Word Count: 994
I looked down at where he was pointing through the window I was standing next to, straight down into the hungry eyes of four zombies staring back at me. One of them reached up and started clawing at the glass, banging on it.
"Shit." I flicked the safety off my gun and dispatched the first two easily. Glass shattered and fell down over the bodies,a few bits cutting them on their way down, but it did nothing to deter them. The way I'd just done it so quickly, barely thinking about it probably said a lot about me to Joe. Like the kid probably wasn't scared of me enough already.
By the time the second one had fallen down, one of its friends had started climbing up, grabbing for Joe's leg. Joe made the fatal mistake of trying to kick it away, and it latched onto his leg, toppling him and dragging him closer to the edge where the glass had broken. Joe's struggling made the thing clutching at his foot move and threw off my first shot. The bullet went into its neck, spraying blood and dead flesh up at us, but the fucker never batted an eyelid, it just kept pulling, with its head only half attached to its body. I managed to get the second one in its head and stop that last one from getting very far. My head was spinning with the adrenaline. I'd shot in a panic to save myself or Rayn before, but nothing had ever managed to freak me out or stress me in the same way that did just then.
I glanced around to make sure there weren’t any more of those things heading our way before looking over at Joe.
“You okay?” I asked “It didn’t scratch you or anything?” He shook his head, still too shaken up to form any words. “Reckon that’s all of them?” I wasn’t really talking to anyone in particular, but Joe shook his head again.
“There will be more of them in there, you’d be stupid to think otherwise.” I shot him a scowl. “Thanks, by the way,” he added, still a bit unnerved by what had just happened.
“No problem,” I shrugged it off.
“We should move on, or carry on checking the place out,” he said, getting back up onto his feet. “Reckon we can get through that?” I followed his gaze to the pile up on the road and had a proper look at it.
“Yeah,” I nodded when I saw a route through.
“Shouldn’t we move some of the cars, just off the road to make it a bit easier?”
“We’ll be fine,” I assured him, jumping down from the side of the bus, helping Joe steady himself when he landed beside me. We headed back to the car, where Rayn was still sat, oblivious to everything that had just happened. Man, I envied him sometimes. Rayn scooted back over to the passenger seat and I got in, starting up the Rover again.
Slowly, slowly I made my way through the wreckages strewn across the highway. I could see a couple of corpses in cars we passed, but I couldn’t tell if they were dead dead or just pretending to be dead. I didn’t stop to find out.
Joe watched them all nervously out of the window. Rayn was sat there with my gun in his hand, the safety flicked back on.
“You might wanna take the safety off that, y’know. Just in case,” I pointed out as I eased the over sized car around a particularly tight corner. I thought for a minute I’d misjudged the size of this gap.
“You know that’s a bad idea,” he smiled faintly, “remember when you said that to me last time and something made me jump and I shot you in the leg?”
“Vividly,” I nodded, making him giggle quietly. “It’s not funny, you know I hate hospitals. I spent a week laid up and another four on crutches.” And that didn’t include the physiotherapy after.
“It’s funny now,” he protested with a pout, “I didn’t do any lasting damage.” I half smiled. I knew what he was doing – Joe’s anxiety was putting him on edge, so he was trying to distract us all from it. His favorite anecdotes were generally ones that involved something stupid he did, or something that ended in him getting me hurt somehow. Rayn always was a sensitive one.
After a few minutes, though, the silence was hanging heavily between us all. Even Rayn couldn’t think of anything to say to mask the tension in the car. I could see a few zombies milling around the further out of the wreck we got. It was maybe fifty meters or so before I was free to floor the gas pedal, and suddenly all I could see was walking corpses. I crept forward, not wanting to risk the noise of the engine attracting those things out there. Rayn was practically clawing chunks of the seat out beneath him, and I’m pretty sure Joe was in a similar state.
When the first zombie turned around and spotted us, I knew that was it. A couple more followed suit and soon enough they were at the windows.
“LUCA!” Rayn shrieked as one whacked its fist against the window on his side. I slammed my foot down on the gas pedal and shot through them. More than a few bodies hit the bonnet, sliding under the wheels with a hideous crunching sound.
It took a couple of minutes of speeding down the highway for it to sink in that we’d just survived. The tension slowly dissolved from the car. A quick glance in the rearview mirror told me that Joe was more than a little bit relieved. I couldn’t help the laughter that bubbled up and spilt out of my mouth as the buildup of adrenaline in my system sent me on a dizzying high.