I’m just not sure if it’s infected. I mean, I’m infected. Just a cut on my elbow, probably, and that’s nothing to be worried about, or it could be something… Worse. It’s coming up to dusk, too silent in an age of transport and electricity. But there is nothing out there, just the autumn leaves being picked up by the wind. The city feels dead.
There was just so much going on, the darkness, the mass of bodies, dead, alive and in-between. They are worse at night, more active. We got cornered in a convenience store, the lights were smashed and we didn’t realise how quickly twilight turned to night. If only we had looked at the moon the night before. The place had obviously been raided for supplies way before we got there, the amount we tripped over shelves, limbs and empty baked bean cans. But backpacks were filling, it was not a wasted trip after all. But we needed to go, six of us in a volvo, with filled bags and bottles would be a tight squeeze.
Then suddenly, and let’s now in hindsight say expectedly, they came, more graceful than the movies portrayed them, and when we say ‘them’ you know. But still on the same mission, and you just couldn’t take it personally, it wasn’t their fault, and being a small town faces looked familiar, though now more twisted and greyed and snarling. It was the virus that was guiding them now, they couldn’t stop if they wanted to. And we panicked. They clambered and we tripped. They reached and we cowered, moving further into darkness and from where we should be. Then the screams, I don’t know who, it was contorted, almost a gurgle of panic, and we ran, we split apart and fought for our own lives.
Somehow, some blind luck or muscle memory, instinct took me and I ended up here, at my parents. I’ve not ventured this far out before, for fear of what I’d find. Somehow finding nothing was far worse than what I expected before I put the key in the door. And now I’m trying to work out my next move. It seems they only venture out when the darkness takes over, and before the stations went blank there was talk of vitamin D and sunlight. Like most parents, mine didn’t really change my teenage bedroom. They thought I suffered with S.A.D., but I was really just playing at Goth, but they brought me a lightbox anyway to stave away the blues. Could it stop whatever might be swimming round me. The power is out, but in their wisdom they bought a portable one and with a flick of the switch I’m bathed in light.
They are at the door, I can hear them pulling of the handle, they still seem to understand what things do, though their sunken eyes tell a different story. Are they being drawn to the light or can they, the virus, smell uncontaminated flesh. A reverse decay. I told him I loved him, I sensed him there, next to me, before I ran. We didn’t have a plan if we got separated, everything moved so fast talk was minimal, no preparation. He’d never met my parents.
The window is not going to hold out much longer. I tried turning off the lightbox in case it was enticing them in. There seemed to be no difference in their vigour, and it made me feel ill, though in the pitch black the disorientation would have anyone spinning. I’m in catch 22, can’t run or hide, or really fight, not through so many. I’ll