“I feel so ridiculous right now.” Wyatt said as he leaned out the window, reaching for the ticket that slid out of the machine as we waited to enter the Melbourne Central underground parking garage.
We had seen more zombies than we expected dotting the streets on our drive from the diner into the city, and I kept a careful watch through the windows while Wyatt waited for the boom gate to rise. 
Slowly, he edged the car down the winding slope and into the parking lot. 
I felt relieved to see it was practically empty except for a few cars here and there.

Pulling up as close to the elevator as possible, Wyatt parked the car and we climbed out, our eyes searching the vacant floor for any signs of movement. 
I pulled my satchel over my shoulder and held my knife close. 
After our last encounter in the street and losing some weapons in the trolley crash, we each only had one knife left. 
Waiting for the elevator, I felt grateful that the city still had power, although for how long I didn’t know, so we had to be quick.
The doors slid open and we stepped inside the elevator, Ben anxiously pressing the ‘door close’ button repeatedly. We sighed in relief as the doors closed, but gasped in shock when we saw our own reflections in the mirrored doors.
“Woah!” Exclaimed Wyatt as he touched his face.
“Cool!” Said Ben, scrunching up his face and groaning like a zombie. 
I smiled proudly at my works of art.
“Ewwww,” Jo said as she moved closer to the door, looking intently at her zombie-fied face and neck. “I look so gross! Good work, Eva.” 
She turned to give me the thumbs up as the doors opened onto the first floor, revealing a zombie standing right in front of her.

Before any of us could warn her, Jo faced forward to step out of the lift, screaming when she saw the white eyes of the creature staring her in the face. 
Instinctively, she punched the zombie right in the head, sending it stumbling backwards and right over the balcony, falling down to the floor below.
“Wow! Go Jo!” Laughed Ben, and she gave him a high five even though her hand trembled uncontrollably.
Slowly, the four of us stepped out of the elevator, looking around for any more unwanted surprises.
“Time to be zombies.” I whispered as I started stumbling around, trying to walk like all the zombies I had seen that day. The others followed my example.
“Which way?” I asked, looking at Ben.
“I dunno.” He replied, shrugging his shoulders.
“What?!?” Whispered Jo, exasperated.
“I don’t know, I think it’s on this floor somewhere.” He continued, looking around at the stores.
“We need a map,” said Wyatt, spotting one further ahead and making his way towards it, still trying to walk like a zombie. “I’m feeling ridiculous again.” He smirked.

Once we reached the map of the mall, we realised we needed to go down one level and walk to the other side of the centre.
“We’ll never make it!” Jo groaned, dropping her face into her hands hopelessly.
“Yes we will,” I said sternly. “We’ve made it this far. We can do it. Let’s go.”
I just hope it’s open, I thought as I looked around the shopping centre. 
It was clear that some of the stores were open, but not all. 
Probably opened by people just like us, who showed up to work not knowing about the outbreak. 
I tried not to think about what happened to those poor people. 
We began our slow shuffle down the escalators and across the shopping centre. 

We had made it more than half way when we saw two zombies up ahead, crouched over something, tearing through it like lions on a zebra.
“What do we do?” Jo whimpered, fear in her voice.
“Just keep going,” Wyatt whispered back. “Blend in. If they come too close, hack they’re damn heads off.”

I started to shake as we edged closer, my heart pounding furiously and my breath shallow in my lungs. 
“Don’t look.” Whispered Wyatt as he glanced at me sideways, but it was too late. 
I had already seen the fear riddled face of the woman that the zombies were devouring. 
She was young, around the same age as me, and wearing an apron. 
She must have worked around here somewhere.
Tears welled in my eyes and all I wanted to do was pull my knife out from my jeans pocket and start wailing on the zombies, but I knew it would be pointless; the woman was already dead. 
As we quietly made our way passed the beasts, trying our best to seem as undead as possible, one of the zombies turned from their meal to look at us. 
I swallowed the rising bile back down my throat as it locked eyes with mine while ripping into the woman’s intestines, sending blood and guts spattering all over itself.

“Ok,” whispered Wyatt once we had passed the zombies. “We’re nearly there. I can see it.”
I had never felt so excited to see a Bob’s Camping store in my life, but it quickly turned to dread when I saw that it was closed, the roller door pulled down to the floor.
“Looks like Bob didn’t show up for work today.” Wyatt said as we reached the store.
“We came all this way for nothing!” Grunted Ben as he kicked the roller door.
I turned around to see a few more zombies had started to emerge, feeling sick at the thought of walking all the way through them to get back to the car.
“What do we do now?” I asked, trying to pull the door up, but it wouldn’t budge.

I knew we wouldn’t make it back to the car.

For the first time since this nightmare started, I felt helpless.

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