~ Chapter Eight ~

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The group needed a solution and quick.

They considered backtracking to take an alternate route past the infected before them. But, with the sun rising and their being out in the open, they couldn't risk it.

"Okay. Ready yourselves. We'll just have to attack them head on." Max said.

"You're insane." Said a man.

"What if the noise attracts more of them?" Said another.

Perri looked around.

Several men were arguing yet trying to keep their voices down.

Carter caught her eye. He was talking to Holloway, too quietly for her to hear.

She kept watching the two men, trying to read their lips.

Skeet tugged at the sleeve of her grey hoodie to get her attention.

"What's up?" She asked.

He pointed to the alleyway behind the group.

Perri understood and smiled at him.

She crept over to Carter, drawing his gaze immediately.

"I think I have an idea."

~~~

The infected were barely moving as they simply loitered near the bus stop. Their shoulders were slumped, and their chins rested on their chests. It was hard to tell if they were awake or asleep.

One last glance to make sure the infected hadn't become aware of the group, and Carter gestured with a hand for everyone to move out.

There were still several cars on the roads creating a maze of pathways in most areas of the city. And even some places were so thick with cars, that it created a wall. An obstacle that would either be a blessing or a death sentence.

The group just had to make it through the maze of vehicles to the other side of the road. From there they could take a couple of back alleys to reach the subway entrance that was around five-hundred-meters away.

Their main issue was the last leg of the trip across the street. There weren't any cars for a good three-meters and they'd have to journey out into the open to cross. And when they did that, they'd be in full view of the infected by the corner of the road.

The member of the group moved into position. He crouched beside a car in that space between them and safety.

But, he wasn't completely out in the open. He had protection.

What Skeet had pointed at in the alley was a stack of corrugated iron sheets.

One by one, the group formed a wall across the road, shielding themselves from the view of the infected, while the rest of the survivors crawled safely to the other side.

~~~

Once everyone reached the other side of the road and re-grouped inside the back alley. Holloway led on.

They stepped quietly through the passage.

There were rags, trash and overgrown vegetation everywhere. The only sound to be heard, other than the scraping of the group's shuffling shoes on the dirt and concrete, was the drip, drip, drip of water onto something metal.

An uneasy feeling coiled itself inside Perri's stomach from the sheer stillness of the once bustling city around them.

But, suddenly, that silence was broken.

Bursts of gunfire erupted in the distance causing everyone to recoil and huddle together.

Shrieking and hollering soon flared. Any infected hearing that noise was drawn to the source.

The shooting continued for what seemed like forever but had only been several seconds.

Even the band of infected that had been waiting by the bus stop had heard the gunfire and were on their way toward it. They sprinted through the passage ahead of the survivors, like flashes of colour.

Skeet's grasp on Perri's hand tightened. She squeezed back reassuringly.

The uproar faded away as the infected vacated the area. But, they wouldn't be gone forever.

Not wasting the opportunity given to them, Carter turned to the group. "Let's move." He ordered. "Quickly!"

He nudged Holloway to get him moving. Running.

They were all sprinting through the back alley. Zig-zagging left and right and left again.

Until they came to the street they needed.

Holloway, panting hard, stopped at the lip of the alley to make sure the coast was clear before he waved his hand and bolted to the subway entrance.

Everyone followed.

Down, down, down, the stairs they went.

Into the darkness.

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