Chapter 39

Little after an hour of reinforcing their apartment door, Lucas left through the fire escape to check other rooms on the same floor and the one above. He returned with little more than they already had, his biggest find being some pots of painkillers someone had in their bathroom on the floor above.

It had gotten dark, the window was closed and locked to prevent cold air getting inside and the two were sitting at the dining table, with their only source of light being some scented candles the owners had 'kindly' left behind.

Ellie had decided, whilst he was gone looking for supplies, to continue with her own plans to celebrate his birthday. Despite everything that had happened, with the utter shit day they had, she didn't want this one that she was excited for to be ruined as well.

Despite what had happened previously that morning, Ellie continued to reinforce the 'no weapons' rule. All she really wanted was a normal birthday party, a normal celebration. No weapons, no having to worry about those things outside or the bad people either, just a singular moment within all the crap to enjoy and celebrate something.

As they ate some biscuits they found in the cabinets, Ellie saw it as the perfect opportunity to start the celebration. Surprising him, she pulled out the cupcake from her bag under the table and slid it to the centre of the table.

He had been blown away. He asked where and how she acquired the cake, but she said it was irrelevant. What mattered was that she had kept it specifically for the two of them to share in this kind of situation, expect she was hoping it would be less dull. Preferably while they knew they were safe and alone.

She picked up the nearest candle, which had previously been in the centre before moving the cake, and she lit the birthday candle with it. She then followed herself up by asking him to make a wish.

"A wish that can come true."

Lucas never thought too much about the blowing out of candles of a cake and making a wish. He had always thought it was something parents told their gullible children, but for the longest time he'd been waiting for this kind of opportunity. A chance to change his fate.

It's not that I believe it'll come true… But saying it out loud may just change the tides, in case there is some kind of special force out there…

"I wish… For no one else to die."

He said his wish and blew out the candle with a hopeful smile. He then looked back across the table to Ellie, who had a slowly fading away smile on her wish as she watched the smoke dissipate.

She sighed.

"I said a wish that could come true…"

"But it can come true," he argued. "What says that people need to keep dying. If we're careful enough we can make it through all of this, especially if we find more people to help us… We don't have to die…"

He paused for a moment, reaching his hand across the table and taking hold of Ellie's. He pulled it towards the centre and placed both hands over hers.

"I don't want YOU to die."

Ellie was speechless. Absolutely nothing to say, but how do you respond to someone saying that? She soon found a way, when she thoughtlessly placed her hands flat on the table, as she lifted herself up off her chair and slowly leaned over the table.

What th-... She's...

He didn't know what he was doing, but he found himself doing similar. The two leaned closer towards the centre of the table, and with the smoke from the cake's candle going up their noses, they were about to kiss.

THUMB.

The two were startled, Ellie nearly losing control of her wrist and falling one side off the table. They both looked over at the door, where some of the furniture had been slightly moved, and then IT happened.

The mountain of furniture exploded across the living room as a Rager stood in the doorway. It quickly locked onto them at the dining table, and before either of them could manage a gasp, it sprinted and lunged across the apartment and latched onto her.

The impact alone threw the two completely off Ellie's chair, and the second they hit the floor blood began flying all over the place, like feathers from a beaten pillow. She began screaming uncontrollably as the monster tore into her shoulder, and while it had all happened so quickly, Lucas had barely left his chair.

He ran over to the kitchen counter and grabbed his revolver, running back over in attempt to save her.

Click.

What?!

Click. Click. The gun wouldn't shoot. With the situation at hand, Lucas didn't have time to check whether the safety was on or it simply wasn't loaded, the thought never even crossed his mind. He turned the gun around and started beating the infected in the back of the head, trying to pull it off her but it wouldn't stop.

The thing was relentless. With blood pouring out the back of its head and soaking the revolver's handle, it swung back and knocked Lucas down, continuing to attack the girl. He quickly got back up and threw himself onto it. He punched the gushing head wound over and over, until it's actions became limp and he eventually managed to throw it on the ground.

Finally, he retrieved the revolver and flipped off the safety, laying three rounds from his six shot weapon into its head. Finally, it was dead.

His left hand was busted, Ellie's shoulder was a mess and more infected had begun wandering in from the halls. Outside the slightly open window, loud screeches from more Ragers could be heard as the building door was broken down.

With infected already in the apartment, and Ragers flooding into the building, Lucas picked Elliee up and made way towards the window. Ellie couldn't stop screaming in pain, crying as hr threw her arm over his shoulder and tried with all his might to carry her through the window frame.

Going down the fire escape steps wasn't such a problem, whereas coming to the final set of ladders, things were going to get messy. His hand was completely busted, constantly throbbing when not in use and inflicting sharp pain other wise.

Lucas made it down first so that he could assist Ellie if needed, and though she was descending slowly due to her injuries, he just wished she'd hurry up. He, with a half loaded pistol in his pocket, was stood outside in a dead end alley way, while she was making her way down. If even a SINGLE infected were to see him, he could ultimately be dead, and it'd be the end for both of them.

As she struggled to climb down, basically doing so with one hand, she lost grip and ended up falling. As she fell backwards from the high height, Lucas impulsively positioned himself beneath in attempt to catch her.

Crash. She had landed on top of him, crushing Lucas as they fell flat.

Why does this feel so familiar?

He asked if she was okay, while the two stared up at the platform, witnessing as two Ragers pushed and fight each other as they climbed through their apartment window, and go straight over the second floor platform.

As the two smashed into the concrete below, crippling their bones all over their bodies, they were still not dead. Despite the damage, their clear lust for blood kept them determined, as they crawled with their arms, which hardly fared better than the rest of them, as they slowly got closer to the two.

Ellie slowly got up and Lucas had to pick himself up, acknowledging the fact that if it weren't for the situation they were in, he would be in severe pain. The two had no other option but to flee the city earlier than expected, through the streets completely consumed by darkness, as they struggled to even make out each other's facial gestures.


They were only minutes out of the city. Minutes from the apartment they had perceived as a safe haven before they were forced to flee once again, they were on the motorway. All the lights that once lit up the roads were completely out, and it was too dark for them to clearly tell, but they knew they were being closely followed.

The sounds of feet trampling and galloping behind them meant the Ragers hadn't given up, nor were they likely to. They soon found themselves stumbling into almost like a maze of cars. Empty and abandoned vehicles were all along the road they had pursued, with gave them a small spark of hope as 5 thought they might be able to lose them.

As they got closer, the two appeared to trigger a smart homemade alarm system, consisting of cans being typed to a rope, with a small object inside them so when the line was triggered, it would sound off. Lucas quickly moved them both behind a car beyond the string, as survivors seemed to point their torches in their direction, revealing Ragers being too close for comfort.

Before they knew it, the whole motorway lit up as their guns began to sound off, in attempt to repel the infected.

As Lucas and Ellie tried to bypass the all-out war going on, they found themselves being constantly startled with nearby sounds of car bonnets having a heavy weight bounce off them. The Ragers were traversing the vehicles as nimble as possible, to try to not only avoid gun fire but to also flank the survivors.

The survivors were putting up a decent defence, considering their 'camp' had been made in the middle of a once busy motorway, but the infected weren't the only ones being slaughtered. Finally, as it was bound to happen, one of the Ragers spotted the two and remained still, as it snarled and glared directly at the two.

As it charged towards the two, they had no choice but to climb inside one of the cars, slamming the door behind them as the infected collided into it. It lunged at the car window several times, cracking the glass, and as it seemed they were going to be trapped inside with it, it was shot down.

One of the survivors walked on over to the car and spotted the two inside. The man was slightly chubby with an overgrown beard around his chubby face. He cursed under his breath before shouting to his friends, informing them that he had found two kids and one was hurt, when he suddenly disappeared from sight.

Two Ragers had tackled him, laying him down as he failed to scream for very long, as his throat was torn out. Right now, Lucas knew it was a better time than ever for them to escape, so he opened the driver's side door and ran around the other side of the car.

As the two teens had nearly made it out of the car maze, Ellie noticed that one of their group had been singled out and chased out of the formation, off the road and into the nearby field. Here, the Rager seemed to do something that could only be described in one way. The thing played with him.

The man held a handgun that had ran out of ammo, as he called out for his friends for help, but they couldn't hear over the gun fire. What they witnessed was something they had never seen before, where the Rager was messing with the man. Every time the man tried to run one way, it'd be there. Each time slowly tilting it's head to him , as if to convey a sarcastic sympathy to the guy.

Eventually, the Rager decided that it was done tormenting him, and it lunged towards the man, slicing his throat open during its pass. As the loud disturbing gurgles brought Ellie to tears, the beast left him to die slowly, as it stealthily re-entered the maze of cars, passing directly beside the two witnesses.

As the man laid trying to cry, trying to scream, trying to stay alive... Lucas paid no attention to Ellie's morals of saying they should put him out of his misery as he dragged her in a different direction.


Not much was said for the remainder of the night. The two had been walking for hours, and with the sun finally rising, both of their bodies felt the impact of last night. Every step Lucas took was not only exhausting, but brought an incredible amount of pain to his spine, likely from when Ellie had fallen onto him. He couldn't even manage to clench his fist for a good few hours, for all he knew it was broken.

Ellie was a whole other story. Despite what had happened to her, she seemed to be taking it a lot better than she initially had, almost as if she had come to terms with what happened and the possibly consequences. Whereas Lucas hadn't.

The first thing they said to each other after all those silent hours was when Ellie, who was still being held up by Lucas, finally asked for a break. They had found themselves walking along a riverbank, along a very long path that seemed to stretch for miles. Along the trail there were benches placed sparsely apart, so once arriving beside one they sat down.

Lucas sat Ellie on the bench, whereas he himself stumbled and fell on his backside, accepting his position and remaining there.

"You okay?" Ellie asked, releasing them from the momentary silence.

"I'm alright... You?"

"D'ya really need to ask?"

Lucas fell silent. He didn't know what to say. What could anyone say to her, in her current state.

"You wanna know how it feels?" She asked, leaning lifelessly against the back of the bench.

"Ellie..."

She shed a tear, before beginning to explain how her wound and the effects it was having on her body. She described her body as feeling 'light', like she could be swept away in a large gust of wind. Her wound was burning, feeling hotter and hotter which each passing hour, while she otherwise felt freezing. To top it all of, along with feeling completely fatigued, Ellie had a headache from hell which made simply thinking hurt alone.

"W-we -we need to find some painkillers o-or something," Lucas said, avoiding eye contact with her while he tried to force himself back up.

"I'm not going anywhere Lucas..."

"No, no you can!" He retaliated finally mustering enough strength to stand up. "C'mon," he grabbed hold of her. "It'll hurt now but we'll find you som-"

"I can't go anywher-"

"Stop being lazy! We can- we can-!"

"LUCAS!" She screamed, where he finally let her go and fell straight back down.

"We can't give up now!" He burst into tears. "Not after everything!"

"Can't you see it yet Lucas?" She asked, before briefly breaking out into a heavy, and bloody, cough. "I'm infected..."

"We don't know that," he shook his head in heavy denial. "We-we've never seen anyone get infected from a-a-a Rager-"

"That's just cause no one ever lives after... getting attacked by them..."

"Exactly!" He shouted. "So there's a chance-!"

"An infected is still an inf-ect-ed, Lucas!" She attempted to shout, only to cough once raising her voice too loud.

"I can't lose you..."

I can't be alone...

The two went silent once again. Then, when Lucas looked back to Ellie, her eyes were fixated on something on the ground beside him. After looking himself, he found that she was looking at his revolver, which he had dropped and left on the floor.

"W-why?"

"You know why..."

"No... No, I won't let you do that. I refuse!"

"... I wasn't thinking of doing it myself..."

What...

While he refused to give an answer, she moved herself off the bench until she fell on her hands and feet. Lucas moved towards her and held Ellie up, while she leaned on him with her left arm, the side she was bitten on.

"Please Lucas... If you want to help me... Do this last thing for me?" She begged, crying and in turn encouraging him too. "I'm so scared... I don't wanna turn..."

He couldn't say anything, but he knew this was what she wanted.

He grabbed the handgun off the floor. He placed his left hand behind her neck, holding her head up straight as he stared into her eyes. Lucas pulled her head close to him and gently kissed her forehead with his trembling lips. Then he brought the revolver to the side of her head, trying to keep his hand steady as the both of them broke into tears.

"Thank you..." She whimpered. "I'm really... I'm really glad I got to meet you, Lucas..."

What do I say? What can I say...

"I love you, Ellie."

She struck a surprising smile, however it was far too shortly lived. Not more than 3 seconds after he said it, he pulled the trigger and closed his eyes. He kept them closed as he listened to her blood splatter, her body fall, and the gunshot dissipate in the heavy wind.

He turned his head away and finally opened his eyes, not bearing to take a second glance at her body. He wiped the hot soaking liquid off his face and walked away in the opposite direction to the way they came.

I didn't let her say she loved me back... Honestly, I don't believe I meant what I said for even a second. It was a spur of the moment thing I-... I thought it'd make her happy, and I think it did.

I'm on my own again now. On my own for the first time properly anyway... Into a world of hell. The more I think about it, the world hasn't really changed all that much from before this all happened, just the way things are done. People are dying, killing each other and are struggling to find food and shelter, and when has that ever stopped? It's only more tragic because of these things we don't understand, and because it's all on our doorsteps now, rather than just hearing it on TV.

I don't know what's going to happen from now on... I will die one of these days. After everything that has happened to me and the people who have died around me, it's bound to happen. I'm not immune to death as much as the next person, all I can do, like the next person, is delay my death. Through all this time I've learnt how to survive, how to adapt and manage myself, and that's all I know now, this outbreak has taught me everything I need to know. All I know is that whoever the people that make it near the end of all this madness are, will surely be able to agree that this has been an apocalypse to remember...


A/N:

That's it folks, the end of Apocalypse for the second time. I hope you all enjoyed, the journey has been fun. It actually took a lot longer to re-write the story than when originally writing it (mainly because there was so much to fix).

Make sure to keep following me as an author, so that when I start to write the sequel to this story you can all be informed immediately! Also, don't forget to check out my other stories on my profile, and please feel free to leave some reviews of how you think the story ended/ your overall thoughts!