Disclaimer: Left 4 Dead and all related characters and scenarios are property of Valve and Steam. I only own the main character, Jake Ballenfield, Trinsha Ballenfield, Micheal Ross, and a few others.
Author's Note: (Original) I'm takin' a few liberties *Yes, again.* with this one, so bear with me. As with everything else, I do not accept flames.
Author's Note: (New) The original Cry Witch was a resounding success with both myself and the community, however, upon reading through it again, I've noticed some (Quite a few?) glaring inconsistencies (Non-Concrete Timeline, dialogue which clashes with later dialogue, stuff like that.) so I'm going to be re-writing the entire thing, from start to finish. Since I don't have to do much in the ways of writing, with the exception of copy what I had written, and make some changes, updates should come pretty fast.
Prologue: "Dead Air"
The pain was unbearable. It was like a helicopter was flying around inside of me, tearing everything up, then repairing it all wrong... My memories were a blur, I had vague recollections of boarding a plane to... somewhere... then going to the restroom because I felt sick and then... I blacked out. I shook my head as the feeling in my body came back to me. I struggled to remember more, to try and recall what lead to this... whatever 'this' was.
I was cold. I felt so dead and lifeless, like every ounce of warmth was drained from my body, and dangled before me in a taunting manner. The memories I had after that were filled with pain. I felt bones shift around in my body, move and grow, stretching my body as they moved as the willed. It was like my body was changing itself to fit... something. I felt like Play-Doh being run through a grinder...
Searing, uncontrollable, agonizing pain. I thought that the pain would never end, a modern-day Prometheus, being forced to be eaten alive by day, then returning to life the next, only to experience the agony all over again. It would be the first time in my life I would ever be glad to be wrong. From the depths of my mind, the pits of my memories came a torrent of sorrow. Soon, the sadness drowned out the pain, but I could do little save sob. Each sad second in my life ticked by slowly, causing hours of uncontrollable sadness. I couldn't move, couldn't think, couldn't speak, just cry. The only sound which I heard was the hollow sound of my own tears. I couldn't stop it, and something inside of me refused to let me.
Almost as fast as the crying began, it ended. The images stopped, and I slowly began to regain control. I opened my eyes for the first time again, and took in my surroundings through tear-filtered eyes. With the back of my hand, I banished the tears from my sight and looked around. I was sitting in a parking lot, a very empty parking lot, with a sign some feet before me which read 'Sacremento Metropolitan Airport'. Sacremento... I was in California.
It was strange. I had memories. I knew where I was, I could identify states, cities, and even most objects, but I couldn't for life of me remember who I was. It was like something you'd see on television, targeted amnesia. I was scared, I could say that much with a straight face. Who wouldn't be after waking up and having no recollection of who you were?
And what of the pain earlier? Was that the product of an over-active imagination, or was that real? Closing my eyes, I put a palm to my eye and shook my head, trying to dislodge the memory of the all-consuming pain. Opening my eyes as I pulled my hand away, I was met with a strange surprise. My hands. They weren't human any more, the beautiful, slender fingers of a woman gone, replaced with eight inch long claws. I flexed them, a bit too shocked to look it, watching as they moved like normal fingers would. This was no glove, no cosmetic change. This was my hand. Looking at both hands with a mix of shock and disbelief, I took a note of my skin tone, which at once I imagined was a healthy tan, hand turned ghost white, the pale of death itself. I looked myself over slowly, making sure I was still somewhat human looking. Two arms, two legs, a head, breasts, a body. Sighing in relief, I was happy to see that I was still humanoid, and hadn't changed into an animal or something.
With that out of the way, I decided that sitting on my butt wouldn't help me any, and that the only way I could hope to survive would be to move around some. Placing my hands on the ground before me, I slowly got to my feet, gravity promptly greeting me by sending me face first into the concrete. A grunt of pain escaped my lips as I hit, my mind mentally swearing gravity for what it did. I felt like a child, learning to walk for the first time, and falling at every step. After a few tentative moments, I managed to gain enough control over my motor functions to stand and balance, walking a whole other story in itself. One foot in front of the other, slowly, just like a child, I started to march towards the airport in the distance.
By the time I had reached the terminal building some ten minutes later, I was confident enough in my step to look up and around while I walked, the wind chilling my skin as it blew across the lot in hollowed, eerie gusts. Shivering, I covered myself. I was, for the most part, naked. A pair of tattered panties and a matching bra was about all of the clothes I had left, the red silk a nice contrast against the alabaster of my skin. This was an airport... so it goes to say that there should be a clothing store, or something inside where I could hopefully get some clothes. Stepping up to the terminal gates, I pulled on the handle, the glass door rattled in place, but didn't open. I pushed the second time, just in case it was one of those silly push doors, again, the glass door only shook in place. A growl escaped my lips as I looked into the glass, the dim airport inside a welcome reprieve from the cold outside. Balling my claw into a fist I bashed the glass, hairline cracks forming where I hit. Either this was some weak glass, or I was stronger then I thought. With another hit, the cracks widened and lengthened, small chips coming off and landing at my feet. Pulling my hand all the way back, I pounded the glass one last time, the glass shattering and showering the inside of the airport lobby. Flicking the turn lock to open on the other side, I opened the door and stepped in, dodging the glass.
There were two things I found strange about this airport. The first was that it was dead, quite literally in many ways. There were no crowds, no people going about their business and no noise around. The silence was maddening. The second strange thing was the bodies. Littering the floor were corpses of humans, every one in various states of mutilation, some had been clawed to death, others were shot full of bullet holes, while others almost looked as though they were devoured. Something at my feet clinked as I put a foot down. Staring at the ground and slowly crouching down, I saw a few brass casings on the floor, some arranged into piles. Bullet casings.
Picking one up, I looked at it, rolling it over and over in my palm. It was still warm, probably was just fired. Who the hell was shooting in an airport? As these thoughts went through my head, I noticed the clothing store across from me. I dropped the casing and the train of thought completely, walking to the store. It was one of those music\gothic\lolita\punk kind of clothing stores, with lots of black and dark colors. I didn't think it was much my style... but some of the clothing in there were kind of cute... so I couldn't help myself. The first thing that caught my eye was a small, black lolita style dress with a white lace frill around the skirt hem, and along the shoulders. Taking it off the rack, I carefully slipped into it.
It fit nearly perfectly, hugging my curves nicely and warming my body almost as soon as the fabric touched my skin. Snatching a pair of long white thigh-high socks from the shelf, and a pretty pair of black Mary Janes from a nearby display and hoisted myself onto the counter. Careful not to put my claws through the socks I rolled them up over my knees, and just up to my hips. These were the kind of socks that had sock glue woven into the tops of them, which causes them to stay where you put them. Slipping the shoes over my feet and buckling them, I dropped off the counter and nodded.
"Looking good..." My voice came for the first time. Smoothing the top of the dress out, I did a little spin, laughing to myself. I moved to a mirror to see how I looked in this little dress, and what caught my eye was fairly frightening. My hair was long and white, matted in places and in desperate need of some attention. My eyes glowed a bright red, my pupils dancing about as I looked over myself. Is that what I looked like now? My visage in the mirror was... frightening. I looked human, yes, but the eyes... the eyes struck me to the core. From the back of the store, there came a loud banging.
"Hello! Is there anyone out there!" A female voice called, distorted from distance, and being shouted through a wall or two. "Bill! Francis? Is that you? Come on, boys, say something!" I looked towards where I thought the voices were coming from, the dressing rooms in the back, and started to walk that way. She heard the dull foot steps against the tile floor and continued to call. "Come ON, guys! Say something!"
"Hello?" I spoke softly, looking around. "Who's there?"
"Who are you?" The female voice called again. "No, you know what? I don't care! Look, I'm in one of these stalls... but I can't get out, I think there's something blocking the door. Can you let me out?" I saw a chair pressed against one of the door's handles, preventing it from opening.
"Of course. Give me a minute." I answered back, giving the chair a quick kick, the weathered sitting device shattering into shards. "Okay. You're free." I opened the door and looked in. Inside was the smiling face of a young woman, probably about early to mid twenties. She took one look at me and her face drained of all color. "What's wrong?" I asked, despite the obvious answer.
"Witch..." She muttered, backing herself into a corner, staring at me. My smile was still on my face, but was fading.
"BILL! FRANCIS! LOUIS! HELP!" She called again, her voice carrying.
"...that it came from over here." An elderly, male voice faded into my ears from a distance.
"Look, you're safe. Just come out." I spoke calmly, offering her a hand. The moment my hand made a motion towards her, she coiled farther into the back. "I'm not going to-" My sentence was cut off by two loud gunshots echoing through the hall, one slamming into the stall beside me, and the second hitting my exposed shoulder. I hissed as the pain raced up my arm and into my brain, staggering about, trying to seek cover. I had fled deeper into the changing room, dropping under a desk to hide. Voices spoke as I trembled in fear.
"Zoey... you okay?" The elderly voice asked a few seconds later.
"Yea... yea, I'm alright..."
"That Witch didn't get 'ya did it?" A younger, more arrogant sounding male voice chimed in afterwards, creating a slight pause. "No? No, you good to continue."
"That was really strange..." A much younger, more high-strung sounding voice picked up.
"What?" The arrogant one chimed in.
"That Witch, Francis. It was just... standing there. On it's own, and it didn't attack when you fired, it just ran. It didn't act like a Witch at all, man... it acted more-"
"Human." The female voice came again, her voice still shaky, but recovering. "She spoke to me, Francis. She let me out of here... It doesn't make any sense..." Her voice began to get louder, as if she were approaching me. It was my turn to coil into a corner when I saw her face peak under the desk. "Hey... Can you talk?" She spoke softly.
"Yes..." I answered unsure, not wanting to get shot again. She offered her my hand and a smile.
"I'm sorry about how I reacted. You scared me. Come on... come out of there."
"Of for the love a-" The arrogant voice growled. "Come on, Zoey, leave it, let's get out of here before something finds us." There came the sound of a weapon's clip being removed, then re-inserted seconds later. "And I don't have enough ammo for a Tank, if one wants to grace us with it's presence." He continued.
"Just a second, Francis." She continued again as I took her hand. She slowly helped me out from under the table and dusted me off. "There. Now that I get a look at you, that's an awfully pretty dress you're wearing. Where'd you get it?" She was trying to make small talk with me.
"In the store... I thought it better then to walk around in my underwear..." I answered, looking her over. She wore a red jacket with white highlights, her medium-length brown hair was pulled into a ponytail in the back and she wore a pair of blue jeans that were tattered and stained with blood and mud. She looked as though she's trekked through hell and back. "There was no one here... so I don't think they'll mind me taking it..."
"They'll mind less then you know." She put a hand on her chest. "My name is Zoey Mitchell." She spoke, taking my hand and leading me back to where I got shot. "These are my friends..." There were three men I hadn't noticed before, on account I was trying to get out as fast as possible. The first was the elderly figure of a man in his late sixties to early seventies, a gray beard on his chin more then solidified his age. A cigarette hung lazily in his mouth, the smoke raising into the air slowly. It looked more like he just let it burn then he actually smoked it. He wore a vietnam-era flak jacket with a few military-esque patches on the his chest and shoulders. His torn slacks mimicked the woman's in stains and holes. "This is William Overbeck..."
"You can call me Bill, I suppose. Everyone else does."
"How about Grandpa? Can we call you that?" Came the arrogant voice from before, this time coming from the middle man. He was a tall man, slightly taller then Bill, wearing a white tank top and black leather vest, his arms covered in tatoos. His short hair was almost stubble, a dark contrast from the woman, and the mustache and goatee combination seemed to add to the whole 'rugged biker' motif he was trying to sport.
"We may be running out of ammo, Francis, but don't think I don't mind putting a few bullets in your ass." Bill retorted, motioning towards him with the assault rifle he held.
"This is Francis Caulter. Don't let his rugged exterior fool you. He really is an asshole." Zoey smirked, Francis smiling and nodding to confirm. The last member of the group was a young black man with a white button-up shirt, a red tie tied loosely around his neck. He wiped his face once or twice with his hand to banish the sweat that was building up. "And finally, Louis Jones." She ended the introductions. "What's your name?" She asked, looking me over. I wracked my brain for a name, ANY name. At this point, I didn't really care what it was, I just wanted to set me apart from those Witches... whatever the hell they were. Drawing a blank, I shook my head.
"Oh, that's okay." Bill muttered some. "It'll come to you eventually."
"If not, we'll give you one." Zoey finished. "Now... there's supposed to be a plane bound for some place called Quarantine Zone Alpha around here. That's where we're all headed."
"Wait, all of us?" Francis droned, looking at Zoey. "Like... ALL of us?" Zoey nodded and gave the confirmed 'yep!'. "Nah! No, we're not bringing the Witch." He barked.
"She's not a Witch, Francis! She's a person!" Zoey rebutted, snapping at him with a certain zeal.
"Oh, and I suppose you're an expert on Not Zombies, right?" Francis bit back, waving his gun about in the air objectively.
"Yes! As a matter of fact I am!" Zoey shouted. "In case you haven't noticed, FRANCIS! She hasn't tried to kill us yet!" Her yelling was loud, almost bellowing. I took a step back to avoid being overwhelmed.
"She ain't comin' Zoey. Final." He spoke firmly, stating his position.
"She is coming, Francis. Final." Zoey retorted.
"Come on, old man, help me out." Francis pleaded to Bill.
"Well, she hasn't tried to kill us yet... and an extra pair of hands would be nice..."
"Oh, you can't be serious!" He growled. "Come on, Louis, tell me YOU'VE at least got a good head on your shoulders still!"
"Well, Francis... Zoey's right..."
"AW COME ON!" He called, his bellow answered from afar with a howl of unknown origins. Bill turned to face the direction it came from.
"We can argue about this later. We got company!" Bill shouted, readying for action. Despite the argument, each of the four stopped fighting and took up weapons, ready for anything.
"Agreed." Francis chimed.