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Daniels nodded reluctantly. “Right now, yes, that seems to be the only way.”

It suddenly hit me, and I could barely breathe. I felt dizzy and nauseated, and I rubbed the back of my neck. I stared down at the zombie skeleton in front of me and realized that this would never end. There would be no way we could ever kill them all.

“This is never going to be over,” I whispered. “The zombies are never going to be gone.”

“What?” Daniels asked, leaning in to hear me better.

“This will never end!” I shouted, and since I had nothing better to do with my newfound rage, I stomped on the zombie, crushing its gelatinized bones beneath my foot. “They will never fucking die!”

“Remy!” Daniels reached out to me, trying to pull me off the zombie, but I slapped his hands away.

“Shut up,” Bishop hissed and walked around to the back of the trailer. “You’re scaring the children.”

“They should be scared!” I yelled, but immediately regretted it.

I stepped away from the zombie and ran my hands through my hair. I took a deep breath and stared up at the sky. Heavy gray clouds were coming in, blotting out the sun. It would rain soon, and for so long, I’d been certain that I’d never see or feel the rain again.

I exhaled deeply and tried to remind myself that I had things to live for, things to be grateful for. I just couldn’t let myself get overwhelmed by this.

“Sorry,” I apologized to no one in particular.

I went over to shut the door on the back of the trailer, just in case there were more zombies back there. And even if there weren’t, I wanted to contain the smell. I couldn’t get it myself, so Daniels came over and helped me jam the lock back in place.

The crackle of static suddenly came from the cab of the truck. This was followed by a voice saying, “Can anyone here this? Over.”

Boden raced down the trailer to the cab, to the CB radio where the voice was coming from. Something sounded familiar about the voice, but I couldn’t place it until I heard it come again a moment later.

“Is there anyone out there? Over.”

I’d know that voice anywhere. It was Lazlo Durante.

12.

“This is Sergeant Boden, over,” Boden was saying into the radio.

I climbed up onto the cab and hung down through the open door. Inside the cab was a bloody mess. The zombies had apparently climbed in to eat the driver, and parts of his body were lying all around.

Boden had one foot on the dashboard and one on the passenger seat, pinning himself up, with the mic in his hand.

“Give that to me,” I said, reaching out for it.

“What are you doing?” He pulled it out of my reach.

“Just give it me.” I almost fell into the truck, nearly knocking him down in the process.

“Remy!” Boden growled.

When I still persisted, he finally handed it over to me. Probably just because he didn’t want to fall down into the blood and rotting flesh at the bottom of the truck.

While we’d been fighting over the mic, I could hear the voice crackling through, introducing himself as Lazlo and asking where we were.

“Lazlo?” I asked, sounding out of breath from running to get the mic and wrestling with Boden. “Lazlo?”

There was nothing. Not even static. And my heart dropped.

“Lazlo?” I asked again, sounding panicked.

“You have to let go of the button when you’re done talking so you can hear him,” Boden said dryly.

“Oh. Right.” I let go, and instantly, I heard Lazlo’s response.

“Remy?” Lazlo asked. “Is that you? Over.”

“Yes!” Relieved tears wanted to fill my eyes but I swallowed them back. “Are you okay?” I let go of the button, then clicked it again and said, “Over.”

“Yeah, I’m okay,” Lazlo said. “How did you get out? Are you okay? Over.”

“Yeah, I’m good. It’s too long of a story, but I’m fine,” I said. “Where are you? Over.”

“I don’t know,” Lazlo said. “We’re going to Canada, but I don’t know where we are now. Over.”

“Who’s with you?” I asked. “Is everyone in your party okay? Over.”

“There’s about eight of us, and we’re all okay,” Lazlo said. “We found an abandoned militia base and got a couple guns and this CB radio, so that’s good. Over.”

“How’s Harlow?” I asked. “Over.” There was a long silence, so I asked again. “Laz? How’s Harlow? Over.”

“She didn’t make it,” Lazlo responded finally. “Over.”

I let my arm hang down for a second and swore under my breath.

“Remy? Did you hear me?” Lazlo asked.

“Yeah, I heard you,” I said. “Where can we meet you? Over.”

Boden put his hand over the mic and shook his head. “We shouldn’t meet them, Remy. We split off into smaller groups for a reason. That’d be almost twenty of us. That’s harder to guard and feed, and zombies are more likely to find us.”

“Well …” I wanted to protest, but Lazlo interrupted me.

“I’m sorry, Remy,” Lazlo said. “We can’t wait for you. I want to, but it’s too dangerous. But maybe we can meet in Canada. Over.”

In the background, I could hear someone talking over him, saying that Lazlo shouldn’t be wasting the CB battery making a date with his girlfriend.

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