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**Please note: This is the first draft. Please excuse any typos or grammatical errors.

To read a re-written + expanded version, get AS THEY RISE as an ebook. THE EVA SERIES is now available for on Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Nook + Google Play.

Find out more here: jenmariewilde.com/books (click the external link).**

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Prologue

We all looked at each other, eyes wide in shock, struggling to believe what we saw.

For anyone still in Sydney or Melbourne who are uninfected, you are urged to stay inside and lock your doors and windows. The infected have become severely deranged and extremely violent. We have received countless reports of the infected biting and even killing anyone they come across, including their loved ones. Do not approach the infected. I repeat; do not approach the infected. If you have been bitten, you are requested to go to the nearest hospital or medical centre for treatment as soon as possible.

More footage of the streets was shown then, this time of the infected. Their eyes were an eerie white, skin grey and spattered with blood, their faces and arms covered in open wounds and lesions.

"Zombies," whispered Ben, staring slack-jawed at the screen.

"Oh come on, Ben," Jo scoffed, putting her hands on her hips. "The media always over dramatises things. I doubt it's that serious."

"You haven't seen the guy just outside the door," Ben replied.

"We need to get rid of him. He's infected. He's been bitten, and he's starting to look just like them," I said, motioning to the infected people on the screen.

My stomach turned as I heard the sound of the bell ringing as the door of the diner opened, and slowly shut again.

"I hope that was him leaving," I whispered as I unlocked the door and slid it open an inch.

I peered through the gap, but could still see the infected man trying to pull himself up onto the counter. "He's still there."

"That means another one just walked in," Wyatt said as he switched off the television and stood close behind me. Any other day I would have shivered in his close presence, but right now we stood on the edge of the end of the world, and we had to survive.

I heard a loud groan and someone, something, shuffling through the diner, edging closer to the four of us hiding in the tiny office. I held my breath, trying desperately to stay quiet. Slowly, I began sliding the door closed, but it was too late. A rancid, decomposing face appeared on the other side of the entryway, its dilated pupils burning into me in desire.

I screamed, almost knocking Wyatt over as I jumped back into him. It let out a terrifying screech as it crammed a long, freshly mauled arm through the opening in the door. The putrid smell of day old rotting flesh filled the room as its maggot infested hand swiped at me frantically. The mere sight of it filled my stomach with bile, but I knew I had to focus on keeping us alive.

I threw myself forward against the door, pushing it sideways as hard as I could. Wyatt leant over me onto the door, helping me slam it into the infected arm. Ben tried to grab it and push it back onto the other side of the door, but it was swinging wildly, its yellow fingernails covered in dried blood. Jo backed herself up against the far wall, screaming in fear.

I put all my weight against the door and together Wyatt and I forced it closed, and by the sound of the sickening crack I knew we had broken the bone, but the possessed arm didn't stop. Instead, it kept waving around, only now it couldn't grab us. Ben pushed the shattered arm back through the door and we slammed it shut, locking it fast.

For a moment, everything fell silent. I leaned off of the door and tried to catch my breath. I could feel my entire body trembling. My heart pounded so hard I thought it would explode.

I could hear it, the infected monster, groaning and sniffing at the other side of the door. The groan turned into a loud growl, and it furiously rammed itself into the door. Ben and Wyatt threw themselves against it to stop it from breaking in.

"What do we do?" I asked, my legs feeling so unstable I thought I would collapse.

No-one answered.

I leaned my arms against the door again, helping Ben and Wyatt keep it closed, while Jo slid down onto the floor, her knees up against her chest as tears streamed down her face. Over the growling I heard the bell ring again.

Another one had come for us. All that stood between us and these mindless creatures with an insatiable hunger for human flesh was a thin sliding door.

We were trapped.

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