A/N: So I'm pretty sure no one is reading this. But...I mean...maybe someone is? Hopefully I'll get a review or two. Anyway...

If you do read this, I'd love if you'd review. Constructive critism is much appreciated. Anyway, enjoy (:

xoxo.


Chapter 1

The morning air is cold, like death. I briskly make my way down the sidewalk, clutching my books closer to me as I avoid contact with anyone. People stare at me suspiciously, mumbling about themselves, but they say nothing. They know better than to, one wrong word could cause a panic. We had become that easy to break.

I keep my head down as I approach the steps that lead up to my school. I file in behind the other students as the sharp trilling of the bell orders us all inside. We all file inside, over movements like a current; the flow of bodies moving me towards my classroom. I break away, making an immediate right.

I'm not surprised by my classmate's appearances. Pale, shallow faces are almost exact reflections of mine. I know there thoughts probably mimic mine as well; the unbelievable has hit us – head on. They're real. They're here.

Some of the faces I had become familiar with are gone, probably stayed at home. School was no longer a necessity, you didn't have to come, but it was encouraged. I still came. I couldn't stay at home, or really, I didn't want to. It was too quiet there, too empty.

Silence falls over the class as the teacher stands," Good morning class." Her smile is weak as she wrings her hands nervously. "As you know, tomorrow we were going to evacuate the city, but there has been a slight change in plan. With only a handful of Militia, and now a rumor of three people being bitten. I have been told that until the people that were said to bitten are found and taken care of, no one is to leave. They don't want to risk spreading the infection to Safe Cities."

She stopped and nodded slightly, turning to face the board. The air was heavy with grief now, even more than before. It was smothering me. I had almost completely forgot tomorrow was evacuation day. I lean back in my chair, pressing my fingers against my lips. There's a slight movement near the door and I shoot my head up nervously. I raise an eyebrow when I realize it's a Militia man. How long had he been here?

I study him, something seems off about how solemn it face is. The large gun looks awkward in his hands, like he isn't quite sure what to do with it. His eyes sweep across the room once, and then land on me. He pauses for a second before quickly adverting his gaze. I knit my eyebrows together and look down at my lap.

There's a deafening screech from the back of the class and I jump, turning around to look at a small pale girl, her skinny finger pointed at the windows. Glass shards start to fly, sticking themselves in people's skin. I stand up and press myself against the wall furthest from the window. Then, I see it.

A Fast One. Her hair trails behind her in long dark curls, her mouth open, releasing shrieking moans as she begins her rampage. Her skin is a sick grey color, pulled tightly against the bone, but still sagging slightly. Her eyes are still bright, she must've been one of the three recently bitten. Returned lose their sight over time, their eyes becoming dull and cloudy. Her limbs dangle at odd angles, broken fingers hanging from broken arms. I stare as she tackles a boy, and instantly tears into his neck. Infected.

My breath catches in my throat and I freeze. Time stops as I watch the boy, my classmate, writhe on the ground. His hand presses against his neck but it does nothing. His eyes close tightly, his lips twisting in a grimace as he bleeds out. He's already dead, already one of them.

Someone is pulling on my arm, attempting to drag me away from the chaos in front of me. I become limp, letting the person drag me through an open door. I fall onto my knees as everything goes silent. I start to hyperventilate, trying to catch my breath. I hear someone talking, the voice ringing in my ears.

I try to regain coherent thought, looking up to see the Militia man looking around frantically before he turns back to me. He grabs my shoulders and lifts me up, staring me up and down.

"Are you okay?" He asks. He's calm façade is given away by the fear shining in his eyes. I stare at him for a second before shaking my head angrily.

"What are you doing out here?" I shout, pushing him.

"It's dangerous in there!" He shouts back, pointing at the door to my classroom.

"You're supposed to be protecting people!"

He opens his mouth in response, but stops himself. He shakes his head, turning and punching the wall. I watch as he begins pacing back and forth. I realize why he looked so awkward with gun, so out of place in the crisp uniform that Militia wear. He was only about a year or two older than me, still a boy.

I clench my fists at my sides, turning back to the room full of people we just abandoned. If he's not going to help anyone, I will. He grabs my arm and pulls me away.

"We can't go back in there. Don't you understand? The whole classroom has probably died and Returned by now. And who knows how many of them are Fast Ones," His voice is a harsh whisper.

I push him away from me and shake my head," We have to tell the others then."

His eyes widen for a second and he begins to say something, but the beeping of the school alarm system starts to go off. Instantaneously, the halls become flooded with bodies. The panic and claustrophobia start making me dizzy as the flow of students starts pushing me towards the front entrance to the school.

I feel someone grasp my hand and I look up to see the boy staring at me, pulling me towards him. "Just follow me, okay?"

I don't argue as he pulls me against the flow of tightly packed bodies. People are bleeding and crying as they push against us. There are cries for help, student that are begging for their lives. Some people even lay on the ground, dying as they already begin to Return. He begins pulling me up the stairs to the second floor and I stop, staring at him like he's mad.

"It's safer up here. We need to try to get to the roof," He says. I shake my head, going upstairs will just get us trapped. Once were on the roof, if there's even a way up there, we wouldn't have any way of escaping.

He voice becomes louder over the cries and moans of the students around us," Please! Just trust me okay?" The look in his eyes is sincere.

I look at him, then at the front door to the school. Returned are starting to overpower the students, already outnumbering them. How could this happen so quickly? I swallow back the tears forming in my eyes. Moans and screams flood my head, rattling my brain. I close my eyes tightly and shake my head. I feel the boy pulling on my arm, and I look back up at him.

He's become my best bet, the only person that seems to be trying to get me out of here alive, and I have no idea why. He's tugging on my arm more harshly, and I decide to make my way up the stairs behind him.

The second floor is littered with papers, doors left ajar. The moans and cries below us seem almost distant now as we run down the hallway to the stairwell. I can feel the air rushing through my hair, filling my lungs. Our footsteps slam against the linoleum, echoing off of the walls that seem to be closing in. We round a corner and I see the door to the stairs and I push my legs to carry me their faster.

The boy shoves his shoulder against it, pushing it open. We take two steps at a time, trying to escape the dark, enclosed air of the muggy stairwell. I feel like my feet are made out of bricks, dragging along. Everything starts going in slow motion, and I release a shaky breath. Almost there.

Bursting through the door to the roof I inhale deeply. We made it. I look over at the boy and realize my hand has been locked with his this entire time. I yank my hand away, rubbing it as I look around the roof. The boy is closing the door, making sure it's secure so nothing can get up here.

I walking over to edge of the roof and my jaw goes completely slack at the total destruction. I press my hand to my mouth. How could this happen? This morning everything was almost normal. Now the city is almost completely gone. Everything is ruined. My world, it's gone.