The eight day seemed to stretch on as if time itself was slowing down. Slowing down to torment Stanley Mitchell who was waiting pacing up and down the corridors using a rolled up piece of tin foil as a make shift football as he kicked it across the creamy walls of the corridor.
"He shoots, he scores!" He mouthed to himself making the tin foil soar over his head and bounced off a faded flower on the decorations on the peeling walls. Beaming at himself he ran back and forth "Still got it Stan, Still got it" he told himself happily as he prepared to kick the life out of the tin foil.
However Stanley soon realised that a decomposing, colourless and constricted corridor was no placebo but for wide open plain and blaring green freedom of the football pitch he was so used too. Sighing as he interest wavered he slumped by a window staring out at the destroyed city trying to spot his old school or football pitch yet it was like trying to spot a needle in a haystack.
Everything below him was smouldering black right now.
He closed his eyes trying to imagine happier times, all his friends clasping his back while he ran across the football pitch, all of his friends... Mike, Terry, Josh, he tried calling them after he and his parents had got behind the barricade in their flat but it was a fruitless attempt. The computers were also a no go, as the electricity was gone the TV's as well. He didn't want to ponder on what happened to his friends.
"They could be alive, like me" Stanley thought.
Yet he wasn't as childishly optimistic as his new found friend Rose was. Bearing in mind she was ten and he was thirteen nearly fourteen, hence his first few years in high school had already transformed him into a young jack of the lad his head slowly filling with thoughts of lust as his body was already changing. His chest growing more broad, faint strands of dark blonde hair sprouting up in places Stan didn't want the general population to see.
Bearing this in mind he was slowly becoming a fully fledged teenager and despite his cool front as the last wisps of childhood blew off him, he knew the situation was a lot more grim to what his parents had fed him so he knew deep down his friends were most likely dead. and that it would be a long time before he ever saw a football pitch again, or ever get to play again.
"Why did you stop?"
Stan nearly jumped out of wits, he saw the figure of Bradley peering at him from a shaded spot at the edge of the corridor "Were you watching me?" Stan asked rather defensive as he stood up slowly, Bradley took a step towards him. "Yeah, you're pretty good" he complimented thinly.
"Do you play footie?"
"Shame" Stan said at Bradley's response "But if you don't play it why are you watching me?" at this point the younger pale boy seemed to flinch slightly "I was bored, I didn't think you keep on playing if you knew I was watching"
"It's kinda weird to watch people like that, hasn't your dad told you that?" Stan asked, not liking the creepy vibe he got around this kid, despite the fact Stanley stood a little taller than the lanky eleven year old, his skeletal figure and scars on his neck with those blank black eyes still creeped him out.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to be weird" Bradley responded hastily to Stan's comment yet everything about Bradley was weird to Stan.
Rose was on the roof when Quincey approached her.
"Where you have been, Delilah says she misses having you around when we play Nail throwing" Rose said without even turning to look at him, she knew his approach way to well she could even smell his approach.
"Nail throwing, is that the most creative name you could up with?" Quincey asked sitting beside her on the roof as she turned to face him "Well what else would you call it? Zombie Game? Throwing Nails into Zombie mouth game?" Rose asked sarcastically. "Target practice for one, see? BOOM! I just hit you with a better name than all of yours combined, bang on target, I win this argument!"
"No you don't! You're not even making sense!" Rose bellowed as she jumped on Quincey and tried to climb onto her older brother's sloped shoulders, yet she slipped as Quincey turned and caught her "Looks like you don't make a very good climber either" Quincey noted, "I'll get better" Rose huffed as she stuck up her nose at him as Quincey smiled lightly.
"Okay little miss high and mighty? You think you can climb?" at this he hoisted his sister onto his shoulders as her hands latched around his neck "Then I'll take you on an adventure!" at this he began to run around the roof in circles, as fast as his legs could carry him his sister was laughing and screaming in equal measures.
"STOP! PUT ME DOWN! PUT ME DOWN!"
When Quincey finally started to get dizzy (and not wanting to end up stumbling off the edge of the roof) he stopped as he helped his younger sister collapse onto the floor as she gasped a grin still on her face, yet she was red as can be "You're not funny" she eventually said.
"Aw, little miss high and mighty just needs some cheering up" Quincey said as his arms dug beneath his sister arms and found her armpits, moving his fingers back and forth she let out a torrent of chuckles as she tried to escape his tickling, yet it was without success. Finally when she laughed herself dry, Quincey stopped as he crouched by where Rose was curled on the floor.
They settled down after a few more minutes of sibling bickering, as they both lay on the roof staring at the sky and the clouds that drifted by. Finally Quincey asked "How are you coping sis?"
"I'm fine" she replied.
"Seriously?" he asked looking at her.
"Well..." she muttered slightly wary before she decided to open up to him, she was closer to her brother than anyone else " It's a bit boring here and I sometimes I still think about Dad and Mum"
Quincey patted her on the shoulder "It's lucky I came back when I did, I'm sorry you had to see that" he said sadly remembering how he rushed to his sister's apartment only to find his zombified parents, or parent and step mother banging their heads on a closet door. He had a small swiss army knife on him, how he did it, he didn't know but all he knew that afterwards he was aching and exhausted and covered in black blood.
With his father dead at his feet. Sliced up and not moving a muscle.
Quincey had no time to grieve, he could only stare at the bodies. It was then he noticed a pair of deep blue eyes watching him from the gaps in the closet door he opened them in a numb haze and there was Rose. Hugging herself in the closet her hands over her ears, tears streaming down her face. Upon seeing this Quincey broke down in tears too.
"It's okay, I'm here" his voice broke as he crouched down and extended his arms.
Rose flew right into him, sobbing hysterically he stroked her hair as he muffled her sobbing by pressing her to his chest "It's okay, it's okay, I'm here now, I'm going to look after you" he said crying himself locked in that embrace for what seemed like forever but it was probably only a few minutes at most.
"D-d and M-m-m" Rose mumbled in horror.
"I know, it's horrible" Quincey thought. He had just returned to his home city after a trek in the Alps he was still wearing his climbing gear, when the dead started rising he had to go to his sister's he was going there anyway. He hated his father and step-mother but loved his sister dearly. She would sit up for hours listening to his tales on the other side of the world.
He saw a light in her deep blue eyes so like his own, the need for adventure, the need to explore, being locked up in that damp rotting apartment must have been horrible for her yet she kept a light demeanour and cheery face which Quincey had to admire.
He carried her petite form in his arms as he "travelled" to the only home they had in the city, his rented home where he came back too after his treks, in the flat they were currently in now. Looks like, once again the pair of them were stuck.
That's why they were on the roof now. Seeking freedom. Seeking fresh air.
"Is this where Mum...?" Rose asked pointing at the edge of the roof.
"Yeah, it was Rose" Quincey answered, he and his parents had lived here before along with Quincey. Quincey and Rose's real mother was a sweet woman with a taste of adventure but when Quincey was seventeen and Rose was less than a year old he had to watch her... fall. From this very roof, his father moved and married another woman who Rose saw as her real "Mother" yet the pair of them didn't like Quincey and that hatred was returned.
Too him Rose was the last of his true family.
"We'll be out of here soon though Sis, trust me I can finally take you to see the world"
"You mean it!" Rose beamed her eyes wide as she looked at that blissful never ending horizon, she wanted to be out here like her big brother to see the wondrous world in all its glory she been trapped in this city for too long she wanted to break free.
"Yeah and think about it no passports, no money, we can just walk where want too, we can go where we want, whether the others like or not" he said.
"We'll go over the rainbow!" Rose exclaimed, she loved watching the Wizard Of Oz and she loved the song even more.
"Yeah we will, we won't need to be here where Mum..." he shuddered before continuing "We'll go Rose, I promise you sooner rather than later I'll show you the world" and he meant that promise, as they came down from the roof where the sun began to set Quincey would live to travel and survive.
And he reckoned whatever he had to do, to get "Over The Rainbow" he would do.
No matter how dark.