Chapter four

The group sprinted through the mall, but to their shock, every exit was overflowing with zombies. It was like they had tripled in number while they’d been finding weapons. They shot as many down as they could, but the hordes kept coming, until the group eventually retreated into a Barnes and Noble.
“What’s the plan?” Jerome asked as they hid behind a bookshelf.
“Try other floors,” Tiana answered, kneeling as she reloaded her shotgun. “But we’ve gotta move soon.”
“But where do we go after that?” Arjun asked. “Getting out’s not what I’m worried about. Running forever is.”
“We got guns,” Jerome said. “Now we’re gonna get gas and drive to Mexico.”
“Why Mexico?” Tiana asked.
“Why not?” Jerome snapped. “You ever been to Cancun? Why would you ask a question like that? And do you not see the flesh-eating white people taking over the whole country? So unless you know how to fly a 747 and get us to Bermuda, Mexico it is.”
“I say we drive down to Jersey,” Tiana suggested. “My Dad’s stationed at Picatinny Arsenal. We can get backup and nuke these suckers. It’ll take an hour to get there.”
Luis grimaced when she said the word “nuke”.
“But the virus only affects white people,” Arjun said, almost to himself. Then he looked up at everyone. “Like it’s been engineered to target their DNA. There must be a way to figure out a vaccine.”
But before they could decide on which plan to take, they heard a crash nearby that sounded like a hundred wooden boxes dropping from the ceiling at once. Then came the familiar cry of half-dead people as more zombies limped into the store.
The group popped out from behind their cover and met the zombies coming in. There were ten of them, half of them missing limbs, some of them still bleeding from their gaping wounds, but all of them white. As usual Tiana opened fire first and took out three zombies with three straight headshots in three seconds. The guys followed suit with less accuracy, but still managed to take down the rest together before the zombies made it any closer.
“You gotta teach us how to do that, Latisha,” Jerome said, nodding at Tiana.
“Help us!” someone shouted nearby.
The group spun and saw a young brunette woman crouched by a fallen bookshelf trying to pull an older white man out from underneath it. Luis, Arjun, and Tiana rushed to their sides and lifted the bookshelf so the woman could pull the man away. But Jerome stood at a distance, watching and shaking his head.
“You alright?” Luis asked the woman.
“I’m fine,” she replied. “Thank you. But I think he’s hurt pretty bad.”
Luis looked down at the man’s leg—it was bent to the side at his knee at an unnatural angle that made Luis’ stomach flip. There was also a sickening amount of blood oozing out of his side and staining his previously white dress shirt a deep red.
Arjun immediately jumped into action, pulled off his own jacket, rolled it up into a bundle, and pressed it against the man’s side. “His leg is broken. And we’ve gotta stop the bleeding.”
“We don’t gotta do anything!” Jerome snapped, stepping back into the group.
“Did he get bit?” Arjun asked the woman.
She shook her head. “He fell on some glass on the way in here. Neither of us got bit.”
“I don’t care,” Jerome replied. “Leave these suckas. Let’s go!”
“No,” Luis disagreed. “If we leave them, they’ll get turned.”
“And if we take them, they’ll get turned and eat us!” Jerome shouted. “What don’t you get, Luis?”
Tiana looked at Luis then at the man on the ground. “He’ll slow us down, Lou. He can’t even walk.”
Luis stared at her then back at the man and the young woman looking up at him. He couldn’t just leave them here to die. But was he willing to risk the safety of the rest of the team?
“Just leave me,” the older man finally spoke. “I’d rather get turned than be caught dead with you people.”

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