Survivors of the Z’s- Graham Jackson, Nottingham, UK
I walked down with the three of them and by my side was also Preston. It was around 7 in the morning and the son was bright like it had just been born. The air was fresh and the roads and pavements were empty. It was great getting out of the house with the thoughts flying around. It was nothing but a burden and Preston deffinately needed the walk
I promised him
“Yeah,” he nodded, “beats being stuck in doors and going crazy”
“Damn right,” I said
“Do you think we’re safe walking around?” He asked, “not like I’m scared or anything”
I turned and bent down to his level, “Hey, look at me,” I said, “I’ll never put any of you in danger, never, we’re safe, it’s light, there’s soldiers, a hell of a lot of them patrolling, its safe out here, we’re ok”
He nodded as he looked into my eyes. He was frightened and I could see that and so was I, but I didn’t want to show that of course
I had to be strong
For all of us
“I believe you,” he told
“Come on, let’s just enjoy the walk”
We stuck to familiar places. We stayed to where we knew. The local parks and roads. We didn’t want to walk far because there was always that sense of danger and if anything happened we’d wanna get back as soon as possible.
“Sometimes I wonder what would’ve happened to me if I didn’t find you,” he mentioned
“But you did and thats all that matters”
He jumped on a low wall and began walking on it. He held his arms out whilst he walked. Trying to keep his balance.
“I know, but sometimes I think what if I didn’t, I mean, that would’ve been some scary fucking shit”
“Yes it would,” I said, “yes it would”
“I would’ve been alright,” he said, “I’ve had to deal with a lot of crap in my life”
“I believe you,” I told, “you’re a strong kid, older than you actually are, I know if you were out there alone… you would’ve been ok”
I laughed, “you have a lot of confidence I’ll give you that”
“Somebody has to,” he turned and winked
The houses we passed. Most of them were abandoned. The windows were shot up and there were blood splatters on the walls. Large black X’s were painted on the front of the houses with red tape blocking the way to get into the gardens.
“It’s still here,” he murmered, “will it ever go”
“I don’t know,” I answered, “sorry Preston, but that’s all I have”
A few soldiers and people with white biohazard suits walked out from one of the homes. I got a peep into the house as the soldiers kept an eye on me. What I saw was gruesome.
Two dead bodies
One was torn to bits
The other wasn’t
Both lying next to each other
“Can you see anything?” He asked
“Move along please,” a woman soldier told, “move along”
I put my hands up to gesture I was going, “ok”
We both moved along and the dogs followed. All three walked in front sniffing around in different areas. We hadn’t seen many people walking around and if we did they would’ve probably have been homeless or just looked completely out of it
The city may have been protected by the army and under strict rules, but it didn’t stop people from giving up. Fear was huge and it wasn’t budging. It didn’t matter how many soldiers there were. People still didn’t feel safe and I could feel that and I understood it. Anything could still happen. More blood could still be spilled in Nottingham and more families
The ones that were left
Could be destroyed by this disease
“I wonder where my brother is, you said you saw him to right?” He asked
“I did,” I answered, “maybe he’s around somewhere”
“I hope so, but what do I say? I haven’t seen him for ages”
“It’ll come to you, don’t worry, he’s your brother”
“I’m just nervous, if he comes again tonight I’ll go talk to him”
“Don’t forget about the curfew, he shouldn’t be out either, which is strange, because he was”
“You do anything for family though right? He was just trying to find me”
“Maybe, and he has found you”
“I’m glad he’s alive, we have so much to catch up on, he’s the best brother anybody could ever have, I wonder what he’s been doing all this time”
“Ask him when you see him”
We had been walking for quite some time. Jesse suddenly growled and the others joined. I looked on in concern and walked over to where their gaze was directed.
I put my arm in front of Preston, “Stay close”
“What the fuck do you want?” I heard
I looked into a car park where an apartement block was. It was in tatters and battered and burnt cars sat there.
“Hey, get these fucking dogs away from me”
A young man was revealed. He looked in a state. He wore his hood up with strands of hair peeping out. He was skinny as fuck. His hands shook and his eyes weren’t looked Ill. He looked out of it. Then I saw the blood on his hands.
“Hey, friend,” he spoke, “get these fucking dogs away from me!”
“Jesse, Elvis, Bruno, come here, now”
They did as they were told and came back. Something wasn’t right with this guy I could tell. The deep feeling stabbed at me and I didn’t want any part of it. We all walked away. I watched our backs and kept an eye out.
“He looked fucked,” Preston said
“Just keep walking,” I told
“Hey, friend!” I heard
I looked around and he followed us from a distance
“How much for the dogs?” He asked, he smiled a perverse smile with blood around his mouth, his blood stained teeth showed, “they would last for days, I’ve never had a doggy meat sandwich before”
I quickly turned and I was suddenly on top of him. Laying in to him like there was no tomorrow…