Pushing Up Gravestones – Chapter 3

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As I trotted into the hospital, I looked around at my surroundings. Physically the hospital looked fine, nothing was crumbling yet, and there was no sign of an immediate outbreak. Everything almost seemed normal, except for every third person I saw would come screaming down the hall in hysterics.

Through the speaker system I heard the head of security telling everyone to remain calm, that the hospital was now in lock down, and that the zombies could no longer get into the building. What a load of bull. I just walked in through those so called locked-down main doors. I shook my head in disbelief, if these people think that they’re safe because a hospital- made of glass, mind you- will keep zombies out, they must be smoking something.

On second thought the lady said zombies could no longer get into the building, which implies that at one point zombies could get into the hospital. If zombies could get into the building at one point then that means there are probably zombies in this building attacking helpless hospital goers. Great, just what we need. Not only did the security give people false hope of living, but they also knocked the people’s caution level down. Without people being cautious their adrenaline stops pumping, therefore causing them to not only be less mentally alert, but also less physically alert.

A few doctors were still rushing around trying to keep order, but by this point most of the people still present were running around and freaking out. I guess I had nothing to worry about. The security warnings were being ignored. A few of the nurses even had to sedate some people because they were becoming unstable. I thought that that was slightly unfair because if this hospital becomes completely overrun by zombies, which it will, then these people have no means of defending themselves!

No one will stop and carry the person to safety, heck, no one will even check to see if they’re alive. I know I wouldn’t! Plus, the will to survive, obviously, outweighs the will to save others; that’s just how we evolved. If we evolved to be a more selfless being, we’d all be dead. By attempting to save others we’re putting ourselves in danger, and, let’s face it, heroic acts of selflessness usually don’t end as well as they do in the movies. Everyone usually ends up dying.

I quickly made my way past several rioting citizens. I was trying to take the fastest route to my dad’s nursing station. On my way there, I heard the Head of Security get cut off in the middle of her sentence. The gruesomely brutal sound of skin tearing and a shriek of pain replaced the previous reassuring voice. Employees and patients around me screamed in terror, fleeing in any given direction. Unfortunately, this meant several people shoving past me and running towards the staircase. I watch as the security guards follow after the people they were just trying to contain, and they too bump into me in their mad panic.

I bent behind a door when I heard the sound of clumsy, fast-moving feet forty yards behind me; it was probably zombies. Most people in this hospital seemed to be too fat to run that fast, unless dead. Just seconds later, as if to confirm my thoughts, zombies sprinted past the door Fortunately, I was hidden and the zombies continued to chase after the people who ran past me. I heard surprised yelps and choked yells as the zombies closed in on a small group of people.

As quietly as possible I slipped out from behind the door and strided the rest of the way to my dad’s station. A few times I had to redirect my route because I heard zombie activity down the hallway, or because the occasional groups of people I ran into attracted the zombies towards my path.

At this point, I realized that searching the hospital for my parents was too risky, and I had an extremely low probability of finding my family, but it was worth a chance. Considering what my parents had done for me throughout my life, they deserve this act of heroism from me. What if one of them was hurt? I know the other wouldn’t leave their side, no matter what the hurt one would do or say. It’s either they both live, or they both die. No in-betweens, and that’s where I come in. If one of them is hurt, they’ll need me to save them.

I crept into the nursing station just as a loud crash of glass breaking echoed across the hospital. The zombies probably just broke the main door and were now flooding into the building. A whimper escaped someone’s throat nearby. I looked around for anyone. The station looked exactly as I last saw it. It was obvious the zombies hadn’t gotten there yet, but they will. They will search every inch of this place for a living soul, until everything looks like it should during a zombie apocalypse.

“Hello?” I called out in a loud whisper, trying to avoid alerting the zombies of my position.

“Denise?” a voice responded loudly, “Denise! Get over here!”

Well, she obviously didn’t catch on to my motives.

“Over where?” Whoever this was, they weren’t doing me any favors.

“Child, hurry up. I’m under the desk.” The voice sounded urgent.

I quickly jogged over the desk, and crawled on all fours to reach the person calling out to me. The lady calling for me was one of my parent’s good friends, Ms. Delany. She was the second best nurse here at the hospital, obviously second to my dad.

“Your parents left to go look for you at the school, and they told me to hold down the fort. Now, obviously there’s no way I can still run this place. Zombies have, as you know, infested the whole hospital, and I have no nurses. Your parents know your inability to sit and wait for someone to help you during a time of crisis, so they told me to keep you safe if you come looking for them. However, I got bit by one of them. I’m assuming that means I only have a matter of time before I become like one of them. You’ll have to go on your own; I don’t want to hurt you by accident. Denise, don’t do anything stupid while looking for your parents. I don’t want your parents to think I don’t care for your safety, because you know I do! Dear, I’ve known and cared for you since before you could totter.”

I nodded slowly to show Ms. Delany I understood, and got up on my feet once again.

“Take care, Ms. Delany.” I helped her up onto her feet, and gave her a tight hug to show I really did know she cared for me, “Thanks for all your help you’ve given me. I’ll miss you.”

Ms. Delany pulled out of my hug and placed her hands on my shoulders; in her eyes I could see tears welling up, “Take care, my dear. Thanks for giving me the most exciting seventeen years of my old life.”

Both Ms. Delany and I chuckled softly. When I was younger Ms. Delany would sometimes babysit me while my parents had work, and I would drag her into the craziest events. I once convinced her to drive me to the park during one of the worst storms in my life time to search for my lost stuffed pig. We spent hours in the horrible rain and high winds looking for that beloved stuffed toy that just ended up being in my mom’s car.

After the search party, as I called it, we went home with sour moods to find my parents worried sick. They were somehow able to finish work and get home safely during the storm, and came home to an empty house. Both Ms. Delany and I were punished for scaring my parents. We had to both sit in a corner for an hour before we could get up. Now that I’m older I realized that Ms. Delany was only put in the corner to amuse me, but as a seven year old I was convinced Ms. Delany and I were in the biggest trouble, but in reality my parents were just happy we were both safely home.

“I love you Ms. Delany,” I kissed Ms. Delany on the cheek.

She smiled at me before pressing her badge into my hand, “If you stick to the locked sections, you might be able to get out of here safer.”

I took one last look at her, before turning and running back into the nightmare. The reminiscing was nice, but I had to pull myself together and find my parents. The hospital was being completely overrun by those brainless goons, and I had to somehow strategize my way out of the hospital without a weapon. I couldn’t corner myself in somewhere, so elevators were a no go, and I had to be careful when using the staircases. I mainly used the doctor-only hallways that one could only enter by using Ms. Delany’s key-card; I silently thanked her for that. However, I still had to use the other hallways every now and then.

I was able to get a look at the main entrance and decided against it. Zombies were still flooding into the building by the hundreds, why wouldn’t they? There were lots of meals for them here in this building, easy to catch too. Many of the people weren’t even that sick, broken bones, cuts, and old age. Not bad meals at all for a zombie, just easy. Probably the easiest the zombies will ever get. I quickly and quietly made my way to the emergency room doors. The doors were more remote, and harder to find on the outside of the building. I only caught sight of a handful of zombies, all of which were too busy devouring a body to notice me. I didn’t have time to worry about the poor souls, just enough time to be glad that I wasn’t the one being a zombie’s meal. I found the exit I was looking for and made my way to it gleefully.

I went into the hive’s nest and lived! That gave me new-found hope that maybe I will be able to make it through this hell on Earth.

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