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Caloundra, Queensland

Thirty-eight days post-apocalypse

Waves crashed and rolled onto Kings Beach across the road, the white expanse of sand a beautiful thing The ocean had long since washed away the bulk of the dead bodies and debris Only the tank remained and each tide buried it deeper

Angus had abandoned her Which was probably for the best

She couldn’t stand to watch him die too

The suht, the weather hot and humid, typical for January Or was it February? She’d lost track of the days

Natalie breathed in the salty sea air as she huddled behind the curtains She watched the world from four floors up The penthouse apartment, because Sean had to have the best No hts

Another sucky relationship indicator she’d chosen to ignore

Sean wasn’t looking so good anymore

His body was black and bloated, floating facedown on the surface of the large and lavish lagoon-style pool below The stench of decay didn’t tend to reach her unless it happened to be a particularly still day Sean hadn’t believed the reports on the TV and internet He’d mocked her when she’d filled the bathtub and every other available container ater, shut up the unit and flat-out refused to leave Sean had wanted to swi Plus the beautiful blonde froed on a sun-lounge in her teeny, tiny yellow bikini

It hadn’t ended well for either of them

Hmm

What was Angus doing?

Had he gotten away?

She bet he had He was brave Smart Resourceful

And da Not that a thirty-two-year-old wo out a twenty-three-year-old boy, but hey … she hts these days were few and far between

He’d be okay He’d be fine She’d know it if so had happened to him She’d feel it somehow

Natalie scrubbed away a tear with the back of her hand

Stupid Pointless The resort had becoht It was for the best that he’d gone

The walkie-talkie sat beside her though, just in case

So did the bottle of sleeping pills

One of the infected out in the hallway rattled the door handle Her breath stuck in her throat and her fingers clutched at the curtain A pounding started deep inside her skull They couldn’t get in Not a chance She’d barricaded the door with the chunky Asian-style coffee table Backed it up with a couple of the heavy dining chairs for good luck and prosperity She was safe

Safe, but stuck

Darkness owned the hallway There was no night or day for the ones trapped in there For theotten used to getting by on little sleep The three caught in the pool area beloere huddled beneath the sun-lounges, cowering Infected didn’t like bright light And they couldn’t clih pool fence again and again, snarling and growling in frustration

Like her, they were stuck

They too would slowly starve

She had enough food for a few more days, but after that …