Authors: Ryan Casey
Tags: #british zombie series, #post apocalyptic survival fiction, #apocalypse adventure survival fiction, #zombie thrillers and suspense, #dystopian science fiction, #zombie apocalypse horror, #zombie action horror series
The Complete Second Season
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Dead Days Season Two continues where Season One left off.
If you'd like to refresh your memory with a quick recap of Season One, visit the page linked below. If not, just flick over and get started with Season Two.
(FIRST EPISODE OF SEASON TWO)
In the early days, he’d kept a diary.
Not since the very first days of the zombie apocalypse. That would be madness. Like everybody else, Alan Mixter had spent the first days doing what he had to do—work on surviving. But now he was stuck up in this place, boxed in, waiting for that one person to take him where he wanted to go—where he had to go. He’d told him he’d send someone. He’d told him that eventually, he’d send somebody to the bunker who’d be able to take Alan to where he needed to go.
He opened up the leather-bound diary on his desk and looked at the red crosses over all the dates in December. He grabbed the marker pen from beside it and crossed off December 20
. Another day without help. Another day with himself for company.
He winced as he pulled himself up from his chair and walked over to the kitchen area. The lights from the ceiling shone down brightly, making his eyes sting. That’s one thing this place missed—a frigging dimmer switch. It might’ve had strong walls. It might’ve been stuffed with CCTV, canned food and throwaway movies. But it really could do with a dimmer switch. Or at least an off switch. The bright, blueish beam of those spotlights were really getting on his nerves.
He limped over to the kitchen worktop and clutched onto the side. His leg really was causing him some trouble these last few days. He wasn’t supposed to walk too far on it, which was part of his problem. If he could walk fine on it, he’d go through the tunnel himself and do what he had to do. Instead, he had to wait for someone. For
one. “The one.” Shit. He sounded like a character out of The Matrix or something.
He grabbed a knife from the drawer of the kitchen worktop. The drawer was silver, just like everything else in this tin-hole. Silver walls. Silver ceilings. Silver cans, silver television, silver anything. He dunked the knife into a silver carton of peanut butter and spread it over a cracker from a silver packet. The only thing that wasn’t silver down here was the CRT monitor with the CCTV images on. Although, he wished it was as up to date as everything else. It would avoid a lot of problems.
He finished peanut-buttering the cracker and chomped down on it. The crackers were stale, and the peanut butter was crunchy. He’d always preferred smooth peanut butter, but beggars couldn’t be choosers. Except they could. They could be very choosy, especially when they were holed up in a bunker several feet below ground, all alone. Very choosy indeed.
He closed his eyes and swilled the sogging cracker around his mouth. Tried to picture the times before. The times when he’d sit on his balcony with his wife and eat cheese and biscuits with a glass of red. Damn—what he’d do for a glass of red. There
been wine in this place, but it was safe to assume he’d burned through all that in the first few days.
Something bleeped from the middle of the room. At first, he mistook it as a mirage of his mind. He heard bleeps all the time. Just a side effect of being alone. A side effect of being surrounded by silver walls, silver floors, silver baked bean cans.
But no. There was definitely a beeping noise coming from somewhere outside his head.
“Oh, no. Oh, please no.”
His stomach turned as he looked over at the CRT monitor.
“Give me a break. Give me a friggin’ break.”
A little red light was blinking in the top corner of the dirty screen. He limped over to it, taking in a few shaky breaths. His palms were sweaty. His heart raced.
“Just walk past. Please, just walk past.”
But no. They didn’t. He could see them walking through the trees. Three of them. They had guns. Grins on their faces. Blood dripping down their arms. Thieves. Thieves trying to take what he had away from him. They weren’t the ones that had been sent for him. They couldn’t be. Not looking like they did, all bloodied up, all savage. No. He had to deal with them. He had to, just like the others.
He walked over to the silver cabinet beside the door. He could smell how new this thing was. How refurbished. He could still smell the sweetness of the glue. The newness of it, hiding something so classic. So brutal.
He opened up the locker. Looked over at the CRT screen and saw the men hovering around the doorway, poking their guns and their knives through. They thought they’d found heaven. Maybe they still would, if they were good men.
He reached into the locker and wrapped his fingers around the barrel of the rifle. Checked it was loaded. It was. Plenty of bullets inside, but he’d only need three. One to pop in the heads of each of them.
He closed the locker, took a deep breath, and limped his way up the silver, well-lit stairway and towards the door.
He placed his hand on the handle. Gripped the gun with his other hand and listened as the men’s echoey voices moved around somewhere in front of him.
Maybe they would find heaven.
But it wasn’t down here in this bunker. Not for them.
“You can’t have caught another one. Seriously. You can’t.”
Chloë yanked the line of the fishing rod back from the water. She was sitting at the edge of the narrowboat with a smug grin on her face. A grin that Riley had grown all the more used to over this previous week. Turns out Chloë was a talented kid.
Unfortunately for everybody else, that meant that they were losing the fish-catching competition.
“Go on, girl,” Claudia said as her daughter yanked the rod further back from the grey sea. “Go on. Show those two who’s boss.”
Riley raised his eyebrows at Chloë. “My bet is that it’s a bike tyre. A mouldy old one at that.”
Chloë’s eyes narrowed. She turned back to the water, turned back to the fishing line, which stretched out as it was clearly caught around something, and then, with an almighty final pull, she yanked it back, falling onto her backside in the process.
“Holy shit,” Anna said. Her eyes were wide. Her mouth dangled open. “I do not believe this kid. Are you sure you haven’t had like, pro fishing lessons before, Chloë?”
Chloë scrambled to her feet and rushed over to her prize. It was a chunky carp, silvery and slimy. Not the biggest carp Riley had seen, but for a kid Chloë’s age, which he found out to be eleven, it wasn’t bad at all.
She lifted it up in the air like a trophy, pride glimmering in her eyes as the fish puffed out its lips and gasped for a return to the water.
“Okay, okay,” Claudia said, patting her daughter on the head. “Come on now. It’s not a toy. It’s food. Food is going to play a very important part in…”
Interrupting her mum, Chloë brought the fish back down to the white outside floor of the narrowboat and pressed it down. She reached her penknife from her belt, stabbed it in the side of its head, held the stab for a few seconds, then pulled the knife away and wiped it on her green combat trousers.
Then, she looked up at Riley and Anna and smiled. “My fifth fish.”
Riley and Anna raised their eyebrows at one another playfully. Despite being greasier than ever before, Anna’s hair looked fresher that he’d ever seen it, out here in the Irish Sea. Probably the fresh air.
Then again, the Irish Sea was hardly the freshest of places.
“Well, I’m on three,” Riley said, “so you’d better not drop your guard, had you?”
“Same goes for me,” Anna said. “Three and definitely ready to get to five way before this buffoon.”
Chloë giggled. Claudia smiled with her.
“Anyway,” Claudia said. “We’d better go get this gutted, hadn’t we? Wouldn’t want anything to go nasty.”
Claudia and Chloë disappeared inside the small doorway of the narrowboat and walked towards the bedroom at the front, which had been stripped out and was being used as something of a storage area. It was a cramped boat with five of them, that was for sure, but they’d soon adjusted. And it was better than being on land. Much better.
Anna leaned against the railing of the boat and stared out to sea. “Starting to feel a bit nippy isn’t it?”
Riley also leaned on the railing beside her, looked out as the grey sky reflected on the grey water and made everything all the more…grey. Anna and he had been joking about the temperature for the last week on the boat. It was the final few days of November now. Truth was, winter was well and truly coming, as Sean Bean might’ve said in Game of Thrones. It
cold out here. In fact, he couldn’t remember what it was like to have warm hands and feet.
But inside the narrowboat, in the main cabin, huddled up together like some sort of ancient Roman orgy, it was warm enough. Warm enough to get them by for now.
“We’ll just have to cuddle up a bit closer then, won’t we?” Riley said. As he spoke, he immediately regretted his words. His cheeks blushed. The words felt sloppy and forced coming from his mouth.
Anna rolled her eyes. “Wow. For a decent looking guy, I thought Grade One flirtation at the very minimum would be somewhere in your repertoire.”
Riley stared out at sea. In the distance, he could see land. Trees. According to Pedro’s calculations and maps on the boat, they were somewhere around the Lake District earlier that day. Somewhere around Morecambe. The plan was to find an island somewhere. A small, habitable island that they could survive on for the winter, but somewhere they could flee from fast if needs be. Somewhere that, even if there were creatures on land, they could handle and control. Pedro said he knew a place right up the coast. A small place near Grange-Over-Sands with just one house on it and nothing else. A long shot, but worth a try. Besides, they always had the boat. They didn’t have to rush.
“Do you think we’ll ever find this place?” Anna said. She didn’t look at Riley. She watched the water froth underneath the boat, coughed up by the engine.
Riley took a deep breath. “We’ll find
place. The important thing is that we’re all together. We’re all here. And we’re…Well. Things could be going worse, couldn’t they?”
Anna did look at Riley now. Looked at him with her warm, brown eyes. “They were going worse. They were.”
Riley looked away back out to sea. Nausea welled up inside. He knew what Anna was referring to. Ted. It felt like forever since Ted had gone and yet it was only just over a week ago. He missed Ted’s sarcastic, overblown remarks. He missed his company that he’d grown so used to over the years—that had actually helped him through his suicidal spell, when he slipped into drink and drugs and drove a car into a brick wall. Helped him through the crippling anxiety that had followed.
He missed Ted.
He felt a squeeze on his hand. It was Anna. She half-smiled at him. “We all lost Ted. Ted was…Ted was one of us. And we’ve all lost others, too. But you aren’t alone. None of us are alone. As long as we stick together, we’ll get through everything that comes our way.”
Riley held Anna’s stare. “I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.”
She tutted and punched his arm.
“Do you serve those words with extra cheese? I thought I was supposed to be—”
“Bruv, you got a minute?”
Riley looked past Anna, who was preparing to strike him again, and he saw Pedro poking his head out of the front cabin on the boat.
“He lives,” Riley said, walking past Anna and towards Pedro. “All okay?”
Pedro didn’t respond. He just stared at Riley, straight face and wide-eyed. But that was just typical Pedro. He never seemed to like showing his true thoughts in front of any of the others. None of them except Riley, anyway. Riley figured it must’ve been their time together on top of the wall at the barracks. Funny though really. He didn’t completely trust Pedro. How could anybody trust a man who’d been hiding a secret about cannibalism at the barracks? But anyway. He’d made his choice. He’d chosen the group. He’d helped Riley deal with Ivan, and he’d got them this boat, their key out of here. He was going a long way to making up for his secrets.