Chapter 16

It was perfect timing. As I lazily opened my eyes, still weary and tried, I saw something on the horizon. It was still dark, although the full moon and the sky thick of stars acted to illuminate the desert with an eerie blue glow. It was probably the cold that roused me, as I looked around I realised how low the temperature had gotten. "Fucking desert," I mumbled sitting up. I cringed at the pain that followed, fuck; I was still messed up from the car crash.

Returning my focus to the horizon, I squinted my eyes. A noticeable cloud of dust had appeared and was coming towards me. I pulled myself up so I was standing on my feet. I could see little groups of zombies wondering over to me, but the dust looked different. I yawned, still unsure of how much sleep I managed to catch this time. Guessing on how tried I felt – probably not much.

I continued standing there, gazing at the dust cloud. It was moving suspiciously fast. I scratched the back of my head before taking a seat and watching on. It was actually a little exciting. Maybe the rest of the world had been cleared of zombies and they had finally reached me. I don't know what was with me lately, but I just felt so peaceful up here. I'd finally made it somewhere they couldn't get me. I was above the zombies. Although I obviously wouldn't be living here for long, I didn't even have any food. Wait a second. My brain clicked and I reached into my pockets, sure enough there were four energy bars. They were a little squashed, but if I had to choose between eating crumbly food or starving - I'd pick food. Yet realistically I'd dehydrate long before I starved and I didn't have any bottled water hiding in my pants, damn.

I started thinking about the zombies, and how come they hadn't found a way up yet. Looking down at the few hungry, outstretched hands far below it struck me that perhaps they no longer had any strength left. Already there muscles were deteriorating; they really couldn't last any longer. How long had it been anyway? About seven days. I paused, that would make today my birthday. I couldn't help but laugh, like seriously, "Happy fucking birthday," I gasped in between fits of laughter. Why the hell not?

Although back to decomposition, I suppose it would take around a week for these zombie fucks to decompose. The ones surrounding Uluru now would probably drop before the end of today. And if zombies really could smell us from the coast of Australia it wouldn't matter anyway. There is no way they would be able to make it here before dropping. I leaned back and sighed, finally finding a piece of mind.

But then I froze. That dust cloud…

There, only a few kilometres away was a familiar, sleek Mustang. "Jake," I breathed, feeling as if I'd been punched in the stomach. My eyes began to water as I jumped to my feet and began waving my arms crazily. I was crying so hard, both due to pain and relief. He was alive! I wouldn't have to endure this alone any longer! "Jake!" I called out again, tearing streaming down my cheeks. "Jake!" Oh my god, I've never been so happy to see anyone.

He stopped the car at the foot of the rock and I realised I'd cut the ropes so he wouldn't be able to get up my way. Jake got out of the car easily taking down the few zombies that (very, very slowly) wobbled over to him. He looked up at me, smiling that same smile he'd given me before he left - the promise smile. I was still crying and held a hand up to my mouth as he wondered off to the side of the rock and started climbing. What? "Oh my god, be careful!" I screamed and my voice echoed down to him. I couldn't hear if he replied, but by the look on his face I guessed he was laughing. "I'm serious!" I threatened.

He pulled himself up to another ledge as I watched on wearily. Please don't let him fall and die, that would be just plain cruel. Yet he made it and I watched as he finally climbed up to the top. I ran over to him and threw my arms around his neck. He laughed quietly before picking me up while I continued crying into his shoulder. "I thought you were dead," I whispered; my throat raw from crying as he lowered my feet to the ground and looked into my eyes. "I though you were dead," He smiled as he cupped my cheek with his left hand. And oh my gosh, I was still crying. "Oh hey," He started as he began rummaging through the bag on his back, "Happy birthday." I looked down at the present in his hands. A fucking punnet of strawberries. "You…" I couldn't even speak. Jake rubbed his neck, looking a little embarrassed, "Yeah, yeah – let's sit down."

We sat on the rock, looking out at the rising sun. "So what's new?" I chirped popping a strawberry into my mouth and offering him one. A sudden lifting feeling took me as I sat next to him. Jake yawned, stretching his arms before grabbing my knee with one hand and swaying it slightly, "The usual. You?" I shrugged, "Just thought I'd come and admire the view."

We laughed, as a light happy feeling surrounded us. He looked up at the orange, morning sky, "So I guess we made it."

I paused, holding my breath, "What about the others?"

He looked down before sighing, "I don't know." I tilted my head, looking at him curiously before he continued, "There weren't many zombies around when I got back. I looked everywhere but I couldn't find them."

I gasped, "You don't think…"

Jake shook his head, "No. There was a parking lot on the other side of the harbour. The first row of cars had their windows smashed and one car was missing." I looked back at him, an uneasy feeling, "But Jake, that could have been anyone."

"No," He repeated, "Keyed onto one of the cars next to the one that was missing was the word 'West'."

I gasped, "They've gone west, it must have been them!" He nodded. "Oh and guess what Jake!" I exclaimed suddenly. He looked up at me, raising an eyebrow. I smiled again, pointing at the zombies below, "They'll all be dead soon!"

We both looked down at the decaying corpses below. Some were twitching but most weren't moving. Jake nodded and looked back up, "I saw your car, with Sam…"

My breath caught and I half chocked, "Yeah."

He ran a hand through his hair, "I should have thought to see whether she'd been bitten."

I laughed quietly, "It's no ones fault." Which was true. Everyone from my life before the apocalypse was now dead so I was now only looking towards the future. There was nothing left for me in the past.

We both sat quietly looking on at the sunrise. The rock began glowing a bright orange color and for the first time since the end of the world, it actually seemed like everything was going to turn out fine. "So what next?" Jake smiled lazily.

I thought for a moment, "I guess we'll be looking for the others, but I'd like to stay here and enjoy the sunrise for a while." I turned to him as he nodded and threw an arm around my shoulders, pulling me closer.

The zombies started wilting like rotten vegetables while we had become the kings. Hope filled my heart as I thought about the others. If they were alive, who's to say there aren't other surviors?

"Smooth." I laughed. He rolled his eyes, "I missed your humour, Jones."

The End

Welcome life! the spirit strives! Strength returns and hope revives;

Cloudy fears and shapes forlorn Fly like shadows at the morn, --

O'er the earth there comes a bloom; Sunny light for sullen gloom,

Warm perfume for vapor cold -- I smell the rose above the mould!

Thomas Hood