The blaring alarm in the supermarket could be heard blocks away, he was sure. Looking around at all the carnage around him, Marcus wondered why he had volunteered with four bigger idiots to retrieve a six-pack of cola in exchange for guns and passage through the blockade; he was safer on the roof with that lunatic.

One of the others, the guy who was around his age, smacked a crowbar into the skull of one of the infected, placing the six-pack on the ground before taking out his AK47 and firing at the horde making their way toward him.

By the time Marcus realized the severity of the attack, he was tackled to the ground by an infected that took him by surprise. It tumbled on top of him, its arms flailing about, ready to tear him to shreds. He grit his teeth, looking at the Beretta that was just out of his reach, and cursed as loudly as he could.

The infected had been a girl once, and pretty; the infection must've set in recently, her skin and complexion mostly intact save for the yellow pupils and her angry, bloodstained teeth.

Jesus, what do I do now? he thought, looking around for some other alternative. The other four were busy dealing with their own problems, as they probably shut themselves out to the world once they focused on a fight. Marcus looked up at the girl, smacking her arm at his side, and hooked his thumb into the infected's eye socket, digging as deeply as he could. Blood flowed down his thumb and onto his palm, and he screamed loudly.

Eventually, the infected relented a bit, giving Marcus the edge to overpower it. He turned it over, smashing its skull into the ceramic tile several times before nothing was left save for broken bone and brain matter.

And just like that, it was over.

The others took a deep breath to assess the situation, making sure no other infected were lingering or making their way to them. Marcus walked over to his Beretta and picked it up, sighing deeply. He looked at his forearm, the bite wound still fresh; he had received it days after the initial outbreak arrived when he was still naïve about the situation.

And he didn't become one of them. At least, not yet.

The blood on Marcus' hands was starting to make him cringe. He couldn't believe that he could be so capable of killing another human being with his bare hands, and the realization of it made it all the more horrifying. But with the way things were, he knew he'd have to get used to the idea of acting like an animal. His father told him stories of the war, how churchgoing men became monsters before his very eyes, devouring their prey upon contact. He used to tell him of the nights where he'd scream and think one of his men was above him, about to devour his very soul.

A heavy, dark-skinned man walked over to him and eyed him down, spitting on the ground. "You all right, Marcus?" he asked, looking at the infected with a bashed-in skull and a remaining eye that will forever be staring into nothing. "We need to get out of here, deliver this cola, and move on. You're still coming with us, right?"

Marcus nodded and wiped his hands on his chest, the blood staining his white shirt brown. "You know, my dad used to tell me stories about things he used to have to deal with in war, how the dead still talk to him sometimes. You ever feel like that, Coach?"

"The dead are talking to me right now, boy. They're telling me that if I don't get my ass moving I'm gonna be dinner by high noon. But for what it's worth, your daddy's a very smart man, taught you good. Maybe that's why you survived so long. Or maybe it's because you're immune like us. We'll never know."

Marcus removed the clip from the Beretta and slammed it home. "Yeah," he nodded. "Savannah's gone to hell; we need to leave. I just hope my mom and dad are safe…wherever they are."

"I'm sure they are, especially if they got your daddy lookin' after them. What'd you say his name was again?"

"His name's William. But everybody calls him Bill."



Author's Note: After 3+ years, this story is now complete. Thank you all for continuing to support this story even when several months passed without an update; you're the glue that kept this project going, and I'm happy that so many of you enjoyed reading it. I wanted to incorporate Bill's son in the story somehow; after all, he mentions him several times throughout the story without ever revealing his name, and I thought a fun twist would be that he was with the other Survivors from L4D2 (Hint: Guess what they'd find at the end of The Sacrifice campaign?).

I love you all, my faithful readers! Please comment to keep this story relevant and to let me know what you thought about the ending and the story in general. Take care and God Bless.

- Wild