Z – Teens Chapter 5

Brandi Ortiz, Fiction Editor

After a tender and tearful reunion, the siblings and Tom stashed themselves within one of the empty science labs to explain the current situation to Mark.

For obvious reasons, it took him some time to process everything, especially after seeing the vision of that hallway corpse and his own sister covered in blood that was not her own.

He remained quiet as his sister and Tom spoke about what had already happened and the things they had to do to survive, staring into oblivion, his face frozen.

“What were you doing in that locker in the first place? I mean it was smart, but what was going through your head?” asked Kenzie, curious if his intention was to simply hide.

“It wasn’t my idea, trust me.” He rose his head finally. “It was less than five minutes before class, no one else was around and I was grabbing one of my textbooks when I was shoved inside. I got locked in and had no way out.”

Kenzie’s eyes narrowed. “It was Kevin again wasn’t it?”

Mark nodded and Kenzie felt conflicting emotions arise. Kevin Tanner had been picking on her little brother since the fifth grade non-stop, and he knew that Mark was claustrophobic. He could barely handle the morning bus, let alone classtime. It got so bad he had to be sent to the school nurse every time he had an attack.

But if Kevin hadn’t locked Mark in his own locker, her brother may not have lived long enough for her to find him. She couldn’t tell whether or not to be happy about what Kevin had done, but she was happy to see her brother safe, that was for sure.

Mark continued to speak. “I heard the announcements come on…,” his face changed, frightened, “Then the screams. I couldn’t see anything from the outside, but heard everything. People running, screaming. I called for help, but no one stopped. Maybe they didn’t hear me, maybe they didn’t care, I don’t know. All I do know is that it was quiet when…that thing showed up.”

Kenzie could still hear the fear in his voice. “I thought someone had finally come to help me and cried out, but it just snarled and started pounding on the door instead. It wasn’t until you guys came that it was finally quiet again.”

Kenzie slowly wrapped her arms around her brother, and he returned the embrace. Tom placed a hand on Mark’s shoulder and looked to Kenzie, wearing a face that told her things would get better. Her brother’s tears eventually dried and the room became silent again.


His stomach growled and she sighed. “I told you it was a bad idea to skip breakfast, bro.”

Mark lowered his head in shame and had a sad and guilty look.

She rose from the table she sat herself on and began to look through the scattered and trampled backpacks across the classroom floor. It seemed the students here left in a hurry as well. She cringed at the thought of what would’ve happened to Mark if he had been caught in the same stampede as she was.

Eventually Tom caught on to what she was doing and joined in her search. Together they checked each and every bag and found a few paper bag lunches and other snacks.

Some held candy bars, sandwiches, chips, fruits and bottles of water. The three circled themselves around the food and fairly divided it.

Mark plopped a bite-size Hershey’s bar into his mouth, while Tom chugged down one of the waters. Kenzie watched as they ate, smiling almost, grateful they finally had a time to rest.

She took a bite into a ham sandwich and popped a bag of Lay’s Classic potato chips. She rested herself against one of the chairs.

She felt relief at the taste of each morsel. However as the time continued, the more she thought about her missing friend. She thought that if she found Mark, why couldn’t see find Lulu too?

Of course, the possibilities of her actually being alive were slim, but just the thought of finding her was enough to raise her spirits again.

It was only the scream that followed that tore her away from her upcoming glee.

The three jumped to their feet instantly. Mark had half a bologna sandwich drop from his mouth, which would’ve been funny in any other situation except now.

They all looked to each other and nodded, knowing they could not stand by while someone may need help. Kenzie grabbed for the scissors and knew what was to come next.

Kenzie and Tom moved towards the door, but to their confusion, Mark straggled behind. Tom was at the door and Kenzie was beside him, worried it was fear that stopped him, when Mark picked up a plain black bag, quickly tossed some snacks and waters inside and threw it over his shoulder. “Never know when we’ll get hungry again.”

The two smiled in response and continued their way towards the scream, leading them just outside of the inside gymnasium.

The scream emanated again, high-pitched and scared. It belonged to a girl, wearing a cheerleaders uniform, and surrounded by five of the dead.

Kenzie blocked Mark with her left arm, intent on protecting him. “Stay back, bro.”

The girl continued to scream at the dead, yelling all kinds of phrases mixed with a decent amount of curses. Kenzie didn’t recognize her at all, but moved to defend her.

One by one, her and Tom jabbed each of the dead in the head. Bodies slumped and dropped faster than flies with their combined strength.

The girl stared at them and the blood, her makeup smeared down her face from tears most likely.

Tom’s scissors were still within the skull of one of the dead, which the cheerleader eyed with a strange and almost insane look that Kenzie didn’t trust.

Tom walked towards her, arm extended. “It’s OK, you’re safe now. We’re – ”

Out of nowhere, she grabbed for the impeded scissors and swung, missing Tom’s neck by mere inches.

Freaks! You’re all freaks like them!” she screamed, with the eyes of a madwoman.

“Watch it!” Tom shouted, dodging her weak but lethal swings.

“Are you crazy!? We just saved your life!”

She came swinging at both of them, Mark still at a safe distance behind them. Her little brother clutched the backpack tight, like a safety blanket, and watched this unexpected situation unfold.

The way she swung was unlike the way they did. They always aimed for the brain, instead she swings intent on killing living people. Killing them.

Kenzie could see it in her eyes. She was crazy, but she was serious too.

“I’m not gonna die, but you…you can all die too for all I can!” she screamed, raising the scissors once more.

Having enough, Kenzie tackled the cheerleader and knocked her to the ground. She wrestled the scissors away from her and attempted to pin her down. With all the screaming she was doing, Kenzie was surprised the dead hadn’t arrived yet.

Eventually the two girls scrambled away from each other. Tom helped raise Kenzie to her feet, while the other girl got up on her own and ran.

Kenzie glared and gave chase, followed by Tom and Mark. She felt an anger flow through her veins as she grew closer to the coward.

Another living person had intentionally tried to kill them. Not one of the dead. One of the living.

She raced further into the gym and right into another awaiting horde, much more than five. And before she could retrace her steps, she was grabbed by her hair and pulled towards snarling jaws.

It all happened so fast that the three could do nothing but watch. The dead dug into her flesh to the point blood pooled.

But seconds later, her screams stopped and her eyes rolled. Kenzie, Tom and Mark watched as the color drained from the girl’s face and her body became twisted and twitched.

When she fully faced them, her arms hung limp and eyes shared that lifeless stare.

She snarled and that ooze dripped from her wounds and onto the floor.


Tom raised his voice, leading to howls of the dead to resume.

Without looking back, they raced back into the gym and slammed the doors behind them. The dead crowded the other side and began to pound against it in an attempt to break through.

The growls and groans passed through the door and to their ears. Mark and Tom moved to block the door with anything they could find.

“We can’t let them get in,” Tom stated, keeping his shoulder pressed to the door.

“Kenzie, help us out!” Mark cried.

But Kenzie wasn’t watching the door, not them either. Her eyes were glued on something they had missed when first entering the gym.

Mark watched as his sister slowly walked to the other side of the gymnasium, where a fabric laid trampled.

Her eyes widened at the pink fabric. She lowered herself to the ground and grasped the girly colored coat and recognized it instantly. It was the same coat Lulu had wore this morning, except now it was splattered with blood and black ooze.