Author's Note: a combination of my two favorite things right now: NGT and zombies. When I came up with the idea, I thought I was going to hate it, but I'm actually very pleased with the way it turned out. It's more about Jonne and Lauri than it is about zombies, which is exactly what I wanted. And it's Halloween, so… ;)
We were in Germany when it happened. I still don't know what caused it, or what ended it, I just know I'm grateful that it's over. I lost so much. But I guess I gained a little bit, too, in the end.
The first time I saw one of those things - should I call them 'zombies'?; I'm still not sure that's what they were - I didn't know what to think. She didn't look as bad as they make it seem in the movies, all flesh-hanging-off and decaying. But she still managed to look very, very dead. Her skin was grey, and her eyes were white and vacant. I was about to make a comment about her appearance when she ran at Jay very suddenly. Now, mind you, Jay is pretty strong, and this girl was all of about fifteen, but he could barely hold her off. It was a surreal thing to see, because we all knew immediately that there was no way she could be human. Especially with the way she was snapping at him, trying to take a chunk out of his arm, his neck, anything she could get to.
Antti was the first to go. The girl - who, ironically, was wearing our band's shirt - managed to get to Jay's shoulder, and took a pretty good piece out of it. He howled, and she almost got his hand too when it reflexively went to the injury. The rest of us were standing there shocked, but Antti sprung into action, and somehow managed to shove her off Jay. She was on him in an instant, and being as small as he is, he was no match. She got his throat immediately, and I think I screamed, at that moment. I think Antti tried to scream, too, but no sound came out.
If I hadn't been frozen in place before, I certainly was now. I could see more of the things coming, probably drawn in by my scream. Lauri slid his arm through mine and started to pull me forward, watching out for me as always. "Jonne, come on, we have to go!" I couldn't say anything, couldn't move, all I could do was look back and watch my dear friend being eaten as Lauri pulled me along.
The next thing I remember, Lauri and Tommi were helping me into a van. I don't know how we got there, or who it belonged to, or how my brother knew how to hotwire it, but he did. The consensus was that we'd all be safer if we kept moving, and I was too dazed to argue, still. We all fell into our roles very quickly, and no one even bothered to say anything about how unbelievable all of it was. We knew if we stopped to ask questions, it could mean the difference between living and dying. And seeing Antti graphically ripped apart by one of our teenage fangirls had left no doubt in our minds that this was no cruel joke; it was incredibly real.
As we drove, we saw more and more of the things, and more and more violent attacks. I finally had to close my eyes, and Lauri pulled me against his chest, stroked my hair, and whispered that I was going to be okay and that I didn't have to look - he would protect me. Without him, there would have been absolutely no chance of me making it out of this alive. I have no idea why it took something so awful to bring us together, but I immediately fell into the rhythm of depending completely on him, and he stood up to the task of protecting me like it came naturally, like he enjoyed it.
Somewhere along the way, we all realized we needed to find somewhere safe if we wanted to survive this - whatever it was. The best place I could think of was my flat at home, but we were much too far from there for that to even be feasible. Nakki said something about a war bunker he'd been in the night before - a 'party spot' supposedly, but there were a few supplies there, and it would definitely be secure. Nobody bothered to ask about why he had been there, of all places. We all agreed that we would try to make it there, because we thought it was our best chance of being safe from these things.
It took us a bit to find it, but we were in the van, so we were safe. Tommi started using the vehicle as a weapon, running those things over almost with glee, and I found that I was actually able to lift my head from Lauri's shoulder then; I wanted to watch, because of what those things had done to Antti. By the time we got to the bunker, Jay was holding his bitten arm limply to the side, almost as if it had been paralyzed by some kind of venom. We didn't think anything of it, then, or of the fact that he had been bitten. I honestly think all of us were too shocked to even think of the word 'zombies' or of the very-different looking creatures in the Hollywood movies we'd seen, so we had no reason to think there was anything wrong with him.
All of us got out of the van, and started to run through the woods toward the bunker, following Nakki. I guess some of those things had been following us, because they ambushed us before we had a chance to make it to safety. They were very fast. They got Nakki and Tommi, then, and when they ate my brother, Kris and Lauri literally had to pick me up and carry me. I was crying, and was sure I would die - we had no idea where we were going now that Nakki was gone.
Jay spotted the bunker, and somehow managed to get it open with his one good arm, and we barely managed to make it inside in time. Those things were beating on the door - clawing at it - as soon as we had it shut. I remember the noise was horrible, and I sat in the corner covering my ears with my hands and rocking, trying to find some kind of sanity after seeing all of this.
I must've fallen asleep at some point, because I woke up a few hours later with a blanket around my shoulders - Lauri's doing, I'm sure. He was asleep next to me, and there was a flashlight in the center of the room, pointed up at the ceiling to try and provide illumination. There was also a string of Christmas lights around the room, which I assumed was the doing of whoever came here to party.
"There's alcohol, if you want a drink," Kristian offered, seeing me moving in the dim light, knowing that I was awake. I scooted across the floor towards him - careful not to wake Lauri - and took the bottle gratefully. I guess I had hoped that the day before had been a horrible dream, but waking up here affirmed that it was very real. There was none of the shock of yesterday, just the pain of loss and the hatred of those things.
"Fucking zombies," Kristian said, clearly a lot drunker than I, and also a lot more careless. "Gotta say, I never thought the world would go this way. Personally, I thought it'd be an asteroid or something. You know, from space."
"'Zombies?'" I snapped. "Do we really have to talk about this?"
Kristian gave me a very judgmental-looking once-over. "There's some harder shit, too, if that alcohol's not enough for you. Coke, speed… think I might've even seen a little heroin, but I was really hoping to save that for myself."
I scoffed, and lifted the bottle back all the more determinedly.
I drank so much so quickly that I managed to pass out before Lauri even had a chance to wake up. I'm really lucky I had him looking out for me, because I would've certainly been dead, then - or worse, turned into one of those things. I woke up to an awful sound, which I could not determine the source of - all I could tell was that it came from across the room and sounded something like screaming. The flashlight had been knocked on its side, and the tiny string of lights did not provide enough illumination for me to see what was going on. My first thought was that some of those things had gotten in here somehow, and that I was about to be eaten. I tried to stay as still as I could and held my breath, not daring to make a single sound. A few eternities later, a deafening silence fell. It was even more terrifying than all the noise, and my heart was beating so fast that I was sure it was audible, echoing off the bunker walls. But the flashlight moved suddenly and focused on me, and I saw that Lauri was holding it, covered in blood and sweat.
"What happened?" I asked, horrified.
"I don't know. Jay turned into one of those things, and he attacked Kristian. He was going to go after you, but I jumped on him, and I think I broke his neck," he explained.
I was surprised. I had not thought Lauri had something like that in him. He was normally so quiet and thoughtful and even-tempered and never, ever physically violent. "The blood?"
"It's Kristian's. He's dead. I think Jay - or whatever that was in his body - is, too. Are you okay?" Lauri asked, coming over to me.
"Am I okay? Christ, Lauri - are you okay? You didn't get bitten, did you? That must've been what turned Jay into one of them," I worried, and began checking him over immediately for bitemarks, sure that I would find at least one. But there were none.
"No, I surprised him. My body just… leapt at him. He was going for you, and my heart almost stopped; I couldn't imagine what I would've done if he'd gotten to you."
I pulled Lauri against me, holding him with all my might. "Thank you, Lauri." He had saved me. And I felt safe, knowing that he had been able to do so, even against those horrible things that seemed to be taking over.
The bond between Lauri and I grew even stronger than it had been before, over the next couple of weeks. There was a little bit of food, mostly junk, but it was enough to keep our bodies alive. There was tonic water and some canned juices in the bar, which kept us from dying of thirst. We were both very hungry and very thirsty, but at least we had enough to stay alive. To survive together. I was surprised how quickly Lauri became skin and bones, though. I was in about the same state, and my stomach hurt constantly because of how little I was feeding it.
The time crept by so slowly. All we had to pass the time was eachother, and we talked endlessly - even laughed together. I touched his body, and let him touch mine. We loved, we kissed, we shared. We grew absolutely inseparable, and depended on eachother for more than just human contact; for love. I fell in love with him, and he with me. He was all I had, and I was all he had. We'd decided to take an overdose of the heroin together if it came to that, because we both refused to let ourselves become one of those things.
When we'd been out of food for a couple of days, Lauri decided to look outside. We would not be stupid enough to try to travel any real distance on foot, but we hoped, at least, that there might be some leaves or mushrooms or berries or something that we could find close by in the woods, just to keep us going for a little while longer. Things were so different than they had been a few short weeks before, when we were bandmates, making music together… How quickly things had changed.
Lauri opened the door, and we went out into the sunlight together. I expected them to run at us immediately, but no attack ever came. We dared to venture further, but still, there was no sign of them. Every once in a while we would come upon some blood, but no bodies - nothing. We found the van in tact, and drove it back into the city. The things were gone. We didn't know where they went, nor did we really care - we were just glad that we were rid of them. We found a few small groups of people who - like Lauri and I - had survived, and tried to make our new life as best we could. Still, to this day, I know I owe my life to him, and every night before we go to bed together he whispers in my ear that he never would have made it without me. I never would have made it without him, either.