The Infection Chapter 4: Plan RequiredMature

(Ch.4)

“Thank God someone else made it out” Burt said breathlessly.
“I thought for a second I was the only one to get out”.

Maybe Burt saw more than I did, and he knew more of what
happened inside the locker room. I couldn’t help but ask.

“Did you see anyone else get out?” I asked. I shouldn’t have
set my hopes so high, because Burt shook his head and crushed them.

He took a big sigh, and a few deep breaths, then delivered
the bad news. “Carson got taken down” Burt said, “He tried to beat his way
out”.

Oh no, not Carson. And just when I thought the two of us
were starting to get along, when I believed that he would be an okay person for
Hannah to go out with. That’s when another thing struck me: how will she feel?

I looked over at her. Tears were forming in her eyes.

She shook her head. “No…no…”

Burt swallowed, then tried to make her feel better. “He died
bravely, Hannah. He was beating those zombies to the ground. He just couldn’t
take them all”.

Now I felt guilty. I had just made out with the girl of my
dreams who just lost the boy of her dreams. I could’ve saved them, I could’ve,
and I know it. I just… didn’t.

Trent, Harry, Geoff, Maria, Steven, Rachel, Carson…all of
them were killed, and by my hand. I still hoped that they had somehow survived.
Maybe James Bond rushed in and threw a grenade in that killed all of the
zombies I thought. That wasn’t the craziest theory I came up with.

“I want to go check the locker room” I said.

Burt looked at me as though I had just turned bright purple.
“Are you crazy Tyler?” he exclaimed. “The zombies are probably still in there.
You’ll be torn to pieces!”

“I owe it to those people to sacrifice my life to check” I
replied. “I killed them all…”

“No!” Hannah said, grabbing my shoulder. “You didn’t do
that, it wasn’t your fault!”

“I got you out at least” I said. I looked over at Burt. “I’m
going to look for them. If in the case I don’t return…” I glanced over at
Hannah, whose eyes were pleading with me to stay. I whispered in Burt’s ear,
“Make sure she gets out”. He nodded the patted me on the back.

“You’re a cool guy Tyler” he said. Whoa. One of the most
popular kids in school just said I was a cool guy. My fantasy story had come
true, just with a different twist on it. I guess I’ll go down a hero…

I walked down the hallway towards the door that could just
lead to my untimely demise. I turned around, taking one last look at who might
be the last two people alive in this school other than me. I turned back
towards the door and slowly opened it up…then I stepped inside.

Surprisingly, there were no zombies in the room. After
searching the room for about five minutes I couldn’t find any remains of any of
the people inside. Maybe they had found a way to escape the clutches of those
mutants. I did, however, see a lot of blood over by the entrance, which was
most likely from Carson I assumed. But there was no body…

There was a little creaking sound in the room. Instantly
alert, I spun around and got into a fighting stance. Out of the back corner of
the locker room, something crawled out of one of the locker doors.

“Tyler? That you?” the figure asked. I recognized the voice
instantly.

“Harry!” I shouted, running over to him. “How did you-“

“In the confusion, I slipped inside” he said, “and I remained
deathly quiet. Did you really think they’d take me down so easily?” he laughed,
punching me on the shoulder. That had been the first laugh I’ve heard in a
while. It made me feel a little better.

“Did you see where anyone else went?” I questioned. He
nodded.

“Rachel hid in a different locker”. He called out, “It’s
safe!”

She emerged from a locker few lockers down from the one
Harry squeezed inside.

Rachel ran over and hugged Harry. “You survived!” she said
happily. She looked over at me. “And you to! I thought for a second I might be
all alone”.

“Burt and Hannah are in the back hallway” I said, “they both
made it out OK”.

“Let’s go meet up with them” Harry said. “It’s best if we
stick together”.

I led the two of them to the back door, then into the
hallway. Hannah was sitting down again, crying, and Burt was leaning against
the wall next to her. Both of them immediately bolted towards us.

“Tyler!” Hannah shouted. She ran over to me. “Don’t act so
stupidly brave like that anymore!” She embraced me and started laughing.
“There’s more of us then I thought” she said. “We still have a chance”.

“Did you see anyone else, by any chance” Burt asked Harry
and Rachel. Both of them shook their heads.

“It was too chaotic to tell who was who and where everyone
was running off to” Harry said.

“So there’s still Geoff, Steven, Maria, and Trent missing”
Burt said. “Let’s go back and look for them”.

“There’s no way they made it” I said. “I checked that room
from top to bottom. No one could have made it out”.

Harry suddenly clapped his hands. “I can’t believe I forgot
this” Harry said. He walked me over away from the group and whispered in my
ear. “You know how I’ve peeked into the girl’s locker rooms, right?” I nodded.
“Well, I peeked through this one window from the storage room. Maybe some of
them went inside there!”

We walked back over to the group. “What was that all about?”
Rachel asked.

“There might be some more survivors” Harry said. “Follow
me!”

He led us back into the girl’s locker room and into the
left-hand corner of the room. Sure enough, there was a window there that was
wide open. There was some blood dripping from the windowsill. There had to be
somebody up there.

“Looks like the zombies forgot to close this one up” Burt
commented. He stared hard at the window as though he had an invisible ruler in
his mind taking measurements. “There’s no way I can fit through that” he said,
shaking his head. “But the rest of you can” he said, gesturing to me and the
others.

“I’m not sure I could make it either” I said, “but I’ll give
it a go”.

“I’ll give you guys a boost up so you can get up easier”
Burt said. Harry crawled through the little window first, followed by Rachel,
then Hannah. I sized up the hole again, then crawled through. It was a tight
fit, but I managed to make it inside the storage room. It was quite the sight:
there were huge boxes piled on top of each other on large shelves. In the
middle of the room were the smaller boxes strewn across the dark gray floor,
some of them with their contents open. A forklift rested beside a garage door,
surprisingly intact.

Our now downsized group gazed around the big room. Harry
finally made a comment. “They could’ve hid anywhere inside here…there’s so many
boxes, niches…so much”.

I called out. “Hey, anyone in here!” Harry clasped a hand
over my mouth.

“Keep it quiet, loudmouth” he said, “you might alert the
zombies”. He was right, of course: I needed to keep my voice low. Even though
Harry didn’t approve of my shouting, it must have worked. There was a faint
sound of a box opening, and some cautious footsteps coming towards our
position.

Over by one of the big shelves, I could see someone watching
us. The head quickly retracted, then multiple figures emerged. It sounded as
though they were whispering. The figures rounded the corner of the shelf,
revealing themselves as Trent, Geoff, and Maria. Each of them was holding onto
another figure. The other group of survivors ran over to us and laid the body
on the floor.

“You guys are alive!” Rachel exclaimed.

“Yeah, yeah, sure. Give us a hand here, will ya?” Geoff
snapped back at her. I walked over to him and saw that the body that they had
been carrying was Steven Federer. He had been stabbed in the chest by a zombie
claw, but looked to not be infected.

“He’s lucky that the claws didn’t get any deeper, or he
would be dead. His organs seem fine, but the cut is still pretty severe” Geoff
briefed me in. “I need some bandage material of some kind to stop his
bleeding”.

I heard Burt call from the window. “Hey, what’s going on up
there?”

Hannah responded. “We found the other four, but Steven’s
been cut up pretty bad”. There was a pause.

“There might be a First Aid kit in here. It might not help
too much, but it’s something” came the reply.

“Maybe there’s something we can use in the crates” Trent
said, running off to search.

Maria put her head in her hands. “We’re all getting killed
off” she whispered. “Who’s next?” Her comment scared me because of the truth of
it: we all WERE kicking the bucket, one by one. If we didn’t get out of the
hell which had at one time been a high school, we’d be doomed for sure.

“Here!” Burt shouted. A red bag was tossed in the room from
the locker room. “I think there’s some bandages in there”.

Maria ran over to retrieve the bag while Geoff tended to
Steven.

“I need bandages now, or he’ll die from excessive bleeding”.
Maria rushed over and handed him some bandaging tape. “Oh thank God…I guess
this will do” he said, grabbing the tape from her. There was a groan from
Steven.

“It…hurts” he grunted, a few tears forming I his eyes. I had
to give him credit for staying strong after an injury like that.

“Any disinfectant inside that bag?” Geoff asked Maria, “I
need to clean the wound”. She nodded, then produced a bottle of the substance.
Geoff squirted some of the stuff on the wound.

“Ow! That stings!” Steven shouted. After putting on the
disinfectant, Geoff carefully applied the tape on Steven, covering up the wound
and ceasing the student’s bleeding.

“Well” Geoff said, standing up to look upon Steven, “that’s
the best I can do. Think you can move?”

“Augh…ow…” he gasped. Slowly, he tried to ease into a
sitting position, then fell back on his back. “I don’t think I can”. He looked
around at us. “You should go on without me. I’ll just drag you down”.

“We’re not leaving anyone behind” I said. I looked over to
my right and saw two metal poles about the same height as Steven. I ran over,
grabbed them, then rushed back over to his side. “Maybe you can use these to
prop yourself up” I said, handing over the poles. Steven reached out and took
them, then slowly stood up using the poles for support.

“Still hurts like heck” he said, “but I’m on my feet”.

Trent came running back to our group “Did you guys get
anything, cause I couldn’t find bandage material”.

Geoff nodded. “We’re all good. Steven’s bandaged up and
standing”.

Steven sighed. “Now you guys have to carry around a cripple.
How do you expect to escape if you’re dragging me along? Just leave me to die”.

“We’re all breaking out of here” Harry said defiantly.
“Every one of us”. Rachel walked over by his side.

“You heard him. We’re all getting out of here”. Both of them
looked at each other and looked each other. At least the two of them were
getting along. The two of them made me wonder if we did find a way out, how
would our lives continue? Would Hannah and I still be together, friends or
more? Will Harry and Rachel hook up? Will we all be able to just walk away from
something this traumatic?

“Well, that sounds really inspirational, but we’re still
trapped in here” Steven said, bowing his head. “The windows and doors are
sealed shut. There’s no way out of here”.

“There’s got to be a way to blow that stuff off” Trent said.
“There’s no way that it’s indestructible”.

“Burt was planning earlier” Geoff said, “maybe we can make
some sort of bomb to destroy that stuff”.

“There’s only one problem” Maria said. “How are we supposed
to get to a science room? There are probably going to be zombies around every
corner”.

That was a really good question at this point. How in the
world could we maneuver nine people through a zombie infested school into a
science room? And one of those people wasn’t even in the room with us, and
couldn’t make it inside if he tried. And an even better question, how were we
going to construct an explosive devise without any experience in the area? So
many questions, and a lot less answers.

I guess Burt got tired of standing around in the locker
room. “Alright, the opening looks small, but I’m trying to get in. I might need
some help though”.

“You sure you want to try?” I asked him, running over to the
window.

“If we want to make some progress getting out of here, then
yeah” he replied. He climbed on top of the lockers and began easing himself
inside the window. However, he got stuck when about half of his body was
through. He cursed, then started wriggling about and trying to free himself.

“Darnit, I’m stuck” he muttered. “Can you give me a hand?”
he asked me. I bent down and grabbed one of his hands, then I began to pull him
out. It wasn’t easy, but I was able to get Burt out of there.

“Let’s not do that again” he said, shaking his head. He ran
over to the others. “We got any plans from here?”

I guess he figured out we were at a complete loss at what we
should do next, because all of us fell silent and began looking side to side,
daydreaming about our own ridiculous realities. Steven finally spoke up.

“We were thinking about making a bomb using stuff from the
science rooms” he said.

“That’s a good plan” Geoff said, “we can make some material
to break that white substance too. But there’s just one big, unanswered
question”. He shrugged. “How do we plan to actually do this stuff? I don’t
think any of us know how to create an explosive devise or dissolving material”.

“We can experiment” Maria suggested.

“But how do we experiment during a zombie apocalypse? We’ll
get chewed up” Harry pointed out.

“I’d have to believe there’s some experiment plans in the
science rooms” Trent said. “Maybe we can gain something from them”.

I finally had an idea strike my head. “The burners use
propane, right?” I asked for clarification. Everyone nodded. “Propane is
explosive material, right?” There was more head shaking, more enthusiastic this
time. “Then let’s use it to make a bomb”.

“Alright, that’s one ingredient” Burt said. “But we’re going
to need something more”.

“Like a fuse” Steven pointed out.

“We’ll need a match to light the propane” Rachel said, which
was followed by a “right!” from Harry.

“We still need a way to get all of this done” Maria pointed
out.

“She’s right” Geoff said. “Standing here and listing cooking
ingredients without the pot is useless. Any ideas?”

Trent shrugged, then shared his idea. “I’ve been thinking,
just thinking, that there’s a few golf carts left in the gym’s storage room
from our golfing field trip. Remember that?”

“Trent, that was years ago, and since then the school has
had to sell some stuff because of budget problems” I said. “Besides, do you
really think we can win a zombie apocalypse with golf carts?” His idea sounded
completely ridiculous, and right now we didn’t have time for such things.

“It’s a better plan than what we have now” he replied, his
eyes giving off a determined look. I sighed, then nodded, agreeing to his plan.

“They’re pretty small, but they can fit four people a cart
and can go pretty fast. We can burst through the gym doors into the main
entrance and make a run for the science rooms”.

“Road rage” Harry snickered, “now THAT’S what I’m talking
about!”

“Sorry Trent, but it does sound pretty far-fetched” Steven
chipped in.

“If we ride instead of run, you won’t be an issue. We could
transport you easily” Trent said.

“This does seem really stupid” Burt said. He sighed. “But I
guess it’s the best we can do for now. If we find these carts, we don’t go
riding unarmed. We should grab some melee weapon of some kind to fend the
zombies off”.

Trent nodded. “Good idea. Maybe we could grab some golf
clubs”.

I turned to the girls, who had been quiet during the
discussion. “You guys in?” I asked them.

Maria nodded. “I’ll go” Rachel said, standing beside Harry.
Hannah walked over beside me. “Let’s get moving” she said defiantly. I smiled.

“Then let’s move”.

Not wanting to stand around and waste more time, we ran off
to search for the carts.

“Where’d you say those things were again?” Geoff asked Trent
as we ran.

“Gym storage room” he replied.

“The gym?” Harry exclaimed, “The zombies practically own it
now. We’d need another diversion or some sort of transportation. I don’t think
our feet will fly us over there”.

Trent clenched his fist. “God damn, how could I have
forgotten that” he muttered. “So busy trying to get out we don’t know what to
do inside”.

I shook my head, refusing to believe there was yet another
seemingly impassable roadblock blocking our path. “There has to be something we
can do, something!”

“Like what, light some fireworks and let ‘em fly?” Burt
snapped. “We’re gonna have to find some other route to get to a science room.

“If you think we’re running” Steven chimed in, “you might as
well leave me behind”.

“He’s right” Geoff said, “Steven’s in no condition to be moving.
Even what he’s doing right now isn’t recommended”.

After coming this far, we were just held up once again, and
it didn’t seem as though there was any way we could escape. Maybe we won’t find
a way out, and just wait for our unavoidable deaths in the storage room. If the
zombies didn’t get us, starvation and dehydration would eventually do us in.
Were we finally doomed to die by this horrible fate?

---

The chief sighed, then leaned back in his chair.

“I still refuse to believe this” he said, which to me
basically meant “You’re screwed, shut up and go get shot”.

Office Hardy nodded. “It’s like what I said, chief, this
story is just a load of crap” he said once again. “Smart kid or not, this is
but science fiction”.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. “I’m not making any
of this up!” I shouted at them. “These people I’m talking about, they’re all
real, I-“

“Of course we know they’re real” Chief Darrell laughed.
“It’s the story you’re involving them in that’s fake. You have no real proof of
this so-called zombie infection. I don’t care how smart you are, I’m not buying
this”. The chief took a deep breath and released it. “Wonderful tale boy, but I
most sadly end it. I’m sure it’ll win some awards when you’re locked up”.

The chief stood up and motioned for Officer Hardy to go over
to me. He unlocked the handcuffs that bound me to the desk, then put a new pair
back on.

“Tyler Goades” the chief began, “you are under arrest for
the bombing of Rueger High School. You have the right to be-“

An officer barged into the interrogation room before the
chief could finish, looking pretty frantic. This one was named “Officer
Jakobs”. I could tell by the look of him that he probably had a lowly desk job.

“Sir, there’s some teenaged kids bugging me at the front
desk”.

“I’m in the middle of something here Jakobs, go back-“

“No, sir, you gotta hear this”.

The chief sighed. “Show me” he said. Jakobs led the chief
out of the room. “Finish booking this kid” the chief said as he walked out.

Officer Hardy continued to read off my rights. “You have the
right to remain silent. Anything you say can be used against you in a court of
law. You are allowed the right to-“

Just before I could be arrested, the chief came back inside
of the room. “Hardy, we can’t arrest this boy yet”.

Officer Hardy shot an angry glance back at his chief. “And
why the hell not?”

“Don’t talk back. And it’s because…” he looked over at me.
“You’ve got friends here that want to see you. Your associates in your bomb
plot”. He walked over to me. “If they all have the same, bullshit story you’re
telling, then you’re done”.

“They’ll check my story out!” I said. “They’ll have proof!”

“Because you told them to make false evidence” Hardy chimed
in, still trying his best to throw me under the bus.

Officer Jakobs come back inside the room, looking as frantic
as before. “Sir, this one boy… I can’t believe it but… you gotta see his
scars!” he said.

“Scars, what scars?” the chief asked angrily. “You should
have showed me this before”.

The chief left the room again with Jakobs in tow. Officer
Hardy got up and leaned back against the wall.

“Those scars” I said, hope coming back to me, “came from
zombie claws”.

Officer Hardy bowed his head. I guess at this point he was
done trying to lock me up now that there was evidence of the zombies having
existed.

“I still… can’t and won’t… believe this” he muttered. Even
though he lost this battle, he still tried to make himself believe that my
story, now proven true, didn’t exist. Maybe if the zombies ever found a way
back, he’d just push them aside and say “You aren’t real”.

A few minutes later, the chief came back in scratching his
head. He seemed very confused and shocked at the same time. It was interesting
to see how dynamically he had changed.

“I had those scars checked out” he said. He paused. “It’s
like nothing we’ve ever seen before. The DNA we got from the attacker was
completely out of the ordinary. Nothing like it has been seen or recorded
before”. He paused again, then delivered the news I’ve been waiting to here.
“Looks like your story checks out” he said, looking away from me as he said it.
I could tell the difference between the chief and Officer Hardy was that the
chief was just confused and shocked as to what the zombies were, while Hardy
looked at everyone that came in the station as criminals and tried his best to
break them, believing their stories to be false along the way. For once in the
past hours, I was able to mutter a “good cop bad cop” joke to myself.

The chief released a deep breath and sat back down. “Well, I
guess we should get back to your story then” he said. “And try to make it
quick. HQ desires a good, detailed report for this, and they expect it on their
desk before midnight”. The chief yelled over his shoulder, “Jakobs! Get back
here”.

Officer Jakobs once again came running back inside. “Sir?”
he asked.

The chief whispered in his ear, “Look up on this zombie
infection, OK? I need to look into this”. Jakobs nodded and ran back to his
desk.

“Alright” I said, “I’ll try to wrap this up as fast as I
can”.

Officer Hardy made no notion to show he was listening to the
story or even paying attention to what was going on. I think he was pretty much
done with me and interrogating. Maybe he wanted to take Jakobs’ job at the
front desk.

The End

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