When I woke up from my nightmare my brain had a momentary delay. Where am I? Then, as Annalise stirred next to me, I remembered.
I was in the warehouse. Camping out. In the dark. With no electricity whatsoever.
Let me explain.
Less than 48 hours ago, New York City was evacuated. Most people got out safe. But someone on our truck had already been infected. It’s not so great, watching someone’s face get eaten off by a zombie.
Annalise, Austin, and I got away from the truck and walked for about 11 miles before we came along the warehouse. We were all exhausted, and I was ready to sleep when(of course) Austin volunteered me to take first watch. But…I sort of fell asleep. Not the best thing to do during the zombie apocalypse. But hey, nobody told me to get my 8 hours of sleep the night before. But then again, what would they have said, “Make sure you get all your sleep tonight, Ashlyn, the zombie apocalypse is happening tomorrow.”
Austin startles me when he sits bolt upright.
“Jack!” he blurted. Jack was pretty much Austin’s boyfriend even though neither would admit it. He went with the first group of evacuees, while we(being of the ‘less wealthy’ citizens of NY) went with the last group. His mom is pretty much the mayor of NY. Can you say rich?? He also inherited his mom’s great looks. With his tan almost brown skin, his blonde hair, lean but built figure, and his beautiful eyes(one pale green, one bright blue) he could easily but be a model. But he claims that he’d rather be a scientist.
Austin squinted at me through the dark. “Is it time for…” I thought he would surprise me by saying his watch but instead, he said, “Annalise’s watch,” as he rubbed the sleep from his eyes.
“No,” I replied curtly, “But you take watch.”
“I think I’d rather not,” he mumbles as he lays back down.
I sigh. Typical Austin. He can run a stupid football down the field but can’t stay up for four measly hours. But I don’t protest. Why?
Only because without Austin, my popularity disappears. I’d jump off a bridge if it meant that Austin stayed my friend.
Of course, I could always use blackmail(tell his football buddies about Jack) but then who’s to say he won’t retaliate against me.
I hear the deep breathes of Annalise as she’s sleeping. Out of her and Austin, I’d have to say that she’s the compassionate one. She easily out does me as far a looks go. She has long brown hair(although the tips are dyed blonde). Her almond shaped eyes are green and she has a beautiful smile. She once said that her braces are only one of her many flaws. I personally think that they only add to her beauty but I was too shy to say so. Plus it would have been weird coming from me especially since I’m a girl and everything.
At the end of Austin’s four hours, I nudge Annalise awake and as soon as she starts her shift I fall into a deep, dreamless sleep.
I wake up and the first thing I see is Austin peeing in a corner. Just what I needed in my life.
The next thing I see is Annalise staring at me. The sun is already high in the sky and it illuminates the room, therefore she can see the blush creep up on my cheeks. My pale complexion makes it to where the blush is clearly noticeable.
Is there something on my face. Maybe drool. Or maybe, I think hopefully, she’s admiring my beauty. Ha! Fat chance.
I’m not going to lie. I am nowhere near as good looking as Annalise, but I don’t look bad either. I have short hair(shaved on the sides) that’s dyed white, but my black roots show. Most people say that my jawline and my crystal blue eyes are my best quality.
Annalise looks away as soon as I make eye contact and blushes furiously.
Austin waltzes over and the moment immediately dissipates.
“Shouldn’t we get going?” asks Austin.
“Yeah,” Annalise replies,“ The truck was heading east so that’s the direction we should be headed.”
We get our stuff and start to hike back to the area where the truck crashed. There were a few zombies milling around, but we didn’t grow up in the worst part of NY to not know how to fight and the zombies were killed quickly.
We follow the road for about 19 miles(occasionally coming in contact with zombies but killing them quickly).
We have about 3 miles before we get to the safe camp, when we reach a fork in the road.
On the right is more road that turns at the end. On the left is a facility that appears abandoned.
“We should go left,” Austin announces immediately.
At this, Annalise and I flash each other a look of concern. That facility is most definitely not our destination. It’s too close. Despite my concern, I keep loyal to Austin.
“We’ll look at it,” the uncertainty in my voice clear.
Austin beams as we trudge towards the, now clearly, abandoned building. When we get to the door, despite several attempts, we cannot get it open. Austin spots a window about 3 feet above the door. We give him a boost and he drops into the window.
About five seconds later we hear a scream (Austin) begging for help. Apparently, there are zombies in the building and Austin can’t get through the door. But then……..
Austin bolts out of the(now open) door. He’s already covered in zombies.
Annalise and I scatter and start running. When I turn around to check our progress, I see Austin on the ground screaming. For someone. For help. Covered in zombies. But I don’t stop. I can’t.
We turn to the right fork and don’t stop running until about 1 mile from the camp.
¾ of a mile.
½ of a mile.
¼ of a mile.
Then I see it. The camp fence. We start running again and the guards spot us.
When they open the gates the first person I see is Jack. He’s waiting. For his boyfriend that we left behind.
We shouldn’t have left him. We should have helped him.
But then I remembered…….He wanted to go. He told me to come with him. I shouldn’t feel guilty but I still do.
Realization sets in on Jack’s face when he doesn’t see Austin. By the time we reach him, he has tears in his eyes.
“I’m sorry Jack,” I choke out, ”There were too many.”
At this last line, Jack burst into tears.
Behind us, there’s a loud commotion. Guards surround Annalise and for a split second, I’m confused.
Then the realization hits me. Hard. Harder than it hit Jack.
Annalise has been bitten.