It’s a dark and stormy afternoon. It’s 3.30 pm and the school is almost empty, apart from the drama class and Rock Eisteddfod group rehearsing for their respective performances. Above the din of Lady Gaga, however, one of the girls hears a noise outside. She alerts her friends and they go outside to investigate. What they see makes them run for the main building, leading the rest to dance until their deaths.
A girl wanders down the corridor. She has forgotten her box of tissues in her locker, and will probably need them for the bus. At the end of the hall, however, she doesn’t notice a man slowly swaggering towards her. She turns as she hears his slow shuffle. “G’day, mate,” she calls. He simply moans in reply and as he walks into the light, awful realisation hits her. She screams, grabs her tissues and runs.
In the library sits a young lady, packing up. She should have been gone half an hour ago. She picks up her textbook and slings her bag over her shoulder. At the door stands the librarian, her face hidden in shadow. “Excuse me,” she says politely.
“Grrrr,” says the librarian, turning to face her.
“It can’t be…” she says to herself. Remembering her predicament, she hits the librarian with her book and quickly heads for the staircase, not noticing as the librarian picks up the book and absentmindedly scans it.
“This room is really annoying,” said one.
“There’s more space upstairs,” agreed another.
“Let’s go,” decided a third.
As the class disappeared out the door, two students hung behind to grab their diary and sketch book respectively. As they reached the door, though, the realised everyone had gone. It was deadly silent- something was wrong.
Slowly, the pair began to make their way upstairs. “Stop! Help!” screamed Nessie, clutching her tissue box.
“What’s up, Ness?” inquired the girl with the diary.
“They’re all gone,” said Miranda, walking towards them, followed by the rest of the Rocka gang.
“Why?” asked Anna, putting her sketchbook in her bag.
“Zombies.” Britney shook her head. “They’re starting to invade the school.”
“Zombies?” asked Patty.
“It’s happening,” said Alex. “They’re coming.”
The group hurriedly began making their way towards the only classroom with bars on the windows- rumour had it they were there from the days when the school had been a prison. There was a new sense of urgency about their movements, and as the Drama kids and Rocka squad were already in black, Patty couldn’t help thinking they already looked like they were in battle mode. They were prepared.
Slowly, the gate was drawn across the door and the windows were locked. The group began to formulate a plan.
Little did they know that they annual Mufti Day was coming up and someone had been sent to put up posters for the next day. It was after school, so she was already in six inch heels and a leopard print scarf, but Reem was still made she was missing out on her afternoon. As she walked up the stairs, however, she began to hear voices. “Hello?” she called out. Slowly, the door opened to reveal eight very confused faces.
“What are you doing here?” asked Miranda.
“I could ask you the same thing. I had to put up some posters and then this guy came to the office and he sounded like he was in pain, so I came up here to find the first aid kit.”
“Reem….” But before anyone could explain, there was a terrible moan everyone was getting to know all too well.
“I thought I told you to wait in the office, man?” Reem said, turning to face the zombie with her hands on her hips.
“Arrrggghhhhh,” replied the zombie.
“Don’t you growl at me- if you’re hurt, I’ll help but ain’t nobody got time for your crap.”
“Reem, it’s a zombie,” said Anna.
“Oh, s*&%” said Reem. She pulled off a heel and plunged it into the zombie’s head, stunning him just long enough for her to get inside the room. As they watched the zombie stumble around, the door was once again closed.
“Damn, those were Manolo Blahniks.”
Meanwhile, on the other side of the city, a pastor was trying to save his son and pregnant wife from the onslaught. They’d gotten stuck in the church and all Steve had was a candlestick. He was getting swamped on all sides, despite his wife throwing everything she could get her hands on. “Not the iPad!” he yelled over his shoulder, getting distracted just long enough for a particularly scary zombie to come up behind him.
Was this the end?
Back at the school, there was a tap on the door.
“Zombies can’t knock,” said Mona.
“Famous last words,” said Alex.
Patty opened the door a crack to see a battered Betty pressed up against the bars swatting at zombies with her umbrella. She was quickly pulled inside and the door was closed once more.
“What happened to you?” everyone asked.
“Well,” began Betty, taking a swig of water. “I was walking home and my shoe broke, so I bent down to take it off and see what could be done. Then I looked up and there was this guy staring at me weirdly, so I started trying to walk home, but he came up to me. I wanted to ask him what was wrong, but then he grabbed me- I think he was trying to eat my brains- so I hit him with my shoe and tried to run away. I was only wearing one shoe by this point, though, so I fell over and he got up and tried to chase me again. I didn’t really have anything in my bag except for my umbrella, so I kind of shoved it in his mouth and… well, it’s really gross, but I opened it and ran towards the school.”
While everyone got over their shock at Betty’s amazing intelligence and horrible luck, Britney checked her over for injuries.
“You didn’t get bitten, did you?” she asked.
“I don’t think so… just this weird scratch.”
After much planning, the group had a plan.
“It’s go time,” said Nessie. “I’m ready.”
The group marched to the office and Alex picked up the authentic, titanium swords, engraved by chisel, that the Japanese school had given as a gift [that was the year we gave them the plastic koala magnets]. She unsheathed them and gave one to Miranda who ran downstairs with Caitlin while the rest of them went to the Science rooms.
Mona and Britney had a conversation consisting of scientific words nobody really understood- they’d figured out the beginnings of an idea, but now they had all the means to carry it out at their fingertips. As they mixed chemicals, the others cleaned beakers and Nessie made tea she’d stolen from the office, Miranda and Caitlin returned and shared their spoils. Baseball bats, hockey sticks and tennis rackets fell to the floor, all taken from the P.E. store room.
Steve looked up at the zombie and said his last prayers. As he waited for the fatal bite that would turn him into one of theirs, it never came. He opened his eyes to see the creature lying on the floor, Nathaniel holding the offending weapon- a drum stick. “I never told you this dad, but I’ve been learning martial arts off YouTube during naptime.”
Steve looked at his kid, stunned. “YouTube…? I’m proud of you, son.”
“Thanks Dad,” replied the two year old.
And so, father and son fought side by side as Jay hit zombies over the head with an iPad.
“If we can just get to the hospital, I’m sure we could find something to spray it everywhere.”
The cure was finished and the group sat around, Caitlin sharpening the ends of the hockey stick with a scalpel and Alex sharpening her sword with the fossils.
“Let’s go then,” said Patty. “We’ll figure out a plan on the way.”
“We can do this, guys!” said Nessie, in an attempt to lighten the mood. It didn’t work.
They opened the door to a writhing mass of zombies. Alex and Miranda stepped out, stopping everything in their path, closely followed by Reem with her remaining shoe and Caitlin, hitting everything in sight. Betty clung onto a hockey stick, followed by Patty and Nessie with baseball bats. They were unstoppable, but couldn’t face everywhere at all times. Alex turned to slice a zombie in half and Anna saw what was happening in slow motion. She didn’t have time to grab a weapon- she just ran out and bit the thing. It was wearing a grotesque fur vest, and as it went down, she could have sworn she heard it say “I didn’t even hear you running…”
The group continued outside. “How are we going to get across there?” asked Nessie, as she plunged her hockey stick into a nearby elderly zombie. As she pulled it out though, the group turned to see Leanne on her Vespa, Anthony clinging onto the back for dear life. “I think I can help,” said Leanne.
“I was just wondering around Bondi Junction and I saw this guy, so I thought I’d come and find you guys, see if you were still okay.” They both got off the scooter, Anthony slightly wobbly. Patty took him by the shoulder and looked him in the eye. “Anthony, get out your phone. I’ve got breaking news.”
Using the wonders of social media, he sent out a message telling all humans to come to the hospital. As he did so, Alex got on the back of the Vespa and took the sword from Miranda.
“I was born for this,” Alex said in her best American hero voice.
“I understand,” replied Miranda, taking a baseball bat.
As Leanne drove through the crowd, and Alex straddled the seat with both legs, she held out her arms like Rose in Titanic, parting the zombies like the red sea. A little too literally.
As the gang ran through the crowd, one of the zombies called out “Brain!”
Britney turned around. “Yes?”
As the gang reached the hospital, they started loading the cure into gas canisters.
“Are we all clear on the plan?” Patty asked.
“Yes,” they replied.
“Then let’s lock and load.”
They ran out, throwing the canisters into the crowd, watching them explode in the air. More humans joined them slowly from all around the country as the battle lasted for the entire night. Finally, Australia was free and completely human. Not everyone had made it, though.
Betty lay on the ground and breathed slowly in and out. She was beaten and bloodied- she had accidentally fallen down some steps. Her “scratch” had gotten worse. A lot worse. Then, out of the mist, a man came. He gently kissed her on the forehead and the group watched as her face cleared and she stood up.
“Thankyou,” she said.
“That’s okay,” he said, “I just had that little bit left of zombie power in me.” He turned around and handed a dirty high heel to Reem. “I believe this is yours,” he said.
“Why thankyou,” said Reem, just as the school bell sounded for another day.