The walls were dirty. They were covered by the leftover tracks of rain
from yesterday. The silence of the street was sometimes punctured by
the slight shift of cardboard boxes found on the floor. It felt colder
this way, but the hairs on her arm remained limp.
On the empty store across the street she could see herself reflected.
The light blue pants had turned gray. Her sweater looked somehow
bigger, as if someone had pulled it and let go.
She hadn’t been alone before. There had been her brother and mother,
at home, she supposed.
Ahead she saw the downtown buildings covered in fog. It was strange,
but she could have sworn there was some missing, taken right off the
ground only to leave smooth concrete.
“What the hell” she breathed as she descended the small slope. What
happened, she thought. Reflexively, she looked back, to where her home
was supposed to be. Of course, that too was missing. Her arms felt
weak and cold.
Hesitating, but thinking it was necessary, she moved from rock to
rock. Debris scattered the floors. The walls of stores and parking
structures had caved in at an impossible angle. They leaned forward,
standing solely on one corner. As she looked up, she noticed three
walls laying horizontally midair.
“Who did this?” she wondered. There was no sense in all this. She
couldn’t remember, but it was more than that. It was as if she was
inserted into this scene, like someone was writing her in here to see
what she would do. Maybe was it a dream.
She went inside one store with the door intact, except the walls were
leaning on top of each other. It sort of looked like a teepee. There
was a barman cleaning the counter for no one. He didn’t even look up.
Seeing her chance, she went for the backdoor to see where all this
“Great! It looks the same. Why does the air feel so dense? Did people
die? This guy creeps me out. Maybe if I just keep going I’ll find
someone who can help. Like over there! Who are they hiding from? That
place does not look safe. Wait, is that Gali? And Markyt? Gali! Gali!”
“Cal, just hurry up!”
“Cali, careful!” yelled Markyt
“What the hell is that thing! Zombies are real?!” she shouted. Over
the turned down chairs, furniture, and walls, came a swarm of blood
covered bodies. Squirming and jumping in spastic moves, they gained
speed. The closer they moved the fouler the smell wafted over to her.
It was a strong sour stink that had traces of sulfur. She mustered all
her strength in her legs, almost jumping from rock to rock. Her lungs
fought for any air, through her mouth and nose, but she bit her mouth
closed. Gali and Markyt took her by each arm, and lifter her to
After several minutes of laughing and breathing clear air, she asked
for all the information they had. Turns out, they didn’t know what was
happening, but they had scoured for any weapon and made of their own.
“From the looks of the sun, it’s not even two yet. It’s ten or
“I don’t know how you know, but okay,” she said. She asked about her
mom. Gali didn’t know.
“On the other side,” Markyt said. “We’re going before it gets dark.
Here have this one.”
The weapon had a sling, which she put over her shoulder. It was light
but sharp. They put on protective gear they had gathered.
“Have you seen anyone else?” she asked.
“No. Well, some people, but they’re always running.”
“I think it might rain,” Cal said. “Do they eat you? They didn’t have
any skin, huh? That’s why they’re red and slimy.”
“I haven’t seen them eat someone. But they beat and beat you until
you’re head cracks.”
“Remember, we’re going over that brick wall and fence across the
water. In the middle we all have to climb over the fence because we
know they won’t be on that side. We’ll help each other.”
“Okay, Markyt. I’m not ready, but let’s go,” Cal said.
So, off they went to cross the other side, marked by a simple barbed
wire fence. It didn’t take long to reach. The fence separated the
lake, which had been placed to separate the new and old downtown.
Despite their best efforts to remain unseen, one of the creatures
It was easy to move once inside the water. Unlike the weather, inside
it was clear and cool. Cal feared this was too easy, so she
begrudgingly took one last look back and almost fell to the side when
she saw a horde of red vicious humanoids staring and salivating on the
deck. It all happened fast. She didn’t know how, but they were all
running through the water with weapons ready to use. The creatures
looked black under the sun as they jumped high into the water, gliding
for a few seconds before lunging with great force. They all screamed.
Creatures and humans.
“Hurry, Cali! Get Up! Don’t be stupid! Run.”
“I am! I am! Don’t stop!” she shouted.
“Fight –no- fight!” Markyt urged.
They all fought, pushing water aside, kicking limbs, piercing
creatures, shoving dead ones, scratching others. Gali and Markyt were
struggling, but soon reached the fence. They were now on clinging and
shoving down their spears.
“I’m coming, as soon,” she growled, “as I’m done with these disgusting
They grabbed her leg, wrung her head, but she got out of grasps before
the next blow. Things became blurry. She kicked her way through and
latched onto the fence. Two blurry persons were on top already
swinging their legs for the other side. She climbed like a spider
would, she thought. The metal wires scratched her leg, and it hurt,
but kept on. The sounds were so loud, her ears were hurting. The
stench ended when she jumped into the water, covering her whole body.
Markyt and Gali pulled her away from the fence. They ran so fast, the
splash went magnificently up in the air, under a muted sun.