It’s been a few days, so hopefully I can remember everything.
I had woken up the following morning fairly early. The sun was just starting to peek over the horizon and, if it wasn’t for the fact that I was lying in a motel bed (which was probably disgusting), I wouldn’t have believed that the zombie apocalypse was real.
I looked out the window and could see quite a number of cars along the highway. When I went outside to Jason’s car, I could see that he was already awake. By the look of it, it would appear that he didn’t sleep much, if at all.
He rolled down his window and said, “Listen.” He turned up the radio.
“We would like to reiterate,” the automated voice on the radio spoke, “everyone must evacuate the city by 8 PM. The mayor has spoken with our military commanders and it has been confirmed that, to try to limit the spread of this, the military will be dropping bombs in the city. This is for our own benefit to try to eradicate the problem. Anyone who is still in the city after 8 PM will more than likely be killed in the explosion. Please, for your safety evacuate the city immediately. We would like to reiterate-”
Jason turned the radio down. “They’ve been playing that over and over again for the past couple hours. So this is real…”
“It looks that way,” I said.
I looked around and noticed that there were no other cars in the parking lot of the Lounger Motel. I then looked back at Jason. Without even looking at me he knew what was on my mind, and I could tell it had been on his mind all night.
“They’re not coming, are they?” He asked me. I didn’t know what to say. I had no idea if they were coming or not. He looked at me with tired, bloodshot eyes and repeated, “Are they?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “Maybe they’re in this traffic.”
“He hasn’t answered his phone at all.” Jason said. “I’ve called several times and left quite a few messages and there hasn’t been a single response.” He started the engine of his car and then said, “You should get your mom. We should go. If they do nuke the city, we’re going to want to be far away from the explosion.”
I looked at him and said, “You should really get some sleep-”
“I’m fine.” He said, sternly. But I could tell he wasn’t fine. He was tired and I didn’t feel comfortable getting into the car with him so I just stood there and stared at him.
After he got impatient with me, he just started to drive away. I chased after him and he stopped. “What are you doing?”
“I’ve just decided,” he said, “I’m getting my brother and parents.”
“What?” I asked. “That’s crazy.”
“They might still be in the city. I have to go look.”
“In like 14 hours they’re going to destroy the city. This is a suicide mission.”
“No it’s not,” he said, with a slight smile on his face, “I’ve got God on my side.”
He then drove off, heading back to the city, leaving me and my mom alone. It would take him at least five hours to get to the city. It was a waste of gas; it was a waste of time. For all he knew his brother and parents were on their way here. He really should have just waited and gotten some sleep in the meantime.
Hours went by and there was still no word from him. His brother didn’t show up and neither did his parents. I waited outside the motel when my mom joined me and brought some food out of a mini fridge she had found in the manager’s office.
“You should eat something,” she said, offering me a sandwich that had probably been the manager’s lunch before the panic had started.
“I don’t feel hungry.” I said.
It was no longer an offer, it was a demand. So I took the sandwich and nibbled on it. Right on cue, my stomach growled and I realised I hadn’t eaten in over a day.
Some exciting sights that I saw while sitting on the curb were: people speeding by in cars, some people driving their car into other cars and continuing to speed along, people with their windows rolled down screaming. One person hit a bump and a hammer flew out of the back of their truck into the parking lot.
At that moment I felt compelled to pick it up. I started thinking that I might never see Jason again and I’d have to start defending myself. Without a car, I was a very slow-moving target and these creatures have proven to be quite fast and ferocious. I didn’t know if a hammer would be a good enough weapon to fend off these creatures, but it was better than nothing.
So I got up and went over to the hammer and picked it up. It was in pretty good condition and it certainly felt heavy enough that I could bash in someone’s head with it.
“Is he coming back?” My mom asked me a few hours after the I had picked up the hammer.
“I don’t know,” I admitted. “I sure hope so.”
“If it comes down to it, and you have to decide whether to sacrifice yourself to save me or to run away and save yourself, I want you to save yourself.”
“What?” I asked. “This coming from someone who claimed that they were misunderstood creatures and the police were using excessive force on them?”
“That was before that one attached itself to Jason’s car.” She said. “It was more for your dad’s sake. Because I just-”
At that moment a couple planes went flying over us, heading towards the city. I had no idea what time it was, but I figured it must be close to eight. The sun looked like it was going to start setting soon.
“This seems kind of drastic.” I said. “To bomb the city when it’s only been a couple days.”
“Bomb the city?” My mom asked.
I explained to her about the radio broadcast and she said, “It doesn’t seem drastic after they called for the city to evacuate.”
“I guess they’re just hoping this will end everything. But something is telling me this isn’t the end.”
Shortly after, Jason showed up and told us to hurry up and get in. He saw the planes overhead and knew the time was drawing nearer. So my mom and I got in the car as quickly as possible and Jason took off.
“No luck?” I asked.
“They’re in the vehicle behind us,” Jason said, smiling. “They’re gonna be okay.”
“So where were they?”
“They had gotten trapped in a building and, long story short, I got them out.”
“How?” I asked.
“I’ll tell you about it later,” he said, “for now I just want to concentrate on driving.” (He still hasn’t told me the full story.)
We heard the explosions. We were at least five hours away from the city, but we could hear the explosions of the bombs. I turned back around to look towards the city and could see plumes of smoke on the horizon. Five…six…eight…ten explosions. More. They bombed each little area of the city.
But I recalled what the news anchor had said, we could only go West or North out of the city. South and East both had cities that had been suffering from our problem. I began to wonder if those cities had had city-wide evacuations, too, and if the military was going to be bombing them as well.
Then it started to sink in. My whole life was done. Everything that I was was in that city. It was gone, obliterated. All that was left of my life was now a pile of rubble or a crater or some kind of destroyed mess. And this wouldn’t be the end. This was only the beginning.
It’s been a couple days since then and we’ve made it to the next city. Well…what was once a neighbouring city. As it turned out, they bombed this city, too. They must have done the bombing here before they bombed our city.
Houses were destroyed left and right. Streets had huge holes in the middle of them with cars piled on top of each other in them. It was a nightmare. People were under piles of rubble…well, they were at one point people, but they had turned. They weren’t able to get out from under the rubble, but they were moving around, flailing their arms wildly. It made me think that maybe they weren’t these creatures before they were trapped under the rubble.
It didn’t look like there were any living people left here. But cars had been heading in this direction, so I began to wonder, what happened to all of those people that were driving here? Did they make it out of here and head off to the next city before the explosions? Or did they see the aftermath of the explosions and turn around to find some other city? Or were they all killed in the explosion?
I had (still have) no idea. But it was getting really late, so we pulled over behind what used to be a hotel and now we’re staying here for the night. I had really hoped this city would’ve been the start of a new beginning for me, but evidently that’s not going to happen. I’ve got my hammer with me…hopefully I won’t have to use it. But we’ll see…