The virus spread quickly. Across countries, oceans, plains and deserts. People were scared, didn't know who to trust. For those of us who were immune the Infected targeted us before all others. The immune community started shrinking and so—the world.
This is my story. Me, Rose Kitabell.
My breathing was labored. My chest heaved. Beads of perspiration ran down my forehead though the night was cold. I couldn't see the moon or the stars as black covers covered the windows. But the black covers didn't stop me from hearing the frightening howls and moans from the Infected. Rose Kitabell wasn't often scared and this was one of the rare times.
I can't wait for the dawn. The sun peeking its head out from the horizon, lighting up the sky with soft blue and sometimes pinkish light. I pulled the blanket around myself tighter. My breath came out in long, labored puffs.
I had a name before. Before I invented Rose Kitabell. But I can't remember. I wish I did, though, as it would comfort me to know the name that my parents gave to me when I first appeared in the world. Sometimes I strain my brain to remember them, even the tiniest of detail but I can't. Their faces are just a blurred mix up in my mind. It has been too long, far too long.
I stroke a lock of hair. It is brilliant red. Whenever the sun glints on it, even the smallest ray, it seems to glow, glow until it threatens to burst into fire. I vaguely remember strangers back in the days calling me Fiery Red Head. I never did like it much. I don't know why. I just don't.
In the past few years, my once light skin had become tanned. Nicely tanned. I like it this way though it hurt sometimes. I wish I knew how light my skin had been. Had it been pale or deathly white? Is my lips, now thin, had once been full and pink? I sometimes tell myself that I would never know but a voice in my head tells me its not so.
I wish I remembered something, something about my past. Even if I once had freckles. Once had long eyelashes. Was I pretty? Maybe. I might never know. I have to get some sleep. My eyelids feel heavy. I check on the howls from the Infected. My mind tells me not to sleep but instinct tells me it's safe. I closed my eyes. I would wake in the morning.
The first thing I noted when I awoke was that the howls had stopped. I opened my eyes and cautiously sat up, rubbing my sore neck which had been bent at an odd angle while I slept. Was the Infected gone?
I slowly opened a corner of the black covers. It was light. I sighed in relief and took off the whole black cover and threw it in the back. Looking at the other black covers covering the windows, I decided to do them later. Stopping for a moment to pull off the black cover covering the window, I gunned the engine and tore off. The wind from the open window was refreshing on my face. I turned on the radio though I doubted there would be any news. It had become a habit I suppose.
"I'm Robert Neville…I can provide food, shelter and water…Meet me at noon on the docks, where the sun is the highest in the sky…Please, you are not alone…"
The signal clicked off at this point. I glanced at it. No signal was blinking on the screen. So there was someone out there, I thought, someone else beside me. I turned left with a screeching of tires and headed to the docks. Looking for a moment at the sun, I concluded that it was as high as it could be.
The docks, the docks…I was there! A man was there too. It was odd. I guess it was odd because for the past years I had seen no one. I had been changing cars of whom all radios had been torn out or destroyed.
I parked a few yards from the man (who had a dog) and cautiously got out of it. I had watched him for a few moments before I decided it was time to introduce myself. I felt my feet carrying me to him and after a moment's hesitation I put my hand on his shoulder.
He started so violently that his glass if water overturned and spilled its contents on the dog that started. The man turned and instantly pointed a gun at my face.
"Don't shoot!" I said, frightened, backing away and holding my hands up. "I'm not Infected!"
The man lowered the gun. "Sorry," he said. "I'm too used to them being around."
I put down my hands and nodded. "It's been that way for me, too," I said, realizing that I held my rifle.
"You survived only having a rifle as a weapon?" The man looked surprise.
"No," I said, whipping my cloak open and showing an array of knives and guns attached to my belt. "These. But I haven't been using them as I'm running out of ammunition and all of the stores I've seen looked dark. Too dark to go in. I can only scrape."
The man was silent for a moment then he said, "You heard my radio broadcast?"
The man nodded. "I guess that you don't have food," he stated.
"You guessed it."
The man nodded again. "So, to the introductions," he said, clapping his hands. "This is Sam. Her real name is Samantha. And I'm Robert Neville."
"Hi, Mr.Neville," I said, shaking his hand. "I'm Rose Kitabell."
"Hi, Miss Kitabell," said Robert. "And just call me Robert."
"Okay, then, Robert."
A beeping filled the air after a moment and Robert suddenly looked stricken. "You know how to drive?" he said quickly, abruptly changing the subject.
"Yes," I said, mildly surprised until I saw that the sun was setting.
"Then get into your car and follow me. Drive fast," Robert said, gathering up his stuff from the desk. I nodded and went back to my car, inserting the key and gunning the engine.
With Robert's car in front of me (driving fast) I had no trouble following him but my heart was beating like a race car on the track. I soon saw a grand house in front and Robert's car went to a full stop. I nearly crashed into him but stopped just in time. The sun was on the horizon now, sinking fast.
I hurriedly snatched up the rifle and followed Robert up the steps. Scattering vinegar over the steps, he opened the door and went in, Sam following and me last. He closed the door and slid a heavy bolt in place, barring us in.
"Close the windows. There are metal screens. It will keep the Infected out," Robert explained to me. I do upstairs and you do downstairs." He was already off before the last word was out and I did what I had been told.
As soon as the metal screens were shut, the sun already gone and howling from outside started, I sank into a couch with Robert next to me.
"I'm sorry," he said. "But we have to eat in the morning."
"It's okay," I panted (the screens were really heavy). "I…don't think…that…I have…the strength…to…" My head lolled back and my last conscious image was Robert bending over me, his arms reaching out.