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Samantha fell hard to the gravel below, stumbling a little. The zombies she had been running from slammed into the fence she had just jumped over. She let out a shriek and turned to keep running. It looked like Samantha had been running for a while. She was out of breath and her hair was slightly less perfect than it normally was.

More zombies came at her from the side, and she kept running, turning into an alley. I tsked in annoyance. There was a dead end, she was throwing herself into a trap. I hit the gas, my car plunging towards the alley. Thankfully, it was just wide enough to fit.

Samantha’s back was to a dumpster. She was waving what looked to be a stick at the oncoming onslaught of the undead.

“Samantha!” I shouted as loud as my voice box would allow.

She glanced, finally noticing the headlights being down her particular alley.

“Get on the dumpster!”

Samantha nodded, clumsily trying to climb to the top. A zombie had managed to get its hand on her ankle, and she started kicking to get it off of her. Come on, Samantha. That’s no good, get him off of you.

She finally succeeded in kicking herself free, scrambling the rest of the way just as the rest of the group of zombies hit the dumpster. They weren’t able to climb it though, instead of trying to stretch their arms to grab at her ankles. Samantha tried to stay back, but the hands-on all three sides left very little room for her.

I hit the gas pedal to the floor. The car squealed as it began to move forward gaining momentum. One of the zombies went under my hood with a loud thump. Then another went under a wheel. I continued to gain momentum, seeing Samantha’s wide-eyed stare as I drove directly at her. Some of the zombies had finally noticed me and we turned towards the headlights. I kept driving. The car smashed into the dumpster, the force pinning three zombies. The force of the impact crumpled a part of the dumpster and Samantha fell forward, landing on the hood.

She looked up through the windshield at me with terrified eyes, “Oh Jane, I am so glad to see you.”

The look turned to a scream as one of the zombies managed to get another grab on her ankle. She tried to kick away again, but there was no space to do so. I ripped open the plastic-covered window shield and grabbed the item sitting next to me, pulling it through the window and offering it in her direction.

“Here, use this.”

Samantha glanced up, eying the item in my hand, “That’s a chainsaw. Why do you have a chainsaw?”

“Why do you not have a chainsaw?” I responded.

Samantha grimaced, grabbing the item and turning to the zombie. She slammed the chainsaw down on the zombie’s arm. When it didn’t do anything, she glanced back at me with a questioning look on her face.

“Pull the cord!” I said, miming the action. 

Samantha nodded, pulling the cord and starting the chainsaw. She slammed down again, this time the chain ripped into the zombie’s flesh and separated quite cleanly. I switched to reverse.

“Hold on!” I cried, hitting the gas once again.

This time, the car flew backward, knocking down a few stragglers who had managed to get back up. I put my hand out my window and Samantha held onto it to keep from sliding off my hood. I continued to hold the gas until we were a good way out of the alley, then I slammed the breaks again. Samantha jumped off the hood. She realized the arm that she had severed still had its hand wrapped around her leg. She peeled it off and dropped it like a dirty diaper.

I got out of the car, giving my friend a glance over. She was okay, that was what was important. I had stopped at my house first once reaching the town. I had not found my mother there, but a large chunk of the roof had been ripped away by some random explosion. Fortunately, the things I had needed were there. I felt at my eyes, the robotic contacts Allan and Ryan had once made for me now in place. I needed every advantage I could get.

“Where have you been?” Samantha asked shrilly, “What is going on?”

“The end of the world,” I responded simply, shrugging.

“Don’t be so melodramatic. It’s just some kind of blackout and a riot, but I was worried you got her.”

“Just a blackout, the sun has been perpetually eclipsed for two days.”

“I heard that happens sometimes, like one of those bicentennial things. Those stupid gang members are taking advantage of it. Is that where you’ve been? You disappear for two days and come back wearing a leather trench coat and some sexy rip jeans? Which I’m loving, by the way, very sexy. But that aside, now you’ve added a Harley rider to your boyfriends?”

“A Harley rider? Gang members? They have rotting flesh! They’re trying to eat you.”

Samantha nodded thoughtfully, “Clearly PCP users.”

“PCP users! You cut off one of their arms!”

“He was trying to cope a feel! I’d cut off any guy’s arm. Plus you’re the one who gave me a chainsaw!”

I put my palm up to my face and shook my head. Up to this point, I thought it was luck and our ability to keep secrets that kept Samantha from knowing about any of this. Now, I knew a lot of it came from her amazing ability to exist within complete self-denial.

I took a deep breath, “Samantha, listen very carefully to me because this is important. The world is ending. Zombies are walking the earth and angels and demons are fighting in the skies. I need your help to save the world. We need to go back in time and stop the end from happening. I need you to trust me, can you do that.”



“Yeah, sure, I mean, I’m not stupid or anything. I’m pretty sure the bible talks about a lot of this stuff. So let’s go again.”

“Okay then,” I said suspiciously; I couldn’t feel a single sense of irony coming off of Samantha.

A loud explosion sounded nearby, and I glanced around. A form flew past, about thirty feet above our head. That had to be another angel and demon fight. We needed to get out of here now. I grabbed Samantha, my hand wrapping around the arch of her back, and pulled up close to me. I didn’t know how well Tomodalton’s device worked, and I wasn’t going to risk anything. Samantha looked away, a blush forming on her cheeks.

“What? What is it?” I asked.

“Nothing… it’s just you kind of reminded me of your cousin John. Did he ever say anything to you about us? He never called me back for a second date. Maybe that’s because the world ended, I’m not sure.”

“We’re having this conversation right now?” I asked incredulously, “We have to get going, like now.”

“Then shouldn’t we be getting in the car.”

“Baby, where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”

I pulled out the small device Tomodalton had left for me. An angel burst out of a nearby building, a fiery sword in hand. He lunged in our direction and I realized there was a demon coming from the other direction. I pushed the button, and the world around us twisted into oblivion.

When I regained my breath, I glanced around. We were in the same exact location, standing on the sidewalk. The sun shone brightly overhead, and the sky was blue. It was a welcome sight. The fires were gone, and the buildings were back to their original shape. There were a few people around, either walking or in cars, completely oblivious of the way the world would be in a short time.

Samantha stumbled around on the grass, handling the time travel with the same grace I had the first time I had done it. I helped her up to her feet.  

“Okay, Samantha. It’s been three days. I’ve got two jobs for you. First, I need you to deliver this to that psychic friend of yours.” I handed her an envelope I had prepared at my house, “Then I need you to travel out of the county, to the place circled on this map, and talk to the Necromancer. Tell him to hold off the army, tell him I have this all figured out. You might want to keep the chainsaw if the local PCP users get a little excited.”

Samantha nodded, accepting everything I said.

“Are you sure you’re okay with this?” I asked.

“I’m fine, I’ll do what you asked. I just decided to go with this and follow along. It’s just a bad high.  I am probably on some bad mushrooms or something.”

I nodded and smiled at her. “I’ve been there.”

I turned to leave, and then Samantha grabbed my arm and looked me in the eyes. “If I do this though, and everything works out. Can you do me a favor?”

“What’s that?”

“Can you… I don’t know, put in a good word for me with John.”

“Really?” I twisted my mouth.

Samantha lowered her head, another blush forming on her cheeks.

“Samantha, if you do what I asked, and everything works out, I’d go on a date with you myself.”

Samantha chuckled, “That won’t be necessary, just seen if John’s interested, okay?”

I twisted my mouth but gave her a nod of acquiescence.

“What do you plan to do?” Samantha asked.

I thought about it a second, “I’m going to change history.”

I turned away and left Samantha behind. She was my best friend, I trusted her to do her part. I moved into an area free of people and pulled out the last bean. I had one more chance to do this. I felt my pocket for the supplies I had remembered to bring. I hoped it would be enough. I tossed the bean to the ground and readied myself to jump.

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