Jasper

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Chapter Eight

I don’t know how long it took to calm me down, but Jamie had dragged me away from the door to one of the unoccupied cots, forcing me to lay down. I must have passed out after calming down, or the dizziness from my mild panic attack knocked me out cold.

I’m forcefully awakened once again by a hand shaking me awake. I groan as I lazily open my eyes, the scent of eggs makes my stomach growl like a ravenous beast.

“How are you feeling Dear? Would you like some breakfast?” the soft sweet voice of the elderly woman was right beside me, her wrinkled face coming into view only after I blink away the sleep. She’s smiling warmly at me, a paper plate of scrambled eggs and slightly burnt toast in hand. I nod in reply and she places the food on my lap, before taking a seat on the cot opposite of mine. I take in her friendly smile that reaches her light blue eyes. Short curly is obviously dyed in coppery tones, with her snowy roots contrasting with the fiery color. She’s dressed in a pale blue striped pajama set, with a dark purple house coat and mixing slippers.

“My name is Susan Kessler, your friend told me your name is Jasper. It's nice to meet you” she holds her hand out, to which I take in a gentle handshake. Her hands are surprisingly soft and her long nails are coated in a shiny dark blue, the tips already slightly chipped away.

“It's nice to meet you too Susan, sorry for my behavior earlier” I apologize sheepishly. Looking down at my plate I shovel some eggs on top of the toast before taking a big bite. My stomach twists in protest, still slightly nauseous after my panic attack, but I ignore it.

“That’s alright, a lot of people panicked like that when we first got here. But the police explained everything, so please don’t worry. We are perfectly safe here, they are just taking precautions, what with all the people falling ill in the streets”

I nodded in reply but I can’t take what she says to heart. I may be thinking straight now but I still don’t trust the police, that sense of unease still hasn’t vanished even after sleep.

“How long have you been here?” I ask before taking another bite of food, savoring the simple flavors.

“Not long, just a couple hours before you two arrived”

I just nod again, not sure how to respond, so I continue to eat quietly. She waits until I finish then passes me a bottle of water I didn’t notice she had.

“Thank you, for the food and last night”

“It’s no problem” she answers simply before getting up. She waves goodbye and walks off into the crowd, which steadily grows bigger as more people start to wake up and join the breakfast line. It was nice of Susan to bring me some food, instead of having to stand in line. A yawn escapes me as I stand to stretch my stiff muscles, afterwards grabbing my bag and plate, which I throw into the garbage.

I takes me a minute but I find the bathrooms, which is actually the locker rooms. I do my business, wash up and get changed, switching out my baggy sweats and t-shirt for a pair of jeans, maroon crew neck sweater and black leather jacket. I finish off by throwing my hair into a high ponytail before leaving in search of Jamie.

I doesn’t take me long to find him, since he’s sitting on my cot most likely waiting for me.

“Hey”

“Hey, how are you feeling?” Jamie looks tired, brown eyes focused at his feet. Dark circles and pale skin are freshly washed, his hair is brushed and he’s gone with a simple black hoodie and some jeans.

“I’m alright, better than last night at least”

“Yeah...that attack was inevitable though, I’ve been wary of it since the bar” he sighs, running his fingers through his dyed silver hair.

“Sorry” is all I could manage, feeling ashamed for my lack of control. I didn’t have the worst anxiety in the world, hell most of the time I could control it, but I have never been able to handle death well. Be it a person or, in my case, a goldfish. When I was seven, my pet goldfish Flounder died because Sylvan wanted to play with him. I had come home from a friend's house to find my little sister pouring my dead fish some fake tea. I had been so angry that I shoved her into her playhouse.

She was fine, just had a bruised knee and a bitten lip, but I was still grounded for a week. I had cried over Flounder for days, only stopping after my grandma gave me a goldfish plushy to make me feel better.

“So how long do you think they are going to keep us here?” Jamie asks, finally glancing up from his feet to look at me.

“Well apparently there is suppose to be a debriefing today, so we will see when that happens than ask when we can leave”

Jamie nods in response. We sit on my cot and wait. Hours pass of us chatting and fiddling around on our phones, trying to get in touch with my family. Any signal we had a day ago was completely gone, the internet was still down and there were no TV’s in the stadium.

The sound of the doors opening and the stomping of multiple boots has me looking away from my phone. A line of police and a couple soldiers have filtered in, all decked out in riot gear and stoic faces. I instantly spot the one officer from last night and my spine stiffens. There was something about that man that I didn’t like, from the way for looked to the way he talks, all of it sent an unpleasant chill through my body.

“Good afternoon. I’m sure you all have many questions but I am simply here to reassure you that everything is under control. If you arrived here with one of the sick just know they are safe and are being treated by our doctors in another part of the stadium. You will not be able to see them as they must remain quarantined as to minimize contact with the illness" the military officer stood tall among the group of man he entered with. Buzz cut blonde hair, dark eyes and smooth jawline. He stood over 6ft with a broad muscular build hidden beneath his riot gear, a large rifle hanging by his side.

"What is with all the fire power? Rioters are still civilians, but they look like they are dressed for death by firing squad" I whisper to Jamie, keeping my eyes on the head officer.

"It's all just for show, don't stress about it" Jamie shushes me. I shoot him a glare but don't argue. Instead I push my way to the front of the group, earning me a couple swears from my less than gentle shoving, and stop right in front of the head honcho.

"Are we allowed to leave the stadium?" I question the man whose face shows his displeasure at my tone. He crosses his thick arms over his chest, glaring down at my shorter height, clearly trying to intimidate me to back down. Sucks to be him though, cause I've got a stubborn streak a mile long and I'm used to being around giant men.

"It would be best if everyone was to stay here for now, for your safety" he growls.

"That doesn't answer my question though, am I allowed to leave?" I growl back, glaring up into his shit brown eyes. They are literally the color of diarrhea.

"It is suggested you don't" he's starting to lose his temper, making it clear he was done with the subject. I smirk up at him cockily.

"Well, thank you for the suggestion but I would like to leave" my reply is so sickly sweet there is no mistaking it for sarcastic. I even added a big fake smile to add onto the act. His eye twitches and I watch the muscles in his face tighten as he clenches his jaw.

"Very well...but please wait until after the debriefing and if you would like lunch, then you may leave"

I gave a mocking salute before rejoining Jamie, the crowd giving me looks of curiosity, though all I can feel is the heat of head honcho's glare. Once I reach Jamie he grabs my arm and pulls me away from the group.

"What the hell are you trying to prove? This is the best place to be right now Jay, not on the streets with a bunch of violent hooligans trashing the city!" Jamie hisses at me, quiet enough so only I can hear him. I roll my eyes at his tone.

"I don't feel safe here Jamie, how many times do I have to tell you something doesn't feel right" I snap back, growing tired of his delusions. He can keep telling himself this is the safest place in the world, but that doesn't make it so.

"And how many times do I have to tell you that your letting your anxiety driven paranoia get the best of you! I thought things would be better after your attack but apparently there not" And just as he planned, Jamie hit a nerve. I flinch away from his grasp, glaring at him.

"I know I'm right, so you know what, you and the rest of these idiots can stay here. But I'm leaving right after lunch, with or without you"

With everything I had to say out in the open, I turn away from Jamie and make my way towards my cot. I felt multiple gazes on me, which was understandable with the scene I had made with the officer. I'm sure they also caught mine and Jamie's little spat.

'Well screw them, I have zero sh*ts to give about their opinions'

Packing up my things is a quick process, since I didn't have very much. I even decided in my angered state to snatch the thin grey blanket I add used last night, stuffing it into my backpack. I then took a seat on the cot and waited, watching the group of people and lazily listening to the officers give out orders. Once everything is said and done the crowd disperses and the officers leave, closing the doors behind them. I try to distract myself by counting all the thousands of seats that surround the center arena.

"Lunch time!" someone shouts over the murmur of chatter. I watch the crowd start to line up and get up to make my way to the line. I pause though and turn towards the thing that about drawn my eye.

On the other side of the arena, where another set of double doors lay, I see a finger poke through the ajar door. No. I'm not even sure if I saw that correctly. Maybe that wasn't a finger but had that door always been open?

My sense of unease was starting to choke me again, but I silently watched as the door slowly swung open, revealing a crowd of people who just didn't look...right. Then I heard it. Over the group of people behind me, the sound drilling into my brain.

They were...

Snarling.

Heads all turned towards us. Movements rigid and mouths moving in a mixture of unnatural snarls and growls.

My feet began running the moment they sprung forward.

__________________________

Alright, 8 chapters in and we are finally getting to the action :D so excited to actually start writing about their survival, but I feel like we needed a slowish start. I've read way to many zombie books that just jump right into the action. So I hope you all like it and let me know what you think. This is unedited and probably wont be edited until I finish the book.

Happy Reading :)

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