Jack Nixon is a high schooler in his exam year with bipolar disease and severe depression. He spends each day fighting his own mind and emotions before he destroys himself. He finds a comfort in his best friends and his girlfriend, who support him daily. He always finds himself a burden, but they make his life better.
But as an unthinkable disease spreads through the world and his make believe plans for a zombie apocalypse become a surreal reality, he must push his unstable emotions aside when he, his brother and his two best friends are put in charge of a rag-tag group of survivors, including his girlfriend and her sister, who he has vowed to protect. He must push past the dead, the living and his own to maintain their safety.


18. Briefing


 Leon shuffled into the living room the next morning, rubbing his painful neck. Shawn, Rachel and Alexia had slept in the living room that night,Lucy and Jade in their parents room, Jack, Aiden and Nate in Lucy’s room and Derren, Spice and Charlotte in Jade’s. Rachel, being her typical feisty self, protested against having a boy sleeping in a room with two girls, but the fact was there was no where else to put him. Anyway, he spent most of the night on watch.

 He slumped on the sofa as Rachel came into the room.

 “Hey.” She said, hesitating.

 “Don’t tell me you’re going to throw me out of this as well...” Jack had said they were calling a meeting to discuss their next move.

 “No, don’t worry. I’ve got nothing against you personally. Not to say I don’t think what they did is right.”

 “And you’re on my side?” He said sarcastically.

 “I’m not on anyone's side.” She replied defensively, “I’m just saying what I believe.”

 He thought. “Isn’t that a bit pointless considering you’re the only one with that point of view?”

 “Nothing is pointless these days, Leon.” She said with a stern look. “The world has changed and we can say what we want. Freedom of speech.”

 “Yeah, well, something tells me that your little democracy speech doesn’t really count for much considering all the shit that has happened the past few days.”

 Rachel sighed. “Think about it like this, trigger finger. If we let democracy go, if we don’t speak up for what we believe in, well, we’ll just become mindless soldiers now, won’t we?” She said with a evil smirk.

 He looked up at the moment of the insult. “Thanks, kid.” He replied sarcastically, “I’m so glad  I have you on my side.”

 “You should.” Shawn suddenly perked up from the doorway. “She’s one tough cookie.”

 Rachel smirked in satisfaction. Jack came down the stairs to see the three of them. “Well, at least you three are here.”

 “Alexia’s on her way, she’s in the shower. The others probably won’t be long.”

 It took about fifteen minutes to get the rest of them to gather around the coffee table. Derren and his gang on the opposite side of the room to Leon, Alexia, Rachel and Shawn sitting next to the Private, Lucy and Jade sitting by Derren’s group and Jack, Aiden and Nate huddled by the fireplace trying to work out a strategy. It stayed like this for about five minutes until the three of them stepped forward. Jack leant on the table.

 “Okay, it must be pretty obvious that we can’t stay here. The crowd that came from Evesham may be working their way up here right now, so this house is compromised and any place we drive to unless we find somewhere which is in anyway defended.”

 “I agree.” Leon said suddenly.

 “No one asked your advice.” Derren replied, unprovoked.

 “Derren, lock that down.” Aiden said, sternly.

 “Why? Why the hell should I listen to him?”

 “Because he’s coming with us!” Jack shouted.

 Everyone went suddenly quiet. Derren had an expression on his face as if he had just seen someone get run over and was still taking it all in. He finally began to talk. “You have to be kidding.”

 “Look, I understand.”

 “No you don’t, none of you do.”

 “Yes I bloody well do!” Jack shouted again. “Now if you just listen for a couple of minutes.”

 His brother sat back in his chair and ack let out a sigh of relief. “We have to admit that we can’t do this alone. I’m sure that if we trust Leon, he will show us where the army is holding up. Surely you must have picked something up before you got seperated?”

 Leon stopped for a second, and then shrugged. “Well, there was talk about making some kind of base in Worcester. Whether they went ahead with that or not is anyone’s guess, but that’s probably our best bet. Is there  any way of getting down there without going through the route in Evesham?”

 “I think so...” Jade said, “Where do we keep the maps?” She asked Lucy, who then reached on top of a tall bookshelf in the corner and produced an OS map. She sprawled it across the table and the group analysed it.

 “Okay...” Jack began, “There’s a route through the villages onto the M5, leads straight to Worcester.”

 “Are you sure about this guys?” Derren asked, jumping out of his seat.

 “What choice do we have, bro? Seriously, think about it.”

 Derren looked around the room, disappointed, and sighed. “Fine, we trust his little guess, and there is something in Worcester, then what? What then?”

 “We can help with that.” Lucy cut in, holding out an envelope.

 “What is it?” Jack asked, taking the envelope.

 “Well, when we got here, there was no one here, but on the coffee table, there was that.”

 The envelope had To whoever finds this... on it, in the Weaver parents’ writing. “What does it say?”

 “We thought you should read it out to the others, but it’s basically... hope.”

 Jack opened the envelope and began to read aloud.

 “To whoever finds this note, no doubt you have come back with our daughters. If not, feel free to take what you need, if they haven’t come back yet, well, they probably won’t. However, if they are with you, their friends will have been with them, so probably, you will be taking care of them as well. They are your responsibility. We are trusting you with them. Anyway, we have travelled down to Dover. I don’t know if you’ve seen the news, but they have evacuation centers down there, people from America to try and keep the plague under control. They’re sending people up north, Scandinavia and places like that. They reckon the cold climate will be too much for the infection to carry on, so they will stay clean. That is the best bet for an escape from this. We are heading to Sweden, as I know Jack, my daughter’s boyfriend has family there and will travel there. I hope this has been helpful, but my only advice I can give is to make it there. They’re holding up the gates for five days, but no more, so start to move as soon as possible. To our daughters, you know we love you very much, and we know you’ll be safe with your friends, especially people like Jack. All I can tell you is to move out to Dover as fast as you can and be careful. We love you. David and Shannon Weaver.”

 Everyone went quiet again. Aiden stepped towards Jack. “What does this mean, Jackie?”

 Jack looked up to Lucy with a massive smile on his face. “Hope, Aiden. For all of us.”

 There was another moment's silence. In the last twenty-four hours, this was the first sliver of hope. And they were all going to grab onto it with both hands.

 “What about the creatures though?” Derren said suddenly.

 “What about them?” Nate asked.

 “Well, we can’t go around calling them ‘zombies’, can we?”

 “Why not?”

 “Oh, don’t ask a geek the question ‘why not’!” Jack shouted, holding his head in his hands as Aiden chuckled to himself.

 “Come on!” Derren started, “Even in the Romero films, zombies started by the dead coming back to life. That hasn’t happened, so we can’t call them zombies, can we?”

 Jack rolled his eyes in embarrassment. “Okay, Bill Gates, what should we call them?”

 “Well, they’re hosts for this disease, right? What about Carriers?”

 “Carriers... Yeah that’ll do. Carriers.”

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