The undead had attacked in the night. The fence buckled under their combined weight, and they swarmed over the camp, biting, clawing and grabbing. One had made it into Adrian’s tent, almost sinking its teeth into his leg. But he had kicked, screamed and flailed until it let go, scrabbling out of his tent and off into the woods.
At some point he must have knocked his head as he ran blind past trees and bracken, tripping and stumbling away from the overrun encampment. He ran and ran until his body gave out, collapsing into a ditch and gasping for air, but it wasn’t his lungs that ached the most. It was his head – he was dizzy, his vision was blurred and his center of balance felt off. He must have concussion, but he just hoped it wasn’t too serious, that it would go away after he rested. He closed his eyes.
Birdsong. Adrian’s eyes opened, his brain turned back on, his stomach gurgled. He was hungry, he hadn’t eaten in days and it had taken a toll on his body – he was emaciated, weak and tired. He tried to stand, stumbled and fell to the ground. His head was still fuzzy, his thoughts jumbled. The head injury must have been worse than he had originally guessed. But he had no time to rest, no time to heal, he had to try to regroup with anyone else who had escaped the camp.
It was hard to walk, his body was uncooperative, his mind sluggish. Still, he pushed on. As the day went on, the sun rose, but the temperature failed to. His was freezing, chilled to the bone. With every step he took, he felt worse. Soon, though, he’d be back with his friends, back with Isabelle. Back to safety, warmth and food.
Finally, he could see the caravan – the rendezvous point – and there was a thin wisp of smoke emanating from the top. Somebody had made it, someone to help him.
As he drew close, he heard shouts, people were coming towards him, running. He was so hungry. They came nearer, and he began to recognize faces – Trent, Ben, Isabelle. She was alive!
They slowed, Trent and Ben stopped and Isabelle walked towards him tentatively. She was crying, happy to see him alive. But then she drew her gun. He tried to speak, tried to call out. His voice croaked, gurgled.
She leveled the gun as tears streamed down her face. Her chest heaved, wracked with sobs. He was suddenly very conscious of how her heart must be beating rapidly, pumping blood around her body. He was so hungry. “Zombie” she choked.
She pulled the trigger.