Z – Teens Chapter 1


The four raced across the field, adrenaline pumping throughout each of their small bodies. The sound of feet dragging was close behind them and coming faster.  They still could hear the moans and groans and knew a choice had to be made.

Run or fight.

In just a few short hours that had become their motto. And for now they chose to run. But as the groans grew louder, the friends knew running wasn’t going to be an option much longer. And just as quickly as they ran, they turned to face the enemy. Stared into the pale, distorted eyes of former friends, watched them growl like no animals they’d ever heard before and sped toward them with inhuman speed.

With battle cries, like the knights of old, the four gripped their weapons and raised them high with all of their strength. One by one, they banged and crushed the heads of their attackers. Instead of pure plasma, black ooze covered them, accompanied by small flecks of blood, the only human quality these creatures had left. The blood didn’t scare or discourage them anymore. They knew these things they fought weren’t their friends anymore, weren’t people anymore. Weren’t alive anymore.

But they weren’t the same either. They changed. They were no longer weak. They had one mission: survive. Nothing more, nothing less.

Kenzie, Lulu, Mark and Tom never felt more alive before fighting the dead.

Three hours earlier

“Hey Kenzie!”

She turned to see a green-haired girl race toward her, textbooks in hand and papers slipping. Kenzie smiled the best she could, hiding her twitch of annoyance.

“Hey Lulu.”

Lulu smiled brightly as always. “We’re still up for the mall after school right?”

Kenzie cringed at the thought. She wasn’t much of a shopper, but her friend, Lulu, on the other hand was a so-called shopaholic. Kenzie wasn’t one for socializing either, but she tried for Lulu.

“I don’t know. I’ve got a lot of tests this week that I need to study for and I can’t afford to get behind again.” She continued as Lulu’s cheerful expression darkened. “Besides, I never buy anything anyway. You should go. I’d just slow you down.”

Lulu let out a whine that sounded like it came from a toddler and latched onto her arm. “That’s crazy! We always have fun and I need your opinion.”

She couldn’t see how her opinion mattered. Lulu never listened to anything she said. If she made a suggestion, she’d do the complete opposite. That was just the way she was.

After exactly two minutes and sixteen seconds of puppy eyes and whining, Kenzie gave in with a slight nod.

Lulu squealed and hugged her without any sign of letting go. She unlatched herself and attempted to speak in a stern voice. “One hour, that’s it. Then I gotta go home and study. Mark promised to help with my math if I helped with his english.”

Mark was her younger brother, who, yes, was better at her in math and most other subjects. She took no shame in asking for his help, but wished he wouldn’t make such a big deal about it. He was two years younger and was only a freshman, but he already felt his whole future was set in stone. Sure he was smart, arrogant too, but all in all he was a good kid.

“Great. Now come on, we’re gonna be late for class,” Lulu said, grabbing her wrist and dragging her to their next class together.

They arrived just on time and took their seats. Lulu sat in the very back, while Kenzie stayed in front.

She was about to reach into her backpack when she felt a slight tap on her shoulder. She turned to see a pair of dark brown eyes, ones she knew very well. They belonged to Tom Simmons, the boy she has had a crush on since the ninth grade. And he was looking at her.

Tom wasn’t popular or anything, but he stood out to her all the same. He was on the school track and baseball team. She would go to games just to see him, not that he’d notice her. Tom was always focused on the situation at hand. He wasn’t so easily distracted as others.

She was still so caught up in his eyes that she almost missed what he was saying. She shook herself back to reality. “Yes?”

“Can I borrow a pencil?”

“Ugh, sure,” she quickly responded, handing him the pencil she was going for in the first place.

He took the pencil and in that moment, when their hands touched, she felt static like no other and knew it was love.

Tom didn’t seem to feel what she felt and returned his hand. He thanked her and continued to smile at her. She was still looking at him when he spoke again, this time asking for her name.

She responded shyly, trying not to sound unsure or afraid. “Kenzie Walsh.”


Of course, she knew that. She’d only been crushing on him since the day they had their first English class together.

After official introductions, they began talking. First about class, school, even the weather. Then about themselves. If it hadn’t been for the teacher, they would’ve spoken for much longer. As Kenzie had learned, Tom was nice, nicer than most boys and sincerely enjoyed talking to her, as did she with him. When the teacher yet again silenced them, she heard Tom snicker from behind and couldn’t help from laughing herself.

They were still laughing when the loudspeakers turned on, blasting across all of campus.

“Attention students, there has been an emergency. Please follow your teachers to the designated areas and evacuate. This is not a drill. I repeat, this is not a drill.”

The message repeated over and over, but the longer he spoke, the more scared he sounded. Students whispered to each other in confusion, none of them aware there was fire drill today, all positive it had to be a drill despite what the announcer said. The teacher didn’t seem to know the cause to the sudden announcement either. His face wearing a similar look of confusion as his students.

Despite the apparent confusion, their teacher gathered the class together and lead them out of the room. Kenzie looked over her shoulder to see Tom behind her and Lulu not far behind.

Unlike the students around her, Kenzie remained silent. She usually didn’t care for school drills but this one made her certainly suspicious. If there was a shooter on campus, teachers wouldn’t take students out into the open. If this really was just a fire drill, why didn’t the announcer say so? Was this some sort of joke? Why did he sound so panicked, as confused as the students around her now? Would Mark be alright without her? She knew he was smarter than the average little brother, but still, she worried.

She was still concerned and going over her theories when she heard Tom trying to get her attention again. It seemed he had been talking to her without her prior knowledge, leaving her to feel a bit guilty.

“Got any idea what’s going on?” Tom whispered from behind, his voice soft and dreamy as always, even when he seemed nervous.

“None,” she said, shrugging her shoulders.

“This has got to be a test. I mean, what are the chances of an actual emergency?” he asked, chuckled almost, more to himself than her.

She was just starting to agree with Tom when the screams came.