A child ran, screaming, through the hospital. It was a rare moment of semi-quietness, and the sound echoed around the walls.
"Maddie, go and see what's wrong with her," I smiled, nudging the toddler towards the distressed little girl.
They talked quietly. Maddie kept telling the girl not to be silly, and eventually they started shouting, both annoyed at the other's contradiction.
"But there are zombies!"
"No there ishn't!"
"Yes there is!"
"Shtop shaying it!"
"Zombies! Zombies, zombies, ZOMBIES!"
Then there was a crash that caused my heart to hit my head. Owen rushed down to the cellar, where the noise had come from, and swore loudly.
"THOMAS YOU IDIOT YOU LEFT THE DOOR OPEN!"
Tom was confused, and so was I. I had been there when he shut the door. Owen swore again and called for immediate help, upon which Simon and Anna ran down to his aid.
Then Simon returned. "Holy shit, there's zombies everywhere. Funnel, help me get the weapons. You too, Rhubarb. Everyone else go and help hold them back. Go go go! Now now now!"
Everyone obeyed his orders. Rhu and I had to run to keep up with him, and my head was panicking. Rhubarb seemed sort of calm, which I thought was strange, but I didn't really take any notice.
Si gave me two pistols and piles three rifles into Rhubarb's arms. I wondered briefly where he'd got those from, but that wasn't really of importance.
"Funnel, what the fucking hell is this?" Si swore a lot when he was scared, and I could see the fear in his eyes. He shook my box of matches.
"I... I dunno. But zombies are flammable..."
He paused for a second, then gave transferred the pistols to thee top of Rhubarb's pile and shoved the box into my hands. Then he pushed as many random weapons into my bag as he could, and slung that over my head. He collected as many of the rest as he could into his arms, and we ran back to the cellar, where people had already been injured.
"CATCH!" Si yelled, and threw his armful of weapons into the room one by one, in quick succession. He kept one of the rifles, then did the same with Rhubarb's stock. Rhu took a crowbar from the bag.
Within that minute, the level of noise in the room rose dramatically as people stopped defending against the zombies and started attacking them.
Si instructed me to stand still and do nothing until he said so, but gave me a cricket bat to hit zombies with.
By the end, nobody was unharmed, and it made me realise how unprepared we were for this.
There was a sudden lull of voices and only gunshots and the disturbing thud of objects against bodies could be heard.
Deep scratches on my arms stung madly, and there was no way to stop the bleeding.
Following the absence of talking, several things happened almost simultaneously. Si mimed fire at me, gesturing to the corpses of the zombies. Tom staggered into me, clutching his side, and all but collapsed beside me, dragging me down with him. Daylight flooded into the room in time for the person who opened it to see flames leap at the ceiling. Rhubarb's scream left my ears ringing.
Everyone paused for half a second that felt like half an hour, and then sprang into action again.
Simon dragged an unconscious Tom away from me and I darted to where Rhubarb slumped against the wall as our uninvited but helpful guests knocked down the last remaining zombies.
The group split. Anna dragged me away from Rhubarb and forced me to go with her towards the open door to outside, aided slightly by Simon, who had laid Tom on the ground. Jonathan glanced painfully at his sister before following us out.
Owen quickly talked to the newcomers while Anna and Si tended to Tom.
I hadn't collapsed into tears just yet, but I was close to it.
"Berny, what happened to Rhubarb?" Jon asked me quietly.
"She got shot," I replied under my breath. "... I think it was an accident..."
Then we both began crying.