pull my knees close to my chest as I sit, tucked away in the back corner of the
bunker. A strand of long brown hair falls out of my sloppy ponytail and into my
face, but I don’t move to fix it. I’m afraid that if I move, if any of us move,
they’ll find us. Tina’s shaky breaths are the only thing I hear and as a bang
coming from outside of the bunker fills the room, I can feel her tense next to
My own muscles are as stiff as wires; I can’t imagine that I could actually move them right now. My brain keeps telling me that we should be doing something, finding a way out of here, but my body is frozen in fear. My breathing is ragged and my heart skips a beat every time I hear something.
The bunker is filled with shelves of supplies, food, water, blankets, and dozens of other things, but we don’t need any of it since the helicopter is loaded. All we want is safety. My hand involuntarily wraps around the edge of one of the shelves as something shuffles by the door.
Another loud bang comes from outside the bunker and I can feel Tina’s frail fingers wrap around my arms. “Denise?” she whimpers.
“I’m here,” I promise her and pull the scared little girl closer to me.
They’re far away right now, but I can feel them coming closer, searching for flesh. A scraping sound echoes on the door of the bunk and I quickly cover Tina’s mouth with my hand as I see a scream rise in her throat. Her breath is hot on my hand as we wait for whatever scraped against the door to keep moving.
A creaking noise comes from the door like something is leaning on it. The creaking ends abruptly and for a second I’m convinced that the zombie left. I pull my hand away from Tina’s mouth and wipe the hot moisture that collected there onto my filthy jeans. But, I pulled my hand away too soon because whatever had been leaning on that door has now tried a new tactic to reach what it thinks will be its next meal.
The zombie rams into the door with a loud thump and a strangled scream escapes Tina’s throat. More zombies must have heard the scream because there is now a chorus of scratching outside of the door.
“Tina, Tina,” I say quietly to try and calm her.
Her scream ends in a quiet whimper and she pulls herself closer to me. The scratching outside the door continues as we sit in silence. The zombies know we’re here, but if they’ll eventually give up to look for easier prey.
I shift my eyes around the small bunker, there are only five of us and hundreds of zombies who want to eat us just on the other side of the bunker door. The idea that this could be the end terrifies me, I’m either going to get eaten by zombies or slowly starve to death in this bunker.
Being so certain of your death really makes you look back on your life. There is so much I regret doing, or not doing, now that I look back on my life. There was so much I regretted in my life, little things mostly, things like not turning in that History assignment or that one rude comment I made about Kelly Larson’s hair in the eighth grade. But, there was one thing I regretted more than anything else, ditching school on the day of the infection.
There was of course still Mia, her death fresh in my mind. There were also my parents. They went to the school to protect me and now they’re either dead or turned into flesh eating zombies. If I hadn’t ditched then they wouldn’t have risked their lives for nothing. If I hadn’t ditched then we could have figured out a way to get out of the school together.
Tears well in my eyes as I think about Mia and my parents. If I hadn’t been so lazy then they’d probably still be here. A faint shuffling mixes in with the scratches on the door and a moment later I feel a hand on my shoulder. I look up to see Ferrah’s face looking down at me. It’s strange to think I used to hate this girl with her makeup covered face and perfect red hair, but now her face is covered in dirt and blood and her once perfect hair sticks up randomly around her head. I used to hate this girl, but now she is the closest thing I have to a friend.
“Are you okay?” Her blue eyes illuminate the dim room as she looks at me with concern.
I try to wipe away the tears, but I only manage to smear them in with the blood and dirt. “Yeah, I’m fine.”
She looks at me like she doesn’t believe me. “This is about your parents and your friends, isn’t it?”
I bite my lip not wanting to admit that she’s right. My eyes glide over the room, willing to look at anything but her eyes, because if I do then she’ll know she’s right. The scratching on the door is slowly starting to fade as the zombies go to search for other food, but the intensity of Ferrah’s gaze does not.
She slides down the wall so that she’s sitting next to me instead of kneeling next to me and says seriously, “What happened to Mia and your parents isn’t your fault. There is no way you could have protected them, if anything you would have just gotten yourself killed. They wouldn’t have wanted you to die for them.”
“Yeah, I kept assuming at some point we would be done with this. I’d be able to sit back and mourn them. That’s never going to happen is it? I should have gone to school that day,” I answer sourly.
Ferrah shakes her head. “Even if you had gone to school you couldn’t have saved Mia and your parents would have still come to look for you. The only difference is that you’d probably be one of those flesh eaters too. And we don’t even know where you’re parents are, they could still be alive.”
“They’re probably dead,” I say mournfully.
“You don’t know…” Ferrah begins but is cut off when Joseph brakes up our little heart-to-heart by waving us over.
Rory, Ferrah, Tina, and I silently crawl over to where Joseph sits in the bunker and he starts talking hurriedly, “Okay, I found a map of the base on one of the supply shelves and it says there is Storage Room where they keep extra supplies.”
“They might have fuel for the helicopter,” Rory points out.
Joseph nods. “Exactly, I just need enough time to get the fuel and fill the helicopter.”
“This place is filled with zombies, there is no way we’d be able to fill the helicopter before they find us,” Ferrah adds gloomily.
Joseph’s brow furrows, the scratching at the door has stopped at this point, but the zombies are still on the base, “We’ll need a distraction.”
I pull the map from Joseph’s hands and take a good look at it, there’s an armory, but it’s on the opposite side of the base from the bunker. We’d have to move quickly if we were to get the guns before the zombies find us.
“There’s an armory on the other side of the base,” I begin, “We can get guns there to distract the zombies, but we’d have to move quickly, it’s pretty far.”
“I don’t like the idea of you kids going off on your own. I can’t be there to protect you, I have to fill the helicopter,” Joseph says nervously.
I scowl at him. “We’ve made it this long on our own, we’ll be fine. Don’t worry about us.”
“And what if something happens to you guys?” he asks in return.
“Then you get out of here as fast as you can,” I reply in all seriousness.
“Fine,” Joseph answers and doesn’t argue anymore because he knows I’m right, “It will be a miracle if any of us get out much less all of us.”
We pack up the little gear we brought with us as we finalize our plans. Ferrah and Joseph are going to get the fuel and fill up the helicopter, while Rory, Tina, and I get guns to distract the zombies. When everyone is ready we stand up to leave. My throat tightens and I suddenly find it hard to breath, this could be it.
“Denise?” Tina says almost too quietly to hear as Joseph moves to unlock the door.
“Yes,” I answer as the he slides the bolt out of place.
“You won’t leave me, right?” the little girl asks as we see the first sliver of outside the bunker.
“I won’t leave you no matter what,” I tell her honestly as the door opens the rest of the way.