Chapter Two

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The door of the RV creaked open as I slowly climbed out, never taking my eyes off of the suspicious van.

My heart pounded in my chest and doubt started to fill my mind. I knew stopping to help people who needed it was the right thing to do, but the world has changed. I knew, deep down, that I couldn’t live with myself if we just kept on driving, never knowing if we could have saved someone’s life. But now, doing the right thing could get us all killed.

As I walked closer, I could see a body lying on the dirt by the front wheel.
“Careful, guys.” I whispered to the others as I pointed to the corpse.
We huddled closer as we edged over to the back of the van.
I held my breath as Ben took a step closer to the body. My knuckles were white from gripping the axe so tightly, but I had to be ready in case this body was not dead at all.

Ben held his crow bar out in front of him and gently nudged the motionless leg of the corpse. It didn’t move. Relief washed over me, but I still didn’t take my eyes off of it.
Wyatt and I stepped out from behind the van to get a better look at the body.
“He was fixing a flat tire,” he said as he motioned to a deflated wheel semi-attached to the van.
Using his crow bar again, Ben rolled the corpse over so we could see its face.

I groaned when I saw him. This man had clearly been attacked by a zombie, his throat was ripped out and much of his flesh had been chewed down to the bone. Bile rose in my throat as I gaped at what was left of his face; his jaw had been broken off like a wish bone, and his eyeballs ripped from their sockets, leaving only dark, bloodied holes.
What a horrible way to die.

I had to look away to stop this nightmarish image from burning its way into my memory forever. The four of us started to scan our surroundings. We knew that whatever killed this man wouldn’t be far away.
Wyatt moved around the front of the van, holding his hunting knife at the ready.
“Guys, over here,” he called, and we followed him to see what he had found. “I think I found what did that to him. Some of it, at least.”

“What the…?” I gasped as I saw the remnants of a zombie, its rotting body parts strewn across the dirt. Spattered blood covered the front of the van. Someone, or something, had torn this zombie to shreds.
“Ew!” Jo groaned as she covered her mouth.
“Where’s the head?” asked Ben, dropping to the ground to look under the van.
As I glanced around at the dismembered corpse pieces, there was no head to be found.
“This is crazy. We should just leave. We can’t help anyone here.” Jo whispered as she stood close behind me. I opened my mouth to agree with her, but stopped when I heard a whimpering sound from inside the van.
“There’s someone in there!” I whispered to the others as I quietly crept towards the side window of the van.

Peering through the glass, I could see the lone head lying sideways in the corner, its jaw opening and closing mechanically.
“Found the head.” I called to the others, and suddenly something big jumped at me from behind the glass.

I screamed as I fell backwards onto the dirt, my heart pounding in terror.
“Eva!” Jo yelled as she ran to help me up, with Wyatt and Ben right behind her.
“What happened?” Wyatt asked as he lifted me to my feet.
“Something’s in there.” I replied, brushing the dirt off of my jeans.
I looked up at the window but whatever jumped at me was gone. Together, the four of us stepped closer to the glass and peered in, weapons at the ready.
Nothing.

“I’ll open the door, you guys get ready,” said Ben as he grabbed hold of the handle, and we braced ourselves for whatever was about to attack.
In one swoop, Ben pulled on the handle and the door slid open.
The creature leapt out in a huge black blur and headed straight for me.
It hit me with such speed and force that I flew backwards onto the dirt once more.

I closed my eyes and swung my axe in the air, ready to slash at whatever was weighing me down, when I felt the wet lick of a long tongue slide across my cheek.
Shocked, I opened my eyes to see the furry face of a dog.
“Huh?” I gasped.
“It’s just a dog!” smiled Jo, clearly relieved.

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