She's running for her life, for her siblings, from the zombies.


1. Epilogue

She dashes through the dark night, her dark clothes blurring into the space around her. She used to have to be more careful and not because there were less of them.

No more than eight months ago it had been life as you and I know it. You could walk past a play park and see the sturdy structure of the climbing frame support children as they played and laughed. They had been so oblivious to it all. They all had.

Now the frame barely stands. It has wasted away from all the acidic rain. It rots and deteriorates slowly, like most of the human race did -- only the people fell quicker.

The few that didn’t die immediately can do very little. They hide all day and scavenge what food and clean water they can at night. They don’t have enough weapons to kill them all and even if they did there are far too few humans left.

The girl, who knew she needed to hurry up, was still running through the never ending darkness. When she did this, every night, she knew there was no time for thinking. It was so dark in the old shops and warehouses that if she allowed herself to get distracted for a split second she would hurtle straight into a decaying shelf or dirty wall. She could only see something when it was right in front of her nose. The darkness had a way of playing games on your eyes. It was like it covered anything in front of you with an inky black cloth and then, when you were about to run into it, the cloth was pulled away. It was a dangerous game of peek-a-boo to be playing.

She knew deep down that she was lucky she had been able to get to grips with this life so quickly. Most had ended their lives as soon as they realised the apocalypse really had come. Others turned into obsessive killers who thought they could bring down the greater power. They thought they were invincible. She wasn’t like any of those people. She didn’t have an option. She’d look down into the eyes of her younger siblings and see that could never be an option. It was her duty, as the oldest, to be brave, to be the rock for them. If she wasn’t the one who was there for them, who would be? She didn’t take her life and give up and she couldn’t afford to take stupid decisions, even if it did mean taking a couple of the enemy out. She had to be alive. Supplying food and water for her family was a bonus that came some nights but not always.


Being able to find food had taken a while. Not only because it took her a while to learn how to work her way around the shapes in the night. She had to actually find the food. If she had been in the area she had grown up in, she could have drawn accurate maps to the closest ten stores. They were nowhere near home though; they were in a totally unfamiliar place.

Where she had lived with her family was one of the worst effected places. They couldn’t have survived a week there, not even now they had adjusted.

She had been the one who made the practically impossible decision to trek for miles. It was that or die -- though by the end of it she could see in her sibling’s eyes that they thought dying would have been easier. Everything had a thick layer of crusty dirt over it. They were exhausted. They were ready to give up. She hadn’t let that happen. Through those first few, especially tough, months she kept telling herself to be a rock. Rock. Be a rock. They need you. They need the security. Rock, rock, rock.

It had worked, they were doing okay. They are doing even better now considering it was the end of the world. She couldn’t see a much more appropriate phrase for it. The world was crawling with the undead. With zombies.

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