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Running down the trail in the forest in the early morning on a cool fall day was not what Kallista Pendragon thought of as a fun time. Yet there she was with two of her best friends being herded along under the blazing arches of the brilliantly colored trees.
“Why are we doing this again?” She panted to Lizzy who ran slightly ahead of her, not even breaking a sweat.
“Because exercise is good for you. Now shut up and keep moving,” was Lizzy’s calm reply.
“Yes, of course,” Kallista muttered dourly but pressed on.
Next to her was Skyril who was happily taking pictures of the red, yellow, and orange leaf trees as she ran, not even deterred by the rigorous exercise.
“So beautiful,” Skyril breathed out, beaming a smile that challenged the sun’s brightness.
“Somebody didn’t have their morning coffee.” Lizzy murmured up ahead with a smirk.
“Hush!” Kallista shot back determined to beat Lizzy.
Quickly she sped up to try and keep pace with Lizzy who merely shook her head.
“This is not a race Kallie!” Skyril chirped pleasantly, snapping more pictures.
“Who’s racing? I’m just running my natural pace.” Kallista lied through puffs, her face beat red with the strain. “Besides, we are almost to town. Red and NJ will be there right?”
“Yep. Meeting us at the coffee shop as usual,” Lizzy answered, managing to keep ahead of Kallista, effortlessly.
Suddenly Kallista dropped to the ground and rolled around clutching her side. “Oh, the pain!”
The expensive purple exercise outfit she had bought last week was already stained with dirt and grass stains. Lizzy and Skyril stayed comfortable in their breathable t-shirts and short set.
Both Skyril and Lizzy paused, jogging in place as they waiting for the usual rants of their friend to stop. Looking down Lizzy checked her watch.
“We managed to go one minute sooner than yesterday and the day before.” She spoke over Kallista’s head to Skyril.
“Indeed.” Skyril smiled cheerfully. “She is improving!”
“What the heck are you two going on about?” Kallista grumbled from the ground, itching all over. “And how come NJ and Red don’t ever have to run?”
Crouching down beside her, Lizzy smiled and patted her head.
“We were remarking that each day you seem to be collapsing nearer and near to the town. We are one step closer!”
“Um…Kallista. You do know you are rolling in poison ivy don’t you?” Skyril pointed out helpfully.
“Oh don’t be like that. If you didn’t eat so many sweets we would not be here.” Lizzy laughed and Skyril joined her.
Kallista started to say something else when a rustling in the woods to their right interrupted them. Curious they all looked expecting to see a bunny. Instead, out leapt a goat with bloody matted hair. Something seemed off with the critter as it ran past them, out of the woods and into town.
“GOAT!” Kallista shouted, pointing stupidly at the critter.
Rolling her eyes Lizzy decided it was best to ignore her. “It probably got loose from a farm or the nearby petting zoo.”
Another rustling noise interrupted them. Swiveling their heads back around they suddenly found themselves face to face with a zombie who had just leapt over the bush.
“ZOMBIE!” Kallista screamed and began pelting the undead uselessly with pinecones.
“Ow! Stop that!” Ann protested irritated as she fended of the woodland missiles.
Everyone did a double take of Ann who wore bloodied ripped clothing and had blood on her face.
“Ann?” Skyril questioned as she peered closer. “It’s uh….good to see you. You look….great.”
Frowning, Ann dusted off more pinecones. “I was at a costume party that I was holding at my house when I saw my goat escape.”
“Costume party? Cool! What did you go as?” Kallista piped up.
This time Kallista got the double takes then a light biff from Lizzy.
“Ow! What was that for?” Kallista moaned but was ignored.
Sounds of screaming in the distance got everyone’s attention.
“That would be my goat.” Ann sighs as she brushed passed them. “If you will excuse me now, I must go get my goat!”
Kallista eyed Ann with a bemused expression then leaned towards Skyril and whispered. “Do you think Ann knows her cloths are torn and bloody?”
“We should go and help her.” Lizzy muttered and set off after her friend.
Quickly Skyril and Kallista joined her. They cleared the edge of the woods and entered into the park area where they could see just beyond, the quaint little town.
Usually it was calm and peaceful but that day people were running and screaming as if fleeing from something.
“What drama.” Skyril frowned. “It’s just a goat!”
Then they saw Ann running along with the people, her goat in her arms.
“What is she doing?” Lizzy wondered out loud as they set off across the green.
Ann caught sight of them right before she turned a corner. Stopping she shouted something franticly to the girls but no one could hear amid all the screaming. As they reached the sidewalk by the shops they curiously looked after the crowd who had fled the other way. A few stragglers ran past them with panicked expressions.
“Well, it can’t have been Ann’s goat that frightened them so much.” Skyril mused then turned around to look the other way. “OH! MY! GOSH!”
Lizzy and Kallista turned their heads to spy a torn up figure of what used to be a person, tearing into the body of a middle aged woman.
“No!” Kal whispered horrified and she started to move forward to help the lady. But a hand held her back.
“It’s too late for her.” Lizzy said grimly. “We need to find a way to stop this zombie from hurting anyone else!”
Grumbling for her gun Lizzy smashed her hands together in frustration. “I KNEW I should have brought the Pink!”
“Well, one usually does not bring a gun with them on a jog.” Skyril tried to sooth.
“Uh, guys?” Kallista gulped.
“I think the zombie sees us.”
“Why do you thing that?”
“Because it is coming our way!”
Kallista and Skyril each took an arm of Lizzy who had prepared to stay and fight the zombie single handedly and ran.
Dashing across the street, they almost made it to the other side when Kallista tripped and fell.
“Go on without me!” She sobbed dramatically as the zombie hobbled slowly towards her, still a block away. “It is too late for me. I am done for!”
“Oh, get up you!” Lizzy and Skyril both biffed her this time and hauled her to her feet.
But instead of going anywhere, Lizzy paused to look at the undead that moaned and continued to get closer. Now it was in the street and soon would catch up to them. Kallista whimpered bravely.
“There must be something we can do to kill this creature.” Lizzy mused.
Out of the blue a large delivery van roared down the road and struck the zombie head on, destroying it.
Screeching to a halt even as zombie guts rained down everywhere, Raven poked her head out of the driver’s seat window.
“HOORAY FOR ME!” She shouted gleefully.