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“Denise!” Rory screamed my name over the moaning hoard of oncoming zombies. I had lost him as soon as the wall fell. I swung my bat wildly at the zombie rushing towards me. I made solid contact with its head, and with a satisfying thud it hit the ground its broken fingers stretching towards me. Without hesitation I slammed my bat two more times, smashing in its skull with learned ease. Before I could recover there were three more zombies on me.

This was absolute madness. Overhead I heard the sharp whistling of Uncle Bob’s bazooka. I stumbled back as the aftershock hit me, my head slamming against a concrete wall. Black spots exploded before my eyes.

“What are you doing!” I blinked as crazy red hair flew into my face, “Take this,” Ferrah said. She shoved an AK47 at me.

“Thanks,” I stuttered. I balanced the gun on my shoulder. I could already hear Ferrah shooting but my vision was still blurred.

Finally, I could see, a zombie was shoving its way through the broken hoards. Most were still lying on the ground because of the bazooka blast. Except this one. It was at least eight feet tall its spine poked through it’s rotting flesh as it dragged its bloody knuckles across the gravel encrusted ground.

Before I could take aim Ferrah screamed another of the same type I had just spotted had its teeth in her arm. It tugged at her flesh with it’s pointed teeth as I shot it I between the eyes. Blood spattered us both.

Her own blood laced thickly down her arm, “Damn it!” Ferrah shouted at no one.

I turned on my heal the masses were getting larger with each wave. I shot off randomly into the crowd stumbling towards me. In the distance I saw a hulk-like zombie trying to stomp Uncle Bob’s war tank like an annoying fly. It’s foot made contact with the front end and with a bone-shattering roar the tank was flattened.

I felt nails scraping at my ankles and without looking down I shot. Rage coursed through me, I was sick and tired of this insane war. I took my dagger from its sheath, whipped the AK47 around my shoulder, and charged. I was surrounded on all sides as my dagger tore into rotting flesh. Heads scattered around my feet and hands scratched at my already bloody arms. Here in the center of hell, I saw hundreds of new mutations. Each one more horrifying than the one before it.

There was a huge explosion a mushroom cloud reached for the sky as the aftershock made me stumble backward. I felt a hand on my back shoving me and without thinking I shoved my dagger behind me. A hand caught my wrist, my heart banged wildly against my rib cage. Were the zombies learning?

I lurched backward, I was a goner. A gun barrel touched my neck and came into view over my shoulder. Whatever or whoever was behind me shot at the zombies before me. I turned my head and saw Mitch and some other loyal farmhands.

“Let us handle this, Rory is pissing himself with worry,” Mitch laughed coldly. He pulled me back and shoved me in the opposite direction. Mitch and his small army ran forward, each had a dagger in one hand and a gun in the other. They shot off round after round filling the air with gunpowder and blood.  

There wasn’t any time for a second thought I turned and made my way in the direction Mitch had shoved me.

“Rory!” I screamed my blade digging into the skull of another nameless zombie. I was surrounded by lifeless eyes. The faster ones were overwhelming me. Hands wrapped around my neck pulling me to my knees. I tried to yell out but choked on my words. Broken fingers grabbed at me. This is it, it’s finally happening. All this time I thought I could make it in this messed up world. Everything I… everything we had gone through all for nothing. Rory.

Desperately I gasped for air as I clawed at my neck. They were gone, the hands. I retched coughing up everything I had in my stomach. Gunfire filled my ears I reached for my own, swinging it back in front of me. I stood up shakily, “Rory,” I breathed. He was standing before me gun in hand, his clothes stained crimson, his hair ruffled dripping with sweat; he was alive.  I was alive. Ferrah was next to him, my parents next to her, everyone was there.

“Duck!” Uncle Bob yelled. He shot his bazooka off as we hit the ground. It blew a hole through the dead flesh before us, “Move!” Bob rushed out ahead.

“You okay?” Rory cupped my face with a dirt-stained hand. His brown eyes searched mine. He must have found what he was looking for because before I could answer he pulled me into the heart of the madness.  

I was back to back with Rory and Ferrah. We slowing waded through the mass. I kept my finger glued to my trigger. Ferrah handed me a grenade. I ripped the pin out with my teeth and threw it as hard as I could.  The force of the blow hit before the actual sound. Dead rotting limbs flew at us as another mushroom cloud appeared, the aftershock through me off balance. My foot caught on something. My hands scraped the ground and I came face to face with Mitch. His dead eyes stared straight ahead focused on nothing. Bites ran up and down his arms; a small hole in his forehead was still dripping red.

I shoved myself back up grabbing my gun as I did. I shot down everything in my path. The mass was finally thinning. I let myself feel the slightest bit of relief. I might actually get some sleep. We sprinted over bodies to my parents and Tina. They had their backs pressed to a lone standing concrete wall. Zombies were surrounding them and Tina was starting to panic.   All three of us took aim and shot into the crowd. I made it to my parents ripping another pin from a second grenade. After I threw it I curled my body around Tina protecting her from shrapnel.

“It will be okay,” I whispered hoarsely my throat still sore from before.  I ran my fingers through her hair as I stood up again. Every hope of sleeping tonight, or surviving left me when I saw what was coming for us. A line of zombies shot through the maze of their dead kin. Others stumbled behind them. Even farther back the trees were tipping revealing more hulk-like zombies. I choked back a sob. Rory entwined his fingers with mine.

“We’re done for,” I whispered. I looked up a Rory he had abandoned his gun and was now balancing a bazooka on his shoulder. He smiled at me, I gave a small smile back. I couldn’t give up, not while I was still standing.

He yelled charging forward, my hand slipping out of his as I followed. He shot off his bazooka first with me looking out for the ones that dodged the blow; with Ferrah backing me up. Explosions encased us as Uncle Bob fired off some of his bigger guns.  The wave of fast zombies finally reached us through the flaming dead lying useless on the ground. I shot down one after another, Ferrah throwing grenades at my side and Uncle Bob causing more explosions and more fire. The heat licked at my feet, sweat dripped down my back more and more bodies piled up before me.

The ground shook as a huge foot came down before me. My heart jumped into my throat without thinking I shot at it. The bullets embedded themselves harmlessly in the dead flesh. It’s lifted its foot intending to smash be but a huge bullet gauged it off. Dead stinking blood cascaded down on me. I crawled back wiping the blood from my eyes. Its head exploded just as the foot had. It’s huge body teetered dangerously before falling backward landing with an Earth-shaking thud. Someone pulled me to my feet and we both ran back toward the wall.

Another wave hit, we were being overpowered. My sweat-stained back was against the cold concrete sending a shiver up my spine. We were firing off shots left and right without aiming. My gun was burning my hand, steam wafted from its barrel.  Some were getting far too close for comfort now. I pulled out my dagger again launching myself at the first zombie I saw. Jamming my blade through its eye socket and quickly moving to the next. Something exploded behind me making my ears ring. Before I could recover there was a huge blast forcing me to drop to my knees. the sound that followed was defining. Flams licked at the bodies on the ground and those that were still able to walk. As the dust from the blast settled revealing another wave.

My entire body hurt, it took everything I had just to stand up. The wind whipped my hair behind me as I bought my gun up before me. I retreated to the wall again standing tall as a knight in an old fairy tale would. Zombies moved slowly through the flames, not caring when they caught on fire. Rory stood at my side bazooka in place and Ferrah on my other side red hair flowing behind her. We were surrounded by the flaming dead.

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