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.


8. Outnumbered and Outgunned

 “Nate, what the bloody hell are you doing!? The road down Tesco’s is filled with them as well now, I can’t hold them off for ever!”

 Jack’s head was swimming. This was the first time he’d ever held a gun, let alone an assault rifle. The recoil, the noise, the power of life and death in his hands. The ethical destructions in his mind were tearing him apart, let alone the hundreds of ravenous beings on one side of the lorries and a couple more hundred on the other side.

 “Jack, start running to the high street.” Nate’s voice screeched over an overpowering amount of background noise. Jack winced.

 “Are you kidding!? And what the hell is that noise?”

 “We’ll catch up. If you stay here, we’re all going to die here and now. Run.”

 Jack hesitated for a moment. Time slowed down. With all the chaos, this was the first time he had felt sad since his dad died. This was turning him into something else, but that’s what his friends needed. What he needed. He had time to sob and cry later. Right now, he needed to be the guy with the gun, and he needed to run.

 He grabbed the door of the lorry, standing on the leather armrest as it swung open, making it safer for him to jump down. He quickly grabbed a large, military style rucksack and sprinted down the empty street. So many times he had imagined this happening with Nate and Aiden, but the instant finality of it all was massive. The town was the scene of a horror movie and the antagonist was lumbering after him. It became obvious to him that they were somehow faster travelling in packs, making him faster still.

 “Turn back!”

 A voice screamed from down the road. A teenage boy, about his age, was staring at Jack with massive, terrified eyes, pointing at Leicester Grove, with yet another huge horde of the creatures trying to decide which one out of Jack or the boy looked like they would get more meat out of. Jack looked back at a huge wall of nightmares running towards them. He spun his head around in all directions, hyperventilating.

 Suddenly, he heard a large exhaust cough into life. Behind the lumbering wall, he saw a massive cockpit, chuntering through the cloud. It emerged from the creatures and spun in front of them, creating a barrier between Jack and them. Nate and Leon opened the lorry doors with a smug grin.

 “Did you know those lorries are still working?” said Nate as Leon put his tools back in his pockets (no doubt the ones he used to drive the lorry) and ran to the back, opening the shipping container hooked up to it.

 “So come on, knuckle-head, what did I risk my skin for?” Jack asked him.

 They ran to the back of the lorry as Leon hauled out the two bikes. Jack looked at him, scowling at the fact he had run away from a horde of assorted nightmares to satisfy Nate’s ongoing fuel speed addiction. Nate quickly changed the subject.

 “How are we going to get through that lot!?” He asked, trying to hide the awkwardness in his voice as he indicated to the lumbering cloud of bodies that advanced on them from the high street. Jack and Leon assessed the situation, until Leon got a twinkle in his eyes and started up the bikes.

 “There’s a gap in them at the pavement. If we’re quick enough, we should make that.”

 “You’ve gotta be kidding me!” Nate shouted. Even his rebellious side was not up for such a low chance as that.

 “Look kid, that is the only chance we have, and the window is closing. If you’re okay with being eaten and ripped apart like that teacher you saw earlier, then fine, but if not, I suggest one of you get on that bike, the other on the back, and drive!”

 With that, Leon swung his right leg around the saddle of the scrambler bike and sped through the gap, which was closing even quicker, as the creatures tried to reach for his legs. The two of the boys looked at each other for two seconds, and instantly realised what they were both thinking. They ran towards the Suzuki, Nate with his M16 at the ready.

 “I’ll drive, you shoot.” Jack called back as they sat on the bike. He grabbed the throttle handle and pulled it towards him. The back wheel spun into life with a cloud of smoke, making Nate have a small coughing fit, and they were propelled forward into the pavement. Jack’s mind was rushing, but somehow this was helping. Every highly strung emotion was being blown away in the rushing wind through his afro-like hair. He scraped through the miniscule gap, smearing the blood of one of the creatures on the front of the bike. Nate’s aggressive side burst out of his calm exterior as he screamed at the many hands extending towards the two of them, shooting them at the same time. Jack came out of the danger zone with a dangerously out-of-control bike, but it was enough for him to stay upright as Leon came back into view. He was amazed at the usefulness of his father’s classes he gave Jack with an old trail bike out in a field near the house. He only wished that his father could’ve seen him now, but maybe not in the context of being hunted by infected people.

 “Boys! I thought I’d left you behind just now!” Leon shouted over the decreasing roar of the engines. They were being slowed down by the barriers that had closed off the street. The second they got within 100 meters, the three of them had various rifles trailing them. They screeched to a halt and put their hands up. Leon stepped forward.

 “My name is Private Leon Jacobs, I’m with the troops who came down to the school down the road.”

 “We know.” One of the police officers called from the other side of the barrier. “That’s why we’re not letting you past.”

 “Red zone? Bullshit!” He screamed back. It was obvious that Leon’s patience with people today was starting to waver. “You know as well as I do that we’d be showing symptoms by now!”

 “Look, I’m sorry sir,” The officer said, “but orders are orders. You need to step back.”

 “Shit!” he screamed, stepping away from the guns. He starting spinning frantically screaming and cursing at the sky.

 Suddenly, Jack’s stomach clenched. Until now he had been able to push his emotions aside. But now? Hundreds of enemies were running towards them. His friends were nowhere to be seen. The only form of authority was breaking down in front of him. If he pushed through the barrier, he would die, if he ran back, he would die, there was no where he could go now. He began to close up into a ball, almost rocking back and forth on the ground. He thought about Lucy. Aiden. Jade. Shawn. Nothing seemed to be left...

 Suddenly, he heard a large metallic clunk coming from the antiques centre, Magpies. He realised that from the second they were denied access through the street, he had began to pry open the shutters that had been pulled down by someone with the butt of his gun. Leon noticed this as well and ran to help him, but Nate had already managed to make enough space for them to slide under. The barrier of metal.

 “I’m impressed kiddo!” He said, helping Nate hold it in place, “You are pretty good in this sort of situation!”

 “Hold this open.” Nate replied, ignoring Leon’s comments. Leon braced his arms to hold the weight and Nate ran over to his shaking, scared friend. Pulling his face to meet with his, he shouted into his face.

 “Keep it together, Jack! We’re not done with yet, you hear me!? We’re doing this!”

 With a more confident Jack nodding in agreement, the two of them slid on the tarmac as he came to the shutters and cleanly made it through. Leon managed to lift it enough to rest on his back as he made his way through. The shutters clanged onto the ground just as the creatures started scraping at the Privates ankles, the edges at the bottom taking off the fingers of a couple of them on the way down. He was propelled forward into the glass container, almost scratching it. The three of them lay on the ground, breathing heavily and making sure they were actually still alive. The groaning outside from the evil trying helplessly to break apart the shutters was haunting. After about three minutes, Leon started to laugh, exhausted. The other soon began to laugh as well. They couldn’t believe they were still alive, after all of that!

 The laughter was suddenly broken by Jack’s ringtone, alerting him of a text message. He scrambled around in his pocket, amazed that it still had signal, as in any movie, that satellites would have stopped working.

 “What is it, Jackie?” Nate asked, anticipating good news.

 Jack was frozen in amazement. “It’s Lucy! They made it through! Met up with my brother and a couple of his friends too. They’ve made it to Luce’s place, but her parents have made it to some kind of... evacuation centre up in Dover. They’re sending them to Sweden.”

 “Sweden...” Leon broke through, “Yeah, I overheard my supervisor talking about that. They’ve managed to hold it off for now. Scandinavia’s holding off pretty well apparently.”

 “Well, we need to get down there then!” Jack exclaimed, “I have relatives in Sweden, they’ll be able to put us up for a while.”

 Nate laughed happily and slapped Jack on the shoulder. Leon put his hands up to break in again. “Convenient as that may be, we have a very present problem with that, how the hell are we supposed to get out of this tin can?”

 Suddenly there was a clock of a gun behind them. The three span round to see a fat man wearing a body warmer, khaki trousers and brown leather walking boots. He was holding a flintlock pistol in one hand, probably from the collection under the till, and holding back a boy that could only be thought of as his son with the other, which was also the kid Jack had seen on the street earlier.

 He spoke in a grated, london accent. “Who says you’ll get out alive?”

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