Chapter Thirty-Nine

'Christ,' mumbled Clare as she looked down from a high window onto the remains of the huge crowd outside the university building. 'Look at them! Just look at them!' Donna had been sitting silently on the stairs holding her head in her hands, waiting impatiently and anxiously for the men to return.

They had been gone for almost an hour. She got up and slowly walked over to where Clare was standing. 'Bloody hell...' she gasped as she stared into the mayhem below.

The bodies were moving with more force and speed than she'd ever seen before. Those nearest the centre of the city were continuing to break away from the main group and were stumbling away from the university complex in the general direction in which the six survivors had disappeared earlier.

This wasn't any random coincidence. It was obvious that the corpses were moving with a purpose and a new found drive.

And as the figures continued to stagger away, so more and more of them followed. 'What's happening to them?' Clare asked. 'What are they doing?' Down in the middle of the crowd she could see bodies beginning to fight with others to move through the immense gathering.

'It's like they're waking up,' Donna replied under her breath. In horror she pressed her face against the cold glass and watched the shadowy figures continue to move. In some ways it was almost as if they were beginning to herd like wild animals. Their movements were unerringly similar to a shoal of fish or a flock of migrating birds slowed down to a fraction of their natural pace. The implications were devastating. 'Where are you going?'

Clare wondered as Donna moved back towards the staircase. Her voice was trembling and light. 'Back down to the others. Coming?' Clare didn't move. 'Do you think they're going to be able to get back...'

Donna shook her head and answered abruptly. 'I don't know. There are thousands and thousands of those bloody things out there.

All it's going to take is for one of the men to get caught and...'

'But why is this happening? Why have they started to behave like this now?'

Donna shrugged her shoulders. 'Who knows,' she replied. 'Whatever the reason, we need to get away from this place as soon as we can.'

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