Episode 1 – The World Turned Upside Down

Episode 1 – The World Turned Upside Down

Rania stands on the roof of a dilapidated house, her eyes scanning the deserted streets of the suburban neighborhood. The world, once buzzing with life, is now a wasteland, the silence broken only by the occasional distant groan of zombies. The sky is overcast, casting a gray pallor over the scene, and a cold wind whispers through the empty streets, carrying the scent of decay.

She grips her binoculars tightly, surveying the area for any sign of movement. As the frigid air bites at her, her breath forms a ghostly fog, serving as a chilling testament to the cruel world they now inhabit. The streets below are littered with debris—abandoned cars, broken windows, and scattered belongings left in the chaos of the initial outbreak.

Rania’s eyes narrow as she spots a figure shuffling near the end of the street. She adjusts the focus, revealing the familiar, grotesque features of a zombie. Its skin hangs in ragged strips, eyes glazed over with a milky film, mouth slack and drooling. It stumbles aimlessly, driven by some primal instinct to feed.

She lowers the binoculars, her mind racing through potential strategies. The area is relatively clear, but that could change in an instant. She knows better than to let her guard down. The undead show no mercy, and one mistake could mean the end for her or anyone she’s trying to protect.

She descends from the roof with practiced ease, her combat boots making little noise on the crumbling shingles. Reaching the ground, she signals to her team, two survivors she picked up along the way. They’re huddled inside the shell of a nearby house, eyes wide with fear and uncertainty. They look at her for guidance, their hope resting on her shoulders.

“Stay sharp,” she whispers, her voice a low growl. “We need to move quickly and quietly. The less noise we make, the better.”

The first survivor, a young man named Alex, nods vigorously. He’s in his early twenties, with shaggy brown hair and a face that’s seen too much too soon. The other, a woman named Maria, clutches a makeshift weapon, her knuckles white. Her eyes are hollow, but there’s a flicker of life in them.

Rania leads the way, her senses on high alert. Every creak of a floorboard, every rustle of leaves, makes her flinch, ready to spring into action. They move from house to house, searching for anything that could be useful—food, medical supplies, weapons. Each find is a minor victory in a war they’re barely surviving.

Inside one house, Rania spots a can of beans under a broken table. She grabs it, tossing it to Maria, who catches it with a grateful nod. They move to the next room, their breaths shallow, ears straining for any sound of the undead.

A sudden crash from the next house sends a jolt of adrenaline through Rania’s veins. She gestures for Alex and Maria to stay back as she creeps toward the source of the noise. Peering through a shattered window, she sees two survivors struggling against a small group of zombies. Panic flashes in their eyes as they fend off the attackers with whatever they can find.

Rania doesn’t hesitate. She bursts through the door, her machete slicing through the air with deadly precision. The first zombie goes down, its head severed in a spray of blackened blood. The second turns toward her, jaws snapping, but she’s faster. A swift kick to its chest sends it sprawling, and she plunges her blade into its skull.

The remaining zombies are dispatched with brutal efficiency. The survivors, a man and a woman, stare at her in shock and relief, their breaths coming in ragged gasps. Rania wipes her machete on her pants, nodding at them.

“Get up,” she says, her tone brooking no argument. “We need to move before more of them show up.”

They scramble to their feet, murmuring their thanks. The woman, clutching a crowbar, looks at Rania with something akin to awe. “Thank you. We didn’t think anyone would come.”

Rania shrugs off the gratitude. “Save it. Just stay close and keep quiet.”

They regroup with Alex and Maria, forming a larger, slightly more confident group. Rania takes the lead again, her mind already planning their next move. They need to get out of the neighborhood before more zombies group or night falls. There’s a farm on the outskirts of town, rumored to be a haven. It’s a risk, but staying here is suicide.

As they make their way through the streets, Rania’s mind drifts to the past and how different it is compared to now. The urgency of survival is constant. Every second counts, and she knows she has to make each one matter. The weight of leadership is heavy, but it’s a burden she’s willing to bear.

The sun dips lower in the sky, casting long shadows across the ruined landscape. The group moves swiftly, driven by the hope of finding safety, however fleeting it might be. Rania keeps her eyes forward, her machete ready. Her heart is hardened against the horrors of this world. She is their protector, their leader, and she will do whatever it takes to keep them alive.

In the distance, the outline of the farm comes into view. It represents a flicker of hope in a world overwhelmed by death and despair. Rania quickens her pace, urging the others to do the same. They have a chance, slim as it may be, to find a place where they can rest, regroup, and plan their next move. All she can do is hope that it will be enough to keep the gloom away for one more day.