An Alternate Passage - Chapter 1

Based on The Passage by Justin Cronin

David MacDonald was, at that moment, cursing his luck. If only he had stayed in his native Scotland he might not be in this mess. There had been a lot of if onlys recently. Less than a day ago was when they started. That one, however, had been lodged in his brain from straight from V-day.

He had been biking home at V-hour. Of course, that was V-hour in Colorado. David's personal V-hour was two days later. He had been hearing reports on the news of a break-out from a military base in Colorado, but some people claimed it was a break-in. Nobody had quite decided which it was. Either way, something had gotten out. Or in. Nobody could decide about that one, either.

Living in Augusta as he had been for the past year, he enjoyed frequenting the local coffee shops and restaurants. He first noticed that something was wrong after those two days when he biked to one of the local coffee shops and saw a window broken. It was one of the bay windows that they have in, well, coffee shops. He walked in cautiously. Nobody was in. a chair was knocked over and a drink spilled, but that was it. He slowly walked to the back, and opened the door marked "Employees Only."

He could not believe his eyes.

What David saw terrified him. A creature, basically humanoid, was crouching on the floor. It wasn't wearing any clothes. It had pale white skin and seemed to prefer sitting in the dark. It, whatever it was, had fangs the size of his finger. He couldn't see its face, because it was sitting facing away from him, and he wasn't exactly sure he wanted to. He almost screamed. He decided it was best if he made a bike for it. David began backing up and out of the "Employees Only" door. Left foot back, right foot back, left foot back, right-

And about then was when he bumped into a table. The table wobbled a bit, then stabilized itself. The iced coffee did not. The coffee fell and smashed into the floor, and the ice chips cracked quite loudly. The door literally flew off its hinges as the thing jumped over the coffee counter and onto a couch, at least twenty feet. It was the same distance from the door as David was.

He thought of making a run for the door, but then he realized he was standing about three feet from the bay window. He would have laughed at his stupidity had he not been hyperventilating like he was going to die. Well, he basically was if he didn't make it to his bike.

The thing sat there and waited. For him. He couldn't take it anymore. So he jumped out the window and ran. He ran to his bike, still where he left it, got a running start, and pedaled as hard as he could. He resisted the urge to look behind him for a few seconds. However, when he did look, the thing wasn't following him.

He didn't stop. He biked. If only.