Our Days Are Numbered

Four friends embarked on a memorable trip in the countryside to celebrate the summer; however, while they were isolated from the world, they were unknowing of the mortifying reality that waited for them when they returned from paradise. They were young, free, and having fun, if there was one thing they weren’t, it was prepared. Especially for the hell-inflicting disaster of the zombie apocalypse. Darcy, Brooke, Sam and Jamie have one task, and one task only, and that is to survive.

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14. Fourteen

"Don't move!" shouts a voice from the other side of the room. I don't turn my head, partially because I don't want my brains blown out of my skull, but also because it's far too dark in the room to distinguish a figure anyway.

I was frozen in time, petrified of breathing. I could feel Sam's staggered breath on my shoulder, Brooke and Jamie behind us, utterly motionless. Out of the corner of my eye I see the figure move closer to us, still pointing the gun. They strike a match. Lighting a candle, the figure approaches us, another small figure behind her. It was a woman, and presumably her child. She looks frail, weak, pale and so very hungry. The child cowers behind her, clutching onto her waist.

"Who are you?" She warns, thrusting the candle toward my face to illuminate it, upon noticing I am not a Crawler, she relaxes ever so slightly.

"I'm Darcy, this is Sam, Brooke and Jamie." I tell her, "We didn't realise there was anybody in here, we had to escape." I point out the window and she rushes over, her hand covering her mouth in horror when she notices just how many are out there. She shuts the window and pulls the curtains closed.

"Come with me," she ushers, and we follow her through the darkened rooms, her candlelight the only source of illumination. Sam's fingers slip into mine and he gives my hand a squeeze of reassurance. We know it is dangerous trusting anyone but our own in today's world, but we're desperately running out of options.

We all follow her through the house, and she stops at a wooden staircase, leading up into the roof. "Up here," she says, "stay quiet."

The room isn't exactly grand – cramped is an understatement. It's completely dark except for the feeble candle the lady places in the middle of the room. There's a small window at the end of the room, facing the street. The small girl walks over to the window while the woman busies herself fetching blankets and such from a storage cupboard at the other end of the room. It was only until I heard the soft whimpering that I realised the girl was crying. Soft tears rolled down her cheeks as she looked outside at the crowds of Crawlers attempting to break into the house next door.

"Hey sweetie, I think you should get away from there." Sam murmurs, placing his hand on her shoulder.

"I think you should leave me alone," she scowls, pushing Sam's hand off her. "You don't even know me."

"Robyn!" her mother snaps, "I'm so sorry about her." Sam just looks at me and shrugs, we all sit on the wooden floor on a blanket the woman had placed on the ground.

"I'm Helen, and this is my daughter Robyn," she tells us, pointing to her daughter sat in the corner of the room, staring out the window.

"Why did you let us in?" I ask, curious.
"Truthfully? We've not seen a human soul in weeks. We were starting to think nobody had made it." She looks down at her hands, her fading blonde hair drooping in front of her face.

Thinking about it, neither have we. "We are in the country," I try and reassure her, "a lot of people are probably just lying low." She nods uncertainly.

She goes on to tell us about how she and Robyn got here. "My husband, Michael, he went off to the city to join the Silver Lanterns. They needed strong, intelligent males for the association. You know, so they can try and figure out what this thing is and where it came from." Tears begin to silently roll down her cheeks and onto the wooden floorboards. "That was eight months ago. We had nowhere else to go when we left; it was by chance we found this little town, decided to stock up on food, occasionally going out for supplies. Now it's just the two of us."

She is talking to Jamie about our plans, to which his replies are vague seeing as we didn't have a constructed plan past climbing out the window. I'm too tired and I'm zoning in and out of the conversation, but the thing that mostly has my attention is Sam's thumb tracing circles on the back of my hand and his head resting on my shoulder, his eyes blinking sleepily.

"We're going to be okay," he whispers, bringing the back of my hand to his lips. He looks up and smiles at me, a genuine smile that, for the first time, makes me believe those words.

"What… what is that?" Helen's precarious voice shakes me from my drowsiness. "Is that…? Are you…?" I look up and she has her eyes fixated on my shoulder. "Are you infected? Are you?" She yells. She's pointing her gun at me. Sam jumps up to stop her but she turns the gun on him.

"No," Sam says, putting up his hands in defense, "You don't understand. She's immune. She was bitten twelve hours ago. Twelve hours ago."

"Don't lie to me. Don't." Helen's eyes blaze with fury and Robyn has turned to me, her eyes terror-ridden.

"He's not lying, Helen. She is immune. She would have Turned eleven hours ago." Jamie pipes up standing with Sam in front of me.

"I'm not infected, I swear."

Helen sceptically lowers her gun and sighs audibly.

"But how is that possible?" She questions, eying my shoulder. "Do you mind?" She says, motioning to the bubbly skin beneath my t-shirt. I shake my head no, and she peels back the material to reveal the pink calloused flesh, scattered with the odd teeth mark. "I don't… believe it. Eleven hours ago, you say?" I nod my head.

"What should we do? Where do we go?" Brooke blurts out, and we look at Helen, in the hopes she has answers.

She sighs loudly and perches on the window for a long while, her hand on her chin in thought. "If she really is immune like you say she is, you can't just sit around and wait to die, you need to do something. They need you for a cure; you could end this whole thing. You need to go to the city."

"The city?" I ask, "how far away is that?"
"Around three hours by car, that's providing none of the major roads have been closed due to hordes and hordes of zombies."
"Our truck has enough fuel for an hour and a half journey, if that." Jamie chips in.
"We've got some fuel in containers in the garage, and there's bound to be some left over in some of the cars outside. There must be." Helen muses, looking out the window at the few dozen abandoned vehicles scattering the street.

We all look amongst each other, an air of uncertainty between us. We know if we go into the city there was a big chance we wouldn't make it out again. But what other choice do we have?

"We'll do it." I say, "We'll go to the city. We're gonna find the Silver Lanterns."

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