The sound of muffled gunfire was almost drowned by the moaning from beyond the wall. Death was clawing at the gates, begging to be let in. The smell of electric fear hung thick in the air. It was us or them.
Behind those of us standing on the wall, there was crying, praying, panic. I could hear a few fights breaking out, and people trying to stop them. I glanced to my left and saw the hard, grim look on this guy’s face. I didn’t really know his name, but I knew his story. He’d been in Afghanistan. He’d seen plenty of fucked up shit going on there, killed more people than he ever wanted to admit. You could see it in his eyes, and hear it in the words he left unspoken.
I wondered how this compared to Afghanistan.
I wondered if he felt as comfortable with his gun in his hands as I did, if he longed for a zombie to shoot in the head like I did.
An explosive crashing sound to my right made me look away from him. I could see from where I was stood what had made that sound. My heart stopped for a moment as I realized what was happening. There was a dip in the wall. Part of the base had been broken away and now the wall we were standing on was collapsing.
“RETREAT!” I heard being screamed down the line. It was like a vocal Mexican wave of people shouting to retreat. I passed the order on and ran for the nearest ladder down. The wall shook violently and I missed my footing, tripping over.
I hardly even noticed as someone stood on my hand in their desperation to get off the wall.
I picked myself up and kept moving. That was all I could think of: keep moving. Just keep moving. Get back to Eloise and Alicia. Find Joe. Keep moving.
When I reached the ground, I could hear Joe’s voice going hoarse, shouting at people to move back, towards the other end of the town.
The wall trembled again. The muzzle of someone’s rifle caught my temple. I staggered back, trying to keep my footing while the wall shook. Dizziness washed over me.
There was this sickening cracking noise as I landed on the ground and then the lights went out.