DISCLAIMER: Hospital Central and its characters are the property of Telecinco. No infringement intended.
CHALLENGE: Part of the 'Ground Zero' series and Vampires, Ghosts and Zombies challenge.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Ground Zero Spain, 12.19 p.m.
By Ann


Teresa screamed and raced down the hall, no longer interested in finding out the scoop on who'd become the newest member of the undead. She glanced back over her shoulder to see Rusti still moaning and sluggishly following behind. The admittance clerk turned back around just as a hand reached out and pulled her into the dressing room. The door slammed shut, and the deadbolt was thrown. Teresa screamed again.

"Shh, Teresa. You're safe here with us."

Esther put her arm around her friend and ushered her to the nearby bench, assuring Teresa over and over again that she was truly safe. The clerk put her head in her hands.

"Dios, Rusti is one of those . . . those. . . things. He's . . .he's . . ." Teresa's entire body shook from fright.

A pounding on the door, accompanied by Rusti's pitiful groan, filtered into the room, cutting off Teresa's words, and the older woman practically crawled in Esther's lap as she grabbed tightly onto the nurse.

"Esther! Don't let him get me!"

Maca took a seat on the other side of the distraught woman and placed her hand on Teresa's back, gently rubbing soothing circles as she tried to calm her friend.

"He can't get in, Teresa. You're fine." The doctor looked over the top of Teresa's head at her wife and mouthed, "for now anyway."

Esther chimed in her reassurances. "Maca's right, Teresa. This room only has one entrance, and the door is solid as a rock. Now, why don't you tell us what you know about the creatures?"

Teresa nodded her head and blew out a cleansing breath. "Well, Vilchez and Javier were manning the front doors, keeping the things from getting inside. Somehow, Vilchez slipped, and the zombies were able to push through one of the doors. They mobbed the poor men."

The older woman shook her head sadly. "Then, Rusti grabbed a broom and ran into the group, knocking those horrible zombies away from the doctors. Several of the creatures then moved into the admissions area, targeting Cruz and Elisa. They ran and locked themselves in the supply room."

"What about Vilchez and Javier?" Maca asked in a knowing tone.

"Zombies. They're both zombies. Rusti yelled at me to run, but I stayed behind, um, . . . trying to help, you know?"

"Please tell me your didn't risk you life just so you could see firsthand what was going on?" Esther looked her friend in the eye.

Teresa couldn't stand the scrutiny so she turned her focus to the floor. "Well. . . things weren't really that dangerous yet, so I thought it would be okay to watch for a little while."

Maca questioned the clerk further. "How about the others? Who else is still among the living?"

Teresa looked away in thought. "I think Aimé and Hector escaped the creatures' clutches when they tried to help Rusti. Oh, Esther, he's so gray looking."

"Where did they go, Teresa?" Esther tried to refocus the clerk's attention away from Rusti.

"You mean Aimé and Hector? Um, I think they ran towards the back exit."

Maca couldn't believe the two men would just run away and leave the rest of them behind; however, she didn't have time to dwell on the news as more pounding on the door brought all three women's attention back to the structure which separated them from the creatures.

"Maca! Esther! Are you in here?" Cruz shouted over the din of the ever present moans and groans.

Maca immediately shot off the bench, heading towards the door, and Teresa didn't hesitate to voice her strong disagreement to the doctor's actions.

"Don't let them in, Maca! The zombies will get in, too."

"I'm not leaving them out there, Teresa." Maca reached the door and turned the lock, opening it just wide enough to see what was going on.

Cruz practically bowled the tall doctor over as she pushed the door open further, pulling Elisa behind. Once inside, she yelled back at Maca.

"Close the door! Close the door!" With a single motion, Maca quickly shut the door and slid the deadbolt back into place. The five women just stared at each other, each breathing a sigh of relief.

Finally, Maca, Esther, and Teresa took a good look at Cruz and Elisa. The new arrivals had safely made it to the dressing room, but not before receiving several cuts to their hands, arms, and necks. Esther quickly jumped from the bench and moved to retrieve the first aid kit secured to the wall as Teresa moved over to make room for the two women.

"Dios mio. What happened?" Teresa patted Elisa lightly on the shoulder.

Cruz related their tale as Esther began to clean her wounds. "The lock on the supply room door wasn't very secure, and they eventually broke in. We'd taken a position on either side of the door and waited until the zombies had moved into the room."

Elisa picked up the story as Maca wrapped a strip of gauze around her arm. "We took off when we thought the coast was clear, but Vilchez and Javier were right outside the door."

"You mean, what used to be Vilchez and Javier. They clawed at us and tried to get close enough to bite, but we fought back. Their clumsiness enabled us to get away." Cruz rubbed her forehead, trying to dispel the image of the two zombies dressed in gray lab coats.

"How did you two get away?" Elisa asked the two newlyweds. They'd seen Teresa when they ran from the creatures, but Maca and Esther hadn't been anywhere in sight.

Teresa chuckled. "They'd already hidden away in here and locked the door before there was any sign of the zombies."

Cruz frowned. "How'd you know the attack was coming?"

Maca and Esther turned beat red as Teresa filled in the blanks. "They didn't. They'd come in here to make-out and who knows what else; after all those times of being walked in on, they finally figured out how to lock the door."

Cruz and Elisa chuckled at the other women's expense, and for a few moments, everything seemed normal as if zombies weren't just outside in the hallway.

The ringing of a cell phone had all five women reaching into their lab coats, and Maca frowned when she discovered it was hers. She couldn't imagine who'd be calling in the middle of such a crisis; however, her caller ID put a huge smile on her face.

"Aimé? Where are you?" Maca listened intently as the other women looked on. The doctor nodded several times, and finally, offered a reply. "Give us about fifteen minutes."

Maca closed her cell and turned to the expectant women. "Aimé and Hector are circling the hospital in one of the ambulances. They're going to pull up to the back entrance to pick us up and take us out of here."

"Where to?" Teresa asked; she wasn't entirely certain that she wanted to chance leaving the safety of the dressing room.

"Who cares? Let's just get the hell out of here." Cruz was more than ready to leave the zombies behind. Elisa stepped next to the doctor, offering her support.

"Yeah, who cares? Those things will eventually figure out how to get in here."

"They're right; we need to get out of this hospital." Maca agreed. "What do you say, mi amor?"

Esther shrugged. "Where you go, I go."

"Well, I think you're all nuts, but I'm certainly not staying here by myself." Teresa stood and walked over towards her locker. Reaching inside, she pulled out a baseball bat. She gripped the barrel of the bat and turned back towards the others.

"I'm ready."

Cruz grinned. "I'm not even going to ask what you're doing with that thing in your locker." The doctor crossed the room and began to open up the other lockers, looking for anything they could use as a weapon. After all, if Teresa had a bat hidden in hers, no telling what she'd find in the others.

Five minutes later, the five women stood near the door. Esther held a pair of scissors from the first aid kit, Maca gripped a heavy duty flashlight she'd found in Vilches' locker, Elisa squeezed the wooden shelf she'd pulled from her own locker, Cruz hefted the fire extinguisher she'd spotted near the sink, and of course, Teresa grasped her bat tightly.

Maca fingered the deadbolt. "Okay, we take out the ones by the door and any who get in our way. Don't take time to try to figure out if the creature is someone we know."

"As far as I'm concerned, if they're a zombie, then we don't know them." Cruz replied, fiddling with the switch that would turn the fire extinguisher into the best of the five weapons.

Maca leaned down and gently kissed her lover. Smiling, she winked. "Stay close to me, mi armor."

Cruz rolled her eyes. "Just open the damn door, Maca. You and Esther can play footsie once we're out of here."

The tall doctor laughed and turned the deadbolt. Nodding to the other ladies, she opened the door and stepped into the corridor, brandishing her flashlight at the zombie once known as Rusti. Cruz quickly stepped forward and began to shoot foam on Rusti as well as the other zombies in their path.

"C'mon! This way." The doctor swung the weapon, left and right, blinding the creatures with the chemicals. Teresa took the opportunity to swing at will at any of the affected zombies who shuffled their way.

Elisa brought up the rear, taking out two creatures with a single swing of her wooden shelf; the impact knocking the unsteady zombies to the floor. Soon, the group had successfully made it to the rear entrance.

Cruz stepped up and aimed at the zombies blocking the doorway, but her brief smile was replaced with a frown when only a trickle fell from the hose. The doctor quickly tried to shake the extinguisher, but the end result was the same. The only way she'd be able to get the chemical in the zombie's eyes was if she could get them to lie down on the floor under the slight drip. The creatures suddenly noticed the arrival of fresh meat and began to shuffle towards the group.

Maca moved to the front and swung at the first zombie, accidentally switching on the flashlight in the process. The remaining creatures all shied away from the bright light.

"Maca, keep shining the light at them." Cruz yelled, a feral grin appearing on her face as she moved towards the zombies, making sure to stay out of the ray of light. Lifting the extinguisher, she used it as a battering ram to knock the unsuspecting creatures on their ass. Teresa smiled and moved to the other side of Cruz, using her bat to the same end.

With Elisa keeping the creatures behind them at bay with her mighty swing, and Teresa and Cruz opening a path for them to get through, Maca and Esther stood between the women and shrugged, waiting patiently until they were needed.

Cruz's shout got everyone's attention. "There's the door. Point the light this way, Maca." The tall doctor complied, and in just a few moments, the five women were outside and running towards the parked ambulance.

Aimé jumped from the passenger seat and ran to open the door for the approaching women. In seconds, they were securely in the back, and Aimé closed the door, racing back to the front of the vehicle. The ambulance sped off just as a group of zombies realized what had happened; they raised they heads as one and emitted a loud moan. Aimé smiled as he watched the creatures get smaller and smaller in the sideview mirror.

In the back of the ambulance, Esther sat in Maca's lap, the tall doctor's arms holding her wife protectively. On the other side, Elisa's head lay on Cruz's thigh as the doctor pushed a stray lock of hair from the other woman's face.

Teresa sat silently watching the newlyweds, thankful that they'd survived the attack together. Turning her focus on the other two women, the clerk's eyebrow rose at the way Cruz was lovingly stroking Elisa's face.

Amidst all the chaos, Teresa had found a juicy bit of gossip to share. Problem was she didn't have anyone to share it with. The clerk leaned her head back and closed her eyes in frustration.

The End

Return to Hospital Central Fiction

Return to Main Page