Until the End

Until the End by Tracey Ward Read Free Book Online

Book: Until the End by Tracey Ward Read Free Book Online
Authors: Tracey Ward
and I look up to see his eyes are closed.
    Because evil waits outside our door.
    I stay silent, waiting for Jordan to make his peace with whatever is troubling him. When he opens his eyes and looks at me, they are less haunted than before, but I know it’s still with him. I don’t pry though. If anyone understands harboring your own demons, it’s me.
    “Are you ready?” Jordan asks one last time.
    I nod briskly, my heart suddenly in my throat. “Ready.”
    When he releases the locks, the door swings open easily. My nerves are fried and I half expect to face off with a dozen or more zombies waiting outside the door for us, but the hall is eerily empty. Jordan looks at me, makes a show of taking a deep breath and heads out the door. He looks both ways as though he’s crossing the street and then motions me forward. I keep my eyes up and level, trying not to see the bits of bone left behind from what happened to Sara. I feel bad about that. We should have buried her, buried both of them, but where? Knowing we said our prayer makes me feel a little better.
    The only sign of activity in the hall is a blood trail on the floor, some holes in the plaster and a blood smear on the wall beside it. There was a struggle at some point, but I don’t remember hearing anything in the night, so it must have been there yesterday. I ran to my room in such a blind rush, searching my purse for my keys by the time I was in the hall, I had to have missed the signs. I wonder if I’d seen the state of the hall if I would have approached my roommates with more caution, but I doubt it. I was still thinking crazed gunman at that point, looking for a singular threat and never dreaming the threat was everywhere and everyone.
    Jordan inches forward down the hall keeping close to the wall and I copy his movements silently. We planned for me to stay back behind him seeing as my weapon has a lot more range than his. If we encounter a threat, he’ll either beat it to death with the bat, or if he feels like he can’t make it happen, he’ll fall back, making sure to get out of my way and leave me open to take a clean shot. I worry about basically using him as a human shield but he insisted that’s not how it is. I can still use my weapon from behind him, he can’t use his from behind me. I agreed grudgingly, still feeling like I’m cowering behind him.
    We make it down the steps, an open staircase that looks down on the common area, and weave back and forth. I feel exposed and freaked out but this open area is exactly what Jordan wants. He’s very nervous about enclosed spaces and I want to agree with him but I felt safer in the four tight walls of the apartment than I do right now with 360 degrees of vulnerability.
    Just as we touch down on the main floor, the exit in sight, I hear the moan. The shuffle. The drag. Jordan and I both spin on our heels and face the infected coming toward us. It’s Zombie Boy again with his ball and chain still around his ankle. It occurs to me that he’s on the ground floor now instead of the second floor where we first saw him, so either he took the elevator or he banged his ankle biter buddy down the steel stairs to get here. Either scenario is funny to me and a giggle escapes my lips. I clap my hand over my mouth, horrified, and I look to see Jordan scowling at me like I’ve gone insane.
    Oh, man, I think wryly. You haven’t seen anything yet.
    “Sorry.” I whisper.
    “Don’t be sorry, shoot it.” he whispers back fiercely.
    Zombie Boy is still a good twenty feet away. His motor skills suck and he’s toting at least a hundred pounds of dead groaning weight behind him. I’ve got time. I actually think that we don’t need to kill him. He’s not between us and the exit and there’s no way he can chase us down. But I haven’t faced down my fear of shooting a human-ish being yet. I decide it’s best to get my first one under my belt now when there’s no pressure instead of finding myself locked up when

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