had the night been so dark, pitch black in fact, with
nothing but the glow of distant stars high above.
There was not even moonlight to comfort the
unfortunate, tortured souls below who screamed in
turmoil seeking nothing but survival in a world full
of despair. Beasts, creatures, monsters, zombies,
vampires, whatever label given to those souls they
were victims as much as I, they meant no malice, all
they wanted was food. The problem was the most
tastiest meal ran through my very veins.
home, a tall sixteen-story building, was out of reach
of their ability. They were incapable of basic tasks
such as opening doors and navigating stairs, their
hunger far stronger than their intelligence, with
their frustrations manifesting as constant howling.
They simply howled all night long, aware of my
existence, driving me insane with fear and hoping I'll
give up my sanctuary. I was tempted on many occasions,
just to silence them and give myself peace for it had
been getting far worse in recent years. I knew I was
completely safe at home but fear had been twisting my
insides, knotting my bowels and causing me to tremble.
I knew it was only a matter of time before my
night I had woken from a terrible dream, or to be
more accurate a wonderful dream, and had to face real
life again which was a nightmare. I tried drifting
off once more but couldn't. My eyes were heavy and my
mind exhausted but my body simply refused to rest. I
thought about jogging around the corridors of the
block of flats I inhabited to tire myself out but
they were pitch dark. It was hard enough even during
the day but at night I couldn't see my hand in front
of my face. In fact it was fear more so than the
darkness that was stopping me.
all the tossing and turning in bed I had to get up
and get myself a drink of warm bottled water. I kept
the bottles next to the kitchen sink and would always
mime that I poured the water from the tap but alas
water never came out of the tap anymore. I took a
large swig, gulped it down then took a deep breath.
tried reading that night, I had plenty of books for
they provided an escape from my nightmare, but I
couldn't concentrate and had to stop after a mere few
words. The howling grew louder distracting my every
thought. I was quite sure that some of the sounds
were inside my mind echoing back as they traversed
around my head.
needed some air so I opened the balcony door and
stepped out. The gentle breeze blew against my face
as I stood looking down at the beasts below, like
shadows and ghosts fighting over which one of them
would have me first, while my scent drove them crazy.
a deep intake of breath, re-entered my candle lit
home and sat down covering my ears. I was lonely.
Chapter 2 - A Nice Day For A
Saturday and time for my weekly trip out of my dreary
home to do some grocery shopping. At least I thought
it was Saturday, my calendar was six years out of
date after all, but it felt like a Saturday and I
needed some supplies.
I was short
on tinned food, particularly my favourite spaghetti
in tomato sauce. I was never a fan of it in the past
but had grown accustomed to it over the years. In
fact I was having to cut down in case they ran out at
the supermarket, there was only a limited supply
after all and I didn't want to venture to another
part of town for my weekly shop.
It was a
warm and bright spring day, not too warm but warmer
than it had been. With it being so sunny I decided to
wear my frilly blue layered skirt, white blouse,
yellow ankle socks, and big chunky brown shoes. The
shoes were a little tight and more than a little worn,
but I still considered them to be my best pair and
didn't feel ready to replace them. I disliked
replacing things, I felt more secure with what I
already had, with all my possessions acting as a
security blanket keeping me safe from facing the
future. I did regret not wearing my coat that day but
it wasn't worth turning back to fetch it as I only
intended to be out for a short period of time.
My ears had
been hurting over the past few days so I intended to
look for a chemist shop to see what I could get for
it. I had absolutely no idea what I required so would
have to have a good look around once I got there. I
knew the cause though, it was the deafening silence
of the daytime that made my ears more sensitive to
even the slightest of sounds, even my shoes clomping
against the pavement was giving me a headache.
As I walked
further along the pavement I could see the
supermarket at the far end of the street. It was a
journey I had made many times before and felt at ease,
but at the back of my mind was always uncertainty. I
was often in fear for my safety. I glanced at my
watch, it was still early, approaching 9:30am, but
just as with the date I was never fully sure of the
true time. Generally speaking daytimes were safe and
the nights weren't, but even during the day there
were shadows and dark corners where danger could lurk.
I looked up
at the bright sky and the fluffy white clouds, they
were moving quite quickly, a sign of bad weather to
come perhaps. For a moment I thought I could see the
exhaust pattern of a plane but realised it was just
my eyes deceiving me, my eyes were dazzled by the
bright light of the sunshine causing me to see what I
wanted to see.
no planes, no trains, no cars, no bicycles, no birds,
no sounds and no signs of life, anywhere. I was the
last human being alive and I was petrified with fear
deep inside the recesses of my soul but was covering
it up with a normal daily routine. I was kidding
myself that everything was going to be okay and this
event was only temporary.
been a disease, a highly contagious virus that swept
its way across the world killing most people almost
immediately. Others became ill including me and were
packed into overcrowded hospitals. My mother removed
me which at the time I objected to but later realised
was the best course of action, the hospitals could do
nothing after all while the disease grew worse.
Technically speaking it wasn't a virus. Doctors had
been discussing it on television and explained how it
didn't pass on from person to person directly, it was
as though they had already been infected long ago in
the past and were only then showing the symptoms.
Human beings were turning into rampaging beasts with
a thirst for blood. The changes were gradual. At
first their skin would turn pale, almost white, their
mouths and noses would change shape taking the form
of a snout, their teeth would elongate like those of
a big cat, then finally they would lose their minds
completely, their humanity lost. Within three months
the entire human race had disappeared, they were
either dead or changed by the disease. While I had
been suffering alone in my bedroom my parents and
older brother vanished. I only became aware of their
absence when my symptoms subsided and I regained my
faculties. My pale white cheeks eventually regained
their colour but my back was permanently deformed
with a curvature of the spine. It caused me no
discomfort but was unsightly, not that anyone would
ever get to see it.
I had no
idea why I recovered and everyone else didn't, but I
knew it was very possible I was only partially immune
and could relapse at any moment. My plan was to lock
myself in my own home if that were the case, my
animal brain wouldn't have the intelligence to unlock
a door and I would slowly starve, that would be
preferable to living my life as a bloodthirsty beast.
down at my chunky shoes as I continued along the
pavement then glanced at the cracked paving. Weeds
already grew from between the paving stones as well
as the tarmac on the roads. I wondered how such
feeble plants were able to cause so much damage and I
knew it wouldn't be too many years before the town
would be taken back by nature. The view from my home
would likely resemble a forest over time.
Some of the
windows in the shops I passed were cracked or broken.
Directly beside me on my right was a bookmakers while
across the street on my left was a gym simply known
as Ray's Gym. At the far end of the street just
before it turned a corner was the supermarket I was
heading for. Its windows were so damaged there were
none left, although quite strangely one of the panes
has fallen out completely intact leaving a perfect
sheet of glass upon the pavement.
As I walked
past a music shop I felt a slight urge in the back of
my mind to go inside and take a look at the CDs, but
I had no way of listening to them. I had no
electricity and I couldn't use batteries anymore.
Expired batteries only ever worked for a few seconds
before dying out. I did curse myself for not knowing
more about how to produce electricity. I had plenty
of spare time to learn and could probably assemble
some kind of generator, but I never had the urge. I
used candles for light and heat, as well as a
barbecue stove on my balcony, but they didn't compare
to having proper electricity. I was hoping that it
would all end soon, like waking up and finding out it
was all a dream, or meeting other survivors and
living with them. Until something changed I would
just continue with my routine until my death. I wasn't
afraid of dying I was only afraid of how it would
instant I stood still, rooted on the spot, not daring
to move. I heard a noise from across the street, the
sound of someone inside one of the shops. I slowly
turned my head and could see the doorway of a
newsagents propped open by a scruffy brown backpack
leaning against it. I then heard more noise as
someone was rummaging around inside. Cautiously I
turned my body and took a single step out into the
road then stopped as I saw the figure of a person
casually step out from the shop doorway.
was pumping fast, my stomach tingling with nerves, it
had been years since I had seen a real person and
wasn't sure of what to do. I wanted to say something
but hadn't spoken in such a long time I wasn't quite
sure how. I often sang to myself at home but to
actually hold a conversation would take a lot of
sunshine was dazzling me even more so as my eyes
dilated, fully focused upon the person across the
street. She was female wearing high heeled boots and
a ragged torn brown dress that had been repaired with
patches of tape. Her hair was long and black, hanging
down over her shoulders. As she bent down to retrieve
her backpack she noticed me then without hesitation
proceeded to hurry in my direction. As she approached
I could clearly see her face. Her cheeks were clammy
and pale. Her open mouth revealed both sets of her
sharp elongated canine teeth on the upper and lower
parts of her jaws. She was still human but it was
clear she was in the process of turning. She may have
been wanting to speak with me or attempting to bite,
I had no way of knowing. Her eyes looked happy, she
was pleased to meet me, but I wasn't about to hang
around to find out what she wanted.
I ran as
fast as I could down the street towards the
supermarket, my legs had never moved so fast before
and my muscles were pounding. I could hear the sound
of my panting over the sound of my shoes as they
hammered against the ground. There was a taste of
blood within my mouth caused by the physical strain
on my body. In almost no time I reached the
supermarket then immediately turned right continuing
down the street with no idea where I was heading
other than getting away from that thing.
eventually stopped running when I ran out of energy
and collapsed to the ground while partly leaning
against a bin. I took very long and deep breaths
trying not to let the pain overwhelm me, my swollen
legs had turned red and felt hot.
head from side to side I looked frantically all
around me, she was nowhere in sight, she hadn't
followed. I allowed myself to sit onto the ground and
leant against the bin. I felt the urge to cry but
knew that wasn't appropriate until I was back at home
and completely safe. I rubbed my forehead while my
sweat streamed down my face. I needed to regain my
breath before I could attempt my next course of
action. I had to decide whether to wait where I was,
return home or go back to the supermarket. In my
extreme state of exhaustion I wasn't able to think
straight. I bit my lip for a moment as my thighs
throbbed. I had never ran that fast in my entire life
and hoped I would never have to do so again.
There was a
chance the strange woman was probably like me,
someone who had only partially changed then built up
an immunity to the disease. She was certainly not a
full beast and she had no fear of the daylight. But
her fangs were fully developed and could easily tear
through my flesh, even a partial beast was dangerous.
remembered the television reports of the chaos at the
time of the initial outbreak. There were scientists
researching the creatures in an attempt to create a
vaccine. It was said that the beasts required
haemoglobin to live, they would feed by biting the
victim, human or otherwise, on the throat piercing
their jugular vein causing them to bleed to death
while the creature swallows their blood. It was also
said that if a human fights back the beast would bite
chunks out of their arms and legs to weaken them.
There were reports of the beasts feeding off each
other when food was scarce. I hoped that was what
they were doing over the years but their numbers
still hadn't diminished. The scientists had no idea
how quickly the human race would succumb and never
had chance to finish the vaccine.
directly down the bottom of the street where another
road adjoined. I could see a figure waiting, it was
her, she had followed by taking an alternative route.
She spotted me and waved her arm from side to side.
I jumped to
my feet and quickly ran back up the road towards the
supermarket. I couldn't run as fast as before due to
exhaustion combined with running uphill. I ran
straight ahead across the pane of glass shattering it
to pieces with my chunky shoes while I frantically
waved my arms around as my ears popped from the high
pitched sound. I then dived forwards through the gap
where the window once stood. As fast as I could I ran
to the back of the store and huddled onto the floor
in the corner. I was in a panic and my mind was
racing, if she saw me enter she was sure to follow.
Beside me was a shelf containing kitchen rolls. While
still in an extreme state of panic I waved my arms
about franticly knocking them from the shelf then
tried to hide behind them. I wiggled my body onto the
shelf but there wasn't room to put any of the kitchen
rolls back in front of me, I was still completely
I was sure
she had followed and was also sure she was going to
kill me. I couldn't keep my emotions in check any
longer, I kicked my feet and let out a muffled scream,
then began to sob loudly. With all my might I gritted
my teeth to hold back the tears but it was a losing
sure for how long I had been there, it felt an
eternity but was likely only a few minutes. It was
clear she hadn't followed or if she had was being
from side to side I managed to remove myself from the
shelf and crouched down on the floor. I felt tempted
to get the tinned food I had come for and head for
home, but was still in fear of her waiting outside
for me. I was then tempted to look for a knife. I
knew the supermarket sold cutlery and cooking
utensils so there was sure to be a knife around
somewhere, but I then changed my mind. If the woman
was a half beast I would stand no chance even with a
knife, it would be far preferable to keep my hands
free and not carry anything that had the potential to
slow me down whilst running.
extreme caution I very slowly crept over to the
supermarket doorway and peeked through the cracked
glass. My heart sank when I saw her in the distance
looking in the shop windows, most likely searching
for me. That was the direction for home so I would
have to find an alternative route. With her being
some distance away I wasn't in any immediate danger
so was able to keep calm, with my eyes still fixated
upon her, as I walked over towards the window and
climbed back out into the street. I headed back down
the hill, luckily she hadn't spotted me.
I had to
fight my urge to run while saving my energy in case I
saw her again. I walked closely by the buildings on
the right hand side of the street. Somehow I felt
safer with the buildings beside me and I touched my
hand against them as I walked by. I was going to have
to make a big detour and circle the entire town to
get back home but it was the only way to be safe.
to cross the street then take the next turning to
create a larger distance between us. As I stepped
into the road I took a quick glimpse back up the hill
toward the supermarket then froze to the spot as I
saw her standing in the middle of the road staring
directly at me. I sensed she was stalking me like an
animal being led into a hunter's trap. I stared back
at her and for a few moments we both stood completely
still waiting for something to happen.
started walking in my direction.
WAY!" I screamed at the top of my voice.
immediately turned and bolted, maybe she was afraid
of me. I wished I had done that in the first place.
Chapter 3 - Warm Breath
go quite according to plan. I headed down the streets
that led to the outskirts of the town then tried to
circle the town centre making my way home on the
other side but I managed to get myself lost. I knew
exactly where I was but not in relation to where I
was heading. I didn't want to risk turning back in
case that creature was waiting for me.
sky had turned grey and it was beginning to rain. If
I didn't find my way back home before dark I was
going to have to risk breaking into a house and hope
there were no beasts inside, that would be preferable
to staying outside where I would stand no chance at
continued down the street I noticed some pieces of
paper resting upon the ground. I didn't take too much
attention of them but then noticed they were
photographs. One of them was a portrait photo of a
small boy looking smart with a crooked smile, it
looked like one of those school photos that were
always too formal that no one really likes. I was
then reminded of when I was back at school. It was
just a few days before I left school that the
outbreak occurred, I remembered it like it was
yesterday, the years since had passed awfully quickly.
The other photo was too smudged to see clearly.
rain began to fall more heavily and the sky darkened
further. I placed my hands over my head and sped up
my footsteps. To my right was another street that led
to a bus shelter so I decided to head for that and
wait for the rain to stop. I broke into a run as the
rain began to pelt down with force soaking my hair
and pouring against my face. I proceeded to rub my
forehead but couldn't prevent the water dripping into
my eyes. I would be soaked through in next to no time
so had to get to shelter fast.
I let out a short yet painful moan as I slipped
twisting my foot into an awkward position. Luckily I
managed to steady myself and never quite fell
completely onto the wet ground. As I began to walk I
felt a seething pain in my ankle, it didn't feel
broken but it was certainly twisted. I had to limp
slowly as I continued towards the bus shelter.
sound of the rain was hurting my ears as it continued
pouring down. There was then another sound that
caused my insides to twinge with fear, it was a growl
from a beast. I was sure it wasn't dark enough for
them to be out, it was quite possible the sound was
coming from inside a nearby building but I couldn't
be certain. I continued ahead slowly while listening
with great care. I could feel my heart beating fast.
sides of the street were lined with factory buildings
and warehouses. To my left was a metal stairway that
led up into total darkness, while to my right was a
door arch that contained no door. I wasn't sure where
the beast sound came from it may have been left,
right or ahead. To be safe I turned around and headed
back in the direction I had come from.
continued limping slowly then forced myself to run
when I heard two beasts growling. The echo caused by
the tall buildings made it difficult to know exactly
where they were coming from but I was sure they were
behind me. The pain in my ankle shot up my right leg
and I held my scream inside as I attempted to run at
full pelt. I suddenly slipped again and grazed both
knees and hands against the ground. As I stood myself
up I saw a large group of beasts behind me. Each
creature was pure white, completely hairless, and
standing on all fours. Their backs were arched with
jagged bumps leading down to their tails. My eyes
stared fixated upon their teeth as I attempted to
move backwards, I imagined what it must feel like to
have those sharp elongated fangs tear into my flesh
and to be eaten alive. My legs were like jelly and
simply refused to move. I collapsed to the ground in
a heap. I struggled with my body forcing it to move
but it was frozen to the spot. I couldn't understand
why my own body had betrayed me.
beasts grew closer. Their big heavy bodies made them
slow movers but there was nothing I could do to get
away from them.
there was a sound of footsteps behind me, very heavy
footsteps running extremely fast. In a flash I saw
something pass by and push one of the beasts throwing
it against the bus shelter smashing its body though
the glass. Then in almost an instant another beast
was flung pushing it against the others knocking them
down. It was the first time I had ever heard one of
them scream in terror. More beasts came out of the
arched doorway as my rescuer came towards me and bent
down at my side. It was her, she must have been
following me all along. I put up no struggle as she
picked me up in both her arms. She hesitated for a
moment as if to think of where to go, then ran up the
metal steps that led to total darkness with me still
in her arms. I could hear the beasts behind us
growling with intense rage.
steps led to a corridor on the right but I had no
idea what was beyond, there may have been more beasts
hiding in the darkness I had no way of knowing. The
woman placed me down and I felt myself sitting on
something, possibly a box or bench, then she sat
beside me. I felt her arms wrap tightly around my
shoulders and her warm breath against my throat. I
closed my eyes and awaited the inevitable, I just
prayed it wouldn't hurt.
head was spinning and I felt myself floating in
nothingness. There was no pain whatsoever. I imagined
I was being eaten alive at that very moment but my
brain spared me from having to experience it. I
thanked myself and wondered if there was an afterlife,
even if there wasn't at least I was now at peace.
sharp pain in my ankle reminded me that I was still
alive and I actually felt annoyed that she hadn't
killed me yet. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness I
could see her kneeling down in front of me fetching
things out of her backpack. I stared intensely
willing her to hurry and get it over with. She pulled
out a thermos flask, placed it onto the floor then
removed the cup and unscrewed the lid. She poured
some of the contents into the plastic cup then lifted
it with both hands. It was too dark to see what kind
of beverage it was, it could have been tea or coffee
but I imagined it to be blood.
you going to kill me?" I whispered.
ignored my words and held up the cup offering it to
me. My body was shaking and couldn't move let alone
hold a cup. She paused for a moment waiting for me to
take it then leant forward pressing the cup between
my lips. As she tilted it into my mouth I tasted very
cold and stale tea. I didn't like it and was in no
mood to drink anyway but I didn't object and
you," I whispered as I managed to hold onto the
cup before taking another sip.
no idea how old the tea was, it could have been a day
old or years old, there was no way to tell.
woman picked up a packet of crisps from the pile of
things she had taken out of her backpack, then after
opening them proceeded to hold them up for me to
clearly see what they were before placing them down
beside me. As she continued fiddling inside her
backpack I ate one of the crisps then thanked her
retrieved a cloth and placed it down in front of her
so she could kneel without touching her bare knees
against the hard ground. She rested her chin on her
hand and looked up at me as I looked down at her
while holding the cup of tea in both hands. I quickly
gulped it down then ate another crisp. I was sure her
behaviour was just some kind of ritual before feeding
on me for she hadn't drank any of the tea or eaten
any of the crisps herself. I was probably her meal.
you..." I said, "Are you going to bite me?"
tilted her head to one side but continued to stare.
Her eyes reflected slightly, they were human eyes but
I didn't sense a human mind behind them.
body twitched as we heard another growl from the
beasts. She then leant sideways, looking down the
steps, then sat back up and continued staring at me.
No doubt the beasts were still waiting at the bottom
of the stairway. I didn't even have the option of
running despite my injured ankle.
you are can you... hurry please," I said as I
began to tremble.
stood herself up, moved the packet of crisps to one
side and sat down beside me. As she leant forward to
pick up the cloth from the ground I noticed her back
was deformed with a curvature of the spine similar to
my own. She gently started rubbing the cloth against
my head in order to dry my hair.
you talk?" I asked.
didn't respond and continued wiping my hair and face.
As I looked at her she responded with a smile
revealing both sets of her jagged canine teeth. I
would have stood no chance if she had chosen to bite
me, her teeth were more animal than human. There was
also a smell about her too, a metallic rusty kind of
smell. I probably smelled bad too if not worse.
her hand rest against my shoulder as she stood up
then knelt down in front of me again, positioning the
damp cloth under her knees once more. She continued
to stare with her gaze firmly fixated toward my face.
As I looked down at her she reminded me of a puppy
asking for something but not having the ability to
say it. Was it possible she was wanting something
hesitated for a moment, she may have been wanting
permission to eat me, I needed to be careful with
what I said.
do you want?" I whispered, "You need to
moved her face closer to my knees. She couldn't see
the blood in the near darkness, she must have smelled
it. She cocked her head sideways and looked up at me
out a deep breath the moment I realised what she
wanted. I nodded my head and closed my eyes then felt
her tongue lick against my right knee. She gripped
onto my leg tightly with both hands as she lapped up
the blood, the roughness of her tongue causing it to
bleed even more. She was a monster after all. With my
eyes closed tightly I gritted my teeth and prayed she
wouldn't bite. After about thirty seconds she stopped
then started on my left knee in the same fashion.
When she finished I opened my eyes and saw her still
kneeling but staring at the floor. My knees felt as
though they had been rubbed with sandpaper and stung
badly. I tried to cover them with my skirt but it
stood up I caught the reflection of tears in her eyes.
She sat down beside me and rested her head against
mine. The sounds of her sniffing followed by an
occasional gulp clearly indicated she was weeping. My
emotions where all over the place and I began crying
too. I was feeling sorry for her but still afraid for
myself, I was crying for us both. She lifted her head
and saw my tears then nodded as if acknowledging that
she understood. She then stood up, leant forward, put
her arms around me and pressed her cheek against mine
causing me to cry even more so. Crouching back down
onto the floor she picked up the flask again then
proceeded to pour out another cup of tea.
growl of a beast could be heard but it sounded
distant, neither of us reacted to it. As I began to
calm down I felt a kind of euphoria, a kind of warm
feeling inside as though I had made a new friend.
Maybe she was aware that she was half beast and didn't
like it. She was certainly strong by the way she had
dealt with the beasts earlier, and she had
intelligence, she wasn't just acting upon instinct
alone and she was clearly aware of her actions. But
was she able to control her beastlike urges? She had
a taste for blood, was she tempted to attack me or
was it something that never even crossed her mind?
Was I safe with my newfound friend or was I still in
extreme danger? I wasn't sure.
handed me the cup of tea so I responded by thanking
her then took a sip. She sat perfectly still while
looking up at me. The sound of the rain could be
heard outside. It had been raining all along but I
only just noticed the noise of it bouncing against
the tin roof.
name's Amanda," I said, "What's your name?"
didn't respond or even react in any way to my words.
I sniffed and wiped my left eye.
you understand?" I continued, "Nod if you
the slightest moment I thought she was nodding but
she was only adjusting her kneeling position.
well don't worry," I said, "If you do
understand me inside I just want you to know I want
to be friends. I'm like you, we were both infected
but I'm just not as far gone as you. You're still
more human than... You're not a real monster!"
handed her back the cup of tea which was still half
full, she took it from me then placed it down. She
then picked up the packet of crisps again and sat
down beside me. I thought for a moment she was about
to eat them but she handed them to me. I took out a
handful and began to eat. I wondered how I could
possibly be friends with someone who feeds on blood.
I imagined what the future would be like if we did
become true friends, then wondered if she would ever
regain the ability to speak.
sound of the rain was still heavy and I could hear
dripping water coming from somewhere. It wasn't until
then that I remembered the pain in my ears. Somehow
with all that went on the pain had subsided but as I
began to relax it had returned. It felt like a
headache forming around the base of my ears that grew
with intensity by the sound of the rain. My head
started to throb as the dripping water grew louder.
Each drop was forming a larger puddle and causing a
larger echo to sound back. It wasn't loud at all, it
was my sensitive ears focusing upon it. I closed my
eyes trying to clear the sound from my mind.
exhausted both physically and emotionally. My head
felt hot and my body ached.
Chapter 4 - Time To Go
waking I found myself leaning on my new friend using
her left breast as a pillow. She had her arm around
me in a tight hug and was fast asleep. Her gentle
snore was quite pleasing and proved that she was
capable of making noises vocally so maybe one day she
could learn to speak again. I felt completely relaxed
in the position I was in but it felt inappropriate to
lean on her in such a way, so I changed position. She
was quite a heavy sleeper and didn't react to my
rain had stopped and I could see sunshine lighting
the steps to my left. The corridor was still fairly
dark but not as dark as before. I sensed that I had
slept for a long time and it was quite possibly the
following day. My watch confirmed my suspicion, it
was 7:30am, I had slept for at least fourteen hours.
It was understandable when I thought about all the
events that had passed. I was astonished as I thought
back to how fast I had been running, maybe I had an
enhanced ability that I never knew I possessed in the
same way that my new friend had extra strength. It
would be unlikely that there would be any beasts
about at that time of day so the journey home would
be of no peril, but I didn't want to say my goodbyes
to my new friend, I wanted her to return home with me.
With no fully human people left in the world I was
alone but at least I now had someone, even in her
half turned state she was still a person. I thought
about the future again and what it would be like if
we lived together, I then thought about meal times,
it was going to be complicated. I did need the
company though so even if I had to sacrifice a little
of my own blood it would be worth it.
looked down at her backpack and the contents spread
over the floor. A thermos flask, its cup, a half
eaten packet of crisps, a damp cloth, an unopened
packet of tissues, a pair of glasses, a key ring with
no keys, crumpled newspaper and a photograph of a
small boy, in fact the very same photo I found in the
street earlier, she must have picked it up. The
backpack also contained two front pockets that were
bulging with contents. I wondered if she had
somewhere that she called home or if the contents of
her backpack were everything she owned.
made a slight noise as she repositioned her body but
was still deep in slumber. I stopped leaning against
her and sat up fully then moved her arm from my
shoulder. As I did so I caught a glimpse of an
earring back on the reverse of her ear and yet there
was no earring on the front. I imagined it must have
broken off and the metal clip was still inside her
lobe. Her lips looked quite strange as they bulged
out not fully able to contain the long teeth inside.
She had the teeth of a beast but not the accompanying
snout, it must have been a constant source of pain
for her. From what I could see in the dim light the
colour of her face was normal apart from her pale
cheeks, that could easily be remedied with makeup if
she let me do it. Her dress was damp and threadbare,
she was probably wearing that before she became
infected and had never changed it. She did have the
intelligence to repair the holes though albeit with a
haphazard approach. It looked like brown parcel tape
she used to patch it up. I had plenty of spare
dresses I never wore that she could borrow, she
looked the same size as myself. The thought of us
going clothes shopping together felt appealing. I
then wondered about her age. I was 24 but looked far
older with all I had been through, but I could not
even hazard a guess as to her age. She may have been
anything from 20 to 50, I simply could not work it
out from her features. She was probably fairly young
though based upon her choice in clothing. No one
would wear a backpack with a red dress so she likely
got that later. I started to think about her family,
they had either died or become beasts, I wondered if
she witnessed that. She was most likely fully aware
of what she was and may still possess memories of her
human life. I wiped a tear from my cheek, I felt so
sorry for her, she must have been so lonely.
I mimed with my lips.
key ring among the pile of items scattered upon the
floor contained the name Val. I leant forward and
picked it up for a closer look. I hoped it was hers
and not just a random item she had found in the
name is Val," I whispered as I looked toward her.
still remained fast asleep. I gently stroked the hair
away from her forehead and touched her cheek. I felt
nervous about doing so but plucked up the courage,
her skin felt warm.
instant her eyes blinked wide open and she stared at
me, I quickly pulled my hand back. She leant forward
and started looking from side to side then back
toward me. She smiled displaying her distorted teeth.
It was disturbing to look at but I knew she was happy.
your name Val?" I asked just to gage her
from now on you're Val," I said.
immediately stood up then knelt down retrieving the
items from the floor and putting them back into the
backpack. I quickly knelt down and started helping.
For a brief moment she paused wondering what I was
doing but then let me and we continued putting the
items away together.
you have anywhere to go Val?" I asked.