reason she really wanted to read that sign-she needed to know where she was and figure out a plan. Nika's barking was nearing frantic now and Haile couldn't understand it. Her foot hurt. It was such a random thought she giggled. She could see the sign but it was moving-or was she moving? She couldn't tell but she started to read as best she could-"GRE.."-she heard crunching metal, a high pitched yelp from Nika, and then everything went black.

Haile felt as though she were on another plane of existence. The large sign from the fence was somehow mounted on her windshield and she heard voices. She laughed and let a black haze take over.