I watched as the pole connected to her face, sending her to her hands and knees. So many emotions raced through me as she touched her face with a shaky hand, 'I need to do something' as I went to pull away from the barricade 'they' pushed back harder, 'but if I move the barricade will fall'. My eyes went to Mr B; his face was contorted as he focused on the barrier. I gently touched his arm getting him to look at me. Without me saying a word he understood and moved so that he was holding up my side of the barricade as well, really I hadn't been holding up much only a couple of chairs but it was still enough for the strain on Mr B to increase dramatically. I knew I didn't have much time to do something, 'I don't even know what I'm going to'.
"Still no answer? Well there's no use for unresponsive pupils" I froze as she lifted the pole again. 'Do something! Anything!" I screamed at myself, 'That blow will kill her!". Despite my inner efforts I couldn't move, I was like a statue. "Tell the devil 'fuck you' when you see him" 'Move!'
I jumped into action; I was on auto-pilot with no control over what I was doing. Using all my body weight I smashed into her side, as she went down to the floor I felt the pole hit my right eye hard, but I couldn't feel it, all I knew was that this woman was about to hurt Lemon, one of my only and closest friends. As we both landed on the floor, me on top of her I knocked the pole out of her fragile hands and landed my knee in her stomach. I could tell she was disorientated from the fall so I brought my hand up and punched her in the face, her wrinkles eating my hand 'what are you doing?' I asked myself realising what this looked like, a young girl beating the crap out of a defenceless old lady. With my mind catching up to my body I got up and stared down at my handy work.
Mrs Die was now bleeding from her mouth and had curled up into a ball to protect her probably tender stomach. I brought my hand up and touched my right eye. It was slowly swelling up and I could feel a small amount of blood seeping out of where the top of the pole had collided with my face, 'how did she even manage that?'
There was a crash where another chair and a table had fallen down, 'this place won't last much longer. We need to get out now'. I faced Lemon and put my hand on the side of her face which hadn't been hit "how's your head?" I asked quietly, I knew she was probably getting a headache.
"It's been better" she said with a smile "thanks for that Orange; I thought I was dead for sure".
I shook my head "I couldn't let that happen, then I wouldn't get to see Mango beat your ass" I joked. From behind me I heard a low groan. Spinning back around I moved over to Ethan. Carefully I placed my hand on his head where he had been hit, when I brought my hand back it was coated in blood. "We need to get him to a doctor" I said sadly, 'I hope we can get to Melon in time'.
Lemon had crawled over and was now by my side, her hand resting on his forehead, "Don't worry, we'll save him. I won't let someone else I care about die" she said, almost like it was to herself. I lifted my hand up and placed it on her shoulder, I knew she had feelings for Ethan, me and Mango always teased her about it but inside we were both trying to push them closer together so that they realised each other's feelings. A smile formed on my face at the memory, me and Mango always used to do things like that, 'I hope we get to again'. I giggled making Lemon look at me weird "What's so funny?"
"It's just that I'm missing what we had and it's only been three hours" she smiled at me and put an arm around me.
"Hey, no need to be sad since it will all be better soon enough" her smile gave me hope, we were in such a desperate situation yet she still managed to smile like that, 'it must be one of those miracles of life' I told myself smiling back at her. I wish we could have stayed like this, just us two smiling at each other with our arms around each other. That would have been so much better than the shit storm we found ourselves in.
Out of the corner of my eye I spotted Mr B slip and fall to the floor, the last of the tables and chairs falling with him. I shot up like a bullet and ran over, but fell to the floor instead. Something had a strong grip on my foot. Turning my head I looked over my shoulder to find Mrs Die holding onto my leg like it was her life line, it turns out my leg was her life line. It turned out that during all the drama Mrs Preach had turned and was now reaching out for Mrs Die's legs. I kicked out my leg catching her in the face. Her hands fell away and covered her face letting out a scream. Quickly I pulled myself back up onto my feet, only to be met with more hell. Mr B was being eaten away at by the 'things' that were now pouring in through the doorway. I shook my head realising that my hearing had gone, 'am I deaf?' I touched my ears finding blood, 'how did that get there?'
Once I had finished standing there like an idiot making myself the most obvious target in the world I realised that Lemon and Ethan had disappeared, 'have they been eaten too? Am I all alone now? I might as well die then' I took a step towards the mass of oncoming infected. A hand stopped me. I was pulled to the corner of the room by Lemon, she was yelling something at me but since I couldn't hear anything I didn't know what it was. She figured this fact out quickly and pointed up to the air vent. I nodded and climbed up on some cabinets.
Once inside the vent I crawled down until I was faced with an unconscious Ethan. A few seconds after I was met by Lemon, she had a first aid kit in one hand and a cluster of keys in her other. "Are those the car keys?" I asked, probably a lot louder then I should have. Lemon brought her index finger up to her lips hinting at me to stop talking. We both nodded, me to say I understood and she to say it was the car keys she had. I made a face that asked 'how?' she simply shook her head in reply and pointed for me to go forwards. Following her instructions I crawled past Ethan before facing backwards and dragging him along the vent with me. 'Still I wonder what happened to my hearing' I thought as I travelled down the cobweb filled ventilation shaft. I let out a sneeze as some of the dust got into my nose, for some reason my hearing came back really loud. I could hear the clattering of infected (let's call them that for now) in the classroom we had left behind, I could hear the screams of Mrs Die and Mr B as they were eaten alive but what sounded the loudest was the constant creaking of the vent we were in, it sounded like it would break at any time. With my hearing now reawakening my fears I shuffled faster down the shaft even though I knew that would make it more likely to break.
I let out a squeak as my back came into contact with the end of this section of the vent. 'Relax' I told myself over and over again. Looking to my left I noticed something different about the next stretch of vent, it looked different, clean almost. "I think someone else has been down here" I said quietly.
"Great we can be become friends, now move. We don't have much time" she whispered back angrily. I wasn't too sure about this but I didn't really have much of a choice, Lemon was blocking my only way out. Swallowing my fear I started my journey. If I had to guess I would say this vent travelled outside and would probably lead us to the parking lot which was exactly where we needed to be. Although I still couldn't shift this uneasy feeling. What if the person who had travelled down here was one of 'them'? What if they hadn't left? We would be stuck in this confined space with one of 'them', no weapon and no exit. I reached another corner and looked around. This one appeared to be the last stretch of the journey, but there was an obstacle in our way.
Lying in the middle of the tube was a young lady with a baby. The lady was well and truly dead, her head was lying next to her body. However there was still movement, 'is the baby alive? 'I let go of Ethan and crawled forward, a pair of scissors in my hand. Mango had always insisted each of us carry something sharp in case we got attacked, now that I think about it though it was probably trying to prepare us for this infection instead. I held the scissors at the ready and touched the baby gently. It let out a strangled cry and moved its head towards us before falling back into a sleep, 'it's actually alive?' I lowered my scissors and lifted up the baby, it looked like it wasn't even a year old yet.
"Is that a baby?" Lemon asked, suddenly very close to me. I jumped and nodded my head, I handed her the little bundle of joy, I was never very good with kids. A smile appeared on her face as she held the child in her arms, it is sights like this that warm your heart and it's the outcomes that shatter it to pieces.
"What are we going to do with it?" I asked.
"What do you mean?" Lemon asked drawing her gaze away from the child in her arms.
"Well, we aren't exactly qualified to look after this kid" I pointed out, moving so that my legs were underneath my body; this position was always very comfortable for me.
"We can manage, plus didn't Melon say she was in a big group? One of them must have experience. What else can we do?" she asked giving me a questioning stare.
"I don't know, but it's just… this baby is just extra baggage, we've already got to carry Ethan and-" I cut myself off with a sigh, 'what am I thinking we can't just leave a baby here', "Maybe we should kill it"
Lemon looked at me like- well like I had just suggested we kill a baby, "Orange" she said her tone telling me that no matter that baby was going to be coming with us. I lowered my head and nodded, her smile returning immediately. "Great, now listen. Me and baby will go and get the car unlocked, when I give the sign then you bring Ethan"
"Do you even know what car you're looking for?" I asked
"Sure I do, now just wait for my signal okay?" She told me before squeezing past me and exiting the vent with the baby protectively in her arms. I watched her leave with something nagging at the back of my mind, this something told me that I should find a way to get rid of the kid; it will only cause us trouble later. A sigh escaped my chapped lips as I admitted defeat, I would have to deal with the trouble as it came to us, 'I can't just kill a kid can I?'
'No you can't, why am I even considering this? I've been around Melon and Mango far too long' shuffling awkwardly I dragged Ethan the rest of the way so that I was at the entrance/exit so that I could look out for Lemon's signal. As I sat looking out at the waste land I decided to try and do something useful. I searched the landscape for any infected, there were two stumbling about the car park, both looked unalarmed by Lemon's arrival, 'where is Lemon anyways?' I kept searching.
Nothing, 'where could she have possibly gone?' I felt vibrations attack my side. Reaching my hand into my blazer pocket I found my mobile phone, it was a terrible make but I really couldn't careless I only use it to tell my parents when I'm coming home, 'I wonder if I'll see them again, I feel bad that I'm focusing on finding my friends and not them'. I pulled my phone out and looked at the number, 'dad?' I pressed the answer button.
"***h***, ar* **u *k**. ** **e ** ou* *a* ** **ur sch***, **ere are y**" I heard from the other end of the line, 'there's so much static'.
"Dad, I can't hear you, there's too much static" I said calmly even though inside my heart was breaking.
"So*** * **ve **d *ecep**** wh** *'* **ivi**. * wi** **ll *ou wh** we a** there"
A tear fell down my face as the phone cut off, "Dad, I-" I wiped away the tear and gritted my teeth, 'be strong Orange'. The phone vibrated again, this time with Mango's number appearing, 'is it bad I'm happier to see her number than Dad's? Probably' once again I pressed the button for me to answer the call.
"Hi" I heard.
"Hello" I answered, it was followed by some loud background noise from her side of things, 'is this what Lemon was talking about?' "Is there a reason you called?"
"Does there need to be? I could have just phoned to have a polite conversation" she said, I could hear the sarcasm in her voice.
I smiled, 'let's see how long she keeps up this charade' "Very well, how has your day been?" I could have sworn I felt her eyes roll.
"Alright smartass, where's Lemon? And did you know that your parents are on their way to the school as we speak?" she asked.
"I have no idea where Lemon's run off to but I do know she has a kid with her. And what's this about my parents? What do you mean?"
"Lemon's going to end up getting herself killed at this rate… and about your parents I guess you had no idea? They did just try and call you but a lot of the weaker frequencies are being drowned out at the moment"
"Please explain everything little miss eye in the sky"
"Call me by my real name and I may consider it"
I hate it when she gets even "Fine, Onee-chan could you please explain everything to your silly little sister?" I even put on a cutesy voice for added satisfaction on her end.
I felt her smirk "Firstly, Lemon. She's straying far off of the path I sent her, you and her were meant to be going to that charity shop, but no you just had to go and find that kid didn't you? Listen, don't worry about Lemon at the moment, you two needed to split up anyways I'll be sending regular texts from now on to talk you through the major steps you have to take since it will be hard for you to consider every factor with Ethan being the dead weight that he is. Secondly your family, they are on their way to the school as we speak, I'm going to try and convince them otherwise but it's going to be hard. And in case you think that I'm trying to steal you away from your family or some shit like that I'm not, it's just the school is a death trap, it's pretty much all sealed off apart from that car park you're sitting on the edge of, although even that won't last for much longer. Don't worry about the whole meeting your parent's thing though, I'm going to try and get it organised so that we all meet up with our families after this little escapade okay, any questions?"
"How did you say all that in one go?"
"I wrote it all out on a word document beforehand, next question"
"Do you actually know where Lemon is?"
"I do now; her signal's all scrabbled though. But as I said you two needed to separate so I guess I can adjust my master plan"
"Three questions, first is where is she? Second is how's Melon doing? And third, how do you know where we all are?"
"Number one, if by 'she' you mean Lemon then she's travelling with a group of four others, they are currently moving across the field out the back of the school, all appear to be males from my year, I'll have to get her away from them somehow, maybe I can use Melon? Right sorry going off track, number two, Melon is currently on track, she's been in a few tight spots but nothing like you guys, man you had me biting my nails at some points, well not literally, I'd never do that to my nails. At the moment she's in a store cupboard grabbing supplies for Ethan, you and Lemon. Number three, that is an irrelevant question my dear little sister and it wouldn't do you any good to know, but a hint is it's to do with one of my paranoia's" I heard a loud crash on her end followed by yelling. She sighed then said "I don't think this conversation can last much longer the children are fighting again"
"And by children you mean stupid sheep people?"
"Bingo, well not so much sheep but definitely very stupid" I giggled at her, 'she seems to be holding it together so well, maybe we were wrong about her being in trouble? But then again all that background noise…' "Well then Orange, here is your first order, get out of the school. However you can, try and get to that charity shop I showed you on the map, you have until four to get there, that way we will have an hour to get you to somewhere safe to stay the night. Good luck my little soldier" then she was gone again.
'She only added more questions to what's going on with herself' I thought sadly. "How am I meant to get out of here with Ethan like this?" I asked no one in particular as I went to put my phone in my pocket. Only I was stopped by another vibration, this time alerting me that I had a text message. 'Mango again?'
I opened up the message: Don't give up yet little sis :3 Just think like me. Hint hint: Just because Lemon's gone doesn't mean the keys are ;) Now when you're driving just remember this: 'Its Mario Cart rules here baby!' you better remember that or else I'll make you do lots and lots of 'MARKING!' And when you next see Lemon (which will be sooner than you think) let her know I still owe her that butt kicking, 'an elephant never forgets'. Oh! And one last note for you and her when you see her: LEMON X ETHAN 5EVA! ;D x
I facepalmed, 'looks like I've got some deciphering to do'. I pulled my notepad out of my bag and started writing down notes. 'What worries me is that she had to write it in code, what's going on Onee-chan?'