Act 1: Bleeding Tears Through the Sky.
I took a few stirs in my sleep, just trying to hide away from light creaking through my window. But, there really wasn't any use, not anymore. I've grown with the habit of just forcing myself to wake up at the slightest disturbance anyway...
As I begrudgingly lift off the sheets, I look around me to see my dorm room. It was in its usual disarray, but everything was where it needed to be, and that was what mattered. Taking a glance at my clock resting not to far away, I got my first indication that today wasn't really a good day.
"Shit. I'm late."
I quickly went over to my closet and got together my uniform and school stuff. I looked in the mirror to try and organize myself. A rather tired looking brown-haired guy gazed back at me in my reflection, as I tried to straighten my hair into something acceptable. I didn't bother to button up the black jacket of my uniform. I just left it casually open... Still, taking a second glance at the mirror, I'd definitely seen better days.
When I was pretty much ready, I wasn't really too worried about getting in trouble for missing class if managed to scrounge up a suitable excuse. But damn it, this was the second time this week. My habit still seems to be a load of crap, if I keep sleeping in late. Leaving through the door, I was, as always, greeted by the always plain and rather dim hallways of Fujimi Academy. Yes, the boarding school which I affectionately call my home away from home... and good riddance, I say. Old home had too much shit going on with my family, I had to get away from all that. Dad practically kicked me out of the house. All that, plus I'm getting a decent education here as well. Win-win, right?
I keep my stuff close to me as I continue to get around, but the further I walk, I just see more and more students wandering around. Nobody at campus really heavily enforces attendance, perhaps a reason for why I'm not rushing or anything, so much as I am just taking a casual stroll through the hallways. Hell, I felt really inclined to just wait this class out and hang around until the next one starts, and get to homeroom before the next teacher gets there.
As I walk around, mainly sticking to the inside of the buildings and whatnot, I'm still thinking to myself that over here at Fujimi, we've got it here pretty good. Life's pretty leisurely, we got a bunch of clubs and sports to go around... Ping-pong, Soccer, Archery, you name it. It feels great to be the shortstop on the Fujimi Academy baseball team, I'll say. We've even got a damn observatory at the top of one of our buildings. I don't even like astronomy, but that place is pretty cool to look through every once in a while. Hell, on some days, I forget that this is an actual academy. It's all very damn good. Almost makes me want to crack a smile on the spot.
I heard the voice, and it was a familiar and welcome one. I turned around to see a certain blonde guy, with a trademark charming, loser smile.
"Morita, how's it going?" I said, as I greeted him.
Morita's this funny guy I've known for a while. Free-spirited, energetic, and... hopelessly perverted. Granted I am too at times, but at least I like to be a gent about it. He's just the poor sap that sometimes comes to me for advice, and talks about the girls in school... not that my sayings are always guaranteed to help him anyway. I've never technically had a girlfriend, and we're more or less traveling on the same boat... But at least I'm marginally more successful than this guy when it comes to the ladies.
"Eh, I just left trying to give a pep-talk to Komuro. The poor guy's been kinda depressed lately that his girl left him for someone else."
I nodded my head, as the two of us just seemed to walking around the halls, with no real destination in mind for either of us.
"No shit? I thought he would've been tougher than that," I commented. "Didn't his girl, Miyamoto, promise to marry him or something when they were kids?"
"Yeah, well you can certainly tell how well childhood commitments usually go when the guys enter high school."
I sighed, feeling almost sorry for the two. Then again, Morita was sort of right. You had to be a real dedicated person to fulfill out some childhood dreams, and more often than not, as you get older, the cruel harshness of reality quells those burning desires.
"Speaking of which, it true that you had a night with Miku last week? I kinda thought that Fumiko was already your girl..." Morita asked, out of the blue.
I paused for a moment, before laughing a bit, albeit nervously.
"Miku's a whore, and you know it. The whole damn school knows it. That thing between us was temporary. She gets a new boyfriend every week, I just happened to be swept up in that cycle," I quickly replied. Morita simply smirked.
"Yeah? Well, you getting a one-day-deal with her's way, way farther than anywhere I've ever gotten. And with the hottest girl in school, no less! You're one of my god damn heroes, Toshio!"
It felt kind of weird to be praised for something like that, but nevertheless, I took my friends praise, and almost felt like I kinda wanted proud of it, myself. However odd and vulgar that might've seen. More or less it was just a false sense of pride I felt swelling up.
"What about Kawamura-san, then? She's still your girl, right?" Morita continued.
"Heh, Fumiko's not my girl, man," I replied. I slowly couldn't help but smirk a bit. "Not yet, anyway."
My fellow perv gave me a hearty pat on the back. It honestly felt a little fucked up talking about Fumiko in this manner, but... well, everyone says or does stupid shit when they're around their friends, so I didn't let myself get too bothered by it.
"Hey, that's my man!" he exclaimed. He then paused for a moment, as his face somewhat got a little less enthused, as he thought more on the issue. "You know, now that I think of it, you and Komuro both suffer from 'Unlucky Childhood Friend' syndrome, right?"
"What the hell are you talking about?"
"Well, look at it this way: Komuro and Miyamoto were childhood friends. Destined to love each other, like any other sappy romantic novel you'd read or something. Then Komuro lost her. You yourself seem pretty determined to get with Kawamura, a girl you've known since you were like, what, eight? Though you ever wonder if you've been confined to the friend-zone or not?"
"Well, if worst comes to worst, I can just get another night with Miku, right?" I laughed.
"Yeah, well... Fumiko Kawamura ain't no slouch either, you still have some impressive taste."
We both started laughing together, with him proclaiming that I was probably the greatest player in Fujimi Academy. Honestly, I still felt a bit fucked up about it. I mean, in all honesty, yeah, I did like Fumiko. A lot. Really, perhaps part of me doesn't like to accept that I'm simply just her friend. Or, part of me is just fine with being closer to her, than any other guy has ever gotten to her, even if I am just a friend. And really, the fling I had with Miku a week ago was... well, I wasn't too proud of it. I still felt somewhat like I turned my back on Fumiko, which is why I sorta broke it off... I mean... Yuuki Miku's still hot, but...
Bah, look at me starting to think of this romantic crap. I mean, I can be the Romeo or Casanova when I want to be, but right now, I'm in front of my friend, and I don't want to lose face. I'll probably be thinking in a more sensible manner later.
We eventually just killed some time talking about this and that, doing what friends do. After a while, he was simply starting to name off girls in this "Report" of his, which detailed the hottest girls in school. Even I was impressed by the detail of his homework, though I told him if he attempted to "research" Fumiko, and ends up offending her in some way, I'd break his skull in. It was a notion that he agreed to take to heart, with extra consideration.
Suddenly, I heard some feedback coming from the school intercoms, and I had Morita shut up for just a moment to hear what the announcements said for this morning. You could hear that the guy seemed to be having a hard time using the microphone though, almost like as if he was holding it within shaky hands.
"Attention all students! A fight has broken out on campus! Please follow your instructors and evacuate from the school."
I paused for a moment as I tried to take that information in.
"A fight? There's got to be a hell of a lot more than that going on if the school has to be evacuated..." I said, rather incredulously.
Morita simply shrugged.
"Maybe some bastard outside has a gun or something? Terrorist attack?" he joked. I didn't really seem too amused, so I continued to listen in.
"I repeat. A fight has broken out on campus. Please follow your instructors..."
The announcer on the intercom was cut off after that, and there was an eery silence that soon followed. I'm pretty sure that no matter where you were, throughout the entire campus, you could've heard a pin drop.
"What the fuck?"
We then heard some feedback in the background of the intercom, and the sounds of a bunch of glass breaking, and objects rustling.
"Ah! Help me! Stop! Help! No, no! HELP! NOOO!"
The rustlings and objects breaking in the background got gradually louder, until the announcer was cut off by the most god damn agonizing and fucking terrifying death cry you could imagine.
My friend and I stood wide-eyed, as we glanced over at each other.
"Holy shit..." I muttered.
"We gotta get the fuck out here!" Morita cried out.
Before he could even finish that sentence, I could hear the panic and shrieks going on throughout the entire campus. Doors were practically rammed through, as I saw that the entire hallway was immediately flooded with frantic students all trying to escape whatever the hell killed the the guy on the intercom. The school turned into a complete clusterfuck in less than a second, and me and Morita were now caught up in it.
Without a second thought, both of us outran the thundering crowd that was running behind us. I couldn't even god damn think without hearing everyone just letting out their most blood-curdling scream all at once... I can't believe I was just calmly talking to Morita about girls just about 30 seconds ago, now, I'm scared shitless. And worst of all, I didn't even know what the hell is going on yet!
As we were running down the stairway, something entered my mind, which made me stop in my tracks completely.
"What the hell are you doing, Toshio? We gotta go, come on!"
"No... I gotta go back, for Fumiko!" I said, as I ran down the stairs and went into a hallway on the second floor of the lecture hall. Thankfully, looks like the hallway I entered was pretty clear, and most of the students were already gone from there, probably running down the stairs to the outside. Several stragglers scampered past me, paying heed towards nothing but their own safety.
"Damn it, your obsession with her is gonna get you killed! Killed by... by whatever the hell's been going on here! I don't wanna die, man, I want to live, have a wife, have sex and a future! I've got shit to do when I get older!"
"Oh, calm the hell down, Morita! We haven't even seen what's been going on, and I don't think we're all gonna die," I replied. But... I myself questioned whether or not I spoke that out of bravado and determination to find Fumiko, or whether I actually believed that. Truth be told, this is the first time I've seen him out of his happy-go-lucky attitude, and frankly, it was disturbing. I desperately tried to get some encouragement, not just for Morita, but myself too.
"Look, we'll go to my dorm room, I'll grab a couple of my bats. Would it make you feel better if some terrorist walked up, and you'd be able to smash his head in?"
Morita didn't look entirely convinced, but I did briefly see him crack a smile, perhaps just thinking about himself being the hero for a day. Ultimately though, he merely flailed his arms in frustration and resigned.
"Damn it Toshio, I'm gonna regret this..."
With that, we quickly ran out of the lecture hall, onto the walkway on the second floor, which joined the classroom building over to the dorms. But when he and I walked outside, we looked at that horrors that awaited us outside.
The sun had slowly grown hidden within the clouds, darkening the atmosphere. Students, teachers, and staff alike were all running around in pure, and utter chaos. And yet... at the same time... they were attacking each other. Girls screaming in terror as a group of students seemingly and mindlessly gang up on them, leaving blood in their wake. Students pleading for their teachers to help them, only for them to be attacked in return. Friends watching in horror as their comrades are being... god damn devoured by their other friends. People getting torn apart. Lovers trying to escape, only to be abandoned each of them dying alone. Teachers committing suicide, convincing themselves of this only being a dream. The campus was stained with the blood of everyone trapped within it.
"What the fuck is going on...?" I quietly muttered.
Morita looked on at the carnage, silent, before he rushed on ahead of me.
"Damn it man, I did not sign up for this shit!"
I didn't bother to try and scold him, or make him shape up or anything; in all honesty, I felt the exact same way. I still didn't know what the hell was happening, or why students were seemingly resorting to cannibalizing each other in a horribly grotesque form, but I felt more determined than ever to try and get a weapon, and look for Fumiko.
Her safety was all that was on my mind now. That, and getting my own ass out of this mess.
We reached the dorm rooms, heading straight into my room. The hallways were silent, save for our echoing footsteps, and this... this horrid moaning, ambiance. You could hear faint, gurgles and moans coming from people, as if they're trying to says something... but for some reason, they're only letting out these pained sounds out. It's like one of those novelty haunted house attractions, except this shit's actually happening for real. I quickly became just as frantic, if not more so than Morita, as we headed towards my room, hastily jamming my keys into the lock before I got inside. I looked through my things, digging through drawers, containers, anything, just trying to find something that would be of use to me. I quickly found my team's batting helmet, figuring that for whatever the hell was going on, it'd probably be of use to me. Placing it on my head, I looked through my closet and found a couple baseball bats for Morita and I. Arming ourselves was of the utmost importance now, if we wanted to live.
"So, what's next, Slugger?" Morita asked me, somewhat sarcastically. It was still crazy, but not at all unwelcome, he was able to at least maintain that some comedic mood in all this horror.
"We get back to the lecture hall, and I try to find Fumiko. She was supposed to be in Mr. Shido's class, 3A, when this fuckfest started, so I'd try looking around there first."
"Do you not remember all those hundreds of kids leaving at once, when that guy on the intercom died what sounded like a pretty gruesome death? What makes you think she's still gonna be at the lecture hall?"
"I know Fumiko. I know where she goes, when she has a bad day. And I'm usually almost always there to accompany her. I'm not gonna back down right now."
My friend gave me a casual pat on the back, his face still displaying genuine surprise, but giving off a slight smile.
"Damn Toshio, you are a gent, you know that? What's stopping Kawamura from just going on her god damn knees for you and-"
I quickly jabbed Morita in the stomach with the handle of my bat. I looked at him sternly, but both of us knew damn well he was joking. And despite my impulsive reaction, I knew that his general upbeat nature was at least encouraging in this whole scary fiasco. I wasn't about to let him have the satisfaction of knowing that just yet, though.
"Shit man, even in the end of the damn world, you're still a bit of a stiff," he laughed.
"I don't think the world's ending just yet."
After giving him a hand to stand up straight after he was done reeling from the pain, I nodded my head and gestured for him to come along with me. Our baseball bats in hand, we cautiously headed out of my dorm room. As we walked around, we were horrified to see the hallways in the dorms to scattered with blood and bodies. I never noticed this when I was dashing towards my room to get the bats, so I couldn't tell if I was simply that ignorant as I was running, or if this all shit happened in just a short amount of time. For now, it didn't matter.
As we headed towards the walkway back towards the lecture hall, I noticed one of the dead bodies twitching its hand. I gestured for Morita to stop and look. The body was of a school girl, her skin drenched in blood, and parts of her hair torn out from her head. And what parts of her skin that were visible revealed that her she was awfully saturated in an unhealthy shade of grey. But that wasn't even the worst part.
"Christ, something ripped her fucking face off..." Morita said, trembling. She was missing a chunk of flesh off of her cheek, leaving what was left of her teeth, gums, and the inside of her mouth fully visible. I saw Morita holding back his attempts to vomit. What made this probably even scarier more for him than I, is that he probably knew this girl (he knew practically every girl in school), and that she could've been one of the ladies on his A-list, before this shit happened.
But then that's when we noticed the body start to twitch again.
"No fucking way... she's dead, that should be blatantly obvious. Why the fuck is she moving?" I asked aloud. Morita was simply shaking, not really being able to fathom an answer.
Cautiously, I went up towards the girl's body, taking my bat and trying to poke her with it, to see if I'd get some sort of reaction from her. I gently nudged her shoulder.
Like a crude marionette, the girl's head was slowly raised. She rolled open her eyes, revealing them to be a rather morbidly pale shade of yellow, her pupils being so tight, like pinpoints, making them feel that they might as well have been nonexistant.
I panicked, and backed away from the thing, however, the girl quickly reacted herself. She grabbed a hold of my baseball bat, actually attempting to sink her teeth into it. The bitch must've thought it was my arm or something.
In my vain attempts to wrestle my bat free from her grasp, I glanced over towards Morita, who was cowering in fear.
"What are you waiting for, bash her fucking head in!"
I realized that the thing was now actually gripping my bat to pull me closer to her, noting that I wasn't about to let go any time soon. She opened her decaying mouth, as she leaned forward and got way too close for comfort. Inside, her mouth looked like a dark, dank gate to Hell. I shrieked in horror as I let go of my bat and took a few steps back. I didn't give a fuck about being manly or badass, I only cared about making sure I didn't die, making sure Morita doesn't die, and that Fumiko doesn't die.
I got away in time to see her brains bashed out by my friend, who's bat was stained in her blood. He was breathing heavily and uneasily, as the girls' body slowly crumpled to the ground.
"What the fuck..." he managed to wheeze, in between his breaths. "...was that what... I fucking think it was...?"
I took my bat out from out of her cold, lifeless fingers, unnerved that a few of her teeth were still embedded in the wood.
"What is this shit? A zombie apocalypse?"
"Don't fucking say that word, man!" he sharply interjected. "Some... god damn horror movie shit... why the fuck is this happening?"
"What word?" I retorted, though genuinely confused.
"The... the fucking z-word, man... Oh, Christ, this is not happening... is this some kind of sick joke?"
Obviously, Morita had something against the word "zombie", I'm guessing. Of course... he's likely in denial that that's what this really is. His rantings made that somewhat clear. Honestly... I don't blame him at all. I have a hard time trying to wrap my head around the fact that a fucking zombie just tried to eat me... and it's... horrifying.
My sympathy was interrupted, as looked behind me. More of them were starting to move about and slowly get up from off the ground.
"Shit, that's not good..." I muttered under my breath. "C'mon, we gotta keep moving. And get used to having to use that, we're likely gonna have to kill more of these things along the way."
"Easy for you to say, Toshio," Morita said back. He took a few more deep breaths to try and compose himself. "Let's... let's just go. I hope your girlfriend is worth going through all of this crap."
I nodded silently to myself. My grip on my bat tightened.
It's a nightmare turning real.
But I know I have to walk and wallow through the dead if I wanted to bring back Fumiko, and get the hell out of here alive.
As I got out onto the walkway with Morita close by, I could still see the clouds looming over us. I swore that I felt just the slightest drop of liquid splash itself on my cheek as I looked up. Wiping it off, I sighed. Glancing at the carnage which we overlooked, I felt my eyes get slightly watery, as I advanced onward, the light rain starting to pick up. I walked on, with the rain on my back...
And the sun was bleeding tears through the sky.