The girl was calming down, but there was still something wild in her eyes as she stared past Tom and Danielle. The clown was looking in the direction of the three of them, but didn’t appear to be focussing on them. Nonetheless, it took a couple of steps in their direction.
The clown stopped, and looked around. There was pandemonium at the front of the bus, as the doors had been opened, and the released passengers had fallen on the samaritans. For a moment, the clown seemed ready to head for that, much louder, chaos. It turned back toward Tom, Danielle and the girl.
Danielle took a step forward herself, striking a fighting pose guarding Tom and the girl. Tom was impressed. He was all for running away. He offered the girl a hand, and pulled her up when she took it.
Immediately she was on her feet, the girl backed away from Tom. “Don’t. If they bit me, I’ll be one of them soon.”
Tom wanted to calm the girl enough that she’d join him and Danielle in running away. If Danielle could be dragged out of the fight she was about to start. “Did they bite you? Do you know that they bit you?”
The girl stared at him like he was an idiot. She held out her arms. “Look at all the blood.”
“Is any of it yours? Can you see anywhere you’re wounded?”
The girl looked up and down her arms. There was a hint of hope in her expression when she realise there were no tears in her top that might mark a bite. Needing to know for sure, she pulled the top off and threw it away. She gave her arms a careful study, and found no bite marks. Turning around, she asked, “What about me back? Is there anything on that?”
When she turned back to Tom, she was unbuttoning her jeans. “What about me legs?”
Tom held out a hand, stopping her. “There’s no blood on your jeans. No need to get naked.”
“So I’m okay? I’m not going to turn into one of them?”
“Doesn’t look like it.”
“Thank fuck for that.” She was far too relieved to care that she was standing there in her bra.
“Is everything okay now? Should we run away from whatever this is?” Danielle asked. She didn’t look around, which meant she saw the sudden lunge the clown made.
Dodging to the left, Danielle caught the clown’s right arm at wrist and elbow. Using its momentum, she kicked at its feet and levered it down to the ground. Its left shoulder cracked against the bench as it fell.
“Don’t let it bite you! Don’t….” the girl shouted out. The warning had tarted with the lunge, and trailed off after the clown hit the ground. As it grasped the bench, ready to pull itself up, she offered more advice, “They’re zombies. You’ve got to smash their heads or break their necks.” To demonstrate, she stepped forward and kicked it in the top of the skull. The blow was so sharp, they heard a cracking as it connected.
“I don’t think that’s….” Tom started, but the girl wasn’t listening. She landed another skull cracking kick on the clown. He grabbed her by the upper arms and pulled her away from her victim. “Shit! I think you’ve killed him!”
“He’s a fucking zombie! You didn’t see what they did!”
There were screams from the direction of the bus. All three of them looked across, to see the carnage as the former passengers attacked and ate the crowd that had gathered to help them. The body that had slipped from the emergency door was beginning to move, trying to stand up.
The clown made a hissing cackle, and its arms jerked out, grasping for legs to pull in. Tom and the girl skipped backwards, whilst Danielle came in to swing a hard kick at the side of its head. The blow bent the head at an unnatural angle. Another one was greeted by a crack as the neck separated, severing nerves.
With a last, rattling sigh, the clown’s arms dropped, and it stopped moving. This wasn’t enough for the girl and, as Tom relaxed his grip, she pulled away from him to land another hard kick. Then she stamped on the side of the clown’s face a couple of times. Tom grabbed her and pulled her away again. “Now we can leave, I think.”
The body that had tumbled from the back of the bus had stood now. The girl, rather than moving when Tom tried to direct her, stared at this new zombie. “That’s Barry. He was nice. He protected me from them, and they made him one of them. I should kill him.” Now Tom had to hold her still as she made to head for the bus.
Danielle stepped in front of the girl, putting a hand on her chest. “Later. There are too many of them right now. Let’s get somewhere safe. Maybe find weapons.”
The girl stared at Danielle. For a brief moment, she seemed set to defy the suggestion, then she nodded.
“Which way?” Danielle asked.
Tom released the girl and did a full turn as he took in the situation. The only vehicle in the taxi rank was empty. Its driver had, no doubt, gone to help at the crash. There were no other vehicles, save one that was just disappearing down a side street, escaping the chaos.
Rather than heading directly away from the carnage around the accident, something compelled him to go toward the black towers. “That way.”