"There is news of an outbreak in Atlanta, Georgia. The disease is said to kill the host within half an hour, then affecting the neurons of the brain, taking control of the newly diseased body." The news reporter's concerned voice rang out over the TV in the posh Texan home. Ashley and Mitchel West watched in amusement and poked fun at it. "It's like those old zombie horror movies." Mitch scoffed. Ashley had slightly more concern. "Yeah, sounds like." She said. Nikki, their oldest daughter, paid half minded attention as she tended to their younger child Chris. He was six, she was seventeen.
"Zombies?" She asked. They didn't pay any attention to her, as always. She and Chris were both always ignored. The only time they got attention was when their parents were showing them off to their friends and using them for their own benefit. "How about we call Jessica and Mike to bring Samantha over and we wait out the storm?" Ashley proposed. Mitch nodded, picking up the phone. Nikki smiled and squatted down to Chris's height. "Hey guess what? Sam's coming over for a play date," she said. "It might last a couple days too."
Chris's blue eyes lit up excitedly. "Really?" He squeaked. "Yes, really." Nikki insured. As Sam's family lived nothing but a couple houses down they walked there in no time, it was a rich suburban like town where you could almost walk to any destination. Sam ran to Chris and giggled, tapping his shoulder and saying "tag!" Before taking off to different destinations in the house. She was a year younger than him, but they'd been friends all their lives. Nikki never thought kids their age could even make friends yet, always believing it took a few years before they knew how to make friendships.
Chris gasped and ran after her, to their parents' annoyance. Their parents got angry and banished them to go to the upstairs area and not come downstairs until they said so. The two kids were obviously upset at this, but they obliged and went upstairs. "That's unfair," Nikki spat angrily at Mitchell, who was the one to order the youngsters away. "Excuse me?" He said. The one time he'd pay any mind to her other than showing her off was when she was making him look bad. "You heard what I said." She snarled a lip at him and ran up the stairs to join the children so they weren't all alone.
They could still hear everything being said downstairs, and things like this continued for a couple weeks. As the kids were sitting in the bedroom floor playing cars, Nikki listened to the tv downstairs. The walls were thin, so when the rest of the house was quiet it was easy to hear anything from anywhere in the place. "The outbreak has spread worldwide, taking almost three billion lives, that is nearly half of the world's population." The lady's voice said. She was a reporter, so she was attempting to keep calm, but even from the room Nikki could make out what was being said.
"The government isn't going to take care of it like we thought," Mike said, looking out the window and seeing that the rest of the town was practically destroyed. Zombies were everywhere. "We're going to die, aren't we?" He said. At that, Nikki was done listening. "How about you two pick a movie from the shelf that we can watch together?" She prompted. The two looked up at her and nodded vigorously, running to the shelf in the hallway to search through the movies. The parents had bought enough kiddie movies to keep them occupied before. They chose Balto, which is good because that was her favorite growing up and she still watched it from time to time, and it wasn't something annoying like the damn Bee Movie. She laughed and sat them down on the bed, running and getting them each a bag of chips and some water from the kitchen, closing the door and turning it on.
It kind of felt normal again. Just this one moment of them hanging out and watching a movie. But it didn't last long. Ashley had realized that the zombies were closing in, and she'd come to see if the kids were okay, one true act of kindness. When she saw they were all in one room watching a movie, she put a chair under the doorknob so that nothing could get in to them, and they couldn't get out. The kids didn't notice it, but Nikki did. She heard a loud clash from downstairs and several screams. The loud growling and snarling of something inhuman. After the first scream went off, that's when the kids noticed. "Nikki?? What was that?" Chris asked innocently. "I want you both to cover your ears and start singing your abcs as loudly as you can." She said, not wanting them to be traumatized by the sounds of their family being torn apart.
As they began their song without questioning it, because the minds of kids were easily manipulated and she took advantage, she attempted to leave the room to see if they could find an escape- and she couldn't even get the door to budge. "Fuck." She said aloud, not meaning to curse in front of them, but it was a stressful situation. She couldn't help it. She doubted they even noticed because of their song. She struggled to open it for what felt like hours, but was really several days, but eventually stopped after hearing the clawing and banging on the door as the zombies attempted to break in. The chair was stable, and didn't collapse, even under their pressure. The kids were scared, but Nikki told them it was a game and that their parents were trying to scare them, so they shouldn't be scared. They all made the chips and water last as long as possible, but it wasn't enough. It lasted the scarcely for a week, and another week later they had grown severely ill. They were dehydrated and starving. The kids did nothing but sleep, Nikki was struggling to keep them alive. They were smaller, so they needed more care, so she had gotten almost nothing the first week when they had a little bit to live off of.
She was giving up hope, realizing death was coming. She tried her best to make the children comfy, trying to help them. "I love you both, I'm so sorry." She said weakly. Her voice was hoarse and her throat was dry. Someone had heard her cry. She heard a weird sound of a chair scrapping against the floor outside the door and saw the doorknob twisting. She didn't know what to expect- a person or a zombie. But after a moment of hesitation on both ends, the door opened. Rudy Davis walked in, his gun aimed directly at her, as he thought she was one of the dead.
"Dear lord, Nikki.." he said, in terror. He was an ex-cop turned school janitor from her school. "How long have you been here?" He saw the kids and quickly put his gun away, hoisting them into his arms. "Can you walk?" He asked. "I don't know.. yeah." She weakly and shakily stood up. She could walk, but it was hard. "Then come with me." He led them down the road to his house, which was excruciating for Nikki. Every step she took felt like she was stepping closer to death. "Just a little farther," he coaxed her. He wanted to carry her too, but couldn't risk slowing down. The kids couldn't last much longer.
He kept them safe in his home for as long as he could, the zombies slowly closing in. It was funny to Nikki. He didn't call them zombies, he called the biters. As he was nursing them back to health with water, Gatorade, and whatever food he could find, he explained how he found them. "I was actually scavenging your house to see if I could find any food. But I found y'all instead. I saw the door with the chair and I was curious. Then I heard you say something... so I knew something was up. Figured it was biters inside until I heard your voice, Nikki."
As he finished saying that, he saw a boy out the window being chased by biters. "Shit. Dumbass kid," he sighed, getting up. "I'll be back, stay here." By now they were all a little more healthy and could walk and talk again, and they nodded as he ran outside to help the boy. "You!" He yelled. "Come to me!" He ordered, and the teen ran to him and they ran inside. "You dumbass! Now they're gonna be tryna get in the place!" Rudy scolded. Nikki saw the boy and ran to him, throwing her arms around him. "Reed!" She said smiling. "Hey, baby," He said.
Rudy scoffed, realizing he was the stupid boyfriend of hers. "Why are you here?" He asked. "You don't live here." "I came to see if Nikki was okay," he said, looking her over. "I'm glad you are." She smiled and kissed his cheek. "Same for you!" Rudy interrupted the meeting once more. "Did they bite you? Or scratch you?" He questioned. "No." Reed responded quietly, shaking his head. Rudy didn't really trust him, as he had already grown protective of the three. "Alright. Then you can stay." He looked out the window at the biters who had grown interest in the home. "We can stay until the kids are well enough to travel. It's not safe here anymore." Rudy explained, side eyeing Reed.
Another week or so later they left, meeting Grim on their journey. Again, Rudy was skeptical of the man but chose to let him stay. Bad decision. They found a "safe zone", which was a cabin in the middle of nowhere, and they built fences around it. "You know, I think this could be the world's idea of giving us humans a redemption." Grim said, "like nature's natural selection. Anyone who can't contribute to society should die off," with those words he glanced at the kids, but only Rudy caught the glance. "I think it's an apocalypse. Not an 'if you can't help then you die.' Situation." He said. Reed shrugged. "I kind of follow Grim on that. I mean if you can't contribute then you do end up dead. I mean look, we've survived off of helping each other."
Grim smiled. "I like this kid!" He laughed. Rudy shook his head. "So, What would you do if you were living and someone didn't contribute?" "Then they would be slowing me down, so I would kill them." Grim responded without hesitation. This pissed Rudy off. "That isn't any way to live. If you just go around killing everyone then the biters really will take over the world, there wouldn't be enough humans to fight back." "Look around you, man. The zombies already took over. There are hardly any humans left." He said, smirking. Reed nodded. "And if we could just get all of the competent people together and form one huge alliance, we could possibly beat the dead."
Rudy shook his head angrily. "Still no way to go about life." Reed looked to Nikki to help him argue, but she simply shook her head. "Rudy's right. That is no way to go about life. Besides, babies and kids can't really contribute with anything at first," she said. "So we'd kill them," Grim smiled. "No." Nikki growled. "You wouldn't. Because they're the future. We need them for man kind to grow strong again." Grim glared at her, and glanced at the kids again. This time she caught the glance. "If you even think about hurting those two, I'll be the one to kill you." She turned to the kids. "Let's go in, alright?" She said. "Maybe find some soup. Are you hungry?" They both nodded and raced to the house.
The children were doing well with the adjustment, they never complained about not having baths anymore, not having a huge variety to eat, or any tv to watch. They made due with what they had. Nikki was amazed at how well they'd been taking it. The only time they ever complained was when they were really hungry and they couldn't have any food at all. That night Rudy and the others came in to rest, and Chris took Sam's hand and went to Rudy, tugging on his pant leg. "Can we tell you something Rudy?" Chris asked quietly. "In secret?" Rudy, surprised, nodded. "Of course." He knelt down to their height. Chris whispered, "Reed told us we was useless and that we was slowing you down." He said. "Are we gonna get you killed?" Sam asked. Rudy looked at them for a second.
They were five and six years old, they shouldn't even know what death was, or what it was to kill someone. Sadly they had to know about it this early even without this abuse, but Rudy was infuriated that Reed had started thrusting that upon them. "I want you two to go to your bedroom and sleep, okay?" He asked. "I'll handle it," "don't tell Nikki! She likes Reed." Chris ordered. "She'll be sad." That broke Rudy's heart even more. "Okay. I won't tell Nikki." He said. "Just go rest." The kids nodded and raced to their room to sleep. Rudy instantly found Reed and slammed him against the wall. "What the he'll do you think you're doing?" He snarled. "You told the kids that they were just slowing us down? You know what's slowing us down is the fact that you're putting that shit into their minds!" Grim came up behind him and tried to pry him off, and Rudy shoved him. "You know what? You can both leave. I tried to cooperate with you but you've gone too damn far. Leave." He ordered.
Nikki came down the stairs excitedly and was smiling until she saw this confrontation. Grim sighed, glancing at her and going to the door. "Fine, we will leave, I don't want to do this right now." He said. Reed nodded, looking at Nikki. "Come with us, we can start something together." He said. Rudy looked at her and stepped between them to speak with her for a second. "I know you love him, Nikki, and you can go with him if that's what you want. But if you go, the kids are staying with me." She looked confused, and hurt. "Why? Why are they leaving?" She questioned. "Reed told the kids they were useless. That they were slowing us down." Rudy said.
Nikki hid her hurt. She hid her anger behind a smile. "Excuse me, Rudy... but I have something to say." She gently pushed Rudy out of her way, and joined Reed, who was fooled by her smile. He thought she was joining them. She got chest to chest with him. "You made the righ-" she cut him off with a tight grab to his dick and a violent twist. He yelped loudly in pain and his knees started to give, but she held her grip. "If you show your face here again I'll kick your ass, but if you come near those children ever again, I will personally rip your dick off and shove it down your throat. Get out of my sight. NOW." She ordered.
He stumbled backwards in pain, doubling over and holding his groin. Grim snickered for a second at his pain but led him out. She turned to Rudy and wanted to cry. "I'm pregnant with his child.. what do I do..?" She held her face in shame and looked at the ground. "I was so naive.." Rudy just pulled her in for a hug and held her tight. "You'll be alright, I promise. We can make it through this together. You made the right choice." He said with a proud smile.
Several months go by without a trace of Reed or Grim, but they have heard about them, and apparently Grim was trying to build an army of his own. Just l me he was talking about during his stay. Rudy ignored it and figured they'd keep their distance for safety. Don't poke a sleeping bear with a stick. He began taking Chris and Sam out to train, letting Nikki stay and guard the house as she was heavily pregnant, and it would be hard for her to go through any training. He would take them out into a safe zone in the trees and train them to run and dodge things, to build traps for the biters, to escape and hide. He did some gun training but told them that that was a last resort, the sound drew biters closer.
One day while he was training them and Nikki was home alone, Reed came back. "Nikki.." he said quietly upon seeing her belly. "You're pregnant?" He asked. She snarled. "Why are you here?" She asked. "I came to check on you. I missed you," He said, still staring. "Go. We don't need you here." She backed into the kitchen, preparing for a fight. She knew she was in no shape to fight, but she wouldn't go with him, and she wouldn't let him take what they had. She and the kids both needed it. Her baby needed it. "We have a doctor with the shepherds." He said. "He can help you give birth and make sure the baby is okay." "I don't need a doctor, I can do it by myself."
"What if it dies? What if it's dead already?" He questioned. "What if it turned inside you and is slowly killing you?" He planted these questions in her head. "It isn't a biter. You can only get infected through bites. It's not like in the comic books." She snarled. He realized it was useless to try and talk her into coming with him. But he did realize that if he had the kid, he could train it in his image, and it would carry on his legacy. So he slowly walked towards her. "Please, Nikki," he said. She grabbed a kitchen knife and held it facing him. "I'll kill you. Leave."
He smirked. She had no training. She couldn't do anything, she didn't know how. "Go ahead, come after me." He said. Dodge, taunt, beat. Wash, rinse, repeat. He was taunting her, trying to get her to attack him. "Come on Nikki. If you're gonna stab me do it, if not the kids will come in and see you threatening me, or see you stabbing me." She wasn't falling for it. When she refused, he rushed her. He racked her to the ground and he screamed, trying to kick him off. She'd lost the knife when she fell. He punched her directly in the nose, breaking it. She screamed again in pain, the adrenaline forcing her to move fast. She threw him off with all her might and rolled to her hands and knees, stumbling to her feet and trying to find the knife. "Shit!" She screamed as Reed grabbed a fistful of hair and yanked her back.
He threw her to the ground and straddled her, pulling her shirt up above her belly and to her bra. He smirked, reaching over and grabbing the knife that had been flung under the kitchen table. He pressed its tip to her delicate skin and began to cut, letting a stream of blood spill out. Rudy was walking the kids back to the cabin when he heard her ear piercing screams. "Run to the house and go to your room as soon as we get there!" He ordered as he began running. He ran as fast as he could, the little ones falling behind. But he knew they were safe. When he got in the house it was too late. Reed had slit the poor girl's stomach open and removed the child. Rudy ran to her aid first.
"He has the baby.. find him.. save him.." she begged. She was still awake, still alert. But the scene was gruesome. Her stomach had been sliced and her organs were strewn about, blood soaking the cabin floor. He knew there was nothing he could do to help her, so he followed her order and chased down Reed, shooting his gun and hitting him in the calf. The man collapsed, twisting before hitting the ground so the infant on his chest was fine. Rudy could hear it screaming. That was a good sign that it was still alive, but it was going to draw biters. As Rudy ran, he saw the man abandon the child and book it.
It would have been too hard for him to carry a screaming child, drawing biters to himself, while being temporarily crippled. Rudy let him go, grabbing up the tiny infant and running back to the cabin. The kids were with Nikki. They were both crying but Nikki had an eerie calmness about her. "Rudy.. can you bring me my baby?" She asked weakly. He nodded, going and kneeling by her side. Via the training, Chris had known to elevate her head, so he had her head resting in his lap while Sam sat by her side. Rudy sat on her other side and rested the baby on her chest, and she held him. "He's so small.." she said weakly, her eyes swelling with tears. "His name will be.. Cameron.." she smiled up at Rudy? Then down at the baby, who had stopped screaming and was now asleep. "Make sure he knows that I loved him.. and that I wish I could have been here with him.. okay?" She said up to Rudy. Then to Chris, reaching up and letting his cheek gently, wiping his tears away. "And you.. watch over him and make sure he grows strong and healthy like you.. okay? For me.. I love you and Sammy both." She promised. Chris sniffled, nodding a little. Even at his age he understood what was happening perfectly. He knew she was dying.
Then she looked back at Rudy. She was happy, she was ready. She'd gotten to tell them she loved them, she got to hold her son, and she knew he would be safe. She just hated that she couldn't be with him in this god forsaken world. "Rudy.. I'm not gonna make it. It hurts. I need you to help me, please," she begged. He was heartbroken. He didn't want to kill her. But he knew it was mercy killing, and he had to stop her suffering. He nodded. "I love you as my own child, Nikki." He said softly, pulling out a blade. "Look away Chris. You too, Sam." He ordered, and they both did as told. Nikki made eye contact with him and gave him a tiny smile before he plunged the knife into the artery in her neck. She bled out instantly.