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The Dead of Night
Katherine shuffled quickly, swiftly along the dark streets, her hands buried deep within the pockets of her jacket. Rain attacked the ground around her, but she gave it no mind.
Soon, she realized what she was facing: the fenced in area of Quarantine 2. Surrounded by rolling hills, it stood in the center of a low chasm, high, spiral metal gates running on every side. Her breath wavered in fear as she examined the scattered, overturned stone modulars amongst the backdrop of a thick forest. Bland, white trailers, which at one time contained the heart wrenching screams of the dying, now emanated sorrow and grief.
Her nose twitched as the foul stench of the rotting corpses reached her nose, her stomach lurching in disgust. The smell was strong. Fresh. Cemented to the spot in fear, the air caught in her throat.
Her eyes wandered across her field of view. She spotted shadows in the distance, throwing what seemed to be dismembered body parts into a ditch. On a pole near the hole, something...or someone... else was tied on tightly, bound by a thickly woven rope. The biohazard sign that hung above her was worn and dented, the colour slowly fading, warning of the danger she was about to face if she continued to stay still. As the ball of fiery light lowered beyond the horizon, the town slowly slipped down with it. A loud, guttural roar echoed throughout the small area. The figures responded back and their demented forms shivered with hunger. The monsters, their faces twisted and deformed, their eyes a deep, glowing blood red, pushed through the trees and out into the open as the smell of flesh lured them to the soldiers’ kill.
Without a thought, Katherine jolted into motion, pushing her feet as fast as she could as she ran down the street. While they were blind, she silently hoped the zombies didn’t catch her smell wafting through the breeze. Empty houses rolled past her as she began to near the corner of her safe zone. She smiled with relief.
Then, she heard it. A familiar female scream resounded in her ears, halting her to a stop. She spun around and focused her eyes back on the mass of the living dead, from where the sound had come from. From someone where deep within her mind, she knew the person, but didn’t acknowledge the thought, knowing that it couldn’t be. She had disappeared long ago, taken from her during an attack.
Then, another scream. Another violent pounding of Katherine’s heart. She couldn’t ignore the feeling anymore.
“SOPHIE!” She yelled. From its holster, she pulled out her pistol and aimed at the crowd, pulling the trigger. The one who had been sinking its razor sharp pearls into Sophie’s arm receded its bite and turned around, angrily pulling the bullet that had pierced it shoulder from its wound and roaring an order to attack.
The rusted gate crashed onto the street as the zombies charged and climbed over the metal. Sophie’s head hung low over her chest, unconscious, as blood pumped out of the teeth mark. There was a small window of opportunity for Katherine to rescue her.
Dropping her jacket onto the cement, she raced towards the pole, shooting the monsters, watching as they fell to the ground.
A hastily put tree trunk placed upright held Sophie in place. As she reached her, Katherine retrieved a pocketknife hidden within her pouch and began to slice through the blood soaked fibers. The knife cut through quickly and her ally fell into Katherine’s arms, only stirring slightly from the impact. She tossed her over her shoulder and headed towards the dense blanket of Sycamores, knowing that high up in the hills would be the only place close enough to elude danger now. The zombies were now nearing her safe house, following the old scent of her coat she had left as a diversion. Soon, they would realize their mistake and turn back to follow Katherine instead.
It was time for Katherine to leave her town, the home she had loved and cherished for nearly 18 years, far behind her for the sake of her friend.
A fire crackled beside Katherine as she moved the embers with a stick. From time to time, she eyed Sophie, who slept soundly with a tourniquet Katherine had make of leaves placed on her wound. She shivered from the cold wind beating down her neck.
Suddenly, Sophie’s eyes snapped open and she gasped in pain. Katherine placed a hand on her arm to hold her down.
“Calm down, Sophie. You’re safe now. They are gone.”
No response. Katherine narrowed her eyes in confusion. “Sophie? Do you realize who I am?”
A growl emitted from Sophie’s throat. Katherine fell back in surprise as red eyes stared at her.
“Sophie…Oh, god no! Sophie, don’t turn on me! I just got you back!” Katherine cried. Sophie replied with a snap of her fangs.
She knew she would never be the same again. The virus had flooded her system, the same way she had lost her parents and sister.
Katherine stared down at the gun resting in her palm and closed her eyes shut. She swallowed and raised it up, pointing towards her ally.
“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, Sophie. But…but this is for your own good.”
She let go of the safety. Sophie dropped down on her knees, clutching where the bullet had hit. Tears fell down Katherine’s cheeks.
“Kat-herine.” Sophie muttered before she collapsed onto the forest floor.
The air was then quiet. Katherine was now alone- forever- to live in a world of h*ll.