It’s down to the two of us. For all the time Charlie and I had been dating, we’d had fantasies about dying together, or being the last two people on Earth. But now it’s happening. We’re holed up here in the loft, shooting down the zombies as they converge on us. Bullets are running low. But maybe we can make it somehow.
He turns to me slowly, and I look at him. He looks angry, terrified, and surprised. “Mary,” he says hoarsely–his voice is changing.
ONE WEEK AGO
We’d been the perfect team of five. Kind of ironic, that when the zombie apocalypse came, the five of us–always such good friends, always thinking out our adventures together–were left to escape, to survive.
We did as Ellie had always planned and found a building to make our base. We stocked up on canned food and weapons during the times when the infected weren’t so thick, and barricaded the doors once we’d had enough.
I hated that it had come to this, and I missed my family, but at least we had each other. Until Ellie, Nick, and Bea all came back infected. Charlie and I did what we had to do. We shot them in the head, like they’d asked us to.
I had been so sure Ellie would be careful never to get bitten, or to get close enough to catch the virus. She was always that way.
Charles and I were left to watch the fort. I was glad, at least, that I would be with him to the end.
TWO WEEKS AGO
Half the world became infected. The news anchors were reporting that the virus had gotten out of control. The mind was eaten entirely, it seemed, turning everyone into sore-ridden walking corpses that simply wanted to eat each other and the non-infected. In other words, the zombie apocalypse.
My friends and family and I stayed in close contact. I made sure to call Ellie, Nick, Bea, and Charlie every day, even if I couldn’t see them. We needed a plan in case things went sour.
And they did. I woke up one night to scratching at the door. I opened it and slammed it shut. Somehow, my mom and sister had gotten infected, and they stared at me with dead eyes before trying to reach out to me.
I escaped through the window, taking my phone, calling Charlie. We needed to gather. But how had my mom and sister gotten sick?
THREE WEEKS AGO
The mysterious infection kept cropping up on the news. I wondered if maybe it wasn’t going to go away.
I finally came out of quarantine, though. I was fine. I’d spent the past three days in my room after the incident. “Good,” my sister said. “They’re saying that stuff is airborne. I thought you were going to go zombie, and we’d have to shoot you!”
“They’re not zombies,” my mother sighed, exasperated.
THREE WEEKS, THREE DAYS AGO
Someone… broke down… in the middle of the mall. He looked really weird–sores all over his body. He was fine otherwise until he roared and started trying to grab people.
I was scared. I didn’t know what to do. He grabbed me by the arm, and I smelled his foul breath. I kicked him in the sensitive place and ran away.
That night, I heard a broadcast that there were isolated cases of a virus. The symptoms were the same as the guy’s from the mall–sores all over, and random breakdowns. Most of the victims even tried to bite other people.
My sister and I talked it over, and we feared I had been infected. I called in sick to work for three days. I locked myself in my room. I didn’t want my mother or sister to catch this; that was for sure.
“Mary,” Charlie rasped, sores breaking out on his skin. “Haven’t you ever heard… of Typhoid Mary?”