A Long Walk: A Journey Through the Zombie Apocalypse

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What She Saw in the Night

Naomi ran outside, close behind Jasper. She got separated from him in seconds, turned around and isolated. She was in the open, surrounded by zombies, no cover close at hand. She charged, head down. She thought she was running for the building but wasn’t sure. It was loud, gunfire going off on all sides, zombies moaning, impeding her vision. Hands grabbed her, trying to bear her to the ground. She lashed out with her machete, catching dead flesh, one of the arms that was grabbing her came away from its body, fell to the ground. It gave her enough momentum to hit the accelerator inside her, she slammed into a wall, hard. At least she could keep her back to it now.

Naomi turned, pushing hands off of her. She had on light armour, skateboard pads and paintball gear, but it was enough to have kept her alive so far. She swung the machete over and over again, the weight of zombies never seeming to get smaller, until suddenly it did. She found herself in the middle of a calm moment, the eye of the storm so to speak. Where she was there was a slight rise in the ground. She could see most of the battle, clusters of violence swirling around her.

Taylor swung into view, swinging a stick, one end sharpened into a vicious point. Taylor was using her small size and agility to weave back and forth between the zombie. Naomi saw her whirling the stick around, slamming into one zombie after another. They fell, lifeless and limp, but more kept coming. Naomi called out “Taylor, over here!” but the girl didn’t hear her.

More and more zombies were piling on to Taylor, cutting her off from the rest of the defenders. One of them grabbed her arm, trying to bite through the armour there. She pushed it off, darted through their legs on the ground and dove into one of the dumpsters lining the lot. She was closer to other defenders now, they were pushing the two dumpsters across the open gate. Her leap moved it the final inches into place, then the lid dropped on her, taking her from Naomi’s view.

Naomi could see Karen now too. Karen had a length of re-bar in her hands and was fighting like a demon. More zombies closed on Naomi, she had to fight again herself, her arms starting to fail, to lose strength. If not for the slight armour she would have fallen some time ago.

She drew her arm back and dropped the heavy blade on the skull of a young woman, probably her age when she turned. A pretty redhead, dressed like Ann of Green Gables. The woman fell, and Naomi had another brief gap. She saw a woman, almost a zombie herself, slipping into the compound. Fuck, it was Mona!

Mona was lost to sight instantly, walking between zombies. They didn’t seem to even notice her, like she was one of them, but she wasn’t moving like them, striding tall and purposeful.

Back to Karen. Karen had her back against another defender, one of the large men with the beards. They were laying out zombies all around them, dozens on the ground. The man slipped, Naomi couldn’t see on what, and hit the ground. Zombies piled on him, tearing him to pieces. Naomi felt so helpless, stuck against the wall, no way to make it to Karen. More zombies were coming at her anyway, Karen would have to fend for herself.

When Naomi got her next brief window she saw that the gap in the fence was closed, the flood of zombies stemmed. The two dumpsters weren’t enough to close it completely, but they were close enough that the zombies had to try and make it in single file, squeezing through a too narrow gap. A couple of defenders were slamming knives into their skulls as they passed the gap. It was going to be tight, but they stood a chance now.

Naomi scanned for Karen, trying to spot her in the confusion. Finally, she saw her, still fighting, still swinging her piece of re-bar. She wasn’t even raising it over her head anymore, slamming zombies in the chest, then pushing the re-bar through their skulls once they fell down, leaning her weight into the bar, it looked like she didn’t have the strength left to lift the bar.

Finally one of the zombies grabbed her from behind. Naomi watched her spin, trying to make it around to hit the zombie, but she didn’t have the energy left, the strength. The zombie bit deep into her throat, arterial spray washing over the rest of the zombies. They tore her apart, a dozen of them biting into her. The defenders took advantage of the lull, closing on the zombies and dispatching them.

In the far distance something was happening that looked different. Was that Robert? Yes, and that was Jasper at his feet. Naomi abandoned her relatively safe perch, running for them as fast as she could.

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