Apocalypse: Chapter 4

The cars sped down the express road at top speed. With no other cars in sight, Osas and Shalom had the road to them. Bolu had settled into a fitful sleep beside Osas in the driver’s seat, waking up every time the car hit a rough patch on the road. Osas glanced at her repeatedly, studying her face and figure. The girl was ridiculously beautiful, which probably explained why Shalom was with her in the first place. He wondered if they were official and then chided himself for entertaining such thoughts while they were all struggling to stay alive.
His phone rang suddenly in his pocket, waking Bolu up again. He retrieved it and handed it over to her after seeing Shalom’s name flash across the screen, more out of habit than for a need to obey traffic regulations.
“Hey,” Bolu said “It’s Bolu. Okay. I don’t know but I’ll ask. Okay.”
She ended the call and turned to Osas “Paul is asking if you know where in Abuja the evacuation point is.”
“I don’t, but there should military personnel to direct us when we get there, if there’s anything left in Abuja.” Osas replied, focused on the road ahead “And can you do me a favour?”
“Please try to call my mom’s number.”
Bolu fiddled with the phone and then brought it to her ear.
“No luck,” She said after a few moments “The number is unavailable.”
“I just hope they’re all fine.”
“Yeah. I haven’t been able to talk to my parents too. But my Dad is ex-army so they should be fine.”
Osas resisted the urge to tell her what he really thought about the survival chances of people living in Abuja. He watched, feeling sorry for her, as she quietly called Paul and delivered his message.
His fears were confirmed when they started approaching Abuja. Cars were overturned, some were burning. Some cars had skidded off the road and into the bush.
“What the f**k is going on?!” Someone cried at the back, weeping hysterically.
Bolu and the other Corper tried to calm her down while Osas focused on avoiding the blockage, following Shalom’s lead.
They continued into the city and the carnage seemed to increase as they proceeded. Osas found himself worrying that they hadn’t come across any zombies or bodies yet, a fear he mentioned to Bolu.
“Maybe people were evacuated before the infection spread.” She replied.
Osas didn’t argue, couldn’t argue. The girl was in denial, trying desperately to hang on to the hope of her parent’s being alive. He couldn’t bring himself to take it away from her.
“My house is on this route!” Bolu squealed as they approached Wuse zone 2. She grabbed her phone and called Shalom giving him directions, smiling when he agreed. They followed her directions into an estate, past several other houses to the last one on a line. She opened the door and ran to a gate, pushing it open and running inside. Osas parked the car and joined Shalom in front of the gate. The other Corpers joined them, looking grim and tired.
“You guys know they’re either dead or they’re gone, right?” Shalom said.
“Yeah, the estate gate is open and their gate is open. No one can be this careless at such a critical time.” Paul said.
Osas collected a knife from someone and stepped into the compound. He found his way to the front door of the imposing mansion and stepped in, unprepared for what greeted him.
Bolu knelt beside a sofa in the living room, stroking the hair of a person lying still in it. Osas approached her, saddened by her grief. What he originally thought was a person turned out to be the body of her mother. The resemblance was clear, only the pallor of death further differentiated them.
“I’m sorry.” Osas said softly.
Bolu smiled, tears streaming down her face.
“It’s alright, I kind of expected this. I just didn’t want to believe it.”
Shalom entered the living room quietly.
“Can we please move her upstairs?” Bolu implored.
Osas met Shalom’s gaze and voiced their hesitation.
“Of course, but we need to know who else was around. We haven’t seen the gate man or anyone else.”
“My dad, travelled and should have been back today. The other person is the house help.”
While she spoke Shalom studied the dead woman. No bite mark was visible.
“I’m sorry but I must ask how she died?” He asked.
“Excuse me?” Bolu cut in.
“Please understand, I’m not being insensitive but we’re trying to stay alive here. I can’t see any bite marks on her or any wounds. I am sorry about this but-”
A groan cut Shalom off mid-sentence. They all turned to find where it was coming from.
“Mommy!” Bolu said moving towards the woman lying on the chair.
Osas dove for her, pushing her away the zombie.
“That’s not your mom anymore Bolu.” Shalom said picking up Osas’ knife that had clattered onto the floor.
The zombie staggered to her feet. Osas pulled Bolu up and held her behind him.
“You shouldn’t see this.”
“Wait! Don’t kill her! There might be a cure.” She cried
“There’s no cure Bolu, we’ve seen the news online and the videos,” Shalom replied as they backed slowly away from the shuffling remains of Bolu’s mother. “I’m not going to enjoy stabbing your mom but we have to.”
“Then let me do it.” Bolu argued.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” Shalom asked as they rounded the dining table, staying out of reach.
“No,” Osas cut in “You won’t be able to live with yourself.”
The tears streamed down Bolu’s face as Shalom lunged for the woman and pinned her down. The groaning and hissing ceased after a crunching sound of metal breaking through bone. Bolu buried her face into Osas’ shoulder and cried, leaving Shalom looking depressed with blood smeared across his shirt.
They managed to move the body to the master bedroom a few minutes later. Bolu remained in the room to clean up the corpse. She called it “a befitting farewell given the circumstances”. The other Corpers entered the house after it had been declared safe. Shalom informed Osas that Paul had gone with 2 others to scout for the evacuation point, if any, and would call if they found it.
They all sat in the living room quietly, looking morose. Osas was both physically and emotionally exhausted, trying desperately to stay awake and his eye lids grew heavy. His wrist-watch read 11:30pm. Bolu descended and the atmosphere got much gloomier. She had changed her NYSC fatigues for a lumbar shirt and jeans. Standing at the foot of the stairs, she observed everyone.
“Guys, don’t do this.” She said finally.
“Do what?” Someone asked
“I can feel the pity coming off all of you. Stop it please,” She said “There are four rooms upstairs and one down here for those that want to sleep. Actually, only two rooms upstairs are free, the two to your right. Anyhow you want it sha.”
“Thank you.” Osas said.
“It really is the least I can do. And please come with me.”
“Me?” Osas asked with a puzzled look on his face.
“Yes, your back, we have to clean it up.”
Osas followed her up the stairs into her bathroom.
“Don’t be nervous, I’m a doctor, or at least almost a doctor.”
She worked in silence, cleaning his back with methylated spirit.
“Are you okay?” Osas asked after a moment, wincing as the spirit stung his back.
“To be honest, I’m not. I don’t even understand what’s going on. This morning I was concerned about my hair and nails, at night I’m cleaning my mom’s cadaver after she turned up undead but moving. Shalom stabbed my mom in the head to stop her from eating us. People are going crazy and cannibalistic all over the world. I don’t even know anymore.”
“It almost feels like a dream, like something we’ll wake up from,” Osas added “but anyhow, we’ll do our best to keep everyone alive until help comes.”
“Yeah, and in the meantime, I’ll work my butt off to keep my mind off things.”
“Altruism is a mature defence mechanism. You’ll be fine.”
“You’re a psychologist?” She asked
“Yes, well, on a first degree level.”
Shalom interrupted them.
“Guys, Paul just called. They’ve driven round Abuja and all they’ve found are empty military checkpoints with loads of guns lying around.”
“What?” Osas asked
“Yeah, and according to him, there are also like thousands of zombies around a place called Millennium Park so that might explain why we didn’t see anyone when we were coming.” Shalom replied.
“This isn’t helpful info. The question is ‘where is the evacuation team or venue or whatever?’” Bolu asked
“That’s the thing, they only saw checkpoints. There is no evacuation.”

Categories Fiction, Series

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