Project Write student literature

Please enjoy the following works by Project Write 2013 students. Don't forget to post your comments about the works on our blog.


*Today, students used images to look at ways that communication is influenced by language and images. Joe created this story using an image as a story starter.

The Horde by Joe

"So, to put it in layman's terms, we are all royally screwed." Said Lyam, the de facto leader of our ragtag outfit of survivors.

"Well I didn't want to put it like that, but yes." William confirmed. William an ex-track star who became our scout mostly because he could run a three minute mile which was a very useful skill in his line of work.

The last scouting report was not good, the horde, it seemed, was heading right for us. During the first months of the out break most major cities were walled off in an attempt to create "Green Zones" away from the infection so that life could continue in what only the most generous commentator would call "normalcy". The biggest flaw in this system was the dual nature of walls, they are non-discriminating barriers. They kept infected people out of the city, but they also kept healthy people in, and all it took was one bitten person to sneak through the security for the whole system to break down. No one is sure when the out break in Philadelphia started, but after only three weeks the entire city was dead, a ruin filled with moving corpses with a hankering for human flesh. The walls did there job and kept the dead inside the city for a while, but slowly they started to deteriorate and finally a hole large enough to fit a person opened, and the horde poured out. 1.5 million hungry walkers poured out of the city and scoured the surrounding countryside and consumed many of the thriving survivor colonies.

We were one such colony, built in the remains of a high school 50 miles outside of the city. We assumed our distance would keep us safe but you know what they say about people who assume, they have to face a mob of angry dead people with a harsh case of human flesh munchies. So like I said the horde had turned west and was heading our way. William said it would be about two days before we would see the first few bands of this undead storm, but by the third day we would be fully engulfed. The way things looked we had two options, we could leave head south out of the path of the horde and start a new settlement or we could stay and keep quite and let the horde pass through us. We had experience a smaller group a few months back and they didn't seem to take any interest in us as long as we stayed quite and we assumed that a large horde would behave the same way. The colony was made up of about 100 people each one with there own thoughts on the matter. Lyam addressed the colony with the information he had and left the decision up to them, as individuals.

"Leave or stay, its all up to you. I am staying, we have invested too much time into this place just to abandon it, you can do what you want and no one will judge you for leaving if you choose to leave, but I implore you to stay. You have two days to make up your mind."

In the end 20 people stayed. I didn't blame the people who left, I considered leaving for a while, but it didn't seem right. Lyam had taken me in even though the colony was having a food shortage at the time and everyone else wanted to turn me away. That earned my loyalty at the very least if not my life. William stayed too, he was loyal as anything and he always loved a good challenge. I think that's why he stayed in the end, he wanted to prove that not even a horde of the undead could get him down. The remaining colonists spent the two days we had preparing for the coming onslaught. It was decided that best way to beat the horde was to stay out of sight and out of mouth. We created a wall of disabled vehicles around the colony, the idea being that the slow moving horde would rumble past us. The tree that bends is the tree that weathers the storm, or so a fortune cookie told me once. We finished our preparations as the beginning of the horde came over the horizon.

The worst part of the whole ordeal was the waiting. We waited, with out heads poked out windows as the horde crept ever closer. As the waves of the undead started hitting the wall, we waited to see if they would break. The wall worked just as we had hoped it would. The dead either went around it or walked into it, but none of them made an effort to reach beyond it. Though this was a relief that relief opened into a whole new terror, more waiting. The horde was thick, we knew that, but no one suspected just how thick it was. The slow shuffling of the dead moved the horde like molasses. There was nothing we could do. We could not fight, that would give away our position and hasten us all to a gruesome end, we even stayed silent for fear of detection. The horde did not pay us the same kindness. A chorus of unending moans and groans and yells. A cacophony of unimaginable sounds that straighten hairs and chilled blood. Nathan, one of the remaining survivors, lost his mind to the sound. In the middle of the second night he started to scream. We needed to quite him before the horde realized that it wasn't there own screams. Sarah, an ex-med student turned survivor, gagged him and locked him in a room to himself. Some thought was given to turning him loose for the horde to deal with but it was quickly given up. He was still one of us, he had still stayed with us, we couldn't do that to him.

By the fourth day we were all so consumed by boredom that we had to start doing things. First we started to go through old workbooks and complete them. After we had all memorized the complete vocabulary curriculum we moved onto the history books and the math worksheets. Finally by the sixth day we had gone through all the books in the school, built forts with them, and had mock battles with them. Finally we decided to go on the roof. We knew it was risky and we knew it might get us all killed, but after six days some of us considered taking on the horde a delightful retreat from the monotony.

From the roof we started coming up with new games. We found look alikes for the remaining survivors. Then we tried celebrity spotting. We didn't have a whole lot of luck, but I swear I saw Stevie Wonder, even though no one believed me. Finally after ten days the horde left. We were free. We had gotten through the unbeatable horde. We still had to fight to survive in the wake of the horde and we still had to feed ourselves and rebuild the colony to its former glory but from now on we would be doing things, instead of waiting.

Last updated: February 26, 2015

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