I remember the night it happened. I was talking with my best friend who was on the track team when all of a sudden I didn't feel so good, and he threw up. Blood dribbled down the side of his mouth, mixed with vomit, and he looked pale. "You okay?"
He moans. "I think I'm sick... I need a doctor..." I turn on the TV.
"Do not bring anyone who shows these symptoms to Mercy Hospital: Paleness, vomiting blood, fever, discoloration of eyes, or any other flulike symptoms. Dubbed the "Green Flu" by CEDA, many immune people think this is not the case. We head over to Bob Saros at one of the "Flu-Proof" CEDA safehouses." says the news anchorman.
"Thanks, John. As you can see here, many Immune survivors of the outbreak have passed through here already, 'tagging' the walls with messages wherever they go. The most common messages are:" The TV cuts off and is replaced with an emergency broadcast signal.
"It'll be alright. You probably have a stomach virus, it'll be gone tomorrow." We both head to our respective beds in our off-campus apartment, and fall asleep.
"Hey! You're late for breakfast, sleepyhead! Enjoy the break while you have it!" I hear a familiar voice at the door.
"Zoey? I'll be there in..." I glance at my friend. "What time is it?" He seems to have recovered from whatever he had.
"9:07. Could I stay in bed a bit longer? I don't feel so good." he replies. "Sure, anything to help you feel better." I peck him on the cheek and go outside to meet Zoey.
"Okay. So, what do you want to do after breakfast?" I ask.
"I don't know, this 'flu' shut down about every place in town." she replies. Suddenly, the fire alarm goes off. We had rigged it to detect someone not recognized entering the building.
"Oh god! They're in here! Run!" she yells. We both run opposite directions, she to the emergency exit, and I to me and my friend's apartment.
"Come on, we have to run!" I yell. I help him get up, and we both run to the emergency exits. "Oh crap, they've sealed it off! We gotta find a way out of here!"
And he motions to the window. "No... we're on the third floor! We'd die!" I reply.
He shakes his head. "Haven't you realized it? We're both Infected with the flu. That wasn't a stomach virus. I heard people being shot downstairs- they're killing the Infected. If we die, it'll be for the good of mankind. But, I know we won't. There are certain types of the Flu that affect different people. One affects athletic people- me. They're referred to as "Hunters", they can jump from high stories without having a scratch. So..." He looks at me. I shake my head.
"I'm not an athlete. Or a Hunter. I'd die from that drop." He shakes his head.
"The discoloration of eyes is yellow in most other Infected. But your eyes are red." I shake my head once more.
"No. I just have pink eye, that's all. We're 'll stay up here until the evacuators come. We're not infected."
He says no. And before I can reply, I'm plunging down to the ground at an alarming speed, with my friend beside me.
I pull him closer to me and kiss him, neither of us hesitating.
If this is the last moment of our lives, we might as well spend it together.
And then we hit the ground with a thump, and I recoil in horror as the life in my friend drains out of him.
"No... no!" I yell. I collapse in a heap on the ground, sobbing. Then, I see a movement out of the corner of my eye. I angrily tell whoever is coming to leave me alone, but all that comes out sounds like a growl.
"Hey! I'm okay! I think I passed out there for a bit- not used to the dropping from heights thing. And I found out what kind of Infected you are. Apparently, your strain of the Infection turns people into 'Witches', Infected who don't like brightness, cry a lot, and attack if disturbed. They are referred to as one of the most human Infected, due to the fact they seem to have emotions. And most people call them emo." He winces at the last part, since he is kinda emo.
"This is too much to take in..." I nearly start to cry, and then realize it's the Infection kicking in.
"Oh god, the Infection is kicking in..." I mutter. And all of a sudden, I see the other Infected tearing immune survivors of the outbreak in pieces. Fuled by the rage of seeing people I once knew ripped to pieces drives me to attack the other Infected. Until I recognize the college quarterback. And then see he's Infected, and probably a hundred times bigger and a thousand times heavier. I see people empty whole crates of ammo into his chest, and he doesn't seem to even notice until he falls over, dead. And then they turn on me, each of them looking at me with their guns in hand. I gulp as I hear several of them load a bullet into their guns. And then I'm flying. I think I'm in one of those stupid superhero movies, or I'm dead or knocked out or something, until I realize I'm also falling. Like... someone grabbed me and did the long jump on a pogo stick. Or my friend, the athletic Hunter, grabbed me and did one of his Hunter jumps.
This will take some getting used to.
I land on the ground once more, my friend looking startled but still okay. Several yards away a sumo-wrestler looking man with giant bubbles on his skin and a swelled stomach waddles towards some Immune survivors of the outbreak.
"What the hell is that thing?" asks one man.
"The Infected... they're changing." Before they can load their guns the Infected man vomits all over them, blinding us and the survivors. Yet before he can swipe at us with his short yet sharp nails, a bullet pierces his stomach and he explodes, bile exploding everywhere, with only the bottom half of the man below the stomach is left, along with the head. Some of the bile is on the floor, and the Infected who have the regular strain rush to lick at it and scrape it off the floor with their claws.
"Disgusting..." We slice through the Infected with the claws the Infection has given us, and the survivors watch in wonder as, in their eyes, feral infected slice other infected in half deliberately, not even noticing them. A young girl runs out of the group towards me, thinking me and my friend aren't Infected. She barely crosses the street towards us when a building, weak from its age and damage to the walls, collapses, blocking the other survivors from her. I overhear several of the survivors talking.
"I'll miss her. It's sad those two will tear her to bits when she gets too close. I'm sure they were good people when they were still human." says one man.
"Well, I sure won't miss her. One less mouth to feed and kid to watch is good for us. We've got a small amount of food as it is."
She looks around and realizes she's trapped. "Help me, help me!" she yells. She can't be older than nine or ten, surely.
"Hey, don't yell so loud! You'll attract every infected in the area!" I tell her. She sees me and screams.
"Help me! Someone! I don't want to die!" she screams at the top of her lungs.
"And you won't. Now come on." I reply. She looks at me, surprised it was me who spoke.
"You... you can speak? But..."
I step closer. "I know it's scary and confusing. We don't even know what's happening. But come with us and you'll be safe. I don't know why, and I'm not sure my friend does either, but we aren't... like them." I gesture to the Infected held off by a fence.
"We're more like regular people- immune people, or people they call 'Carriers'. But, I have one question... Are you immune?" I inquire.
She pulls up her sleeve to reveal a bite mark and starts to sob. "I'm gonna be dead, I'm good as dead right now and I'm dying. I don't want to hurt people. I can't hurt people. Please, kill me! I don't want to hurt people!" she yells. I shake my head.
"I can't and I won't. Somehow I know you'll pull through, I'm sure you will." I reply.
"I'm already killing people. My mama and papa... I got bit at school and didn't think anything of it, but when I got home... Mama and papa didn't make it. They... they were turned and died because their bodies couldn't support the Infection. And I got them turned. I'm nothing now! I was a straight A student at school, skipped two grades and was studying neuroscience and infections when the outbreak hit. At lunch the kid next to me bit my arm. I did the best I could to hide it- I said I fell on the field and put a bandage on it and hoped that that would be enough, and that the kid was just being weird. We had been studying the Infection in class, and his slide broke and the Infection got loose-"
I cut her off, surprised. "You studied the Infection? I thought this was something that came from a lab!"
All of a sudden we heard a roar, and I was knocked aside like I was a feather. Dazed, I stood up and focused on a large pink mass near our group. Charging at it, I drove my nails into its back, and it dropped over, dead.
But of course we weren't alone, still. "Thank you for saving me..." Slowly, my eyes move to a figure in a dark jacket, shivering in a corner. "I-I'm so cold..."
When I pulled her hood off, I saw that she was a girl, probably on the track and field team. She could barely be 14 or 15, a couple years younger than me. I felt her forehead and realized that she probably had a fever. "She's infected..."
The girl shrieked and curled up in a ball, arms wrapped around her legs. "Shhh, you're okay. We're here, just look at me, okay?" Hoping talking to her would help her keep her sanity, I tried to start a conversation. "So, what's your name?"
"I'm Lilith... Is... is that Samuel?" She shakily stood up and walked over to him, when they hugged each other. "Lorelei, this is my sister, Lilith."