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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13. Thirteen

"So does this mean..." Jamie says hesitantly, his eyes no longer fixated on his wounded leg.

"There's a cure?" I whisper, my voice almost inaudible. I look up at Sam for any signs of a response. He nods at me slowly. His blue eyes flicker an expression between optimism and hope; for a second I feel like the weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

Then it all comes plummeting down on me again like a tonne of bricks. "That means… theoretically… I'm the be-all and end-all of the human race. If I die, there's no hope." I'm crying again. "I can't deal with that kind of responsibility. I don't have it in me."

"Darcy, come on, if there's any person with the guts to hold the world in their hands it's you." Brooke says, but I shake my head no.  Sam's hands wrap around mine, his large calloused fingers allow warmth to seep into my body.

"You think?" I say, Sam's thumb wiping away a stray tear from my cheek.  He smiles at me as if it's obvious.

"Of course. You're the strongest person I know." She tells me and gives me a genuine smile.  I feebly attempt to return it, but all I can muster is a pathetic look of hopelessness, one of my many wonderful traits.

"We need to consider a plan of action."  Brooke tells us, showing initiative and reiterating the fact if we don't think of a plan soon we'll most probably be dead within the next week, two if we're lucky.

"Well do you have any bright ideas?" Sam asks, his voice sharp. I send him a look and he slowly recoils, but doesn't look apologetic in any way. She shakes her head no.

"Well I think we've safely established that the situation isn't improving and things aren't getting any better." I pause momentarily, looking for the upsides, "but I suppose it's not getting worse either."

That's when I hear it. Muffled groans, screeches, the sounds of staggered footfalls on worn out concrete. The battering of broken, bloody hands on wooden doors. Cold, lifeless fingers squeaking across glass windows. We stop dead. Breathless. Terrified. No longer alone.

I remove Sam's hand from mine and wander over to the window, silently peeling back the feeble fabric of the curtain. The breath is sucked from my body. They've found us.

"Shit," I breathe. Hordes and hordes of them, they've caught our scent. We're surrounded. I turn back to look at the others. Judging by the look in my eye they know we need to take immediate action. "We need to get out of here right now."

Without stopping to think of any sort of logical strategy, Sam grabs together all our rifles, while Jamie and Brooke take responsibility for pulling together all our food supplies. I put out the candle in the bedroom and turn on our torch which is pretty useless as the light is so dim where we've had to conserve our batteries.

We contemplate exiting through the front door, but I remember how that would essentially be suicide. "Try round the back," Sam whispers, but I know that would most probably be surrounded as well. It's worth a shot. We stealthily crawl down the stairs, eager as to not even step on a fractionally loose floorboard. I can practically hear Sam's heartbeat from only a few metres behind me, and Brooke's silent whimpers are pretty much the only noise in the entire house.

I take the lead. I gently kick open the kitchen door with my foot, and I almost have a heart attack when the dog we'd let reside there came bundling over to me in a mass of black fur. I completely forgot about him seeing as he'd miraculously made such little noise. That's when I hear it again, this time closer, louder, more impatient.

We approach the back door when a decaying hand found its place tapping at the glass window. Its milky eyes meet with mine and my heart stops beating momentarily. Sam's fingers clasp around mine and tug me back, cocking his shotgun and aiming it at the glass that was beginning to splinter off into clear crystals. The Crawler pushes its hand through the broken glass, grasping and groping at the air.

"We have to find another way." Jamie says, whipping his knife out of its holder in his belt. State the fucking obvious. I begin to run frantically back up the stairs. I try executing plans of actions in my head but my thought processes are severely lacking behind my physical movements. We need higher ground.

"Up here!" I shout, and bundling footsteps up the stairs let me know they've heard me. Once they reach the top of the stairs Sam and Jamie pull a large dresser into the hallway and place it in at the top of the stairs, preventing – in reality more like delaying momentarily – the zombies from reaching the upstairs.

"Over there." I say, pointing to the window that is loosely opened. I don't even falter; before Sam can even tell me it's a ridiculous idea I'm already climbing outside, the cold air biting at my skin like the malicious creatures would be if I were 20 feet lower. I balance on the ledge, shimmying further and further away from the window.

Eventually the others follow me, and we're all out of the house. The Crawlers haven't caught on to our plan yet, but soon they will when they've caved in the doors and realise their precious feast has ran away. They won't stop looking for us.

That's when I spot a window, left on the latch half-heartedly, in the house next door. I seize the opportunity. "This way," I whisper, ushering the others behind me, clutching my backpack to my chest in fears of it plummeting to the ground. I'm the first to climb through into the house, desperate for safety. My breath hitches in my throat when the sound of a shotgun cocking stops me dead in my tracks.

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