The Infected; a Zombie Story


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Old rust steel panel on wooden pole

Sydney McCabe and Addison Smitley


    “Devious, Mischievous come’re!” hollered mama Lane. The two little girls shifted away from what they were doing slowly and stood at the edge of the barn.

   “Ready?” whispered Devious.

   “Go!” screamed Mischievous, and off they went; trudging through the mud and kicking up grass as they raced towards Devious’s house for brunch. The neighbor girls briefly stopped to listen to the cows moo, as they tripped and tumbled into the kitchen door bickering over the winner. “Mama, who won?”

   “Lane, who do you think?” asked Mischievious’s mother, Angie.

   “I don’t know; I’d say them both.” Devious huffed over to her chair and slammed down. Mischievous sat down at the table, across from her, politely, satisfied with the tie their mothers decided on.

   That was a long time ago, back when they were 6 and 7. Before the girls grew up, everything changed.


   “Juliette,” murmured Payton.

   “Yes? Do you want something?” She replied with frustration, “You need to stop talking! We can’t let anything hear us! You know we aren’t supposed to be doing this, even though we have to,” she added, under her breath.

   “Sorry, but this is kind of dumb.”

   “Yeah, and? You don’t think I already know that?” Juliette rolled her eyes and kept on walking ahead, crouched low to the ground.

    They both paused, as they heard the loud mooing and low grumble of zombies somewhere in the distance. It’d been like that since the outbreak a few months ago. To think it somehow would all start and end with the two neighbor girls is crazy, but it’s true.

    The friends or sisters they’d rather be called were on their way through an alley to get back to where they’d been staying. At first, things started out slow, and they were fine at home. However, they quickly had to relocate. People were out to get them, blame them, and murder them. It wasn’t their fault, but how could everyone else know? All they saw were the cows, next the zombies, and then the slow merciless death of their loved ones. If it were them, they’d probably be angry at the world too. 

   “It’s at the height of it all Mischievous, isn’t it?” Juliette asked with pain in her eyes, as she sat down when they finally reached their destination.

   “Yeah I guess, I don’t know what to do anymore. We can’t keep going on like this, always fighting.”

   “We have to let it-”

   “Pass? Yeah, I know, that’s what you always say. ‘Just wait, it’ll blow over, just a little while longer,’ I’m sick of waiting Juliette!”

   “Don’t you think I’m sick of it too, Payton? Or is it just that you think I enjoy this?” Her voice grew with each announced syllable.

   “Juliette,” the name came out as a whisper.

    “What?” her scream escaped her lips before her hand could fly up to cover her mouth. Then they heard the pound, a slow mumble came from the infected that roamed outside. “Crap,” Would the infected try and come in or would they leave the girls alone? It depended on how far developed the infection was. Around here, they normally ignored the girls but every once in a while they got a bad batch. Payton decided she had a bad feeling about these ones.

   She was right…

   The infected wanted to get in, so the girls came out of the house; ready to fight. It was hard to kill people (they are still people) that didn’t deserve it if you thought about it in any way except ending their pain. They tried to kill the infected quickly, and peacefully. One shot, that’s it, but if it took more than that oh well. You do what you have to.

   “Ready?” asked Juliette, barely audible.

   “Always Devious,” replied Payton, happy to have her friend’s back.

   As they emerged from the house, Payton loaded her crossbow. As she was doing so, Juliette had managed to take down 2 smaller zombies with her spiked baseball bat and a small handgun. They were both lying on the ground, while one was struggling with a bullet-sized hole in its head. Payton shot it in the neck in hopes of ending the creature’s misery just a little faster. As Payton reloaded to take another shot, she noticed a pitter-patter sound coming closer and closer. Meaning there was another zombie. Oh well, just means that she’ll have to hurry up so she can assist Juliette. She quickly shot the next zombie in the head, flinching a little as it jumped forwards in an attempt to get to her. As the zombie stopped grunting, Payton turned to take another shot at the zombie she heard approaching earlier. As the bow released what would have been the perfect shot, the zombie suddenly went downwards. Revealing a jumping Juliette, trying to use up the rest of her adrenaline. All her fighting had made her unaware of Payton’s whereabouts, and her arrow coming straight toward her.

   “Devious!” Juliette flinched at that, and it seemed her adrenaline had run out as she felt the agonizing pain of an arrow in her shoulder. 

   “Oh my- Oh my gosh. I’m so sorry! I- “ Payton stammered out an apology as she quickly jogged to her sister’s side. 

   “Just-“ Juliette grunted in pain, as she attempted to lift herself up; inevitably failing. “Get the one about to grab you!”

   Payton spun around from her kneeled position, only to find an infected standing over her. The feeling of ice-cold hands accompanied by sharp claw-like nails almost instantly overwhelmed her. As she reloaded her crossbow, she was kicking and shaking her leg in an attempt to get the creature off of her; which only led to her getting scratched. After a few seconds of struggling, she managed to shoot the zombie straight in the eye, afterward grabbing Juliette’s bat to smash the thing’s head with. 

   “Okay, ready? 1, 2, 3,” Payton managed to gasp out as she picked up her most trusted companion by the shoulders with a grunt of pain. (Considering her leg was hurt.) “Let’s get back inside.”

   Once the girls were inside, Juliette staggered over to the torn futon and laid down. She glanced out the cracked window beside her, through the battered curtains, “Hey, Payton, you gotta see this.”

   “What?” she responded, not even looking up from the shirt that she was cutting to use as a wrap for her wound that she just dumped half a bottle of alcohol on.


    “Yeah, I’m coming,” she pulled herself up using the closest table and stumbled her way over to Juliette. “Holy cow…” the words trailed off, leaving a buzzing silence between them.