ZA

“There’s no right and wrong any more. Just living and dying.”
What do you do when your worst nightmares become reality? Dreams shattered in a heartbeat. Lifelong plans torn from your grasp. Is surviving the most you can wish for?
Get supplies. Stay hidden. If they come, run. Fast.
Zane Carlisle is thrust into a world of terror and extinction, but all he can think about is protecting the girl he loves and those she cares for. Without her, the world would be a grey, empty space where only the dead walk the streets.
But what if it’s not possible? What if you can’t escape? Do you keep fighting?
Or do you give in…?
* ©Molly Looby ©Molten Publishing *
OUT NOW! http://bit.ly/ZApaperback

45Likes
86Comments
11379Views

4. THREE

We were the only zombies when we first stepped onto the bus, but with every stop, more members of the undead joined us.

“You’re taking that hoodie off when we get there, right?” Jay turned to me. Gemma and Callie were chatting and giggling behind us.

“What? No. It’s freezing.” The sharp October air was growing colder and colder by the day.

“But it’s not even ripped.” He crossed his arms. “You didn’t commit.”

“Nobody committed like you did.”

Hair ruffled and smeared with fake blood, eyes covered in dark makeup, and blood dribbling from his lips, Jay was by far the scariest person I’d sat next to on a bus. And that was saying something. He’d wanted to create a wound on his whitened face but had run out of time. Callie had gone pale when he'd descended the stairs with moments to spare.

“You wait. You’ll have the lamest costume.”

When the bus stopped, the undead shuffled to the front and out onto the street. I did a double take when I took in the number of zombies. The pavement was crammed with them, chatting, drinking coffee, and eating chips. Some of their costumes looked expensive, like they’d had a makeup artist working on them. A few people looked like zombies down to the finest detail. Well, how I imagined zombies to look. I hid a shudder by rubbing my arms. Zombies didn’t exist.

Callie grabbed my hand tight, and Gemma whistled as she took in the sight surrounding us.

“Wow. That’s a lot of dead people.”

Jay turned to us, blue eyes brighter than I’d ever seen them, even behind the dark makeup. “This is awesome.”

We followed behind him, nudging our way through the crowd of people who didn’t seem to notice us. The closer we grew to the pier, the more toes I almost stepped on. The undead might not care about their toes being crushed, but I did. A broken toe was not an option.

“Jay!” I had to yell over the hum of voices. I pointed to a fish and chip shop on the other side of the street. Jay nodded, leading us away from the horde.

“This is incredible,” Jay said as he wiped the rain water off his rusty seat and sat down. “Crazy.”

Callie zipped her fleece up over her mouth. “Can’t we go in?”

“Erm, Cal.” Gemma sat next to Jay. “We don’t wanna disturb the living.” She went to put her hand in her hair and stopped as she felt its hugeness. Gemma’s hair had been backcombed and left to its wild devices. Massive was the only way I could describe it. I was glad Callie had sat next to her on the bus.

As the least scary of the group, Callie and I went in to order. She twisted a strand of hair around in her fingers. Callie had backcombed her hair this morning. She'd also slept with it in a plait to create some kind of volume. It hadn’t gone to plan though as it just looked wavier than normal. She wasn’t scary-looking even when she was trying to be.

Even so, people were gawping at us like they hadn’t seen the horde outside. I listened to the radio and pretended to be interested in the menu on the wall to hide from their stares.

“—taken a turn for the worse with almost all participants, most of which are children, showing fatal decline. The worst cases are becoming unresponsive, and the death rate is rising by the hour. Professionals worked through the night to do whatever they could to slow the effect of the vaccine that some are now calling Juvenile Virus.

“Cool costumes,” the guy behind the counter said, breaking my concentration from the radio. “Looks huge this year. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

“Neither have we.”

Gemma and Jay were staring at the crowd of people when we returned. The table wobbled as I put everything down and leant on it, the metal legs squeaking.

“Am I even going to be able to see anything?” Callie asked as she sat down.

“Good point,” Jay said, wrenching his eyes from the zombies. “I didn’t think of that. You guys’ll be fine.” He looked to me and Gemma. “It sucks being short.”

“I dunno what you’re worried about, Jay.” Gemma had only just finished her chip and another was making its way to her mouth. “There’s nothing to look at.”

We all fell silent as someone dressed as a zombie bride raced to her group of friends, almost toppling over she was going so fast. They caught and steadied her. It was almost as though the entire group froze. One of them leant in closer, and the zombie bride nodded. Their faces dropped, their eyes widened, and they were running down the street like it was their last chance to beat their personal bests.

“What’s going on?” Callie narrowed her eyes as the horde watched them sprint out of sight.

“That was weird.” Gemma wiped her hands on her combat trousers and didn’t go for another chip.

Somebody who’d been behind the group was shaking his head and pulling his friend’s arm, saying something. Nobody took any notice of him for another minute or so until he started talking to the lady next to him. She, like the zombie bride before her, rushed to her pack of friends. They all seemed to laugh at her, grins on their faces, except a girl with red hair who took her hand, yelling something to those around her.

At once, feet were moving, and the crowd scattered in every direction. People were running. Sprinting. A wave of something was happening. The moment it hit us, I stood up.

“I don’t like this.”

Callie’s hand was in mine.

“Hey!” Gemma jumped up and tried to catch the attention of a cheerleader zombie. People whizzed by, crossing the street without paying much attention. They flew past Gemma as though she wasn’t there.

My breaths seemed too loud as I watched hundreds of people all decide to move at once. I squashed Callie’s hand in mine, like she could ground me. My heart was thumping hard, and my stomach was writhing.

“Hey!” Gemma grabbed a guy by the shoulders this time, stopping him. “What is going on?”

“Get off me!” He flung her towards the fish and chip shop. She landed on the table, breaking it, the old legs giving way.

“Hey!” I stepped in his path as he went to take off again, Callie letting go of me to help Gemma. “What’s your problem?”

He darted round me and kept running. All I could do was turn and watch him go.

“You all right, Gem?” I dragged my eyes from all the commotion as Callie and Jay pulled her up.

“Fine.” She looked at her hands as she stood up, groaning. “What a jerk.”

People inside the fish and chip shop piled up at the window, looking to where the table had stood.

Jay stepped closer to the road and beckoned us over. “Come on.”

Gemma shouted an apology about the table as we crossed the road again to a spot where hundreds of people had been five minutes ago. The chaos seemed to be spreading in both directions, more people freaking out and running for their lives every second.

“There.” Jay pointed to a man sitting on a bench, watching the disarray unfold. He had made a similar effort to us, wearing bloodstained, old clothes, nothing too wild. “He might answer us.”

Callie had her phone pressed against her ear as we approached the man. “Dad! Dad, please come and pick us up.” Her eyes were big as they darted from one person to another. “I don’t know, but please come fast.”

“Hey.” Jay gave half a wave to the man. “Do you know what’s going on here?”

The man shook his head.

“Hello?”

He put his head in his hands. “Oh god.”

“Jay.” Gemma pulled Jay back. “Come on.” She led us down the street, closer and closer to all the drama. “This doesn’t make any sense. They’re acting like a bomb has gone off or something.”

My muscles wound tight as we grew nearer to the crazy scatter of people, stepping over belongings that had been dropped and forgotten. Callie’s voice was growing more high-pitched as she begged Michael to collect us.

I was wishing for Mum’s car even more than yesterday.

We found ourselves in a line as we reached a crowd of people again, Gemma at the front, ketchup down the back of her hoodie. I positioned myself at the back where I could see Callie.

Everyone was talking so fast I couldn’t understand them. Only a few words broke through to me.

Alive. No. Dead. Awake. Run.

“I don’t like this, Jay,” I called to him over Callie’s head. He shot me a look, pressing his lips together.

We couldn’t move faster than the panic. The casual group of zombies sipping coffee bolted before we could get close enough to ask a question. Worried faces wobbled in and out of sight. Gemma picked up the pace.

“Hey!” She jumped up, waving an arm in the air before leading us to a group of twenty-somethings who were smirking at the whole situation. “Do you guys know what’s going on?”

“People are crazy, that’s what’s going on.” The man wiped fake blood from his mouth.

“It’s hysterical,” one of his friends said. “They’re lunatics.”

“But do you know exactly what’s going on?” Gemma pulled up her huge hair with a hairband on her wrist. “Seems pretty serious.”

Callie yelped as a woman bumped into her, spilling tea all down her fleece. The woman didn’t even apologise, dropping the paper cup and continuing.

Callie buried her face in my hoodie. “I don’t like this.”

I stroked her hair and wrapped my arms around her. “It’ll be all right.”

“They’re saying something about zombies,” a girl said, rolling her eyes. “They’re freaks.”

“They said what?” Jay stepped forward.

“Something about the vaccine. They think the people dying from it are getting back up.”

“Wait. Someone came back to life?”

The girl chuckled, but it didn’t sound right in the air. “Of course not. Just a misunderstanding.”

Jay took a step back, biting down on his lip. “Let’s get out of here.”

“What?” Gemma spun him to face her. “You can’t seriously believe that’s what’s happening?”

“Mob mentality,” one of the guys said. “It’s a powerful thing.”

“I don’t care. We’re going.”

We all looked up the road as a bone-shaking scream cut through us. It was followed by yells and shrieks.

And everything was noise.

Join MovellasFind out what all the buzz is about. Join now to start sharing your creativity and passion
Loading ...