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.


6. Teamwork

 Private Leon Jacobs ran down the stairs as he heard the outburst of bullets.

 God damn you, sir.

 He suddenly heard a clatter of metal and found a bin lid rolling on the ground. He lifted his pistol and scanned the lower yard for any sign of movement. There was something there, he knew that for sure, the question was what it was. For all he knew it could have been a local cat. The suspense was beginning to tear him apart.

 “Who’s there?” He shouted into the empty space, “Have you any symptoms?”

 No response.

 “Show yourself now or I am more inclined to shoot you when I find you.”

 “Alright , alright!” A voice came from behind the tree. Three teens revealed themselves, surrendering. Leon saw no symptoms of the disease and lowered the firearm. The boys gave a sigh of relief.

 “Sorry about that.” Leon started “Better safe than sorry, right?”

 “I admire your optimism.” The taller boy replied “But as it happens, i just had a gun pointed at me, so I’m not in the best mood right now.”

 Leon huffed “What are your names? You obviously aren’t with the army.”

 The smaller of the three stepped forward. “I’m Aiden. These are my friends, Jack and Nate. We’ve got a load of others in the evac centre.”

 “I’m Private Leon Jacobs, we were pulled in to see if we could sterilise the area, must have missed you three on the way down. Why didn’t you go with your friends?”

 Jack stepped up. “We saw the helicopters and knew that you were hiding something from us. Kids these days don’t really like dishonesty. And anyway, we were wondering if there was anything we could do.”

 There was something about Jack that Leon liked, his rebellious side reminded him of a younger self. “Well, you really shouldn’t be up here. I’ll escort you down to the evac centre. It’s not safe up here and you know it.”

 “Hang on!” Aiden shouted out, “You haven’t told us what the hell is going on! Why is there tape all over the place? What the hell are army troops doing in Evesham? We want answers and we’re not leaving until we get them.”

 “Look-” Right before Leon was going to assume the little authority he had, one of the lumbering creatures appeared from the A block doors, eyes trained on the three boys.The Private reached for his sidearm holster. Instinctively, Jack thought this was an indication that he was going to kill the boys himself and pushed his friends out of his range. This actually helped the Private giving him a clear shot with civilians out the way. He unloaded five shots into the creature's chest, but he continued to stagger towards them, his black eyes and sickening boiles glimmering in the sunlight.

 “What the bloody hell is that shit!?” Aiden shouted.

 “Looks a bit like Mr. James...” Jack quivered.

 The teacher had prioritised the Private is the main target.

 Why won’t this son of a bitch die!?

 He unloaded another magazine into the creature, who continued to advance. Finally, he targeted the head of the creature, pulling the trigger with no hesitation. The bullet impacted the teacher’s temple with a squelching thud and with a dying scream, he fell to the floor. The boys approached Leon, who was slowly putting away his pistol, making sure the creature was dead.

 “What... was that...” Jack exclaimed, staying behind the safety of the guy with the gun.

 “We’re not sure yet... but some of the guys are calling these things Zombies. Makes sense really.” He replied.

 “Wow... and what, these are all there is?”

 “Well, there is something else. There’s this mutation in some of them, it’s like they’re the leaders of the packs, been called ‘Brainiacs’. I think your headteacher turned into one.”

 “Oh my god!” He exclaimed “Dr Stevens turned into one of these!? I don’t believe it!”

 Suddenly, Leon stared at Jack closely. “Sorry kid,” He started, “what did you say your name was again?”

 “Jack. Jack Nixon.”

 Oh god... The paramedic...

 He realised that Helen Nixon, the woman who was killed by his battalion, was Jack’s mother. While he knew how much this was important, he needed all the help he could get. And if these boys had any potential, there is no way he was going to stop that.

 “Why’d you ask?” Jack asked, noticing Leon’s suspicious look.

 “... No reason. Just making sure I got it right. I might need you lot.”

 Jack turned away, not entirely satisfied, and looked at the body again, trying to take in the amount of shit that had happened over these few days.

 I need to get my head straight...

 But he had no time. There was an ear piercing scream, human this time, coming from the astroturf.

 “What the hell is going on?” Aiden asked as he saw masses of school children and teachers running from the noise. He saw Shaun with the girls start running towards them.

 “Shaun, what’s going on?” shouted Nate.

 “Dr. Stevens is attacking kids! Completely unprovoked, he just ran onto the court and started sinking his teeth into them! Janie almost got caught but I grabbed her just in time.”

 “Good work mate.” Jack patted Shaun on the shoulder and went over to Janie. “Janie, you okay?”

 She shakily shook her head and Jack hugged her.

 “He almost got me, Jack...” She said through his blazer.

 “But he didn’t. We won’t let him. You hear me? We won’t.” He looked her in the eyes reassuringly. She nodded and he turned to the others. “Right, we need a plan.” He looked at the Private who had been daydreaming until now.

 “Okay...” Leon started, “Well, the word is, we need to get to the villages and low populated areas.”

 “I’ve got a house in Overbury, the others were coming back to mine anyway.” Lucy said, Jade nodding her head frantically.

 “Perfect. We need a way of getting down there. Like a bus or camper van or something.”

 “Hang on,” Aiden cut in, “Inches Lane. The place is full of old Volkswagen Camper Van’s. No keys though.”

 “That’s not a problem.” Private said proudly. “How do we get there?”

 “This way.” Jack said, pointing at the large gate in the fence by G block. It led out into Inches Lane, a mass of potholes and never-moving vehicles. They picked the first camper they saw and smashed the window to unlock the doors. The alarm blared into their ears, but the screams and army troops had obviously scared off the owners.

 “Let me work my magic...” Leon said, smugly. He opened a panel under the driving wheel, beginning to hotwire the camper van. After about a minute, the old van coughed into life, met with a cheer from the group.

 “Alright, everyone on.” Aiden called. He noticed the Private walking back to the school. “Hey, where do you think you’re going?”

 “They need me.” He called back, pointing at the helicopters in the distance.

 “They have guns of their own, Tom Cruise.” Aiden said, “We need you more than they do.”

 Leon looked at the choppers and nodded in agreement. Jack and Nate, who were covering the perimeter with a couple of poles they had found in the car repairman further up the street, were about to clamber into the crowded van, when Nate stopped in his tracks.

 “Dammit!” He cursed, looking back at the school. “We need to go back!”

 “You’ve gotta be kidding!”Jack exclaimed.

 “Look, there’s something in Victoria Avenue that I can’t leave without! It’s more important than anything!”

 Victoria Avenue was the narrow street leading up to the front entrance of the school. The quickest way to get there was back through the school, but that was way too dangerous. The longer way was out of Inches Lane and round. It would take about ten minutes.

 “Fine, but we go the longer way.”

 Nate cursed again. “Fine, but if it is in any way damaged, it’s on your head, and all of this will be for nothing.”

 Jack rolled his eyes and looked into the van. “Okay guys, we need to get something from Victoria Avenue. We’ll find another way over there, so if you go now, it won’t be as bad as it will be later.”

 Most of the van was in shock, except Aiden, who nodded in agreement. Suddenly Leon got out of the van.

 “Aiden can drive the camper van, I’m with you, you’ll need me.”

 “Fine.” Jack said reluctantly. Lucy jumped up and grabbed Jack by the blazer collar.

 “You make sure you come back, alright?” She said through tears.

 Jack kissed her on the forehead. “I always do.”

 She sat back down, eyes trained on Jack, and they drove out of the lane and towards Overbury. The three of them looked on.

 “This better be worth it, Nate” Jack hissed.

 “Oh believe me, it is.”

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