Prologue: The World As We Know It
It was difficult to believe that the world changed so much within a single year. How civilization degenerated from a shining technological marvel to the savagery that was today. Then again...no one expected a virus to ravage the world and cause people to die painfully...only to rise and consume others and repeat the cycle over and over again.
Such was the life of any who lived in today's world...where the undead truly existed. It was a popular topic on the worldwide web, the subject of many stories and movies and some have even managed to come up with plausible theories as to how it could all happen.
Who would've thought that it actually would...
"We don't have much time before they notice the noise and surround us, grab all you can and let's get out of here!"
I began to frantically shove as much supplies into the two bags as possible while my companion continued to watch the fence. He had been forced to throw firecrackers in order to distract the large horde of zombies just outside the perimeter, which bought us only a short window of time before they returned their attention to the property. I knew that we didn't bring enough bags to get everything, but at the very least, we would be able to continue on for a while if we got everything here.
"Hurry up Flora!" he shouted.
"I'm trying!" I retorted.
I managed to finish one bag, but the sound of glass crunching beside me brought my attention away...to a walking mass of dead flesh that was about to grab me.
My friend was still preoccupied and by the time he turned and reacted, the zombie had already grabbed at my face. I reacted almost instantly, yanking the knife from my belt before attempting to aim for the brain. However, I miscalculated how much it weighed and it brought me down to the ground, my left arm the only thing separating my neck from its gaping maw. I gathered my senses before sinking the blade into the dome of the creature, creating a spray of blood and gore. I had learned to always aim for the brain and once it stopped groaning and ceased its movements, I sighed in relief; I had remembered everything I was taught.
"Hurry! They're coming back!"
After a few more seconds, I filled the second bag and zipped it shut before picking up my pistol. I handed one of the bags to him as he gestured me to follow. He lead us through the path we carved for the past two hours, taking down the undead in a specific pattern to allow us to leave the fenced area without getting overwhelmed by the horde. We exited the area as quickly as we entered and for safety, my friend lit a stick of dynamite from the supplies we just acquired and tossed it towards the fence before we took off back into the woods. I sighed in relief as I turned to him.
"Good work," I said.
"I wish you packed faster; that was a little too close for comfort," he replied.
I rolled my eyes but once I felt a hand on my head and saw his smile, I couldn't help but feel appreciated.
"A job well done...now we should have enough supplies to make the trek to the outpost a few miles north of here," he said.
"You mean that meeting place where a lot of the survivors have been rumored to be?" I asked.
"Two of my friends live there and I'm sure they're working there as well so they should be able to get us some spots, if not, point us in the right direction," he explained.
"...I wonder if my brother is there," I said.
He sighed deeply and put a hand on my shoulder.
"He escaped didn't he?" he asked.
"He said he was going to try and find our parents...and he left me with yours before he drove off," I explained.
"Then I'm sure he's fine...considering that the next place isn't due for about another two states, we should bump into him soon enough," he replied.
Even though I knew it was wrong to take words like that seriously, I couldn't help but have hope that he was actually still alive. My older brother Jordan was no pushover when it came to survival; he always knew how to take care of himself and considering that we lived together for the last six years and he took such good care of me, part of me truly believed that he was still out there. I looked to my friend and sighed deeply.
"I hope you're right Thomas," I said.
"Of course I'm right! Can't have a negative attitude in a world like this so let's get going shall we?" he cheered.
Even though he was somewhat feigning the joy and enthusiasm, I knew that he was trying to stay strong for the two of us; his family wasn't so lucky in comparison to mine. Unlike me, he saw his family get executed by bandits...and he managed to escape when a zombie horde overwhelmed their camp. Thomas and I had been friends for a few years but of all people, I never imagined that I would be traveling upstate with him as my partner. At the same time, he was quite knowledgeable, having read so much in the off chance that all of this would actually happen. He practiced all manners of skills like cooking, camping and first aid. Without a doubt, I could say that if it wasn't for him, I probably wouldn't be alive right now.
"Flora? Let's go; we need to get somewhere safe for the night," he said.
I shook my head clear of all the thoughts and ran up to him.
"Sorry...zoned out a little," I said.
"You do that a lot...now let's get going,"
Not the best partner out there...but I suppose anything is better than being alone and scared shitless. After all...
This was the apocalypse.