Chapter 9Mature

Shoving his way through the small crowd of zombies to exit the alley had been easy enough. Some barely had time to register his presence before they collapsed under the force of his knives being thrust through their skulls. The few that did notice didn’t have much more time than the others.

Adrenaline surged through his veins, sizzling away beneath his skin and fanning the embers of his will to survive into a roaring inferno. Having fought his way out into the main street in front of the hotel, his eyes were met with a sight that would have flipped the stomachs of even the hardiest. There were so many corpses shuffling through the spaces between abandoned cars and buildings. I should’ve checked the street out the windows at the front, he thought to himself irritably. It was such a stupid mistake that he berated himself as he edged carefully down the front of the building, doing his best to move so slowly he would remain unnoticed.

Any undead that strayed too close were subjected to a swift, quiet end, but it felt like an endless tide. Wave after wave stumbled closer and it wasn’t long before he was noticed. The dull roar of guttural groans and moans suddenly changed. The alert hissing and growling spread from a couple that Cancer had not yet dispatched, and suddenly it felt as though every zombie on the street had seen him.

Abandoning his cautious approach, he bolted forward, kicking, shoving and punching his way through. His heart raced with panic and fear as a set of teeth snapped shut a hair’s breadth from his neck. He whipped his hand out to his right, striking a sharp blow to the foul creature’s head. As the ones at the back of the crowd moved forward, they pushed mindlessly into others, forcing them closer to him.

Wildly, Cancer looked around him, desperate for there to be a way out of this. This was not the way he had pictured dying.

Not too far ahead, there was a blessing from god lying on the street - a small food truck that had been on its way to deliver god-knows-what to god-knows-where, lay abandoned, having come to a rest on its side. A fresh surge of determination carried him forwards, still hacking and slashing, but not as wildly as before. A glint of determination had settled in his eyes, and he knew now that this was not the day he was going to die. This was not the day he was going to become -

A bony hand grabbed his ankle mid-stride. It pulled him with terrifying strength to the ground. The world lurched and tarmac rushed up to kiss his nose and lips. Somewhere in the back of Cancer’s mind, the pain shot through his nerves like electricity. But it wasn’t important.

With a fierce kick, he dislodged the thing clinging to him and scrambled up as far as his knees. There were too many. His right hand deftly sheathed the hunting knife and reached for the gun nestled in its holster.

With a well practiced efficiency, he put bullets in the heads of those that were close enough to pose more than the usual threat to him. His breaths came in short, shallow bursts as four bodies flopped onto the ground harmlessly. He jumped to his feet, narrowly escaping the one behind him that he had missed and pushed on.

He reached the truck faster than he had dared hope. With shaking hands, he put the second blade between his teeth and unfastened the bolt on the back of the vehicle. The bottom door slammed down into the ground at his feet, spilling an undiscovered bounty of boxes filled with canned fruit. Grabbing a couple of the boxes, he threw them back inside the truck, following them into the relatively small space. One hand held the bottom door shut while the other searched around for a packing strap or something to use to hold the door shut without locking himself in the truck. Unsuccessful in his search, he yanked on the lace on one of his shoes, doing his best to get it free quickly. All he could hear was the slightly muffled growls and snarls of the undead scratching at the sides of the truck, and his own heartbeat pounding in his ears. With a grimace, he let go of the door, shooting the first few he could see, trying to buy himself enough time to tie the shoelace to the bar on the door.

The End

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