Lana

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Summary

Lana is alone, downtown in a skyscraper. She tries to stay out of sight, but food is running out and the monsters love it when they run.

Genre:
Thriller / Horror
Author:
Coral Sands
Status:
Ongoing
Chapters:
10
Rating:
5.0 3 reviews
Age Rating:
18+

Not Alone

My nose was being tickled by a stiff black bear stuffed animal that was situated just a few inches in front of my face. I kept my head down and tried not to breath loud as I heard the slow wobble creak of the hard wood floor just a foot away.
It was still here. It blew its nose; I could feel it splatter against my left shoulder, but I dared not to wipe it even as it bubbled on my skin in a chemical reaction. I prayed I was the only one that could smell my burnt flesh. It shuffled to my right. My imagination was wreaking havoc on my heart. I wondered if it was staring into the pile of toys knowing I was there, and was pondering how to tear my jugular out before I could react.

I had an active imagination and that is what held me frozen. I have seen the monsters tear people apart. I heard their screams. This one, this monster, I imagined it stood at least six feet tall. They all had wide shoulders and massive muscles. They stood on two feet like us, but sometimes run on all four like a gorilla. Their faces were inhuman, more like a bear than a person. All over its body they have long silver and black hair like a husky. Its lips probably was a stark black, and was three times the size it should have been. It was the eyes that shocked me the most. They always had milky white eyes with thick black around like eyeliner. My assumption was that this one was probably its twin. Its face could be rounder or broader, but most of the monsters looked the same.

I waited six times longer than I should have. That was my trick for surviving so long. They seemed to be able to notice movement more than anything so as long as I was hidden and didn’t move, they ignored me. When my nerves couldn’t handle the wait any longer, I moved my head achingly slow. I wouldn’t glance around even a bit until my head was tilted enough to see the room. People have been caught looking around and even the movement of your eyes could give you away.

When my head tilted enough so I could see the room, barely, I glanced to see if it was still in the room. It wasn’t. I was alone. I grabbed my ointment from my waste bag and used a pink unicorn’s bandana to wipe the nose goo from my shoulder. Inches of my skin came off with it making divots in my flesh. I fought back both my tears and any utters of pain out of fear that it would bring the monster back.

I glanced at the door and the windows. The windows were shuttered closed, but I could see a trace of the sun going down. The door taunted me as it stood wide open. I could see down part of the hall, it was empty. I could hear how loud my breath I had a choice. I could stay here or find another better hiding place. I came up here looking for a vending machine for food or water, but it was empty. I was tempted to stay here for a bit and then make my way up another floor. I heard there were VIP offices up there. They might have an actual kitchen with real food. My stomach grumbled loudly and I cringed.

As I rubbed the ointment on the new pits in my skin, I knew I had to move. I tried not to bite the inside of my cheek in pain. Two deep breaths and that was all the time I was willing to give. After slipping the medicine back into my waist bag, I slithered out of my spot. I was not wearing any shoes so that I would make no noise as I moved. My movements were not ballet-like. My legs were stiff and awkward from sitting so long. One day, that weakness will probably kill me. Not today. Instead, I crept along the hall and down two floors.

I was in the last standing skyscraper in this city. I slipped onto the 17th floor and into a favorite closet of mine. This closet had a small opening caused from a projectile piercing the outer wall. The building still stood, but I had a great spot to look onto the world. When it was cold, I stuffed a blanket into the hole. When it was hot sometimes I sat against it and let the streams of air cool me. When the world burned, I watched safely with a front row seat.

Today the world felt apprehensive. Different creatures wandered around the world. I didn’t know why or how it happened. One day mom asked me to drop off a package to nearby building. Suddenly the building flooded with monsters. Luckily, I was in the bathrooms. When I heard the first scream, I hid in a cabinet under the sinks and didn’t leave until there were no more noises.

That night I saw my first monster. It pulled apart a body in two jagged pieces of flesh then slurped down the blood and organs. I could feel the bile rising in my throat. The bright red strikingly beautiful against the fur whilst being terrifying seemingly glowing in the emergency lights. I froze and watched. A sniffling sound coming from under a desk, drew my attention away from the creeping acid threatening my body into puking.

It was one of the secretaries. I remembered seeing her when I arrived. I thought she was nice, if not a bit bored of her job. She was the one who directed me to the right office. She gave me a bottle of water and some granola when I needed to wait for the boss to come out to give me a parcel to bring back to my mom.

Currently, her dark pantsuit was shredded on one of her knees, but the color probably helped her hide in the shadows. She also had shoulder length brown hair which matched the dark desk she was hiding under. I widened the door and tried to wave her into the bathroom. She saw me immediately. Her eyes went wide. She wiped her tears, shook her head, and waved for me to shut the door. I nodded and put a finger to my lips to try to get her to quiet her sobbing. She nodded back. I closed the door to a crack so I could watch for her.

Not even a second later, a heard the familiar shuffling and clacking of the creatures nails on the tile flooring. Waft of the putrid death smell coming from the bloody creature was the final straw. My body puked. I couldn’t stop it. I cried knowing my traitorous body did me in. Puke dripped on the wall next to the door and onto the floor.

I heard a scream and thuds come from the other room. I felt my body jump. Shaking I found the crack and watched the secretary running away, throwing random office things in her wake. The creature swatted it away. She was quick. Her high heeled shoes long gone. She made it to another office room, but it had a glass window. The creature busted through it causing shards to cover both sides. The creature roared slipping on the glass. She was already running out the room. Her right arm was bleeding only a nub in its place. It must have gotten her when it crashed into the room. The creature followed the waterfall of blood gushed out of her arm. She rounded the corner coming back towards the bathrooms and a nearby exit.

She fell about ten feet from the door. I watched horrified. She wasn't going to make it. A gun shot rang from another office in another end of the building. It sounded like a car backfiring. The creature stopped looking to the other hallway. I watched a man run past. The creature ran towards the new target stepping on the secretary, drool splashing on her face. I watched as the skin on the bottom half of her face melted off leaving blood in its wake. She wasn't breathing. Her eyes wide. Her mouth wide frozen in a scream. I wanted to go out to check on her, but I heard the screams of the man and another woman's voice yelling. I closed the door, but found myself laying on the floor silently crying until I couldn't any longer.

About an hour later, I heard a cracking sound. I pressed my cheek to the cold floor to look under the door in that gap above the floor. The secretary's eyes were glazed over. Her mouth turned from bright red blood to a white pus. The lips darkened around the puss to a blackened charcoal. I watched as her skin around her eyes darkened almost looking like a smoky eye. Her hair fell from her head crumbling to brown ash once it touched the pooling pus. Her one arm elongated and nails sharpened to bony claws. Pus bubbled from her nub. Her chest cracked inward then blew up like a balloon making way for a larger rib cage. Silver and black strands of fur thickened over her body.

She took her first straggled breath. She was doubled over not facing me any more. I heard claws clacking on the tiles running into the room. She turned to face the bloody creature, her own puss still dripping from her nub. The creature sniffed from across the room. It roared making my body shudder in fear. The secretary roared back then ran towards the creature. I could hear them fighting down the hall until I heard a crash down the emergency stairs and then there was silence on this level.

It took me three days to get enough nerves to sneak out. I spent my first week on that floor. I was too scared to flush so didn’t and partially hoped the smells kept the monsters away. I found my favorite hiding spot shortly thereafter. It has become my home base. It was close enough to the stairs that I could traverse the building and bathrooms, while being secure enough that monsters just walk by it.

From the safety of my hole, I watched as the city died. Even now, another brave human made a run for this building or the next, but mostly they died. I hated having to leave my spot this morning, but my hunger was overwhelming. I was whittling down to a skeleton. It had been a month since I had three meals. The meal bars and trail mix were long gone from the breakroom.

I dreamt of cooking television shows I used to watch and food trucks that used to be parked outside at lunch time. Those trucks were death traps and people used to flood towards them like mouse traps. I checked my locks and shifted a long pipe against the door. Then I felt a little better. I hated to hide in a small utility closet, but it had kept me safe so far. For a moment I wondered if I could make it to the cafeteria five floors down, but that thought melted away as I heard a shuffling sound outside my door. After a few hours, I slipped into a hungry uneasy sleep, and hoped that the morning would bring a better day.

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