Bitter 29

A surge of panic shot through Britta. Her face turned cold and clammy, her knees actually shook. The zombie was on its feet and had its one good eye fixed on her. It was much bigger than her and all she had to defend herself with was a broken stick.

“Urrrr.” Its jaw trembled like it was about to fall off its hinges.

She might not have a weapon, and her chances of winning a one on one fight were slim, but she did have one advantage.

Britta turned and ran away. Even with her small legs, there was no way the slow, shuffling zombie could catch her. All she needed to do was find somewhere to hide, and then find an easier target. Preferably one that had lost all its teeth.

The problem was, there was nowhere to hide. All the buildings had their doors closed and there weren’t any convenient boxes or crates to duck behind. She looked over her shoulder. The zombie was staggering after her.

There was an entrance to an alley on her left. It looked familiar. Wasn’t there a pile of garbage down there? Not the most comfortable hiding place, but the only one she had.

It was only when she was halfway down the alley that she realised her mistake. There were plenty of places to hide, but it was also a dead end. If the zombie came after her, she would be trapped. She spun around and started running back the other way.

Up ahead, the zombie filled the exit. Its outstretched arms seemed to reach the walls on either side. She could try to slip past, but there didn’t seem to be much chance of getting by without getting caught. She was small and nimble, she should have excelled at this sort of thing, but every gap looked too small.

The zombie moaned again. A single zombie—how could she be cornered by such a weak monster? Her character really was terrible.

She still had her spells to help her and she could handle a blind zombie, probably. And if she couldn’t, at least she’d be able to get away from it. Probably.

The gauge at the bottom of her vision showed her mana was still less than half full.

“Inventory.”

A screen opened up and she grabbed the small blue vial. It appeared in her hand. Backing away from her slow yet eventual doom, she pulled out the cork and drank it. The taste was similar to cough medicine.

Her mana bar went back up to nearly full.

The zombie stumbled closer and Britta raised a hand, made a gun shape, and fired off Glamor.

There was a flash of light and the zombie kept coming. Its one good eye was very definitely fixed on her. She moved from side to side to makes sure and it shifted its head to watch her.

Damn. The spell had worked, but the zombie must have resisted. Her poor luck had returned to harass her.

All hope wasn’t lost, though. She cast Mirror and there was a second Britta. The zombie would chow down on her doppelganger while she escaped.

The zombie remained focus on her; the real her. She jumped around, switching places with her double, but the zombie completely ignored the copy.

What the hell? Was this some kind of super-lucky strain of zombie? She tried Glamor again. It went off but still had no effect. Britta started to get the unsettling feeling that illusions didn’t work on zombies. It made sense. They were, to all effect and purposes, mindless. Hard to trick someone into thinking something when they didn’t actually think.

If that was the case, it was hugely unfair. How could an entire group of monsters be completely immune to everything she could do. And it wasn’t like they were incredibly rare or special. If she couldn’t get past one of these, how was she supposed to deal with something actually stronger than her?

It was annoying but Britta didn’t want to die. The idea of feeling something munching on her neck was not one she looked forward to, especially with this level of realism. She opened her status screen and hit the exit button.

You cannot log out during combat.

Wait, she couldn’t even exit the game? What if there was some emergency she had to attend to? Were they allowed to keep her trapped in here against her will?

The zombie didn’t appear to care about her basic human rights. It was still closing in and she had backed away right to the far end of the alley. Now there was only a brick wall behind her.  She didn’t even have enough mana to use her fireball, not that it would do any good.

She raised her broken stick and prepared to go down fighting.

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