As the sun made its way leisurely across the sky over Gene and his son he couldn’t help but think about the infected people growing exponentially. He could actually sense it in the air around him. Like a blitzkrieg, monsters swiftly made their bloody mark upon Royal Bay. The young, old, weak willed and immune deficient walked around in the day in a dreamlike state on autopilot going through their mundane tasks dreaming about howling wolves, oblivious to their sickness, pliable to Aticus’ will. The strong-willed infected had fully changed, the fever had subsided and they were able to dust themselves off, the haze of denial setting in and toil on in their dreary existence.
Nathan found himself disoriented as he awoke and steadied himself. He stumbled to his feet with the help of a window air conditioner. Unsteady, he put his palms on the unit until his dizziness faded. He had blacked out yet again last night and he strained to remember just a fragment of the night’s events. He remembered wearing a shirt that had progressively grown too short for him now torn to rags. He remembered stalking through the shadows of the night on all fours. In the alleyway he stalked in the shadows unsuspecting victims to quench his hunger until he tired, coming to rest at the Royal Bay retirement home… among the many blackouts his stomach turned as he recalled attacking two boys in the parking lot.
“What was I going to do with them when I caught them?” Nathan scoffed to himself, “Eat them!”
“What did I do last night?” He asked himself, his head feeling like it was squeezed in a vice.
He was barefoot and dirty as he dusted off his shirt that was stretched out and torn, with his hands. It was hard for him to keep his pants from falling off because the button had burst. He desperately searched for clues on the ground where he had slept finally finding the plastic bag which held an ace bandage, ibuprofen and receipt from the drugstore.
“Well that’s a start.” He spoke softly. “Maybe I’ll find my fuckin’ truck.”
Nathan stepped out from the shadows and into the sunlight. When He did, he screeched in pain. The sun was so bright it blinded him temporarily. Involuntarily closing his eyes, he blindly searched around for the shade until he found an old tall Cyprus. Slowly opening his eyes to the pain-free murky canopy Nathan beheld a glamorous fresh world for the very first time.
“Wow, did I drop LSD or did I have too much to drink?” He scoffed to himself; of course not!
He put his hand to his forehead to shield out the sun and trudged on. He began smelling sweet sap in the distance, chains rattling from excited dogs all around him, blowing leaves from the trees and noticed the smell of stale trash. The faint smell of motor oil in front of him and the smell of Chinese food wafted through the air behind him told him the geography of the city as if his mind had a GPS system built inside. He had no problems finding his truck.
After he returned home Nathan bounced into his comfy bed but rest eluded him with a frantic knocking. With the toss of his covers he headed out to answer the front door. Nathan grasped the handle opened the screen door to find his weary friend. David’s hollow animalistic eyes softened. In an instant an unspoken bond developed from the two infected friends. David made himself at home in the separate garage as they consoled one another.