We all looked around the storage room, seeking for some way
we could distract the zombies long enough to get to the gym’s storage room. I
guess what Burt said was right: unless we had fireworks or something equivalent
to it, we were trapped in here.
I looked around at everyone. They seemed so scared, nervous,
desperate. I couldn’t let any of them die. No one should die. We have to get
out of this, there has to be a way.
Burt cursed. “There’s nothing in here. And if we keep
looking, by the time we do get something by chance, the zombies will already be
breathing down our necks. We’re done” he said with a tone of defeat in his
voice. His words had finally voiced the truth.
He was right. We were
done for, dead, just vulture chow waiting for the vultures to circle in.
Hannah sat down against the wall and bowed her head. Maria
joined her. Geoff and Steven stood next to each other, both of them at a loss
for words. Burt had no clever plan or idea to dish out, and neither did Trent.
Harry however, had an angry expression on his face. All of this time, he had
been looking back and forth between the gym and the forklift that remained in
the storage room. Maybe he was devising his own clever plan to get us out of
here. I later learned what it was… and how much I wished it wasn’t true.
After standing there for a bit, Harry finally snapped.
He looked around at all of us. “Come on guys!” he shouted,
which was unlike him. “We can’t just sit here and do nothing! I know it seems
bleak, but can’t we do, try, something! We’ve made it this far, and yeah, it’s
been hell for us, and yeah we seem pretty stuck, but that doesn’t mean we sit
down and just WAIT to die!”
Rachel walked over to him. “Harry, we are trying, it just
“No!” Harry interrupted her, another surprise for me. “We’re
not trying! This isn’t trying!”
“Harry, take it down a notch man” Trent said, trying to calm
“I’m not gonna sit here and die a fool’s death” he said.
Rachel stood beside him and put her hand on his shoulder.
Suddenly, Harry bolted over to the forklift resting by one
of the large storage shelves. I couldn’t believe what he was doing. It seemed
as though Harry had thrown away his old personality and decided to go on
autopilot. He got onto the vehicle and turned it on. I ran after him, followed
by Trent, Burt, and Rachel. Shocked, Maria and Hannah stood up and watched from
“Harry!” I shouted at him, “What the hell are you doing!”
Harry sighed, then turned to look at me. “You know, when a
guy goes through an apocalypse, he starts thinking things over about life”. I
opened my mouth to speak, but lost the words. What the hell was he talking
about? Learning about life in an infection? He paused, took a deep breath. He
looked as though he had been doing some serious life thinking. He began delivering
his ultimatum. “Life is too short. You gotta live it to the best degree. And up
to now know I haven’t”.
Burt chimed in. “Harry, where is this going?”
“Look at our situation, Burt!” Harry snapped. “It’s bleak.
We’ve already lost two men, one of them being Michael Laney. He barely had a
chance to start living! His life was cut too short. And I don’t want anyone
else losing their life too abruptly today”.
Rachel must have figured out what Harry was planning on
doing. “Don’t do this Harry” she said, her voice barely a whisper.
“Please, man, there’s no need-“
Harry cut me off. “There is a need! Burt, you said it
yourself” Harry said, gesturing to Burt, “Unless we have fireworks or something
like it, we won’t get anywhere”.
Trent ran over to him. “We can find a way around this, you
don’t have to do this!”
Harry pushed him aside. “I’m not turning back” he said.
Harry and I made eye contact. His eyes had a defiant look to them. No matter
what we said, he wouldn’t back down. He had his mind set on what he was doing,
like it or not.
He stopped for a bit, took another deep breath, then told us
his plan. “I’ll… charge into the gym” Harry said, his voice much quieter now.
“I’ll be able to distract the zombies long enough for you to make it into the
Geoff shouted back at him. “There must be another solution
“No, there’s not Mr. Logic!” Harry shot back. “There is no
way around this”.
Rachel got up on the forklift and stood there, her eyes
still pleading for him to get off of the forklift. Harry’s eyes answered back.
He wasn’t going to change his decision. She kissed him, right then and there,
then backed off of the vehicle.
There was pain in Trent’s eyes. “I can’t tell you otherwise”
Burt stood where he was and nodded to him. Looking at him, I
could tell he too didn’t want Harry to go through with this, but he didn’t seem
to have another plan up his sleeve and respected Harry’s decision.
Hannah and Maria were both crying. They had known Harry well
too. Geoff was next to them, at a complete loss for words.
Harry took a deep breath. “As soon as I go in” he said, “you
guys gotta run. As fast as you can”.
I nodded, a single tear coming from my eye. In my mind, all
of my memories of Harry were flashing by. I still couldn’t believe he was doing
this, but couldn’t help but admire the courage my friend had built up to do
this for us. At this point, salvation didn’t seem as sweet-sounding as it did
back in the lockers with everyone grouped up together, planning. Now we had
lost two from our group, now three. Surviving sucked.
“Let’s do this” he said. He gave one final smile, then
charged into the gym.
“You heard what he said” Burt spoke up, rallying us on,
charged by Harry’s energy. “Move it, people!”
We moved as fast as we could into the gym. The double doors
opening up to it seemed to blow open in our wake. Trent pointed up ahead at
another pair of doors that led to a hallway which would take us to the gym
storage room. Our feet seemed to fly us over there: our bodies were all running
on overdrive. The multitude of zombies around us didn’t pay attention to us at
all: Harry’s distraction was working. As
we ran, I looked over and saw Harry charging into a crowd of zombies with the
forklift. They scratched and clawed at him, bit him and kicked him, did all
sorts of things, but he still remained firm on the seat of his vehicle.
“Catch me, you bastards, I dare you!” he shouted at them.
I found myself standing in my place, looking at Harry charge
into the infected students. I started crying, unable to hold the tears back.
There was one of my best friends, sacrificing himself for the benefit of our
group. And not only that, be he didn’t flinch at all: he assaulted the zombies
Suddenly, a zombie leaped up and took him down off of the
forklift! The zombies crowded around him and began tearing him apart, his body
parts flying in the air as the infected eagerly tore him to bits. It all
happened so quickly.
“No!” I shouted. I started running after him as though I could
make it in time to somehow save him, but someone grabbed my shirt and pulled my
back. I turned to see Hannah there.
“There’s nothing you can do, we gotta go!” she shouted. She
led me into the double doors leading into the storage room where everyone else
was waiting. I took one last glance over my shoulder and was surprised to see
Harry standing there. Was I dreaming? He waved at me and shouted after me,
“Good luck man!” Even in death, he rallied me on.
Hannah led me inside the safety of the gym storage room. It
looked about the same as the main storage room, except a bit smaller. Other
than that, each room had giant shelves with equally giant boxes.
I banged my fist on a wall. Harry was gone. One of my best
friends in the world just died in front of my eyes. I had seen him get torn
apart, saw him charge, saw that one last smile he gave off.
“Damnit Harry, why’d it have to go this way” I whispered,
still crying from earlier.
Burt put his hand on my shoulder and brought me back up my
“He didn’t die in vain. We’ve made it in here. Now it’s time
we get to those carts”.
“They should be around here somewhere” Trent said. He was
trying hard to hold back the tears he wanted to let go so much for Harry, but I
could tell he didn’t want to have low spirits. That’s what Harry would’ve told
We spread out in the storage room and searched for the
carts. Geoff and I looked together in the top right corner.
“That guy, Harry, did what no one else here could’ve done”
Geoff said. “He sacrificed himself to get us here so we might get a chance out.
It takes a lot of courage to do that”. Geoff shook his head. “I tried to stop
him… but sometimes life throws a wall and there’s only one way to break through
Geoff’s comment made me feel a little better, but I still
couldn’t get over the sight of Harry being on that forklift one second, then
being in pieces the next. I also pondered over his last words: “sometimes life
throws a wall and there’s only one way to break it”. No wonder Geoff was so
smart, he could qualify to be a philosopher.
We turned the corner and saw something that made my day.
“I’ll be damned” I muttered.
Parked right in front of Geoff and I were the golf carts
from that golfing field trip. Trent had been right. There they sat, those
little white cars that would send us over to possible survival.
Just as we found it, Trent and Rachel rounded the opposite
corner and spotted the carts for themselves.
“Well, what did I tell you, Tyler? There they are!” he let
out a little laugh. “This is exactly what we need”.
Burt, Hannah, Steven, and Maria came over to us as they
heard our discussion. “I can’t believe it” Maria said, finally getting high
hopes, “We got a chance at this!”
Steven walked over to the cart and checked them out. “They
got enough gas to get us close enough to a science room. We’re just gonna have
to move quickly. There’s a ramp over by the stairs leading to the top floor by
the main entrance. You guys know that?”
“Yeah” Hannah said, “that’s the handicap ramp. You think a
golf cart can up that?”
“Either that” Steven said, “or we park the carts at the
stairs and run. Then I know for a fact I’ll be dead before the first step. And there’s
no guarantee that we all make it safely”.
“Yeah, Steven can’t run, much less walk” Geoff said. “Going
up that ramp’s our only chance”.
Burt grabbed a handful of melee weapons resting nearby:
baseball bats, golf clubs, hockey sticks, and so much more we could use to fend
off the zombies from getting us.
“Like I said, we don’t go riding unarmed. We’re all gonna
have to carry something to protect ourselves” Burt said, handing everyone a
weapon. “These golf carts aren’t exactly the safest things, we’ll need to be
able to fight them off if necessary.”
I could tell from the looks off of everyone’s faces that
they weren’t too hot on the idea of having to combat infected students. But at
this point I don’t think they cared: the events that have happened in the past
could’ve hardened a first grader into a battle-ready soldier.
Burt got onto the first golf cart, in the driver’s seat. “We
gotta get moving now before Harry’s distraction wears off. There’s no doubt in
my mind they can knock down the doors in here as easily as the cafeteria door”.
Steven slowly sat himself down on the back of Burt’s cart.
Maria rode up front while Rachel sat next to Steven. Trent got into the driver’s
seat of the second cart. Hannah sat next to him and I sat in the back with
“Alright Trent, know where to go from here?” Geoff asked
“Well, only way out if through the gym” Trent replied.
Rachel shook her head. “You gotta be kidding me. We have to
go through there again?”
“Sorry, it’s the only way” Trent said.
Burt sighed. “I was under the impression we weren’t going
through there. Well let’s get ready then”.
Following Burt’s cart, Trent rode up behind him. He stopped
at the door leading to the gym.
“Soon as I go through, you guys tail behind” Burt said. “You
Trent clenched his fists on the steering wheel. “Kill all
sons of bitches. That’s my official instructions”.
With that Burt barged through the gym door, and we were off!
The speedy golf carts carried us through in no time at all. A zombie leaped at
me just before we got out of the gym, and I beat it back with the baseball bat
I carried with me.
We went out of the gym and into the secondary entrance,
where we were greeted by even more of those mutants: so many of them. It seemed
as though every conceivable place to stand was filled by a zombie. “Damn,
there’s so many!” Burt cursed. He knocked the head of one of the zombies off of
its body with his golf club, and took another swing at a zombie that charged at
Trent was trying his best to beat the zombies off of him,
but since he was driving he couldn’t defend himself well. An infected jumped
out at him. I reacted quickly and hit his attacker square in the chest. The
zombie went flying into the horde behind it, knocking them over. While I was
distracted helping Trent, one of the zombies grabbed my foot and nearly dragged
me off! However, it suddenly let go. I looked over at Hannah who had hit the
infected that assaulted me with her hockey stick.
After managing to get through the secondary entrance bruised
and battered, we were in a long hallway leading to the main lobby, which we
could see up ahead. “Just continue on, it’s up ahead” Rachel commented. When we
were around halfway to the lobby, a huge horde of zombies burst out of the
“More of them?” Trent said breathlessly. The horde charged
at full sprint. One of the zombies at the head of the pack leaped out at Maria.
Scared, she covered her face to defend herself, forgetting to hit the zombie
with the baseball bat she carried. Burt beat the creature of with his golf
“You gotta hit those things off, I can only watch so much at
one time!” Burt instructed her. Maria nodded, a new look in her eyes as though
saying “They won’t get me next time”.
We swung at the horde with our weapons and ran them down the
golf carts, and eventually we were able to power through the mass crowd of
zombies. The golf carts were battered and covered with the blood of those
creatures. I looked around to see if everyone was ok, better than the cart at
least. Most of the people in our group at this point we covered with cuts and
bruises from the infected.
“There’s the ramp!” Steven said triumphantly, pointing ahead
to the handicap ramp.
“It’s too small!” Burt shouted, realizing this as he drew
nearer, “We won’t be able to make it!”
“We gotta try!” Steven responded. The ramp seemed extremely
small, but we had to give it a go. It was do or die time: would we make it or
have to continue on foot?
Trent gritted his teeth. “Hold on!” he shouted. The ramp did
seem too small, so I gripped on to the railing on the cart behind me for dear
life. Hannah, seeing what I was doing, did the same.
Burt neared the ramp, then cursed. “This better work” he
Surprisingly, the cart fit right onto the ramp! Burt let out
a sigh of relief, then continued up the incline. Trent followed behind. I decided
to risk taking a look behind me. The zombies were no longer following us: they
were much more of a mess then we were. Most of them I could see were run over
and bleeding from injuries. So it seemed we were safe for the meantime. At
least, that’s what I assumed.
After slowly riding up the handicap ramp, we made it to the
second floor. After hours of planning and evading infected, we had finally made
it around halfway to our destination. However, more problems began to present
themselves to us. Trent drove around the corner and saw Burt’s golf cart
spewing out smoke. He cursed. “The stupid thing… broke down” he managed to say.
“It’s too weak for battering through zombies… apparently”. He started coughing.
Rachel helped Steven off of the cart and brought him to his feet.
“Great, great” Steven commented. “How much bad luck can we
get in one day?”
“Consider the good luck we’ve had so far” Geoff said,
stepping off Trent’s cart, “We got this far, right?”
“Yeah, but it was like pulling teeth” Maria said, who was
coughing as well.
“If you’re gonna cough, keep it down” I said. “There’s no
doubt that there’s a large zombie horde around here too. We’re not out of the
“Yeah” Burt said, “but we’re getting there”.
Trent got out of the driver’s seat. “What do we do now?” he
asked. “This cart can only carry four people. If we tried hard enough, maybe
six. Either way, some people would be walking”.
“We have one vehicle intact, it would be a shame to give it
up” I said. “But is it the only way?”
“I don’t think I have a chance of getting far on foot”
Rachel bowed her head. “Why does this have to be so
complicated for us?” she said sadly.
“We’ll just have to split up” Burt said. It was now my turn
to look at him as though he had turned bright purple.
“Do you really think splitting up our group is a GOOD idea?
Haven’t you heard of strength in numbers?” I pointed out.
“Listen, if we split up, we don’t have to worry about
setbacks that affect the entire group” he responded.
“I’d rather stick together…” Rachel commented. Burt sighed.
“Think of what’s happened so far! All of the people who have
died, died while we were in a group. We were unorganized. We split up, we move
at our own paces efficiently, and it’ll be like we’re still in the carts” Burt
explained, laying out his plan.
“I’m still not comfortable with this” Maria whispered.
“I think we need something better than splitting up” Trent
said, “Unless we want to become a zombie’s afternoon snack”.
“Burt, the majority of us don’t want to do this. I think we
should stay with each other for now” I spoke up, voicing the general opinion of
Burt shook his head. “Alright, but if this goes wrong-“
“It’ll go better than splitting up” Geoff said, heading down
the hallway to the right. We began to follow him when Trent raised an
“So do we just ditch this cart or not?” he asked, gesturing
to the cart. Steven shrugged.
“I know you mainly want to keep it for me, but it would be
silly to take one cart for a cripple. I’ll live” he said.
Geoff walked over to him. “Steven, you don’t know how bad
you are. You’re not even supposed to be moving! If it was possible, I’d have
“If he says he doesn’t need it, he doesn’t” I said. “He’s right;
it would drag us down and be a little stupid”.
“So, where to now?” Hannah asked.
“Only one place to go” Burt said, pointing his finger down
the hall. “Forward”.
The chief was looking up at the ceiling. Now that he knew
the truth, he was obviously beginning to get troubled about the virus I had
encountered. Officer Hardy, on the other hand, had left earlier in my
storytelling moment to “go stop a jewelry robbery”. It wasn’t hard to see he
Jakobs came in to replace him. He was an odd, nerdy sort of
fellow. He always seemed nervous with his job even though it was just working
at a desk. You would think he was trying to defuse an explosive device instead.
“I can’t hold up those kids for long” Jakobs said, bringing
up the subject of my friends who had come to see me. “It’s getting late; they
don’t want to stay here all night”.
The chief looked at his watch and noted the time: 8:35 pm. I
had been in this dark, gray interrogation room for more than five hours.
Probably more than that, but at this point counting wasn’t very important to
“Well, I don’t want them in here and bombarding me with the
same story this kid is giving to me” Harley replied. “Hold them as long as you
can”. He turned to face me.
“I’d prefer it if this story was wrapped up soon. Deadline’s
“Then I may just go to midnight, that is, if you want me to
get all the details in” I responded.
“Let’s not start to get all wise-ass now, hmm?” the chief
replied. I shrugged.
“I’m just telling you what I have to”.
“Then can it be any faster?”
“Yeah, yeah, I’ll get to it”.
Jakobs leaned against the door, his ear pressed against it.
“Phone’s ringing chief” he reported.
Harley sighed. “That’s HQ no doubt, ready to bug me about
that report. Let the machine get it”.
“You sure?” Jakobs asked him, “They won’t take that too
“I got until midnight to give them what they want, so they
can wait for a bit now, can’t they?”
Jakobs shrugged. “Alright. Just want me to ignore their
calls then?” The chief nodded. He again went back to face me.
“See, this is what I have to deal with. So if you make this
quick, I won’t have to” Harley said. “And Jakobs?”
“Yeah chief?” Jakobs answered.
“When he’s done crying, get Hardy back in here. He needs to
give me some of the details for the report. He was in here before I was, and
since he was involved he needs to build his own report”.
I waited for the chief to finish. “Should I keep going?”
Harley nodded and motioned with his hand that I may
continue. I had been telling this story for so long, and I wanted it over with.
It wasn’t fun having to recall the events that would forever haunt you until
you keeled over dead. Assuming that those thoughts died with me.