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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9. Nine

With every second my chest coils tighter, suffocating me. I have to do something; it's not going to go away now. It's got our scent. I clasp Sam's pistol to my chest, and the Crawler drags his cold, dead fingers across the tent once more. I involuntarily shiver. I squeeze my eyes closed and breathe for just a second. I creep the few feet to the tent opening. It's closed, but I can see the silhouette of the walking corpse outside. It can smell me. It can smell my flesh. It can smell the blood coursing through my veins. It can hear my heart hammering in my ribcage.

I do it. Before I can even think, I open the tent door and its cloudy eyes and cracking neck turn to me. I step back to get further away from it. Thankfully it's a slow one, and I aim the pistol for its forehead. I shoot, and the already lifeless body cascades to the floor in a pile of flesh. I let out the breath I didn't realise I was holding.

I proceed back to the tent; the others are probably awake now, if that gunshot didn't wake them up nothing would. I went to move. But I didn't. I stopped dead. A cold, revolting set of fingers rest on my shoulder. A twig crunches underneath my trembling legs. The knot in my stomach twists tighter with every nanosecond, and I think I'm going to vomit. I face the figure behind me, female, with dull, milky eyes, and the absence of her jaw makes her tongue loll out of her mouth. She's newly Turned. Her eyes are cloudy, but not as cloudy as most. She seems to take in a deep breath, I don't even know why they breathe, it's meaningless. Maybe she's trying to cling to the human life she once was. But not for long. I shoot her in the forehead and her now limp body falls to the ground in a bundle of tangled, rotting limbs.

There's movement in the tent. Sam's the first out, a panicked, completely terrified expression etched on his face; like a deer caught in headlights. He looks around for me, and his face relaxes when he sees me standing feebly, with a pistol in my hand like I know what I'm doing.

"I thought you were…" his breath is ragged and all over the place, "I thought you were dead." He grabs my face in his hands. His arms hold me to his chest in a tight embrace; all I can hear is the thud, thud, thudding of his heart against my temple. He pulls away and angrily runs his hands through his beautiful brown hair. "Why didn't you wake me?! You could have been killed Darcy, goddamnit."

I don't know what to say. "You were all sleeping. I didn't want to cause a drama. I could handle it." I say quietly, scuffing my feet against the forest floor like a guilty child.

"Next time," he says with pleading eyes, "wake me up. Please." He grabs my hand and we all huddle back into the tent. I don't say anything else. I'm quiet. My brain is still whirring. That Crawler was an actual woman no less than an hour ago. Maybe her family is out there. Maybe they're dead. Well she's dead now, for sure. Maybe she abandoned her family in order to keep them safe. Or maybe she killed them…

Sam takes my fingers in his, and rubs his thumb gently over the back of my hand, intently watching my face for any signs of expression other than hopelessness. Jamie and Brooke have gone back to sleep after Sam insisted. "There's no point all of us being awake." He said.

I feel my eyes begin to droop. The adrenaline is wearing off, and Sam notices. "C'mere." He says, opening his arm for me to lay on him. I muster up half a smile with all the energy I have. He's warm, so wonderfully warm. I nestle into his side and let my eyes sink closed. I could drift into a beautiful sleep, for there was nowhere safer than Sam's arms, and for the first time, it allows me forget about this hell around us.

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