I come tearing down the street of my sister’s apartment. I throw open the door of her apartment and yell her name. She comes running out carrying a back pack. I ask her were her son is and she tells me he’s with our parents. She starts rummaging through the refrigerator.
“What the hell are you doing? Let’s go! Now!”
“I just have to find a couple of cokes.”
“Jesus Christ Pam! We’ll raid a fucking gas station. We need to go now.” I grab her back pack and start walking towards the door. We hear a loud bang on the window in her living room. We both freeze. “Are there more here than you told me?” She’s silent, and looks down ashamed. “Pamila, answer me.”
“That’s why Pat is with Mom and Dad.”
Anger fills me and I can’t find the words or energy to scream at her. I want to bash her head against the wall. She made me come to her rescue because she had no car, but failed to tell me how awful the area was.
“I promise that as soon as we find you a place to settle, I’ll leave.”
I grab her arm and drag her to the front door. I hand her the shot gun and keep the pistol for myself. “Walk behind me. When I count to 3, we’re making a run for it. Got it?” I’m still holding the shot gun, and I realize it’s because she’s holding two cans of Coke. She gives me a look as if to say “where should I put these?” “Fuck your Coke,” I yell. I smack them both out of her hands and force the gun into her left hand. “Let’s move. 1, 2, 3!” I throw open the door and we both run to the car. One of them catches up to us as we reach the car, and I shoot it between the eyes. Pam is frozen at the passenger side. After I threaten to leave her if she doesn’t get in the car in five seconds, she gets inside.

I pick up speed through the streets, ignoring stop signs. I reach my old apartment. We both look around and don’t see any of them, so we cautiously get out and make our way up the back steps. When I open the door, I see that the hallway is filled. People are banging on the doors of the 3 apartments begging to be let in, but there is no answer. I cock my gun and yell for people to get out of the way. This was the first moment I realized I would do anything for my survival. I didn’t know I had it in me, and wasn’t sure if I would actually follow through with it. No one tried me though.

I walk over to my old apartment door, and knock. I hear a woman inside yell “Go away!”

“Absolutely not! I have a gun. I can keep both of us safe! Let me in or I’ll break the door down.” There’s no answer. Right as I’m about to bust the doorknob off, Pam pulls out a key. We enter the apartment to see a woman lying in bed. I walk over to the bed to find her sobbing and the bed bloody. Her arms and legs are riddled with bite marks, some down to the bone. She’s had them for a while. I can smell her flesh decaying and almost vomit.

“I don’t want to go to sleep because I know I’ll wake up like them.” She pulls a gun from under her pillow. “It has one bullet, but I can’t get myself to pull the trigger. Please. Please do it for me.” A scream radiates through the hallway. I look back and the door isn’t shut. I run over to it, and as I’m about to close it I see a one of them standing menacingly at the end of the hall. “Oh god! Not again!” The woman is curled in a ball, writhing in pain, and shaking in fear from what she knows is in the hallway.

I slowly shut the door trying not to make a noise. Hoping it didn’t see us. I lock the door, but still press my body against it hoping to keep anything and everyone out of this small apartment. “We have to shoot her,” Pam says. “It’s the only way.” I nod, and turn my head away. I can hear the gun cock and inhale sharply. “Thank you,” the woman said. A gun shot. Then silence. (I wake up)

I’m cleaning the apartment up from the aftermath of the woman we shot. Pam is gone, she left almost a week ago. I haven’t heard anything in the hallway since then, but I won’t leave. No one has come for me, called, or tried to contact me. I’ve made a pit in the living room to burn all of the woman’s belongings. As I’m about to set fire to her sheets, I hear a faint tap at the door and freeze. Did I really hear that or is it in my head?  Tap. Tap. Tap. “Hello” I manage to choke out.
“Kelley!? Open the door.” A knot catches in my throat. “KELLEY!” There’s no way it could be him. No way. I cautiously make my to the door, gun in hand, and slowly open it. My husband comes barreling in the apartment. His Knicks shirt slightly torn and his jeans muddled with dirt and blood. His backpack and gun fly to floor. He takes no time for a “hello,” but instead grabs me and plants his lips on mine. I start crying. I want to tell him how much I hate him for leaving me. How much I’ve missed him. I want to scream at him making me do all of this without him, but I can’t speak. My voice is lost. “I couldn’t find you!” Kiss. “I thought you were gone!” He holds me with such force and intent  of never letting me go, I fear he’ll bruise me. He pushes my head into his chest and all I can do is stand there and squeeze back. I reciprocate the feeling of never wanting to leave his side again. We stand there with our arms wrapped around each other, crying for a few minutes until his hands find my face and tilt my head upward. I stare at him as he wipes my tears away and caresses my face.
(insert “I missed you” sex scene, and it jumps ahead a few days)
We’re sitting in the living room, I’m cleaning guns, and he’s playing a game on the computer. We hear a scraping noise in the hall and both perk up. He just shakes his head and goes back to his game. I put one of the guns back together just in time to see the door knob turn. I jump up and run to the door as it opens to reveal an old woman with tattered clothes in full zombie state. Her light purple blouse and dark jeans are shredded. The iris of her eyes reveal a strange golden yellow color. Her mouth is red with new blood, and her jaw has almost rotted off her skull. I yell for my husband as I’m trying to push the door closed. “Torrence! Hand me the gun!”
“You got this you’re fine. I’m in the middle of a game”
My face turns red with anger. “Get off your ass and help me.” I try to grab the gun while still holding the door in place, but it was just out of my reach.
“Nah, you’re fine. It’s just one.” He clicks away at his game. My anger grows. I can’t even grasp how I’m going to do this without letting her inside. I manage to close the door just enough that her arm is caught between the door and the frame. She tries to claw at me. I can hear her moans and hissing through the crack. She’s hungry, and nothing will stop her. In an instant I decide to tumble to the floor. I grab the gun, and roll onto my back. The door is wide open, and she cracks a smile that is something akin to a deranged serial killer and comes rushing towards me. Safety off, cocked, and squeeze. Brain matter splatters on the walls in the hallway, and the doorway to the apartment. I jump up and kick her back into the hallway with all the force I have. I slam the door shut, turn around and unplug the computer.
“What the fuck is wrong with you?” I slap him hard enough to leave a hand print on his cheek. “Seriously? ‘Nah you’re fine'” I mock him. “What the fucking fuck was that!?” I’ve punched his shoulder several times, and he just sits there.
“How else was I supposed to teach you to be quick and shoot?”
“Oh I don’t fucking know! Target practice maybe?” I hit him again. “What the fuck Torrence? She was clawing at me! Jesus you’re an idiot!”
“You got her didn’t you? You were able to formulate how to get to the floor, ready your gun, and shoot her, within a matter of seconds. We’re good. Are you done hitting me now?
“Nope.” I slap him once more, then retreat back to the floor. (I wake up)
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