Thank you for all the comments this week, you’ve all been a great help in not only aiding me with research but getting me back in the zombie mood so I can crack on with this damn book again. Even though Zombie Week 2012 is officially over I’d still appreciate any comments you have to offer. Spread the word and let others give their opinions as well. As promised here is the resolution to the story of ‘You the survivor’:
…you check the rope again. The knot is sound, it’ll hold. One quick jump from the stair landing and it will all be over. A broken neck and no more anguish. You look around sheepishly before dropping to your knees and offering up a quick prayer to a god you no longer believe in. You cross yourself and say amen.
With nothing more to do or say you take the noose and slip it around your neck. You lift one leg over the intricately carved balustrade and rest on the cold stone. Pulling the knot tight you linger for a moment, your brain is telling you not to jump but your heart tells you that you’re making the right decision.
A few poignant memories flicker across your synapses and you smile at the happy life you’ve led up until a few weeks ago. There’s no point delaying it anymore…we all have to go sometime. You prepare yourself for the fall…
Too many screams, just end it all…but, this one…this scream…there’s something different about it. You don’t know why but the voice penetrates your very soul and you feel afraid for the person outside.
You grasp at the noose and begin to loosen it, your foot slips and for one heart pounding moment you think you’re going to fall. Instinct kicks in and your arm grips the balustrade at the last second. You remove the rope and climb back onto the landing. Your legs are like jelly, but you take the stairs two at a time anyway. The scream sounds again and you pick up the pace.
Where is it coming from? The street in front on the library or the alley that runs down the side of the old building? By the time you reach the ground floor you have an answer to your question. You glance out of a window and spot a flash of blonde speeding down the alleyway. You dash for one of the doors that leads out into the slim passage and turn to check what the blonde is running from.
Zombies…two of them. The sight of the two rotting corpses after such a long time alone angers you. These fuckers are responsible for you having to hideout like a criminal, they are the reason you’ve been starving for the past few weeks and the reason you can barely swallow because your throat is so dry. You pick up a plank of wood resting on the pavement and head straight towards the undead.
Swinging and swiping you take out the first zombie with a blow to the face. Its head implodes into a mess of soft flesh and dry bone as the wood connects with its skull. The figure falls to the ground and you turn to face the second zombie. Its lost interest in the blonde now and it’s shambling towards you, arms outstretched in hunger.
You readjust your grip on the plank and hold it like a baseball bat. One swing forces the zombie to take a step backwards. Another takes a chunk out of his torso, his ribs crack and poke out from his rotten flesh. The third strike knocks the zombie to the ground. You stamp on both of its legs breaking the bones and tearing up cartilage.
Still the shadow of a human reaches out. It’s hungry and it wants to taste your flesh. You take the plank and drive it into the rotter’s skull…over and over and over…until the head is no longer recognisable.
Panting and sweating you drop the wood and turn into the alley. At the end of the dead end street the blonde is cowering behind a large skip full of rubbish. You approach her slowly and hold out your hands to show you’re unarmed. You stop a few feet away from her when you realise how old she is. She’s just a girl, afraid and alone in a world that no child should have to live in.
She’s crying and shivering and she’s covered in grime and blood. You try to reassure her but she crams herself further into the corner. She’s afraid of you, she’s afraid of everything. How has she survived for this long? You close the distance between the two of you. Small steps, soothing voice, snippets of reassurance. When you reach her you stretch out to take a hold of her hand.
“Sweetie? We have to get out of here, this is a dead end and I don’t know if there are any more of those things out there.”
She stops sniffling long enough to look up and into your eyes.
“Help me,” she whimpers.
Your heart breaks a little and you feel ashamed of what you were about to do in the library. There are still people out there that need help. People who are alone and in the dark. People who want to love, want to fight. People who think there IS a chance to make this all better, to start again.
You pick the child up, she wraps her arms around your neck and sobs into your shoulder.
You turn and leave the alley, holding the girl tightly in your arms.
You reach the opening at the head of the passage and look out into a city torn to pieces, and damaged beyond repair. You think of all the hardships to come and the obstacles to overcome. The girl wipes a tear from her eye and speaks in a voice so soft you barely catch the words she utters.
All the doubt and fear leaves your body and you feel, once again, a sense of belonging in the world. You have a purpose now, a reason to live. And that’s exactly what you’re going to do.
You’re going to live.