My name is Chris, Ive lost track of time. It feels like years since I first started running, but I think its only been a few months. Days turn to weeks, and the weeks drags on, such is the new way of life. And yet, despite the violence and chaos, I dont really miss the old world...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Perspective

    The view from the helicopter was amazing.  Taking my mind off the nightmare below, I gaze into horizon.  The sun begins to set over the skyline of a rather large city, which we approach rapidly.  Landing on a hotel roof, we get out to sweep for any undead that may have wandered to the roof. The propellers winding down, we can hear each other for the first time without having to yell.  We truly meet for the first time and introductions get under way.  The first man, the pilot introduces himself.  "Names Jason, Me and my chopper are at your service."  Thumbing to the news chopper, I see he is originally from Pennsylvania.  Quite the trip.  Gesturing over towards the other two, "And these two are Steve, and Carmen."  Looking toward the two, they wave and give a tired smile.  "We have been traveling for days.  Scrounging fuel at local airstrips, going to international airports as an emergency situation.  Jason looks down, then back up.  "So what about you?  Do you have a name or story?"
  Introductions huh?  Never been good at these but lets give it a shot, I thought before I spoke.  "My name is Chris, and my nightmarish run began in Tennessee..." I then began to tell them about the night those creatures appeared in town.  My run across town, alone and ill equipped.  Every detail as vivid as if I was reliving it.  The girl that stopped me in the street.   Wallace and Emily taking me from Tennessee to Ohio.  Finding and losing my sister in the same day.  And ending it by recapping the events of today.  Using the car as a distraction, and car hopping across the interstate.  "...and I guess that leads to right now.  What about you guys?"  Hoping their stories would shed some light on the outbreak, which seems to have gone national if not worldwide.  Carmen stands up and introduces her self.
     "My name is Carmen, as Jason pointed out earlier.  And I used to live in Boston."  Her hispanic accent rolling off her tounge so smoothly.  "It began almost a week ago, A man came off a fishing boat, hand bandaged up.  I was a R.N. on duty the day he came in.  He was perfectly healthy at first, able to hold a conversation and reflexes just fine.  But the longer he was there, the worse he became.  His skin was losing color and temperature, eyelids bruising and the eyes themselves were turning a pale yellow."  She fidgets with her shoulder length black hair before continuing.  "  As I went to take his temperature and other vitals, he dropped to the floor. Just like that." Snapping to show how fast the man had died. Looking at her feet she continues, "The doctors rushed around him to resuscitate him."  Her voice quivers.  "As they begin to administer CPR to the man his eyes shoot open, revealing the cataracts and yellowing of the eye.  Sitting up rather slowly the doctors begin to check for his pulse.  The poor doctor never saw it coming."  She breathes in deep. "Within three seconds the fisherman had grabbed the doctors head and began to.... He began to eat the still living doctor."  She stops, takes another deep breath and continues.  "I panicked and ran, out the door and home." She pauses for a moment to touch a small golden locket around her neck, then continues.  "One day later, the town was in a state of chaos, People running, firing at anyone who came near them.  I was lucky the living didn't kill me before the dead got a chance."  Reliving her ordeal had shaken her up a bit.  " Luckily I had taken shelter at the news station there in Boston, meeting Jason and getting out of that hell hole."  Her story over, she looks over at me and notices mt shoulder wound.  "We have to get that cleaned before it gets infected."  Walking towards me she pulls out a medkit from her side and begins cleaning and dressing the road rash on my shoulder.
         "Thank you Carmen, you didn't have to do that." I look at Jason, "Almost a week ago, that was Monday or Sunday?"  trying to piece a timeline together.  "I think it was Sunday, or possibly Saturday.  Time has been a big blur for me this past...week?" He said, scratching his head, trying to recall when this all started. "I was doing a story on gang activity that night.  Boston had been experiencing a gang wave, or what we thought was a gang wave.  Turns out the muggings late at night weren't muggings at all looking back on them.  They were the beginning stages of the outbreak."  Peering over the hotel roof at the throngs of undead below.  Oblivious to our presence.  "Hindsight is a bitch isn't it?  I had just got back with some footage of a group of five or six leaving a park when I realized what was going on.  I'm just glad my bad habit of taking the chopper key with me paid off.  I took the elevator down to the main lobby when the smell of blood had washed over me.  Hearing screams I immediately hit the close door button.  when all of the sudden A woman came running towards the door!"  He thumbs over to Carmen, then continues, " I hold open the door long enough for her to squeeze in before shutting again and heading to the top floor."   Carmen looks up and interjects, "Most awkward elevator ride ever." then goes back to talking to Steven who seems uninterested in speaking to me.  "We picked Steven up in the Amish country.  The man was in a barn with no weapons or assistance merely awaiting death.  We got as close as we could to the barn without killing him or us.  He made quite the exit, holding on the the landing skid for a good mile before we could set down."  Laughing at the recalled memory, Steven seemed rather upset.  Only to reply with "Ha, ha, ha.  Fuck you." Sarcastically, but with a tiny hint of malice.
     "Well, its getting dark.  We need to get some sleep and head out at first light."  Jason said stretching and letting out a yawn.  "We'll need a lookout.  Just to keep an eye on the door should those things find us."  Pointing towards the roof access door. I volunteer to be the lookout.  Despite running all day I'm not the least bit tired.  The other three head to the makeshift campsite, blankets spread out over the gravel covered roof.  "Alrighty then, just give us the signal if something seems fishy and well bug out!" slapping my uninjured shoulder, Jason passes me and heads to the camp area set up.  "Don't take Stevens silence too offensive.  He just has trust issues.  In fact he just started talking to me yesterday.  Hes a good guy, just jaded."  Carmen whispers to me as she gets her bedding together.
    A few hours later and everyone is asleep,  sleep the last thing from my mind.  I look over the roof, and see the city for the first time.  The streets are completely trashed.  Glass peppers the area, along with random bits of trash and the more macabre, bits of human remains.  The fires, left unchecked would level the city, were everywhere.  Bursting out of windows, in trash cans, or just in piles in the intersections.  And among the apocalyptic scenery was the undead.  In the silver light of the moon their pale flesh seemed even worse.  Stumbling blindly into each other oblivious to each others existence.    Picking up a rock I fling it with all of my might, sending it into the skull of a zombie a street over.  The impact, while not enough to kill it, knocks him down.  The silence is unnerving.  A city with no human sounds, minus the snoring to my side, is haunting.  The occasional crack of gunfire coupled with the hungry and soulless moans are the only noise that drifts up to the roof.  Leaving the edge I resume my watch of the door, alert to the lack of noise beyond it.  I check my phone, for the first time in days.  No notifications, very low battery and its 4 A.M.  Realizing that it serves no purpose, I toss it over the roof.  "One less distraction" I muttered as I return to my watch.  Dawn seemed so far away and yet just a few more hours....

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