Regina's feet were suddenly carrying her toward the window before she even realized what she was doing
"Wait!" Charlie shouted from behind her.
Regina was already breaking the window, opaque and thick at the bottom with age, with her skillet. No turning back now.
Regina stepped aside. "Lead the way, Will!"
Will raced forward, climbing through the window.
"You've really done it now," Charlie growled, his accent growing thicker.
"We've gotta move."
Regina climbed through the window after Will, scraping her hands on remnants of glass on the sill. "Bickering will only get us killed by that horde."
By the time Regina dropped down from the window, Will was already several lengths ahead of her. Leaves crunched under Regina's feet as she ran through the camp grounds. The moans of the horde swelled in response to the noise of their escape, but there was nothing she could do to prevent it. She could only run faster.
Regina risked looking back at Charlie behind her. The beam of his flashlight shook violently as he ran to keep up.
Regina tripped as she turned around. She thrust out her arms to keep from falling flat on her face. She scrambled on all fours for several moments, trying to cover ground while she regained her balance.
Charlie came barreling in behind her, knocking her to the ground as he jumped over her.
"What the hell!"
Regina looked up as Charlie and Will disappeared into the darkness and trees.
Regina jumped up and turned around. A few zombies were right behind her now, zeroing in on her position. Regina high-tailed it into the trees, searching desperately for Will and Charlie. She could not even see their flashlight beams anymore.
Regina chastised herself as she ran. She had known not to trust those men. Now, they had left her behind with the horde.
Tree limbs and other sharp things she couldn't see put fresh cuts on her arms and legs.
"Damn, damn, damn!" Regina shouted. She clambered through the trees and underbrush. She finally broke through the tree line on the other side and found herself on a trail that sloped down to the left.
Regina followed the trail down, hoping Will and Charlie had gone the same direction. At the bottom of the hill was a rest stop with a parking lot, and what looked like a Ranger Station or information center. A wooden swing set, well into the process of rotting, sat lopsided in front of the building.
Regina ran straight through the rest stop, not knowing where she would go next. The roar of the horde was deafening now. If Regina fell or dared to stop for any moment, the zombies would be upon her. But, even adrenaline and fear couldn't drive her tired limbs forever.
At the end of the rest stop, there was a crossroads. There was a pole a little taller than her with arrows attached, each one pointing to a different destination.
Stoneman's Valley was to the right. Deadwater Lake was to the left.
Regina almost laughed at the name of the lake. It was terribly appropriate.
She had no time to appreciate the irony, however. She needed to make the right decision.
Heading for Stoneman's Valley meant a lot more running, but maybe Will and Charlie had gone that way. The valley, whatever it was, might also be the way out.
Then again, Deadwater Lake might be the right choice. Regina was sure zombies couldn't swim. She could jump in the lake, swim to the middle, and wait for the horde to pass. Or she could swim to the other side and have a huge head start on the zombies.
Regina looked behind her. A few running zombies had broken ahead of the horde's solid line and were headed right for her. She had to move now.
What should Regina do?
Head for Deadwater Lake
Head for Stoneman's Valley
Vote now and come back Thursday for the outcome. Hopefully, you will make the decision that saves Regina's endangered life once again.
The readers' score: 0 deaths