Hey guys, this is my first story on this site. Please give me reviews! I want to know how I can make this better (Or if I should keep on going in the first place haha) Well, enjoy!
The skies were dark, only illuminated by what little light the moon and stars could generously donate behind a sea of foreboding clouds. The air was cool and damp, rigged with the scent of rotten flesh of those that were dead, and those that were undead. The asphalt of the street was cracked and stained with blood that told stories of past ventures and lives of other survivors. Who knew where they were now. Not a single lamp post on the sidewalk was lit—the electricity had gone out long before. It was a forsaken, hell-on-earth town that resembled a city of anyone's worst nightmare. It was New York City, five weeks after the infection had cleared it out.
Only four bodies moved slowly down the streets, their footsteps amplified against the otherwise dead silence. Ever single pebble their shoes graced, every single leaf their weight crushed, seemed to echo endlessly off the buildings that surrounded the forlorn road.
Guns trained in every direction, the four humans tiptoed their way deeper and deeper into the heart of the city, moving towards the radio station that they had spotted a couple days ago. Those days of walking and hiding had finally paid off—it was in plain sight now, only a day away at the pace they were going.
The flashlight on Nick's AK-47 darted in and out of the buildings that he shone it into, revealing the shattered windows and splintered tables and chairs that seemed to be a common trait among every one they passed. The city was in horrible condition—in times such as those, the worst in people really came out. Riots, murder, and thievery became common in the last few days that the city was alive. Those who were smart fled the city… those who weren't… were either dead or infected.
Motion came to an abrupt halt. Nick looked forward of the formation to find their point man, Coach, with his head craned up higher in the air, his Remington 870 Marine Magnum shotgun resting with its nozzle to the ground by his side. "Hold up," his cautious whisper came, sending chills down Nick's spine. "Ya'll hear something?"
Nick turned his head to his right to exchange nervous glances with Ellis, the boy that he had somehow become used to. His blue and white cap turned away with his face as he scanned the buildings to the right of the formation, where he had been placed. Nick quickly returned to his duties and scanned the buildings to his left carefully, using his flashlight as a guide as he kept his ears open.
"I think I hear it too," a female voice came from the rear.
Nick turned around to see that Rochelle, the only girl in their group, had her eyes wide with fear as she locked eyes with each of them, one after the other.
"Sounds like a hunter," she finished her statement as she raised her gun, an MSG90A1 sniper rifle, to her shoulder, preparing for the unknown.
It was only then that the sound distinguished itself in Nick's ears. However, it wasn't the usual low pitched, throaty growl that the hunter normally gave off. Instead, of was the sound of choking, followed by a faint cough that seemed to come on top of one of the buildings he was responsible for watching. He immediately snapped his AK to the location, lining up the sights and aiming where he predicted the creature would come. "Doesn't sound like a hunter to me," Nick informed his teammates in a low tone. "Sounds more like a smoker."
"Then I don't know what the hell you're hearing," Coach's nervous voice came. "Let's just hope that one of you two is wrong."
However, much to his disappointment, the low-pitched growl of the hunter caught Nick's ears. He grimaced as he gripped his gun even tighter, not taking his eyes off the area that he hoped the Smoker would peek his ugly head around. "Nope, I heard that one. They're both out there."
"Well then? What're we waitin' for?" Ellis asked in his normal cheery tone. "Let's keep movin' and gun down those sons-of-bitches when they rear up at us."
"Ellis is right," Nick sighed, despising himself for agreeing with the boy. "We're wasting time. Keep your trigger finger itchy and let's move."
No one in the mood to argue, the four survivors continued to move down the street, more cautiously than ever. The pair of infected must've been taunting them… the sounds of their own movement and their growls followed them closely.
Nick began to feel more and more on edge as the minutes passed that the pair stalked them. Finally, unable to take the pressure any longer, he threw his head up into the air and shouted, "C'mon, ya zombie bastards! What are you waiting for?"
"Nick!" Coach's immediate hushed bark came. "What the hell you doin'? You trying to get us all killed?"
Nick opened his mouth to respond-
-"I can't move! HELP!"
The three survivors turned immediately to the panicked screams.
Nick's body froze up for a split second as he saw that Ellis was lassoed in a smoker tongue that was dragging him backwards towards a building on the right. But how was that possible? The smoker was on the left!
Deciding that here was no time to deduct, Nick snapped his gun up and traced the long, slimy tongue back to the top of the building. However, much to his disappointment, the tongue disappeared over the edge of the roof and out of sight. The smoker had moved back to stay out of the sight of gunfire.
Damn bastards were getting smarter.
"Shoot the tongue!" Ellis's terrified cries came as he dropped his gun and desperately clawed at the sidewalk to no avail—the smoker was still pulling strong. "SHOOT THE TONGUE!"
Nick immediately trained his gun on the section of tongue that he made sure was far away enough from Ellis's head and began to delicately squeeze the trigger.
Something caught the corner of his eye to his right. Nick snapped his head to the motion just in time to hear the ear-piercing shriek of the hunter as it leaped for him, its long claws extended, itching for the feeling of flesh.
Nick did what he could with what little time he had left and dodged backwards. However, the hunter was too fast and still managed to smash the AK-47 with one of its claws. Nick yelped in surprise as the gun was knocked out of his hand and sprawled onto the floor. The hunter's momentum still in motion, it continued forward to sprawl on Coach instead, who let out a scream of surprise as he was tackled backwards.
"'Shelle!" Nick screamed as he ran forward and swept the gun back into his hands in one graceful motion. "Get Ellis!"
"Get this thing off me!" Coach's scream pierced Nick's ears. The hunter was tearing away at the man's flesh, digging its razor sharp claws into his chest. The man could only flail as he tried to shove the hunter away, but to no avail. "Get it off!"
Nick closed the distance between the two in the blink of an eye, driven by adrenalin. Once close enough, he took a large step forward and punted the hunter as hard as he could in the ribs. The creature shrieked as it toppled off of Coach and sprawled to the ground, giving Nick just enough time to snap his AK-47 up, aim it at the recovering creature, and pull the trigger.
The gun bucked violently in his hand as the heavy caliber rounds tore through the hunter's blue sweatshirt and right into its rotting flesh. Nick finally let off of the trigger after a healthy burst of ten rounds, panting from the adrenalin as the hunter twitched once before lying still on the ground, blood pooling around it.
"C'mon, big guy," Nick said urgently as he reached down and offered his hand. "We need you a live a little longer."
Coach reached out and took his hand tightly in his, allowing Nick to struggle against the bigger man's weight as he pulled him to his feet. "Thanks, I owe you one."
Nick flinched as Coach's smile immediately disappeared into a grimace of terror as he lifted his finger over Nick's shoulder and screamed, "Look out!"
Something grabbed the back of Nick's head and covered his eyes. The sound of sick, maniacal laughter filled his ears as the cold, mushy undead flesh pressed itself against his neck. Immediately, the creature began to tilt in different directions, causing Nick to follow its motions as if a puppet.
"Somebody get this thing off my back!" he screamed as loudly as he could, blinded to the world as the Jockey led him wherever it pleased. "Get it off me!"
The sounds of frantic footsteps began to rush towards him as the Jockey continued to lead him away. Nick fought against its influence as hard as he could, attempting feebly to move in a direction opposite of where the creature was taking him. If there was one thing he learned about Jockeys in the past, it was that they enjoyed leading their victim to something dangerous. The last time Nick had been taken by one of the bastards, he'd found himself staring down the edge of a cliff after Rochelle had managed to knock the creature off.
What seconds passed that he was blinded and under Jockey control felt like hours. Finally, the sound of a butt of a gun smashing against the creature's spine sang into Nick's ears. The Jockey screeched as it fell off of his back, to which Nick immediately turned, lifted his gun, and blasted the bastard with five rounds in the face. Blood squirted out of its shattered skull and ripped skin and muscle as it fell to the ground, rolling on the massive hump on its back before lying still.
Nick panted violently, a smile spreading across his lips a she stared down victoriously at the dead creature. "That's what you get when you mess with me," he taunted as he spat down at the motionless mound of flesh.
He then looked back up to Coach, Rochelle, and Ellis, who were standing outside the door of the building that the Jockey had led him into. However, instead of a face of celebration, they were staring in terror at the ground behind him. Nick narrowed his eyes in confusion, then traced their expression and turned around-
-"Shit!" he yelped in surprise as he jumped backwards, nearly falling onto his ass.
There, behind him sat a witch. She sat on her ankles, her head turned towards him as its red eyes pierced into his soul. Her cold, pale flesh gleamed in what moonlight filtered into the building's shattered windows. The witch remained silent as it stared at him in the face.
Nick felt his blood run cold as he lost all sensation in his face and arms. All he could do was slowly back up, afraid that he had already startled it. He had seen the remnants of other survivors that had managed to get unlucky enough to run into one of those bitches. They normally ended up in piles of flesh, no piece remaining that was larger than a baseball.
However, she did not attack.
The witch remained dormant, its face demonstrating no form of hostility. She simply stared at Nick with her deadly eyes, almost observing his movements as he stepped back to his friends.
"Why isn't she growling at us?" Rochelle's whisper came from behind him. Nick refused to take his eyes off the witch. "Shouldn't she be pissed?"
Nick flinched as the witch switched her attention from him to Rochelle, who gasped as she stepped backwards. However, it still remained quiet, its eyes wide with curiosity as the two sides stared each other down.
"Well?" Ellis's whisper came next. "We can't just leave it here. Who knows how many poor souls this bitch killed. I mean, look at its claws. She ain't even moving as she still looks all vicious-like. It was like that one time my buddy Keith and I saw this real cute-looking raccoon, but when we came up to pet it, it-"
"Now is really not the time, Ellis," Coach cut the boy off.
"Okay… just wanted to tell you guys, I know about this kind of shit. They'll sit and look all cute until you get comfortable, then they'll rip your eyes out."
Nick stared at the witch, who was still switching her attention to each of the talking survivors. She seemed different from any of the other witches he had encountered before… but how? And why wasn't this one as sensitive as the others? Just a few seconds ago, he had been literally a foot away from where she was sitting. Normally it only took a good wave of the flashlight to piss a witch off and provoke it into attacking. What was with this one?
"Well, it's infected, right?" Coach asked rhetorically as he stepped forward beside Nick. "Attacking or not, this thing's gotta go down. If we don't kill it, someone else is gonna run into it on a bad day. I ain't gonna live with that on my conscious."
As if the witch understood what Coach had said, its body tensed up, its razor sharp claws pressing nervously on the ground.
"Hold on, Coach," Nick muttered as he narrowed his eyes at the witch. "I think it understood you."
"It's a zombie, Nick," Rochelle rejected his theory. "It's just a blood hungry zombie like the rest of them. They can't understand what we're saying."
"She tensed up when you threatened to kill her," he pursued his case. "This one's different. Are you guys really stupid enough not to see that?"
"Hate to say it Nick," Ellis's southern drawl came, "but Ro's right. This witch is just another one. Let's kill it and get out of here."
The witch tensed again as the threat was made. Nick opened his mouth to say something, but was quickly silenced as the sound of a shotgun's heavy cocking was made. He turned his head to the side to find that Coach was pointing the gun's barrel at the witch, who was now slowly easing onto her feet, her eyes wide with terror as she stared down what could've been her death.
"Don't do it, Coach," Nick warned in a voice as demanding as he could make it. "Listen, it's not a normal witch, it would've attacked us by now. It was listening to you. It was listening to all of us. Normal zombies don't do that!"
"I ain't gonna take a chance, Nick," he responded sternly, not taking his eyes off the sights. The barrel lined itself up with the witch's head. "She's just another witch."
As if the witch sensed Coach's tensing finger, she ducked low right as he pulled the trigger. The deafening blast of the shotgun echoed off the walls, which was immediately combined with the witch's high-pitched wail.
"Shit!" Nick screamed as the witch began to charge at them, her long, razor claws out by her sides as she sprinted. "You idiot!"
This was it—this was the end. There was no way Coach could load another shell into the chamber and fire at her at the rate she was moving. One of them was going to die today-
-the witch reached out her hand, but instead of slicing straight through Nick's flesh like butter, pushed him to the side, as well as Coach, creating an opening for her to run through. Shaken beyond all belief, Nick's legs gave out from underneath him, causing him to stumble to his ass as the witch made the same motion to shove past Rochelle and Ellis, who yelped in surprise.
Her shrieks of distress continuing, Nick only watched as the witch covered her face with her hands and ran off down the street.
"Bitch cut me!" Rochelle's furious scream came as Nick scrambled back to his feet. He jumped out of the shattered window to find that the witch was still retreating down the city streets, sprinting at an inhumane pace-
-a loud gunshot rigged the air.
Nick gasped as the witch's left shoulder twitched forward, a burst of blood blowing clean out the front of her arm from how the bullet had entered and exited. She let out a loud, shrill shriek as she staggered forward a few steps, only to be greeted by another sniper shot to the side. The bullet nearly knocked her off her feet, but with a determination that Nick had never seen before, she continued to slowly press on, her sprint now turning into an injured jog.
"That's it, bitch," Rochelle's malignant growl came. "I got you in my sights. This one's going straight into your head."
Nick had to react.
Immediately, he turned to Rochelle beside him and slapped the gun on the side as hard as he could. The sniper discharged, sending a stray round into the wall of a building somewhere away from the witch that had just turned a corner and disappeared out of sight.
"What are you doin, Nick?" Rochelle demanded in rage as she dropped the scope from her eyes and glared at him. "Which side are you on?"
"She didn't attack Coach, and she didn't attack any of us," Nick argued strongly as he locked eyes with her. "If you're going to shoot something that doesn't have any intention of fighting back, you're the monster, Shelle."
Behind the two, Coach sighed loudly like a cross mother. "Alright, you two, that's enough. But Nick, if that witch comes back and kills one of us, you'll meet your maker real soon. You got that?"
Nick sighed as he turned back to face where the witch had disappeared out of sight, his mind processing a thousand thoughts at once. However, even through his limitless questions, he still managed to sound off with a weak, "Yeah. Got it."