Chills ran down my arms and spine as well as a desire to run away as quickly as I could. Instead, I stood there frozen afraid if I made any movement, the apex zombies would hear me. I wasn’t the only one in the group who froze. Everyone did, listening, waiting.
Finally in the silence and stillness that followed the zombie groans, Liam turned to two of his werewolves and simply nodded at them. The two immediately shifted into their werewolf forms and bounded silently through the woods ahead of us. The rest of us waited.
Alex watched the werewolves carefully and I was reminded of how he was once part of their pack, but now cutoff. The only sounds that drifted through the air were the sounds of the various zombies. They weren’t getting closer, but they weren’t getting further away either.
Then all the werewolves stiffened as one. Their eyes widened with their shock. Several opened their mouths and tilted their head to the sky as if to howl, but there was no sound. Not until Liam said, “Run.” He didn’t yell the word or call it out, but it carried to all of us and with it came his urgency. His eyes were the pale yellow of his wolf. “Run!” This time he did yell just as there was movement in the woods in front of us and the two werewolves he had sent came crashing back. There was blood on their fur and their pupils held that eerie green. They were zombies. That fast and they were gone from us and charging at us.
Lightning instantly arched from Grace, Hunter and Victory towards the zombie werewolves, but the zombie werewolves easily out maneuvered the lightning heading their way.
“Grace,” my brother called out. He grabbed her forearm and tried to pull her back. I had already grabbed Mackenzie and started to pull her with me. Liam had said to run and that was what I intended to do.
I was aware when Darren’s barrier went up around me. Just as our group and the other humans were turning to run back in the direction we had come from, the woods opened up and vampire zombies and vampire weres of all types appeared. They were too fast. There was no way we could outrun them.
The Sangs kept up their lightning. This time they succeeded in hitting a few of the zombies, but there were too many for them to get them all.
“Maria!” I yelled as she rushed past me towards the front of the line with magic fire in her hands.
“Get them out of here!” she yelled at me as she threw the fire into the midst of the zombies. Human zombies now burst into the woods after the initial rush of supernatural zombies.
A group of zombies appeared right where Grant, his dad and a few of the other human men stood. Grant’s dad grabbed Grant by the shoulders and threw him at the zombies as he turned and ran. Grant could only look horrified as the zombies grabbed him and pulled him towards them. Before any of them could bite, Elwin was there ripping the human zombies off Grant. He picked up Grant and leaped high in the air and over the heads of several others to get Grant more in the range of safety. Then he picked up Grant’s dad, lifted him and hurled him high into the air. The vampire that had been drinking the blood of Grant’s dad screamed in protest, but it was too late as he landed right in the middle of a group of were zombies. They quickly tore into him and I looked away to find where my own group was.
An arrow shot past me and Mackenzie. Arthur was shooting the human zombies that were trying to get to Grace, Hunter, Victory and Maria. And my brother was still there standing by Grace trying to convince her to leave even as he bashed his bat into a human zombie’s head. Molly ran around Arthur’s feet with her hackles up and barking furiously. Multiple gunshots went off from all around the group.
One of Liam’s werewolves near them was taken down. He immediately rose as a were zombie. He lunged at my brother, but Jin was suddenly there. He pushed the were zombie away from my brother.
“Run!” he yelled at my group.
“Run,” I said to Mackenzie as I pushed her towards Arthur.
“But,” she called out to me as I turned back to get the others.
The human zombies were now beginning to avoid the lightning and fire of the Sangs, Jin joined Maria with the fire magic. My breath caught in my throat as a vampire zombie rushed in a blur towards Hunter. The vampire zombie grabbed Hunter, but before he could bite down, Gunnor was there ripping off the vampire zombie’s head. Gunnor lifted Hunter and my brother off their feet and rushed towards me in a blur. He set them on their feet beside me. “Get out of here,” he said.
The zombies kept coming. More werewolves and vampires on our side fell as they tried to save the humans. They immediately turned into zombies themselves. We were quickly being overrun. We had no choice but to run.
“Run!” both Darren’s and Richard’s moms said as they ran past us to get Victory, Grace and Maria. “We’ll try to distract them to give you time,” Darren’s mom said.
“Mom!” Richard called out to Mrs. Anderson. He, Monica and Darren had been heading out, but with Richard’s call, they started to run back. Dr. Patel and Dr. Higgins stopped them.
“We’ll get them,” Dr. Patel said, “keep running away.”
Dr. Patel and Dr. Higgins ran after the mothers.
More zombies appeared. But with this new group were zombies I had never seen before. Not weres, not vampires, not humans. There was a strange goat like – human like creature, a giant bear much too big to be a normal bear. Maybe that was a were. Maybe a werebear if there was such a thing. But there were werewolves and werefelines so it seemed a good possibility of there being a werebear. There were several gnome like creatures with sharp teeth and green pupils
“Get them out of here!” Liam yelled with such power in his voice that his werewolves immediately stopped attacking the zombies and turned to get the remaining humans out of there. Not only the werewolves obeyed, but the vampires obeyed his command. Even Alvina hesitated as she watched Liam command her vampires. The power ran over my skin like a breeze, but it held no control over me.
Werewolves all around us were now picking up humans and running back in the direction we had come from. I ran back towards Maria, Grace and Victory just as Mason appeared to where I had been and picked up Hunter and my brother.
“Lily!” Tanner yelled even as he got further away from me.
Zombies came between me and Maria, Grace and Victory. They quickly overtook Mrs. Anderson, Mrs. Smith, Dr. Patel and Dr. Higgins. I watched in horror as they went down.
“Maria!” I cried out in sorrow knowing there was no way I could get to her now.
Jin and Gunnor were still near them. Grace collapsed overcome with exhaustion of having kept up her magic so long and with such intensity. Gunnor scooped her up in his arms and just avoided a vampire zombie himself. The zombie was now between Gunnor and Victory. The vampire zombie turned on Victory. Victory turned to him as he moved to her in a blur. Her eyes were the grey of storm clouds. Her white hair stood on end as if electrified itself. White scales coated her entire face and her hands. She screamed as lightning arched from her entire body and hit the vampire zombie with full force frying him instantly.
“Run!” I screamed at her and Maria.
Victory’s eyes met Gunnor’s. She dropped her lightning and he scooped her up and ran.
“Let’s go, Maria,” Jin said. He went to grab her but right before he could, she cried out in pain. She looked down at her feet. None of us had noticed those small gnome like creatures had surrounded her. Several of them were biting her legs.
Jin looked helplessly as Maria looked at him with sorrow. She knew she was dead. Jin reached out for her, but she shook her head. She screamed with her head tilted back to the sky and her entire body went up in flames. She took out the little gnome zombies around her as well as herself.
As her flames continued to consume her, they spread out reaching for the other zombies around her.
I couldn’t look away from the flames of my best friend. I couldn’t move. My axe was loose in my hands as I could only watch. Then Jin was standing in front of me. Blocking my view. “You can’t do anything for her now,” he said. He picked me up and we sped after everyone else.
I tried to gauge how many of us survived, but everything was chaos even though we now all ran from the zombies. It was difficult to determine which humans were still alive as all humans were being carried by a werewolf or a vampire. We out ran the human zombies and the gnome like zombies, but the were zombies and vampire zombies kept pace with us. Jin and I had been one of the last to leave so we were at the back of the group.
I saw Alex hand off Darren to Elsie who was also carrying Monica. He trailed behind until he was the last one. Jin and Gunnor – who was still carrying Grace and Victory – slowed down with him.
“What are you doing?” Gunnor asked. There wasn’t a lot of leeway to slow down. The vampire and werewolf zombies were almost on our heels.
Alex’s eyes turned the light blue of his werewolf. His teeth elongated like the vampires. A pale, silver aurora began to spread up around from his feet to his head. He stopped, turned towards the zombies chasing us, lifted his head to the sky and howled. The silver aurora shot up into the sky and then as if a beam of moonlight was summoned by him, a wall of moonlight cut between him and the approaching zombies. The zombies crashed into it as if it were a cement wall.
Alex turned to Jin and Gunnor and said, “That won’t hold them for long.”
Jin and Gunnor were the only ones that had stopped with Alex. Everyone else had kept running. A slow, proud smile came to Gunnor’s lips. Alex was back to looking completely human and also looking completely exhausted.
“Let’s go,” Jin said. The three of them – still carrying me, Victory who had fallen asleep and Grace – ran off to catch up to the others while the zombies behind us kept crashing into the wall over and over.