At the last minute before heading to the stadium I decided to have Jason and Jeff hold back. They were two of the best shots we had and I wanted them covering us from some place up high. They decided that the top of the east gym would be the best place. We held back until the radio clicked and Jason’s voice came at us “Alright guys, we got you covered.” I pushed the button on my handset replying “Okay guys, we’re trustin you two to keep us alive in case something goes bad.”
Heading across the field I still couldn’t shake the bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. On one hand I felt worse cause our group was two people short. On the other, I felt better cause we had some long range back up. Yea the stadium wasn’t that big and didn’t have that many areas to search but it could potentially hold a lot of people… Or zombies for that matter. Plus, from that far back they’d be able to alert us if something started coming in from far out.
We got to the gate in no time. I knew there was a public access gate at the other side of the field that we had to close but we had to sweep this side first. We split into two groups; each group would take a set of restrooms that were on each end of the stadium. Then we’d head across the field and do the same on the other side. Tony, Mike and Bryan headed right and we headed left.
We were just getting to the restrooms when a familiar looking person walked around the corner of the building. Well, a familiar looking zombie I should say. I registered who it was and said to the girls behind me “Aw shit, it’s Scott.” I had enough time to shoulder the shotgun I was carrying and pull my pistol before something slammed into me. I’d gotten careless and walked right in front of the open restroom door. The last thing I remember was my head slamming into the bars opposite the door and pulling the trigger knowing that the bullet was gonna go wide, really wide. After that, the world went black.
“HOLD HIM DOWN! WE HAVE TO CLEAN IT. WE HAVE TO SEE HOW BAD IT IS!” Voices but I couldn’t remember who they were. I’d momentarily regained consciousness. All I knew was that it hurt so badly. Why was it hurting? I couldn’t remember. I struggled to get away from what ever it was that was hurting me.
“VITA! VITA! STAY STILL, WE NEED YOU TO CALM DOWN AND LAY STILL!” I heard them talking but I couldn’t listen… The pain, oh god the pain was unbearable. I flashed back to when I had my wreck. Sitting in my wrecked car then lying in the ambulance. God it had hurt and it was hurting again. I remembered that they told me I’d died back then. The thought flickered through my head when the pain flared through me like a red hot fire. “Am I dying?” Then once again, there was nothing.
My first conscious thought was realizing that there was pain. Pain meant I was alive still. Because of the amount of pain, how much alive I was, was still up for grabs. I tried to open my eyes and a white pain shot through my head. Alive was good but the pain was almost making me wish I wasn’t. I heard voices to my right. I couldn’t tell what they were talking about. I tried to turn my head and nausea poured over me.
Keeping my head where it was I tried to focus on what was being said. The first voice I heard was Shannon’s “One of them was Zach. I tried calling Jessica and nothing. It didn’t even ring. We know the cells still work so why wouldn’t hers be working?” After a second I heard Jason reply “So you want to take two vehicles and half the fighters he designated. You want to take them to get someone who might not even be there when you get there?” I could tell the arguing was getting bad. I tried to open my eyes again and this time I got a blurred image of the ceiling.
Blinking a couple times helped to clear my vision but it was still a little unfocused. I had to try twice and swallow once before a sound would even leave me throat. “Wha hap?” Jason and Shannon stopped dead. They stepped closer to me as if not sure I’d made a noise at all. I swallowed and tried again “What happened?” They sat in two chairs next to my bed. They both seemed to be moving every so carefully. As if a slight wrong move could put me out again.
Jason leaned in a little tears welling up in his eyes “I’m sorry man. I didn’t get it in time. By the time I saw it, it was taking you down. I barely got the other one that was coming from in front of were you were.” I reached out and touched his hand where it was resting on the cot frame. Each breath it took to talk hurt like crazy as I drew it in “its ok… I’m still here… Can’t die that easy…” Shannon sat forward and looked at me at that point “I wish you’d stop scaring me like that. I almost lost my bestest once. I didn’t want to go through that again.”
Bestest… She hadn’t called me that in a while. I smiled thinking about it then “Everyone ok?” Jason replied, “Yea everyone’s ok. You were the only one injured. They took out the other three. Jason and Mike dragged you back here. Jeff’s still on the roof of the East Gym. They didn’t get to finish the sweep so he’s playing lookout. I’m so sorry Vita.” Suddenly I remembered seeing Scott. I looked at Shannon again.
“Scott. I saw Scott.” She lowered her head as she told me the rest of what happened. “Yea, you saw Scott. The one that got you was Zach. He came out of the restroom. You probably wouldn’t be hurt so bad if I hadn’t hesitated. I couldn’t believe it was them.” I reached out for her and she grabbed my hand. Breathing and talking her getting a little bit easier. “It wasn’t your fault either. I was careless. I didn’t think about the restroom when I saw Scott.”
She reached her hand up and wiped the tears away from her eyes that I didn’t even see there. “It wasn’t just Scott and Zach. There was also Beefy, James and Justin. We had to shoot them all. They were all changed. I didn’t want to but we had to.” She looked up at me. Now I could see the tears flowing freely. “Vita, I can’t get a hold of Jessica. Zach was with the guys. Jessica has to have the boys and I can’t get a hold of her. I have to go get her Vita.”
I tried to sit up and just thinking it hurt. I knew she had to go look for Jessica. I also knew that in the shape I was in I was never going to be able to go. In that instant I hated myself for being careless once. I wouldn’t do it again. I couldn’t do it again. Not just my life was at stake. Everyone’s life was. Everyone I cared about. I didn’t want to let them go without me but me being injured, I’d just be a liability. I looked at Shannon and saw the determination in her eyes. “Ok Shannon. We’ll figure something out. We won’t leave her out there by her self. I promise.”