The stars pierced the black sky like a gentle luminescent veil, only it would have been a more beautiful sight if we weren’t busy blasting the shit out of the undead. We were held up in the artillery room located in the back of a newly created fort known as ‘Titan’. Held up in the dark spot with the smell of rusted metal coming up from the very low pile of bullets and the empty shells of what once was, we contemplated our next move.
“How many of us are there” Ellie screamed over the groans of the undead and the bright light of the bullets being shot from the barrel of her gun.
“About twelve including ourselves-”
We looked back at the trembling figures we called our allies. They looked up at us with desperate and pleading eyes.
“Alright here’s the plan. We’re going to go up stairwell E to the roof; there we will jump across to the next building. The building should be nearly empty due to the all the commotion over here. We will make our way down into the basement parking lot. We should have two emergency evacuation cars with full tanks of gas, it should be able to accompany at the maximum of ten passengers spread amongst the two vehicles-” Rae was interrupted in the middle of her sentence by Susanna the former cook.
“What, that’s ridiculous who are we going to leave behind, because I am surely not going to!”
With her statement it caused an uproar amongst the small group. Many started pushing and shoving one another to assert their dominance. Rae and Ellie shouted over the crowd with no prevail.
Rae gave a deep sigh as she grabbed her gun and aimed it to the sky.
Her gun cracked open a low hanging cloud and silenced the bickering crowd. Ellie took a step forward and assured them that everyone would be okay.
After wasted time, they finally managed to get the others into formation. Rae took the front and Ellie took guard in the back. One by one they exited the artillery room and entered the hallway. Distant screams echoed through the hallways and instilled fear into the pack. We turned two corners before entering the door leading to the roof. Rae was immediately shoved against the wall; she held the decaying body away from her face with her arm clutching its throat. It snapped its jaws back and forth with hunger; each bite came closer to her face. Ellie took a step closer, but Rae already saw the carcass lying near the bottom of the staircase. That carcass was so familiar. It was Rae’s former friends sibling and Ellie could tell by the look on Rae’s face that her help would not be needed. A hint of anger sharpened her eyes and the next thing you know the undead was being thrown down the stairwell hitting its head on every step on the way down. An ear splitting crack marked the official death of the undead. Ellie smiled and lifted Rae back up and on to her feet.
Back in formation they marched up the stairs. The door to the roof was already unlocked.
“Shit, Rae come here” Rae quickly flashes her a look and nods.
“The door has already been opened. We must assume that someone might have had the same idea as us-” A familiar groan was heard from the opposite side of the roof.
A body on the floor was hovered over by the undead. They turned their attention to the fresh meat making their way through the narrow doorway and onto the roof with nowhere to go.
“Ellie, I think it’s safe to say that the guy who broke the door didn’t manage to get very far” Rae wiped the sweat from her forehead and turned to the zombies.
“Get them to the car. I’ll meet you there.” Ellie looked at Rae. Her stance of impenetrable bravery and strength is what gave her hope. Not even the crippling dark sky could dull the brightness of her eyes.
Ellie waved over to the next building preparing everyone for the four foot jump and the three foot drop. Although it wasn’t much, if you were to mess up you’d be making your way down to the cement faster than being eaten by the undead. One by one they all made it across and Rae’s gunshots became comfort. Rae never missed. After four shots she hurled herself over the large A/C until and onto the edge of the building. She pressed her heel hard into the ground and jumped to the next building.
“I knew you’d be fine” Ellie smiled as Rae turned to her and said “When am I not.” A small hint of a smile was on her lips.
Ellie kicked open the door and looked down the stairs. All clear.
One by one we rushed down the stairs checking doors and guns. Finally we were in the basement. There was a horde of the undead in the parking lot, most likely due to one of the cars already being turned on and a guy screaming as he’s being grabbed on all sides.
“Stay here” Ellie’s voice thundered through the people as they nodded.
“Do the thing” Ellie nodded as Rae broke off in front of the horde shielding the guy.
A sweet voice echoed in the cement walls. It was gentle and low, yet audible within the confines. It’s angelic like voice seemed so awkward on this desolate earth. Ellie continued to sing ‘somewhere over the rainbow’ as the zombies turned their attention to her as though they were captivated by the unfamiliar noise. I took the opportunity to take each one out, one by one. I emptied a full clip and then killed the last three with a swiss army knife. Taking off their heads became too easy, too familiar. The crunch of their bone was comforting, it meant a job well done.
Rae walked over to Ellie and patted her on the back. Then they both turned to the guy in the vehicle. His blonde-curly hair stuck to his forehead as he trembled in his seat. His almond eyes bore into Ellies as she walked towards him.
“We’re not going to hurt you. Are you okay?” He flashed a look at Rae and then slowly walked out of the car.
“My name is James, but you can call me Jay. I was not bitten nor scratched, you can check if you’d like” His british accent was thick much like his build. James stood up revealing a six foot tall boy close to our age. Rae looked over at Ellie who was clearly blushing.
Rae sighed deeply before making sure everyone was in the two cars. Rae and Ellie stood outside the cars and could see that there was no available space for the two. This is what you get when you have two mini coopers, you get leftovers. It was clear that Ellie and Rae were going to have to walk. James stepped out of the car.
“What about you two ladies. Where are you guys going?”
“There’s not enough space in the cars so we will walk and find a car on the way there”Ellie looked longingly at Rae.
“But you two are just girls!” He said with a worried expression.
“Yes. Girls who saved your ass.” Rae cocked her gun and highlighted the route that the two cars would take. She handed it to the oldest man in the group and placed her hand on his shoulder.
“I’m staying with you guys” James grabbed his gun and hopped out of the car.
“I guess we could use extra weight- I mean …” Rae quickly turned around and whispered an apology.
The two cars curved out of the basement garage without even a hint of hestitation and on to the street leading to the highway towards the next fort which was over fifty miles away.
“Now what?” James mumbled.
“We walk” Ellie responded.
They turned to exit the garage and were shocked by just how empty the street was. They walked with every step being just as nervous and cautious as the next. After the first mile or so they arrived at the forest which had a large road carving its way straight down the middle. The road commonly known as the “highway” , even before the whole zombie apocalypse it gave everyone the creeps. No matter how bright out, streetlights were needed to illuminate the road. It was notorious for rapes, robbery and sometimes even murder. There would be no surprise if bandits lurked in the trees.
“Get your guns ready.” Ellie took a serious tone and neither Rae nor James questioned it.
Ellie took a gentle step towards James as they entered the forest.
“Remember that this goes on for fifteen miles. Stay close, don’t stray and don’t stop for anyone.”
They walked in silence for a mere mile and half before coming across the ruins of one of the mini coopers.