Blood and Ash

James Kiely has one messed up excuse of a love life. He wakes up one morning next to the reason for it, and suddenly realises life has taken a turn for the better. Unfortunately, he picked the worst morning ever to wake up after sleeping with his best friend.
He picked the apocalypse. This is my entry for the gaming fan fiction contest on the grounds that it is based on The Walking Dead PC game, which I love. Although I have decided to set it in another country, somewhere far away, so I have some of my own credibility. I wanted to write myself a lovely little story, a romcom, but also decided to mix it up somewhat. Unfortunately it isn't easy to do that, so I hope it works out. If it does, I'll ask Movellas to introduce Zombie Apocalypse Romcoms to the categories list.

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4. Direction

The first thing Amy noticed about it was the huge emphasis places on the word "panic". The second thing she noticed was their incorrect grammar, on the line that told the population that "their greatest enemy is panic". All things considered, it seemed like a hugely rushed poster.

"They were certainly in a hurry to get it out," James remarked.

"That, or they're just that illiterate."
Amy managed an awkward laugh, James merely smiled grimly. It was hardly anything, but it was all they could cling on to. Amy didn't want to spoil the moment, but there was something she didn't understand, and she felt like she needed to understand.

"Are they alive, then?"

"I'm honestly not sure, Amy."

"They must be, if they can move."

"I'm not so sure. But something tells me we'll only know for sure if we head to the south."

"But this says to head north?"

"Maybe they're trying to get everyone away from the problem. Besides, there are a lot of benefits of going south."

"Like?"

"Well, for a start, you're almost completely removing the human element."

"How?"

"Everyone's going up, so the further down we go, the more deserted it should be."

"Or the more-" she hesitated slightly "-zombies there will be."

"Perhaps. But we won't find out until move, and at the moment we're going nowhere."

He made to get up, but Amy didn't move in kind. Instead, she just sat there, giving him a look he couldn't quite place. After a second or so of thought, he decided that it was probably best to carry on. This proved to be the wrong move to make, as she continued to sit. There was no question that she'd need some convincing. Unfortunately, James had already played a bad card.

"Amy, I didn't have to bring you with me..."

That card was even worse. It only made her more hostile.

"Why did you bring me with you?"

That made things very edgy for James. She'd forced his hand, and hers was clearly the better of the two.

"Amy..." He hesitated.

"What? Spit it out!"

"That riot wasn't a riot. It was something a lot worse. And I wouldn't be able to live with myself had I left you."

For a moment, Amy started, but as though someone flicked a switch inside her head she then became quite sheepish. She didn't even know what she was expecting as a response, just that she wanted to throw every argument she had at him. Now it felt as though she was being difficult to him.

Which, she realised, she was.

Without another word, Amy got up, slung her bag over one shoulder, and took the pistol out of the holster James had given to her, before putting her rucksack on properly. She threw a quick glance in the direction of James' knife belt, then turned to walk with him.

"I'm sorry," she finally said, after twenty minutes of silence between them.

"It's to be expected," was the reply. James didn't even make eye contact with her. This annoyed Amy slightly.

A knife was slid casually out of the holster, this one a small, flat affair with a concave, rounded top. It was a silver colour, and looked extremely light. James just took it by the hilt and began to swing it backward and forward, looking around.

"James," Amy started, momentarily breaking James' line of thought.

"Yes?"

"Where did you learn all of that? Like, the shooting and the knife stuff?"

James paused for a moment. "I taught myself. Something might never happen, but if it does, I'm ready. At the end of the day, I'm healthy, and it turns out now that the skills I have are utterly invaluable."

"Are you even allowed to have that many knives?"

"Most of them are army surplus."

"And the rest?"

"Completely illegal." There were no two ways about it.

"I suppose that gun is illegal, then?"

"Nope, that's mine. I go to the range twice a week. Do about 200 rounds every time..." This didn't have the intended effect on Amy, so he stressed it some more. "When you shoot that much, it becomes instinctive."

"You were practicing for this?"

"I was practicing for anything like this." That wasn't a lie; he knew how valuable a skill set like that was in any abnormal situation.

Amy decided to steer the conversation in a slightly different direction. "Where are we going?"

"Southmount."

Amy stopped dead. Before James even had time to register what she had done, he was bombarded by a blistering array of abuse, thrown at him like hot rocks.

"You can't go there, you idiot!! We'd be dead under normal circumstancess! Why the hell do you try and survive up to now, just so you can get yourself killed and called a terrorist there! Oh yeah, let's all be James Kellett, I might throw myself into a burning building or shoot my chest with my own shotgun!"

"Amy..."

"I'm not done yet! You can't expect me to come with you now!"

"We're not going directly to Southmount..."

"Oh, that makes it all better! Thank God for that! You stupid-"

That was as far as she managed to get before James pulled out his Wolfsbane and flicked it into his left palm. Amy froze again, her first thought being that James was about to kill her off, just as easily as he murdered those people in Karem. No, she thought, a split second later. That wouldn't make sense. There had to be something dangerous ahead. And big.

Although when he rounded the corner, all thoughts of anger directed at James disappeared, shortly followed by her sense of security.

It was Pitrille.

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