Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Day 04: Separated

Group 4: Matthew, Josh, Liz, Jeremiah, Edward, Nicole
Location: Barn/Farmhouse

“I’m hit, I’m hit,” Josh groaned and fell back to the floor dazed. Blood poured out of his shoulder and onto the floor. Liz moved quickly, placing her hand over his wound to help stanch the bleeding.

More bullets riddled the wall over Matthew’s head and he returned fire, watching the men outside scatter to new positions. “We need to get out of here before one of two things happen: either this building is coming down on our heads or those assholes outside are coming in,” Matthew said, cracking off another round.

“Or, door number 3,” Liz chimed in, applying steady pressure to Josh’s arm. “We run out of ammo.”

“That’s NOT happening,” Matthew replied, throwing his rifle over his shoulder and reaching his hand out for Josh. “Can you stand?”

“Yeah,” Josh groaned, pulling himself to a seated position. Matthew got him to his feet as Liz collected the rest of their weapons. 

“The back is covered but we can probably get out through the utility door beside the kitchen. When we get outside, move as fast as you can for the gate near the pool. With any luck, we may be able to make it over the fence and through the woods before we’re seen. Alright?” he asked, waiting for confirmation from the others. “Alright. I got Josh. Liz, you take lead. Shoot anything that moves,” he said, tossing Josh’s good arm around his neck.

“Wait, you’re a better shot than I am. Wouldn’t it be smarter having you on gun duty? I can handle Josh.”

“You sure? He’s going to be dead weight and we’ll need to move quickly.” Liz nodded and he cautiously transferred the injured Josh over to her awaiting shoulder. Retrieving his side arm, he led the way, moving as fast as the others would allow.

Gunfire erupted behind them and Matthew wondered just how long those men would wait before they checked the reason why no return fire was met. He pushed the thought to the back of his mind and plodded through the smoke-filled hallway and out through the service entrance of the pavilion. “In twenty seconds I want you two to run as fast as you can across the courtyard. Don’t stop. Don’t look back. Don’t wait for me. You get to that fence, you get yourselves across and in the woods, you got it?”

“Where will you be?” Liz asked, shifting Josh’s weight as she turned to peer into Matthew’s eyes.

“Right behind you.”


“I’ll be right behind you.” 

“Alright,” Liz sighed. This was no time for an argument. Matthew knew what he was doing and she needed to help Josh. She watched as he stepped outside first. Checking the area, he signaled to them the coast was clear and she glanced at her prone friend before taking a deep breath. Just as Matt had instructed, Liz took off, running as fast as possible with the added load weighing her down.

They got to the fence in just under a minute and tossed their bags over the wall. Matthew instructed Liz to go first. She took the fence with well-practiced ease, hopping down on the other side within seconds. Leaning his weapon against the fence, Matthew helped Josh make the climb while Liz covered them. He only complained once as he struggled to pull himself to the top with one arm.

Under the cover of fog, Matthew led them forward. Gravel and dry leaves crunched beneath their feet as they moved towards the road. The dirt path was narrow. Drooping, barren branches of nearby ash and pine trees reached out with their prickly tendrils, scuffing their arms and anything else they could grab.

The menacing moon was sheltered by the shadowy, looming clouds. It was an unpleasantly cold night; telling of the coming winter. Their escaped breaths gathered in puffs in front of their mouths as they moved along in the darkness. A chilly breeze swept over them and Josh shivered against Liz.

Alerted by the sound of a twig snapping, Matthew quickly stopped and motioned for the others to do the same. “Wait here,” he spoke tensely. An anxious and uneasy feeling came over him as he stepped into the clearing.

He gestured to Liz to watch their rear as he investigated the noise. The sounds of the gunfight from before had all vanished and were replaced by the droning murmur of night life. Taking a steadying breath, he aimed his rifle towards a cluster of trees and waited. “Don’t shoot,” a voice shouted from beyond the forest as Matthew’s laser sight set on its target. “It’s me.”

“Miah?” Matthew asked, squinting into the darkness as the figure stepped out of the shrubs. “What the hell are you doing over there? I thought you were with Elise and Roni.”

“I was,” he swallowed hard, moving closer to the group. “We were attacked by zombies. We got separated.”


“I have no idea where they went.”

“You ok?”

“Yeah, yeah. I managed to get out alright.”

“Did you see Nat?”

“No. It was just me, Nina, Elise and Roni. I haven’t seen Natalie since the meeting.”

“Damn it,” Matthew growled. Where are you? He lowered his weapon and beckoned Jeremiah over. “Let’s get going, we need to get the hell out of here while we still have the night to cover us.”

They walked for a few hours, sticking to trails and dirt paths just barely hidden by woods. The sun peeked out over the broken city, capturing everything with a streak of gold. Matthew sighed, admiring the sunrise with great concentration knowing this could very well be his last. They reached Cabot Creek city limits and Matthew’s alertness increased, centered on the road ahead as he sheltered the group behind him.

The deserted highway stretched out in front of them, surrounded by the burnt shells of buildings and abandoned cars. Overgrown trees and bushes speckled the scenery, sprouting through cracks in the pavement making the streets unusable. Matt’s breathing halted as he noticed something moving out of the corner of his eye, and for a moment he froze, too afraid to look in case it was one of them. Slowly, his gaze moved to his right. It was a man, pushing at the front door of a small home. Their eyes met and he waved frantically towards him.

“Help! Help me!” he yelled, rushing out to the road in front of the group. He was being followed by three ravenous flesh-eaters and Matthew quickly placed himself in front of the others as they drew near. Taking aim, he dropped each zombie within seconds of one another. The man pulled himself from the ground and hurried for them. “Thank you!” he said, out of breath and frantic. “Thank you so much!”

“You live around here?” Matthew asked, still hopeful of finding a place for them to rest soon.

“No. No, I’m…my family and I were on vacation and we got separated. I have no idea where…damn,” he hissed in pain, interrupting his story as he touched a spot on his shoulder. He pulled his fingers back, covered in blood and Matthew immediately took a step back.

“You’re hurt?”

“Yeah,” the man said, “I think one of them bit me.”

“You think? Turn around,” Matthew instructed and waited for the man to comply. He did as told, lifting his shirt so that the wound could be examined.

“Is it bad?” he asked.

“Yeah…it’s bad.” Matthew pointed his weapon at the back of the man’s head. He turned in time to see the barrel aimed right between his eyes and before his mouth could form the words, Matthew pulled the trigger. The man dropped in a heap and the group stepped around him, continuing on their way.

It wasn’t long before they were back on Main Street and heading towards the Joe Mason Bridge. “Look there,” Miah pointed at something near the left of the road. Taking a few more steps, Matthew caught sight of what he was referring to. It was a woman, standing on top of an abandoned car surrounded by zombies.

“Stay back,” he instructed and started forward. Dropping to one knee, Matthew took careful aim and fired. The first zombie fell. Blood as black as mud and just as thick splattered against the back window. The two nearest the front bumper turned at the sound and Matthew whirled his rifle towards them. Two more shots, two more zombies on the ground. The woman on the top of the car hesitated, seeing the monsters’ heads exploding. She had no idea if the fire was friend or foe but in her experience, it was usually the latter. Making herself small, she waited for the remainder of the mob to be shot back before attempting to climb down.

“STOP!” Matthew’s voice erupted in front of her as he charged forward, weapon aimed at her head. “Stay right where you are.”

“Don’t shoot, please!” Nicole placed her hands in front of her protectively as if her arm would somehow stop a bullet.

“Who are you?” Matthew asked, keeping his weapon trained at her head.

“M-my name’s Nicole. Nicole Parker. My friends…” she paused, the last word she spoke turned bitter on her tongue. “You can call me Nikki.”

“Are you infected?”

“No,” she replied, shaking her head emphatically.

“Then why’s your hand bandaged? Were you bitten?”

“No,” she again insisted. “I’m fine.”

“Show us!” Matthew wasn’t backing down. He hadn’t meant to be so bossy, but damned if he’d let someone near him or the group that could potentially kill them all. 

With a sigh, Nicole began unwrapping the bandage from around her wrist, turning it a few times to show them all she was uninjured. “I sprained it jumping out of the second-story window of my townhouse when my neighbor…” she didn’t have to finish the sentence for the others to get the gist.

“What about the rest? Roll up your sleeves and your pant legs,” Matthew demanded, ignoring the annoyed look on the girl’s face. Once he was satisfied, he lowered his firearm and helped her down from the top of the car.

“Thanks. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been passed this morning. People are so different now. They just…don’t help.”

“It’s every man for himself,” Matthew agreed. “I’m Matt, that’s Liz, Josh and Miah.”

“It’s nice to meet you. Your friend doesn’t look so good,” she said, glancing at Josh and the way he was draped over Liz’s shoulder. “Did he get…?”

“He’s fine,” Matthew said abruptly, putting an end to the line of questions that would follow. “Let’s get moving. We need to get off the street and out of the open.”

The two-story farmhouse rose from the sloping rear lawn, blocking out the burning sun and a chunk of clear blue sky. The yellow porch light highlighted weather-beaten trim, revealing of a paint job desperately needed. Weeds and tall grass had grown over much of the dry dirt and became the perfect breeding ground for rats and other rodents.

“Wait here, I’ll check it out,” Matthew said as he made his way up the small dirt path towards the door. The air that swept over him smelled of hayrides and bonfires and a little piece of home that made him frown. It had been a while since those thoughts had entered his head. And it would be a while longer before he allowed himself to go to that dark place of sadness and regret.

Matthew circled around the brown painted walls covered in dust and spider webs towards the back, checking for any open entrances as the others waited out on the country road that fronted the property. The area was so remote it gave him hope that if the place worked out, no one could possibly roll up on them unheard. Slowly he opened the door, holding his breath as he waited to find what horrors loomed on the other side.



The polls are now open. Vote for your chance to control the action! Remember, you can add your own choice to the plot through the comments section or the poll below. Polls close at 12 noon EST tomorrow and reopen at 8 pm EST.


  1. Damn, Josh took one to the shoulder. I really hope the compound burns to the ground before those assholes that attacked can get any supplies. LOL They are such bastards.

    Matthew is back in full on survival mode shooting people without a second thought. Guess it's good he didn't just leave Josh behind since he's wounded now. He needs to get that wound tended too and quick. He can't afford to lose too much more blood or he will get left behind. :(

    Glad Miah hooked up with a group. I do hope that they find Natalie soon.

    1. Haha they should not be rewarded for their brutal attack. I agree. Sucks the group was run out of the compound but they really should have been a little more on guard.

      Very true! So far he's been holding up. But you can bet the moment he takes a turn, he'll be staring down the barrel of Matt's gun. Hopefully they find a place to rest and some medical aide for him soon.

      Miah's been found. Maybe soon Nina will too.

      Thank you for reading :)

  2. WOW, Matthew is going to get a punch soon I think from someone, ok, he doesn't anyone else to get infected; but come on!!!

    Poor Josh, I hope he gets some rest and that would looked at too so that he can recover quickly. Liz is so great to be carrying him through everything when it could have been easier to just dump him for the 'sake of the group'.

    Hoping they can all regroup soon... this isn't looking good with everyone so scattered about. No one seems to be able to focus while they're looking for each other, and to me, that's not really a good situation to be in :(

    1. Matthew has a one-track mind. Right now his only concerns are getting to a safe location and finding Natalie. Anything that interferes with these goals will be met with hostile and deadly force.

      Josh has become a bit of a liability but while he still breathes air the group will not abandon him. Plus, he was kinda shot because Matt and Liz abandoned him at the front by himself while they went off in search of Natalie. There could be some guilty feelings there as well.

      Very true! It is bad to be worried about someone you care about in times like this. You never think straight and it can certainly lead to dangerous situations.

      Thank you for reading :)

  3. Ah, I feel like such a jerk. If I hadn't been late to the party I think I would've voted on zombie farmers, just because that thought amuses me immensely, hahaha.

    1. Hahaha that would have been interesting. So far everyone's been riding it out safely. I can't wait until the danger starts :D The vote choices will become harder soon and then there will be no escape >:)

      Thank you for reading :)