Remnant Memories

Chapter 1: The Horde

Fast footsteps pounded through the parking lot, tennis shoes thundering. Andy ran as fast as he could. His heartbeat throbbed in his ears. Just make it to the school’s gate. Make it to the front gate and I’m safe. Andy gripped the shotgun in his sweating hands, stumbling on the concrete.

Loud grumbles exploded from behind him. Andy risked a glance. Animated corpses followed close behind him. Zombies. They reached out decomposing arms, their yellow fingernails scraping at a chance to get at this running meal. Andy turned his head around and had to catapult himself across a pothole. One misstep could cost his life.

Closer to the gate, Andy slowed. He banged on the giant gates, his knuckles white. “HELP!” He didn’t know what else to scream. “RYDER! DON! PLEASE! ANYONE OPEN THE GATES!” Suddenly, the 11 foot gates shook, throwing themselves outward. Andy slipped inside, and could only watch as the horde drew near. “C-Close- CLOSE THEM! CLOSE THE GATES!” He screamed. They shook again.

But too late. The horde was almost at the gates. Andy stared on in horror. That’s when he remembered the gun he held. He grabbed at the bullets in his pocket. They scattered on the ground and he scrambled for them. Andy stuffed the shotgun with the red and yellow bullets. He shuttered, looking up. The gate was barely starting to close and the undead were drawing closer.

Andy fired shots crazily, pushed back by the firepower. The air crackled and blood poured onto the ground. First, a miss. Then, a leg flew off one of the corpses. It stumbled, falling and causing a domino effect behind it. Soon the zombie was crushed under the rest of them. Next, a headshot. It’s skull shattered and brains flew. Andy trembled and shock as sickly hands reached towards him. CLUNK. The gates closed.

Three zombies somehow made it inside. Andy fell back onto the hard concrete. He trembled as they limped closer. Suddenly, Don came running, axe in hand. He chucked it into the head of one of the zombies, it gurgled in protest as it dropped to the ground. Don swiftly grabbed the axe, yanking it from the undead’s skull, causing dark red to spray into the decorative bushes. After clamped in his hand, Don swung the axe at the second zombie. It caught in it’s shoulder, turning around. He quickly kicked it onto the ground and dragged the axe across its neck. It grunted and growled at him, but soon silenced.

The third zombie was now directly on top of Andy. He looked to Don, who was almost 20 feet away. Too far to aim and hit. Andy writhed, trying to get away from the monster as tears streamed down his face. It’s unhinged jaw lunged for him. Andy yelped as blood splattered his face. The corpse fell onto his lap and he pushed it away. He scurried away. Andy looked up at the sniper tower. Ryder stood with a thumbs up, holding his gun. Don finally approached Andy, and held out a hand for him.

He took it and let out a breath he didn’t realize he was holding. “What the heCc were you doing out there?” Andy turned around to see Toni. His head hung loose. Andy knew he’d get a real good scolding after this.

Chapter 2: On Your Own Now

Toni scowled. Her arms were crossed at the chest. Well, almost. She pointed at him with her good arm. “You think you can just sneak out and get off scot free?” Andy slunk into his seat. She slammed her calloused hand onto the table. He flinched.

“I understand teenage rebellion, I knew you’d do something soon. But, i thought you were going to steal some pudding from the cafeteria, maybe break a window or two and force us to board it up, not, i don’t know, throwing yourself into a WORLD FULL OF MONSTERS??” Her raised voice echoed throughout the classroom.

Andy stayed silent. “I’m not mad,” She lowered her voice to a calmed murmur. “I AM FURIOUS. You could have gotten yourself killed! ” She lashed out. Her voice grew somehow more bitter. “LOOK AT ME WHEN I’M TALKING TO YOU, BOY!” When he still was quiet, Toni continued, sighing.

“I just have one question. Why? Why would you want to leave the school grounds? By yourself- No one to protect you -And for what? Nothing! All you did was waste a few bullets-” Andy abruptly cut her off.

“-THAT’S WHY,” He almost growled. “Everyone here thinks I’m useless. You all think I can’t fend for myself- that’s why I went out to prove myself.” He kicked his feet. Toni put a hand on her forehead, rubbing her temples. “Andy, I’ve tried to be patient with you. This might be a hard pill to swallow now, but I’m gonna have to ask you to suck it up.” She leaned into him, her hot breath in his face.

“You. Are. Incompetent.” Andy’s eyes stung as he could feel tears starting to bead. He’d overheard talk and gossip, but no one had actually said anything to his face. “You never are able to do what is asked of you, even the most simple of tasks. You can’t aim for your life- literally. You’re one job, bagging up supplies, is even too hard for you. Christ sake, MILANA does that better than you! And she’s 11! I mean, there’s a whole list of things you are awful at. You can’t seem to get anything right. And that’s a fact, Jack. So while I figure out what to do with you, go sit in your bunk and think about what you’ve done.” She pointed to the door, fuming.

Andy reluctantly stood and walked out of the room. He wiped a sleeve across his eyes. He couldn’t let everyone know they were right. Andy dragged his feet down the hallway. It echoed with each step. His room seemed a thousand feet away.

As he walked, Andy looked through windows and doors. His mind wandered. What do I have to do? I’m already bending over backwards for these guys, when are they gonna realize that I’m important? His face scrunched up in frustration. At least I know the basics. I know what’s good and what’s not good to eat. I know where the safest places are. Heck, they could send me out on my own right now, and I’d do just fine by myself. I just got a little unlucky, is all.

Finally, Andy stopped and looked up at his door. Room 326. He sighed. Andy shared a “bedroom” with four other people. Children, more like. He placed a hand on the silver door knob and slowly opened the door. A Norf Or Nothing™ foam bullet flew his way. It stuck tight on the door. As per usual, the room was a mess.

5 cots that were usually spread out were all packed together. Rikesh was on the ground, pretending to be in agony. Milana stood over him, talking into a fake walkie-talkie. “MAN DOWN! MAN DOWN, HE’S HURT!”” She screamed, trying to hide her smile. Cohan sat up from behind one of the cots. “THEY’RE CLOSING IN!!”

Zach stood to the side, trash can lid in hand. “WE’LL NEVER MAKE IT OUT ALIVE!” He screamed. Cohan shot foam bullets in every direction. Andy barely had time to dodge one coming in his direction. It flew into the hallway, hitting Abby in the side. She tripped in surprise, dropping all the first aid kits she held. Andy raced to her side, trying to help.

“No, Andy, it’s fine. I got it,” She grimaced. Andy pulled away, hurt.

(write more stuff in between here ok? ok.)

Andy took a step out of the school’s gates. He turned around, facing the group. No one even spared a pitying glance. Even Toni avoided eye contact. As he turned around though, he could feel their burning stares. Andy adjusted his bag and took a deep breath. He might never see these guys again. But, he decided, that was fine because Andy knew he would be fine on his own.

He turned one last time to give a weak smile. “See you,” He waved with flimsy fingers. From then on, as agreed with by himself and his group, Andy would have to survive on his own.

Chapter 3: Feels Like Home

Andy held a small hatchet in his left hand. It was a spare that Don had gifted him at his farewell party. Not much of a party, really, He thought. His legs were iron as he walked across the barren parking lot. The hairs along his arms and neck rose as he stared into the distance. Andy stepped onto the street. Bodies were sprawled across every speed bump and road sign.

Not looking back, Andy continued his journey forward. He knew he’d have to find a safe place soon. Another school would be nice, but the only other one Andy knew about in his area was a town over. He couldn’t find his away around his own town, much less a new one. As he walked, Andy thought of what to do next.

What were some of the safest buildings again? Um.. I think it was a jail.. A bank.. Treehouses are pretty safe.. And libraries? Libraries! Andy perked up. I know where the library is, I used to go there with John and Bailey to study! Of course, we never actually studied. He smiled at the thought. I hope the librarian is still alive, she was pretty chill. Mrs. Clemons, I think, was it?

An ear-piercing screeching noise made Andy jump. He looked to his right, and saw a zombie, crushed underneath a car’s wheel. It’s nails scratched the paint off of the car as he squirmed for Andy. It looked like it was trying to growl and snarl, but nothing came out. He winced as he looked down and finally took in the the gorish scene.

Intestines were strung almost decoratively onto the car’s tire. Flies swarmed what were once the insides of a man. Andy tasted the bitter bile in the back of his throat, but he forced it down. Instead, he turned right around and kept walking. He wasn’t going to waste his precious daylight hours vomiting over a little blood.

He stay desperately still as the monster crept closer. It’s now or never! Gathering all the willpower he could find, Andy grasped his hatchet and swung in the direction of the zombie. Dead miss. It bellowed as it took a step forward. The color drained from Andy’s face. Weakly, he kicked at the beast, which did almost nothing.

Finally, he was able to muster up enough strength to punch it square in the jaw. The zombie stumbled backwards, banging against the metal garage and landing on loose electrical wires. The power of the zombie’s fall sent rainwater showering from the gutters above. The air soon smelled of burning, rotten flesh. Andy took a shaky breath. I’m alive, and that’s all that matters.

Andy shivered in the cold, but lit up once he turned the corner. Thankfully, the county library wasn’t more than 20 blocks away from the school. He ran up to the front steps, grinning at his shoes. I did it! I found this place all by myself!

Andy took a shuddering breath, preparing himself to see the happy librarian smiling down at him. Her son, Damon there, too. He opened the metal doors. The smell of old books flooded his senses. But, as he took another step inside and closed the door behind him, something else filled his nostrils. The rotten scent of decaying flesh. Andy’s heart dropped as he noticed motion to the right of him.

The old librarian leaned over the counter, grunting and hissing. She raked the air with her deadly claws. Mrs. Clemons didn’t look quite like herself. As he started closer, she now thrashed violently for him. Andy noticed slashes over her arms and chest. Her skin bubbled with diseased pus. He whimpered as he remembered the woman’s sweet smile. I can’t just leave her here. What if she climbs over the register while I’m sleeping?

Andy stared down down at the hatchet held in his shaking hands. Aim for the head.. He thought as he raised the weapon over his head. Andy stood still as a brick wall for what seemed like hours. Finally, the cracking of bone echoed throughout the library as he swung the hatchet through the monster’s skull.

Blood sprayed down, and the librarian fell limp. Andy shook as he retrieved his weapon, although he wasn’t cold anymore. Next, his mind jumbled, Dispose of the body. He tried to stay as emotionless as possible while performing the act. Andy hesitantly moved forward and grabbed the corpse’s leg, choking back yesterday’s lunch.

A trail of blood followed as he dragged the body outside. He glanced down at the forest downhill from the library. Throwing her in a ditch is plain inhumane… First checking that the coast was clear, Andy positioned the dead woman against the left wall of the library. Zombies stood on the horizon. He needed to get back inside before they noticed him.

He ran back inside and slammed the heavy doors. He threw himself to the wall and slid down. Andy fell silent, realizing his mistake, and half-expected a tsunami of zombies to come running from the back of the building.

Gladly, the rest of the library was as quiet as him. Right, people don’t like libraries. He stared first at the ceiling, then the rest of the library. “Well,” He muttered, “Better make this home.”

Chapter 4: Tidying Up

Andy stared up at the library’s loft. It had been closed off since Damon fell off pretending to be a bird and broke seven bones. He chuckled at the memory. High up and a retractable ladder. “Perfect,” He smiled. Andy stood, brushing off his jeans,. Carefully, he made his way up the ladder.

One foot after the other, one step, then to another. Andy hauled himself up with both arms. Dusty bean bag chairs and tiny bookshelves sat on the wooden floor. He reached down and pulled the ladder up. The ladder scrunched up next to him. Andy grinned in satisfaction.

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