Our Worlds Collide

Submitted into Contest #60 in response to: Write a post-apocalyptic story that features zombies.... view prompt


Fantasy Funny Science Fiction

Meredith was trapped. And not only was she trapped, but she had no weapons. Several days before her elder brother, Josh, had died from a bite to the shoulder, he told her that if she didn't start planning ahead, that it would eventually be the death of her. Those words were proving themselves to be true. She was stuck in an apartment building with only a small window on the back wall, a bathroom with supplies that had proved to be useless and a daunting door in front of her that was just about to give way and let the undead flow in to do what they've been doing for two years now - destroy everything in their path.

Truthfully, she was surprised that she has lasted this long. Although without Josh, she surely would have died right after their parents had been infected.

She also hoped that she would have some sort of control of this situation. Maybe a gun with a single bullet left to end her life. After all, that's all she could hope for anymore. But, this would not be on her own terms. She would die like most of the suckers on this planet who wouldn't pay attention when the government started testing their biological experiments. America was doomed from the start.

Maybe this was a good thing. She didn't have to be afraid or paranoid anymore.

Her hands clenched at her sides and her dark brown eyes narrowed at the dirty door. No - she couldn't die like this. She wanted to live.

She spun on her heel, ignoring the snarls and growls of the undead just on the other side of the door. She strode towards the window on the back wall with purpose and pulled back the brown-stained curtains. She jumped in shock and let out a frightened 'yelp'.

There was a boy on the other side of the glass, staring at her. Her heart raced as she stared into his bright blue eyes, not milky white like everything and everyone lately; blue. And full of life. He couldn't be much older than nine or ten.

The boy looked shocked to see her as well. His brown hair that was much lighter than hers whipped around in the wind and he seemed to be bracing himself. Meredith peered down below and almost scoffed to herself when she found a fire escape.

Of course! Here she was, contemplating death like a fool!

The boy had still not moved, so she quickly unlocked the window and glanced back to that damned door that was splintering at the edges. She looked out the window again, only to find that the boy was not there. Meredith looked down. He was making his way down the flights of narrow stairways. He was wary and he had the right to be. People have not been the best companions as of late, alive or otherwise.

She shoved the window upwards and poked her head through, "Hey! Hold up! I'm not gonna hurt you, I promise! " she tried to not yell too loudly, because the alleyway that the fire escape led to looked relatively empty and she wanted it to stay that way.

However, the boy was silent. He just kept making his way down, only taking his eyes off of her every few seconds to see where he was going. His appearance appalled her. He looked clean. She was sure that she looked like one of the dead - dirty blue jeans, a faded black T-shirt with a baggy jacket that wasn't doing very well at keeping out the cold. It was one of the reasons that she had been in this apartment in the first place; winter was approaching, fast. She was quite sure that her usual olive complexion had been severely darkened by dirt and sprays of blood.

It was then that Meredith realized that she needed to leave, soon. If she waited any longer then she would definitely die.

She quickly snatched her backpack off of the floor and threaded her arms through, before she returned to the window and squeezed herself through. Her tired legs stung as they made contact with the metal beneath, but she didn't waste anymore time. She sprinted down the narrow stairways, not willing to slow down. She had almost made it halfway, when she heard the crack of the door.

She risked a glance upwards and her eyes widened when she saw that the walking corpses were squeezing their way through the window. They stumbled after her and fell down the flights of stairs. Her eyes widened and she ran down the steps faster, in a panic.

She didn't think that it could get worse, but just as her feet touched the ground, a corpse that had fallen over the iron railing fell on the ground in front of her with a loud 'crack'!

Whoever that had once been was dead now, but that was the least of her worries. Once she looked up, she saw the boy standing on the ground with his eyes as wide as saucers. They both looked at the opening of the alleyway at the same time and their hearts almost stopped right then and there.

The undead in the street did not hesitate to move towards the pair and funnel themselves into the alleyway; trapping them.

Meredith cursed under her breath. The building opposite them had a similar fire escape, although it did not have stairs - it was a single ladder. She grabbed the boy by his arm, away from the snarling mass of thoughtless cannibals and carried him to the ladder. There was a cage covering the ladder. She shoved the boy at the ladder frantically and saw him shaking as he climbed as fast as he could. Meredith's heart felt as though it would burst out of her chest as she started climbing and the undead finally reached her. As she climbed, a cold and bony hand wrapped around her ankle. Her eyes almost bulged out of their sockets, but the she kicked at the corpse's face and bashed out its rotting teeth from its black gums. She felt the coldness leave her ankle and chased after the boy who was almost at the top of the building.

She scaled the ladder more quickly than she thought possible and grabbed the hand that was being offered to her. They helped pull her over the side of the building, but when she looked up and saw a man instead of the boy, she fell to the ground and quickly crawled away from him, scared.

"Whoa! It's okay. " a masculine voice exclaimed and she frowned before looking up at him. The man's features weren't very different from the boy. The only difference between them really was that the man was much more muscled. He held a machete in his grip.

Meredith swallowed. She had no weapons, only her back pack that held some rolls of toilet paper, vanilla chapstick, a tent and some tampons. She was screwed. The man however, didn't seem all that frightening. He held his hands infront of him.

Even if he said he wouldn't hurt her, she's met many deceitful people during the end of their modern world.

"You helped my brother. Thank you, really. " the man continued, "My name is Will. Are you alone? "

She contemplated lying, or being smart about this, but she didn't have the energy, "Yes. " she answered, out of breath.

Will nodded, "You're not lying? "

Meredith almost rolled her eyes. He would just have to take her word for it, "No. "

Will handed the machete to his little brother and then reached into his back pocket and stepped forward. Before Meredith could object, he had taken out some zip ties and bound her hands together. She tried struggling away, but Will was ridiculously strong.

"What the hell, man! " she twisted her wrists in every way she could, but it only ended up hurting her.

"I wouldn't struggle if I were you. " Will swiftly picked Meredith up and threw her over his shoulder. She yelled at him to let her go, but the only reaction she got was from the undead below.

Will carried her around the roof, but it wasn't very long before she was sat down on a camping chair.

Meredith froze when she saw another set of eyes on her. Only they belonged to a teenage girl. Her dark skin was a stark contrast to her light blonde hair that was cut extremely short. This girl looked as Meredith did. Ragged.

Meredith faintly wondered if these people had a camp. The previous camps that she and her brother had found were not to be desired. Rapists and murderers. The only women in these camps were the cooks and the sex objects. She hoped that this was not the case with these people. Although, being tied up was not supporting this argument.

"She was in that other apartment. " Will had sat down in another camp chair and his brother sat on a mound of blankets on the ground. A campfire burned brightly in the middle of them. She wasn't sure how they found enough materials to make a fire on a roof, but she wouldn't complain. It was keeping her warm. Although, them keeping her here was quite confusing.

"Did you check her for weapons? " the teenager asked, glaring at Meredith.

"No. But she's tied up. "

The girl scoffed, "And the pack? "

Will rolled his eyes at her question, "You check if you want, Tia. "

The girl that Meredith now knew as Tia got up from her seat with a scowl. She inched her way around the fire and Meredith's chair.

Meredith tensed up as Tia opened up her pack and rifled through it. Tia held the tent up for Will to see.

"This is why we check, idiot. " Meredith's frown deepened. A tent was not an amazing find, but after glancing around, she noticed that there weren't any sleeping quarters set up. Only various blankets.

Will clicked his tongue and stood up to take the tent from Tia, and started setting it up. It was almost nighttime, after all.

The side pockets that held the tampons were zipped open, but Tia didn't say anything. Meredith heard her filling her pockets with the tampons and she decided not to say anything about it. She was a teenage girl and was probably still subconsciously trying to hide products like that away from guys.

She doesn't blame her. She was exactly the same when her brother was still alive. In fact, whenever they went on runs, Meredith always took the paper bags instead of the plastic ones so that Josh wouldn't see her feminine products straight through the bag.

"You and the girl can stay in here tonight. " Will muttered.

Tia didn't say anything, but Meredith felt that she had to.

"What about the boy? He should get to sleep in there. " she wanted to face palm herself after the words left her lips. She shouldn't be helping these people. They just kidnapped her!

Tia and Will paused for a moment, either just now realizing that the quiet boy needed a place to sleep, or they were shocked that she had spoken.

"His name's Rowan. " Will huffed, glancing at the boy who had laid down on his side.

Meredith had completely forgotten about how children must have been affected by this. When this started, Rowan was much younger. She couldn't imagine the psychological effects that it must've had on him. Going from worrying about homework and popularity to worrying about getting devoured by dead people must've messed him up, bad.

"Then, you and him can stay in that thing and I'll watch her. " Tia came back into Meredith's view and sat back down.

Will wasn't having it though, "No. You stay with him. I'll watch her. "

Tia rolled her eyes at him, "Fine. " then she looked at Meredith, "What's your name? "

Meredith sighed indignately, "Meredith. "

Tia's nose turned up, "Sounds ancient. How old are you? "

Meredith narrowed her eyes at the teen, "Twenty. "

"Dang. Your parents definitely didn't love you."

Meredith's heart panged with pain and she glared at Tia harshly. How dare she say that to her? After they were gone forever?

"Shut up, Tia! " Will snapped at her from inside the tent as he attempted to force it to stand up, "Don't say stuff like that. "

Tia looked ready to argue, but she slowly realized her hurtful mistake and cringed, "Sorry."

"Can't just say shit like that. " Will grunted and they watched as the tent was finally pulled upright. Tia didn't respond to him. Meredith looked away from them and rather focused on the boy who still remained silent. Meredith wondered if the boy was mute, or perhaps just shy.

Tia and Will had started throwing all of their belongings in the tent and Meredith surmised that she would probably never get it back. Before Tia and Rowan got in the tent, Meredith decided to ask what she's wanted to this whole time.

"Do you have a camp? " she could barely stop her voice from trembling.

They paused briefly and looked at her, before Tia gently pulled Rowan into the tent and zipped it up. Will however, sat back down on the chair and looked at her with a piercing gaze.

"We're here for 'Paradise'. " he shrugged.

Meredith nearly rolled her eyes again and sighed, "What's that? "

Will seemed confused by her question and pointed to what she assumed was his back pack on the ground, "It's been broadcasted all over the lines. " he was talking about his radio. The only radio that she had, had died with her brother. The police precinct that they had tried to raid had more of the undead than they had known. Any hope of grabbing a radio or guns had been snuffed out once they were overpowered.

Meredith was solely responsible for it as well. She had told Josh about the precinct and assured him that it was empty, but she hadn't anticipated that all the jail cells had been opened, as well as the upstairs doors. She reckoned that one of the guards had tried to save the prisoners, but several of them had already been infected.

She should have scouted it out first.

"Hello? Meredith? " she jolted in her seat and looked at Will with wide eyes. He sat back in his seat, "You don't have a radio or anything? "

She shook her head, slowly.

"Hm. The only reason that we took you in is 'cause they said that they're rescuing people, from one of these buildings. " he explained.

"Tell her everything, why don't you! " Tia exclaimed from inside the tent, but he didn't pay attention to her.

"I just hope we got the right one. "

Meredith scowled, "When are they coming? "

"Tomorrow. " his eyes settled on the tent, "Hopefully. " he murmured, softly.

Meredith looked at the tent as well and found herself hoping that "Paradise' would arrive as well. Although, not for her sake. She hoped that somone would rescue the poor children in the tent. The adults screwed up the world, not them. If anyone deserved paradise it would be the children. She hoped that they would receive better lives.

Not this hell.

"So, we just wait? " Meredith whispered into the night air.

"That's the plan. " Will responded, still staring at the tent.

She dreaded to think of what would happen if they didn't come tomorrow.

It was quiet now. The only sounds were the distant growls of the undead. Something that Meredith dearly missed was the sound of animals. She had planned to be a vet, but the world descended into chaos before she had a chance. Animals were either dead or they had adapted to the world and refrained from making noise. As far as people were concerned, they were stuck dealing with their own mess.

Although, it was better than the sound of an entire horde planning to eat you. Much better, actually.

The pair sat in silence.

Until it wasn't silent. The beating of air was heard and both Meredith and Will jolted in their seats.

Will quickly stood up and ran to the edge of the building to peer over it. Meredith watched, anxiously wringing her bound wrists. She saw Will back away from the edge of the roof and rush to the tent, zipping it open.

A helicopter rose from below and she saw men with assault rifles, wearing proper military-grade armour. Her jaw dropped open and she watched Tia and Rowan scramble out of the tent.

Tia rushed to her and cut the zip ties, freeing her. Meredith was unsure of what to do, but Tia just shoved her to the end of the roof where she took a closer look at the men. Their patches said 'Paradise'. Rowan appeared right next to her, seeming excited. Tia and Will were still frantically gathering belongings.

The helicopter flew close and a man with a moustache looked at her, "We've only got room for two more! " he yelled over the deafening noise of the helicopter.

Meredith glanced back at Tia and Will who were trying to shove the tent back in her backpack for whatever reason. She remained quiet for a bit as she looked behind the soldier and saw a couple other survivors who looked a bit beaten up, but relieved.

She looked at Rowan for a long while and finally said, "Then we'll go. " she answered.

Before Rowan or the soldier said anything, she put herself and Rowan in the helicopter before Tia and Will could see.

The soldier seemed shocked, but he didn't say anything further. He yelled at the pilot to go and the screams of pure anger were heard from Tia and Will as they lifted farther into the sky.

Meredith just held onto Rowan as he cried for his brother. She looked at the city below and whispered to herself softly:

"I want to live. "

September 24, 2020 18:46

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Sue Marsh
15:32 Oct 01, 2020

The storyline is fine, but the entire thing is bogged down, I could not relate to Merideth or any of the other characters. I think you could have been more descriptive in some parts of your story, not gory just more descriptive. This is not really my genre but I did write a thriller it is called Golden Eye, if you get the time please feel free to read it. Above all Lesli keep writing. Sue


Lesli Williams
17:42 Oct 01, 2020

I saw that after reading it again. Thank you. And yeah! I'll definitely check it out!


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John K Adams
23:08 Sep 30, 2020

An ambitious effort. The description heavy exposition at the beginning was a bit of a slog. I didn't feel connected to Meredith or anyone. But that may be more the zombie genre than your writing. I would be more selective in the detail you present. Suggestion can take you further than endless belaboring of each detail.


Lesli Williams
07:47 Oct 01, 2020

You make a good point. Thank you


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