Z – Teens Chapter 7

Brandi Ortiz, Fiction Editor

Meanwhile, in the school gymnasium, Ashley Moore stared horrified at the numerous bodies that sprawled across the wooden floor and couldn’t believe her eyes, especially when she recognized one of them as her teammate, Liv Farr.

Each of the bodies, Liv included, looked as if someone had smashed their heads. The color was long gone from their faces and a black ooze was visible on every body.

She was slowly and carefully drawn away from the horrific sight by the hand of her boyfriend, Andrew, and never felt more relieved to feel his gentle touch. Even before they began dating, Andrew always made her feel safe.

He entwined his fingers with hers and hide her behind him, filling her with an odd sense of safety and guilt. She couldn’t imagine what she would do without him now.

Kevin, however, had no problem getting close and searching each of the bodies, curious of the damage. His friend, Nick, observed close by and occasionally kicked at a body, possibly to test if it was double dead.

She had no idea how her and Andrew got involved with them, but she was starting to regret it. Kevin and Nick already seemed too pleased by their situation, disturbing her greatly.

Neither of them showed hesitation in a fight, chuckling almost as each battle commenced. She couldn’t tell whether or not it was more dangerous with or without them anymore.

As they rummaged through the dead pile, Ashley didn’t know how much more she could take and moved into the hallway. Andrew followed her, wearing a concerned look.

Ashley stared at the ground, trying to block out the image of those people, people she used to know, lying lifeless on the ground. She didn’t want to meet the people responsible, not being able to imagine who could be so cruel.

“Ash, you OK?”

She ignored his obvious concern. “Who could do something so horrible? Why?”

“We still don’t know what happened, still don’t know what’s happening. All we really know is that it’s not safe here.”

Ashley silenced herself and kept her eyes glued to the ground, at the swirls of her shoelaces.

“I’m sorry about Liv,” he said blankly. She knew he and Liv were never on good terms but his voice carried genuine remorse for her apparent loss.

She sighed and returned his gaze. “It’s not Liv. It’s everything.”

Andrew questioned, placing his hand softly on her shoulder.

Ashley meant to explain, but was interrupted. “Yo lovebirds! Let’s get moving,” Kevin declared, Nick following not far behind. He still had the knife in his hand as he approached them, nonchalantly. She knew the moment she saw that knife, and the way he carried it, Kevin was not the kind of person you wanted to be normally associated with.

Then again, their current situation wasn’t normal.

Without explaining herself, Ashley continued her way down the hall, with Andrew close behind. He followed her similar to as a puppy happily follows its new master. She was both annoyed and flattered by his loyal and obedient nature towards her, which made her mind uncertain to the extent of their relationship. Other times, Andrew acted like the kind of puppy that grew into a guard dog, keeping her safe from harm at all times.

Because of their situation, she never told Andrew what she meant to say only this morning. She shook herself back to reality before those precise words of abandonment came into play and continued to reluctantly follow Kevin and Nick.

The four stopped when the familiar shuffling resumed and prepared themselves. As usual, Andrew placed himself in front of Ashley in a protective stance.

Kevin and Nick grinned as the dead suddenly gathered around them, snarling and approaching fast. But before any of them could move another muscle, four others appeared and fought off the dead.

One by one the horde was overtaken by these mysterious strangers.

Ashley saw that the four consisted of two girls and two boys. Two fought particularly fierce, same as Kevin and Nick, but without the wicked smiles they wore. Instead these two showed no sign of glee as they bashed the brains of each creature and held serious stares.

The two that held back looked smaller in frame and strength and carried themselves differently. One of them, a boy, wore a red and blue Spider-Man shirt and maneuvered his way towards the girl in blue, the one fighting fierce.

She had long brown hair and wore a tight choker around her neck. She shared very similar facial features with Spidey, leaving Ashley to wonder if the two were related.

The other two looked nothing alike. The other boy was taller and had shortcut sandy hair, and the girl in pink had green hair, dyed most likely, and held it in loose braids.

Different in style and form, they all held looks of strong determination, shining almost. She barely believed it, but in a way, they were incredible. The way they fought had a strange elegance, resembling a dance.

Specifically, a dance of death, terrifying and enchanting at the same time.

Ashley found herself unable to look away as they fought the horde. She was caught between horror, disgust and amazement.

The horde didn’t stand a chance and once the remaining dead were defeated, Kevin approached the four, once again nonchalantly. The girl in blue faced him, now aware of his presence and focused on his approach.

“Not bad for a – ”

Kevin’s next words were stopped by a rapid punch in the jaw, knocking him to the ground. Ashley stood in surprise when she saw it was the same girl, the brunette, that knocked him flat on his ass.

Kevin looked surprised too, staring up at her with a soon-to-be bruised face and a most definitely bruised ego.

Fist ready once again, she glared down at him. Her eyes held a dark shade of blue, that possessed a fury like no other. Ashley couldn’t imagine the reason for this attack on Tanner, but said nothing, in fear of what these new strangers may do. They saved them from that horde, however, that may have not been their intention.

Sudden recognition came across Kevin’s face and he quickly got to his feet.


It was obvious now that the two knew each other because both possessed a similar anger, however Kevin’s anger most likely came from the shame she inflicted through that right hook.

Kenzie,” said the sandy-haired boy, placing a hand on the girl’s shoulder and stopping her from rushing Kevin. Ashley finally recognized him as Tom Simmons, one of the players she and the pep squad cheered for on weekends.

Ashley watched Kenzie slowly move away from Kevin and towards Spidey, whose facial expression was hard to determine. It was a mix of fear, surprise and flashbacks.

After getting a closer look at the two of them, she was positive they were related, cousins or siblings for sure. Kenzie clearly held a desire to protect Spidey, and the green-haired girl too.

She watched her whisper something to the two of them, but was unable to make out what she said. Whatever she did say brought some relief to the two because the tension in their bodies lessened.

Tom stepped forward. “My name is Tom,” he declared and gestured towards the three behind him. “This is Kenzie, Lulu and Mark.” The three responded with no words and simple stares. “We’re getting out of here. You’re free to come with us if you want.”

Tom,” Kenzie growled. But Tom ignored her and continued.

“We’d be a lot stronger, and all have a better chance, if we stay together.”

Despite his proposal, Kevin kept his eyes glued to Kenzie and Spidey a.k.a Mark. Ashley could tell, unlike Tom, Kevin had no desire to be friendly and continued his stare-off with Kenzie.

And despite the obvious tension, Andrew stepped forward. “I’m Andrew, and this is Ashley, Kevin and Nick.” He kept a safe distance, but put on a friendly composure. “And getting out of here definitely sounds like a plan.”

Tom extended his hand to Andrew, who copied the motion.

“You do that in the gym?” Kevin asked bluntly, keen and curious.

Tom hesitated in answering, but eventually nodded his head, to Ashley’s horror. Andrew took a fearful step back from Tom, and Kevin just chuckled.

“Not bad. Couldn’t have done better myself.”

Kevin came forward and took Tom’s offered hand, but kept his eyes on Kenzie as he spoke, with a wicked smile.

“You’ve guys got yourself a deal. We’ll all survive this together.”

Ashley never trusted Kevin, but that smile confirmed he had other plans on his mind than making nice. And it left her wondering who was worst to be around and whether or not any of them would survive.