Will stepped out of his tent and poured a bucket of water on what remained of last night’s fire. He looked around for signs of life — a bird, a squirrel — nothing. He was all alone and had been for the last three days. It wasn’t the first time he’d been by himself, but the last three days felt like the longest and loneliest since the zombies destroyed his mom and dad.
The day the zombies invaded his home, he personally blew up every last one. There had been fifty or sixty of them swarming through the house. He managed to get a hold of some grenades in his dad’s tool shed. He climbed to the top of the tree and threw the grenades at the house. The house exploded. Arms and legs flew through the air. After it was over, he remained in the top of the tree and sobbed for a long time before falling asleep. When he woke a few hours later, it was dark, and he was alone.
He was only eight years old but would have to fend for himself. He could hear the faint moaning in the distance and knew there were more zombies out there. He was weary and wanted to quit. But he couldn’t quit — not until he killed every last zombie or died trying.
Behind him a branch snapped. He pulled out his rifle and whirled around.
Sylvie stood beside a bush with her hands in the air.
Will lowered his weapon and ran to her. They wrapped their arms around each other.
“I thought they got you,” Will said. “Where have you been?”
“I blew up a swarm of zombies and I hid in an abandoned shack in the woods,” Sylvie said. “After we got separated, I thought you were dead.”
“Well, at least we’re both okay,” Will said. “Have you seen anymore zombies?”
“No. At first I heard them moaning near the shack. But then I heard them go the other way.”
“We need to be careful. Those zombies could come out of any tree or bush. Even out of the ground.”
“One time I saw one fall down from the sky,” Sylvie said.
“Yeah. And he was wearing purple underwear. I think maybe when he died he had been buried in his purple underwear.”
“I’ve seen those before. They’re the most vicious.”
“At the shack I found some more grenades and bullets,” Sylvie said.
“That’s great. I need more for my rifle. I’m also out of recharged power packs for my laser gun.”
“I found some of those, too.”
“Good. I’m glad we found each other again. I don’t know what I’d do by myself, Sylvie. I couldn’t have gotten this far without you.”
Sylvie hugged Will. “I couldn’t have gotten here without you, either.”
A moaning from behind the trees startled them. They looked up as a zombie charged towards them. Will pulled out his rifle and fired. The zombie shattered into a million pieces.
“That was close,” he said.
“It wasn’t enough,” Sylvie said. “Look.”
The zombie pieces shook like Pop Rocks, and each piece expanded and formed into their own zombies.
“Oh no!” Will shouted. “Regenerating zombies!”
Ten, twenty, thirty zombies came to life, and circled Will and Sylvie.
“Quick!” said Sylvie. “Use everything you’ve got.”
They threw grenades and fired their rifles and laser guns. Sylvie threw a nuke.
Utter chaos surrounded them. Zombies broke apart and regrew into more zombies. Will and Sylvie had faced major attacks before but nothing like this. Will picked up a grenade and leaned back.
“Will!” a voice yelled.
Will whirled around and faced his mother standing in the doorway.
“Go wash up,” she said. “Dinner’s ready.”
“Okay,” Will said.
He tossed his backpack to the floor and Nerf guns spilled out. The war with the zombies would have to wait another day.
© Natalie Goodwin, 2019