Please Read The Artists Comments Before Starting The Story!
Aching lungs burning, Matti tried to relax herself so she could take a full breath. Whether her winded state was from the decaying air of the city or the amount of distance she traveled at full speed, she was not sure. Readying her handgun, she leaned her back against the brick wall of a building, sneaking forward. Her body tensed as she peeked around the corner.
There were no mutants in sight.
Cost clear, Matti trotted up the street. The entire city was enveloped in a sinister violet cloud. From where it descended from, she had no idea. Newspapers danced along the streets like tumble weeds in an old 'spaghetti western' film. Many of the store front's doors were open, lights casting eerie shadows within.
Matti slipped into a café, glancing around swiftly. With the toe of her boot, she shoved the small piece of card board that kept the door open, closing it. The entire diner was deserted. Patrons had once been there, judging from the blood painted booth to her right and the sloppy red hand prints on the window above it. Dishes and cups had cluttered to the floor in broken pieces, few of it remained on any table. Some forgotten food was still burning on the grill in the back. A piece of dark green shirt lay abandoned on the tiled floor.
Her gaze returned to the lifeless unnamed city outside.
'What happened," she asked herself, 'When...where did it all start?'
The rest of her squad had ceased to exist. Even her brother, the one member who promised to always protect her, was missing in action.
Her ears perked, bright eyes widening.
A low crunching sounded from behind. Cautiously, she turned fully around. She learned from her few hours of surviving that sudden movements caused a not too happy reaction from the enemy.
Aiming her gun forward, she carefully followed the wet, munching noise. Her body nearly trembled as her adrenalin surged like fire. A strong smell reached her, causing her to gag silently. She knew what it was by mysterious experience. She paused, watching the gruesome scene take place before her behind the counter.
A fully grown man was gorging himself on a tiny girl's innards. She was only about four years old. Her warm pink spring dress was dark with her own blood. Her skin had a very pale shade to it, most likely from her unfortunate slaying hours and hours ago. Long scratches covered her face and her thin arms were dotted with bruises.
The man pulled a hunk of soaked flesh from her chest, chewing it like bubble gum. As he lifted his head, Matti noticed a few teeth were missing from his white gums. His fingernails were broken, probably from constant hunting. He was obviously good at it from his bulbous gut. His white shirt had old blood stains all over. Fresh blood dripped from his chin and hands.
Matti lifted her weapon, not bothering to aim. Sensing her presence, he turned around. His face twisted. A feline hiss erupted from his mouth. His white eyes leered.
"Die, you mother fucking monster!" She ground out as the man's infected brain filled with three pieces of lead. He fell backwards, unmoving.
She stared down at the mutilated little girl sadly. At least she would not take the grotesque form of the other humans after a bullet exited the back of her head.
It was then she noticed another man behind the counter. Having the same light brown hair as the girl, there was no doubt he was her father. He looked as though he had been mauled by a wild animal of some kind. Matti guessed that the enormous gash that surely broke his skull on the side of his head killed him. He was also not infected so he did not die by the enemy's hand.
Suddenly, the front door smashed. She gasped, finding a tall man had threw himself bodily through the glass. He was skinny, drooling with hunger. He was so thin that his facial features were very prominent. His skin had a dark color to it, small white mold spots dotted his arms.
Others like him appeared out of seemingly nowhere, stepping through the door. Many had dark and faded crimson stains on their clothing.
The echoed sound of the gun called them.
Matti swallowed. She certainly learned her lesson to savor the remaining bullets she had left. Her body shook as she foresaw her fate. These creatures could not be reasoned with by any means. Pulling her gun, she aimed the barrel under her chin.
"You won't kill me, I won't let you-"
Matti felt the sensation of wakefulness as she squinted. Her foggy mind was still there, at the diner her dream world created. Her body felt physically paralyzed and an intense cold rapidly over took her moist skin.
"Are you awake now?"
Pushing herself up, Matti realized she had been laying on the living room couch. The lights were off, only the vivid colors of a looping DVD menu playing on the television screen illuminating the room.
She recalled why she had chosen the living room couch to slumber.
It was Halloween night. Her friend, Patrick, bet her a lot of green that she would not be able to sleep after watching top rated undead-themed movies during the day.
She turned to where she heard the voice that woke her.
It was her boyfriend, John. She knew it was not his twin by the nasty scar that covered the left side of his face. To others, his morbid war wound was not something they wanted to see when they woke up. For Matti, his face gave her comfort.
"You said you would come to bed a few hours ago," he told her, "You must've dozed off down here."
"Oh...guess I did. Was the tv too loud? she asked worriedly. He shook his head.
"No, I came down for some water and found you here." He left for the kitchen.
Matti turned off the television and stood up from the couch. She took a fleece blanket and wrapped it around herself. The soft fabric was reassuring and warm to her.
Ah, John? she said when he returned, Um
can I sleep in your room tonight? He looked at her confused. Honestly, I dont want to sleep alone.
Heaving a sigh, he followed her upstairs to his room and got settled under the covers.
Hey, what were you dreaming about? John asked after a little while.
Matti snuggled under her blankets, resting her head on her pillow. She stared at the white ceiling above them, hoping the stretched shadows from the windows would decide for her if she should tell him the truth.
why do you ask? she wondered.
You had a freaked look on your face, he said, Thats all.
Zombies, she blurted out, Zombies came and ate people.
John rolled over to his side, hiding the big smile on his face. After a moment of composure, he told her to go back to sleep.
Matti frowned, calling herself silly and stupid. The only reason her imagination came up with such a dramatic dream scene was because all the old movies and Patricks bet.
Of course, a small voice in the back of her mind whispered, in a reminding tone, it could happen
If I were a zombie, youd kill me, right?
Can you promise me that you will?
Uhh...ok, I do. She paused, thinking, then sat up. He held a groan.
Well, if there were a cure, would you still kill me? Her question was more of a request. I mean, I couldnt live knowing I may have eaten someone.
He sighed tiredly, Sure.
She laid down once more. Then, hesitantly, she whispered, I cant sleep
Look, he grumbled, Those stupid movies are still in your head, thats whats got you scared. Let it go and go back to sleep. Geez, for someone who trained in special forces
! She sat up and glared at him.
Whats that suppose to mean?! she snapped.
It means that some make believe Hollywood monsters should not scare someone like you! Now go to sleep! Matti did as he told her with a growl, closing her eyes. A short silence filled the room.
..would you kill the others too, if some zombie disease did infected them?
Yes, I would.
Even my brother?
Yes, him, Justin, and Patrick, too.
"Okay...make sure to cut their heads off. Didn't work for me, but I know that's how you get them.
"I will if you'll go to sleep!"
When morning came, John made a mental note to never let Matti sleep with him on Halloween again. He also gave Patrick a good size lump on his forehead during breakfast.