Okay, guys, so this is part one of a three part series I'm working on. This is only the first part, so don't freak if you don't understand everything yet, because everything will be revealed. :) This is based off of the video game Left 4 Dead, which I'm sure some of you will be familiar with. If not, oh well. Don't worry. You won't be confused forever.
All you can do is hope you won't be ripped apart. Intestines look disgusting when they're ripped from the insides of a human body. Stomachs look even worse, followed by the gore, followed by the life disintegrating into whatever world lies beyond death, a sanctuary or a void of endless nothingness.
Adam has seen it all in just a few short days. Hell, this whole thing started merely a short week ago—damn, has it really been that long?
Wiping the sweat and blood from his face off on the cotton fabric of his white t-shirt, Adam settles into the corner of the safe house. Quivering hands clutch the lighter in the pocket of his jeans and the cylindrical form that is his blessed cigarette. The head of what could have once been a beautiful woman lays separate from its body in the middle of the floor, an item Adam would rather disappear, but there's no fucking avoiding it, no fucking escape from the blood.
The iron door slams shut with a skree after the boots and heels of Lawrence, Evan and Amanda slam it shut behind them. Amanda slides down, yanking off the red stilettos and reaching for her feet.
"Fucking damnit," she hisses through her teeth, rubbing them vigorously. Her dark brown eyes slide over to the woman's body in the corner of the room and she stands. Shoes. Better shoes. Making her way over and sliding off the Converse, she glances up at Adam's horrified face. "What? It's not like she can take them with her."
True, but it still doesn't stop the anguish. The constant gnaw behind Adam's eyes.
Staying by the door, Lawrence and Evan lean their ears against it. A heavy breath escapes the blonde male. "This'll never end."
"Very fucking optimistic of you," Evan grumbles, cutting his black eyes back at the older male. He finds his way to Adam, standing over the trembling man.
Amanda snorts at the statement while she's placing on her new shoes, new shoes caked with dirt and blood—but hey, whatever works, right? "Yes, because there's just so much to be optimistic about." She stands, fingering a glock pistol out of the corpse's pocket. "Look on the bright side, everyone. The infection is spreading across the entire fucking world. Everyone we know and love is dead. And it's four against an entire fucking world full of disease-ridden zombies."
The infection. The fucking infection.
This fucking infection.
They have to go on. The four. To find a will to live, a way to go. But is the fighting really worth it? They are outnumbered. Against every odd ever imagined. Screw three out of four, five out of six—that shit meant absolutely nothing now.
"Adam." Lawrence's gentle voice jerks Adam's eyes up from a wooden floor eaten by gore and dust. Those blue eyes. Why can't they speak to him and say it'll be all right like so many times before? Hold him and guide him safely through to the other side? "How are you feeling?"
His voice comes out in a shaky rasp. "I've been better."
Better seven days ago. Better twenty years ago when that rusty nail went into his arm.
Seven days ago. Before everything flushed, before life as the four know it turned to ash.
Dr. Lawrence Gordon jerked his head up from the warmth of pale skin. His eyes darted to the stark door. The handle sharply turned.
Eyes. Back to Adam's green ones.
The famous doctor was off his patient, a flash of lightning straightening up his labcoat when a nurse stepped in, brown hair tied back, coffee eyes burnt by something from the inside that even Lawrence himself could not diagnose. Adam was, also in the same split second, hiding himself with the sheets with his hands folded over the covers.
Well, except for Lawrence's tone, which had become slightly less than that of an irritated man screaming at the neighborhood kids to keep off his lawn.
The brunette huffs and gestures for Lawrence to move out the door. "May I have a word with you, please, Dr. Gordon?" His name dripped from her mouth, acid.
"Of course." Without so much as another glance at the small frame residing in the hospital bed, Lawrence removed himself from the room and placed himself into the hallway with Amanda. Her. What the hell could she have possibly wanted from him this time?
A smile spread into those snake-like lips of hers. "Still with Adam, I see. How's the wife, by the way?"
"Not now, Amanda—please." Lawrence pressed his back against the wall and huffed out an exasperated sigh. "I've got just about enough to deal with. Don't you have better things to do?"
"Oh, you don't mean the infection, do you?" The nurse's lips spread into a wider grin, two red worms. "You don't really believe that's such a big deal, do you? It's like the swine flu—it'll blow over in just a couple of months, doc."
Lawrence gawked at her. Damn, she was serious. How the hell could she be so laid back? Hadn't she been listening to half the things the doctors had been spewing since the infection took root and sprouted itself in the city? Since more and more patients had been showing up with the symptoms. "Amanda. More than a third of our patients are infected with the virus, all with the same symptoms—bleeding from the nose and mouth, bloodshot eyes, severe weight loss, aggression and mental deterioration. We don't know how to treat it—nothing works. And it's spread through the air, through touch, open wounds, intercourse. Doctors are becoming infected. Now do you want to tell me the infection's no big deal?"
Amanda seemed to shift slightly, like she'd just heard all of this rather exciting news for the very first time, but Lawrence knew better when the smile returned. "I'm telling you, Doctor, it's nothing."
With that, the nurse turned haughtily and began to walk in the direction of too more conversing nurses, as if there wasn't work to be done. But hey. That was Amanda. Annoyance thickly settling behind his temples, Lawrence was about to find his own way away from the room when a short, scrawny man sporting a Beastie T and black denim met him at the entrance to Adam's hospital room. Appearing somewhat mousy, his furrowed brows told the story of darkness. Rage.
"S'all right if I go in?" the male asked casually, hands in his pockets. "I'm Evan—Adam's friend."
Lawrence nodded to the young man, turning and leading him into the room. Adam sat up in the bed when the duo entered, dull green orbs brightening at the sight of the doctor and his friend, if only a little.
"I heard someone's having a little surgery later," Evan mused, moving closer to the bed with a grin on his face. Unlike Amanda's, it had warmth behind it. A soul. "Fuck, man. You gotta stop smoking, that's the problem."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," Adam muttered, waving his hand dismissively. "Thought I'd never have to quit, but this damn emphysema is going to be the death of me."
"You'll be able to hopefully do more things once you do. Like… Not wheeze every time you walk up the fucking stairs."
"You'll miss my wheezing."
"No, I really don't think I will, Adam."
Adam's lips also found themselves curling up in a smile. "Will you be here after I wake up?"
A nod. "Yeah, man. Somebody's got to be here for you."
A small comfort. If Adam knew how much the thought of cutting him open churned up Lawrence's insides like soup, he'd be frantic. Why was it that Lawrence was okay with cutting open a regular patient, but when it came to Adam, a squeamish man took his place, made a shell out of his body? No, it didn't make sense. Probably never would.
But he would be there. And not just for the surgery. For everything afterwards. For those runs that Adam could stand. For those times that Adam would reach for a smoke, then Lawrence could be his substitute crutch. For those days where they could finally fall asleep in the same bed without worrying when Allison would be home to catch them in the act…
Those days. They had to be near. They were so close.
It would settle in. Take hold of Adam and plunge him into murky waters until he was away, far away from the surface and any memory that it had ever existed. And he would wake. Wake to it and welcome it and remember it had a presence, a consciousness, a part in a world he knew. And Lawrence and Evan. They would be there too. Waiting. Calling.
Lawrence. His voice would be the last thing Adam heard before he falls in.
"Okay, Adam. Start counting back from ten for us, please."
The image of the doctors above Adam began to lose their shapes, glide over like a watercolor painting.
The door. Had it flown open? Had those been patients wandering over in their hospital gowns? What were they doing?
Oh my God. Oh my fucking God.
Out of the hazy shapes flung the red, the limbs, the eyes bugging out. Dismemberment.
What the fuck is happening—
Is this happening—
Adam flipped over and off of the operating table, his IV ripping out of his wrist and his oxygen mask detaching. The shapes that remained unsevered loomed over him, approaching, yearning.
Lawrence—Lawrence—oh fucking hell—what the fuck is going on?
His heart. It roared. Roared in tune with the blood in his ears. In his hair from when his head had hit the floor.
Slip. Further. Deeper.
It would be easy. It sang to him, a siren, a calling song.
Just go. Sink.
No. No. Stayawakestayawakestayawake.
Right as their ugly hands fastened around his arms, Adam felt his leg work. In turn, his foot smashed into the face of a woman patient whose foaming mouth had lunged for the soft skin of his throat. The woman fell backwards on her ass, only to have two more patients take her place.
The blood splattered.
Within a split second, Lawrence drove his scalpel into the skull of a man tearing at the intestines of one of the fellow doctors, who already lay deceased with a hand outstretched, eyes glazed over. Droplets of scarlet sprang on Lawrence Gordon's face and the infected man collapsed.
A breath. It exhaled sharply as the blonde faced the reality of purposely taking a life.
This is happening. This is really happening.
Stay awake—breathe—breathe—inhale through your nose—exhale through—through your mouth.
No time to lose. Lawrence equipped himself with his scalpel again and plucked it out of the patient's skull. The infected woman. She was recovering from Adam's kick to her gushing nose, but not yet steady.
No—please don't kill another. Please please please.
Adam swayed to his feet.
Given, it was a clumsy, awkward run, but he ran.
And their moans rang through the hall, all around him as infected patients awoke and the final symptoms settled. As they raced after a drugged man who wheezed, wheezed with a heart pumping and ready to jump out of an aching chest.
Corners. They were there. Everywhere.
Help—help—the thoughts matched his footsteps now—help—help.
A shape crashed into him and the loudest scream he could forge exited his mouth.
"Shh, calm down!" Amanda. Her voice hissed into his ear. The nurse seized a glock from inside her labcoat. Wait! Had she known this would happen? If not, what the hell was she doing with a pistol at the hospital? Standing, she raised both arms and let herself pull the trigger.
The room lit as lead fired into the skulls of infected patients and… doctors, too? Who knew this woman was so skilled with a gun? The bodies fell in heaps of themselves as the trigger-happy Amanda proceeded on them.
The magazine clanked to the floor as she reloaded. A pause. A hush had fallen over the hospital.
On the floor, Adam was still attempting to fight the sleep he so hungered for. "Lawrence—" he wheezed, clutching the bottom of Amanda's labcoat.
"Oh, him? You're completely fucked out of your mind, Adam. They've probably killed him by now."
Awkwardly managing to his feet, Adam glared into her eyes. No. People whose fate had already been decided just because they were infected had been killed in front of him. How could she even dare fucking deny him the chance to see the doctor, his doctor, again? He was going back there. And no snarky-ass comment would deter him.
Clumsily walking ahead of her back to the OR, Adam was aware of her voice behind him, though he wasn't fixated on it. His ears chose only to pick out selected words.
"…what the fuck… you're kidding… stupid asshole… gonna get killed… fine… you're going to die… he's dead by now… they'll kick your little ass…"
As if on cue, Lawrence's bloodied hands gripped at the door frame, his usually perfect blonde hair coated in sweat and falling in his eyes. Behind him lay the four dead infected, done in by his scalpel or however else he'd chosen to harm them. The doctor almost fell into Adam's arms, until he realized Adam could barely stand himself.
"Damn, Dr. Gordon, your leg is busted," Amanda harped, glancing down at his torn knee without lowering her gun.
Lawrence proceeded to do it for her. "Would you please not point that fucking thing at me? And yes, but it'll be fine. We have to get out of here."
"Evan," Adam rasped, looking back over his shoulder frantically.
"Adam, he's got to be dead by now," Amanda said again, breathing out a sigh as if it were the most casual situation in the entire world. "That guy's just about as scrawny as you are. He'd be nothing they couldn't handle."
"No." Adam's racing heart sank to the bottom of his chest. If they had survived thus far, why couldn't he have survived?
But there he was, within moments, racing down the hallway, eyes wide like eggs in a skillet, his mouth gaping open in a soundless scream. Evan screeched to a halt in front of the three, shivering with crimson splattered on him as well. "What the fuck is going on here?"
"Never mind—I'll explain all of it later." Lawrence craned his head over his shoulder like Adam had before, expect he was able to look back into the prior room. Three murders. Three dead bodies. He'd have to keep his head, look past them for now. Sulk about it later. How many people around the city were like this now? A small number? A few hundred? What about a few thousand? No. No. One problem at a time.
"I hear more," Amanda reported quickly as the moans of more infected rang through the halls, followed by the screeches of patients who hadn't been infected. Long, high-pitched screeches, only to be cut off.
"Come on. We have to fucking get out of here." Lawrence began to help Adam over to the window,
Adam whose eyes had begun to once again close.
"Wait—what about the others?" Evan was still panicking at this time, although he and Amanda certainly weren't struggling to follow the two.
"We can't do anything to help them right now. We have to attempt to save ourselves first."
Kicking through the glass of the window, Lawrence began to climb out, helping Adam and the others out as best as he could with his injured knee.
Then, as a sort of quiescence settled over the four, they disappeared into the parking lot.
Unaware of what would come, moments beyond their wildest nightmares.
"Lucky for you we risked our necks to go back and find that damn inhaler for you, Adam," Amanda grumbles, but she always grumbles. "You could've gotten us fucking killed."
Adam rolls his eyes as the memories dissipate, shaking his head. They were all too fresh. "Can you please stop complaining? Do you want me to die?"
"It'd be easier. We don't need some weak little dog dragging us around."
"All right, shut up!" Lawrence hisses at her, clutching the AK-47 he'd plucked from the arms of a dying soldier last night. A fast gun, to save them from the horde of whatever infected came their way. Zombies. Who cares what they're called—they're doomed. Enemies now. Targets. People who want to kill and therefore have to be killed. "Adam's coming with us. And if you don't like it, don't fucking follow us, Amanda."
"We don't need your bullshit anyway," Evan chimes in, nodding.
"Great, that's very—" Amanda freezes in her place, eyes going to the broken window in the safe house wall. "They're coming."
Lawrence has to crane his neck in order to see. "How many, do you think?"
The nurse peaks out again, a breath whisking its way out of her mouth. "A few hundred."
This time, Adam stands, picking up his shotgun that he'd propped against the wall and taking a final drag from his cigarette before grinding it up underneath his shoe. There they were. Infected citizens, stumbling through the darkness of the street, their skin gray underneath the street lights, blood dripping from their mouths as they searched for whoever they would claim as their next meal.
"Lovely," whispers Adam, closing his eyes.
Evan's voice comes next. "Are we ready?"
They'd never be ready.
The door was opened.
End of Part One
Well, I hope this hasn't sucked too bad. It's been a while since I've written anything good. Anywho, please review. The next part will be up soon. :)