11 am that same day…
Two students were missing last Monday, three on Tuesday, and four were declared missing on Friday two of whom were my close friends; Chiamaka and Evelyn. They simply disappeared without trace. My life has not been the same since last week. Those two were my pillars of support and fun. I’ve been unable to think straight since they disappeared. To destroy the whole week, a man- our neighbor- murdered his wife in cold blood. I didn’t believe he could do that to his wife, they loved each other and they were not ashamed to display their deep affection for each other. He smashed her head. Men are evil, the world is evil, and there I was weeks ago wishing to be married to a man like him. I was broken to a million pieces; I was close to the wife… I fell sick almost immediately.
I was supposed to stay at home, but mum asked me to go to school to clear my mind. Tell me how I was supposed to do that when my friends who always brightened my day had disappeared without trace. I hoped they returned.
“Funmi,” a croaky voice jolted me out of my depressing thought.
I looked up to see Alex gazing at me.
“Alex, what do you want? I’m not in the mood for jokes today,” I said, Alex was a jester, and his jokes were always lewd. I didn’t like him because of his dirty jokes but he was in love with me because of my body. I could tell by the way he ogled me.
“I’m not here to joke.”
He was serious. He took a seat beside me; he looked somehow frightened and pale, his eyes were red.
“I’m not fine, Funmi,” his voice was tremulous and almost breaking.
I was scared. Alex was a jovial person, he never stopped laughing and making other people laugh. He was probably joking.
“What happened?” I asked with pursed lips.
“Everything is changing… everything single thing is changing,” he scratched his cheek with his trembling hand.
“What’s changing?” his words were less than comforting and I was getting confused.
“The whole world, Funmi… and Chiamaka and Evelyn are never coming back. We need to get out of the school premises.”
“What do you mean they aren’t coming back?”
“They must have been infected. Those who are infected are never going to be cured,” His voice was urgent. He didn’t sound as if he was joking even though I was expecting him to burst out laughing at my confused and frightened expression.
“Alex, you are scaring me, what’s going on? Who’s infected?”
My heart was thumping violently against my sternum. Alex was being cryptic about what he knows and it was driving me crazy.
“Alex, I’m not finding any of this funny… just tell me you are kidding me,” I tried smiling but I failed.
“Let’s get out of here.” He said has he grabbed my hand with a powerful grip. This dude was freaking me out and it wasn’t funny.
“You know what, just leave me alone.” I twisted my hand from his grip packing my books. I walked out of the classroom. It felt quite odd that I had been the only one in the classroom before Alex joined me.
I wasn’t watching as I almost collided into someone, the man grabbed me. He glared up at me; a growl broke through his throat sending chills down my back. His face was pale and his eyes were void of iris. He pressed against me, his jaws snapping like he wanted to eat me. Alex came to my rescue pulling him off me. The man was on Alex then I saw blood spraying on the tiles. Alex yelped as the man tore the flesh from his arm. It didn’t look anything like a prank.
I screamed as my books dropped scattering on the floor. Alex didn’t need to tell me to run. I ran jumping through the stairwell like a maniac. I would have listened to Alex when he asked us to leave. I am a fucking idiot.
When I finally got to the ground floor and everything seemed normal, I guess no one heard me screaming neither did anyone hear Alex yell. People were chatting away, playing, jesting, the serious ones were studying. It felt like I just woken up from a nightmare. I tried to compose myself but I was trembling like a puppy that had just survived rainfall. I had no idea what was happening, I didn’t understand, I was confused. How could I explain what I had just witnessed?
Suddenly someone screamed, and then I saw a blur drop from the top floor, it hit the hard ground with a sickening thud. I squeezed through the crowd that had formed around the scene. There Alex lay twisted on the floor as blood pooled around him.
I felt dizzy momentarily. People were already taking pictures with their phone rather than find a way to save him.
I felt I was responsible for what had happened. If I had listened to him earlier this wouldn’t have happened to him. Alex’s twisted body began to twitch. Then he was up groaning painfully, one of his arms propped his body, the other hand was broken. I heaved a sigh of relieve. He was alive, although his face was covered in blood, I wasn’t sure he would get better, he was injured badly. I was about to go help him to his feet but some guys had beat me to him. They helped him to his feet.
“Get the doctor…”
Next thing I saw was Alex attacking one of the guys, clamping his teeth over the guy’s nose. Blood gushed as the man’s arms flailed; he screamed prompting those standing nearby to his rescue.
I took a few steps back, while the chaos unfolded. My heart fluttered, I couldn’t think, I was flustered. All I had in mind was to run and run very far away.
4hrs 30 minutes later,
Location: Allen Avenue
It was 3.30 pm and we were still trapped in the boardroom. We were all weighed down by the deaths we had seen and fear that we would end up the same way. I stared into the blank space ahead of me like a soldier who was battle weary.
I was scared of remaining in the building till nightfall. I could hear someone shuffling and groaning in the hallway. It soon faded away.
That moment I realized something; Mr. Oladeji murdering his wife could be because his wife had turned, and he was bitten in the process of defending and got infected. He had smashed her head with a pestle. In the movies, the brains had to be damaged before zombies died. It was harder than what movies portrayed, they made death seem easy. The thought turned my stomach.
I rubbed my temples. The gunshots had stopped but there were still clamors below, people running for dear life.
“I want to go out there and I need two people,” Lanre ended the silence that pervaded the room; he adjusted his glasses on the bridge of his nose. I could see the determination in his eyes. He folded the sleeves of his shirt. A mess of tattoos colored his right forearm. It was a well-drawn murder of crows. I never thought he was the tattoo kind of guy. He had the look of a pastor. I caught Emeka looking at the tattoo probably.
“Yeah, it’s dangerous but we can’t just sit hear hoping they would go away just like that. Who’s with me?” Lanre announced.
“Don’t be stupid,” Emeka sneered.
“No one is coming to save us, we all know that. I’m with you Larry,” Peter was on his feet. He was right; no one was coming to save us. It’s what we’ve always done in Nigeria. Only the lazy ones depended on the government and the government has always failed us.
“Me too,” I got up, rolling the sleeves of my Calvin Klein shirt. I removed my tie. I caught Hakeem’s eyes on me. He was probably thinking; “You want to go and die.”
“We are going to smash their heads. That’s the only way to kill them.” I said as I began to sweat nervously. It made me uneasy.
“Like in the movies,” Peter added exhaling. I nodded affirmatively.
It was easier said than done, we had no weapons to execute the plan.
Lanre looked around.
“There are no weapons here.” Hakeem said. I noticed Ijeoma’s stick broom at one corner of the room. I picked it up and separated the broom from its wooden handle. I broke it in two. I tossed one part to Lanre but he handed it to Peter. It wasn’t heavy enough to do any intended damage but concentrated effort would do.
“Be careful out there.” I heard Banke say.
We peered into the hallway it was empty. We stepped out of the boardroom one after the other. I felt like changing my mind. Soon I realized we had no plan to begin with. We trod carefully in the dim hallway, and then one of them approached us. He was in a bloodied business suit, its hands outstretched; his neck was tilted in an odd way revealing a deep bite mark. He shambled towards us, groaning.
“T-that’s the MD.” Peter whispered. I swallowed. “He has…”
I moved towards him swinging the stick downward with all my might. It landed on his shoulder. I stepped back breathing heavily. Peter clocked him in the temple, the MD staggered to the side. Then I brought down my stick hard on his head- he was bald. He crashed to the ground, but he was on his feet again snarling like crazy. The blow did nothing stop him, he was unrelenting.
“Shit nothing is happening…” I was panicking.
Lanre took the stick from me. He proceeded to bash the MD’s head repeatedly with the stick till he stopped moving. But I could see his fingers moving. Peter was bent retching. He spat. I felt the urge to vomit too as I saw blood spread around the MD’s head, with bits of brains. I held my hand to my mouth.
“Fuck him.” Lanre said mirthlessly then spat.
I was a bit surprised by his lack of remorse for what he had done, though it was a kill-or-be-killed situation. The MD was indeed a difficult man but I didn’t want this to happen to him or anyone else. This was unfortunate.
Lanre handed me the bloody stick and I refused it.
“Was he your friend? He wasn’t anyone’s friend. He couldn’t be anyone’s friend. He took twenty percent of my salary for the past six months because I caught him screwing Cynthia in his office. He threatened to sack me if I told anyone about it. He was a hypocrite… he was evil and he deserves what he got.” Lanre spoke calmly but I could feel the anger laced within the calmness. No wonder Cynthia got that promotion, her service to the boss had facilitated it.
Hakeem was jonzing, I thought.
“No one deserves this.” I said finally with a shrug. “But this thing was no longer the MD we knew. He had to die before he became this. He had no consciousness and his personality had gone”
“The MD is dead; you have exerted your revenge. But let’s focus on getting out of here,” Peter said.
We paced towards the elevator, and then turned right. The cubicle city was at the end of the hallway, the stairwell was to the left about 30 meters before the cubicle city. Bloody shoeprints could be seen leading to the stairwell. The HOD’s office was on the right and two other locked offices.
“I need to get to my cubicle.” I whispered eyeing the cubicle city from afar. I needed to pick my phone, my cigarette, and my keys. Mum and my sister Funmi would have been worried sick and I was scared for them too. I just hoped the chaos hadn’t gotten to Sango Otta.
“Let’s check the stairs first,” Lanre advised. “The stairs is the only way out of here.”
“It’s dangerous. Lots of shoe prints lead there, it’s not advisable,” I insisted pointing at the shoe prints that ran into the stairwell.
Peter switched on the torch of his iPhone, we moved closer.
“It’s tricky, the prints move to and fro… between the stairwell and the cubicle city and HOD’s office,” Peter analyzed. “It’s like they all left this floor.”
“Maybe,” I shrugged.
Soon we stood at the edge of the stairwell. Peter flashed his light into the dark. There stood about two dozens of bloody pale faces staring back at us groaning and making jerky movements, snapping their teeth. Their hands were stretched towards us. They wanted us to come down. One was already crawling up the stairs. It was glaring that there was no way out of this building.
Author’s Note: I apologize for the late update,life happened but I’m back now. Updates would be frequent from now on. Enjoy the story, Review and give suggestions on how to improve my storytelling. Thank you. XOXO