I'm so sorry this has been so long in the making. It's been a mixture of zero motivation and being really busy, what with moving away from home and into Uni. But alas, here's chapter nine. I hope you enjoy. Not the longest chapter ever, but never mind (:

Word Count: 1,383

The four of us simultaneously hurled ourselves down the stairs, which resulted in us either bashing into the front door or each other. Fumbling with the keys, Christine rammed them into the lock and twisted until the door clicked open. No longer considering our own safety, the door was flung open and we all quickly observed the situation before us.

Jess was lying sprawled on the driveway, no more than a couple of feet away from the safety offered by the house. She had rolled onto her back and was now watching the flame creep up the towels towards the car, and the zombies stumble as they mounted the pavement.

It was hard to not just simply stand stare as the scene unfolded. However, Jess was also failing to move, so it seemed as though one of us would have to kick ourselves into gear within the next couple of seconds.

"Jess!" Josh hissed, holding onto the doorframe and leaning out towards her slightly. "Jessica! You kind of need to move!"

This information didn't get a reaction from Jess at all. She didn't jump up all of sudden; she didn't even start shuffling backwards towards us. She appeared to be frozen in place, too horrified to move anywhere.

"Jess, come on! Move!" I urged, completely forgetting that I should be attempting to sound somewhat comforting. I just ended up snapping.

"She's not moving!" Christine whispered frantically.

"Nice one, Captain Obvious," Tony growled, not taking his eyes away from Jess. "We need to get her inside. Now."

Everyone nodded in agreement, but no one moved. We all wanted to help Jess, yet the self-preserving parts of our brains were telling us to lock the door and run. However, none of us were about to let our best friend get eaten alive, so we ignored our logic and did one of the most stupid things a person could possibly do.

"Tony, on three, we're gonna run out and drag her back in. Okay?" I looked at him as I asked him this, but he didn't look back at me. He merely clenched his jaw and prepared himself, readying himself for the little stunt we were about to pull.

"Do you want us to distract them?" Josh asked. It was obvious he wanted to do his best to help, but the apprehension in his voice was all too evident.

"No, don't worry. Fingers crossed, we'll be too quick for them. I hope," I replied, suddenly sounding somewhat uncertain.

Doubt had begun to creep up on me, so I decided to act before I started stopping and stalling. Grabbing onto Tony's wrist, I looked at him and nodded, silently counting to three in my head. Then, once I'd reached three, I flung myself out of the doorway towards Jess, pulling Tony with me.

Positioning ourselves on either side of her, we hooked our hands underneath her arms and then began to tug her backwards as quickly as we could, carefully watching our feet as we did so. And then suddenly, it became a little more difficult to pull Jess to safety…

Looking up from the floor, Tony and I saw that one of the zombies had thrown itself on the floor and latched onto Jess' ankle. No one moved for a moment…and then all five of us began screaming at once.

"Get it off me! Get it OFF!" Jess screamed hysterically, shaking her leg as violently as she could in an attempt to throw the zombie off her.

"If you'd got up and fucking ran…!" I shouted, tugging harder than ever on her arm. Another zombie had caught up with the first and was attempting to reach for Jess, too. The others weren't far behind, either.

"Josh! Christine! Do something!" Tony yelled as he strained towards the door.

"It's gonna bite me!"

Footsteps came from behind us and Christine appeared on my left hand side. She whipped out an umbrella and began whacking the zombie on the head with it, her hits getting more and more ferocious. This seemed to make the zombie pause for a moment…before pissing it off somewhat, its attempts to bite Jess doubling.

Josh materialised on Tony's right hand side and aimed an impressive kick at the zombie's chin. The kick clearly had some force behind it, because there was a sickeningly loud crack and the zombie's head twisted to one side. It went limp, letting go of Jess' ankle, and its fingers twitched slightly.

"Dude, you broke its neck!" Tony whispered, awed by Josh's attack.

"Yeah, but I haven't broken the necks of the other seven! Move!"

Simultaneously, Tony and I yanked Jess to her feet before running back into the house as quickly as we could. The other three followed, their toes occasionally scraping our heels as we ran.

"Don't stop running! Get straight into the garden!" Christine called as she locked the door behind her.

"Why?" Jess asked, her brow furrowed slightly in confusion.

"That car's blowing up in less than ten seconds!"

That was enough prompting for us. Without a second thought, we all thundered through the lounge and through the garage, out into the back garden. Diving behind a low wall, everyone huddled together, just as a deafening explosion sounded from the front of the house and a light wave of heat blew over us.

We all waited a few seconds before moving. Gently nudging Josh off my back, I sat up on my knees and gazed up at the sky. A cloud of black smoke was drifting across us and the odd spec of ash would occasionally glide towards the ground.

"Where do we go now?" Jess mumbled, sitting cross-legged on the ground.

Silence engulfed us all as we considered our newest problem. Where did we go now? It was obvious that we'd have to travel on foot, which meant that we'd have to move relatively quickly, to somewhere that was as close as possible. The last thing any of us wanted was to be ambushed by a herd of zombies while we were travelling and vulnerable.

"How about…Somerfield?" Tony suggested, nibbling on his lower lip as he thought about his idea.

Somerfield was a local supermarket, not a ten minute walk from Christine's house. It was relatively large and there would definitely be enough food in there to last us a while. There were metal shutters to cover the entrance and exit, so it would be a well protected place to go. It seemed perfect.

"No, not Somerfield," Josh objected. We all looked at him, waiting for an explanation.

"Where else should we go, then?" Christine asked. She sounded tired, like all she wanted to do was to curl up for a couple of days and sleep.

"The chemist," Josh announced, as if this should have been the obvious choice all along. "It's got every medical supply we could need, we can run across the road when we want food and the chemist has got a toilet and a kitchen. Plus," he paused as he pulled something out of his pocket. "I have the keys."

No one said anything for a moment, but we all ended up chorusing, 'The chemist!"

Josh had worked at the local pharmacy for the past eighteen months, hence why he had the keys to the place. It was his job to open up and lock up and it was just our good luck that he happened to have the keys today. It was also rather lucky that the pharmacy was that little bit closer to Christine's house.

"Right, well, it's pointless us just sitting here. We might as well make a move," Tony said as he stood up.

One by one, we all got to our feet. It then occurred to me that we might have some difficulty getting out of Christine's garden, seeing as it was basically impossible to get out through the front of the house.

"Christine…how many houses are between your garden and the little alleyway at the end of the road?" I asked. The most ridiculous idea was forming in my head.

"About four," she answered. "Why?"

I paused for a moment, just thinking. Then, when I was certain that there was no other way for us to get out of the garden, I asked, 'Fence-jumping, anyone?"