Chapter 1: The Awakening
His head was pounding as if it had been hit by a train, hell for all he knew it could have been. The pain was intense, he shifts his weight wincing at the aching that engulfed him. The ringing in his ears was deafening but even through the droning hum he could hear the sounds of people screaming. Opening his eyes he realizes he is not n his room...or even his house for that matter. His hands scrape against the asphalt as he forces himself to sit up, a low moan escapes his lips while his body pops and cracks under the strain. He felt as if he had been lying there for a week.
The humming in his ears began to subside as it was replaced by the screams of people around him. With every shrill scream a chill went down his spine as he shakes his head trying to regain his baring. His eyes started to focus out of the blurry state they were in...he wished they hadn't. The city from what he could see was chaos..cars were ablaze, bodies were littering the street, he could hear gunfire just beyond a collection of cars just off to his side. He grunted and cursed under his breath as he hoisted himself to his feet taking in more of his surroundings.
Just over the cars that were blocking his view nearly made him drop back to the ground. He catches himself on one of the cars as he forces the vomit that threatened to come up back down. More bodies lay strewn about the street as some people ran and fell to the ground, there were others who started attacking those who fell. Almost seemed to him like they were...eating each other? The sight was too much to register as people were being torn apart before his eyes. There were soldiers amidst the chaos ushering people towards the Township building.
He decided to make his move to the building, anywhere was better than being out in the streets. He begins to take a step when a sudden pain shoots through his leg causing him to fall back against the car. He looks down to a large cut in his leg gritting his teeth he forces himself to stand long enough to numb himself to the pain. All he has to do is make it t the shelter of the building and hope there was a doctor somewhere inside. He starts forward around the car when a man lurches out from a nearby alley seemingly just taking notice of his movements. The man's face looked as if an animal had been clawing at it, his stomach split open as he drug his insides along the ground behind him.
Again he had to force back the urge to vomit as he watched the man coming for him walking on his entrails causing them to fall on the ground with a sickening plop. The man's fear was overwhelming as he attempted to retreat in the other direction but was cut off by an approaching woman who also seemed to have been attacked. The man manages to evade the woman's lunge by bracing against the car and sliding past her managing to put some distance between him and the two. A sudden swift movement from behind him causes him to let out a small scream as he falls to the ground. It was a soldier running at the attacking couple slamming the back end of his rifle against the face of the woman before fireing off a couple rounds into the man's skull.
The soldier stomps on the downed woman's head a couple of times before turning his attention to the man he had just saved.
"Are you bit!?"
The man glances from the soldier to the couple he had just killed and back unsure of what he had just witnessed.
"Sir! I need to know if you have been bitten!" The soldier raises his rifle at the man on the ground.
"No! No I am not bitten! But my leg was cut when I wrecked my car..." He wasn't sure if that was what had really happened but it was better than ending up n the receiving end of the soldiers boot.
"We need to get you inside the Township building immediately I'm sure I don't need to tell you it's dangerous out here. The whole damn city has gone to hell and communications with our outside network has been lost." The soldier throws his gun strap over his shoulder before helping the man to his feet.
"What's your name?" The soldier asks putting the man's arm over his shoulder to help him walk.
"I...I'm not sure..." He didn't really believe himself when he told him. He wasn't sure of anything now that he had a moment to think, his name, where he was, what was gong on, anything.
"Well once we get to the shelter we will get things sorted out you've probably got a concussion from the wreck." The soldier forced them forward at a quick pace glancing about watching for any danger coming their way.
The man tried with everything he had to keep up with the soldier but his leg was killing him. He didn't want to seem rude to the help he was receiving but he wished the soldier would let him walk the pain off. A few feet away from the building the soldier removes the man's arm and makes sure he was able to stand on his own.
"I hope you get answers to your questions friend, once you get inside one of our nurses will be able to help you with that leg and get you moving a little better. You're going to need it," The soldier slaps the mans shoulder, "God speed." and with a nod of his head the soldier readies his rifle and runs back out into the madness consuming the street.
The man manages to limp over to the two soldiers who were standing guard at the entrance. The soldier closest to him reaches out and helps him inside and to a nearby chair before returning to his post outside. One of the nurses takes notice of him being brought in and rushes over to him snatching a clipboard and paper from a nearby table.
"Hello sir. My name is Kelly and I just need to ask you a few questions ok? This is all just in case we have someone looking for you or you need to get in contact with someone...let's start with your name."
He shifts uneasily in his seat rubbing the back of his neck in embarrassment.
"Well I'm sorry ma'am but I don't seem to recall my name."
"You..don't know your name?" The nurse writes something down as well as taking in notes of what he assumed was his demeanor as well as notes about his leg.
"Do you have any kind of identification on you at all?"
The man hadn't even thought about checking his wallet, of course he really hasn't had adequate time to stop and smell the roses. Grunting against his achy body he leans forward checking his back pockets...nothing. He glances up at the nurse before checking his front pockets...also empty.
"Dylan? Dylan Craine?" A women's voice breaks the awkwardness as a young red headed women runs up throwing her arms around his neck. The embrace felt oddly comforting which led him to believe he knew this women somehow. He also finally had a name...Dylan Craine.
"Excuse me ma'am do you know this man?" The nurse responded to the women.
"Oh I'm really sorry. Yeah I should know him we have been best friends ever since we were little!" The women smiled down at him rubbing his shoulder to comfort him.
The woman and the nurse talked beside him as he looked about the room taking in everything from people, exits, windows, anything he deemed important to know. There were a lot of people packed into the building whole family sat off by themselves comforting their children while others seemed to either be off by themselves or huddled around each other hoping for strength in numbers. Gunfire from just outside the door caused the entire building to fall silent; only the echoes of gunfire and a couple baby's crying off on the far side of the room was heard. Moments went by before people began to talk as a few more people were brought inside. A sudden sharp pain in his leg brought Dylan back to what was going on around him as nurse Kelly drew some blood and began wrapping up his wound.
"I'm so glad you're ok Dylan...I was really starting to worry when you were not answering your phone." The woman glances down at has leg before returning her smile to him. Dylan sat nervously searching for something to say. He finally lets out a sigh gripping the arms of his chair before turning to face the woman.
"I really am sorry miss but...I'm afraid I don't know who you are."
The woman seemed shocked at first but just simply smiled bringing her hand to his head.
"Guess you took a pretty nasty hit to the head," She lets out a small chuckle looking down at his leg, "Guess you took a hard hit in general. I don't mean to laugh, I'm just happy to see you in one piece."
The more he listened the worse he felt, how could he not remember such a sweet loving person?
What had really happened to him?
What was going on outside?
"My name is Rebecca Stanhope you big dope...we've been friends ever since we were in kindergarten. You had best start remembering me." She playfully bats at his arm causing him to let out a small laugh.
A couple soldiers enter the building and take a quick glance around before one of them speaks up.
"Ladies and gentlemen can I have your attention please. We are here to go over some guidelines and..." The soldier was quickly cut off by an older gentlemen nearby who springs to his feet.
"Just what in the hell is going on out there!?"
The man's sudden outburst started an uproar of questions and obscenities being yelled out to the soldiers. As the two young men try and gain control of the angry crowd a large man enters the building knocking the soldiers aside pushing them back out the doors. The man turns to face the growing crowd around him running a hand through his beard and adjusting his uniform before speaking up.
"I need everyone to shut the hell up!" The man's voice was deep and commanded attention actually forcing the crowd to back away from the man. Some returned to their seats while few still stood around him n an ignorant defiance. The man cleared his throat in the silence before continuing with what he needed to say.
"Thank you. I know you all have questions and I wish I had answers to give you all. I have my men containing the situation outside the best they can as well as combing the surrounding areas for more survivors."
A few of the people in the room whisper amongst each other as the man continued on about the guidelines and rules the young men had mentined before.
Dylan began to lose focus, all he could think about was why he had woke up in the street. It was like waking up from a coma you had been in for years. All that was happening seemed so unreal.
Was it a terrorist attack?
Some kind of chemical leak?
Was he dreaming?
The sharp pain in his leg quickly ruled out the dreaming part. He strained trying to remember anything, a single moment before he woke up outside...nothing. A scream fills the room as people began to scatter and knock one another over to escape whatever was happening. Dylan could see it..through the confusion of people being trampled and knocked aside. He seen a small girl, no older then 12, latched onto her mothers throat spraying blood on the terrified onlookers. Everyone began pouring back out the doors and into the street as the general attempts to gain control over the frenzied mob. Rebecca reaches out taking Dylan's arm pulling on him urging him to his feet. The little girl across the room lets out an otherworldly roar as she latches onto a passing man dragging him to the ground.
As Dylan and Rebecca make for the doors one of the soldiers from outside falls in with two men on top of him ripping and tarring at any exposed flesh. The general's face was visibly red with rage as he frees a knife from his belt slamming it down into the back of one of the attackers skulls. Dylan and Rebecca manage to slip by and out the doors...back into hell. The soldiers out in the street became overwhelmed not knowing who was attacker from fleeing civilians. Some began shooting anyone who came to close, while others were dragged down by the attackers.
"Why is this happening..." Rebecca says half under her breath choking back her tears.
"Don't worry we will get out of here and get to somewhere safe.." Dylan didn't even believe himself when he said it. The two could do nothing but stand and watch in awe at the pure destruction around them, it didn't seem real.
"Hey! You two by the building!!" A voice is faintly heard among the screams and moans of the people around them. Dylan faintly makes out the soldier who had helped him when he first came to.
"Rebecca! We need to reach that soldier over there. He helped me when I regained consciousness." Dylan points through the smoke towards an alley off away from the street.
The two begin to move narrowly avoiding people running past them as well as shoving aside an occasional attacker. The attackers all seemed sluggish in their reactions as well as not having any rhyme or reason to their attacks. Suddenly a man leaps up beside them causing them to stop as he throws Dylan along the ground away from Rebecca. Quickly he turns his attention to Rebecca tackling her to the ground.
"Dylan!!" Rebecca screams as she struggles against her attacker.
Dylan's adrenaline kicked in as he springs to his feet kicking the attacker away from Rebecca and pulling her a safe distance away. The odd thing thou is this attacker was not slow and sluggish like the others...it was fast. No longer than it had been knocked away it was starting after them again its mouth covered in blood and gore. The scream it emitted was unlike the others as well more loud and piercing compared to the dull moans of the others. Just as the creatures began to pounce on Rebecca again the soldier appears shoving the creature back enough to swing a machete cutting off the creatures head.
The soldier breathes a heavy sigh before turning to the couple and glancing back to the creature he had just killed.
"We need to get the ******** out of here..." The soldiers voice was uneasy and empty unlike when they first met.
Dylan and the soldier help Rebecca to her feet as they take off for the alley where the soldier had been leading them. The roars of the creatures, the screams and gunfire of the fleeing people, the crackling of fire was beginning to fade the further they ran. They finally come to a break in the alley that opened up into the area behind O'Hare's bar. Everyone drops against the nearest wall in hopes they can regain their composure and formulate a game plan. Rebecca latches back onto Dylans arm giving a long squeeze for reassurance more for herself so she could feel a little safer.
They all sat listening to the screams and occasional gunfire in the distance as well as the surrounding areas. They all exchanged looks before they began to notice the moans starting to get louder and closer they spring to their feet. The soldier quickly runs to the back door of the bar checking to see if it was locked...it was. Dylan and Rebecca join the soldier as he gives it a swift couple kicks causing it to fly open. The trio rush inside and shut the door behind them quickly looking for chairs, tables, anything they could find to barricade the door with.
Rebecca turns away from the men as they continue barricading the door, taking a couple steps further into the main room the air seemed thicker. A small yelp escapes her lips before she had time to clasp her hands over her mouth. Dylan hearing her panic rushes over to her and is frozen in his tracks as he takes in the sight before him. He reaches out to Rebecca pulling her closer to him and hugging her to hide her face away from the terror before them. The soldier slowly approaches, eyes wide taking in the entire scene.
"God helps us..." The soldier pulls his necklace from his shirt grasping firmly the cross that adorned it.
The room was filled with half missing bodies as well various chunks of others presumably missing or eaten by the creatures outside. The few whole bodies they found all had an accompanied bullet wound to the side of their heads. Blood and gore covered the walls...this place was a massacre that no one had a chance at surviving. Judging by the wounds some of them knew that. But it was the far wall that was the most shocking as it held the words...THE DEAD WALK...wrote in blood across it leading to a woman who's hand was still on the wall slumped to her knees. The back of her head was missing as she clutched a handgun in her other hand. The moans from outside began to intensify almost as if they knew they were held up inside the building Rebecca begins to cry into Dylan's shoulder as he and the soldier exchange looks before returning their gaze to the writing...THE DEAD WALK...
(If you enjoy chapter 1 then find my books page on Facebook! I am hoping to get it published as soon as it is done, I have everything ready for when it is done but I am releasing it chapter by chapter over on Blogger. Hope you enjoy!!)
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