The End

Everyone knows how a zombie apocalypse begins. But how does it end? My entry for the Zombie competition. 1,348 words.

After a two year nightmare, Holly and a group of survivors make their final stand on the roof of a supermarket in the hopes of making a town safe again.

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1. The End

It is sunset. They sky changes from orange to dark purple and blue – above us, all around us. This is the day it will all end.

We are all standing on the roof of the supermarket we have been hiding out in for the past month. Everyone is hungry and tired and waiting to die. It has been hell on earth for the last two years, but no more.

Brenda, my neighbour before all this started, stands next to me, gun in hand. I look up at her still figure; the only movement is her ebony pony tail slowly lifting in the breeze as she stares out across the empty roads and houses. My brown hair does not lift in the breeze as Brenda’s does – it is cut shot for practicality.

She sees me looking at her from the corner of her eye and smiles slightly. Her dark skinned face and shoulders are littered with scars, but I ignore them. ‘Everything will be okay.’ Brenda says to me.

I nod once, though I do not believe her. It was the same thing she said when she saved me from my family, and things are still yet to be “okay”.

She goes back to looking in the distance and I do the same. I can feel my hands sweating as I hold my own gun, ready. My heart beat increases, rising up to my throat and mouth. I inhale deeply, trying to stay calm, repeating Brenda’s words in my head over and over, and trying to fool myself into believing them. Everything will be okay.

Breathing in deeply does not do as much good as I hoped. It only reminds me of where I am, as the smells get to me. It stinks… of urine and sweat, rotting flesh and blood… dirt… death… The same stench is everywhere, no matter how hard I try to ignore them.

Suddenly Jack speaks from the other side of the roof. He begins counting down from five. The wait is over. When he gets to one the silence that was all around us is dispelled. A loud, screeching, repetitive buzzing sound fills the air. Some people on top of the building shift and look around. They weren’t ready.

Brenda was ready. She adjusts her position and keeps her eyes on the ground, raising her weapon, as the dead start to appear.

Soon there is nothing but the buzzing alarm and gunfire. My ears are ringing. My heart will not stop beating in my mouth. More and more of the walking corpses appear, attracted to the sound. Shots echo, including my own. The bodies fall. More appear. Shots. Falling. Zombies. Bang. Dead. Bang. Dead. Bang.

So many bodies…

More than Jack thought…

Crash. They have broken through the glass.

‘HOLLY.’ In a light headed daze, I turn to see Jack yelling my name by the door on the roof. ‘COME ON!’ He shouts to me over and over. I see others jumping off the edge behind him.

Brenda is not beside me. Where did she go?

I look down at the ground, now covered in rotting bodies and blood - some on the ground, some walking. I turn back to Jack, who is still yelling at me. Hastily, I force myself to step forward, to run towards him. The chain on locked door next to him rattles. My chest tightens.

‘COME ON!’ Jack yells again, his brow is furrowed but his eyes are wide with panic. The moment I reach him, he puts a hand on my shoulder. ‘JUMP!’ He orders me.

I barely have time to survey the ground below. It is covered with blood and dirt and a few bodies. None are walking, though. For a second I see Brenda, shooting a zombie nearby below, clearing the way. The alarm is louder than ever over here. I jump.

A blinding pain hits me as I hit the ground. My arm is on fire. But I have to get up, I have to keep moving or I will die. I open my eyes and see a rotting face. Lifeless wild eyes look back at me. Quickly I move back, away from the body. Then I realise it cannot see me. There is a bullet hole in its head. It has gone.

Catching my breath, I stand, before taking out my gun. Blood is trickling down my arm. A lot of blood. Mine or someone else’s I do not know, but I cannot do anything about it now.

Jack is nearby to my left, shooting zombies coming around the corner. A pile of bodies lies at his feet. But when he tries to shoot the next one his gun clicks. The zombie does not drop, it keeps going for him.

Without hesitation, I raise my gun and shoot. Now it drops. Jack looks at me over his shoulder. His short beard is stained with red, and his blonde hair is slicked back with sweat. He runs over to me and grabs my hand. We run.

The buzzing of the alarm never stops as we sprint through the car park towards the trees. I see the other survivors trying to fight off the other zombies but they are beyond saving now. Swarms of the dead surround them and begin to feast.

I try to stop for one of them – my friend Melony. Jack grips my hand tighter and pulls me away, keeping us moving. I want to try to resist, to go back for her. She is only sixteen. But deep down I know it is no use. There are too many.

We pass a body lying on the ground being devoured. It is Brenda. I shoot the zombie eating her, as we continue running. My eyes begin to water.

Jack trips.

‘No!’ I cry, pulling with all my strength to get him to his feet. Everyone is dead. He is not leaving me now. I panic, seeing some zombies approach us left and right. ‘Jack, get up!!’

He gets to his feet as fast as he can and I shoot at the closest zombie to the right. We break out into a sprint through the chaos as the last shots die out. The sound of the alarm fades away, and soon it is just our heavy breathing and the dead’s shallow breaths.

The last sunlight disappears into the night, and we keep running. Across the roads, round a corner, hordes of zombies block our ways. How many could there be?

Jack and I turn into an empty street with the zombies chasing behind us. There are rows of houses on either side and then… a dead end. A wall too high to climb. We are trapped. We run to the end. Jack searches desperately for an escape, a way out… there has to be one.

He turns to me and I look up at him, out of breath. ‘I’m sorry.’ He says, still holding my hand tightly.

A tear rolls down my cheek.

Rapid gun shots ring through the air.

Jack and I look past the mass of the dead to try and find the source of the sound. But the dead are falling. The zombies that had been coming towards us drop like flies.

Cars.

Cars drive towards them, with people shooting at them from the tops. The zombies barely have a chance to look at them before they fall. In minutes the road is cleared of them and the cars stop near us.

I let out a sigh of relief, trying to catch my breath. I want to sit down and weep. Suddenly Jack is hugging me very tightly. I hear his relieved breathing and hold onto him, hardly believing what was happening.

People begin to step out of their vehicles. Jack and I pull apart as one of the people come towards us. He is wearing some kind of military uniform.

‘What are your names?’ He asks.

‘Jack.’ Jack answers.

I can barely speak. ‘H-Holly.’

‘Well, Jack and Holly,’ the man speaks and smiles at us. ‘You’re both lucky to be alive.’ 

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