The infection had broken out three weeks ago. And those with the disease had already wiped out most of the population by either killing them or infecting them as well. Jasmine was 19 years old, small for her age but reasonably pretty, her hair was dark brown and always tied up in side ponytail, she always wore black and blue high tops, ripped up jeans, any old shirt and a hoodie.
Jasmine already knew her life would be over soon. She just prayed that she didn’t become outrageously infected like her boyfriend, a charger. But if it ever did happen Jasmine had already thought carefully about being infected. She wanted to be a witch, definitely a witch. She’d never actually met one in real life but she’d seen them on TV as kamikaze news reporters had managed to get themselves, and an entire camera crew down to film a witch brutally attacking people. Jasmine knew it sounded terrible but if she had any chance of surviving survivors, if she was infected, she knew she had to be a witch.
It was Tuesday today, shopping day or better described as pick-up-the-nearest-edible-item-and-run-home day.
Jasmine loaded her father’s shot gun and set out with a backpack strapped onto her back like life support. She unlocked her door and carefully stepped out onto the street; she spun around not taking her gaze off the length of road in front of her and locked her door quietly. She hugged the gun close to herself as she walked along the footpath. Glancing quickly in all directions and breathing slowly and steadily she walked on.
The shopping centre was only a block away but it felt like crossing the empty quiet street was like tip toeing across a mine field. Even tripping over a can could alert a nearby infected. And it just so happened that today was her lucky day. As she sped across the road a stick had conveniently placed itself under her foot. The crunch it made made Jasmine jump in shock resulting in her foot coming down on it again in a loud snapping sound. Jasmine froze. Her hands shook violently as she held the gun out in front of her. Her senses on full alert as a low squealing sound started coming from around the corner. Her mind raced but she couldn’t bring herself to run and hide. She glanced at the corner and the squealing grew louder every second. She slowly put her finger on the trigger of the gun and braced herself for the attack.
As the monster stepped around the edge of the building Jasmine gasped. A spitter stood side on to her rocking from side to side with its hands clenching and unclenching. It long neck swivelled from side to side and its beady eyes gazed around creepily. Jasmine inched towards a small back alley that was the shortcut to the shopping centre, she had never shot anything before, she’d never had to, and now the situation had appeared Jasmine couldn’t bring herself to pull the trigger.
Jasmine thought she was moving almost silently but the spitter spun around and looked at her squealing mercilessly, it seemed to contemplate whether or not she was a zombie as well and Jasmine gulped nervously as it started waddling forward, drooling green acid out of it’s mouth, eventually braking into a clumsy sprint, it’s hands out stretched and it’s eyes focused on Jasmine.
Jasmine screamed and ran down the alley, gun still in hand, all that mattered to her was surviving, her footsteps echoed almost too loudly and Jasmine just screamed, she screamed and screamed and screamed as loudly as she could without even thinking.
All around her gates rattled and trees and bushes shook, shadowy figures seemed to stir in the dark “abandoned” homes and as Jasmine screamed other screams joined hers. Infected poured out of the sewerage drains they climbed over fences like spiders and vaulted off the top of apartment balconies. And all the while the spitter easily kept pace with the screaming Jasmine.
The infected ran towards Jasmine from all directions overtaking the spitter and flailing their arms in the air manically. “Help! Please! Someone help me!” Jasmine screamed speeding up her pace hearing the approaching footsteps, “Please!” Tears began to form in her eyes obscuring her vision, and with great effort she managed to bring her hand to her face to wipe the tears away. Part of her wanted to just drop dead then and there, why hadn’t she yet? Because she was one of those unlucky people that got stuck with the gene that made them immune to the disease, at least, that’s what she guessed.
She sobbed suddenly and forced the thought out of her head and made herself focus. As the supermarket came into view Jasmine used up the last of her energy to get to the door, because the front sliding doors had been broken for months Jasmine was forced to always use the back door which today seemed much further away than usual. A flash of green appeared right near Jasmine’s head and she let out another ear piercing screech, a hand, it had to have been, or a head, the infected seemed to be becoming more creative with their killing techniques as of recently. She lurched towards the door and dove through it just as it opened, she slammed it shut and leaned against it pushing it back as hard as she could, the screaming and banging ended in a few minutes but Jasmine still rested against the now destroyed door, it’s hinges creaked as she stood up and let out a sigh, her gun now rested in front of her with the backpack sitting next to it.
She slumped down and rubbed the back of her neck sighing. “I’m just not cut out for this surviving thing,” she said sullenly, “maybe I should just get myself bitten or scratched,” she thought about that quickly and added, “somehow…” But she knew that was impossible, once an infected started they didn’t finish until the job was done. The job being cruel, gruesome and sometimes sudden death.
She slowly stood up stretched and went along doing her shopping, checking the use by dates of everything and carefully avoiding the mouldy fruit at the front of the store and the boomer stuffing its face full in the confectionary aisle. Jasmine laughed silently to herself as she walked past him spying his fat ugly face as he looked back at her. She waved at him politely, he frowned at her but waved back anyway, he was an odd one, had appeared in the aisle a few weeks ago and hadn’t left since, when Jasmine first saw him she jumped back around the corner and stuck her gun out to face him. She heard footsteps approach her and the gun seemed to be pulled from the other end she stepped out a began laughing as the boomer tried to chew the end of her gun as though it were a piece of toffee.
Jasmine smiled but soon returned back to the gloomy present and headed towards the fridges on the other end of the store with a semi-permanent scowl on her face. As she approached them she tapped her chin thoughtfully, the fridges didn’t just hold ice cream and frozen peas, she put fruit, vegetables, bread, and butter anything that would keep for longer if frozen in there.
She got everything she needed and thoughtfully picked up an apple. She tossed it in her hand as she walked back to the door she came through; as she went past she threw it into the confectionary aisle hitting the boomers head with it. He made an almost human-like gesture as he saw it bending down and eyeing it suspiciously. Jasmine heard him take a bite of it on her way out and giggled as he made a disgusted sound and the apple landed on the ground with a splat. She couldn’t believe that not ten minutes ago she had almost been killed by a spitter and a horde of infected.
She left the store on a higher note, slinging her backpack over her shoulder and holstering her gun beneath it. Jasmine peeked around the corner of the store quickly, checking to see if the spitter or any of the infected had decided to hang around. She breathed a sigh of relief, stepping around the corner casually and making her way home.