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“That place was freakin’ insane, there was something seriously wrong with that pastor guy,” Ferrah muttered under her breath; Denise nodded in agreement as they walked slowly across the path.

“Sorrow makes people do crazy things,” Denise commented as she shook her head, “but for now we need to keep low and find somewhere else to go so we can rest up…”

The group started to sneak along the side of a building, keeping low and quiet. Tina dragged her small feet along the concrete ground as she played with her braids, occasionally looking back at Donny, who had gone a little pale since the dreadful encounter in the church, he let out a distressed groan. It seemed that only Tina had heard it, she stared at him and tried to figure out what was wrong with him. Did he not feel very well?

“Donny, you’re going too slowly, do you need to rest?” Tina asked, “All this walking is super tiring, so I’ll understand.”

Donny opened his mouth to respond but was interrupted.

“We don’t have time to stop, it isn’t safe out here,” Denise said, resting her hand on the brick wall besides them as she peered around the corner.

“But Donny and I are a little tired,” Tina whined.

“Just wait a little longer, kid,” Ferrah responded without looking back, waiting for Denise to signal that it was all clear.

Denise gave a nod of her head and Ferrah took the lead instead.

“We’ll find somewhere to rest in a moment,” Denise told Tina gently, following Ferrah carefully while ensuring that she kept an eye out on their surroundings.

“I-I’m sorry,” Donny groaned quietly, Tina looked at him with a worried stare, but chose not to ask any questions.

Tina understood that they had to keep going, so she didn’t want to hold up the others, especially the girls who were dead set on finding a place to hide.

“That building over there looks like it may be a good place to hide out for a while,” Ferrah suggested, signaling the building across the street from them, “But either way, whether you like it or not, we’re going.”

“There aren’t many zombies around either, it looks like it may be our best option,” Denise nodded, despite disliking Ferrah’s controlling attitude over the situation, “we better hurry.”

The four of them walked over to the other side of the street and into the house that stood alone with smashed windows and a door that was wide open. They walked inside, examining the rooms carefully before arriving at the conclusion that there were no zombies present in the building. Denise shut the door quietly before Donny assisted her with barricading it with a chest of drawers that had been peacefully sat in the hallway.

“You don’t look so good,” Denise pointed out, staring at the taller brown haired boy.

“I’m fine, really,” Donny responded, “just a bit tired, the whole church encounter was a little…overwhelming.”

“I know what you mean, we should focus on resting up,” Denise nodded, “this barricade looks stable for now, come on.”

Denise walked towards the kitchen where Ferrah was going through the cupboards while Tina sat on one of the counters, swinging her legs.

“What the heck? How has this place been picked clean?” She questioned, slamming the door in frustration, “we’ll have to find some more supplies later on.”

“If you say so,” Denise shrugged, sitting herself on one of the counters, watching Ferrah carefully as she continued to check the various cupboards within the kitchen.

“There’s nothing here,” Ferrah grumbled.

“But at least we’re inside right? It feels like we were outside forever!” Tina said with a big grin as she scratched at her knee.

“We weren’t even outside that long,” Denise told her, “Are you tired?”

“A little, walking is super tiring,” Tina nodded, hopping off the counter, “And the church wasn’t exactly relaxing!”

“Well it is getting late; I guess we should be getting some rest,” Ferrah said, brushing her red hair away from her eyes. “Does anyone feel like volunteering to keep watch?”

 Denise had expected that, of course Ferrah wouldn’t volunteer herself to do such a thing.

“I will,” Denise sighed.

 Tina was unable to keep watch due to her age. Donny needed to get some rest because he was starting to come down with something and Ferrah…well Ferrah probably had some reason that was completely ridiculous but Denise decided to let it slide. The four of them decided to relocate to the living room, where furniture remained in the places where it had been since before this disaster.

Donny held onto the doorframe, preventing Denise from getting into the room. “Hey Donny, I kind of need to get through,” she said. Donny didn’t respond and instead fell forwards towards the ground, he landed with a thud and Tina let out a surprised yelp.

“Jesus Christ!” Ferrah shouted, spinning around and staring at the boy who lay limp on the floor.

That was when Denise noticed it, Donny appeared to be bleeding from his side and was doing a good job hiding it.

“He has a bite,” Denise said slowly, staring at him in disbelief.

“Why didn’t he tell us?” Ferrah questioned, “Is he completely insane?”

“I don’t kno-“

A loud groan came from Donny, Tina let out a frightened scream. Donny looked back at Denise before lunging at her. Denise let out a horrified squeal before dodging him and turning around to run towards the kitchen. Tina stood on the couch, while Ferrah grabbed the gun they had previously discovered.”

You stay right here, I don’t want you to move,” she ordered and Tina nodded, “if you hear anything, warn us.”

Ferrah ran out of the room to see Denise trying to dodge the various lunges that Donny attempted, but he wasn’t Donny anymore and Ferrah knew that.  At first, she was frozen and unable to act, but when Denise was cornered and Donny was getting closer and closer to harming her, Ferrah knew that she had to act quickly.

“Do something!” Denise shouted.

Ferrah snapped out of her stupor, running towards Donny, holding the gun tightly. She pressed it to the side of Donny’s head and shot it. Blood and brains were splattered across the kitchen wall and his body slumped to the floor.

Denise stared at Ferrah, feeling sick but thankful. “You saved me…”

“Did you really think I was going to let you die?” Ferrah questioned, “We need to get to your parents and I kinda need you alive to do that…”

“Are you sure that was why you saved me?” Denise raised an eyebrow, stepping over Donny’s body, “I wish he told us…maybe we could’ve ended it a little better for him…”

“We can’t worry about him; he is gone,” Ferrah sighed, wiping a tear from her eye, “for now we need to get the heck out of here before Tina sees.”

“Denise! Ferrah!” Tina shouted from the living room, “Zombies are coming in from a back door.”

“The gunshot must’ve attracted them, come on, we need to get out now,” Denise said quickly, hurrying to the living room, Ferrah followed closely behind. “We’ll avoid them, we shouldn’t try to fight.”

“But I’m tired,” Tina whined, “My legs hurt.”

“I cannot be dealing with your whining,” Ferrah grumbled, marching towards her.

Denise almost thought that she was going to start shouting at the child. “Get on my back,” Ferrah said simply, which caught Denise off guard completely.

Tina hopped on Ferrah’s back, wrapping her arms just below her neck; Denise grabbed the gun, which allowed for Ferrah to grab Tina’s legs.

“This should make it a little easier, we can’t let you fall behind again,” Denise acknowledged.

They quickly moved to the front door, kicking away the barricade just as the unfortified back door burst open. They ran out of the gate. Denise couldn’t help but think about who could’ve lived here before this all started. Was it a happy family? An old couple perhaps? The possibilities were endless and it made Denise feel sad by just thinking about it. Now wasn’t the time for idle pondering.

The horde approached them, some were quick and others were slow, dragging their feet along the road.

“We need to run,” Tina said, fear overwhelming her.

“Where to?” Ferrah asked, looking at Denise, expecting an answer from the shorter girl.

“We’ll just run and when we see a place to hide, we’ll hide,” Denise said quickly.

“That is a terrible idea!” Ferrah exclaimed and Tina nodded.

“Well do you have anything better?” Denise asked while Ferrah shook her head, “I thought so.”

That was when they started to run, the zombies chased after them and Tina closed her eyes tight while Ferrah supported her weight. “Denise, where the hell are we going?” Ferrah shouted.

Denise couldn’t answer the question; she didn’t know where they were going.

“Just run!” Denise shouted in response, picking up the pace.

Running down the road with zombies trailing behind them frightened her, if she fell right now that would be the end of her. As she ran alongside Ferrah, who was struggling to keep up with Tina on her back, Denise noticed a door fling open with a tall figure ushering them inside. Denise continued to run, as they got closer the man helped Ferrah who was drained of energy quickly. He lifted Tina from her back and carried her himself.

They entered the building and the door slammed shut behind them. Denise found herself examining a new environment of a completely fortified convenience store. Outside, loud groans and snarls escalated from the zombie horde as it slammed into the door moments after the strange man latched it.

The man sighed, lowering his head for a moment before raising it to look at their group, “Well that was close, but welcome. You’re someplace safe now.” 

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