They Live - 2: They Survive

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They Survive


Sgt. Hugh Kennedy, 3rd Squad, 2nd Platoon, 85th Infantry Regiment – Status: Zombie


May 30 2028


After Disaster Diary Entry 36


            The military struggled the first time. I cannot describe what’s happening now. Our platoon was split by a downed chopper. Some of our squad got caught, leaving four of us. We’re at the top of the C. E. Memorial bank; we can get down when we find a flare. There should be one scattered around the crash sites.


 


The four soldiers consisted of: Sgt. Hugh Kennedy; a medic armed with a sub-machine gun, Pvt. Andy Broderick; a machine gunner, PFC (Pvt. 1st class) Adams; a sniper, and Cpl. Monica Cornell; a support gunner and technician.


 


Whilst Monica was trying to fix a radio, Pvt. Broderick and PFC Adams were on a food hunt. Our rations can’t last us much longer. I was patrolling the rooftops around, and after meeting no resistance, I returned to Monica. She started saying something about ‘nearly finished’ or ‘almost there’, when we heard gunshots, which echoed around the empty buildings below.


 


            “That’s one of ours.”  He ran towards the edge, and saw Broderick and Adams near the entrance at the base of the building. Hugh threw some grenades to the bottom, before grabbing Monica and running down to help.


 


September 12 2021


After Disaster Diary Entry 141


We’re running out of food and ammo. My med bag’s almost empty and more people pour into the bunker every day. I can’t help them all, we need supplies.


 


November 18 2022


After Recovery Diary Entry 24


I have been put into 3rd squad. So far, it’s better than my last squad, who were all killed due to simple stupidity. This disaster has taught me so much. Bonds have been made and we will mourn for those we lost.


 


Robyn (Unknown Surname) – Status: Hiding


July 21 2028


After Disaster Diary Entry 7


There are few here. Even fewer armed. Jones walked out, leaving me in charge. Good thing too; Jones spent the last few weeks being stubborn and sure he was in charge. However much of a bitch of a job he did. The only things keeping me sane are Joe and Reynolds Trench coat. I just hope he will turn up soon.


 


            When she replaced her Diary, the shelf collapsed but she ignored it. She then went downstairs to sort out the argument over food. She decided that she and Joe would leave by themselves, creating a distraction to allow the other residents to escape through the back of the house. Joe and Robyn were experienced fighters, whereas the others weren’t, but there was a safe bunker nearby, which would hold them longer than any house would. Robyn held an M16A4, a three-shot-burst assault rifle, and wore Reynolds trench coat over strong clothes. Joe wore a shirt and jeans and held a baseball bat. Despite major differences, they worked incredibly well together.


            The precise timing was needed. Robyn and Joe exited first. They ran. An enormous crowd followed. Joe was unsure that he was seeing properly. As they ran, they heard gunshots from the back of the house. At that point, Robyn fired some shots into the crowd, and Joe saw a small group climbing over the fence, mouths covered in blood.  Robyn had been given the keys to a car outside, which was their target. When they reached it, Joe fumbled on the door handle, but managed to get in before the hands took him. What they could see out of the windows was simply a blur of faces, with empty eyes and limp arms.


 


William and Courtney (Unknown surnames) – Status: Deceased and Hiding (respectively)


January 11 2029


After Disaster Diary Entry 1


We’re on the run. Our romantic weekend was ruined when the shop owner attacked us. We share our experiences to warn anyone who finds this. Knock their heads off. And dear God run. Companionship will get you through. It worked for us. Nothing will break our Love, even... Zombies.


 


Robyn (Unknown Surname) – Status: Hiding


July 22 2028


After Disaster Diary Entry 8


We escaped in the car with much resistance. We managed to throw them off and get into the city. This part was abandoned. Looks like it was abandoned after the first disaster. Phone lines are down. It’s kinda spooky here. Minimal supplies, car broke down and no other working transport, but we did find some used flares outside a bank. One was left, we assume it works. It’s all dusty here. We’re stranded, I suppose. We’d stay here and hold... Wait... I hear something. Oh God, if you read this, get out!


(Discarded on the banks third floor)


 


            Joe slammed through the door and the two ran. To ensure neither got lost, they ran holding hands. Robyn’s hand slipped, and Joe grabbed her wrist. They both slowed and turned. Robyn fired a few bursts from her gun, and beat a closer zombie with the stock. The duo got into the elevator and found a pistol. When the doors opened they ran, again. They looked back to see the stairs and lift overflowing with zombies. Reaching the door, they met resistance from above – zombies jumping from low rooftops and out of windows. Now they were in trouble. They stumbled and fell on a number of times as they tore across the office. Death loomed overhead.


 


Sgt. Hugh Kennedy, 3rd Squad, 2nd Platoon, 85th Infantry Regiment – Status: Zombie


June 14 2028


After Disaster Diary Entry 51


            My daily Diary Entries before this have been brief. I’ve been on the run. They took Broderick, who fired an entire clip before dying in the lift; his pistol is still in there. We escaped when we set off flares found behind a counter. A chopper picked us up. Then dropped us off when it was downed by some roof-jumpers (zombies that hurl themselves off roofs). We saw the pilot afterwards, we think the virus may be airborne; however, Monica and Adams seem to be immune. The last 14 days have been hell. As leader of this safe bunker, I have to be strong and show no weakness. Hard to do when you think you’re infected. I want to do as much for others before I go...


 


            Leaning back on his chair, he sighed and fell asleep.


Weeks passed. Mid July came around, and he decided to leave. He gathered his equipment and loaded up a truck, when Monica and Adams loaded their things too. He wished to flee the bunker to stop the spread of infection, alone.


“3rd forever” quoted Adams when Hugh tried to stop them. The three of them got in the open back truck, and drove into a swarm of undead.


 


            Robyn was on the ground – she had fallen and dropped her gun a few inches away from where she lay, unable to reach. She drew her pistol and shot some of the closer attackers. Joe was smashing zombies, particularly concentrating on the ones targeting downed Robyn. Suddenly gunfire brought many down, and Robyn pulled Joe to the floor. The zombies above collapsed in a whizz of bullets. Robyn saw the soldiers when he hadn’t. When Cornell and Adams helped them up and lead them inside, Kennedy stopped. He started convulsing, then vomiting. The others raised their firearms, whilst backing away slowly to the lift. Robyn grabbed Broderick’s pistol and loaded it, before handing it to Joe.


            They headed up, and to the roof. When they arrived, they found themselves cornered by the horde of zombies coming from the stairs. The four fought, until a surprise met them.             Reynolds popped in front and fought alongside. He was the help they needed, as his kill count grew rapidly. The five managed to escape and back to a bunker. They used the truck the soldiers had taken. The ride took out some zombies, covering the radiator and windscreen in blood, and an arm.


            The bunker had been raided. The door was missing, Guns ready, they looked around. The zombies had left. They had also left a mess. Blood, bodies and flesh were strewn over the floor. Reynolds stood outside and had a cigarette. After stomping it out, he ran. He went around clearing out buildings, making sarcastic and insulting comments to the zombies he found, before decapitating them with his swords. He’d cleared out four buildings before something happened. Something strange, considering the genre of this story, but would-be-perfectly normal if it wasn’t for the zombie apocalypse. Reynolds stopped slashing.  He elbowed the last zombie of the building and stepped outside. He sheathed his swords, cracked his knuckles, and looked up and down the street. A huge red truck appeared, turning into Reynolds’ street. As it went past, a few others followed. He looked at the print on the side. Huge pictures of clowns, acrobats, and animals, were looking menacingly down at Reynolds. His eyes were wide, as he stared up at the trucks. He had seen nothing yet. Following the trucks were some large parade floats. Including a giant pink beaver, there was what looked like a mobile circus tent, a dismantled Ferris wheel, and a statue of a clown made from cotton candy.


“Smells good.” said Reynolds, as he grabbed hold, and began munching on the leg. After he finished the thigh, the statue toppled into a nearby building, and Reynolds sighed. Then he climbed up onto one of the trucks, and popped ahead to the truck at the front. He lay down on top of the cab, peeped his head inside, and saw a live human.  Looking up he saw a second parade. Except the second parade was a column of undead, marching clumsily down the road. When they saw the trucks and Reynolds, they ran towards it. The truck driver accelerated. Reynolds fell back, and looked up to see blood spurting over the front of the cab and into his face. Then windscreen cleaner, into his face.  Grunting furiously, then mumbling something about 14 years ago, he scrambled into the cab to the surprise of the driver. The driver screamed, turned the wheel violently, and smashed into a building.


“Whoops.” said Reynolds, blankly, as he crawled out of the debris. When he stood up, the truck behind them crashed into theirs. At which Reynolds complained that it made a mess.


“Damn.” Reynolds commented when a fiery explosion was seen at the back of the column.


Clowns began pouring out of the trucks that were chaining behind them. A ringmaster stumbled and fell on his face. Animals began shuffling from their cages and making loud noises. Zombies started climbing over the truck to get to him, at which point he drew his firearms and blew them to pieces. He climbed on one of the trucks that was turned on its side, and fired at the oncoming horde. When his ammo ran low, he retreated into the back of one of the trucks. It was dark. He felt others in there with him. He knew they weren’t zombies, as they hadn’t attacked him on sight. He flicked his torch on, and immediately saw some clowns, which made him jump and cry out.


“OK; what?” enquired Reynolds.


“We were passing through. We expected to just pass through; we were trying to get to the sea. We have a boat at the harbour nearby. Would have made it if you hadn’t interfered.”


“Right. So, you plan to get on a boat with all those animals and performers, what then? And why were you in costume?”


Reynolds asked, with a sceptical look on his face. His replier didn’t answer, however they did sit down and sigh.


“Guess we’re stuck here for a while,” continued Reynolds. “Great, stuck in the back of a truck with some clowns and acrobats with hordes of zombies outside wishing to eat my brains.”


He sat down and loaded the last of his bullets into his guns. He expected a fight soon. He had just replaced his gun in his holster, when a bang echoed around the hollow box. Then another. The zombies were trying to get in. The clown sitting next to Reynolds took Reynolds’ gun and shot himself in the head. Reynolds snatched it back, and placed it in his holster, seemingly unperturbed. He sat back in his chair, closed his eyes, opened one to ensure the clowns were ‘behaving’, then closed it.


 


Robyn (Unknown Surname) – Status: Hiding


July 23 2028


After Disaster Diary Entry 9


Reynolds has gone missing. We should have given him a phone or, some sort of comms device. I think we should go looking for him. This happened before. We got him back though. Joe and I need to get a group together. We’ll see who there is.


 


            Reynolds and the clowns remained in the truck for the day. By the end, Reynolds was still sane, however, the clowns had driven each other bonkers. A large collection of water flowers, large red shoes, propeller hats, and oversized trousers littered the floor. None of them had weapons, so their escape was to be lead by Reynolds. He needed to protect each one of them, and guide each one back to the bunker, safely. There were 4 clowns, 2 acrobats and Reynolds.


            The door opened. The constant banging stopped. A zombie emerged and was immediately hit by Reynolds’ fist. One of the clowns exited first, sprinting to a nearby Post Office, followed by the acrobats, the clowns, and then Reynolds, who was slashing at the zombies that were following them. Reynolds shouted directions to the bunker at them. One of the clowns was leapt upon by a tall zombie. It was kicked by some of the other clowns, before they helped him up and continued moving. Gunfire came from the bunker, shooting at the zombies. Unfortunately, the make up the clowns wore was running down their faces. They looked undead. They didn’t stand a chance. Reynolds turned, and watched the clowns being dropped, one by one. The acrobats had ducked just in time; however it looked to Reynolds as though they’d been hit. He popped forward, and into the bunker. He began shouting insults at the men who shot them. Robyn and Joe came out to see what was going on. She had never seen him in such a rage. But at that point she realised how much he cared for the survival of his fellows. From what she could tell from his shouting. Reynolds then peered out of the bunker. The acrobats had stood up again, and were sprinting to the bunker. Which he’d closed up. The zombies caught them and ate them.


“Uh... huh.” said Reynolds, vacantly.


 


Robyn (Unknown Surname) – Status: Hiding


July 24 2028


After Disaster Diary Entry 10


I wouldn’t usually write every day, but the last few days have been eventful. Reynolds returned today, and began swearing and shouting at the men who were helping him escape. Apparently he had run into a travelling circus, and had tried to help them. Things are turning roughly to normality again. As normal as they could possibly be in these times. Once again low ammo, low food. We need to do a hunt. Reynolds has locked himself in his room, I haven’t seen him since earlier.


 


July 27 2028


After Disaster Diary Entry 11


            Reynolds has been in his room for the past few days. We gave him some food but he’s still staying alone.


 


September 15 2028


After Disaster Diary Entry 24


            Reynolds has been missing for nearly a week now. I’m getting concerned. I understand that he can look after himself, but I can’t help feeling he’s gone and done something rash. Joe wants to see some action, and people are beginning to get hungry. The radios working, but nothing’s been getting through. It’s just white noise.


 


November 3 2028


After Disaster Diary Entry 51


            The hunt was the worst ever. We were better off before. We now have no food, very little ammo, and we’re two men down. Plus the two we left behind, added to the four we lost last week. Our situation is dire, and Reynolds is nowhere to be seen.


 


            Joe entered as she closed her Diary. He kissed her, and then lay on the bed. His eyes were shut before she stood up. She moved over to the end of the bed, placed a blanket over him, and looked at him for a moment. She turned to the door, exited, and closed it behind her. She held her assault rifle in her hand. She unloaded the magazine, checked the bullets and then loaded it. She put on her webbing (sashes and bands that hold equipment, like grenades and magazines) and trench coat. She had three other magazines, and a spare pistol, which held all the ammo it had. She was wearing a vest shirt, underneath a thick shirt. Her trousers were tidy, and thick. She had learned the appropriate way to dress when hunting. She tucked her trousers into her boots, laced her boots, tied her hair back, then gathered her team. She understood about how Joe enjoyed to fight. She was concerned that his lust for ‘killing’ (the word commonly used (however incorrect) when referring to dispatching zombies) would endanger him. She never told him about the hunt, but everyone else knew. She had gathered three other volunteers. Johnson; his usefulness was his size, he was a huge man. Jimmy was a doctor, and knew about how to operate a gun. And Jane, whose knowledge of guns was limited, but she played women’s hockey, and was a national legend, until the rumours (which we won’t get into). (It is a coincidence that all their names begin with J; it’s not just me going through a book of names.)


            They departed at 9.00 sharp. They met such little resistance they were unsure as to what was going on. Every ten minutes or so, a zombie would turn up, but it would be missing its arm, or look as though it had been attacked before. Half an hour passed before they found anything. A few crates of food were piled up next to one another. Further on, they found some more crates, seemingly air-drop crates.  Unfortunately, picking up one of these, cause a flare to shoot off into the sky. It was marking something. Robyn had been knocked over by the shooting flare. Johnson took the crate and loaded it onto the truck. The three of them loaded the rest up. Robyn looked up from the floor. Streams of smoke flew into the sky, accompanied by some silhouettes just ahead of the trails. Then a whishing sound and a high pitched whistle, before explosions surrounded them. One hit a few metres away from where Robyn was lying, and she was blasted into a wall, where she slumped unconscious. The others shouted for her, and Jimmy told the other two to go on without them. They drove the truck back to the bunker, and distributed the food. Meanwhile, Robyn was being dragged into a nearby building by Jimmy, the bombs still falling. That was, until Jimmy was knocked over by a piece of falling debris. Robyn opened her eyes. Her eyesight was extremely blurred. She lay still. She could hear very little, save blasts of rock flying around, and whistling in her ears. She turned her head slowly and saw Jimmy on the floor, bloodied and unconscious. She tried to move her leg. It gave a flare of pain, and she kept it still. Her other leg was fine. She manoeuvred her arm so that she could drag herself into the building. It was extremely painful, but she managed, then fell unconscious again, just near a doorway. A few moments later, a bookcase fell over her, landing against another, creating something of a shield.


            Jimmy awoke to find he was missing a leg, and Robyn had hers broken, along with a fractured arm. She had a scar across her cheek from a piece of shrapnel. They were found by a search party, including Joe. They were put into the back of their open back truck the party used. There was no struggle as they drove through the city. Past deserted streets, and past their old bunker. The search party was what remained of their bunker survivors. It had been bombed too. All the supplies, survivors and ammunition were in the back of that truck. They were travelling around to find somewhere to stay and set up, for who knew how long.  It was their survival.

Created: Aug 08, 2012

Tags: 1st person, fiction, short story, 3rd person, prose, story, post-apocolypse

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