Thanks to Leo of Mysterious Mind For writing this story. If you like it, and would like to read more of her work, visit her blog!
I bent over the sink to wash my hands, lifting my head up, I jump at the sudden appearance of a dissembled looking woman with frizzy blonde hair staring at me through the mirror.
I smile at her and apologize for my reaction, but she stood there unfazed, smirking at me. I notice a laceration on her neck with a large amount of blood oozing out of it, turning her yellow t-shirt a scarlet red.
Spinning around instantly I reach to comfort her, and as I am getting ready to call for help, she takes hold of my arm forcing my shoulder backwards, stretching it straight and bites deep into it.
The pain was excruciating, her teeth piercing their way through the layers of skin and soft tissue, was unlike any kind of pain I had ever felt in my life.
I pushed myself sideways, my shoulder felt like it was inches from dislocating, but I manage to bend my elbow and she lets go.
She come at me with full power, we are locked with each other, her pushing towards me, me pushing her back, she was very strong, but neither of us were badging.
I felt my body twitching, my arm felt hot from the blood that gashed all over it, my eyesight blurred for a few seconds but when it was back it was sharper than ever.
A sudden surge of energy passed right through me, I thought it was the adrenaline finally kicking in, but now I know better. The blonde woman’s face was covered with my blood, it made me mad, concentrating all my will on her I grabbed her by her jaw, her eyes widened at the pressure s, I don’t think she considered the precautions of her bite.
With one swift movement I pushed her to the side, forcing her head to collide with the ceramic hand drier that was mounted onto the wall, smashing it into pieces.
She fell on the ground, her skull splitting open from the force of the collision, a pool of blood forming on the white tiles below, she balanced herself on her arms and sprang onto her feet, the look in her eyes wild and vengeful.
That’s when it dawned on me, it felt unbelievable but it made perfect sense, I had been an avid fan for years, she was a zombie and she wasn’t going to go down easy.
She leaped towards me, but I somehow managed to avoid her, swerving past her, she lost sight of me. I had no weapon to finish her off but the door was easily accessible now so I ran for it and before she even realized, I was out the door.
It was meant to be a well-earned break for me, away from the everyday bullshit, meeting new friends, experiencing the American culture, the people, their way of life, well I got that plus some.
John and I, although we lived in different states, we had been planning for this trip for over a year. Our American connection and energetic mate Johnny Anderson had invited us to stay at his place for two weeks. He had organized activities where we could test our combat, survival and shooting knowledge all in the name of fun.
John and Johnny were both pretty entertaining characters, you couldn’t have picked a more compatible friendship, they were both the same built, sported the same clean shaved hairdo, both witty and fast with their jokes, they even shared the same name. To differentiate them I called the crazy yank Johnny, sometimes I wondered if they were separated at birth.
I flew in from Sydney, Johnny picked me up at Dulles international airport, his house wasn’t far from there. I got a quick glimpse of Chantilly VA for the first time in my life through the car window.
The suburbs looked similar to back home, but the atmosphere was completely different, perhaps being in an unfamiliar territory was what made it exciting.
John had already arrived a day earlier, he was crashing on the couch when we got there, I practically had to kick him so he could wake up and greet me, which he did with a wise crack comment as always. To this date I don’t believe I have ever been able to beat him with a smarter comeback, but the day will come and I will drink to it too.
Two days of catching up and laying back at Johnny’s drinking and laughing, then it was time for some adventure.
I packed my kukri and my batons in my pack along with some water, a couple of shirts and something to munch on, and the three of us took off in Johnny’s SUV.
It was about 9:00 am, so we decided to stop at The Taste Tempter Pancake Inn in Leesburg for breakfast, before driving to the location Johnny so excitedly mention yet failed to name, keeping it secret until we arrived.
I wish he had lent his secret to us, I will never know where we were heading that day.
The boys made the usual jokes between mouthfuls of choc chip pancakes and orange juice. I noticed two men across the road wrestling in a lane. They were stumbling, I assumed perhaps they were drunk, or they were playfully “fighting” with each other. I thought I saw one of them bite the other on the shoulder, but I wasn’t paying much attention as I made my way to the bathroom to clean up.
I wish I had stayed, however luckily enough, the tides have turned and the events that took place that day have worked to my advantage and to Johns.
I ran from the bathroom and outside where the boys were sitting, both stopping to look up at me, clearly a panicked expression written all over my face, before realizing that I was bleeding.
“What the hell happened?” John yelled at the sight.
“We have to go NOW!” Shouting and walking away from the inn back to the SUV, the boys followed, Johnny quickly leaving ten bucks on the table before walking off.
I half jogged to the car, John running past me to stop me.
“What’s going on, why are you bleeding?” he asked again, I was kind of surprised neither of them had heard the cries coming from the bathroom when that zombie bit right through my arm.
“Zombie, no I am not kidding, no I am not delusional, I cracked the bitch’s head open and she stood as if I slightly bumped her with a twig” I explained before they decided to question me.
They looked at each other then they looked at me.
“C’mon let’s get you to a hospital before you bleed to death” Johnny suggested.
I refused and they insisted, until another shrieking cry was heard. We all looked at a woman outside the Inn, pointing her finger across the road.
A man was stumbling towards her, his left arm was missing and his right thigh bone was sticking out of his flesh, various people advanced towards him, to help him, one man getting bitten on the neck when he got too close.
The boys turned around to face me, I nodded at them, they understood right there and then that this was not some sort of joke.
“Yup! Time to go!” Johnny exclaimed.
They sat at the front, every now and then turning back to look at me and then exchanging worrying glances between them. I knew what they were thinking.
Johnny passed me a first aid kit he kept in his glove box, I rinsed my wound with some antiseptic and wrapped a bandage around it tightly. It wasn’t bleeding as much but I didn’t want anything else touching it.
I wrapped my hair up in a bun, making sure it was out of the way and sat back looking out the window. I related my zombie encounter back to the boys and they listened in.
The ride to Chantilly was not as attractive as it was an hour before, it seemed that the infection was spreading fast, soon enough we came to a standstill, cars parked one behind the other, people wondering around aimlessly, others being attacked by zombies. We had to abandon the SUV and continue by foot.
Johnny took a pistol from the glove box and handed it to John, opening the trunk he armed himself with a rifle. I took my kukri out of the backpack and looped it around my belt and placed the batons in the loops I had made at the back of my jacket. Wearing our backpacks, Johnny took us through backstreets around Leesburg, until we turned left into a suburban street.
We stood frozen, there were at least nine zombies standing grouped outside a house, they must have heard our footsteps because they simultaneously turned to face us.
We turned to head back down the way we came, only our escape was short lived when five more showed up behind us.
I instinctively took my kukri out of its sheath, John raise his pistol, followed by Johnny and his rifle, we stood back to back, each facing one direction of the street and the zombies that where readying themselves to devour us.
The five behind us moved like hunters, spreading themselves out systematically, if it weren’t for body parts missing and disfigurements on their bodies we wouldn’t have guessed they were zombies. The nine next to the house where slower, moving in a pack, stumbling around, slowly but surely coming our way.
I heard John fire a shot and watched as one of the faster zombies dropped, his brains staining the concrete. “Nice shot!” I thought to myself.
The adrenaline kicked in again and suddenly everything around me became much clearer, it felt like I could see right through the zombies, I felt like I could hear their thoughts, their bodies seemed to move in such a way that I was able to determine which way they were going to go.
One of the “hunters” jumped right at me, my kukri slashed upwards as he landed, splitting his head in two. It was so quick, I almost didn’t even realise it happened. John smirked, probably wondering how I managed to kill it so easily.
The pack was still pretty far behind, so we all concentrated on the three that were closing in on us, I felt them move in unison, and before I knew it they simultaneously reached in, one for each one of us.
A pale woman with black short hair had somehow managed to miss Johns shot and had swerved around behind him, tripping him off his feet , causing him to fall on his back. I watched in between dodging my redhead zombie trying to swipe my head off, I ducked like a boxing pro out of her arm span, she was faster than the pack, in comparison, normal to a fully functional human being.
Johnny had managed to get a couple of shots of his big biker zombie, hitting him straight to the chest, but they weren’t enough to stop him.
I heard John yell, almost the same cry I let out when the blonde in the bathroom took a bite out of me, my skin felt tight and prickly, the redhead had grabbed me by the neck blocking my view. In frustration, with one strong thrust I ran the kukri upwards through her jaw and to the other side of her head. Her blood sprayed my face before dropping into the ground.
In front of me John was struggling, the pale woman now on top of him had him pinned down and her face was buried in his shoulder, I couldn’t imagine how a small thing like her could have so much strength, but she was a zombie after all.
Before I could get close to help him, John shot her twice in the chest, forcing her to drop off him backwards, he sat up one arm holding his shoulder, the other one the gun, and shot her twice more straight through the head before she could balance herself again.
Johnny had moved on to the pack now, killing three more, the big lump of flesh that used to be a biker was laying on the floor beside him, his head blown off.
He finished them all off one by one, before the rest of us could have a go, each one shot to the head, they dropped like flies.
John cussed and yelled at his luck, kicking the zed in front of him once before turning around to face us.
“I can’t believe that bitch bit me!” he complained.
I didn’t say anything, I knew how he felt, if the movies or stories or fan based zombie websites had taught us anything, it was that once you are bit, you become one of them.
I watched as Johnny started to drag one of the bodies to the front yard of a house, dropping it and picking up another one. I didn’t understand why we were wasting time to pile up bodies on the side of the road, but I didn’t question him either, I decided to help him instead.
“Fourteen of them, a couple of hours ago they used to be human, now they are just rotting flesh” he hissed.
“I think we should clear up a house here, spend the night, reinforce it while there is still daylight, it seems the shit has hit the fan in the speed of light.” He continued.
Assessing our situation, two of us were injured and we were running out of ammo, it seemed like a rather valuable idea, John agreed.
We picked a house a few doors up, we found the door open, a stain of red marked on the shiny white.
We decided it was a better idea to start by luring the zombies out, if there were any inside it would be best they came to us.
We made some noise and waited for a while but nothing came towards us, plan b was to swipe the entire house making sure it was clear of the infected.
Coming past the living room, I noticed a pair of legs protruding sideways from behind a couch. I signed to John towards it and aiming his gun at it he slowly approached it.
The deceased’s legs once seemed to belong to a male. We cleared out the rooms and locked the front door, dropped the blinds and closed the curtains, made sure that the back door was also secure.
I passed the first aid kit I took from the car to John to take care of his wound, he looked at me and curled his lip, he nodded a thank you and sat on the couch.
I sat across from him, watching him as he poured antiseptic over the bite, he didn’t bother to bandage it up.
“Leo, I didn’t know you were that proficient with your kukri skills” Johnny questioned me. I didn’t answer, truth is, I had probably sliced the air with the damn thing ten times since I got it, but killing those zombies out there came almost naturally to me. I couldn’t explain it.
I felt different.
We sat quietly; John flicked the television, each channel showing the same thing, people attacking people, warnings to stay inside.
I wondered what he was thinking, he wasn’t really paying attention to the tv, I could tell by his unmoved gaze. Suddenly almost as if he heard me he turned around to look at me.
“I am just worried about the family back home you know” he said quietly
“I know, you are going to be fine” I smiled at him
It had been a few hours since we had been bit, and I could not see any negative side effects, if anything John’s bite was now fully closed.
I took my bandage off inclined and curious to compare my wound to John’s.
I looked at my arm in disbelief, it was completely healed, not even a mark left, he turned around to look at me and we stared at each other for a few silent moments.
Neither attempted to say a word.
Johnny had climbed onto a single bed in one of the rooms and was snoring away, I felt tired myself but I was too paranoid to close my eyes.
More hours passed, we circled the house numerous times, watching carefully through the blinds on the street outside, a couple of cars went by but other than that not much movement was detected.
I kept my backpack on my shoulders, ready to run if I have to.
We kept the light turned off, limiting ourselves to the illumination the TV created in the living room. I found a gym bag in the main bedroom and emptied it from the dirty sweaty clothes. Rampaging through the kitchen I filled the bag with whatever non-perishable foods I could find, and filled a couple of empty bottles I found with water.
I placed the bag on the couch in the living room and turned, aiming to check on Johnny who was still sleeping, when John grabbed me by the wrist.
“Something is not right” he looked at me sternly.
It seemed as if we automatically attuned to each other, we moved in unison, John ahead of me with his gun ready. We moved down the dark hallway towards Johnny’s bedroom coming across an opened cellar door I did not recall seeing earlier.
We continued until we found ourselves outside the bedroom, i slowly pushed the door, squeaking as it swerved open.
We heard a growl, Johnny was pinned in the bed by a zombie, one of its hands covering Johnny’s mouth, I could see his body pulsating underneath the weight, the zombie had taken a chunk right out of his neck, the bed was covered with his blood.
The zombie pounced towards John, he fired before it could reach him, throwing it backwards behind the bed.
I ran over to Johnny and placed a sheet over his neck, desperately trying to stop the bleeding, his body still shaking, unable to speak, he looked at me his eyes wide.
Johnny grabbed my arm tightly to the point it felt it was going to break, his expression changed from fear to hatred in seconds. John sensed the change and grabbed me by the shoulders throwing me backwards, forcing me free from Johnny’s hand. I watched in horror as he pointed the gun to his head, within seconds the zombie he shot before jumped over from behind the bed throwing him backwards outside the door.
I leaped up to my feet and sprinted to the front door, Johnny hot on my tail, running onto the road my eyes met with the bright lights of a truck that had stopped in the middle of the street, a man positioned between the door and the truck, his rifle pointed towards me.
“Ma’am get down!” he yelled.
“NO! This one is mine!” I yelled back, turning around I took the kukri out of my sheath, swinging it downward like an axe, splitting Johnny’s skull in two. His body dropped, I had just killed my friend. I freed my kukri of his skull and wiped it then holstered it back to its sheath, turning around now to face the mysterious man and the special kid that was looking at me through the back window.
I could hear John coming, as if my senses had magnified in a matter of hours, I knew he was ok, snapping that zombies neck in the hallway like a twig, and even more so, I knew he was going to be interested in this.