The eerie ringing of sirens blare through the streets of Kaplan, Louisiana. Buildings are wildly on fire. Black smoke rises with every second that pass. Total chaos surrounds me. Cars scatter across the roads, with broken windows, some with no doors, also on fire. I see people running for their lives, some with babies in their arms. Not only is there something attacking them, they are getting shot in the legs and head by people who don't know what they're doing. Bullets sore through the air, dropping every person it hits. Panic sticks to their faces like glue.
I slowly back away from the town store windows. What is going on? There are a few other people panicking around me. Africa by Toto plays on the radio. The song goes off and an emergency alert interrupts:
"We interrupt this program. This is a national emergency. The President of the United States or his designated representative will appear shortly over the Emergency Broadcast System"
The unatural sound of horns blare through the speakers three times.
"The United States is under attack. Civil authorities in most areas have reported that corpses are rising from their graves and attacking the living. Stay inside and do not leave your homes until government officials can find a strategy. Baracade all doors and windows. Be safe, be smart, and be careful." The president says before the horns sound again. Toto continues to play.
The sirens outside never stop. Neither does the screaming. Nor the bullets ricocheting. Fear strikes me, making my stomach feel upside down. My hands automatically fling to my ears when a woman screams. Everyone suddenly looks in her direction. She's pointing at the sliding doors in the front of the store. Clearly shocked by what she sees, a man sprints foward to lock them.
"Get away from the glass!" He shouts backing up with his arms spread out. The dead, also known as zombies, start running towards us. They hiss viciously scratching at the glass. It's obvious my eyes process what's happening before my brain can.
The store is small, due to the fact that it's centered in a humble country town. Instinct tells me to go down the kitchen isle. I stop when I see the man from earlier. "You wanna survive too, huh?" he asks as he puts knives and light weight compact pans into a duffle bag. He has a muscular build, with long dark hair that ends on his shoulders. His thick beard covers almost to his neck. "Yeah" I say grabbing a meat cleaver. We are all in denial. Things like this just don't happen.
"A meat cleaver. That's different" he says surprised. "You need a bag?" the man questions before reaching to the floor. He reveals a plain black, Jansport back pack. "Thank you" I say as I take it. "Fill it with necessities and pack lightly. We have to get out of here before it's too late" he explains. I nod my head telling him okay.
He leaves to gather everyone else and I start grabbing knives and titanium utensils. As for food, I decide to get items that I can keep for a long periods of time without it going bad. I spot canned fruits, vegetables and meat, tuna, honey, rice, peanutbutter, dried beans, and energy bars. I snatch a couple of each then drop it in my booksack.
I follow the distant murmurs to the produce section. Three people, including then man from earlier, stand with worry on their faces. "My name is Ryan. Did everyone get what they need?" Ryan's eyes scan the group. We all nod our heads. "Good. Let's move" he says sternly. "I'm not going out there! Those things will kill me!" the lady who screamed earlier cries. I know her from somewhere. She use to host book clubs on Wednesdays. "You have to listen to me if you want to live lady, do you understand that?" He snaps at Chardonnay.
"You think just because you carry a duffle bag, you're in charge? You aren't the only man here" another man with red hair says pointing his finger at Ryan. Three out of the five of us are men.
Ryan's face turns cold. I prepare myself mentally incase things blow up. "I grew up hunting and I'm a former gunsmith. I think it's best yall follow me." He grits through his teeth. Looks like the men have competition. He backs down from Ryan who hovers two feet over him. "I'm Charlie and this is Chardonnay" Charlie says referring to the book club woman.
"You're named after a wine?" The last guy, he's Asian, jokes. He seems to be the youngest here, maybe fifteen? No one laughs but him. "My name is Andy."
Ryan, Charlie. Chardonnay, and Andy. These are the people I'm stuck with.
"Where is the safest place around here?" Ryan asks. I note that he's an outsider. "We're not suppose to leave" Chardonnay says hinting at the President's emergency alert. "I'm not gonna be a sitting duck in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. I'm going make a phone call, I'll be back." Charlie speaks then goes some where else.
When Charlie leaves, the group uses their cell phone to call loved ones. I didn't bring mine with me, plus I have no one to call. The disappointment in their face shows that whoever they try to get in touch with is now gone.
Charlie comes back with a smile on his face. He tells us that his brother has a farm out in Montanna and that it's the safest place to be. "Why is it the safest? Why can't we live here?" Andy asks Charlie and he answers. "Small towns tend to get taken over quickly. My brother has alot of land which is protected by high chain link fences. He has guns, ammunition, animals, and a community there. Including a doctor. Other than us, they are the only ones I know that are alive. We can all build a life there."
He's right, having more people increases our chance of survival. Ryan and Charlie chats about how we need a vehicle to get us there. Chardonnay's eating at a bag of skinny pop and Andy sits on the floor twirling his fingers.
The sun is going to go down soon. If we aren't out of here by then we're fucked. "We need to find a vehicle. Y'all are more than welcome to stay here if you want to." Ryan says jogging towards the door exit.
The rest of us follow.
One day, I'm sitting at home eating microwave pizza in my living room and the next, I'm walking in ninety degree weather with people I do not know. The group walks ahead, holding conversations that don't include me. I rather use my ears to hear for zombies anyways.
There are tons of cars in the road but they are all damaged in some way. "My house is coming up. We just have to get down Main Street. My parents have a truck that's been sitting in my garage and I know where the keys are" Andy states. Now we are one step closer to getting out of this hell hole.
We arrive on the main street of town. There are no zombies in sight. Chardonnay whispers something but I can't make it out. "We're almost there" Andy says pointing at the light blue house that's coming up. Main street is packed with little shops. Majority of the people who live here considers it the towns personal mall. No one say a word once we start walking down the street. We all focus on getting to our destination alive. I move foward faster, to pass up Chardonnay as she's dragging her feet. She notices and shoves her hand, hard against my chest. When she knocks me down, my hand sends an aluminum can flying. I glare at her and she'z smiling.
Everyone else quickly turn their heads to look at me. "What?" I snap at them. "She pushed me!" I start to feel my cheeks heat up. Before I can get up to push her back, Ryan's by my side. "Don't cause a scen-" his eyes flicker behind me. "Shhh." Ryan hushes to me. I slowly turn my head to see what he is looking at. There was a zombie a few feet away with its back facing where we are. It starts to turn to walk the other direction. We watch as the zombie sniff the air. I jump out of my skin when the zombie hisses, it sees us.
"They found us, run like your life depends on it!" I take off running as fast as I can. I run towards the house Andy pointed to earlier. The hissing get louder and I feel like I'm about to get grabbed. "There's more" Ryan running ahead of me. My heartbeat pounds in my ears. I move one foot after the other, pushing my body to its limit. Charlie and Chardonnay makes it through the doors first. The house is almost in arms reach. "Ahhh!" Andy shrieks as he's getting pulled back. He fights for his life with a zombie that is now on top of him. "Andy!" I scream as I turn around to help him. As im running, I pull a meat cleaver out of my booksack. I smash it into the zombies skull.
Its mouth stretches four times more than an average human when it hollers. I hit it again instantly knocking it off of him. I smack it again then one more time before offering Andy my hand. Two more zombies grab him by the legs and bite into them, making their way to his chest. I have a cold metallic liquid taste in my mouth. It doesn't take me long to figure out I had someone else's bitter blood in my mouth.
More zombies take over and munch on him. He makes a gargling noise as he chokes on his own blood. I back away in horror, shocked about what I just seen. It happened too quickly. I couldn't save him. I shuffle to catch up with the rest of the group. Ryan holds the door open for me. Charlie pushes a filing cabinet to barracade the entrance. Sweat drips off my nose then onto the floor. My blood boils at this point. "Are you fucking serious?" I walk up to Chardonnay. She picks her chin up as she crosses her arms. "You were trying to pass me up" she explains.