The Beginning of the End
Obligatory Disclaimer: I clearly do not own any of the characters within (even those who may or may not be originals), any of the settings, concepts, or other potentially copy-written works within this piece. I am merely a vessel; A messenger who conveys a story, nothing more, nothing less.
If it's natural to kill, how come men have to go into training to learn how? – Joan Baez
Things could have started out differently. Better, at least, or maybe without the heightened sense of danger, was that really too much to ask? Kagome thought to herself as she brought up a shaking hand to wipe her sweaty face. Her breathing was heavy, quick, and loud and her eyes were wide and tinted with a strange emotion that few ever saw. That emotion was fear, pure and unparalleled fear.
She stood in the darkened room; well it really was more like a hallway. There were pipes running behind her off into the distance and next to her was the door. She just needed a break for a few moments; a chance to catch her breath was all. Her chest rose and fell with her violent inhalations as sweat continued to run along her neck, across her collarbone and finally landing within her already drenched clothing.
Her typical clothes had long been passed up for a better more sensible choice. A sleeveless black tank top and a pair of dark khaki cargo pants that had more pockets than really should be on a single garment – she loved them. Her hair was tied back into a messy pony tail, most of it clinging to her damp face and neck. A head light was strapped to her forehead, beneath it a dark blue sweatband that was entirely soaked. On her hands she had simple black leather gloves and on her feet she had mid-thigh boots, laced tightly with the laces tucked carefully within.
She had a new backpack, made of a sturdier material and packed to the brim with supplies. At her waist was a sheath. In her trembling hands was a glistening sword with a worn looking hilt, she had stolen it from a museum. On the sword was blood… human blood.
Her lips trembled and she took a few more breaths before something moved on the other side of the door. She inhaled sharply and quickly brought the sword up in what she hoped was a defensive stance. Unfortunately she wielded it more like a baseball bat than the weapon of destruction it was and so she was finding it to be somewhat ineffective. Luckily her latent spiritual powers had come to her aid most nights and she'd survived so far.
Her mind raced as she recalled the past two days within the few moments that it took for the light scuffling to become groans and a pushing force against the door.
It started on a Monday. It was just an average day like any other day. It was partially cloudy with a 30% chance of precipitation. It was Golden Week and everyone had time off to relax and party. She had come home for the celebratory vacation and had gone out to a museum with her friends. None of them knew what was happening yet.
First there was screaming. Then people began to run mindlessly. Kagome, having been in dangerous situations before, understood not to follow the crowd so as not to be trampled – her friends were not so lucky. She watched in horror as one of her friends was effectively knocked over and crushed by the screaming crowd. Eventually the room was rather empty save for Kagome and her deceased friend. The place was a disaster, displays having been knocked over and smashed, one of the entrance doors that led out towards the street was broken off its hinges at the top and hung crookedly. Sirens went off outside and people were still screaming. Something in the distance exploded.
Kagome's eyes were wide and her instincts were on fire. She couldn't even manage to voice her curiosity of what exactly had happened. All she could do was realize that she was not actually alone. Something was coming from further inside the museum. Her eyes turned to look towards the hallway as the creature slowly shuffled towards her. She couldn't see down the hall, it was on the opposite side of the room she was on, so she didn't know what was making its way towards her.
Time seemed to slow down as she waited, wondering if it was someone who as injured or an animal, she couldn't tell and was too shocked to move at that point. Slowly, painfully slow, it made its way around the corner and that was when her voice returned in a sharp scream.
Her mind tried to tell her that it wasn't true. This had to be some sort of crazy nightmare, right? She was just overworking herself! A broken little laugh escaped her and she reached up to smack herself as the man slowly made his way towards her. Her eyes widened as she realized that she wasn't waking up and seriously, dream or no dream, she wanted to live!
Trying to stand she found her legs had become jelly and so she backed up, towards the doors and away from the man. He seemed to pick up a little speed as she moved and a small whine escaped her. Still crawling backwards along the floor her hand brushed broken glass but she really couldn't care at that point. The painful edges cut into her hand and she winced a little but kept moving before her hand slipped on an unusually shaped object.
Looking down her eyes twinkled with recognition and she lifted the sword in her hands. It was clearly very old and had been cherished by whoever had owned it before. Silently she said a little prayer both of thanks and of apology and then pulled herself up off the ground with help from the sword. The only sound that came from the room was the sound of the blade clicking as she released it from its confines and pulled it out to face her enemy.
Kagome really didn't know what she was doing. She'd never had to really use a sword before. That is what she had InuYasha for, after all! Inwardly she cried, wishing he was here right now. He wasn't.
The man groaned and reached out for her and she let out a little whimpering cry and then cut the man down. It would be the first and last time that she effectively killed a zombie that day. Today was May 4th and she had managed to make it across the city towards her home where she hoped her family was okay.
Right now she was beneath a local shopping center that was just a few miles from the shrine. She assumed this was some sort of delivery entrance as there were doors running along one side of the hallway, probably leading into the now closed and empty shops.
Her mind was ripped from her memories as the pounding against the door became more forceful and she sighed before turning to look down the somewhat dark hallway behind her. Going out the way she came in was rather impossible now so she only hoped there was another exit.
Reaching up she pushed the little light on her head and it flickered before illuminating the empty path before her. She let out a sigh of relief before making her way down the empty hall, the sound of dripping water and her own breath accompanied by the pounding sound against the door behind her. What a wonderful vacation this was turning out to be.