I was on a bus with a group of people, trying to survive the zombie plague.
It was bad. We kept trying to find places to stop for supplies, to catch our breath, but no luck. Everywhere we went we ended up having to get away again very quickly, and almost each time we lost people. My bus had a number of kids on it. A lot of parents and families, as well as some friends of mine. I'm not sure exactly what my situation was, but apparently I'd had a little girl that I lost, because I kept hanging on to a pair of stuffed animals that reminded me of her. We drove around tensely for a while, navigating around massive construction barriers on the highways and having to nervously plow through hordes of zombies. Then, finally, we came across a survivor's camp. RVs and other buses full of people parked in a shaded, overgrown cemetery. There was a garage complex nearby, a few houses and lots of open farmland and not a zombie in sight. It seemed like a place where people were finally beginning to put things back together. We stayed there for a bit, meeting new people and spreading out.
But then, practically overnight, the plague found us. The next thing I knew, I was crowded into the garage complex with a bunch of other people--some from my bus, some not--with a horde of zombies following us. We needed to get to the bus. Some people at the back of the crowd had weapons and were just barely holding the zombies off. I was toward the front of the group, and we made our way through the building to the large garage bay doors at the front. The bus was on the other side, across a small open lot. We heard the zombies before we saw them. The garage doors were closed, but the zombies were doing everything in their power to get their hands underneath and pry open those doors. It sounded like a huge horde. When we looked out a window above the doors (via a ladder or something), we were dismayed to see that it was a HUGE horde of zombies. Worse, we even recognized people in the horde.
It was at that point when I really started to feel like we weren't going to get out alive. And strangely, I had a calmness about it. There I was, trying to hold down one of the garage doors while zombie fingers plucked at my hands and ankles, while the horde outside made so much noise I couldn't hear much of anything else. Other people were defending other garage doors, and some guys with guns were beating back the zombies that had discovered the small side doors and were bashing through them, all while another bunch of zombies were at our backs, and I just thought to myself, "We're not going to make it. They're going to get us. There's no way they're not going to get us all."
Except, they didn't. The guys at the side doors started fighting back. They went out and cleared a bunch of zombies. The zombies at our backs never got through. I never found out what happened there, but it seems like the zombies just kind of gave up and backed off. When I looked out the high window again, the lot between us and the bus was practically clear, and I saw other surviving groups making a dash for their own vehicles.
Then we decided to make a run for it. We sent people to the bus in small groups, through one of the doors. Lots of noise, and quick movements attracted the undead, so the key to getting through this particular zombie plague was to move slowly and quietly in small groups. The problem with that approach was that it was taking a long time to evacuate everybody, and I had a feeling that the zombies weren't gone for good. I started asking the people in charge if we shouldn't start sending more people out of the other side door, just to move things along, but nobody seemed to think that was an acceptable risk. So I climbed back up and watched the evacuation out the window. And saw something that made my blood run cold. Zombies were converging on our location from EVERYWHERE. I could see them coming through the trees, out of the fields...and from the other vehicles. The zombies we had beaten back had apparently retreated on their own, and were now coming back for us in force. I was about to yell a warning when the group that was heading for the bus saw what was happening and made a run for it.
It was kind of a free-for-all after that. Everybody panicked. The zombies knew we were here, so sneak and stealth didn't matter. I didn't have any weapons on me, so I was literally forced to push the zombies away to get to the bus. I made it, but a lot of people didn't. The bus driver (a woman) started the bus and drove away as soon as she could because the zombies were getting too close. We left people behind. As we headed for the road, we drove past a group of survivors that were running for the cemetery, but we were sure it was overrun, so we stopped and let them come on.
One woman was freaking out about her missing daughter. I tried to comfort her by giving her stuffed animals I'd been keeping, telling her about how they were all I had left to remind me of my own daughter. The woman took them, and threw them out the door as the last of the survivors were coming aboard. I asked her why she did that, but she didn't have an answer for me, and I had a decision to make. My first thought was, let them go, it's not worth your life, they're just toys. But how could I do that when they were all I had left of my daughter? You'll get over it, I tried to tell myself.
"Wait!" I yelled to the bus driver, and ran off the bus to go retrieve the toys. The road behind us was filling with the horde, and more zombies were coming out of the trees on either side of the road, but I thought I could make it. I ran towards the toys. A few paces into my mission, the bus started to drive away, and the idiocy of my decision sank in. It wasn't worth it. I had no supplies on me, no way to survive. I turned around again and ran back towards the bus, with a sinking feeling that I had lost my chance, that the bus wouldn't stop again. And it didn't. But it did slow down and open the doors long enough for me to jump back onboard and take a seat as the bus driver navigated out of the complex. Backwards. I should remark there that the bus had been pointing the wrong direction when we left, and rather than waste time turning around, the driver had opted to make our escape in reverse the whole time. Dream logic, I guess. We passed one of the houses, and saw two other buses there, swarmed with survivors that were hastily getting ready to go. I saw several members of our original party there, but they waved us on. They were going with their new group, but they had a few too many people for the number of seats available, so for the last time, we stopped to pick up some more people, and then continued backing out of the place.
We fishtailed through the cemetery, where a number of the vehicles were still parked, but eerily deserted, then started down a winding country road. As the sun set and it started getting very dark, the bus driver commented about needing to find a place to turn around so she didn't have to keep driving backwards. She eventually did, and as nighttime settled, we drove past some kind of industrial center that had a bunch of lights on. A few people commented on the unlikelihood of the power grid still being on, but as we drove further, we passed an electronic road sign that was flashing some kind of old message about travel delays.
The next thing I knew, it was daylight and we were still in a mountainous, rural area. But then we passed by a scrap yard, and to our amazement, saw that some of the heavy equipment was on and operating. We saw workmen in hard hats, going about their work like normal. Then, a little further down the road, we drove into a small town that was absolutely bustling with normal, everyday life. We were stunned. The bus driver pulled up to a gas pump that was outside of what I can only describe as a soda jerk. I stared out the window at the vibrant shop front, seeing people eating at tables inside, and eyeing the bright counter with its soft serve and soda fountains. A man in a white utility uniform and hat came up to us with a large sweeper broom. It was a full-service gas station, and he was going to pump our gas and clean our windows. I couldn't believe it. None of us could. We all started talking excitedly about what we were going to do and eat. I even found a few dollars in my pocket. I got off the bus, and the first thing I did was make a beeline for the gas station attendant, arms outstretched. He back away from me a little.
"I want to hug you," I said.
"Why?" he asked. But he permitted me to wrap my arms around him and give him a small squeeze. He was an older man, wiry and short.
"Because you're here! You're here and your alive and you're going about your business like everything's normal! And I want a giant root beer float, and a cheeseburger!" I said.
The man put down his sweeper broom and started to lead the way inside the shop, amused and confused by my actions. I was confused, too. How had this town escaped the zombie plague? But it didn't matter for now. I was going to get a cheeseburger and a float. And fries. And pizza!