A light breeze ruffled the fur like grass growing near the road. Flowers grew in bunches, some entwining themselves over the cracks in the asphalt. A couple of butterflies sat on the petals and a bee hummed above an abandoned car. The car was dirt streaked and filthy with a couple of rats nesting under its ancient and ripped seats. A cockroach scuttled down the cracked rear window.
Beyond the single car was a whole valley of similar broken wrecks, each covered in lichen and growing weeds. Most had vermin and insects residing inside them. The rubber on their wheels was long ago eaten away by animals and most of the glass was shattered and lying in shards across the unkept road.
Like a tall and forlorn wall, high storey buildings stood around the road. They had the same fate as the cars and were covered in leaves and plants growing from cracks and breaks in the bricks. Windows were broken, the only rare few still standing were ones that were barred with planks of wood beforehand. Old curtains rippled in the breeze, their materials coated in dust and grime. The buildings' rooms were all trashed and torn apart with even the walls cracked, scratched and stained. Ransacked and decaying, no one ever used the houses anymore.
Well, except for us.
With a grunt I pushed myself out of a window and onto the windowsill, warily resting my feet on the creaking wood. Taking a deep breath I slowly began clambering across the outside of the building, finding footholds in the uneven bricks. Painfully biting my tongue I pushed my body up two storeys until I was on the roof level. Catching my breath I bent my knees before making a large jump, vaulting half of my body over the edge of the building. Quickly finding a crack on the roof I hooked my hands and kicked my legs until they also went over the edge.
On all fours I staying on the roof for a few more seconds before standing up and walking the opposite way from where I climbed from. Crouching near the opposite edge of the building I pulled out a small black rectangle box from my pocket and pushed a green button. After hearing a short beep I pressed the walkie talkie to my mouth.
'Malcolm, the house is all empty. You can come in now. Over.'
There was a brief moment of static before a male voice was heard over the small speaker.
'I read you, Kacey. Coming now. Over.'
Pocketing the walkie talkie I remained crouching and looking down at the alleys separating this house from others. Thin, dirty and rat infested, the alleys were quite dangerous at night time when the searchers made their rounds and hunted down people still alive. Searchers were men said to be from the military which gained its own power ever since the governments fell back in 2023, exactly five years ago. Now they were dangerous killers who would kill infected and human alike to gather food, ammo and transport. They didn't care who they had to pull the trigger for, they just killed you.
A shadow flittered behind a pile of rubble and I squinted just enough to see a person run among the piles of old brick, rubbish and dead animals. With a small smile I watched as Mal serpentined to the side of the building before pushing open a door, its creak reaching even me on the roof. Hearing even more doors being opened and the thumping of feet on stairs I carefully allowed my body to slide around the edge of the roof and find the sturdy wooden windowsill. Taking a breath I let go and swung myself inside the building once again, landing in an awkward but painless half crouch.
'Mal?' I called out as I dusted off my knees.
'Third floor, Kace,' a male voice wafted up from storeys below.
Without wasting a moment I pulled back the door of the room, its white paint peeling off and wood cracking, and sprinted down the corridor. Reaching the stair case I ran down, counting each flight under my breath and trying to ignore the bloodstains on the walls. Once I almost tripped on what I horrifyingly saw was a dead body but quickly regained my speed and ran on. Reaching the third floor I stopped, panting, and pricked my ears for any noise. Hearing a scuffle to my right I opened a door to see Mal going through cabinets inside. He looked at me when I came in and gave an acknowledging nod before turning back to the cabinet's contents.
Mal was in his mid thirties with dark brown hair, pale blue eyes and a strong jawline. Of muscular build and body shape, he was above average height and wore dirty khaki jeans and a green checkered shirt. His sleeves were rolled up to show muscle hardened but scarred arms with a single wound still bleeding. An emergency axe was strapped to the bag on his back and two pistols were attached to his thighs.
I walked into the room and looked at the ripped bedsheets sprawled across the floors and broken bed frame. A painting crookedly hung on the wall, its glass covered in weblike cracks. The carpet had small burns on it and reeked of decay.
'Find anything useful?' I asked Malcolm, turning to face him.
He shook his head. 'Not yet. But I want you to help me check the rooms too, Kace. There is a kitchen and laundry along the corridor. Go look through them.'
With a smirk I stuffed my hands into my blue hoodie and walked over the door, pausing before leaving the room.
'No please?' I said teasingly.
Ignoring me, Mal walked over to the wardrobe at the side of the room and pulled its doors back, hiding himself from me. Rolling my eyes and knowing I shouldn't have expected anything anyway, I walked down the corridor and into a kitchen.
White porcelain was scratched, stained and cracked. The oven had previously blown up, leaving half of the room torn apart and covered in charcoal soot. Two chairs lay on their sides and the remnants of a table were in the corner of the room. Weeds were growing around the window and entwining themselves around the kitchen sink. When I tried one of the taps, all I received was a gurgling noise and a splatter of mud but no water or none fit to be drunk anyway.
Turning from the sink I began going through the cabinets which had already been turned over and stolen from. Dismissing the kitchen utensils and equipment, I set aside a couple of sturdy looking knives which could be useful later for throwing. I pondered about taking a pipe for self defence but decided against it. It was simply too large and bulky to carry around and Mal and I needed to travel light.
Sourly noting there was no food I left the room. Turning to my right I began going to the laundry before pausing and looking around the actual corridor I was in. Like the rest of the building, weeds had begun growing in cracks and holes. The red carpet that before lay in the middle of the corridor was now stained, burnt and covered in filth. Similar neat cabinets that stood in between each room were knocked over and some were torn apart, chunks of wood lying everywhere. Most doors were barely hanging on their hinges, some already broken and lying on the floor. The air had the strange mixture of the odour of death and the sweet smell of fresh and growing plants.
People used to live here...
Shaking my head I turned back to my purpose and opened the door to the laundry. Similarly to the kitchen, this room was also previously searched. The mirror was smashed, with irregular pieces lying all over the floor. The shower cubicle had been also broken, its own glass adding to the already dangerously sharp tile floor. All cabinet doors hung open limply and were devoid of anything of use. I didn't even bother going through some of them and left the room empty handed.
Just as I took a single step into the corridor I felt my arm get grabbed in an iron grip and being pulled away. Parting my lips to scream I felt as Mal's palm abruptly covered my mouth. Relaxing my tense muscles I gave a small nod and followed him as he ran. I didn't ask questions, I never did during the getaway. Questions came when we were safe and out of earshot and running meant we were in danger.
Mal sprinted down fights of stairs, his body barely showing any fatigue while I felt sweat sliding down the sides of my cheeks. Instead of the front door he gestured to an open room into which we ran in. Inside, I saw that one of the walls was completely obliterated and gave a clear exit to the alleyway. Feeling Mal's fingers lightly place themselves on my arm we simultaneously jumped over the broken bricks and raced into the alleyways.
Not knowing the way of the alleys since I came into the town by the main road, I grabbed Mal's hand and entwined our fingers, letting him show the way. He knew the path like the back of his hand it seemed whenever he made sharp turns and twists into smaller alleys and then into larger ones again. Completely losing any sense of direction, I felt grateful when I finally saw a glimpse of our faithful wagon.
Parting our hands we jumped into the car, Mal firing the engine within a second. Rubber burned when he floored the gas but then the car gave a sputter and we were off. At first we continued to drive in what looked like pointless circles in the alleyways but then the forest of buildings broke and we found ourselves on a long and empty road leading away from the broken and overgrown town.
Author's note: I must confess, the idea for this story came from many horror and zombie movies and the whole theme about a post apocalypse. Seeing the trailers for a game called Last Of Us really made me think about this.
Reviews appreciated and any help would be welcomed with open arms! I really need more tips on how to properly write (I try, I promise!)
Please tell me if you want me to continue this. Thank you!