Survivors of the Z’s- Rhonda Gedling, Ashford City, California
It was a hot day. The sky was blue but it didn’t reflect the mood at all. We sat in the car and looked out. It was utter mayhem and it looked like the police and all were having trouble in containing it.
“This looks bad,” I said
“We just need to get through and get to mum,” she said
People all over were trying to get out and the authorities were trying to stop them for some reason.
A loudspeaker, “please, remain calm, all relatives need to be checked for infection before leaving the city”
But nobody was calm. It was total anarchy.
“We’re going to have to get out,” Elaine said
She got out and without warning was nearly ran over.
“Jesus!” She shouted, “you fucking idiot!”
I got out and ran around to see to her. She was stunned.
“Yeah I think so,” she said, “that was close huh”
“More than close, I could’ve lost you”
Were stacked in queues all over the place. Going in and coming out. The highway was a mess. Helicopters in the sky. News reporters trying to get a look in. Cops and the army trying to calm things.
trying to be heard over the panic.
One woman was lent over who what I assumed was her husband. She cried on his shoulder.
Emotions flying high as she said, “I want my son!”
The level of noise and the intensity was enormous. I couldn’t here a thing. My sister shouted over to me and showed me her phone. It said.
“Mom, where are you?!” She asked, “where?!”
She couldn’t hear her. Stress, everything, was getting to her as her face slumped down to a new level.
“I can’t hear you mom!”
The phone must’ve died. She put it in her pocket. Jumped onto the car and stared into the ocean of frightened people. I was shoved. I got knocked into the car and I looked round. Two men were walking fast into the crowd. Both with their hands in their pockets.
“Can you see her?!” I shouted
“No!” She said, “We need to get closer!”
She got off the roof of the car and began to run toward the crowd.
She couldn’t hear me.
She vanished into the crowd. I had no choice but to follow. My heart raced. Worry outweighing everything else.
I couldn’t see her. I had little glimpses here and there.
She was gone in a flash. In a blink. I tried to push passed people, but I couldn’t do it quick enough. I was on my own.
For my sister. I saw the two men again. Average size, oldish looking with beards and sunglasses. They wore black huddies which were over their heads. They walked through the crowd like it wasn’t even there, so I followed behind. I followed to get through. They got through easily. I looked left and right whilst I walked behind them.
No sight of her.
I looked forward. I then watched as the two men took out their guns and began firing at the police. Many people took to the ground. The others scarpered. I took it as a chance to get a look at the unfilled spaces.
“Put the gun down!” I heard
They didn’t. They just kept firing.
“Where are you?” I said to myself
I looked around once more ignoring the chaos. It was then I clocked her.
It wasn’t Elaine. It was mom. She was on the other side of the line of the police and army trying to get through the chaos that was in there also.
The police couldn’t control it
The army were struggling
I shouted once more, “Elaine!”
“Rhonda!” I heard
I focused and tried to sharpen my eyes. I saw her not so far away behind a car. Her head was just peeping over.
I smiled, “are you ok?!” I said
“Yeah, are you?!”
“Yes, I’ve found mom!”
“Behind the police, she’s trying to get through”
Another gun shot. Then many more came with more cries along the way. But, it wasn’t the two men that had shot before. They were dead. I looked closely and saw something stirring behind the line. The police started to look uneasy
More shots. What was it?
“How can we get to mom?” She asked
I wanted to do this for her. Not mom. For my sister. The only family I felt I had left.
“Come on!” I said, “they look occupied!”
The army and police were busy at both ends. What ever was going on behind them was a mystery. All I wanted to do was get to my dead- beat- mom and get the hell out of dodge.
“Mom!” Elaine shouted
“Girls!” She said, her face said it all, “Oh thank god!”
She tried to push through the gap that had appeared. Many people were doing the same.
The long line was beginning to part.
I pointed, “over there!”
Everybody was aiming in the same direction
Some were even running. The civilians were also.
“Mom, come on!” Elaine told
“Hey stop!” a policeman said
But we ignored him. We dragged her out. Ran toward the car and heard the turmoil worsening behind us. We ran. Ran so hard. Our legs pumped and we barged passed anyone that got in our way.
“Mom, come on!” Elaine shouted
She was lagging behind. She looked exhausted. Her white blouse sagged from her body. Her trousers were ripped and she had no shoes. We went back for her, picked her up and sprinted toward the car. We slammed into the car. Our hearts beat out of our chests. Elaine pushed mom in and began to get in herself. Before looking around in shock. I heard the call from Elaine telling me to get in.
And we were on our way
“Hold on guys!” I told
A man then dived onto the window screen. Cracking it with his head. Head-butting it. Punching it.
His face Bloody
Screaming into the cracked glass. Screaming right at me
His eyes looking crazed