Ring Ring… Ring Ring…. Ring Ring…
“Hello this Dana speaking”
“I’m unable to make your call right now, please leave me a message and I’ll be sure to get back to you” Voicemail. I lay in the darkened room with only one lamp on, I just needed to be alone. What was that thing? To make matters worse was Abigail had seen it… Shit I’m gonna have to listen to a lecture from Darius about this. What am I supposed to do, I disposed of the body but the blood was stained to the crème carpet. What was that thing? What the fuck is going on!? I’ve got to ring Dana again, she’ll know what to do…
Ring Ring… Ring Ring… Ring Ring… Ring Ring… “Hello this is Dana speaking”
“Fuck!” I shouted as I threw the phone across the room, luckily it landed on the carpet and wasn’t damaged. I hadn’t heard a sound from Abigail’s room in the last hour and anytime I checked on her she hadn’t moved but just told me to go away. What was I supposed to do… I decided to ring Shaun, maybe he knows what’s going on. I listened to the annoying ring of the phone hoping for an answer.
“Alex!?” Shaun said with worry
“Shaun? What’s going on?”
“Where are you?” He asked in a slightly panicked voice
“Where are you!?” He shouted
“At Dana’s house, look what’s going on man?”
“Good… have you seen them then?”
“I dunno what they’re called, their like zombies or some shit like that, in the club this sick man came in and bit the bouncer before I knew it their was blood everywhere. People biting each other and shit, loads of us escaped through the emergency exit, I got home and barricaded the place up, you should too.”
“Shit… when did that happen?”
“Around one o’clock, have you heard from Dana?”
“Shit man, do you think—“
“Don’t even finish that sentence”
“Look I’m just –“
“Shut up, Shaun!” I shouted
“Alex, turn on the TV”
“Just do it!” I reached for the remote and turned on the TV, I asked Shaun for a channel and changed it to the news channel. “This is an emergency message, an unknown disease is making its way across the UK and has been infecting millions, this disease is incredibly contagious. The disease is like rabies and causes the infected to attack others, just one bite can infect anyone. Authorities are warning the population to barricade their homes and keep their distance from the infected. Should you consider someone infected you must isolate them from the rest of the group immediately. Infected appear to be immune from feeling pain, the only way to kill the infected is to destroy the brain, I repeat destroy the brain. Do not approach the infected we have been told they cannot be saved. People believe this disease could be the result of end of the world theory December 21st, however there is no proof of this… We repeat, barricade your homes, do not leave, do not approach the infected, separate the infected members of your group and if you have to defend yourself from the infected you must destroy the brain. This is an emergency message, an unknown disease –“
“Shit… Dana… Shaun I’ve got to go” I hung up before he could answer flicking through the contacts of my phone desperately searching for her name and I rung it. “C’mon Dana, pick up, pick up… please don’t do this to me, don’t do this!”
“Hello this is” click, Ring Ring… Ring Ring… Ring Ring… Ring Ring… “Hello this is” click, Ring Ring… Ring Ring… Ring Ring… Ring Ring “Hello this is” click, Ring Ring… Ring Ring… Ring Ring “Hello this is—“ Click, Ring Ring… Ring Ring… Ring Ring… “Hello this is—“
“Please Dana… please don’t do this to me” I cried as I stood in the centre of the room with the tears streaming down my face. I began to breathe heavily as I wiped the tears from my face and I just stood. My eyes burning I just stared into the empty space in front of me and asked myself what Shaun would have… Is she dead?
I dropped the phone, I didn’t even hear it hit the ground. I just stood there thinking of her… of Dana. I remember the times she came to watch me play football. The days she tried to teach me play hockey, when she helped me with my homework, when we played hide and seek as children and she would always purposely give her hiding spot away to make me happy, the time I punched a guy for standing her up and the time she put ice to my black eye after punching him. I remember how happy she was when she got pregnant, when Abigail was born and how no matter my problem, no matter what I had done how she was always there for me and I would be for her… Could she really be dead?
I won’t let that happen… I won’t become one of those things, I won’t let Abigail become one of those things, those monsters. I’ll look after her now, for you Dana and if you are alive. I’ll find you. I promise.
I ran into Abigail’s bedroom, “Abigail, I need you to come into the living room now ok?” she didn’t move. So be it, I walked over and lifted her and carried her in as she hit at my chest and shouted how she didn’t want to go in there. I sat her on the couch facing away from the blood stain, I sat beside her and kept hold of her in case she tried to run. “Look Abigail, what you saw earlier, there is a really bad sickness going round. I don’t know if your mum and dad will be coming home anytime soon”
“Because it’s dangerous, they have to find shelter and be safe”
“Monsters … look Abigail, this isn’t going to be easy but we have to be careful now, the monsters will hurt us if they get the chance. That’s why I killed that man, he was one of those monsters and I really wish you hadn’t seen it, so here’s what we’re going to do. I’m going to start covering up the windows and doors so nothing can get in. Will you look for any sports items like bats or anything like that… I know this is scary but we have to work together”
“Will I see my mum and dad soon?”
“Yes” I replied, I didn’t know what to say. Could I really tell her the truth? Not yet, I had to get her motivated if I wanted her to work with me to survive. She nodded and started to look, I got the bookcase and moved it in front of the window, I set a chair under the handle of the door so it couldn’t be opened. I made sure all entrances were blocked. We didn’t have much to it with, I used the furniture to cover everything. When I finished I checked the food supplies, it wasn’t good. We had enough for roughly a week if we were willing to skip meals. I couldn’t sure that’s how much we had as I was no survivalist but it was an educated guess.
“Alex” I turned to face Abigail who was holding a tennis balls “Are these ok? They’re all I could find”
“I’m sure we can find some use for them, thanks for helping Abigail. You should get some sleep”
“My bed is against the window”
“We’ll go into your mum and dad’s room, it’s better we stick together, c’mon let’s go” I grabbed the bat and walked into the room with her. I rested the bat against the wall that the bedhead was against so I could grab it easily and I lay on the best just lying on my back with my body lying limp. I felt a strange feeling at my arm and when I looked down I saw Abigail wrapping her arms around me. “I’m so scared” she said quietly
“Me too, but don’t worry… I’ll look after you”
“I miss my mummy and daddy”
“I know you do”
3rd January 2012
It’s been two days… I just can’t wake up, Dana never returned and never tried contacting us. I kept trying to phone her but there was never an answer and now my phone has no battery and we’re slowly running out of food, Abigail and I can’t stay here much longer, were going to need to leave. If we do, where will we go? I don’t know what is happening inside her head but she’s distant, I can understand why. She saw me over a beaten corpse holding a bloody bat. Not exactly the image a child should be seeing, Abigail’s feelings towards me doesn’t matter, as long as I can look after her that’s all that matters to me. I never saw myself a Christian but I find myself praying for Shaun, Dana and even Darius, I just hope their alright. I can’t stop thinking about all my friends and people I know, are they alive? Can I help them? I try not to think about it, it’s the type of thought that keeps me up at night. Life has changed so much in two days, not much has happened. We haven’t had any more encounter’s we boarded the house and we keep quiet and secluded from the rest of the world. Time just seems to be crawling by, the day starts and the day ends. I find myself pacing the almost empty rooms counting the seconds in silence. The rooms are bare, we have everything so barricade it’s not possible for anything to get in. I never thought we’d be the ones who would have to leave, with the food rapidly dwindling we can’t stay here much longer. Sometimes I even believe I hear Dana but when I turn there’s nothing there, just empty air.
I sat at the edge of the bed staring into the floor until I felt a tug at my left sleeve, I reached for the bat with my right and turned to see Abigail. “Sorry, Abigail you scared me there.”
“Sorry Alex” she said sitting beside me, “I’m hungry” she said, her voice seemed awfully weak, I began to worry about her health. “Isn’t there any in the fridge?” I asked
“No and I can’t find any anywhere, what do we do? Can we go to the shop?”
“No, it would be dangerous… You’ve heard the TV, we have to stay in our homes”
“Maybe Mum and Dad will come back today with some?” she looked at me with her bright blue eyes and I couldn’t return her gaze. “Maybe” I replied, I knew I was lying but what else could I say. The room fell into silence, I don’t know if she knew I was lying but we both just stared ahead lost in thought. We can’t stay here, we need food. We can get some, there and back… Do I take her with me? If I leave her alone, she can’t defend herself… If I take her… I bring her into a world filled with death according to the news.
I held her hand lightly and she turned to face me, I could feel my heart pounding and the sweat already dripping from my head as I was about to ask her to do something dangerous for someone so young. She turned to face me with her mouth agape looking at me most likely wondering what to say. “Abigail, we have to go to the shop… It’s going to be dangerous, and I can’t leave you alone”
“What do you mean?”
“Abigail, you and I are going to go to the shop, its roughly a twenty minute walk but if we move fast we can be there and back in under an hour. It’s going to be dangerous so you stay close to me no matter what… you understand?... Abigail… do you understand?”
“I… I think so but do we have to go, I mean what if those monsters chases us and –“
“Don’t you worry about that, I’ll handle it, ok I want you to get dressed warm and comfortable because should something happen that we can’t come back here, we need to be prepared… Ok?”
“I understand Alex, but what if we don’t come back and my mum and dad comes back?”
“We’ll leave a note”
“Ok, that way they’ll know were ok, right Alex?” She sounded almost reassured and happy than I’ve seen her in the past through the days, I believe it’s because she is actually getting to do something instead of sitting around. It may be dangerous but I was happy for a change in routine. A chance to leave this place for a while, it would be alright she just had to stay close.
“Yeah and they’ll find us… Now get ready and pack some stuff” as soon as I said it she was away like a shot, I didn’t have a big choice in clothing. My Clothes had begun to stink but that was the least of my worries. My faded red hoodie was quite thin on layers and wasn’t enough to keep me warm so I had a look through Darius wardrobe. Suit, Suit, Suit, Gay, Granddad, Suit, Oooh what have we here? I was looking at a leather jacket and not just some cheap knock off, it was black, in great shape and had two stripes round the arm, the upper one was red and the lower one was white, it had another stripe running from the lower white stripe to the end of the sleeve which was also white. Darius won’t mind me borrowing this for a while I’m sure. I put it on over my hoodie and lifted the hood of my hoodie so it was overhanging the back of the jacket. My jeans were still ripped badly around the bottom but I don’t think it will make much of a difference. I also kept my black converse on as they were comfortable and I loved them and finally I kept my grey beanie hat to cover my messy brown hair.
I grabbed a small plain black backpack and filled it with medical equipment, four bandages, three bottles of painkillers and then the rest was small bottles of water. I saw a badge on the floor that said “Tiny Life” on it, it wasn’t big or anything but it just caught my attention. “That’s mum’s” I heard Abigail say.
“It’s a charity, Mum works for them sometimes, they help families with premature babies or babies with special abilities”
“Oh yeah, that was it, Mum loved that charity said it was because I was born early and was really light”
“Maybe you should have this badge?”
“To let you think of your mom while were gone, it can be like a small part of her is with you”
“Ok” she said as she approached me and I pinned it onto her, “Did you have something for your family?”
“Yeah” I replied and rolled up my sleeve “This watch was the watch my dad bought me when I got my Law degree and now all I can do is hope that he’s ok” the watch had a leather strap and a square digital face, it was made by Diesel… I loved it. Abigail was dressed in a light blue hoodie with a superman logo on it, she had her hair in a ponytail with a hairband, had denim jeans on and a pair of blue converse on. She had a bag that was pink and white and filled to the point where the bag wouldn’t close. “You look like your mother, when we were kids” I said looking into her mother’s eyes
“Yeah” we were silent for a few seconds, something about those simple words just brought a smile to both our faces. “What’s in your bag I asked?”
“Nothing” she said backing away slowly
“C’mon show me”
“Just some stuff”
“What type of stuff?”
“Just, you know stuff”
“Abigail… show me” I said with a more stern voice
“Fine” she said finally giving in and handed me the bag. I opened it and it was filled with a rabbit teddy. “A Teddy?”
“No! That’s Rodger!”
“Yeah I’ve always had him, he loves adventures and he wants to help”
“Abigail… do you really need to bring him, is he necessary?”
“Yeah I need him, Rodger’s my best friend and we’ve been friends forever and—“
“Ok, I understand you can bring him but I need you to carry him and keep your bag empty because we’re going to have to fill it with supplies, alright?”
“That’s fine, Rodger likes the fresh air anyway, his favourite flower is Lily, mine is too”
“That’s great, ok here’s the rules, we get to the shop and back as quick as possible and you hold my hands and stay beside me at all times do you understand?”
“This is really important, Abigail… Do you understand?”
“Yes, I promise”
“Good Girl, let’s go do this okay”
Abigail put her empty backpack on, held Rodger in one hand and help my hand with the other, while I held the bat, we moved the barricade at the door and left the safety of Dana’s home.
I had expected what it would look like outside but I couldn’t believe it, houses were broken into and windows smashed. Bodies lay on the floor, cars were crashed , everything was so empty. Abigail and I just stood there at what was once a busy city street and looked at the horror of corpses, broken into homes and a vast emptiness. We looked at each other I smiled trying to make her feel better but she didn’t smile back. We began walking towards the shop, the streets were especially quiet and we walked in silence taking in the change of worlds in the space of two days. We saw the first member of the infected feeding on a corpse on the right side of a car, we were only a metre or so away, I caught a glimpse of him in the corner of my eye and pulled Abigail in as close as possible to me and covered her mouth using the bat to point him in, when her eyes locked on him I could feel her skin shiver with fear and felt her try to run “sssh” I whispered in her ear as the creature smelt around him clearly beginning to realise something else was here, we backed further away from him until we came close to a bin, I move Abigail behind it and whispered “stay here and don’t make a sound”
I stood up and approached the creature, his vision quickly locked onto me and he began to approach me. He wasn’t fully running but wasn’t walking, his right leg wasn’t moving but he was pushing himself forward using his left leg, he was moving in at a quick space but I had the bat ready. All I could notice or feel was my breathing. In… Out … In… Out I watched him get closer and closer and then swung, the bat hit his head with a thud and I watched his body crash to the floor and swung again as he lay on the floor, I felt the blood splatter in my face, I hit him again for good measure and turned around and ran back to Abigail who was hiding behind the bin with her head tucked into her legs as she whimpered. “Sssh just close your eyes, I’m going to lift you ok, nod your head Abigail” she nodded and wrapped her arms around my neck as I lifted her, she wrapped her legs around me and I carried her past the body of the dead infected. When we were past I set her down and said “All clear, you can open your eyes now” she opened her eyes and I wiped a small tear sliding down her right cheek. She held my hand and we continued walking.
“Are you alright?” I asked her
“Are you sure?”
“Their just so… scary”
“I know but don’t you worry about them, I’ll keep them away as long as you stay close.”
“I will, I promise Alex”
“We’re a team ok, we stick together”
We arrived at the shop several minutes later. The windows were smashed and the place had clearly been looted already. We got close and I lifted Abigail over the glass and set her through the window before climbing in after her. Abigail walked in “Hello?” She shouted
“SSSh” I said and I listened to the sounds of groans throughout the shop. “It’s getting dark Abigail, in and out, we have to be quiet there’s more of them in here.”
“Ok Alex” We walked throughout the shop picking up anything that was left. There wasn’t much but anything would be good. We found another bag and were able to fill it with bottles of water and snacks. The only food we could find were snacks such as crisps and biscuits but it was something. That’s what counted, at times like these we had to be optimistic. “It’s getting dark Abigail, let’s go”
“Alex, I found a torch and some batteries”
“Good Girl, is this all there is, yeah the others were smashed from being dropped I think?”
“Atleast we have one, you hold the torch ok”
“Really? Yeah ok, I can do that” We began walking towards the entrance and then we saw them, I stopped in my track and stared at about fifteen to twenty infected. Abigail looked in fear, “turn the light off… Abigail the light” I whispered, she turned it off and we began walking backwards and away from the infected. CRUNCH, We heard what sounded like a tin can being stood on and all of a sudden movement and grunts. They were searching for us, “Abigail light!” I said, she reacted quick and turned the light on as we ran looking for an exit.
We kept running until we reached the wall but it was too dark and we couldn’t see the exit anywhere. Shitshitshitshitshit, What do I do? What do I do? What do I do? Abigail looked up at me with her eyes full of fear, Don’t look at me like that… What do I do? I can hear them, I can see them… I reached into my bag and grabbed a bottle of water and threw them at it, I knew it would be useful but I couldn’t think of what else to do. I watched the bottle fly right over their head and heard it hit the ground. Every single one of the infected turned to face the sound. The sound. I found a few small cans on the floor and lifted them, Throwing them won’t be enough, they’re blocking our exit, we need to get through them.
“Abigail climb on my back” I whispered
“Just do it and be as quiet as possible” I aimed the cans above the heads of the infected and threw them and when they turned to face it, I turned the bat horizontal and ran at them, I bulldozed through the smaller group of them knocking them over. I felt a grab at my feet and fell on my stomach, “Abigail run!” I shouted as I hit the ground, she clambered over me and watched as I kicked at the creature that was trying to gnaw on my ankle, I looked for the bat but it was out of my reach. I had dropped it while running and it rolled away. Abigail stood in fear, “Abigail the bat! Get the bat!” She turned and ran for the bat and turned to run back. “No! roll the bat and run!”
“What about you?”
“I’ll see you outside… I promise” Abigail turned and ran, I reached for the bat and smacked the creature holding my leg, it let go from the impact and I clambered trying to get to my feet, I was attacked again and knocked to the ground, holding the bat in my hand I saw the creature attempting to bite my neck as he pinned me to the ground. I brought the bat up and shoved it in the infected’s mouth and pushed against him. I felt my muscles strain and knew I couldn’t hold it anymore. I can’t, it’s too strong, I have to, for Abigail, I promised… I …BANG!
A gunshot hit the side of the creature’s head knocking him to the side and I heard a female voice “MOVE!” she shouted. I got up and ran towards the voice and ran into a group of about nine people, An older man grabbed my arm, “Are you bit?”
“No, you got her just in time”
“You better not be lying”
“I’m not” We ran out of the store and I found Abigail beside a young woman. “ALEX! Your ok?”
“Abigail, I was worried about you” I said
“I was worried about you” She replied
A Young woman was with her “You her father?”
“Uncle” I replied
“Name’s Kirsten and I know who you are, good thing she called for help”
“Dangerous too” The older man said
“And who are you?” I asked
“We should have just left him” a voice in the dark said
“Leave it, Daire” Kirsten said to him
“Waste of ammunition, it’s not like you even have anything of use” he replied
“We have three bags worth of supplies” I said
“That won’t last til the end of the week” Daire said
“What’s your problem?” I said
“My Problem is we don’t need any more mouths to feed”
“We couldn’t just leave them?” Kirsten said
“Fine we saved them” Daire said before walking closer to me until he was right in my face “Now you and your soon to be dead child fuck off” The stare lasted as Daire and I gazed into each other’s eyes, eyes filled with loathing for one another. I never liked confrontation. I turned to walk away before turning back towards him and head butting him. He hit the ground hard clutching his nose as the blood began to run on to his hand, he looked at it before getting up and delivering a punch to my gut and knocking the wind out of me. John grabbed me back from hitting him, another man held him back. “You better watch your back you fuck” Daire screamed at me
“Shut up! Both of you!” John said “Look Alex, your welcome to come with us, we have supplies and we can look after you and Abigail.”
“What we’re taking him with us?” Daire said
“But Alex what about my mum and dad?”
“Where’s her mum and dad?” Kirsten said
“Gone but we hope they’ll be back” I replied
“Their probably dead” Daire said
“Shut up!” I shouted
“Look, Alex stay with us for the night, were making too much noise, we’re staying at the local church and it’s safer there. “
“Thank You” I replied, accepting his offer.
We walked quickly to the church which wasn’t too far away only about a five minute walk, it was too dangerous to walk back and at least we had someone to talk to and people we could count on. John seemed a good man as long as he could keep his dog on a leash. We need to stay with these people, we need to. I need to make Abigail understand that though. We entered the church and saw the group of nine, Four girls and Three guys. They had guns, weapons and supplies. We could survive… We could live… The question was Can we Trust them?
To Be Continued
© Copyright 2016 Adam Williamson. All rights reserved.