Chapter 6: Against the OddsMature

(Ch.6)

Our group, after getting all of the casualties and injuries,
had endured through this situation long enough to get halfway to our goal: a
science room. Once there, we were going to make a dissolving material that
would destroy the white substance that blocked the windows and doors.

“I know that there’s one room across the building up here” I
commented. Steven sighed.

“The other side of the building” Steven said sadly. “We
still have that long to go?”

“Yeah, it’s a long ways away” Geoff said, “But we can make
it”.

We trudged down the hallway, our eyes darting back and
forth, on the lookout for an incoming horde of mutants sprinting at us. It
seemed all too quiet as we walked down the path, and with all that had happened
so far, our paranoia had built up and made us think the smallest sound was our
impending doom.

As we neared the corner, we began to hear the growling,
gurgling, snarling sounds we had gotten so used to hearing. There was a zombie
horde nearby, and most likely just around the corner waiting to tear us up.

Burt held up a hand, motioning us to stop. “They’re probably
up ahead. If we turn the corner, we’re not gonna be in favorable fighting
conditions. When we were on the carts, it was a lot easier to mow them down,
but now that we’re on foot they have the advantage”.

“Should we just circle around the other hallway?” Steven
asked, keeping his voice down.

“We can’t do that. If there’s a group of them here, there’s
a group of them there” Maria pointed out.

Trent clenched his fist. “How do we get around them then,
other than trying to power through them?”

Burt’s face lit up. “I know. Let’s go get that golf cart
back, and a few of us can get on it and plow them over” he said.

“So we just run ‘em down then?” I said. “That should work
out. They don’t fare as well against us when we’re riding”.

The infected students we knew were just right about ahead
started making more racket as though they were talking. Had they found out we
were hiding behind here and were ready to jump out at us?

“Ok, let’s head back to the carts and knock them down” Burt
said, slowly moving backwards as he said it. We all started to follow his lead,
slowly inching away from the horde, when the noises they were making got louder
and louder: footsteps now joined the chorus of sounds. Slowly at first, then
rushed.

“They’re coming!” I said in alarm, beginning to run full sprint
to the golf cart lying, seemingly, miles away from us. As I thought, the
zombies were on to us: now here they came, charging at us without letting up.
Steven was at the back and I knew he wouldn’t be able to make it. I rushed back
to rescue him.

“Tyler, what are you doing!?” Hannah shouted after me.
Ignoring her, I charged straight into the horde and beat the mutants off of a
figure lying on the ground: Steven. It was a miracle he wasn’t hurt. Now that I
was in their ranks, the horde started swarming around me. I got Steven to his
feet and got into a fighting stance.

The infected ran in all at once. I swung my bat
three-hundred sixty degrees and caused them to stumble back, breaking their
charge. One zombie came from behind, but I spun around quick and bashed his
head in with the handle of the bat. Another charged at me and I met its attack
by holding the bat in a bunt position, and the mutant ran straight into it,
knocking him back. Although I was holding my own against the infected, I would
eventually get taken down if I didn’t get out of here.

The roar of an engine erupted from beyond. I knew then that
the golf cart was coming, and just in time! Steven and I dived out of the way
as Burt and Trent plowed through the crowd of zombies. It only took a few minutes
for them and the others to wipe out the horde. Burt parked the cart next to us.

“Damnit Tyler, let’s not make reckless moves now” Burt said
strictly.

“I was just rescuing Steven, if I hadn’t been there he’d be
dead” I pointed out, almost out of breath from the onslaught. Steven walked to
my side.

“If he wasn’t there, I’d be done. Give him a break” he said.

Burt bowed his head. “I just don’t want you guys throwing
your lives in the way so much. There are only eight of us compared to our
original eleven, we gotta stick together”.

“Tyler, are you alright?” Hannah asked me. I nodded.

“I’ve had worse” I said, smiling to show I wasn’t bad off.
She smiled back.

“Obviously going on foot isn’t the best way to go” Geoff
said, “and we don’t have enough carts to transport everybody. So what exactly
do we do know?”

Trent sighed. “This whole time, it’s been like a game of
twenty questions. We get a problem and we always have questions about it that
we can’t seem to answer”.

“Is there any way we can get to a science room without going
through the main hallways?” Rachel asked. “I’d have to believe in a school this
big there is. Maybe a janitor’s corridor or something”.

Maria shook her head. “Only those two hallways. There is a
janitor’s corridor, but it’s incredibly small, and dead-ends”.

Burt started walking down the hallway. “I guess we just
power on” he said. We started begrudgingly following him. I could tell from
everyone’s faces that they weren’t very happy with the idea, but seeing as
there weren’t any other plans or ideas, we decided to keep going.

“They’ll just keep coming, you know” Hannah said, “Another
horde will pop out sometime or another”.

“We don’t really have any other options now, do we?” Burt
snapped. Hannah kept quiet for a while.

The rooms upstairs looked awful: desks, chairs, and anything
else that could be thrown or tossed or tipped over lied in various places.
Papers were ripped into shreds and littered the floor. Bloodstains splattered
against the walls, and some body parts were lying around that nearly made me
sick, especially the sight of Mr. Groffe’s head stuck on top of a flagpole. It
sickened me that kind, caring people such as him would have to suffer such a
horrible death.

The others didn’t seem to like the sight of their school
turned upside-down. I think they all were just as shocked as me. Burt scratched
his head, something he does when he’s at a loss for words or nervous. Hannah’s
mouth hanged open in pure shock, Maria was crying softly while Rachel tried to
comfort her even though she felt the exact same way. Trent’s shirt was torn up,
exposing the skin underneath. His face seemed to have gotten darker. I could
see from the way he fought he was outraged at the zombies; maybe his emotions
had not only darkened him but his face. I was just as angry at them. They took
Harry away. Geoff was scared, but at the same time he seemed to be calculating
things in his head. He always looked side to side, his eyes squinting, noticing
the smallest details.

Our group just kept walking down this dark, empty,
foreboding hallway. We were fully aware that something could jump out suddenly
and surprise us, and that we could get killed in an instant. Everything had
been going fine for once, no signs of zombies nearby. As we kept moving, I
looked into a classroom and saw something that made me jump out of my skin.
There was a body in there, but not just any body. I recognized its features
immediately.

It was Carson.

His body was ripped open, skin lying uselessly by his side.
His eyeballs were bloodshot, his fingernails had become much longer and
thicker, and his teeth had grown sharper. I was instantly alarmed, as these
were the signs of a person who was or was about to be infected.

Hannah followed my gaze and saw what I was staring at. She
gasped, alerting the others of what I was looking at. “Carson!” she said, fear
in her voice. She must have noticed like me that he had the signs of being a
zombie.

“How would his body get all the way up here?” Trent wondered
out loud. Burt waved his hands.

“This doesn’t matter, guys. I know it is his body, but the
more we stand here, the easier of a target we become”.

I nodded. “Sorry, Hannah, I know this sickens you, but we
gotta keep moving”. She took a deep breath, a single tear trailing from her
eye. Then she rejoined our ranks, Burt at the head. That’s when we heard the
growling.

“Horde must be close” Rachel pointed out, looking around as
she said it.

“No” I said, holding up a hand, “it sounded more like just a
few. And it sounded like…” I turned around. “It came from behind us…”

Maria held her baseball bat close and backed up a few paces,
Hannah doing the same. Rachel remained defiant in the front. Harry obviously
left an impact on her. Burt, Trent and I took the head of the group, getting
ready to face what could be coming. The growling got louder, then louder, and
louder… the zombies were getting closer.

The girls looked behind us but didn’t see anything. I had to
have been right then.

With a loud roar, Carson jumped out of the classroom!
“Carson!” Hannah shouted. He moved quickly towards Trent who did not hesitate
to knock the head off his attacker’s shoulders with his hockey stick. It flew
in the air and landed with an audible ‘thump’ on the ground. Blood from his
neck spewed into the air, raining on the ground. Hannah let out another gasp.

“No…” she whispered.

Like Michael Laney and Harry, Carson’s life had been chopped
in half then thrown away. Even a character like him didn’t deserve an awful
demise such as this, and especially in front of Hannah.

Trent put his hand on his forehead. “Nothing I could’ve
done” he said, talking to Hannah. She nodded.

“I… I know” she said. “It’s just… seeing him-“

“Sorry to break this up” Geoff said, “but I hear more
growling just up ahead. And a lot more”.

Burt cursed. “We’re gonna have to fight them off this time.
If we run to the cart they’ll overtake us”.

Steven shrugged. “No other way I guess”. He got himself in a
standing position, then carefully lifted his metal poles up. “I can hold my
own”.

“I hope you’re all ready” I said, “here they come now”.

Here they came: crawling, limping, and rushing out of the
classrooms that lay before us. The whole lot of them looked just as disgusting
as the rest, their skin flapping uselessly beside them as they walked,
bloodshot eyes locked on us, and large, thick fingernails poised to kill. It
all felt like a scene from a movie: two sides coming together in an old
fashioned showdown. This battle definitely didn’t follow showdown rules.

Their chilling sounds grew louder as the zombies began
seemingly talking to each other, preparing to go in for a kill, to get ready to
feed. We, on the other hand, stood our ground and said nothing at all. We just
held our weapons close and awaited the charge that the infected would lead.
Oddly enough, they seemed to expect us to do the charging; they made no forward
motion towards us.

Finally the zombies leaped at us, almost at once. A few of
them aimed for me, and I wacked all of their heads off in one swing. Their
bodies flailed around for a brief second, then they collapsed. Some other
zombies went for Maria, and she struck at them viciously as though getting them
back for that time one of the creatures got the jump on her. Steven fought the
beasts off of him with his metal poles. One zombie got past him and ran into him,
knocking him over. In retaliation, Burt beat the infected student back with his
golf club. He tried helping Steven up, but a zombie stabbed him in his
shoulder. After shouting a curse word, he wacked that creature away and got
Steven back on his feet. Rachel tried beating off the zombies, but they had
isolated her from our group. She screamed as the infected closed in. Trent
cursed, then ran into the circle of zombies and beat them back. He received a
stab in the knee and stumbled back, fighting back to urge to fall back from the
pain. Rachel was able to get him to safety after knocking some infected back.

Looking at our situation, the zombies had the upper hand in
sheer numbers and the fact that they had venomous claws that they happily
hadn’t been using. Soon we would all be taken down, I knew it. It would take a
Harry-level distraction to get through this.

Trent finally got an idea. “Mr. Tursow’s room is right over
there!” he shouted to me. I looked at him incredulously.

“What does that have to do with anything!?” I snapped at
him.

“He was a chain smoker!” he replied. “If his body is in
there, so are some matches!” He was planning to see how the zombies liked fire.

“Hurry then!” I responded, beating a zombie back as I said
this. Trent quickly ran inside the classroom. How long he would take, I didn’t
know, but thankfully it was quick. It seemed as though as soon as he went in,
he came out. In his hand was a lit match.

“Everyone take cover!” he shouted, lifting the match in the
air. Just the sight of the fire seemed to halt the zombie forces. Our group
dived out of the way as he tossed the flame into the crowd of infected. It
landed right in the middle of them, setting them ablaze. They started making
horrible shrieking sounds as they caught fire. The stumbled into other zombies
and caused them to catch fire too. Soon almost all of the mutants were covered
with fire. The infected lucky enough to avoid the fire were staying as far away
as they could from it.

We slowly started getting to our feet. “Ha, shows them!”
Trent said, triumph in his voice. However, nothing really triumphant followed.

I noticed one zombie that stood out from the rest. It was on
fire, and even with that it didn’t make those horrible noises. Instead it was
navigating through the crowd of zombies, making its way towards us. With a
shock, I remembered the face of that zombie: it was none other than Chase
Davids. Call me crazy, but after I punched him in the cafeteria I think he had
a sense of revenge: his eyes were locked on me as he rushed towards me.

Chase must have noticed I expected his leap, so he decided
to change his battle plan. Crouching low, he leaped into the air and seemed to
fly towards us, straight towards Maria! I ran towards her, shouting “Move out
of the way!” The others noticed what was going on, but were too far away to
offer help. Geoff, however, ran at full sprint towards the leaping zombie,
almost overtaking me.

I lunged at Chase and managed to break his leap. Even with
that and the fact he was on fire, he wasn’t finished yet. He slashed at my leg,
causing me to scream in pain. He prepared to strike again, and I noticed the
venom dripping from his claws: if he hit me this time, I’d become just like
him. Thankfully, Geoff beat him back. I couldn’t believe it, but Chase was still
standing. Maria, who had backed up behind us, now became his target. He jumped
over us so fast we couldn’t react, and landed right on her! It had happened as
fast as Harry falling off the forklift.

“NO!” Geoff screamed, charging at Chase. He swung viciously
at him, along with me, but Chase wouldn’t let go of the death grip he now
embraced Maria with. She screamed and struggled to get him off, but nothing
would stop him. By now all of the others were helping me and Geoff, and finally
Chase gave his final, raspy breath. His hands loosened. However, Maria made no
movement or sound.

Burt carefully pulled Chase’s zombified body off of Maria:
and we all we greeted by a sickening sight. The whole front of her body had
been burnt to the point that you couldn’t even tell that once she had been a
young schoolgirl. Her face was completely black, the features no longer there.
Her body was a dark gray mixed with the blood that had spilled out of her. I
couldn’t believe that she had fallen to this sort of death, especially someone
as young as her. I clenched my fists, anger piling on top of more anger. These
zombies were taking away my friends, and each time I couldn’t stop their
attacker.

I looked over at Geoff. He had always aimed for two goals:
good grades and the safety of his younger sister. Now he had failed in that
endeavor.

He was crying a stream of tears while pounding on the wall
so hard that some of the skin on his knuckles opened up and started bleeding.
“God DAMN that mother friggin’ zombie!” he shouted, pounding the ground with
the lacrosse stick he had taken at the gym. He stood up and threw it across the
hallway, then he leaned against the wall. “I… I will kill ALL of them. They’ll
all pay for this!” he shouted.

“Geoff, we got to-“

He cut me off. “You don’t know who it feels, to fail to
fulfill the promise your dad gave you on his death bed. That’s what he said to
me… protect her, no matter what”. He gasped, more tears streaming from his
face. “Now she’s dead! She never got the live the life she wanted to, the life
she deserved!” He bowed his head. “People like her don’t deserve this… dying so
young…” he pounded the wall again. “This bullshit shouldn’t have happened in
the first place! How the hell DID it happen! Why are we subjected to this!? Why
did she have to die!” he screamed. He finally collapsed on the floor and laid
there, unmoving.

I couldn’t believe what I just heard. Geoff never spoke of
his dad or what happened to him. To learn that he was… I can’t talk about this.
I can’t…

---

I had begun crying a little myself as I recalled the
horrific experience. Jakobs seemed to feel the pain I felt. The chief just sat
there, staring at me hard.

“Let’s not get these interruptions” he said. “Skip this part
if you want. I don’t want to hear horrific death stories either”.

The End

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