- Word Count: 1,071
- Genre: Horror/Drama
- Centric: Jesse (with Rachel)
- Written by: Stefanie
- Notes: This was from a roleplay of mine that has long since died, but this part always stayed close to me and I could never forget it. Anyway, it fits the prompt for St. Berry Week today and I thought I’d share. As a little backstory, zombies had come and Jesse had gone days without sleep to the point where Rachel had to drug him. Then this happened.
St. Berry Week Day 4: Zombies
It was almost as if her voice had called out to him, as if he was enticed by the sound of it. Hearing it was like being home again, finally finding the salvation he’d spent months looking for. And when she came into view, everything was perfect. He had been in New York when it happened, most saying he was lucky to even still be here today after the collapse of civilization. Especially since he started in New York. But then again, the promise he’d made to his family was stronger than anything those creatures could throw at him. He could still see their eyes looking up at him as he told them he’d be back within the week, going to talk with producers about a show on Broadway. That’d been four months ago and he was finally back home.
Walking around the house had been like tearing his heart in two, looking at the crooked pictures of the twins first years and wondering if they were even still here. They had Rachel though and he trusted his entire being with her. She’d keep strong for them, even if she thought he was gone. She had to. It was then he saw it, a little slip of paper sticking out of their bathroom mirror. When he reached for it, something told him it was either going to be the message that led him home, or the one that brought his own death. If they were gone, there wasn’t a reason for him to fight any longer.
So, he unfolded it carefully, seeing his name quickly scratched out in Rachel’s delicate writing. It wasn’t a suicide note, something he had begun dreading it might be. But instead a place, somewhere he probably never would have looked. “Theatre, Hollywood Blvd.” It seemed so basic to him and a part of him thought they had to have moved by then. That was until he noticed how new the paper looked, how recently she must have written it.
He ran out of the house after seeing that some of his clothes were missing, not knowing if it was Rachel or someone else. But either way, he ran. He ran as fast as his feet would carry him anymore, just wanting to get to his family and when he finally reached that theatre, the guards standing watching seeing that he was unharmed and letting him, he listened to that voice.
“Harrison, stop,” she muttered, sighing as he kept trying to pinch Lily. “Momma, he’s being mean!” The two of them were just as Jesse remembered, apart from their hair being longer and Harrison having more dirt upon him than usual. “I know, just ignore him sweetie. He’s just being Harrison,” she said as she nudged him slightly, giving him a smile that didn’t exactly reach her eyes.
“Rach,” he said, his voice barely audible as he looked to her. Those brown eyes that he loved so much turned at the sound of his voice and she just watched him, her jaw dropped. The twins came running to him as the tears filled his eyes, looking down to Harrison and Lily as they hugged him. “Hi,” he whispered to them, giving them a kiss on their heads. “You said a week, Daddy. You’re a little late,” Lily said after a moment and Jesse couldn’t help himself as he laughed, brushing her hair back from her forehead. “I did say a week but I’m here now,” he told her before letting them go for a minute. “You two go sit down while I talk to mommy, alright?”
Watching the twins walk away, he stood before Rachel and just glanced at her. She looked just as he remembered, thinking that her smiling at him right before he left was going to be the last time he’d see her. “I missed you,” he said and that was all it took for Rachel to fling herself at him, her tears falling freely as she held him close. “I thought you’d never come back.” And he had to smile at the choice of words Rachel used, rubbing soothing circles upon her back. “And miss all your drama? Never.”
St. Berry Week. Day 4: Zombies.
It is strange how carrying a shotgun is now a comfort to him. Whilst before it had been something foreign and strange, he has learnt to use it pretty quickly. He hasn’t had much of a choice. Because after all, if there is one thing the undead love it’s the taste of fresh human flesh and Jesse really isn’t prepared to give up any part of him to one of the vicious, rotting creatures that now lurk around every corner. Fortunately, he has managed to find a shotgun, buried in the back of a closet in his childhood home, where it has come from, he has no idea, but he isn’t about to question this turn of fate.
There’s something about an apocalypse that really sorts the wheat from the chaff, in more ways than one. As Jesse sees it, there are two types of people: the people that survive and the people that don’t. And there is no way of telling which category people fall into before it’s too late and this makes every person a liability. Which means that trusting anyone is an unnecessary risk that he is unwilling to take.
Foraging for food is the riskiest thing about this new, post infection world. Or at least, he presumes it’s an infection. The TV stations and radio signals had stopped before anything could be investigated and it had all come so quickly, targeting only certain people, that Jesse guesses it must have been an infection. Maybe sent by enemies of the state, who knows really? Infecting the weak and the old and the feeble minded… people whose immune system weren’t prepared to deal with this sudden invasion. These are the ones who own the streets now. With no real purpose as far as he can tell, they stumble through the deserted roads of Lima, Ohio, attacking anyone who comes within range of them. They’re dumb and slow, but one bite from the deadly set of fangs each creature has formed would proves to be deadly.
It is down these streets that Jesse drives. He’s done all he can to tighten up the security on his Range Rover, but there’s really nothing but the shotgun and the glass and metal surrounding him to protect him from the monstrosities. So far as he knows there aren’t many people left in Lima, Ohio. A few stragglers maybe, but not enough for Jesse to feel really threatened and this means that the number of zombies has decreased a little since the first outbreak, where there had been mass slaughtering of any warm blooded creature in a ten metre vicinity.
So the streets are now deserted, apart from the occasional corpse of an unfortunate person, stripped bare of anything valuable by travellers and stripped of flesh by the creatures. He drives quickly, because the main thing about the walking dead is that they are slow and stupid and you have to be in close range for them to have any real effect on you. But he still has the shotgun in his hands.
He isn’t about to take any chances.
Pulling up at a pretty much deserted convenience store, he checks around carefully and, when he decides it’s safe, clambers out of the car. Locking it and pocketing the key, he makes his way towards the store, confident that none of the living are around to steal his car and positive that none of the dead are clever enough. In his hands he has the shotgun and tucked into the thick, brown leather belt around his waist are three large camping knifes, sharpened to within in inch of their lives. The fact that there are automatic doors makes him uneasy and he makes sure he has the shotgun up and ready before he walks through the door. There’s no one in there, as he expects and, as he walks through the store, mounding food items into a large sack that he slings over his back, his keeps his ears pricked for any disturbance, his body tensed and ready to move at any second.
Nothing comes though, fortunately, and when he makes his way back to the exit, with a back bulging full of tinned food and bottled water, he’s prepared to carry out the rest of his errands with very little fuss.
That isn’t what he gets though.
As the automatic doors slide open he hears the undeniable sound of commotion and instinctively drops his bag in a corner by the door and sprints out to the front of the convenience store. There are three men, real, human men fortunately and they’re crowded around something, cheering and poking at it. Ad he comes closer, he sees, to his absolute surprise, that it’s a girl. A young curl is curled on the ground, trying to move away from their taunts, but caught against the wall of the store, unable to move any further away. Her dark hair is coming loose of the hair band she’s tied it up with and her large dark eyes shine with unshed tears as she tried to grab back her bag from the man closest to her.
He lashes out at her, hitting her soundly in the face and she flinches away. As she does, she catches sight of him and he eyes widen, the words slipping from her mouth in a barely distinguishable torrent.
“Please! Help me, please!”
The men turn on him and he knows any thought of running away are out of the question now. The girl is cowering on the floor, still desperately reaching for the backpack in the man’s hands, but whenever she does so, he back hands her ferociously and she falls away with a cry of pain. There’s also a bag of food in the store that has his name on it and he isn’t about to let these strangers take that away from him. So he does the only thing he can do, puts on a mask of bravado and brandishes his gun at the three men, who are armed only with a knife each.
“Let the girl go, boys.”
The tallest of the three laughs, scoffing in his face, “what you gonna do, pretty boy?”
“End your pathetic lives, that’s what I’ll do.” Jesse tells him and fires a shot at his leg. Jesse’s a pretty good shot and the bullet just skims the edge of the man’s limb, creating a deep wound. The man cries out and Jesse smiles, mockingly at the other two. “I can do a lot more, believe me. Now scram.”
The men give him a scornful glare but hobble away and Jesse watches as they clamber into a beaten up Honda and drive away down the street. Blowing out a puff of air through his nostrils, he allows himself a second of satisfaction before glancing at the girl. She’s recovered herself a little and has picked up her backpack, cradling it close to her chest and sitting up on the black asphalt.
Raising his eyebrows to himself, he goes back into the store and grabs his back, slinging it into the back of his Range Rover.
“Thank you,” The voice makes him jump and he turns, taking in the girl stood behind him. She has to be young, sixteen at most and her eyes are still wet from the tears that she had finally released once he had stepped in to help.
He grunts his reply and shrugs, as if it’s nothing.
“No, really.” She moves closer, out of arm’s reach still, but closer all the same and says softly. “Thank you for saving my life.”
He shrugs her off again. “No problem,” He eyes her for a moment. “You’re from around here around you?”
She looks quizzical, but nods her ascent all the same.
“You’re obviously not used to travelling, you have no weapons… you must be just holing up somewhere, hoping the wait it out.” He explains, leaning back against the car hood.
Grief flashes over her face, making her deep eyes darker and she glances away, her voice softer when she says. “They found us last week… killed my parents. I’ve been going from place to place since then… I don’t know what to do.” She looks up at him uncertainly and he recognises the flash of hope in her eyes.
Stepping away quickly he says, shortly. “Good luck.”
Then he clambers into his car and drives swiftly away, leaving her stranded.
He makes his usual errands with little disturbance. Maybe the sun is too hot for the zombies today, or maybe it’s just good luck, but he sees barely any. He makes his way to the only hunting and shooting store in Lima to see if he can forage anything from the store this time around, but, as always, he comes out empty handed. He also stops at a DVD rental place and takes about thirty DVDs. One of the worst things about this life is the monotony. His only saving grace is that there are still generators, though he has no idea where, letting him have electricity. How long this will last for, he has no idea, but he intends to make use of it while it does last.
He’s driving back through Lima when he hears the commotion. It’s coming from ahead and, as he drives, he realises it’s specifically coming from the front steps of the Lima Public Hall. It’s almost not a surprise when he sees that the girl is on the steps. In front of her, groaning loudly, is, unmistakably, a zombie. Rotting flesh, drunken movements and a gritty, groaning noise for a voice, it’s lurching it’s way up the steps towards her, ignoring the way she bats at it, almost fruitlessly, with a metal pole that was torn from the railings months ago.
Sighing heavily, he pulls up and jumps out. The zombie smells him, of course, and turns to fix its dead eyes on him. It’s as gruesome a sight as ever, with dried blood around its mouth and nose, matted into its hair and a sickly yellow pallor that makes Jesse feel vaguely ill. Sighing heavily, he delivers one clean cut to the throat- no need to waste bullets at this proximity- and moves so quickly that the creature barely has the time to think. He side steps to avoid the body and watches it as it falls with a sicken crack to the sidewalk. Disgustedly, he pokes the body with the toe of his shoe and watches as any life left in it drains away.
Looking up, he sees that the girl is watching him with wide eyes. Sighing heavily, he jerks his head towards and the car and says, wearily, “Get in then.”
She doesn’t need to be told twice and jumps to her feet, scrambling down the steps and into the car, giving the body a wide berth.
They drive in silence for a long time before she finally asks, her voice soft.
“Where are we going?”
“Don’t you think you should have asked me that before you got in the car?” He replies, tersely.
She only shrugs and they sit in silence again until he gets to the edge of the land surrounding his home, covered in thick conifers. She looks at him, confused.
“My parents liked their privacy,” he tells her, his voice a little gentler and he allows himself to smile briefly when she quirks her eyebrows.
He keys in the code when they get to the large gate and it swings open for them. He feels a rush of relief when he hears the familiar buzzing of the electric fence around them. The gate swings shut quickly behind them and they pull up in front of his childhood home. He allows himself another smile as he hears her gasp.
“It’s come in handy,” He tells her, getting out of the car. “Having somewhere as big and protected as this.”
“I’ll bet.” She breathes and follows him, still clutching her backpack to her with tight hands, up the steps and into the house.
It takes a while for him to show her around and she marvels at everything. Apparently the power has been out in her home for a while and she’s sincerely pleased to have electric lighting back, in particular. When he asks her why lighting in particular, she just says.
“You never know what’s hiding in the dark.”
It’s only when they’ve finished the oddly awkward tour and she’s told him that she’s tired and might go and get some rest that she says, turning at the doorway to one of the many sitting rooms.
“What’s your name?”
“Jesse,” He tells her, smiling again at the shyness in the soft voice. “Jesse St James… and you?”
“Rachel, Rachel Berry.” She says and then, after a moment of silence, she bids him goodnight and makes her way to the room he’s assigned her.
“Rachel Berry,” He repeats, softly and for just a moment, he remembers what it feels like to not be lonely.
I am thinking I’ll probably write more of this, because it’s just caught my imagination but I have zero time at the moment.
Thème ? Les Zombies !!!
4ème jour de la St Berry Week !
Argentine - Mai 2024
Un cadre sombre, recouvert d’une fine couche de pluie et avec un fond bleu anthracite. Le ciel est couvert de nuages foncés et les arbres subissent les vents forts tempête. Au loin, une maison. Une maison bleue avec des fenêtres blanches. Elle est seule dans son entourage. Aucune autre habitation ne l’entoure.
Dans cette villa de vacances, il y avait un couple. Un jeune couple marié heureux. Ils étaient assis dans ce placard sombre, essayant d’échapper à ces choses. La femme tremblait de partout. Ses cheveux étaient ébouriffés et ses yeux remplis de peur. Quant à son mari, il restait impassible, sans émotion avec ses bras réconfortants autour de son épouse.
« Je… Jesse », elle murmura très doucement, essayant d’éviter de claquer des dents.
« Chut… », dit-il, embrassant le dessus de sa tête. Il n’arrivait pas réaliser ce qui leur arrivait. Ce matin, ils se réveillaient dans les bras l’un de l’autre heureux. Et ce soir, ils étaient cachés dans le placard de leur chambre.
Tout avait commencé quand le soleil s’était couché. Rachel voulait absolument prendre un bon bain chaud avant d’aller rejoindre Jesse dans leur grand lit en bois exotique. Il était, dans un boxer noir et un t-shirt bleu en train d’écrire. Surement encore une chanson. Ecrire avait toujours été une de ses passions secrètes.
Quand Rachel était sortie du bain, elle avait regardé par la fenêtre et avait alors remarqué la tempête qu’il y avait. Elle était vraiment déçue, parce que c’était le premier jour de leur lune de miel et elle voulait vraiment profiter de ses vacances en Argentine. Un pays étonnant en fait. Surtout de la part de Rachel et Jesse. Aucun d’eux ne voulait se rendre à New York. Ils désiraient un endroit spécial et qui ne leur ressemblait pas du tout. Et, un jour, Jesse a lu un livre sur Che Guevara et l’Argentine leur a paru comme l’endroit parfait.
Quand elle regardait par la fenêtre, Rachel avait soudainement paniqué quand elle avait vu une dizaine de personnes, grises, marcher devant leur villa. Elle a crié et Jesse était arrivé à ses côtés. Ils pensaient tous les deux rêver mais quand des bruits étranges se sont fait entendre du rez-de-chaussée, ils avaient sauté dans leur robe de chambre et s’étaient cachés dans leur placard.
« Je t’aime », dit-elle quand elle entendit des pas venant de l’étage en dessous. Lorsque des cris et des hurlements se firent entendre elle sursauta. Les personnes en bas étaient en train de tout casser. Bientôt, ils viendraient les tuer.
So what happens now? Are you going to kill me? No. Why not? I love you too much. You should have thought of that sooner.
St Berry Week; Day Four; Zombies.
In which there’s a zombie apocalypse in Lima and Jesse comes back for Rachel and she breaks her promise to stay with him in order to check if Finn is safe. Finn had no trouble killing her and turning her into one of them.
Day Four: Zombies
Three years later
Jesse has been running for three years now, three years since he had to abandon his home in exchange for his life. He only took the clothes on his back, supplies, a gun and the carebear Rachel had won him playing skee-ball. People may have thought he was a sap and stupid for having the weight of an attachment with him, but he needed to take something and it was the first thing he thought of. Apart from the picture of his wedding and bride in his wallet and his wedding band, it was the only evidence Rachel ever existed in human form.
He never found out what happened to her, updates stopped arriving when the postal service crashed, the suits came to update him at first but then when their services became mostly shooting the blood thirsty creatures that had taken over one of the facilities and got out, no news came. Before the uprising in the Utah facility, once you reached stage five, they took you into a room and shot you before you could eat them.
The procedure was still intact, but now it was anyone, no suits or doctors, with a gun, or a bat, or a hammer that did the work. Jesse doesn’t feel guilty about killing them, though he starts to pray for the first time since he was twelve, every night, that he’ll never shoot one of those things, check them over and see Rachel’s face staring back. That’s the nightmare and the reality he faces everyday.
One day, he’s in his make shift somewhere in Vermont, he doesn’t care. Geography is not really a priority these days. They have refugee shelters but Jesse doesn’t use them. All it takes is one person playing God and thinking they can beat the infection and there’s another hundred people dead, including him. No, they can keep their food and sleeping bags. He’s keeping himself alive for Rachel.
Jesse barely sleeps however, just plays with his gun and looks at his luxury items that reminded him of his wife. Was she alive? Had some zombie killer shot her once she’d become rabid? Did she recover from the virus? It was possible, lots of people do. And as he plays with the gold band on his finger that links him and Rachel together, flesh eating monster or not, he hears a noise behind him.
He automatically turns around to see red eyes flashing in the dark of the night, and grabs his gun. Usually he’d shoot first, ask questions later but something makes him stop. “W-Wait!” A voice yells when he cocks the gun in his hand, lock and load. He recognizes that voice, he tells himself as he slowly lowers the weapon and a figure stumbles from the shadows.
“Rach!” He stutters through the syllable as a bloodied, battered looking Rachel St James stumbles into the little camp he’d made. Her eyes are still blood red and she’s coughing heavily. He rushes over and catches her when she staggers and falls into his arm, almost rehearsed.
“Jess…” She manages through her coughs. Jesse lies her down and cradles her face, “I didn’t get to stage five for you. Stage Two for three straight years, I’d be cured but the medicines are hard to come by.” She smirks, reminding him of the letter he’d sent, begging with a dying woman not to die anymore. He chuckles breathlessly and kisses her forehead. He’s completely speechless.
“You’re not gonna turn into a zombie?” He asks her hopefully, the general information on the infection is: If you get bite, scratched, sneezed on or touch the bodily fluids of a zombie, don’t keep it quiet, don’t be shy and don’t be touchy with uninfected people. There’s some medicines to get someone from stage one to three back down, but after four, you’re fucked and a bullet in the brain is far kinder than the alternative.
“Oh god, no!” She squirms as she nuzzles his chest, “They’re my favorite targets.” She chuckles, nodding at the satchel over her shoulder, the holder of a gun poking out. Jesse smirks, of course Rachel would not only be an excellent markswoman but she’d enjoy it. He can’t complain, it was good fun. God, they were such sadists.
“I love you.” He reminds her, kissing her lips softly. He doesn’t care if it means infection now, he got to hold her one more time and until he took his last breath, he would stay by his wife’s side. She responds weakly to the kiss, obviously still ill and exhausted from her journey.
“I love you too.” She whispers.
Day 4: Zombies
Don’t you dare look out your window, Darling everything’s on fire. The war outside our door keeps raging, hold on to this lullaby, even when the music’s gone, gone.
Everything is different now, no more lies or secrecy, they made this announcement about the virus on the news a week ago, told everyone to stop sharing food, wash their hands, they treat it like the fucking common cold or flu and it’ll all blow over in a couple weeks, maybe we’ll lose some elderly people or some weaklings. Nobody is going outside around, not since the checkpoints and rationing began, just in case.
Sometimes I think it’s better that they took you before the hype started, you did always like to avoid the mainstream. You’re silly like that. On announcement that the great Rachel St James had the virus, reporters flooded our street, wanting interviews and comments and pictures, they wanted to see your eyes, made jokes on how you’d stick out at this year’s Tony awards with those babies. Long story short, I’m now being the pariah of the journalism world after I told them to go fuck themselves and punched a reporter in the face.
I miss you so much it physically hurts, they send updates on you, you’re stable and you’re improving but they never speak of a cure or what happens when you reach ‘stage five’. You’re stage three. I know you like stages, baby, but I don’t want to hide out what stage five is and I’m guessing neither do you.
They say you talk in your ‘sleep’, that you say my name. God, I hope that’s true, I know I do the same for you. The bed seems way too big, even if you were dying beside me, the comfort that you were dying with me meant I could die inside too. Right now, I feel empty and hollow without you, even with those red eyes. You made what should be the scariest thing in the world look beautiful. You make everything beautiful, Rach.
Get well soon, I love you, I love you, I love you.
Summary: Rachel Berry was proud of being an open minded, not easily surprised girl. That is, until zombies invaded her town. Now, with Puck’s help, she’ll have to find a way to survive while she tries to forget a certain curly haired boy. Sequel to this and this.
Genre: Romance. Angst. Horror.
Pairing(s): St. Berry. Puckleberry friendship.
Set: Glee time.
Word count: 2,956.
St. Berry Week - Day Four (Zombies)
- Word Count: 3,722
- Genre: Horror/Romance
- Written By: Stefanie
- Notes: Happy St. Berry Week! If you want more St. Berry surviving a zombie outbreak, please check out my in-progress multi-chapter fic, Shadows Beneath The Umbrella.