It was nearing the end of semester when it started. Stiles was walking back to his dorm after a class on national security when he heard screaming. Suddenly sirens sounded close to the university and Stiles saw a convoy of police speed past down the main road. Confused, Stiles shrugged it off and went to walk back to his dorm, but what blocked his path was the one thing he didn’t want to be real. The one thing.
One of his classmates, Callie, was on the ground screaming as a one-armed person - no, thing - tore into her with its fingers and teeth. Stiles took several steps back and took off into a run as soon as the thing looked up at Stiles, blood surrounding its mouth and eyes a milky white. It was a zombie, no other explanation was applicable, and Stiles soon figured out that he was screwed. He took off up the stairs, trying to outrun the zombie that was stumbling after him, snarling and groaning.
He heard more screaming from upstairs and Stiles just hoped he would survive the afternoon. He made it to his floor and hesitated, watching as fellow students were overrun with a hoard of zombies. Stiles was lucky the zombies were distracted, so he was able to get to his room without incident. He burst inside, happy to see his roommate inside with headphones on, and quickly closed the door, locking it just in case.
His roommate, David Yen looked at him with narrow eyes. Stiles’ frantic expression and desperation wasn’t lost on him and he pulled off his headphones. He watched as Stiles pulled a duffel bag from under his bed and grabbed an armful of clothes, stuffing it inside. He also grabbed a baseball bat from the end of his bed and left in on his bed as he looked around for his gun. He wasn’t supposed to have it on campus, but with what he had been through, he wasn’t taking any chances.
“What’s going on?” David asked.
“Get your stuff, we’re leaving.” Stiles told him, finding his gun and a knife under his bed, as well as a holster for his gun. He strapped the holster on and slotted his gun inside, placing the knife carefully next to it.
“I can’t, man, I’ve got an exam tomorrow.” David shrugged.
“Dude, look outside. You wouldn’t believe me if I told you what’s happening.” Stiles said. David sighed and did as Stiles asked, wheeling himself over to the window to observe the chaos.
“What the hell is happening?” David asked as he watched a zombie tackle a lecturer to the ground and take a chunk out of his leg.
“Zombies, man.” Stiles patted him on the shoulder. “Get your stuff, we’re leaving.”
“We can’t go outside, we’ll die!” David exclaimed.
“Well we’re as good as dead in here, so take your pick.” Stiles shrugged. “I’d rather take my chances out there than wait to die locked in my dorm room. I need to find out if my dad and my friends are okay.” David looked conflicted, but eventually nodded and went to pack his stuff. “Pack light!” Stiles called from the bathroom as he stuffed a few rolls of toilet paper in his bag.
David didn’t take that advice seriously and pulled out a suitcase. Stiles came back out and shook his head, pointing to the gym bag lying at the end of David’s bed. David grunted and started packing that instead.
“Do you have a weapon I can use? You seem pretty stocked up for a college student.” David asked. Stiles froze suddenly before nodding as he remembered a spare army knife that was taped under his bed frame near the head. Stiles pulled it out and gave it to David.
“We’ll find you a crowbar or something when we can.” Stiles told him. “Could be useful.” David nodded and shakily held the knife.
“Why did you have a knife taped to your bed?” David asked. Stiles gave him a look.
“Why don’t you?” He replied. David took it as Stiles not wanting to talk and let it be. “If we can get downstairs, we can hot wire a car to get us out of here.” Stiles mused aloud. “Do you have family you want to see?” He asked suddenly. David stopped and pondered the question.
“You want to go back to California right?” David asked, and Stiles nodded. “Maybe we can take a stop in Oklahoma. I’d like to know if my mom and dad are okay.” Stiles gave David a comforting smile.
“Alright, I think I’m done.” Stiles pulled the duffel bag over his shoulder and picked up his bat, taking an experimental swing. David zipped up his own bag and pulled it across his shoulders. “Ready to brave it?” He asked. David gulped but nodded.
Stiles counted down from three before tearing open the door, the two young adults coming face to face with over a dozen zombies. Stiles immediately took his bat and clobbered the head of the closest one with surprising strength, the skull cracking open immediately and pieces of brain and blood spurting out. The zombie fell to the ground and still let out a smirk as the adrenaline hit him. David stood shell shocked next to him as the zombies advanced and Stiles shoved him forward towards the stairs.
“What the hell!” David hissed as he jogged quickly down the stairs, Stiles following.
“Come on, we have to make it to the cars.” Stiles rushed. They came out on the ground floor and burst outside, a hoard of zombies trailing them, some losing their limbs as they fell down the stairs after the two. Stiles pulled David along and stopped every so often to swing his bat over the head of a nearby zombie. They made it to an older four door truck and Stiles smashed the window with his bat, cringing as the alarm went off, bringing all the nearby zombies to attention. “Shit.” Stiles cursed. “Get in!”
David got in to the passenger side while Stiles slid into the drivers side, immediately looking under the seat for the correct wires to use. David looked around the car and opened the glove box, relieved to see a set of keys sitting inside.
“Stiles!” David hissed and handed him the keys.
“Saved me some work.” Stiles grinned and started the ignition, the alarm thankfully powering down. The zombies suddenly got closer to the car, one of them clawing at the open window where David was trying to push it out. Stiles saw this and floored the accelerator, the two taking off in a screech.
Stiles let out a sigh of relief and whoop as they drove away from the university. David was scared but allowed himself to relax for a moment. Stiles took a detour from the turn to get onto the highway and pulled into a strip mall.
“What are we doing here?” David frowned.
“We need to stock up on food and water. There’s things we don’t have which we need, and luckily it seems most of the zombies have congregated around the centre of the city, so we might only run into one or two.” Stiles explained. David nodded and got out of the car with Stiles, who had his hand on his holster as they walked up to a convenience store.
They walked inside and looked around quickly, skimming the area for any threats. Once confident that they weren’t in immediate danger, Stiles picked up a shopping basket and handed it to David, picking up another for himself.
“What’s this for?” David frowned.
“Get as much as possible.” Stiles instructed. “Go for stuff that won’t go off quickly, so anything canned.” David nodded and moved over to an aisle while Stiles moved over to the next.
They gathered as much food and bottled water they could, Stiles even picking up a crowbar and a shotgun from behind the register desk, as well as the accompanying box of shells. They went to leave when they heard a click from behind. Stiles turned on his heel slowly while David dropped his basket and the crowbar to turn quickly. They were faced with a young woman, likely around their age or slightly younger, with dark auburn hair and caramel brown eyes, pale skin that was extremely freckled. Stiles quickly noted her small stature, but also the pump action shotgun in her hands, likely an RMB-93, while the shotgun Stiles had picked up was an Harrington and Richardson Pardner Pump Compact.
“Hey, we don’t want to hurt you we’re just trying to stock up.” Stiles gestured vaguely to his basket and David’s.
“Your friend’s a little shaky.” She commented.
“You would be too if your friend just dragged you into the middle of a zombie apocalypse.” David replied with a stutter.
“Hey, we’ve got room and you’re alone.” Stiles slowly put his basket and the shotgun down, raising his hands. “You can come with us.”
“You think you can survive this?” She asked with a hiss. Stiles shrugged.
“I don’t know, but I’m sure going to try.” He told her. “My name’s Stiles, this is David.” She kept her gun up. “look, we can’t work this out unless you give us something.” She frowned but nodded, lowering her gun.
“Carson.” She told him. Stiles nodded and picked his basket and the shotgun up again, gesturing for David to pick up his own basket and the crowbar.
“We can keep you alive.” Stiles told Carson as he walked out of the store and over to the truck, putting the baskets in the back with his and David’s bags. Carson pulled a backpack off her back and stuffed it in with the rest.
“For now.” Carson told him, sliding into the backseat as Stiles and David got into the front.
They drove down the highway in silence, seeing several cars doing the same thing. David was shaking in the seat next to Stiles, clearly in shock, while Carson was staring out the window, watching the houses and trees go by. Stiles kept staring in the rearview mirror as they left the city behind them, taking the 66 out of the city. Luckily Oklahoma was one of the states their intended route passed through, so they’d be able to take a pit stop to check David’s family.
They didn’t get very far down the road when they hit a block of abandoned cars. Stiles rolled the truck to a stop and grunted in annoyance. David frowned while Carson tensed. The other cars full of people they’d seen had stopped as well, some having left their cars.
“Idiots.” Carson mumbled. Stiles shook his head but left the car. “What the hell are you doing?” Carson called to him.
“We’re not going to get the car through this, but we can walk and find another car on the other side.” Stiles ducked his head back into the car. “Come on.” He walked to the trunk and opened it, seeing the baskets full of stuff. “We need to pack these into our bags or we’ll be carrying around baskets.” Stiles said as David and Carson joined him. They both exchanged glances but began stuffing whatever they could into their bags.
Soon, the three were walking over to the other group of survivors with their bags fall. Among the survivors were parents and young children, teenagers and grandparents. It wasn’t a large group, but it was sizeable. They came together near one of the cars where they had dropped all their resources, Stiles, David and Carson doing the same.
“Well then…” And old man sighed. “I didn’t think I’d live this long.” He held the arm of an old woman next to him, presumably his wife, while a teenage girl huddled into the woman’s side.
“Hi there.” Stiles greeted with a nod. “I’m Stiles, this is David and Carson.” He introduced.
“Oh!” The man smiled at them in a warm greeting. “My name’s Ross, this is my wife Alice and our granddaughter Julia.” Alice and Julia both carried a tight smile.
“Can we just move the cars?” A blonde who was wearing way too much makeup and the wrong kind of clothing for an apocalypse whined.
“Hailey, please be reasonable.” An older man next to her, likely her father, placed a hand over his forehead.
“Stiles…” David shoved Stiles’ shoulder and Stiles looked at what David was staring at. Up ahead, about to move into the sea of cars, was a hoard of zombies heading straight for them. Stiles’ eyes went wide and he moved in front of the group of survivors.
“Everyone you need to get cover now!” He said in a commanding tone. Everyone looked past him to see the hoard. A young boy let out a whimper and buried his face into his mother’s side. “Get into a car, under a car, just get somewhere relatively safe.” Stiles told them as he ushered a small group into a minivan, and the mother and child under a low truck. “Keep quiet and don’t come out until you hear me.” He said. David and Carson both ducked into the minivan with the group while Stiles ushered the rest of the survivors around. He made sure Ross, Alice and Julia were safe in a small truck like the one he had arrived in, getting them to get as low as possible, while he himself ducked into the trunk of the one he’d arrived in, keeping the door open enough for him to see.
Everything was silent besides the sounds of the undead. Their sliding feet and groaning tones passed by the group as everyone was as silent as possible. Stiles watched from the trunk as the zombies passed, they walked slow and it seemed to take at least half an hour, but they were gone without an incident. Stiles waited until they were quite a ways down the highway until he leapt out of the trunk and went to retrieve everyone.
Once everyone was back out into the open and in their group, they all chatted amongst themselves, most of them scared and wanting it to all be a dream. Stiles, David, Carson and Hailey’s father began searching through the cars for any extra supplies they might need. Hailey’s father, Henry, had found a small stash of drugs, including antibiotics, which Stiles gratefully took to place with the group’s stash. It was all going well, with David finding an extra weapon with a box of ammo, and Carson finding a box of female sanitary items, when they heard a scream.
Stiles ran over to the group where they were all trying to get a zombie off of Alice, who had already been bitten. Stiles quickly went into action and pulled Julia and Ross away, much to their protests.
“We can’t leave her!” Julia exclaimed with tears streaming down her face.
“I’m sorry.” Stiles said. He pulled his knife from his holster and quickly approached the zombie. The zombie looked up with a grunt and immediately tried to lunge at Stiles. Stiles grabbed the zombie by the shoulder and thrust his knife into its head. The zombie let out a gurgle and Stiles let it drop to the ground. He walked over to Alice, who was whimpering as she put her shaky hands over the wound on her arm. Stiles knelt down next to her.
“I’m-Going to be like-like them…” She muttered and Stiles could only nod. “Then end it.” She said with as much courage as she could muster.
“No!” Ross and Julia let out a cry in unison. Stiles gave them a look of sympathy, then back down to Alice.
“I’m so sorry.” Stiles told her, a sad smile on his face as he tried his best to rationalise what he was about to do. Stiles pulled his knife up to show Alice, and she nodded.
“Make it quick.” She whispered, letting out a cry as she shifted her arm.
Stiles let out a shaky breath before plunging his knife into Alice’s forehead, right between the eyes.