Hope of the Survivors
Posted 05 February 2012 - 09:51 PM
Anthony ran. There wasn’t anyone, live or undead, around fora fair distance, and for that matter, little besides grass and corpses. Hedidn’t have anything to run from specifically and he tried not to attractanything, live or dead, but he kept running. He felt as if he had to, and ithad saved him a couple of times, but it just created noise if he wasn’tcareful. He managed to regularly salvage shoes that would let him run quietlyto an extent, but such things were never resistant and fell apart quickly. Theywere at least common enough to satisfy his running and keep him away fromothers. He found it hard to trust other people anymore. He just skirted aroundthem when he could and was more imaginative with where to scavenge. It hadcaused him to abandon people where he may have saved them and he had lost a lotof supplies escaping from what he got into, but he didn’t care. He just kept onrunning.
William woke up and climbed out of the pile of fabricsserving as a bed almost immediately. He had been fast before, when the most hehad to worry about was who got to use the bathroom first and if it was a badday, whether he was late to work, but now that the vast majority of thepopulation would tear him apart and eat him if they so much as noticed heexisted, it was near-instantaneous. He quickly pulled on his jacket and glassesand slid into his shoes, then tucked his gun into the holster on his belt andwalked outside. Only two people were already awake, his son Axel and thelookout, a tall and bulky man named Clark whohad once been his son’s teacher at school. Everyone else was still asleep, despitethe security risks of only having one guard ready. Axel smiled at him as hewalked past, and Clark motioned for him tocome over to where they were standing, on the edge of the camp. Clark started talking as soon as he was in earshot. “Nota single fiend all night. Amazing, but it worries me.” William muttered a short“Hmm” in reply, admitably not entirely awake. “I guess we just have to becareful. Probably a lot more out there.” William motioned backwards into thecamp. “Axel, go wake everyone up.” His son nodded and ran back into the centreof the group. “Good kid. Not a bad shot.” Clarksounded confident, but something seemed wrong. “You’re still thinking abouther.” Clark nodded. “Look, we’ve all lostpeople. There are three possibilities, and no matter what, we can still hopefor the best one.” “I know, I know, it’s just, well, I keep worrying abouther.” “We all do. They could be wandering around strong, worrying about us forall we know.” “I, I just don’t want to give myself false hope.” “We needsomething to keep us going on. Hope seems to work. Just don’t bottle up yourfears. If you want someone to talk to, we’re all here.” “Thanks.” They stoodthere for a second before William walked back into the centre of the camp.
Even when the dead were walking, people still insisted onfive more minutes of sleep. They generally let them have it if the coast wasclear, but it was a rare luxury. Once they were finally awake, they assembledin the middle of the camp, minus the two on guard duty, Clarkand a woman named Sarah, who had been a guard before it all happened. Williamlooked around at his bizarre group of survivors. Himself and his son Axel, ayoung couple named Edward and Alicia, a doctor named Harrison and a brother andsister, Damion and Rose. He was stillanxious on whether to trust Damion or not. The two of them had admitted to him,although him alone, that Damion had escaped from prison in the chaos of thefiends, but they wouldn’t tell him why he was in there, and he knew it would behopeless to ask. He had shown to be fine so far, and it was possible that hewas really a good person, or at least good to the group, but he still had a badfeeling about it. The seven of them stood around a small map of the area, withpreviously locations marked out to a reasonable degree of accuracy. Theycouldn’t stay there for much longer, but they had to plan when they couldafford it. Harrison picked up a stick off theground and pointed to various parts of the map, trying to plan a route.“Alright. We came this way, and going back on ourselves wouldn’t be wise. If wewent this way, we’d hit a city. Lots of supplies, but a lot of infected.Motorway access. This way’s just more empty fields. A couple of farms perhaps,but not much and more likely to still be inhabited by their original owners.The only other way which is really an option is over here.” He pointed to justoff the edge of the map. “Forest, mostly, amore difficult journey, but more cover if anything goes wrong. Further than thatin any direction, no idea.” Damion spoke up. “I say we go for the forest. We’redoing ok on supplies and we don’t want to run into anyone.” Edward shook hishead. “We should stick to where we can get maps of. If we head towards themotorway, we’d be able to get a map from an abandoned car.” “It’d be overrun.The risk of unknown territory is less, unless we can pick up more people andsome reasonable weapons.” Edward stared at him with a gaze that bordered oncontempt. “No. We need to be sure where we’re going.” “Right into a herd if wego that close to a highly inhabited area.” Edward sighed deeply and mutteredunder his breath. “Idiot…” “I can make out what you’re saying.” William decidedto voice opinion before it devolved into an argument. He wasn’t overly fond ofeither party, but he did at least agree with one. “I say the forests. A map’s ahelp, but it’s a luxury, not a necessity.” Edward muttered something andstormed away to the edge of the camp. Alicia walked out calmly after him.Damion looked around at everyone else. “Anyone have any other ideas?” The tonein his voice was bizarre, calm and friendly but somewhat latently disturbing.Nobody voiced any objections. William folded the map back up and addressedeveryone. “Ok, everybody pack up. We’ll make a move in an hour, less if you canall get ready in time. Someone check on Edward and Alicia in ten minutes, seeif she’s calmed him down.” He walked off and started packing the supplies.
Anthony managed to convince himself to slow down as he enteredthe wooded area. The ground was coveredin dead leaves, and he would only make noise and draw attention. The areaseemed reasonably empty, but nobody could ever tell entirely, so he remainedalert. He was armed reasonably, but not appropriately for him. There was alarge axe strapped to his back which, even two handed, he couldn’t swing highenough to do head damage to most undead, and two identical pistols, with a fairamount of ammo, which, like most guns, would just draw attention. He kept theaxe ready regardless, as any defence would be better than none. He made his wayslowly through the forest, simply heading in whatever direction wouldn’t leadhim in a circle as opposed to actually heading somewhere, listening out for anytrouble. Suddenly, he heard a weird noise behind him. He swore under his breathand turned round, swinging the axe as he did so. Right behind, now in front, ofhim was a large, lumbering specimen of the undead, only about a meter out ofreach of pulling him apart. He made a split-second decision and tried to run asit lumbered slowly towards him, and gained a small distance on it before trippingon a root and falling to the ground skidding. He spun round onto his back andgrabbed for his pistols. One had come lose in the holster when he fell. Hegrabbed it, turned off the safety, aimed it up and shot. The metal bulletpropelled through the air and hit the thing in the head. Anthony put the safetyback on and re-holstered his pistol, then picked his axe back up. A close call,but the shot made enough noise to attract anyone else who might be around. Helooked around, checking for anyone else. On the edge of his vision, he saw afigure approaching, wielding a large shotgun. Alive, but still a possiblethreat. He tried to get up, but struggled. His foot was tangled in a pile ofroots and vines. He attempted to pull it out, but it remained stuck. The figurecontinued approaching, gun pointed forward. Anthony reached forward and clawedat the vines encompassing his foot, attempting to pull them off.
Sarah walked cautiously through the forest towards the soundof the gunshot, Clark a small distance behindher and the rest of the group far enough away that they’d be safe if the sourceturned out to be trouble. They had decided to investigate it when they heardthe noise, but caution was foremost. She slowly crept forward, inspecting thespace in front of her. On the ground a couple of meters away lay a large fiend,on the ground with a hole through its head. She looked around, trying to findthe source of the shot. She heard something and turned round. A meter away onthe ground was someone clearly alive, a young teen from what she could tell,tugging at a patch of roots and vines around his ankle. Two pistols sat inholsters attached to a belt, either of which could easily have been used toshoot the fiend lying behind them. He noticed her and looked up with anexpression of utter terror, and attempted to scramble backwards, although hisfoot was still stuck. She crouched down and spoke calmly. “Don’t worry kid. Youmanaged to take care of that thing yourself.” The kid continued his attempt toget away. She got the idea that it wasn’t the undead he was scared of. “Calmdown. I’m not going to hurt you. Let’s just see what we can do here.” She tookout her dagger from its holster on her belt and started cutting the vinesencompassing his feet, being careful not to do anything that would make herlook like a threat to the terrified kid sitting there. As she cut through thelast piece keeping his foot in place, he moved backwards quickly until his backconnected with a tree. He still seemed terrified, but he wasn’t making a moveto take out his weapons or run. She approached him calmly. “It isn’t safe outhere on your own. Do you have a group somewhere?” The boy shook his headweakly. “You’ve survived this long alone?” The boy didn’t react consciously,but from what she could read of his facial expression it was a bad question. Clark’s voice came from some distance away. “Sarah? Canyou hear me?” She shouted back in reply. “I’m fine! Just come over here slowlyand calmly.” She looked back at the teen, who appeared to have snapped backinto fear after hearing Clark’s voice. Hegrabbed at a solid branch and pulled himself up then backed away slowly beforebreaking out into a run away from them. Clarkburst through the foliage behind her and saw the fleeing child. “Who?” “He wasthe one who fired the shot we heard. Got his foot caught in some vines so I cuthim out.” “And he ran away?” “When he heard you coming.” The rest of the group startedassembling behind them. “What was it?” William asked, somewhat anxiously. “Itwas just a scared kid. Around fourteen at my guess. He wouldn’t be any harm tous, but he was terrified.” “You want to go after him?” “No. He didn’t look likehe’d react well.” He nodded and the group realigned themselves with theirintended destination then carried on into the woodland, to whatever lay ahead.
Admitably, I'm not happy with this. The characters aren't really very well developed, it ends abruptly without any real closure or cliffhanger, and the zombie slang is ridiculous. Anyway, I posted this here for your criticisms, not to list mine.
Posted 05 February 2012 - 09:58 PM
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users