The only good thing,
about the good old days,
is they're gone.
- Dick Gregory
- - -
I exhaled through my nose and pulled the knife out of the man’s forehead. The growls stopped, and his body dropped on the wooden floor.
Still can’t believe ‘it’ reached Washington.
It's been a year, and nothing has changed, except for the America's decreasing population. Was it a virus that escaped a laboratory? A bio-terrorism? Nobody knows, not that it would matter, anyway.
I scanned the entire place and found a piece of paper placed on the top of a table.
There’s an unfinished, dying message written on it. I looked behind me and stare at the guy I just killed.
He must be the one who wrote this.
The disease ended his life and turned him into one of those walking corpses.
Just like what those old zombie ass movies encrypted on everyone and their great-great-grandparent’s brains.
Coming back from the dead? Give me a break. They should just lie down the streets and let the worms and weird organisms decompose their bodies.
I reached for the bag beside the paper and opened it.
There’s a 9mm inside and six bullets in the side pocket. Not that much, but it’ll do. I loaded the pistol with bullets, pull back the cocking handle and turn the safety on.
“Rest in peace.” I said while gazing at the man’s body one last time before leaving the cabin.
“Got anything?” she asks as I walk out the door.
I tied my hair and ignored her question. We need to get out of here. The sun is about to set and this cabin is not a good place to stay. The chances of them finding us here are pretty likely.
“You’re... so cold, Cyra.” Isabelle uttered. I looked at her and she’s pulling the tip of my shirt.
I sighed. “Belle, we need to move before- ”
“No,” she interrupted. “let’s go back, it’s been a week since we left them, I’m sure they already forgave us.”
“They will never... forgive us, Belle.” I replied, she stared at the ground and hugged me afterwards.
“They were mad at me. I didn’t mean to do that... so why?”
The current world we’re living isn’t suitable for her anymore. She’s already seen a lot of screwed up things in such a young age.
“It’s getting dark, let’s go.” I smiled. She wiped her tears and nodded as a response.
I’ve placed my bag on the front and carry her on my back. She needs some rest since we’ve been walking for days, not to mention her badly injured left foot.
After minutes of walk, Belle got my attention with her fingers pointing at a unique rock formation. I can see a cave like opening below an enormous tree.
Nature never ceases to amaze me.
Luckily, it’s empty and no signs of animals living here. The inside is not that spacious, but two persons can fit by the looks of it.
This will do.
I cut down some shrubs nearby with my trusty knife to act as a cover for the entrance. It’s a perfect camouflage, especially tonight when it’s dark.
After arranging them, I went inside and saw Belle looking at me with hands on her belly.
“Hungry?” I gave her a bag of chips and it brought a smile to her face. Such a precious kid.
“How about you?”
“Nah I'm good, that's all yours.”
Darkness began to envelope the entire forest, and moonlight had peeked through the shrubs I placed at the entrance. Bored, I glanced at Isabelle who’s sleeping beside me and brushed her hair.
Can’t deny it. Her beautiful face really caught the eye of that guy.
“After what he did to Belle,” I clenched my fist as I look at the dark skin on my right forearm, the nerves surrounding it already turned black. “and after what they did to me.”
Rustling leaves and murmuring men can be heard nearby. I took a small peek at the entrance and saw a couple of flashing lights scanning the area.
I knew it, they’re still searching for us.
One of them pointed the light in my direction, so I quickly took a step back.
Footsteps are getting louder when suddenly one of them stood in front of the cave, taking his time peeing.
Looks like the camouflage worked since he didn’t notice the entrance.
I grabbed a disposable syringe and one of the small glass vials I have inside my bag.
I stole only three of this from that place. Better save the remaining two for emergency purposes.
I insert the needle into the rubber top of the bottle and filled the syringe with an unknown liquid.
“Well, goodbye months of my lifetime...” I then inject it on my shoulder and pressed the plunger until it’s empty.
I looked back at the entrance once again and can see the shadow slowly moving away.
Their voices are fading, it looks like they’re about to leave.
“I’ll be back Belle, this game of pursuit ends tonight.”
I crawled outside with a knife in my hand and a handgun I hid in my back pocket just in case things get rough.
The last guy’s humming can still be heard. He’s not that far, and I can still see him even with this darkness.
His buddies were far up ahead, scanning the bushes and trees with their flashlights. Meanwhile, he’s taking his sweet time walking and zipping his pants.
I didn’t waste any second and run straight at him. The sound of my boots touching the ground got his attention, but it’s too late for him to react.
A single kick right at his body sent him flying towards a tree. He tried to get back up, but he’s now lying on the ground with a knife buried in his head. Such force it even pierced the skull with a single stab.
I looked in front of me and counted the number of flashlights. “Seven more to go.”
Better end this soon and return to Belle.
I pulled the knife out of the guy’s head and rushed towards the remaining seven without hesitation.
- - -
Six died in just a minute. The physical changes in my body really did the job.
Only three of them have guns and started firing at me. But their aim was the worst, Belle was a better shot than these grunts.
“What a waste of ammunition.”
Dozens of infected are going to come here because of those gunshots, that’s for sure.
“Get up.” I said, threatening the last guy alive who’s now lying on the ground after I punched his face.
I took the rifle from one of his comrade’s corpse and secretly remove the magazine while I walk towards him from the darkness.
“Don’t make me repeat myself.” I said before pointing the gun at him.
Left without a choice, he stood up. But as soon as the moonlight struck my face, his knees weakened and fell to the ground once again.
“Wh- what are you...” he stuttered.
I can see his eyes trembled with fear after what he saw.
I’m not surprised.
“Tell him, that we’re not going back home. Oh wait, it was never a home... it was hell.” I scowled.
I threw the rifle at him, and he looked at me with a confused expression.
“Take it, so you can survive on your way back to that place.”
But instead of running away, he pointed the gun at me and pulled the trigger, yet not a single bullet came out.
As expected from his people.
I then showed him the rifle’s magazine that I removed earlier. His eyes widened.
“You really think I’ll let you live, huh?”
“Traitor!” he threw the gun back at me and crawled away.
Annoyed, I strangled him from behind and broke his neck, thus ending his life.
The growls of Infected are getting nearer and nearer for each second that passes.
“Better make this quick.”
I grabbed a rifle from the ground and scavenged every bullet I could find from the corpses.
Guess that’s it...
Contented, I headed back to the cave and check for Isabelle. But when I get there, the shrubs covering the entrance were lying on the ground, leaving the cave open to anyone who wants to enter.
My heart raced as I ran towards the entrance. I went inside, but the only thing left was the bag of chips with the syringe, and a glass vial that I used earlier. Not a single trace of Isabelle or my Bag was left.
Did they take her?!
I sat down to calm myself, but I suddenly started hyperventilating. In just second, an unimaginable pain can be felt all over my body.
Fuck, it’s kicking in...
I crawled but didn’t get out. I tried reaching my hands outside the entrance, but my eyes became misty and my vision blurred.
“Belle-” was the only word I could say as I slowly pass out.
- - -
The pathogen caught everyone off guard. With such unknown traits and deadly strain, the virus caused a widespread panic, and every other state failed to control it.
Day after day, thousands of people died from the disease. And when we thought things can’t get any worse, the pathogen once again did something inhuman.
Breaking the laws of science, the corpses of people that were once infected with the virus came back to life with a thirst for warm human flesh.
The fictional horror that was first introduced in the books and movies, came to reality.
Chapter 1 - Separation
* * *