Day 15: Video Diary 114:
I don’t know how much more I can take. Think I may have to commit suicide… No… Why would you give up your life, you have friends who care about you, family, the most beautiful people in the world are around you, literally!
But you have no real family, my brother, oh my god. I hope I forget about that before long. Hmm, well we found, well someone else found this camcorder so we decided to record videos of our long-term mission. To repopulate the earth, yuck! Well that’s what Harry says anyway, don’t know why, says he researched it or something. Don’t know how he can though, the library is in ruins, any books are being burned for firewood and the internet’s down because all the pylons and things are destroyed.
Bridges have collapsed, whole buildings, cities even have been wiped. And all because of one mutation. Bloody hell we could have had an easy life. But someone just wants to wreck humanity, so what do they do, they bring a mutated zombie into the world and bam, it spreads and the first mutations appear, slowly at first, then quicker and quicker. The government restrained the infected area quickly, but not quick enough, never quickly enough. Someone got out, passed it on. No one could stop it; only people who were immune to it are alive. Most of those were hunted down by the mutated. 98% of the population was lost to the disease, that’s 6, 860, 000, 000 people for those not so good at maths. 6.9 billion people, Jesus Christ, and we haven’t even killed one of them yet. Luckily they all congregate in the cities and larger towns because of the main survivor numbers there. We’re safer out here in this smaller town but the mutated aren’t our only threat, raiders and gangs are our main enemies. Besides, the world became a mess, shops started being ransacked, banks robbed, you should see the states of the motorways. The army went mental trying to get control back, some went AWOL, started their own gangs. This is truly the end of the world.
Ha, got ya. Didn’t believe that rubbish did you? Oh come on, I mean the world is in ruins but, the end of the world, not my world, I got plenty a gas left in the tank thank you. O’ flip, Harry’s here. All right, I must go but hopefully I’ll see ya tomoz as they used to say.
Ben sighed and switched off the camcorder, “as they used to say…” he said sadly as Harry burst into the secured house.
“Say what?” he asked,
Ben just shrugged,
“Doesn’t matter,” Harry turned to Ethan, “where’s Guy and Josh.”
Ethan stopped soldering two bits of random metal together and pointed upwards. “Ta.”
Harry skipped up the stairs, pushed open the door and starred as it fell off its hinges, “aye aye aye.”
“You broke the door.” Guy span round on his chair and looked down upon the mess on the floor.
“Why? Why not? Ethan’s gotta fix that.”
Josh walked into the room, “you found food, didn’t you?”
“How the hell do you know?”
“Where?” asked Guy,
Josh sat down on the single bed, “yer, where?”
“Mad Geoff’s lock up.”
Guy’s mouth fell open, “Mad Geoff… are you as insane as he is. He’ll blow your flipping head off the moment you step through the door!”
“Nah. I’ve been round there; he says it’s fine if we nick a few things.”
“Just go and tell Ethan to pack up the stuck and get Ben to regulate it all, we go tonight.”
“Oh epic,” Josh whooped, “Flippin’ epic.”
“There it is…” whispered Ben, from the rooftop of the school they watched down on the shack half the way down the road.
“One mad man…” continued Ethan,
“Three attack dogs…”
“Bite your foot clean off traps…” Ethan glanced across at Harry and saw him shudder, “not so keen on losing your foot, Hazza?”
Harry shot Ethan a look of pure hatred, “Whoa. Calm down Harry. I did say possible, not certain.” Taking control again Harry started to throw out commands and arranged them to make the perfectly executed plan. He made it sound so simple.
“Me, Ben and Ethan will go down onto the street. Guy, Josh, you provide over watch. Guy if you snipe and Josh covers his back, yer? We work our way house to house; if you get a look in at him, take him out. Stick your suppressor on, you won’t attract any attention, alright?”
Putting on their headsets they made their way down the stairwell, dropping down off of the broken ladder onto the rubble strewn concrete below.
They sprinted across the street stopping once to duck behind an exploded car. Once they were across they jumped through an open window and started to make their way through the houses. In just under three minutes of thorough close quarters checking they mantled a living room window and found themselves outside again.
Harry held up his hand in a fist, a sign to stop. “Alright load up.” He whispered swinging his rucksack off his shoulders and unzipping it, “how many mags did you pack?” he asked Ethan.
Ethan showed two fingers.
“What… two each or?”
Ethan nodded and pushed the 30-round magazine into his polished M16A2, the loud click was much too loud for his liking. Then turning his weapon horizontally he pulled back the bolt and slowly released it, gently guiding it back.
“Well?” Ethan enquired, “are we going to get in there or not?”
“Yer…” Harry stood up, then immediately went prone, hiding his face in the long grass. The other two rapidly followed suit. ”Harry,” It was Guy. “There’s a guy in the top window looking through the barricades, looks like Mad Geoff. I’ll tell you when he’s gone.”
“Why don’t you just shoot him, save us the effort?”
“I don’t even know if Ethan loaded this thing.”
“Of course I loaded it!” Ethan hissed, “do you thing I’m stupid, now take the shot.”
There was a soft putt, and then the person in the window collapsed. Then they were up and running, they made it to the front door and stacked up. Ben stood on the other side and as Harry gently pushed on the door it swung open and Ben stepped into the house, weapon shouldered, looking for movement. Quickly, efficiently they moved from room to room but all was silent and still. They reached the penultimate room and flinging open the door they entered in quick succession, it too was empty. Harry was just about to try the next room when Ben held him back, “There’s a door.”
“In the floor,” he pointed to the carpet on the floor, which was half pulled up.
They went over to it and threw the heavy carpet aside; sure enough there was a door in the floor. Harry grabbed the metal ring and gently pulled the entrance up. There was a tiny squeak as it passed the vertical direction but was otherwise totally silent.
This time Ethan went first down the steep, dark stairway to the cellar. He caught a movement in his peripheral vision and span round. Shelf upon dusty shelf surrounded him; it was a maze of, everything.
Harry and Ben soon caught up and Ethan motioned further down the maze. Making their way down the twisting shelves, guns raised. They rounded the last corner and came upon a sight none of them had expected.
“Don’t move!” Harry bellowed. A young woman cowered in the corner of the web-covered cellar. In her arms was a shivering bundle of life.
The woman’s face twisted in terror, “please… please don’t hurt us.”
A young face poked out from the blanket, saw the weapon wielding teenagers and literally dived back into the safety of the warmth.
“Mummy!” he whimpered, a young, angelic voice. “Make them go away.”
Harry flicked the safety switch on and pushed his M16A2 behind his back.
“We don’t want to hurt you.” He said slowly.
“Mum, where’s dad?” came the young voice again.
“Please,” the woman said, tears running down her cheeks, “do you know where my husband is?”
Harry nodded, and then touched his finger to his ear. “Ethan, check them over will you. Guy, Josh, come in…”
“Here man, all clear out here.”
“Good, good. Look did you see anyone upstairs, there’s a woman and child here and their dads gone somewhere.”
There was silence, “oh my god, I shot him. I didn’t mean to… I mean I know he didn’t look like mad Geoff!”
“Alright, alright, calm down.” Harry turned back to the frightened pair and shook his head.
“Harry.” It was Ethan. “Here.” He said, pointing to the woman’s arm, a deep scar was etched down it; a bandage was pulled half back. “How did you do this?”
“It doesn’t matter. Please can you find my husband?”
“I don’t know where your husband is.” Ethan replied, “And trust me, this does matter, your life… your son’s life depends on it.”
“Can you help us?”
Ben butted in, “we can’t help you if you won’t tell him how you did that.”
“We will help you,” Ethan reassured her, “just, please tell me how you did that.”
The woman bit her lip, “a man.”
“Oh Jesus Christ.” Said Harry, “a zombie scraped her.”
“No, no, a normal man, I told him something he didn’t want to hear, he grabbed me and took out his knife and scratched me down the arm.”
“Alright,” Ethan nodded, “I can treat this when we get back.” He reached out his hand. He helped her up and they made their way out of the cellar. There was a crackling in Harry’s headset. “Harry, Harry! Bad news, truck just pulled up, four men, African, AK’s. Oh flip them mean business, they’re coming in. Three inside, two out. Get out! I’ll take the outer two.”
Harry changed tack and headed for the back door just as the front door got smashed in. Loud voices echoes down the narrow hallway. Gunshots! Bullets thundered into the plaster spraying it everywhere. Harry hurried into the kitchen and shoulder barged the back door open, Ben quickly followed then the woman with the young boy grasping her hand tightly, Ethan was last. He turned and fired a few rounds down the corridor. There was a cry of pain then more gunfire.
Ethan hurried to catch up just as Harry was barking out orders, “Josh, you ready to give us some back up yet?”
“Indeed I am. Ha. Here we gooooooo…”
The first black man erupted like lava from a volcano from out of the back door. His dark eyes fell upon the five individuals.
“You shot my mate! Now I’ll shoot you…” He raised his gun and his head exploded.
“Boom!” shouted Josh, “’ave that!”
Another man came out the door and got half his head blown off.
“Boom! Nice one Josh!”
Josh jumped down from the roof of mad Geoff’s house. His light blue eyes darted over the new arrivals, “and you are?” he said softly.
She bit her lip again, “I’m Rachel, and this,” she turned the young boy to face Josh, “is Lewis.”
Lewis just looked at the floor.
“Don’t worry Lewis.” Josh said calmly, “you’re safe with us.”
Ethan tied off the new bandage which was tightly wrapped around Rachel’s arm and told her she should sleep. Then taking her he led her to the only other mattress in the old building.
Then bounding up the rickety stairwell he was met by Josh. He was leaning up the doorway to the room where Lewis was sleeping.
“He looks so peaceful.” He said mesmerised by the calm breathing of the young boy.
Ethan did not answer.
“When I looked into his eyes, they were so… so innocent. He hasn’t even seen Them.”
Ethan’s eyes widened, “seriously, how do you know?”
“Because his eyes were so happy and full of life, that’s why.”
That night as Lewis slept peacefully unaware of the outside world Josh gently rocked Rachel form her heavy slumber. He guided her downstairs and poured her a glass of milk, a week old and a stale biscuit. She literally swallowed both down without stopping, and then she turned her attention to the dust covered room. A single table, three mix-and-match chairs, the kitchen cabinet doors had been ripped off, there was no fridge, no freezer and finally a recycling bin. Its lid was half open and rubbish had spilled out.
“Please,” her voice was just a whisper, “I am so hungry.”
Josh sighed, “I’m sorry, Harry keeps a tab on all food, he won’t even let me have anything else until tomorrow let alone you.”
Josh wanted to change the subject, “I need to know something.”
“Of course,” she nodded enthusiastically, “anything for your kindness.”
“OK, just to get something clear, I maybe kind but there is a limit, you won’t get anywhere with that, alright.”
“Sorry,” she said.
“Just don’t try it on Harry; he doesn’t like you here in the first place.”
Rachel hung her head.
“You haven’t told him have you? Lewis I mean.” Began Josh, inquiring, delving, “About what happened, about them.”
“Please.” She touched his arm. “Please don’t tell Lewis about them, he doesn’t know.”
Josh nodded. He stood with his arms crosses across his chest. “Alright I just wanted to know. Go and get some sleep.”
She walked slowly to the door and paused by the bin of biscuits, “for Lewis?”
But Josh reluctantly shook his head, “you shouldn’t wake him, tomorrow alright.”