A/N: What can I say? I fell in love with The Host again. Hope you guys like it and that it doesn't sound too horrible. So it will have sort of a Host feel to it mixed with the now-popular zombie tone. Really, this story is sort of for myself. It's a "free" type of thing, something I'm going to use to unwind and have chapters that are as long or as short as I'd like them. But please forgive the crappy writing. I haven't written first person in forever and I'm getting reused to it. Enjoy.
Warning: Oh, you know… just some GrimmIchi and end of the world panic.
Start date: 6/5/12
End date: 6/9/12
The process of ceasing or causing something to cease to exist.
Chapter 1: Grey
It had been darker more frequently as of late. Clouds covered the large expanse of blue sky and made it grey. It rained more often as well, like the skies were weeping along with the rest of us. Day had begun to seem just as dark as night. Night began to seem darker and more dangerous.
Maybe it was better this way, but it was hard to justify it. Being different, I didn't like it. I cursed the end of the world, the end of everything we had known.
It had happened so suddenly – the destruction of my kind. It was like this…frenzy. Everyone was scrambling around screaming, running like a chicken with its head cut off. I can understand why. I saw it myself.
This one guy just turned on his wife and bit her neck, his teeth sawing open her jugular and blood gushing everywhere. I won't ever forget it. It makes my stomach churn every time I think about it.
But it was more of a shock than anything else. One minute, there were more than six billion humans on the planet. The next, less than a few hundred – and I don't even know if there are that many left. It's odd to think: I am now part of an endangered species.
So many things were different now. Many homes – mostly the ones occupying sections of the ghetto and the partially upscale houses – were abandoned. Mansions were really the only places occupied as of late because they all banded together. Tch, what a lie.
It makes me think of all those things I used to watch – Zombieland, 2012, you know, all the end of the world shit. I never thought it would happen – that it would be real. None of us did. No one believed the end of existence was just a few years away.
Yet it was here. It had already begun; it had already taken root; it had already woven itself into existence and it was here to stay.
We can't get rid of them. They're smart, fast, and stronger than us. My life is nothing but a day-to-day, hour-to-hour, minute-to-minute struggle for survival. I feel like a fucking fugitive, but I know that's not the truth. No, I run so I live.
Because somehow, a plague had started to affect people. It took over their senses, gave them an unnatural hunger that was no doubt superhuman. I hated them.
The movies called it vampirism. They highlighted the mystical and never-ending feud between vampires and lycanthropes, or werewolves. Those were mythical. The vampires that chose to feed on animals are just stupid ideas – wishful thinking.
We wished for supernaturalism, and we got it.
The one incident I saw was forever ingrained in my brain, yes, but as soon as the frenzy started, it just…disappeared. It took over the human population silently. Most didn't notice. I did because of what I'd seen.
I hid. My mother and father were already dead, but I still had two little sisters. I couldn't leave them. We hid, but the plague still found us.
My sister Yuzu didn't make it. She just… The plague just killed her within moments of that bastard's teeth touching her neck. Karin, Yuzu's fraternal twin fought capture, but they carted her off. Where, I don't know. I don't even know if she's alive – let alone infected.
No, it's not vampirism. I think it's a virus. I'm no scientist, but my dad attempted to teach me all he knew before he'd died of a stroke. Vampirism is too common a word. We all know it. We all think it's an amazing fantasy.
This is reality, not some movie's fantastical universe. I think it's got something to do with a virus, a chemical or something. Just thinking about the situation with the Miami Zombie… I shuddered.
How I was still alive…? I didn't know myself. Somehow I'd survived this long. Maybe it's because I was sneaky. Maybe it's because I was a black belt in karate. Maybe it's a lot of things, but somehow I just get lucky.
Most of the time, I wish I didn't get lucky. I've wished that one day I'll be caught, and I'll fight them – I'll fight them until they need to pull me apart rather than turn me into one of them. But I knew that would never happen. My survival instinct was too strong.
But I miss so much about my old life. I'd never been the most approachable person, and I was still not that social, either, but I craved human contact – any human contact. I wasn't the only smart person out there. Hell, I'm not even that smart. Yet I know there has to be others that escaped, but how many? And where?
The wind suddenly howled around the walls as rain pelted against the sides. At least this dilapidated building kept out the weather. Where was the sun? I missed that, too. I missed feeling the warm rays – instead, I continuously felt the cold sting of rain.
So… I am part of an endangered species. At least I know one thing: those motherfuckers need us, and they will not kill us as long as we remain scarce. It's some hope, however small a sliver it is.
And I will find other humans. I will. I have to.
The drone of the engine is nostalgic. It's a nice yellow hummer – much like Zombieland. I wanted to laugh at the irony. I almost did, but the sound would have startled me. I haven't spoken since… A long while. There's no one around to talk to.
But besides that, the hummer was a nice vehicle. Hollows only lived in the nicest houses and drove the nicest vehicles. I would blend in. Most Hollows were up further north near Virginia and all along the Atlantic coast. At least from what I knew. I wanted to go north, maybe into Canada and live deep in the woods by myself, but for right now, I was stuck on Highway 24 and finally outside of the outskirts of Atlanta.
I should be fine, but my heart couldn't help the almost insignificant flutter of worry. Getting caught was not an option.
At the least the landscape wasn't completely destroyed. Many houses stood lonely and empty, but it was still something to look at to keep away the monotony of the drive. Really, I don't know where I'm going. Just west.
I sort of feel like those colonials so long ago that pushed west because the air was getting too thick in those original thirteen colonies. Call me crazy but I loved American colonial history until just past the Civil War. And it seems similar to those times – the high and mighty Hollows trapping us humans and making us slaves to their grossly misunderstood and assumed "superiority".
I just really hoped there were more humans fighting this plague.
It was so strange that this was my reality now. I'd been living it for only six months, but it felt like years. I frowned. My birthday was soon – at least I think it was. Six months ago was January, the beginning of when we had all started to realize just what was going on. I didn't want this reality – none of it. God, I'd… I'd be turning seventeen for Christ's sake. I had nobody.
How pitiful. I sounded pathetic.
I need others. And soon. But god, how hopeless this sounds.
I didn't know how long I'd been driving, but I was so tired. Highway 24 had met 55 which met 70, and I'd only been on I70 for about four hours so I was probably somewhere in Missouri. I've always been good with geography but right now I just wanted to sleep.
There were mostly farms and very little developments – just a few houses dotted around the landscape. But there was one that was ideal. It was a nice house, nestled far off the road and backed up against the woods.
I'd stay there for a few hours – maybe a day – then be back on my way. I didn't want to stay in one place too long. The Hollows might find me.
I had no idea if any one else called them Hollows, but I did. I called them Hollows because it seemed like they had lost their souls. They were no longer human with human emotions. They were simply empty – hollow.
It's true though that they don't seem like vampires. Sure I've seen them drink blood, but sunlight doesn't affect them. Their eyes don't turn all crazy. Their teeth are slightly longer than normal , but not like Van Helsing fangs or anything. Their skin is pale, but I just… My gut says not vampires. And I trust my gut.
The hummer was parked strategically behind the house. Being a nice car, leaving it out in the open would cause suspicion. I clutched the nearly empty duffle bag, pausing for a moment and reminiscing about just how much I'd lost before I jumped out and stepped up to the house.
No one should be here. This house was outside the outskirts and not close to the city. It would be hard for any Hollows to live where there is no one and a nonexistent blood supply. Yet sometimes I felt like I was walking into a trap. It wasn't hard to observe the Hollows as long as they didn't see you, and they were strict creatures of habit – even more so than natural human nature.
Even with the assurance of a good month of observing strict and rarely spontaneous habitual changes, I still felt like sometimes I would be caught in a trap. They'd find me and take me because I got caught in assumptions.
A musty smell assaulted my nose, and finally, I looked around the house. The door was open, but a screen door was closed. It was a fairly large house. The kitchen was off to my left, and a living room with a dusty couch and sofa chair surrounding a small, grey and dried out wood table.
Behind that was another room – one with a fireplace. These chairs were overturned. I felt lead settle in my gut.
Carefully setting down the duffle bag, I grabbed a thick piece of wood that had fallen from the wall as a weapon. Nothing about this house evidenced a serious fight except this one room, and even then it was not violently destroyed. Just a fallen chair or two, but I had to be careful.
I would not get caught.
So much dust. I couldn't tell if it was recent or not. The two bedrooms were clear – just dust and musk, and it tickled my nose.
My footprints were the only recent ones as far as I could tell. I stepped into the kitchen, and felt my pulse race. There were finger marks on the counter – slight, but I'd taught myself how to look for this. It looked a little recent, too.
Something rustled, and my body froze, my mouth snapping shut in an effort to keep myself quiet. A click on the tiled porch, and I gripped the wood tighter, knuckles white. Seconds turned to minutes and I was getting impatient. I was scared – I won't lie – and I just wanted to get this over with.
Not seconds after I decided to go for it, a soft whine and a scratch echoed through the house. I lowered the wood. I couldn't recall Hollows making that sound. It sounded like…
Quickly peering around the kitchen wall, my entire body finally relaxed, and I stood to my full height. There, just beyond the screen door was a big black mass. It moved, and I finally saw all of it.
There was no way it was all dog. It was too big. I mean, maybe a husky since its fur looked something like that, but if I could bet I'd say it was a wolf. Its golden eyes stared at me, ears flicking back and forth furiously. Even though I could tell he was deciding whether I was friend or foe, I felt a tug at my heart.
Hollows had killed my previous dog. And I was lonely. So sue me for wanting company, even if the dog didn't really seem to like me much.
We stared at each other for a while, neither moving until he licked his chops and lowered his head the slightest inch. I stepped forward, mumbling nonsense in a calming voice. I got too close to the screen and heard a very low rumble, but when I stopped so did the growl, and he proceeded to sniff my scent.
I wonder… Could dogs or wolves sense the change? Did Hollows and humans smell different? I had no way of knowing, and I dismissed the thought when the wolf backed away from the door.
It was risky to step outside, but I did anyway. I wanted him to stay.
His body tensed when I got closer, but I squatted, smiling at him and holding out a hand. He carefully sniffed that, too before coming closer and pushing his head into my open palm. Relief sagged my ready muscles, and I let my fingers ghost over the wolf's head.
He had to have been relatively tame at one point. Most wolves stayed away, but this one seemed different. Maybe part dog. Well, here goes.
"Come on, boy," I croaked, my voice hoarse from misuse. I opened the door and stepped in, barely glancing behind me. To my relief, he stepped over the threshold and into the house.
Maybe he had lived here with a family and had been adopted out of the wild. Either way, he seemed at home here. I fixed a few of the overturned chairs – one of them being a large seated lounge chair – and plopped onto it. Not a second later, the wolf hopped up and curled next to me.
I smiled, my hand automatically going to pet him. Maybe he wasn't the only one that was lonely and needed a friend.
From here, I could see more of him and admire him more. He really was a beautiful wolf. They've always been one of my favorite animals, and his fur was a dark brownish-black and thick. His teeth were pearly and strong looking, and he suddenly moved his face so he could stare at me.
My heart stuttered. Barely discernable underneath his chin were white hairs forming a small but perfect crescent moon. Mom used to tell me fairytales about wolves – said that black ones with white markings were magical and extremely protective.
What I wouldn't give for that to be true.
And who knew, maybe it could be. After all, wasn't there a virus that made humans drink blood?
I sighed, pulling out the small folded leather that had fallen in the folds of the chair. Despair tugged at my chest with vicious pulls.
I missed them so much. The leather pouch was really the only thing – besides my clothes – that I had kept from our burnt house. There were only a few pictures, but I had them. I could remember their faces instead of worrying that I'd forget. The possibility of forgetting them scared me so much that I clutched onto this leather with everything I had. It was my last link to them.
The first picture was of us all when we were at the beach. All of us were young, and mom was there building a sand castle with us. The second was a good six months before we had been attacked. I was smiling – unusual for me – and I had both of my arms around my sisters. Yuzu was smiling, eyes closed and hands forming light fists in my shirt. Karin was smirking, but her posture was more independent. Her black hair was put up with a clip, and while she leaned into me, her arms were crossed.
Oddly enough, there was a picture of me and my dad, and it was strangely one of my favorites. It was just before the stroke, when he was being serious for once and trying to teach me something about medicine that I wasn't paying attention to. It was candid, both of us possessing annoyed looks on our faces as we were arguing back and forth. It described our relationship perfectly.
The fourth picture was of my dog. She was a German Shepherd/Chow mix with some Golden in her, and her brown eyes were pleading up at me as I teased her with morsels of food. I'd been so mad when they'd killed her.
Memories. I sighed, closed my eyes and leaned my head back. It hurt so much, but I wasn't going to forget their faces. I would remember why I needed to be alive and why I needed to find other people.
Something rustled softly, and I looked down at the leather pouch. Slipping out of one of the pockets was the corner of another photo. Carefully, I pulled it out and flipped it over, eyebrows pulling together in confusion. I had never seen this picture before.
It was a picture of dad with his arm around a very old man with an enormous mustache. The picture looked recent, too. How strange. I'd never met this old man.
I flipped it over again, sucking in a breath when I read the back.
"In crisis, find the blue hunter."
What the hell did that mean?
I felt weight settle deep in my stomach. Dad knew something. Dad knew something and he'd been trying to tell me. I hadn't been listening to the medical stuff he recited to me. When it sounded too hard, I stopped listening. He'd been telling me something about the virus, hadn't he?
God, why hadn't I listened?
He'd known something, and now I had to find this blue hunter. Dad had to have written this for any of us, but mostly me. He must have figured that I'd keep Yuzu and Karin safe. Che, some big brother I am.
I was so tired. This news just exacerbated my already tired brain. With Wolf curled against my side, I slipped into dreams.
A/N: Just had fun free-writing basically. Prolly turn into something, but unlike most of all my other stories, I don't really have a plot for this right now. Just writing and enjoying it. Next chapter: a very strange meeting with a very strange blue haired man.