Regina looked back . The zombies were closer than she had realized. She wasn't going to be able to beat them on foot for much longer.
She had to swim.
Regina turned and bolted down the path toward Deadwater Lake, praying it wasn't too far.
The path sloped down and to the left, surrounded on both sides by towering pine trees. The route seemed endless.
Tears of desperation streaked down Regina's cheeks. She loved life more now than she ever had before.
Where is that lake?
Ahead, the path straightened out and the trees opened up. Regina could see moonlight glistening of off a calm, murky body of water.
"Yes!" Regina made her feet go faster. The path ended in an old, wooden dock. For a moment, Regina imagined kids playing on it, jumping into the water, launching canoes.
Those happy moments were long gone from the place. Now, Deadwater Lake was privy to a scene of horror: hundreds of zombies chasing after a girl armed with nothing but a frying pan.
Regina felt like she was flying as she ran from the dirt path to the dock. She readied herself to dive into the lake, attempted to quickly recall the swimming lessons she had taken as a child.
Regina fell through the docks and slabs of jagged, rotten wood flew up around her face. She shielded her eyes as the splinters cut into her cheeks.
"No!" The perfect facial complexion she had always taken pride in was now ruined.
To make matters worse, she was now flailing in dark, stagnant water that tasted like mud and metal. She swung her arms and legs around in the awful water, trying to calm down. She surfaced and gulped in precious air.
Regina looked up at the gaping hole in the dock through which she had fallen. Regina felt stupid for trusting the old platform. She should have found a different place to jump in.
Before Regina could have another thought, shadowy hands were reaching into the hole, grabbing violently for her.
"No!" Regina screamed as a zombie got a hold of her shirt with hands covered in gangrene. The ghoul was surprisingly strong, and started pulling her out of the water. Other zombie hands grasped her as well, each one helping the other to pull their potential meal from the water.
Regina realized that she was still holding the frying pan. It seemed nearly attached to her arm now.
She swung it out of the water and bashed at the grasping hands and arms. Water cascaded off the pot and into Regina's mouth as she gave a primal scream.
The ghouls let go of her and she swam out from under the dock, coughing and choking on the terrible water. Regina kicked her way to the center of the small lake. Despite its size, it still took a few minutes to get there.
At the center, she began to tread, turning to look back Tthe shore line.
Zombies had lined up along the lakeside, clearly afraid to jump in.
"Take that!" Regina thrust her pan in the air triumphantly.
However, Regina realized how dire her situation was when she turned towards the other side of the lake to see a line of zombies there as well.
She was surrounded on both sides.
"No!" Regina shouted through gritted teeth. "Charlie! Will! Help!"
Regina knew it was pointless to call for her deserters, but she wouldn't be able to get out of this situation by herself again.
Something brushed against Regina's leg.
Regina was either going to have to take her chances and swim out, or stay in the water, hoping that it was just harmless fish swimming past her legs.
Another scrape against her thigh. That didn't feel like a fish at all...
What should Regina do?
Keep treading water
Swim out of the lake?
Regina's in more trouble than ever before. Only your decision will help her survive the next moments of her life. Come back next week for the next harrowing chapter.