The Tenth of July, 2014
Today was the day where everything changed. It came out of nowhere. No one could believe it. Schools shut down, stores shut down, everything. It was all gone. People panicked. Some ran. They didn't get far. The borders were closed. Countries all around the world had their borders closed. The world as we knew it was coming to a close, I was just sitting at my computer, watching it all unfold.
I never knew what really happened. No one did. No one knew where the disease originated from. But it spread. It spread like wildfire. People became infected, once they did there was no hope.
Scientists, the ones that survived, research. Or at least, that's what we are being told. The government told us a cure was on its way. They said there was hope. They said we can rebuild. They said the world wouldn't end.
They were wrong.
The Fourteenth of July, 2014
Today, government broadcasts stopped. I believe, the plague had gotten them. No cure now. It has been four days since I heard about this disease. In this time, ninety percent of the world's population has been eliminated. All those people succumbed to the disease.
I was one of the few. It wasn't because I was strong or agile, it was because I hid. After my family had died I hid. I barricaded the doors. This disease will not get me.
My friends, they told me to head to the school.
Why didn't I go? Was I afraid?
Yes. I was afraid.
But, we had a plan, my friends and I always thought something like this would happen. Now that it has, I can only hope they follow through with it. I must be brave. I have to go. If I don't go now, I will die of starvation. It's too late to go now. I must rest.
The Fifteenth of July, 2014
I woke up in the living room. I headed to the bathroom. My parents had stored water in the bathtub. I filled up a small canteen and put it aside. I dunked my head into the water. I decided I might as well be clean before I head out. I dried myself with a nearby towel and looked into the mirror. I was dreadful.
I haven't shaved in over a week. I did so now. "Why the hell am I worrying about my appearance?" I thought, "God damn it, I hope they follow the plan. I hope they haven't given up on me."I finished shaving my face and walked out of the bathroom, taking the canteen. I walked into my room to get my backpack. "This gourd won't do me any good," I said aloud, looking at my strangely shaped bag. I walked into my brother's room and grabbed his bag. It was a lightweight bag, big enough to carry everything I need. I went back to my room. I opened the bag and put the canteen in there along with some food I left out the previous night. I went to my computer. I looked at the computer. I had great memories of playing games with my friends when it hit me. Ashley. She is more than likely dead.
"Everyone I know is probably dead," I said, crying. I wiped off my tears, and I had this peculiar feeling. "Maybe… maybe she isn't dead," I thought. "But how could I get to Flint? I have to head to the school first, that was the plan." I thought.
I opened my desk drawer and took out my pocket flashlight and my Swiss Army Knife. I remembered the times Adam laughed at me for having one. I smiled. Maybe all hope wasn't lost. I slipped the items into my pocket. I put on my shoes and grabbed a warm hoodie. I packed an extra hoodie, shirt, and jeans. I went to the kitchen and packed what little food I had left. Then I headed to my parents room.
That's where they died. I was at the door. I twisted the doorknob. I heard rustling from within. "Could it be?" I thought, "Could they still be alive?" I drew my Swiss Army Knife and set it to the knife attachment. "It couldn't be them. I saw them die with my own eyes." I though. I pushed the door open and was stunned. It was them alright. It was all of them.
My father, lunged at me. I ran back. He fell over. I looked at him. He was a zombie. He looked like he came off the set of The Walking Dead. This is what the disease does. I realize now. My family was bitten but I have never seen one up close. I knew what I had to do.
I stabbed my father in the head. It killed him. He died again. My mother was at the door now, limping towards me. I cried as I did the same with her. My brother, my sister, also killed. I was in tears. I fell over and cried. I couldn't stay here. This place was tainted. I stood back up and walked into the room. I needed something that was only kept in my father's closet. His gun. My father kept a hunting rifle in his room with plenty of ammo. I walked into the closet and grabbed it, along with all the ammo he had stored. I loaded the gun and slung it over my back. I put the ammo into my backpack. I walked out of my parent's room. I tried to not look at what I had just done. There was blood everywhere. I wanted to leave this place. I headed to the key rack and I took the keys to the cars we owned. After that, I walked to the kitchen and towards the back door. I unlocked the back door and stepped into the backyard.
I stepped outside and took a deep breath. I hadn't gotten fresh air in a long while. It felt good. I looked around yard, we had a trampoline and faded yellow grass. The grass was pretty long, it's not like it's going to be cut again. I looked towards out neighbor's yard. I couldn't see inside their home. But, I knew it was empty. They had evacuated long ago. My family decided it was safer if we stayed in the house. I guess they were wrong. I looked towards the shed, that's where I wanted to go. It was my father's tool shed. He kept things like the generator and some gardening tools in there. I know I can use some of these tools as weapons. I then quickly ran into the shed. I tried turning on the lights but realized that the power was knocked out days ago. I walked outside to get light and I opened my backpack. I pulled out my flashlight and walked back inside. I then took a look around with my flashlight. We had a generator. "If the plan goes correctly, then I will be back here for this. But, not now. It's too heavy to carry." I thought. The generator weighed about a hundred pounds, it took in both gasoline and diesel as fuel to start it. We never had to use it but, now there is some use for it. I looked further and found a small sturdy axe that we used to cut branches off trees. I took it. I played with it for a little. I began to start swinging it, imagining I was going to kill one of the infected. It was a good weapon. It felt sturdy and it was easy to swing. I buckled it onto my belt. My flashlight started to flicker and I realized that I was going to need new batteries. I looked around for the batteries I needed. I dusted off some old boxes and opened them, nothing. I flashed my light towards the shelving and found what I was looking for. I found a good amount of AA batteries. I also found a large flashlight. I unzipped my backpack and I put the flashlight into my backpack. It was a large blue flashlight and flashed a lot of light. I decided it might be good to carry around. There was nothing else I needed to take. I looked around for a moment and headed towards the door. I went back outside and closed the shed door, satisfied with what I had taken. I realized I was going to need to find some medical supplies so I quickly ran back inside to grab some. I turned the doorknob and I headed back in. I headed into the bathroom and looked in the mirror for a moment. I had gotten some blood on my face and my clothes. I rinsed my face off with the water we had in the bathtub. I doused a towel with water and I cleaned my clothes from the blood of my family. After I was done cleaning myself I turned my attention to the medicine cabinet. I opened it up and gazed inside. There was only a couple of pills I recognized in the cabinet. I grabbed the ones I knew and I took a small first aid kit we kept in there. I unzipped my backpack and put the items inside. My backpack was a little over half filled. I kept it organized. This bag could potentially save my life. I zipped my bag and slung it over my back. I adjusted the bad so that my rifle was in reach in case I needed to shoot something really fast. I decided it was time. I headed out the bathroom and towards my parents room. I knelt onto one knee beside my father. "Goodbye, dad, I'm sorry for everything I have done. I'm sorry that I wasn't the religious, strong son you wanted. But, I know you were proud of who I was. Thanks for everything," I told him. I felt like crying but there wasn't much time before it starts getting dark. I looked over at my mother and my siblings. I kept them out of my lives for so long. I wished they were here. There was no reason to stay here any longer. I stood back up and started walking towards the front door. I unlocked the front door and stepped into the real world.
I started to walk. I headed onto the road that leaded to my school. The neighborhood was a disaster. Many of the houses looked like they were broken into. There was blood. Blood on the sidewalks, blood on cars, even blood on people's front doors. There were bodies, many bodies. There were bodies of the old and the young. No one was spared in this plague. I remembered nights where I would hear gunfire and screams of pain. I continued to walk, I saw another road I needed to take in the distance. I made it onto that road. In about thirty minutes time I will have made it to my school. The streets were deserted. The only things left on the streets were cars. Some had crashed and some had infected still trapped into the seats clawing and the windows to try and get me. I shuddered, "the sooner I get to the school the better," I said aloud. I continued to walk until I reached a plaza. I took a look at my local supermarket and turned away. The supermarket had dead in there, it seemed as if people tried hiding in there for food and shelter. It didn't look like it worked. I continued walking until I turned right on Fenton. Now I was in a different neighborhood. I pulled my rifle off my back and I walked a little faster, looking around frantically, rifle in hands. I had never shot a gun but, I will if my life is in danger. I continued to walk until I reached an intersection. I slowly crossed the street and looked to the left and then to the right. I wish I hadn't looked to the right.
About ten infected were to the right, only about ten yards away from me. Five of them saw me. And they started to limp towards me. I ran. I ran as fast as I could as they were limping behind me. I was faster though. I could see the school in the distance and soon I was right at it. I had out ran the infected and searched frantically to see if there was more. After looking around for a good minute I decided if there were any, I didn't see them. I was at the side entrance of the school. I took a closer look at the doors. The doors were barricaded. "They must be in there," I said, my heart starting to race. I started to run to the front of the school where the main doors were located and again barricaded. I looked towards the side of the school where the doors to gym were located I started walking towards them when I heard something.
"Khaled?" said a voice.
I turned and it was my friend, Amer. I ran up to him and hugged him. I was relieved. A person! A human being was standing in front of me, now in my arms. I couldn't be any more excited. He thought I was weird, I was just glad to see someone still breathing.
"We have been waiting for you! We were going to head to your house if you didn't show up within a couple more days." Said Amer, relieved I wasn't hugging him anymore.
"Wait, we?! As in, you are not here alone?" I said, my heart was skipping beats.
"Yes, I'll tell you once we get inside, Adam and a few other faces you'll recognize are here." Said Amer, with a smile on his face.
We walked through back entrance, Amer and company had barricaded all the entrances but the back two. I bombarded him with questions. Apparently, Amer and company had raided a couple of nearby stores and have been living in the school for the past four days. We walked into the cafeteria and I couldn't keep in my excitement.
Adam, Youssef, Mageed, Mustafa, Mustafa, Zack, and Ali were all there. There were quite a few people I didn't recognize. I was greeted with hugs and yells of joy. They have been waiting for me.
"The man's been through a lot. Let him rest." Said Amer.
I didn't realized how exhausted I was. Amer showed me to a little bed and fell right into it. I was asleep within moments.
The Sixteenth of July, 2014
I woke up the next day. Adam had made me eggs. We joked around a little and I felt better than I have in a while. I ate them and realized I didn't change out of my clothes when I went to bed. I told Adam this and he laughed. He was a great guy.
I was talking to Adam when all of a sudden Amer walks in. "Khaled, I need you to come with me, we need to discuss where we go from here." I walked with Amer, when we were in school we always said that in case an apocalypse happens that I should be the brains of the operation.
We walked into a classroom. It looks like someone moved all the desks out and pushed in a large table with some folding chairs. There was an adjacent room labeled Armory and another room next to in labeled Supplies.
"Khaled, I'm glad you're here. We have problems here and I need you to help me fix them. You know that we already agreed that you would be the brains of this operation."
"Thanks, what are the problems were facing?"
"First off, food. We have plenty for now but, the question is what will we do if we find survivors? Do we take them in and let them have our food? Do we leave them to die?"
When he said survivors my head started to spin. I had forgotten about Ashley! She must be alive. I convinced myself that she was. I had to stay here and help but, I needed to know. Was she alright?
"Amer, before we get to that. I need to tell you something important."
"You can tell me anything. What is it?"
"I have a friend up in Flint, I need to know if she is alright. I'm sorry. I can't stay. I need to know. If she is there, if she is alive, I want to bring her back."
"Khaled… I will not let you go alone."
"I can't risk bringing people with me, they might die and I don't want it to be my fault!"
"It's alright we can take a car, we will go together and find her."
I sighed in relief, Amer was always the understanding type. "When can we go?"
"We will have to go tomorrow. Today, we need to get ready, decide who is going and who is going to take over once we are gone."
"Thank you. You don't know how much this means to me."
"Let's go get some supplies ready, you look to be well armed but you're going to need combat boots and some more food. You never know what will happen."
He went towards the Armory and unlocked the door with the keys he had on his belt. Inside the Armory there was a wide range of strange weapons. The team had a couple of pistols and Amer handed me one.
"Only use it when your cornered, same for that rifle, they are both extremely loud and will attract more zombies."
"Alright I understand, this axe will be my main weapon then."
Amer also handed me some ammo, a pair of combat boots, and a radio. I put both into my backpack and took off my shoes to put on my new ones.
"You still have that crazy Swiss Army Knife of yours rights?"
Instead of saying yes I just drew my knife and switched it to the most ridiculous setting, the ruler.
"Yep, and it's still as crazy as ever."
He stood there for a moment while I put on my boots. I thought of the question he asked me in the beginning and decided it was best to help out here before we leave tomorrow.
"About the whole survivor deal, I think it would be morally wrong to not save people but, I understand that we don't have an unlimited supply of food. I think if the survivor is a person we know or a family member we have to at least help."
"I can understand that, that's good. We can't have too many people in the group. I'm sure you understand that."
"I do, is there anything else you need help with?"
"Yes, we need to finish barricading the school as best we can."
"I think you should barricade off everything past the library. I know this school like the back of my hand, there is way too many entrances and exits on that side of the school. If zombies got in, I don't think we can protect it all."
"That's a good idea."
We talked strategy for about half an hour before we went to work. The windows on the school were made so you can look out but people or zombies cannot look in. We worked on barricading the doors and the parts of the school that were past the library. After we finished that we decided to head back to my house. I told them about the generator I owned. We went back and took the generator along with a television and x-box and the fridge. We loaded them into my dad's work truck that was full of essential tools we need to continue fortifying the school. Using the keys I had taken a couple of days ago we drove back to the school and unloaded the newly taken goods.
The generator ran on gasoline. We hooked it up in the cafeteria, our main resting room, and ran the stoves, fridges, and other electronics. We used my father's tools to drill some doors shut. By the end of the day, I could call this cafeteria home.
Tomorrow was the day. It was the day where I would put my life and the lives of my friends on the line for someone I cared about. I hope that she is alive.
The Seventeenth to the Eighteenth of July, 2014
I woke up at around seven. I had some breakfast made by Adam. The man can cook. I sat down and everyone was silent. Amer had decided that he and Adam would go with me. We ate silently. When we had finished, Amer and Adam signaled for me to follow them. I said good-bye to everyone before I left. They were geared up and ready to go. I had taken everything with me. I told them to stop for a moment.
"You don't have to go with me," I said, "I think I can handle this on my own. I don't want you guys getting hurt."
"We are going with you. You know we won't change our minds," said Adam, Amer was nodding his head, agreeing with him.
"Alright, but if I get bitten you have to promise me one thing," I said.
"What would that be?" asked Amer.
"I want you or Adam to kill me. I don't want to die as one of those things," I said.
"I don't think-," Adam was abruptly cut off by Amer, "Alright. If you get bitten I'll kill you if that's what you want."
"Good," I said, I sighed in relief. Being eaten alive was worse than dying at least to me. If it ever comes down to that, I'd rather Amer kill me.
We left with plenty of food and water. We decided to take a small car Amer had managed to hotwire. I was driving because I was the only one that had ever driven to Flint. We made it to a major highway before we reached a slight problem. There was a traffic jam. Cars all over the highway, abandoned. We got out of the car to survey the highway. It was jammed. No way to get through in a car. We decided to walk. We walked slowly, each of us looking around to make sure nothing was there. There was a forest to the right and to the left that worried me. Amer seemed to have his eyes on them. Adam looked to the left and shuddered, he said in a whispered voice, "Hide."
Amer immediately grabs me and throws me to the ground. He tells me to hide under the car. I don't know what's going on and I do what the man says. He does the same to the adjacent car. Adam crawls and hides with me. Amer puts his index finger to his mouth. Then I understand. Zombies start to walk past the cars. There had to be at least a couple hundred. They were walking in the direction we needed to go. We waited almost an hour before we could crawl back out.
"That was a close one," Amer said.
"Too close," Said Adam.
"Guys, those zombies, they are… heading towards Flint," I said, "We are going to have to go through the forest."
"Then we will go through the forest," said Amer, "Your friend is worth it."
He proceeded to head to the edge of the highway. Adam and I followed him into the wilderness. We walked farther into the forest. I was nervous. I have never been in the forest. I adjusted the rifle and made sure it was loaded. We walked for about an hour. My eyes kept darting around and I started to sweat. Amer noticed this and asked if I was alright, I told him I was. I really wasn't. I couldn't shake the feeling that something bad would happen. Amer could tell I was lying and we took a rest. I drank a quarter of my canteen and ate a snack bar. I started to feel better. It wasn't much longer before we got to the neighborhoods. We continued to walk for about another hour before we made it. It was about seven in the afternoon and the sun starting setting.
"Guys, I think we should find a place to rest until the morning," Adam said.
"We can't, we don't even know if she is alive and that horde of zombies will be here in only a few hours. We have to continue," I said.
"Khaled's right, we don't have time to rest until morning," Amer said.
We walked through the neighborhood. It was only about half an hour before we reached her home. We turned the corner before we saw them. Amer pulled me back and Adam jumped back. The zombies were blocking the way to her home. There was no way to get through without a distraction. I checked my rifle and my pistol.
"Amer, this is the only way, I will distract them and you guys run through and head to the house. I will meet you back on the highway," I said.
"Khaled, there's no way we're letting you do that," Adam said.
"Look at all those zombies! There is no way around this. Let me deal with them. I am fast enough, I'll survive." I said, "You have to get her, don't worry about me."
I started to walk towards the zombies before they could say anything. I want to protect them. I don't want them to die. Some started to walk towards me and I turned and yelled to Amer the address. I turned back and readied my rifle. I aimed and shot. The recoil was more than I expected. It was the first time I shot a gun. I completely missed. They were heading towards me now. I drew my axe and ran up to the first zombie. I sliced at his head, it died instantly. I changed to my pistol and fired three shots. Only one of the shots hit. I moved to the right and the zombies followed. I saw Amer and Adam dart past the zombies, I yelled and screamed to keep their attention. Once Amer and Adam were out of sight, I kept my distance away from the zombies but I led them into the adjacent neighborhood. I kept my pistol on hand. Once they were there I started to run away. I couldn't handle that many zombies at once. I ran back to the neighborhood where I left Amer and Adam.
I was soon out of breath. I stood still for a moment inhaling and exhaling deeply. I felt powerful. I just singlehandedly killed two zombies and led at least ten of them away from my friends. I started to walk towards Ashley's house. I didn't realize how dark it was outside. I drew my pocket flashlight and turned it on. I could see pretty far ahead of me put I needed this light to make sure I wasn't missing any important street signs. I was walking by the park when I turned my flashlight off. In the park there was a couple of infected. I didn't want to fight, I just hurried my pace. Up ahead was something strange. There was a police barricade. I couldn't tell if Amer and Adam had been here, there was no sign of bodies. The police barricade consisted of two police cars and some traffic cones. I walked up to the police car on the right and peered in. The car looked unscathed. I reached my hand into the driver's side and opened the trunk. I lifted the trunk and found two flares, I put them both in my bag. I popped the trunk of the left police car and looked in. Nothing. I closed the trunk of the car and continued towards the house. Not much farther I suppose. I passed by some houses. There seemed to be corpses on the ground. It looked like the police tried their best to contain this disease. I looked to the left and saw the corpse of a police officer. I guess they didn't do that well. Suddenly, I heard something. It sounded like the cry of a little girl.
I was off, I ran towards an alleyway where I though the scream came from. It didn't sound like it could have been Ashley, it sounded like a 7 year old girl. "Someone needs my help, I have to help everyone I can." I thought. It would be morally wrong if I didn't. I burst out of the alleyway when I saw her. A zombie and bitten the girls leg. I stood there for a moment, dumbfounded. The zombie bit into the girl's side. I snapped out of it and ran towards the zombie. The girl was wailing, without thinking I shot the zombie in the head. The body fell onto the girl and she yelled even louder. I pushed the zombie over and knelt over to look at the girls wounds. It was bad. She was bleeding out quickly. I pulled off my backpack and open it, grabbing my medical supplies. The girl didn't say anything to me, she just continued to yell. I looked at her and then I looked back at the bandages I had. There was nothing I could do. The girl stopped yelling. She was laying on the floor sprawled, she was still bleeding. I stood up.
"I'm sorry," I said, tears rolling down my face.
I pulled my pistol, I didn't want her to suffer. I hesitated, I just couldn't do it. I put the gun down and just walked back. I turned around and there was a dozen zombies. "The girl's screaming must have attracted them, Damn it!" I thought. I was scared I ran to the right, I had no idea where I was going. Every turn I made there was more of them. I was in trouble I finally made it out into the open there had to be at least fifty of them. I just continued to run. The forest was up ahead. "I could outrun them there," I thought, it was my only hope. I made it to the edge of the forest and ran in. I ran for about fifteen minutes before I was convinced that I was safe. It was so dark. I was surprised I didn't trip over things. I pulled the large flashlight out of my bag and turned it on. There was a tree up ahead I think I could climb. I reached the base of that tree and I climbed it. I can't continue in the dark not with all these zombies around. I made it to a sturdy branch and decided it would be best to wait until morning. I fell asleep but only for an hour or two. I then just waited in silence. I reloaded each of my guns and checked them multiple times. When the sun started to rise I got a better look at myself. I realized that my pants and my arms were stained by blood. It was the blood of the little girl. I didn't notice until now. I then checked myself frantically to see if a zombie had scratched me. Feeling confident that didn't happen, I just sat there. I pulled out my bag and studied at what was inside. I had a spare change of clothes, two flares, ammo, food, a canteen, a flashlight, my axe, some medicine, bandages, and batteries. I was pretty supplied. Satisfied, I grabbed one of the candy bars and zipped up my bag and slung it over my back. For the next couple of hours I wondered if Amer and Adam found Ashley. They must have. But, are they looking for me? Surely they would have gone back by now. I hope they left me and they aren't looking for me. I want them all to be safe. I would die if I learned of their deaths because they went out looking for me. When I could see clearly I climbed down the tree. I decided it would be best if I tried getting back to the highway and try making my way back to the car.
Once I got to the bottom of the tree I started to head to what I believed to be the way towards the highway. I hope I was heading the right way. I passed by a stream and decided it would be best if I washed off the blood. I washed myself. I changed into my pair of jeans that were not bloodstained. I continued to walk, for the next thirty minutes I didn't see much. Then, I head rustling coming from the bushes. I readied my rifle and something leapt out of them. I fired and fell over. When I got back up I saw a deer running away. I started to run. I shouldn't have fired my gun. I ran and finally I made it. I was at the same jam packed highway where that herd of walkers passed us. I was so relieved. I started to hike back to the car. This time I walked pretty fast. I couldn't see any zombies behind or in front of me. I felt so happy that I was almost to the car. If they had taken the car then I would have to walk all the way back to the school but, that meant that they were alive. If the car is still there then, I wait. Hopefully, they will have already gone without me. It took about thirty minutes to get to the car. It was still there. I felt terrible. Where were they? I opened the door and sat in the car. "They must be on their way now," I thought. I locked all the doors and just sat in the car. I couldn't risk turning on the car for heat and wasting the gasoline. I wrapped myself up in my hoodie and fell asleep. I walk up when I heard a knock on the window. I was stunned. My heart started racing. It was Amer. It was just Amer. I unlocked the door.
"Where's Adam?" I asked.
"Don't worry, he is on his way. Khaled, I know what you're going to ask next. We didn't find her," Amer said.
I was devastated. No, I wasn't. This couldn't be right. I had to accept it. But, I have already accepted it. I have lost everyone. The only reason now for me to stay alive are for my friends that are left. Amer sat in the driver's seat, knowing I wouldn't be able to drive our way back. I felt wrong. Shouldn't I be sad? I lost a friend, I lost one of the greatest people I've known and I don't feel a thing. I felt ashamed of myself.
In about fifteen minutes Adam arrived. He looked at me, depressed. I was tired. I curled up into a little ball and fell asleep.