I’m not going to say I was brave or reckless. I was just hollow inside. If this failed, then at least I had attempted to help Adam. If I went down with a mob of undead piling on top of me to sink blackened teeth into my soft flesh, then so be it. The outcome for Adam would still be the same – whatever that was to be, whether I had done this or not. At least in doing it there was some semblance of hope. Some shining glimmer like that of a star on a dark night that you can only see when you look to one side of it and use your peripheral vision.
When I opened that door I couldn’t believe the stench. I mean, I’ve lived with the smell of decaying rot for seven years now, but this made me physically gag. It was pitch black, but I knew the vague direction – straight ahead. I just didn’t know what was between me and that door at the far end, but knew for a fact, and due to the squelching shuffles around the space that there were a number of things lurking in wait for me.
I took a step forward and closed the door behind me with an audible thunk. This resulted in a shifting of bodies somewhere nearby. Between me and the windows down the side of the carriage, I could see black shapes against the lightening sky. It was still not dawn yet, but there was a hint of grey outside compared to the total black inside. I took an inching step forward and my foot squelched into something. I didn’t let my mind consider what it might be, but brought my other foot up to the heel of my first. I shuffled once more. The stench was unbearable and I swallowed the huge lump in my throat for fear of retching and brining attention to myself.
My hip hit the back of the first seat. I was not heading straight, so I re-aligned the map in my brain and pressed on. Nothing had grabbed me yet. Nothing had tried to lick my face or taste my brains. There was a shuffling of feet in front of me and I froze. This was madness. What seemed like several lifetimes roughly sewn together, but in reality was probably mere seconds later, I started moving again. I got a few more feet into the carriage.
There was a wet, sucking sound over my left shoulder. Like somebody peeling a slice of toast with honey that had landed jam-side-down from the floor. I staggered forward. My foot hit an object. A wet, soft, pliable object – my minds eye immediately conjured up the image of a skinless body.
Something cold, wet and slimy then dripped down the back of my neck. That was it! My last nerve shattered and I charged forward, stumbling over whatever that object was in front of me. A hand grasped at the back of my shirt and I freaked. I thrashed my way forward swinging my rebar wildly in front of me. A moaning sound in my ears started down low and rose up to a scream – shouting incoherently. It was my own voice. My arms flailed out in front of me and swiped aside upright bodies that felt like leather covered in wet treacle. I slammed face first into the door at the end. I didn’t realise what it was at first. It was just an object in my way as I tried to escape the carnage and horrors behind me.
My hand slid down and found the handle. I jerked it open and the fresh air of the next carriage hit me like a bouquet of summer flowers.
I had made it through without a scratch, so far. The horrors lying ahead were equally terrifying, but at least I had incentive. There was now a horde of hungry flesh eaters behind me looking to sup on my wobbly bits, and if not, simply infect me with their hideous diseases – and not in a pleasant way either.