Balance

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They reach the van behind us. I can hear their moans and that unmistakable gurgling sound they make. Some of them have an odd, raspy sound they make when they open their mouths. It's rather terrifying, but I think it would be more terrifying if they could talk.

"What do we do?" Brenda asks.

"Wait it out," I whisper.

The infected bump into the van behind us, making their way towards us. None of them pay attention to the group inside the van. I hope that all their windows are down and that no one makes a loud noise. Luckily Shayla turned off her flashlight too, because I'm sure light would attract them. But for all we know these things can be blind.

I watch them as they approach the back of our van. I start to get really anxious, my hands sweating and my heart racing. Everyone else must be the same way. None of us move as we watch them. The first one is coming straight for the back of the van. I watch carefully, still and quiet, as the infected walks straight into the back of the van. It bounces back and stands there for a second, as if stunned and confused. Then it turns slightly to the left and starts walking again, right into the crowd that begins to surround us.

They continue on their way past us, not noticing us in the van. It feels like they go on forever. The crowd must've been attracted by the gunshots from the fight this afternoon. So many pass us, and the crowd seems dense. They bump into the car on all sides, but none of them turn back or look in the windows. The infected just stare straight ahead with glazed eyes.

Kim begins to move around a little, as if uncomfortable. I look at her, sitting right beside Chris. I can barely see her in the dark, but there's enough light to let me see how much she looks like a ghost. Her skin is pale. I reach over to her slowly. Her eyes go from being frozen and staring ahead to darting down to my hand. I stop and let her take it in, then move it towards her again. She looks at me with sad eyes. The sight of it makes me feel as if pins are being stabbed into my heart. She looks so miserable. She almost looks sick.

I lightly touch her hand and then give it a quick squeeze. Her hand is clammy. I slide my hand away and then press two fingers against her wrist. Her pulse is rapid yet I can barely feel it. I turn my head to Jose who's sitting behind me, concerned.

Jose's eyes widen as he looks at her. He knows what's coming. "Shit," he whispers.

Suddenly Kim hunches over in her seat and vomits on the floor. Everyone turns to her, their eyes wide and mouths open in a gap. Kim begins to make heaving sounds. The smell of vomit begins to waft. Soon enough we're all trying not to vomit ourselves.

When I look up out of the window to keep an eye on the infected, I see them looking in. The ones at the front of the van have turned around at the sound, while the ones on the sides begin to walk straight into the sides of the van.

Kim suddenly falls sideways, onto Chris's lap. It was as if gravity shoved her down. I try to help her up but I realize she's fallen completely unconscious. Chris starts to shake her, panicking.

"Stop!" Jose orders. "Lay her down on the floor and elevate her feet!"

"In her puke?" Brenda asks.

"Do it!" Jose whispers urgently.

We know there's no point to stay still anymore. The infected have heard us and there's no turning back. We do as Jose says and lay her down in the narrow section between the front and middle seats. Vomit covers her lips and streams down her chin and cheek. The smell of it makes us all start gagging. There's no way we can open the windows.

"Does she have a fever?" he asks.

Chris feels her forehead and her cheeks with the back of his hand. "She doesn't feel warm but she's sweating profusely."

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