Word Count: 755
I should’ve shot up a speed ball. I wasn’t as fast as I was usually. Not that having been locked up in a hospital with no exercise for god knows how long helped that. This was their fault I was still so fucked up. They could’ve gotten me sober. I gave an angry, wordless shout, grabbing Joe’s arm.
I wanted to open fire on the crowd of zombies and just mow them down the same way the military did in the hospital. But the relatively fresh memory of how they were drawn to sound then I shot at them before was stuck in my head.
“Shit,” I gasped, running as fast as I could away from them – I’d seen how fast those mother fuckers could move, remember? Joe seemed confused by my speed. A quick glance back at the small swarm behind us told him all he needed to know.
A sharp left. Ducking into an alley to let the fastest ones go straight past us. Quietly trying to get further up that alley before they notice their prey has vanished.
“Left,” I hissed as we reached the end of the alley. It was almost painful, having to go so slowly when they were so close. But it was working. I tried to keep my eyes on both ends of the alley at once, but it wasn’t working so well. Regardless of what I could and couldn’t see, I did make sure Joe stayed in front of me. I felt strangely protective of the kid for some reason, and I guess this and my promise to keep him safe were both spurred on by the fact he seemed to bring out the same ‘older brother’ role that Rayn brought out in me.
We took the turn left into a relatively empty street. We were close to the industrial estate; I’m willing to bet that’s where all those zombies came out from. In a way, that was a good thing – the less zombies still milling around in the estate, the less we had to deal with when we got there.
“I think we’ve lost them,” Joe whispered, tentatively relieved. I wasn’t so sure, but it did seem like they’d run right past us and not realized.
“I hope so,” I murmured.
We pressed on. Silently, I was hoping like fuck that I’d be right first time and get us in and out of there with as little hassle as possible.
Every time we came across a zombie, I took care of it. I didn’t think Joe really had it in him to step up and kill anything at that point. Not so soon after he’d just had his whole life ripped out from under his feet. The kid was stuck in a country he didn’t belong to, with no one to help him except me. I couldn’t relate, exactly, but I don’t think I was wrong about it.
“Up ahead,” I paused to catch my breath. I was breathing hard, and feeling incredibly unfit, which wasn’t like me at all, “the industrial estate is just up ahead. If he’s got his stuff here, it’ll be in warehouse thirty nine.”
“Are you okay?” Joe asked, his eyes flickering the same sort of concern and panic they had when he asked before if I was about to turn.
“I’ve been sedated and bedridden for weeks. I’m not exactly in the best shape,” I growled, feeling my temper wavering ever so slightly. He looked a bit taken aback at the sudden spike in aggression. “Let’s just keep moving.”
The place was quiet. Instead of the usual clang of metal on metal, or the noise of trucks idling to the side, there was just… nothing. I shook my head slightly, clearing it of the unease the lack of noise flooded me with. We cautiously made our way down to warehouse thirty nine and found…
And found it already occupied. Either someone else had had the same idea as me, or Johnny was clearing it out. I pulled the gun out of the waistband of my pants and pushed it into Joe’s hand.
“Just keep it in sight,” I told him as he looked at me, confused. I paused for a second to figure out how to make the machine gun work, before moving forward again. He didn’t argue, at least.
The movements inside the warehouse stopped the second we were noticed. Guns were aimed at us. I raised mine, and though he took a moment, Joe followed suit.