Chapter 32:

Here for You (6)

Don't Die, Will

Nolan slowly opened his eyes. The first thing he saw was the black sky full of stars. First, he wasn't sure whether he was alive or dead. He looked around. The field, it was empty and quiet. All he could hear was the sound of the river.

Where am I?

Suddenly, a horse licked his face. He got scared and backed away a bit. When he saw the horse, he realized.

This is Arthur's horse! He and Will fell into the river. He thought and looked around, And where is the herd?! How long have I been unconscious?

Then he remembered it all. Before losing consciousness, he clearly heard a faint gunshot. Now that he was thinking about it, he learned that it came from the south, from home.

Did the herd follow the sound? It seems unlikely. No... He shook his head, During the mission, when Arthur fired, they all seem to give the priority to the sound of gunshot. Didn't react much to my movements. But, it's not the time to think about it. I gotta head back home.

He got on Arthur's horse and charged to the south, to Rust.


"Close the gate!" Olivia shouted as she got inside with Buck, "They are here! The herd is here!"

"What?!" Literally everyone exclaimed.

"They are at the other side!"

Then they all heard the growling of the deads. It was enough to make them shiver. 

"Marco! Close the gate!" Olivia ordered.

Marco closed the gate and locked with a heavy lock and chains.

Everyone was at the yard by then. They were all terrified. 

"How many?" Emma asked.

"I am not sure." She replied.

Marco climbed the post and looked. He couldn't believe his eyes. Countless cannibals were heading this way. All deads, making the sound that frightened him the most.

"There are too much!" He replied looking at the people.

"Everyone! Gather your weapons and knives!" Olivia shouted.

Though the people weren't great in number and most of them weren't fighters, they knew, they had to fight for their lives, to survive. They all got busy gathering their stuff.

"Olivia, if they are here...D-does that mean..." Grace couldn't finish her sentence.

Olivia looked at her. She knew what Grace was referring to.

If they are here, does that mean those three idiots are d-dead? She quickly shook away the thought, No, they are definitely alive! At least that's what you should believe, Olivia. She said to herself.

"We don't know for sure whether they're dead or not, Grace." She replied, "But for now, we all have to focus on surviving."

"Jack isn't here. I don't even know if he is dead or alive. And Arthur, I know my boy is stupid. But anything were to happen to him..." She said with her shaky voice.

"Take this." Olivia handed her a knife, "Fight. Fight for Arthur, if he is alive. He would like to see you alive when he comes back, wouldn't he?"

Grace smiled sadly, "Yes."

Marco, "They are coming closer! What should we do?"

Olivia looked at Marco, then Grace.

"You're the leader, you give the orders."


"Just, do it."



Lucas looked through the window. He could see the deads through the trees, but not clearly. Everyone was gathering around the gate with Guns and knives in their hands, men and women. Lucas could see that they were all terrified. Because he was too. Suddenly, he remembered the first time he encountered the deads. A cold shivering climbed though the back of his neck.

He was afraid. David wasn't here. He didn't know where Will was. He looked at Julia lying unconscious on the bed. Earlier, Juan mentioned that the chances for her to survive was really low. 

Everyone has either left me or leaving me. I don't want to be left all al-

"Is something bad happening outside?" Himari is scared. She hold his left sleeve tightly.

"No, everything is fine. You don't have to be scared." He smiled.

"And Julia nee chan." She looked at her, "What happened to her?"

"She is...she is just sleeping."

"Stop lying! She isn't sleeping." Himari said.

"W-why do say that? She is sleeping."

She looked her, "But...people sleep for comfort."

"Haha, y-you think so?"

"But she..."

"She what?"

"It looks like she is in pain."

Lucas got surprised that he was speechless. 

How can a child understand such things?



"You'll go a long way." He smiled.

"Himari don't understand."

Juan and Ruby entered the room suddenly.

"The cannibals are here!" Juan said impatiently.

He started to gather his belongings in a bag.

"Take as many medicines and other necessary things with you." He ordered Ruby.

"What are you doing?" Lucas asked.

"Preparing for the worse." Juan replied.


"Hold the gate!" Grace ordered.

Few muscular men stood pushing the gate. Those who are good at archery, climbed the posts and took position. The rest stood on the ground with knives, weapons and some of them with spears. 

The population of Rust was around 50, maybe more at that time. And the herd had more than two hundreds. Whether they fight with their hearts and all their strengths, deep down inside, they all knew it wasn't possible for them to win against two hundred. But it was their home, the safest place till now. Many of them never even left the place before. They couldn't even imagine what was out there. All they could do was fight to protect the place they call 'home'.

The sound of the deads became even louder. Those who were on the posts, couldn't see them, all they could do was to hear them coming, which was more terrifying.

Marco shouted, "They reached the south wall!"

Just then, they heard the loudest growling from the side. Everyone turned their heads to the left with an instant. 

Olivia was standing with a knife in her hand. She was sweating. But tried to keep it under control. She looked at Emma.

"Don't die."

She smiled, "I won't."

The growling kept spreading from the left side to the front, the gate. Those who was holding the gate, felt powerful pushing from the other side.

Marco exclaimed, "They've surrounded the gate!"

The archers started to land arrows on the deads from both sides. But comparing to the number of the deads, those were nothing.

"Keep shooting!" Grace screamed.

Marco wasn't that good at archery, but to support, he also joined the team. His arrows weren't really hitting the heads of the deads. Little by little, he was getting nervous. The cannibals crowded in front of that weak gate, pushing to get inside. From his post, looking down at them and he felt like they were also looking at him with no eyes in their eye sockets. He got scared. Suddenly he lost balance and almost fell on the other side of the wall. But the guy beside him grabbed him by the collar.

"Fuck! Handle yours-" He slipped and fell on the other side.

Marco was speechless. All he could do was to see the guy got eaten brutally. He was screaming with all his strength. That scream, got mixed with the growling. But the people hear still heard clearly, the sound of death. 

The gate holders felt more pushes. With each pushes, they felt like the deads were getting stronger and they were getting weaker. 

"The Gate won't hold long!" One of them screamed out.

"More men! We need more men!" Grace screamed.

More people started pushing the gate. But the pressure from the other side was too much. People protecting the gate were sliding back. The archers kept shooting. Sooner, they would run out of arrows too.

The pressure that surrounded them, was horrifying. No matter how many men they put to push the gate, it wasn't working.

"The gate won't hold." Olivia said.

"What should we do?" Asked Emma.

"Be prepared." She replied, "We'll make a run for it if things get out of hand."

"We are almost out of arrows!" One of the archers called out, "We need more!"

"We don't have anymore arrows!" Another one replied.

Just then, one of the gate hinges broke down. The sound startled everyone.

"Push! Push!" Men called out.

"More men to the gate!"

Another hinge opened up and the gate bent down to the side.

"The gate is falling down!"

The pushers could hear the deads growling really clearly from the other side. One of the deads put its hand through the gap created from the broken hinges and grabbed a man's face and torn it off. The man fell down on the ground screaming terribly.

"Cut of the arm! Cut of the arm!"

In that exact moment, the third hinge of the right side of the gate broke, the whole gate fell down with men underneath. The deads got inside.

"The gate fell down!"

"Charge!!!" Grace screamed, "Kill as many as you can!"

Everyone ran towards the deads with fear and courage.


Will pulled up Arthur from the river. They were both exhausted. They kept panting. 

Will looked around, they came really far away. He couldn't recognize the area. Also, he was shivering, the water was really cold.

"Why did you save me?" Coughed Arthur.

Will turned and looked at him.

"Why did you?" He repeated the question.

"Because...because I'm not a killer."

"Heh, this kindness will kill you one day." He laughed, "And I'll be the one to do that."

Will checked his pockets, he had his knife. He took it out and hold it tightly.

Arthur looked at him, "You think I'll be afraid of you if you hold a fucking knife?"


"I'll have you live in fear for now." Arthur walked towards the forest, "Killing you will be more enjoyable then."

Seeing him walked away, Will put the knife back. He was relieved.

"I think I know the way to home." Arthur said, "But we are really far away."


The cannibals pushed one of the posts, it fell on the ground along with the people on it. To save himself, Marco jumped before it could hit the ground. But fell on his face and got all dizzy. A cannibal got on him. He grabbed it by its neck and pushed it away. The skin was really thin, it got torn and dark blood came out of its neck and fell directly onto Marco's face. He kicked the cannibal away from him and started to crawl away from the deads. 

Olivia kept swinging her knife, killing the deads one by one. But she was already exhausted. Lost the count of how many she killed. She looked around her. Deads surrounded them. Most of their men and women were dead. The screaming continued. Their bodies, she knew, those would rise too, to hunt their own men. Suddenly, she felt a hand touching her shoulder. She turned around instantly with an instinct of killing.

"Woah!" Emma moved away her hand.

"It's you."

"We can't make it. We have to retreat." Emma suggested.

Olivia looked around again. They were outnumbered from the start. She realized that it was foolish of them to even consider about winning. They should've ran away from the start.

"Where is Grace?" She asked.

"I don't know." Emma also looked around.

Olivia looked at the people and screamed, "Everyone fall back! Fall back!"

"Fall back where?! There is nowhere to run! The gate is surrounded, there are no exits!" One of the people pointed out.

"Fall back behind! Climb the back walls! Climb and run! Run as far as you can!"

Didn't take much time for the people to act on the command. They all started to run away for their lives.

"Help people retreat! Make sure they climb safely!" Olivia said to Emma.

"But where are you going?!" Emma asked.

"I've gotta find Grace and the others." She replied, "Go!"

Emma nodded and went out of side.

Seeing everyone falling back, Olivia slowly started to run for the medical section, Julia and the others were there. 

She had difficulty while running. The path was covered with dead bodies lying around. She carefully put her steps and looked around for Grace.

Where is she? She was here just a moment ago. Did she already retreat? Without giving the orders? I also need to find Manny. God know where he is now. Also, I can't see Marco. I hope they are all fi-

She suddenly tripped over something and fell on the ground. She looked over to see what she was tripped over.


Lucas saw everything getting destroyed through the window. All happened in some spite of seconds. Everyone was retreating. It was all over. He moved away from the window and looked at Julia.

Juan and Ruby packed their things and other necessary medical items for Julia. 

Just that moment, Olivia came to the door, "We are getting out of here! Let's go!"

"We are ready." Juan said, "We've gotta carry Julia."

"I-I'll help with it." Lucas said.

"Okay." Juan said, "Grab her legs. I'll grab her arms."

"Did you see Manny anywhere?" Olivia asked.

"I-I saw him through the window once." Replied Lucas.

"Where? Where did he go?"

"He retreated."

"Good." She said, "Let's head out."

Olivia and Ruby as guards, Juan and Lucas were carrying Julia out of the building. Himari was standing close to Lucas. For a child of her age, she was a lot calmer than she should be.

They got out of the building. For Olivia, it felt like, the atmosphere changed a lot in just a few moments, the air seemed heavier to breathe. The front area was all covered with cannibals all around. Most of the people fell back. Only few were seen in sights.


The walls were around 10 feet tall. Some of the side of the walls were thicker than others. People were climbing the wall towards south. Emma was helping them to climb. She stood leaning the wall and hands in position. She was charging others to climb. But some of the people were able to climb on their own. She got tired after a bit and moved away from the position, didn't seem to hamper the pace. 

"Hey." A voice came behind her.


"My turn." He said.

"Yeah." She said, "But you can't climb on your own. We need someone else to pull you up."

"I can-"

A loud growl interrupted him. They all look at the way. The deads were coming.

"Climb! Climb! Climb!" One of them screamed.

Everyone started to panic all of a sudden. A battle started over who could climb first. 

"They're coming!"

"Climb! Dammit! Lemme through!"

"You fuck off!"

Some of them even started to fight.

"Hey! Don't fig-" Emma felt a sharp push from behind and almost fell.

"Emma!" Manny screamed.

"These fuckers!" She seemed pissed.

"Manny!" Someone called out.

He turned around.

"There you are!" Olivia exclaimed.


"There is no time. Here, Let me help you climb." She said.

"Is Julia okay?!" He asked, "We should help her get to the other side first."

"Then," Olivia looked at Lucas, "You climb up first."


"Yes." She said, "We need two people on the wall and one on the other side."

"I'll help you." Emma took position.

Lucas put his right leg on her palms. She charged him up. Lucas somehow climbed the top and jumped the other side.

"Now you, Emma." Said Olivia.

"You first."

"No, I'll help the others."

"Guys." Ruby said, "They'll catch us! Hurry!"

Olivia helped Emma to climb the top.The wall was thick. So she was able to sit there somehow.

"Then, Ruby."

Ruby also climbed the top.

"Now, take Julia!" exclaimed Olivia.


Emma and Ruby slowly brought her up. They carefully moved her down to the other side to Lucas. He took her in his lap.

After that, Juan climbed and reached the other side.

"Now, Manny." Olivia said.

He nodded.

She helped him stand and pushed him up. Emma and Ruby helped him reached to the other side.

"Olivia! They are here! Give me your hand!" Emma forwarded her hand.

Olivia looked behind. They were coming towards her.

"Take Manny's wheelchair!" She threw it up.

Ruby caught it, "Olivia!"

"Give me your hand!"

She looked behind for a short time and jumped for Emma's hand.

Ruby and Emma held both of her hands and started pulling. All of the deads hit the wall just that exact moment. People remaining inside were done for. They all either got bitten brutally or fell under the deads. 

Few of the deads grabbed Olivia's leg and started to pull.

"Gyah! They grabbed my leg!"

"Don't let them bite you!" Emma looked at Ruby, "Pull! Pull harder!"

With all their strength, they pulled Olivia. In some point, she got free from the deads. But the balance was hampered. Emma and Ruby both fell on the other side with Olivia.

"Ah, my back!" Emma let out her pain.

"Thanks." Olivia said.

"You guys okay?" Said Juan.

They all looked at the wall. Cannibals were growling on the other side.

Olivia looked at the survivors. A community with 50 people, now only few of them were left.

"How many of us survived?" Olivia asked.

Manny looked at everyone, "It's only us."

"What do you mean?" Olivia questioned, "How many climbed the walls?"

"A lot." Emma replied, "But No one is here."

"When I climbed down this side, I saw many people running away." Said Lucas.

Olivia stood up, "We should keep moving. The wall will hold them for a while."

"Where will we go?" Ruby asked.

"Anywhere, as long as it's not here." She replied, "Let's head for the nearest city or town, anything."

"We should avoid the forest." Emma suggested, "it's middle of the night. God knows what's in the forest."

"She is right." Olivia replied, "Let's get on the road. We are heading south."

They got on the road and started move away from Rust as fast as they could. Just then they noticed something. They all looked behind. They couldn't see anything, but they clearly heard.

The growling was moving. Moving towards the gate.

"What's going on?" Emma asked.

"Are they coming after us?" Manny asked.

"But that's not possible!"

"We can worry about that later. Move your legs! Hurry!" Exclaimed Olivia.

Just then, they saw someone coming out through gate riding a horse. He was looking around.

"Is that-"

"It's Marco!" Manny shouted.

Buck! Olivia couldn't believe she forgot about him. She felt really ashamed.

"It's bad! They are following him!" Emma said.

Marco noticed them. He rode towards them looking behind. Following him, few deads came out on their way.

"They are following Marco." Olivia exclaimed, "Run!"

Suddenly, they heard an engine. The sound was weak, coming from the south.

Olivia looked that way. She could see two small points of light coming their way. It was getting bigger and bigger until it was clear that it was a vehicle.

Could it be? Olivia couldn't believe.

The jeep came at full speed and surpassed them. It drove right into the deads and hit them with all its force. The cannibals either got crushed under the jeep or  got torn into half.

After a bit, the doors of the jeep got opened and two persons came out.

"What on the earth is happening?" Asked David.