Pushing Up Gravestones – Chapter 5

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Now all she had to do was find her parents and get the hell out of dodge. Denise took in her surroundings and decided against running right into the lot and looking for her parents because the entire place was covered in zombies. Not the quick ones, those had all seemed to abandon the death covered lot and look for some fresh meat, the slow-moving kind shuffled around like they were confused. It would have been useless to go into the parking lot anyway, from where she was standing she had a full view of it and there was no sign of her parent’s car. Even if there had been, there would have been no way for them to get out, wrecked cars and twitching corpses blocked the entrances on either side of the lot.

 Denise was still trying to decide whether or not she would enter the school when screams from behind her called to her for help. She turned to see two maybe three uninfected people being chased down like prey in the Safari, by a horde of what looked to be six zombies. They were quickly overtaken, and though she wanted to help there was no way she would do anyone any good, least of all herself. Regrettably, she high tailed it to the school and into the doors making sure to secure them behind her. She knew it did little good to lock doors against the faster of the zombies, they’d only ram themselves against the doors with all the force of a speeding vehicle, but it did offer her some reassurance

She took a moment to catch her breath and took in the sight of the halls. Even what she had seen outside was hardly comparable to what was in here. Blood covered the eggshell walls and tiled floors, the remains of what was barely recognizable as a human had been dragged along the floors. Besides the gore, there seemed to be no zombies in the halls, but she wasn’t naive enough to believe that there were none in the school at all. Denise crept along the lockers, passing seemingly empty classrooms when she saw her.

Mia, her best friend, was aimlessly roaming the halls looking for another meal. She hadn’t thought of Mia, she never once thought of what had become of her. Denise’s only goal had been to find her parents and Mia never crossed her mind and now here she was. Mia’s big brown eyes were glazed over, a vacant look filling them. Her small mouth hung open awkwardly; it was covered by a vibrant sheen of red. When she caught the sight or scent of Denise she began her stiff shamble towards her, mouth opening and closing in an empty gnaw. How did she become like this?

Denise froze as the tears fell down her face. The only day Mia had ever needed her and she was lying around watching television. The guilt she was feeling doubled, not only had she let her parents down but she had let down Mia as well. She didn’t have a chance to decide whether or not she’d kill her best friend, because while she was frozen the sounds of glass shattering caught her attention. She turned to see that the glass windows of the big double doors of the school’s entrance were destroyed.

Instinctively, she ran in the opposite direction of the zombies piling in through the jagged, broken windows. Mia’s corpse followed her as she bounded down the hall; she turned to the left only to find dozens of her former classmates bent over the remains of what used to be their principal. Denise covered her mouth, but not before a shrill cry escaped. The insatiable zombies were immediately captivated by the sound of fresh meat, they rose and began their short race towards her, some quicker than others. Denise rotated on her heels and tore off down the opposite hall, she glanced towards the entrance to see that another dozen or so zombies had cleanly made their way through the windows and followed suit.

She couldn’t even think of using her bat, there were too many of them. Instead, Denise searched for an empty classroom to hide in, but most were occupied with undead. She almost gave up when she remembered that there was a supply closet on this hall, and luckily she hadn’t passed it. Although she knew she would regret it, she turned to see how far the zombies were and she was, cringing at the sight. They were all running over each other to get to her and they were close, so she used every ounce of energy inside of her to get to that closet. In her urgency she almost passed it up; she quickly opened the door and darted inside. She was blessed to find that it was indeed empty because she hadn’t had the time to check it out. She was definitely lucky.

The zombies had caught up to her, though there was a solid door separating her from them. It wouldn’t take long for them to break through though. She could hear them banging and clawing.

I am NOT about to go out like this!” she thought.

Her parents weren’t here, but they were somewhere and they would be waiting for her. Denise’s resolve was slipping as the singing of hungry mouths got louder. This was like a nightmare! Trying to block out the world behind that door, her mind wandered to the friend who was now probably joining the mouths outside it. Instantly, she remembered the last conversation they’d shared.

It was lunch break and they took a seat at their usual bench, neither of them spoke. They never had to talk to enjoy each other’s company; Mia read a book while they sat. The atmosphere was pleasantly quiet until Denise’s stomach betrayed her, though Mia seemed to be too engrossed in her book to notice. Denise slyly looked up at her friend, a sickeningly sweet smile forming at her lips.

“You know sometimes I think how lucky I am to have a friend like you,” Denise said leaning playfully against her friend’s shoulder.

“What is it you want?” Mia asked.

“I’m just sharing how grateful I am to my best friend,” she responded.

“Oh, please!”

“Okay, fine. Lend me ten bucks for lunch,” she relented breaking out the kitty eyes.

Mia rolled her eyes and pulled out her pink wallet, she always carried at least twenty bucks in cash because Denise was always forgetting hers.

“You are such a child,” she said while handing her friend the cash.

“I promise to pay you back!” Denise exclaimed, pecking Mia on the cheek.

“Yeah, right,” Mia mumbled after Denise.

The thought of how much crap Mia had put up with from her was too much; she was always there for when she needed even the smallest favors. The fact that the last time they saw each other she was hitting her up for money was painful and she’d never get the chance to say she was sorry. Now she was out there, she was gone, forever. Denise wondered if she’d ever make it out of that closet. That is if she even wanted to.

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