This is Issue # 3 of Dead Frontier by Walkerbait22, titled No Going Back.
Issue 3 - No Going BackEdit
The next morning, Cole struggles to get up through a pounding headache. He flips on the TV and sees the same chaos from last night. He quickly dials Hannah’s number but again hears a beep, indicating weak service. Instead, he texts her, and a few minutes later he gets this reply: cops not letting me in 2 the west side, just head 2 my parents, ill text you the address. Cole kicks Micah with his foot. “Wake up. We’re going to meet up with Hannah and her parents.”
Micah yawns and rubs his aching temples. “The news said not to leave the city. Her parents live in the suburbs.”
“She thinks it’s best to leave. I think she’s right.”
“Alright, man. Whatever you say.”
Cole changes out of his work clothes from yesterday into a red shirt and blue jeans, and he lends Micah some clean clothes. He grabs his keys and jacket and follows Micah out the door. Little does he know this will be the last time he ever sees his apartment.
When they exit the front door, they notice the street is empty of all cars except for Cole's pathetic sedan. Then, an infected person with the standard grey eyes and skin rambles past them. Cole and Micah stop breathing suddenly, trying to stand as still as possible. But the infected smells the warm flesh and lumbers toward them.
"Fuck, it's coming over here!" Micah shouts.
"Just get to the car!" Cole orders, throwing the car keys to Micah.
Cole feels sweat beads pop up on his forehead as he waits for the infected to approach him. When it does, snarling and snapping its jaws, he kicks it in the midsection. It falls and hits the hard concrete with a smack.
Cole runs around the infected and sees Micah struggling with the car keys. "I don't know which key it is!" Micah says shakily. Cole snatches the keys from him as the infected gets up and walks toward them, groaning louder and louder. Cole fumbles with the keys and drops them; they fall under the car.
"Micah, kill it!" Cole shouts as he reaches under the car for the keys. The infected is now standing, only a few feet away from them.
"What? I can't!" Micah says.
Cole finally grabs the keys and jumps to his feet. He shoves the correct one into the lock and opens the car door; Micah runs to the passenger side, away from the infected appraoching Cole. Cole slams the car door shut only moments before the infected can grab him; it pounds on the driver's side window and growls hungrily.
Cole puts the key in the ignition and speeds off down the street. Micah sits in the passenger seat, wide eyed and sweating. "I'm sorry," Micah starts. "I couldn't hurt him. He was just a person."
"I-it's okay. But that...thing, that's not a person," Cole says. They ride through the traffic filled streets until they get to a checkpoint. Police officers stand at each checkpoint and order identification from everyone. Cole and Micah provide an officer with their I.Ds. "Just know this," the officer says to them. "You leave this city, you ain't coming back."
After about an hour of riding in silence—the majority of radio stations are down—Cole and Micah reach the suburb where Hannah's parents reside. Elegant houses line the streets, but everything is eerily quiet. Cole drives for a few more minutes and pulls into the driveway belonging to a large, two story house. Fleetwood is written on the mailbox.
Cole knocks on the door and waits a few moments. He sees Hannah peek through the curtain; he waves and smiles, and soon she opens the door for him. She hugs him tightly. "You made it out of the city."
"Yeah. I'm happy you made it here safe," says Cole.
"How did it look?" Hannah asks as she pulls away from the hug.
"We ran into one of those infected things. And they had checkpoints throughout the city. It doesn't look good."
"Come inside," she says after she greets and hugs Micah.
Mick and Wanda Fleetwood, Hannah's parents, sit at the dining room table. "Cole," Mr. Fleetwood says with obvious distaste, no expression when he sees his daughter's ex-boyfriend.
"How are you, Mr. Fleetwood?" Cole forces out, trying to make it sound as sincere as possible.
"I'm fine. If I'm not mistaken, didn't Hannah break up with you?" Mr. Fleetwood grins when he sees Cole tense up.
"Dad!" Hannah says.
"She did," says Cole. "But I like to think we're still friends."
The grey-haired man's grin fades. "That's too bad. Nice to see you, Micah." He rises from his chair as Micah gives him a shy wave. Mrs. Fleetwood follows her husband out and glares at Cole.
"I'm sorry. They're just--" Hannah starts.
"It's fine. I know how your parents are."
"Just know that you don't have to stay here for long."
"I think we might be staying here for a while," Micah says. "You heard the officer. 'Once you leave, there's no going back.' "