Run!

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
I've just got to make it over that bridge.

Submitted: October 13, 2018

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Submitted: October 13, 2018

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RUN!

It’s not that far. I can almost make out the other side of the bridge. They are waiting for me to get across before they act, but I know they cannot wait much longer. And I can feel them approaching from behind.

They are still a distance away but even with their shambling and ungainly gait, they move fast. I can’t make it across before they will be following me.

But those behind are not what are making me hesitate. No, the ones that are making me too panicked to move are the ones underneath.

The road this bridge passes over is teeming with them. Hordes and hordes of undead that are on my scent, searching me out. Without looking, I know there are plenty of them already making their way up the girders. The instant I put my foot on to that bridge they are going to come piling up there.

Two breaths; I’m trying to make them deep, steadying, but my fear is closing my throat, refusing to let my lungs expand and fill. The bangs and clatters from the street behind me are too loud, too close. I cannot wait a moment longer.

One foot, followed quickly by another and I’m off, running. I’ve never been any good at running – sprinting or distance – and this time, if I trip, stumble, I’m not going to get a chance to slow and find my feet.

Guttural groans, shrieks and moans. The bridge is shaking now as they climb in their hundreds up the girders. I can only hope that they don’t start making their way up those at the far side straight away, otherwise I’ll be trapped.

How good do those dead minds work? Do zombies forward plan or just react to a stimulus? I guess that is a question I’ll all too soon know the answer to.

I’m about a third of the way across when I can feel the base of the bridge begin to shake. I can hear their hands gripping the railings, here them scrabbling their way over the top. Some of them even seem to be biting the steel. How many teeth does it take to break a railing, destabilise the bridge, send me down into the river of undead that are streaming like some kind of fetid river beneath me.

DON’T THINK ABOUT IT!

I order myself to concentrate on moving, on breathing, on keeping my balance. Half way across and they are catching up with me. One lands on my left and I swerve just out of it’s reach. It staggers forwards, bringing down a few that had almost caught up from behind.

There are too many of them! I’m never going to make it across. They are crawling up from everywhere.

Gripping, grasping fingers. Teeth that gnash uncontrollably at the sight of me, desperate to tear into my still living flesh. Somehow I stay on my feet as one reaches up from the ground where it had been felled by another. It’s fingers grip hard, just above my ankle and I can feel the skin tear, feel the blood flow. This is going to get them in to even more of a frenzy, the scent of my fresh blood.

Three-quarters of the way there now. I can see them standing at the edge of the bridge; people that are alive like me. A couple hold rifles, but bullets will not stop them, maybe act as a slight brake that’s all. Those with the flame-throwers are our only hope, one standing either side of the bridge. They won’t let that fire loose until I make it across. Not if they can help it.

They are calling to me, urging me on. I can see their mouths open, close. I can’t hear anything though; not apart from my pulse that fills my head, the scream that is emerging from my mouth that I have no control of whatsoever, and their hungry screeches.

A bullet whistles past me, I feel it’s momentum caressing my skin with a tiny breeze. I hear the slurp of the impact that it makes, brace myself for the collision that is going to come from behind. More arms reach and grab as bullets ricochet around, bouncing off the steel girders. If the zombies don’t get me those bullets will.

And then I’m there – almost. I fling myself forward, knowing it is going to hurt like hell when I hit the ground. I don’t want to become one of them; anything must be better than that.

The whoosh of the flamethrowers fills the air. Screeches! Are they in pain? Or is it just howls of frustration that I hear. Burning rotting skin permeates the air in a fog that I’m trying so hard not to breathe in.

They are falling in groups, igniting others as they lay there writhing and burning. So many gone now, but so very many more still in pursuit. I find myself being hauled up on to my feet, part of a group now. Six of us I think.

But they are lowering their weapons, all ammunition spent. There is nothing left for us to do now apart from to run!


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