It was hot, I can remember that clear as day. All of the windows and doors were thrust wide open. I was home alone, my parents and my sister had gone on somewhat of a "road-trip" all the way up to Cape York. I had to stay home, work commitments, school, but as it happened, this week I had nothing on, and our whole friend group was packing up, and going camping.
I was running late, my parents silver 4wd was parked over by the garage boot wide open and quite literally over-flowing with camping gear. The guys had dropped their stuff off earlier... I was the designated pack mule. But, I'd added my not so insignificant stash of gear onto their already mountainous heap and was almost ready to go.
My Provisional Driving Plates slapped onto the front and back of the car, and I was good to go. Windows down, radio up. I couldn't stop smiling as the thoughts of how great this week was going to be just kept running through my head. Then, my phone rang.
I'll admit, I thought they were joking... I mean, honestly? They'd been in a car crash, were at the hospital but insistent of meeting me at one of the ovals in town so that we could get out. Then John took the phone, and I felt as if it was a joke, it was a hell of a well played one. Screams and sobs in the background. I hung up, after telling him I'd meet them at the oval, if they were joking good on them, they'd got me.
The car was in drive, and the hand break just about to be released when she ran out in front of the car. Hair noted and messy and tear streaks of mascara running down her cheeks, she looked a mess. But, I recognised her. It was Felicity, the only one of our group who had opted out of camping, she and Lewis had been in a relationship over a year and a half by this point (no small time for a teenage relationship). Despite friendly banter, a jealous matches for Lewis' time, we got along quite well.
I ripped the hand break back up and jumped out of the car running towards her. She'd just been on the phone, speaking to Lewis in the hospital when suddenly his voice had been replaced by a horrific rasping breath and screams. She was worried out of her mind.
"The lot of us are meeting up just now, they're getting out the hospital a.s.a.p... I've got one seat if you'd like too come with...?" She simply nodded, and jumped into the passenger side seat.
I drove with more speed than was technically legal, but somewhere inside my head a deep rooted panic was growing, I couldn't explain it. But something was definitely wrong. We sped past the graveyard, I didn't look but Flick swore that she'd seen a funeral procession in utter chaos.
It wasn't long until we'd pulled up at the oval next to the already waiting group. There was eleven of them, Peter and Lewis were in bandages and limping, but otherwise none of them looked overly hurt. We jumped out of the car, and ran to the group.
What I heard that day, I believed without hesitation. If you'd told me the end of the world was happening two days earlier I would have laughed. And if you'd insisted the dead were walking I would have laughed at you.
But that day, I did believe. And we have never been as safe as we were that day even to this.