The wind rustled dangerously through Camden's fingers as he placed one hand in front of the other his legs moving at a sluggish pace.
As he closed his eyes he wiped away the tears building there and reminded himself of when he and Carl were kids. When their parents used to take them to the local zoo where Camden would watch a spider monkey crawl across the rope. While Carl told loud jokes to make him laugh.
Now he was the Spider Monkey and the dead were the laughing spectators.
No, forget a spider monkey, Camden felt more like a sloth.
A sloth losing it's grip on the tree.
He could only look up to the sky as the grey clouds gathered he could hear shouts of encouragement from the other side, none of them meant anything to him, he was going to fall. He knew it, his arms were filling with lactic acid, his legs felt like dumbbells weighing him down.
Yet he kept moving, a sweat began to break over his skin. "Just put one foot in front of the other, drag yourself forward..." he told himself.
He was stopped by a body in front of him, Bradley wasn't moving.
"What's going on?" he found himself gasping, (never a good sign) to the pale boy in front of him. Camden noticed his arm's were shaking like jelly and on his face there was sheen of sweat, Bradley didn't need to give an answer he received it a second later.
"MOVE!" Mariam screeched ahead of him, through his upside down vision Camden had seen that Sally was frozen in place on the thick brown rope.
"I CAN'T MOVE! I'LL FALL!" She screamed.
Where she clutched the rope, it buckled downwards, Camden didn't know how the rope hadn't snapped yet, it was a quite thick brown sort of rope which was made of small plastic fibres that made it fairly stretchy. But the rope was already digging into the cracks in Camden's fingers turning them an sore red colour, with his body weight pulling him down he wished he had a harness, yet he could imagine how Sally was coping with her giant gut acting like a boulder dragging her down and sapping her energy with each step she took.
From behind him Danny started to bellow thin words of encouragement to her. "Come on Sal, we'll make it to the other side, but you gotta move!" He yelled.
"I'll fall! I can't..." she sobbed.
White hot panic began to soar through Camden's entire being, Ian's words of comfort were so false they may as well been hisses of hate. From behind him he could see the undead flinging themselves off the roof try and catch them, while others stumbled clean off the edge.
Like the boy.
Camden shut his eyes. Sandy had awoken and was crying, Sally was sobbing, her panic controlling her, paralyzing her.
Like the boy.
"JUST FUCKING MOVE! WERE ALL GOING TO FALL IF YOU DON'T!" Mariam screamed in built up frustration, Sally shook her head her happy aura gone, Camden now seeing her in her striped back layer of pure and utter terror.
Sally's sobs grew louder.
Mariam's screaming intensified.
The shots of encouragement grew forever louder.
More zombies hissed and fell, the distant thuds making Camden sick as his world got as tispy turvsy as it could physically get. His hands slipping slowly. His sense of vertigo slipping in as his whole world began spinning as tons of blood rushed to his hanging head, the buildings beside him bobbing up and down and seemingly growing larger and then smaller again.
He could hear his own breath in his mouth, beads of puffy sweat began to roll from his scalp to the abyss of crimson-black tarmac below him.
Then it happened.
"NO! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING!?" Danny screamed.
Mariam had lost all patience, she had grabbed Sally and began to shake her viciously, Sally screamed and wailed, but it was too no avail, Sally was screaming herself hoarse, as Mariam finally shook her violently until Sally's fingers slipped one by one, she tried to reclaim her grip but with a tug of her legs, Sally was left hanging, Mariam shook the rope one more time and this pushed Sally from the rope.
The fat cheery woman, who Camden had grown fairly fond of, fell as his gut did, her shrill screaming stopping with a distant cracking thud on the floor below, Camden's eyes closed in horror as behind him he heard Danny shred a sob but although Camden's eyes were hot and his mind numb at what he had just witnessed, he kept moving forwards as Bradley did.
He kept moving forward, just wanting this horror to end as his muscles started to seize up.
Then he heard his brother's voice. Loudest of them all from the other side, egging him on, "CAM-DEN! CAM-DEN COME ON!" It repeated, his brother's voice flooded him with confidence he could do this, he could...
Just as Ian crawled onto the roof. It happened.
The rope that Sally had tied around the other end of the flat had come loose, Camden got that strange feeling he got when he missed a stair on a staircase his stomach fleeting, before with a bellow of fear. Him, Danny and Bradley, fell.
The rope swung them violently through the heavy air, braced for an almighty impact although the good thing was that the three of them were close to the other roof, so when they hit the flat on the other side it wasn't as bad as it could have been.
However Camden hit the wall alot harder than he expected too, his finger's firmly placed around the rope crushed under the impact.
Screaming in agony, he could see of his fingers were bleeding profusely, yet he kept them gripped to the rope.
He looked up. The rope was dangling over the edge of the building but the impact had not only knocked the wind out of him as he hung on by a mere bloody hand now, his other hand failing limp at his side, a throbbing in his calf already told Camden a large deep blue bruise was forming there. His cap (still on his head, somehow) become lopsided over the right side of his face his body swayed Camden felt something heavy slide from his pocket.
His kitchen Knife.
It caught Danny below him, Danny was heavier than Camden and suffered more damage from the impact (and he was further behind on the rope) yet sheer willpower had kept his blood coated hands locked on the now slippery rope yet, Camden gazed down just as the knife sliced his wrists, a small cut but all that was needed for Danny to finally lose his grip, with alarm in his eyes he tried to grab for the rope again.
His meaty hand missed.
He fell on his back, his eyes facing Camden as he fell, horror evident within them as Camden watched him fall all the way, until he was black dot with a crimson halo spreading around him. He didn't even scream or shout, that was made it so haunting to Camden he was just gone... like that.
He had killed Danny. However how accidental it was, he had caused that man's death.
Camden gulped as he slipped further down the rope knowing this was it, knowing he would die here Carl wouldn't pull the rope up in time. He would die here. His mind strangely at peace as he prepared to just end it all, the untouched whitish black surface of the flat right in front of his nose affected heavily by weathering and a lack of fresh paint being the last thing he would ever see.
"I'm sorry Carl" he thought, he just felt he had nothing to live for especially after he caused the deaths of two people, he couldn't live with himself. As he prepared to die, he felt the boy above him buckle.
Forgetting all his thoughts of death in an instance, Camden reached up and used his hand at his side to push Bradley up. The kid's hand were bruised but because he was obviously a lot lighter than Danny and Camden the impact hadn't affected him as badly as it had if he was heavier. Yet Camden could feel his entire being shaking uncontrollably as he tried to keep the boy upright he was either in agony, shock or fear of falling.
"Come on kid" He grunted. "Pull yourself up"
"I can't" Bradley moaned. "My arms hurt"
"You gotta try kid, just because your arms hurt doesn't mean you just let go, you hold on with everything you've got" he lectured, finding it a little hypocritical as he had given up on life himself.
Or had he?
Bradley looked down now, he looked a bit calmer when he store at Camden.
"It's scary up here" he admitted.
"Try to... think of something else" Camden suggested.
"I... can't think of anything good!" Bradley exclaimed.
"Just look at me then and don't look down, you'll be fine"
"No I won't I'll fall before I get..." Camden smiled widely in the middle of this sentence Bradley wondered why, hence why he stopping speaking. He was about to ask Camden what he was smiling at before he found out himself. As a large flabby arm wrapped itself around his waist with a small "Oh" noise he was pulled upwards.
A second later, four pairs of tough hands had dragged him to level ground Camden breathed in disbelief, it was over. He was alive!
Carl was on him in a second, his arm on his shoulder was all Camden needed to show he was supportive to show him that he was there.
"You okay?" came an unfamiliar voice.
Camden looked up, it was the blonde fat man who seemed to lead this group.
"Fine, arms are killing me though" Camden admitted. "Hardly surprising" the man (he remembered his name as Oliver) said. "Show's over then, Steph, Stan help me get these folks inside".
In all honesty other than his bleeding hands and aching arms that throbbed with a dull agony along with the crippling bruise on his hip. He also felt very nauseous after that climb, he sat himself on the floor to gain his breath so everything would stop spinning and the blood would leave his head as he regained his breath.
He looked up as he regained himself and saw a woman who liked a lot like Anna, (just without the grey hairs) help get Mariam inside, who seemed isolated from the rest of the group, after what she did Camden could hardly blame her.
"Hey erm..." A small voice came from behind Camden he turned to see a beaming Bradley shyly making his way towards him, holding his bruised hands tightly "Well Thank Mr. Marshall here" Ian said, clearly he had good memory if he could remember when Camden had stuttered his last name in a quiet voice yesterday.
"Thanks" Bradley's voice was firm.
Camden was already on all fours so he was able to make eye contact with the kid, he may have been tall for his age, but he still only just peaked over five feet. "No problem" was all Camden said, all he needed to say, Bradley smiled as Camden rose and proceeded towards Carl as they headed towards the inside of the flat.
So there was him, Carl, Ian, Bradley, Mariam and her baby daughter Sandy.
Along with Oliver the fat blonde haired leader, the Anna look a like, "Steph" or "Stephanie" Camden thought who (by the way she kissed Oliver on the cheek and their matching wedding rings) told Camden that she was Oliver's wife and a blonde boy slightly older than Bradley who must have been "Stan" who was Oliver's son.
Other than that family of three, there were others. The two men that had pushed Camden to safety a plan looking man with platinum blonde hair and freckles. A little blonde girl who peered in on the scene behind him, as well as a man who had covered his entire face with a mask, so much so only one eye and mouth were showing.
He would have question the seemingly mute man later.
Others included a poker faced mixed race woman in her mid to late twenties, a kindly looking elder black woman, an obese, plastic looking goth girl in her late teens.
New people, new places. 15 of them were present.
Now it began.