The Shifting Tide: A short by Tyrud

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The Shifting Tide: A short by Tyrud

Postby tyrud » Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:49 pm

Alright, so I'm following what you guys told me and I'm making a separate topic in which I'm consolidating all the Shifting tide parts I've drafted up so far and any further parts I make will be posted here. For ease of editing purposes, each part will get it's own post. This also keeps anything from getting cut off due to character limits. If you see any errors grammar wise or missing words, sentences or things that don't make sense like that, please do point them out so I can fix them. It helps me a lot.

I hope you all enjoy it!

Characters and Add. Notes

Unnamed protagonist: 'Leader' of the group. Trying to keep his friends alive. Very selfless, perhaps too much so. Suffering from hallucinations....

Selena: 5'4", light brown skin, dark brown eyes, long, straight dark brown hair. Wearing a black zip-up sweater, gray tank-top, skinny jeans and black women's combat boots. Skinny and some-what health conscious. Smart, perhaps the smartest of the girls, and a bit of an outside the box thinker at times, but generally straight-forward in her way of thinking.

Eloise: 5'9", lightly tanned skin, brown eyes, long wavy brown hair knotted into a dutch braid. Wearing a white shirt, a light brown zip-up jacket, light blue skinny jeans and black flats. Elegantly skinny. She is kind, but may come off as aloof or a bit clueless, but only when it suits her. In reality, she is not at all stupid or foolish, and can be quite sharp. Someone you don't want to anger really. She enjoys food and is surely to complain if it is not present.

Nico: 5'10", white, hazel eyes, short, messy blond hair. Wearing a white polo, khaki shorts and basketball shoes. Skinny and athletic. An intellectual individual and quite comical. Calm, cool and witty, he has a good grasp of basic tactics and quite logical. He is a good person to have around in rough times.

Charles: 6'3", fair skin, brown eyes, brown hair with an Ivy League Haircut. Wearing a red polo, gray sweater with white horizontal stripes and the sleeves rolled up, jeans and tennis shoes. Toned and very athletic, he is friendly, kind and loyal but has a short temper and won't shy away from a fight.

Jaye: 5'8", fair skin, green eyes, straight red hair. Wearing a black polo, khaki capris pants and black low-top converse. Skinny and very pretty. She may come off as cold and snobbish to those she doesn't know, but she very loose and expressive around friends and is really quite kind. She sincerely wishes for the well being of her friends.

Lucia: 5'0", white almost pale, blue eyes, straight blonde hair. Wearing a burgundy polo, khaki short shorts and gladiators. Skinny, but well formed and very pretty. Not very intelligent book wise, but sharp street wise, and cautious enough.

Anabel: 4'10", white, dark brown almost black eyes and glasses, straight black hair with a few dark blonde highlights. Wearing a red polo, black short shorts and brown flats. Well balanced body mass for a short person. Athletic and attractive. Her friends are very important to her and is very loyal to them.

Octavio: 5'7", brown, Hispanic skin, dark eyes, crew cut dark brown hair. Wearing a black polo, black shorts and yellow vans. JROTC member; athletic and muscular yet not imposing. Comedic, disciplined and highly intelligent. He requires that his orders be at least listened to, if not followed to the letter. He is loyal and a good friend of the protagonist, but not afraid, like the others, throw people under the bus if the situation becomes overtly desperate.
The protagonist is best friends with Nico and Octavio, friends with everyone else on varying levels, and acquainted with Natasha

Charles, Anabel, Jaye, and Eloise have a very close friendship, with the girls being even more closely bonded together.

Lucia and Selena are the same as the girls above, and perhaps even closer as they go much further back.

Everyone else is familiar with each other and has had varying levels contact within the past few years.

The Shifting Tide Part 1

The fire alarms had been ringing for so long that my mind simply shut out the sound. Not too long ago I never would have thought it possible to do so given that the alarms made a constant droning noise when they were activated and I swear it was just pure torture to listen to them sing. As a matter of fact, I hated going near the alarms during fire drills just because of the sound. To be fair though, that's probably why they choose the sound in the first place; to ensure everyone knew there was a fire. But this time there was no fire. Alarms, however, were surely needed. Somehow people needed to be alerted about the fact that odd cannibalistic beings were now among us, walking on our soil and wreaking unimaginable havoc.

Like high and low tide in the harbor, the tide had shifted from high tide which hides things, terrible things, underwater, to low tide, which reveals these things so that those who had been unaware of their presence could now stare in awe at the monsters that had been so uncomfortably close. The cannibals however weren't the terrible things that had been revealed. No, they were simply the force that shifted the tides, revealing the dark and appalling demons within human kind.

I was feeling sick to my stomach. Minutes earlier, I had gotten into bit of a scuffle with what I can only describe as being a cannibal. To call the fight a mere scuffle however was putting it lightly. The reality was much more gruesome, and part of me wished I could have killed the thing in a more humane manner. I had bashed its head in with heavy textbook, which is anything but humane. I was standing in one of my school's many courtyards, simply holding in place, not moving and hardly blinking. The sun was high in the noon sky, its heat and rays came down relentlessly. Just another typical day around here. Hell there wasn't even a cloud in sight. Had the day not been so atypical otherwise, one could have gone to the beach and had a good time.

But instead of having a good time at the beach, I was in school, coming to terms with the fact that I had just taken a life. It didn't feel like it though. The insane guilt one was supposed to feel after killing someone wasn't there. Was there something wrong with me? I never thought I had it in me to be so violent and unforgiving. Perhaps it was just a result of the situation. Despite the fact that the cannibal had been so close to taking a bite out of me, killing it in no way felt personal. In a way, it was just business. Even though the cannibals looked like people, but I had a feeling they were no longer the people their bodies reflected. No, not if the behavior of the one I had just killed was any proper benchmark. They seemed to be mindless slaves who wanted to feed on whatever moved. By the looks of things , it was gonna be either them, or me.

Once I came to this conclusion, the stomach pain melted away. I had one goal now. Get out of here alive. I brought up the Kar 98k rifle I had found on my first kill as I walked down the courtyard path into the adjacent covered hallway. The fact that the cannibal I killed had it hanging on him brought up a lot of questions in my mind in reference to it, but in the end I was simply happy I had found it along with a some ammunition. Surely it was a sign that lady luck, who seemed to love forsaking me, still had it in her to throw some of her goods my way.

The part of the school I was standing in was empty. There were no cannibals around, or normal people on that note. Most of the school must have cleared out when they got the chance. If there was anyone still in the school, they were either dead or hiding, the latter of who were the smart ones. You'd have to be a fool to want to stay out in the open in a time like this, and at the moment I was being pretty damn foolish. The area was quiet, with only the far away noises of sirens and screams filling the air. It seemed as if though I was in an island of peace and serenity that was surrounded by an ocean of death and destruction. The rifle in my hand disproved the former however, as did the visible sight of blood splattered about. It looked as if though a massacre had occurred not too long ago, because the blood was not dry, but quite fresh. Fresh enough in fact, that it flowed in little streams into the grass.

When I entered the covered hallway, I stopped in front of the door to my English classroom. I came up with the idea of using the emergency window exit to head out onto the main street and just follow it home. Ironically enough, I had just been in that classroom only moments ago. The only reason I wasn't inside had been my dire need to use the restroom.

I left the classroom to go there, only to find that the world had been stricken by a cannibalistic plague. Now I wondered what could have happened here while I was gone. After all I hadn't been gone very long, yet now, I feared what I would find behind the door, citing all the blood around the area as a proper reason to be worried. I put my ear to it first and heard muffled noises coming from inside. I couldn't determine what the noises were, so I raised the rifle and rushed into the room, ready for anything. The last thing I saw was the room devoid of inhabitants and a blur of colors as I turned before something hard hit me in the back of the head and I blacked out.
Last edited by tyrud on Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:05 am, edited 6 times in total.
"Humankind cannot bear very much reality." ~ T. S. Eliot

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Re: The Shifting Tide: A short by Tyrud

Postby tyrud » Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:51 pm

The Shifting Tide: Part 2

Darkness. That was all I could see. As I stared into it, I could hear things. Someone or something was sharply whispering. I couldn't make out what was being said, but it was more than one voice whispering. They spoke all at the same time, slowly overwhelming my ears and causing me much pain and discomfort. The voices surely would have continued when suddenly a very loud and authoritative voice spoke out, silencing everything else.

"You must save them" the voice said. The voice for all of it's might, was still very gentle and seemed to be eloquently asking for a favor, rather than barking out a command.

"Save who?" I thought. The voice didn't stick around to give me an answer though as in the middle of my field of vision, a small white dot of light popped up and quickly began consuming the surrounding darkness until I could feel my eyes open. Slowly white light turned into blurry figures which then morphed into cohesive silhouettes.

"Is he okay?" a voice asked

"I don't know, I thought he was going to eat us!" another voice answered frantically. Both voices were extremely familiar, yet I couldn't link either one with a name. I blinked a few times and groaned as I felt a dull pain in the back of my head.

"Oh my god he's alive!"

My eye's finally adjusted and I was somewhat relieved by who I saw in front of me. On their knees staring at me were two girls who were in my English class, Tia and Dani. Tia was one of those girls who at first glance, you wouldn't think she was a bad girl who went to the parties where drugs, sex and booze were rampant. Even though she herself smoked pot and swung drinks every so often, she was a straight A student, witty and logical. We had plenty in common personality wise. Dani was on the other side of the spectrum in that she could almost be considered a saint. Or at least I would think so, as I wasn't all that familiar with her life outside of school. She was also a straight A student, and gave off a clueless air. She was a devil in disguise though, and had shown herself to be sharp when she needed to be and a very sly cheater. She wasn't really someone you wanted to mess with. Luckily I was on her good side and have been for some time.

"We thought you we had killed you" Dani said, her face flush with worry with a slight hint of relief.

"Hit me a little harder next time and you probably will" I said without much enthusiasm "What did you hit me with anyway?" I asked, the pain still refusing to go away.

"We got one of the heaviest English books we could find to protect ourselves" Tia answered. "We're sorry we hit you. We didn't realize who you were"

"We thought you were one of those things" Dani continued, clearly shaken by the events at hand.

"What happened here?" I asked as I looked around the room.

"Well a little after you left, Ms.Mitchell decided to open the door. You know to let in air or whatever. When she did, something attacked her..." Dani said, but she couldn't go on, the memory of it all likely too painful to fully recount.

"We thought it was just some student that had gone batsh*t crazy. Before we could react, it dragged Ms.Mitchell away. We didn't know what the hell had just occurred. That's when the fire alarms started ringing. We ran outside with the rest of the class and tried to escape, but we had to run back because a large crowd of weird looking people was flooding into the school, attacking and... eating everyone. Dani and I were the only ones who made it back as far as I know.I didn't really look back" Tia said, sadness and remorse flooding her face. Dani herself looked on the verge of tears.

The description definitely matched what I had encountered elsewhere in the school, but the truth was the news fell hard. I didn't know what to think though. In a matter of minutes I had lost a countless number of fellows; a countless number of irreplaceable friends. It was all the more reason to just leave and try to make it home, yet my mind drifted back to the what the mysterious voice from the abyss had told me.

"Who was left to save?" I asked myself, recalling the task.

My attention then turned to the girls, their faces were flush with sadness, fear and confusion. They were without a proper weapon, or a proper plan for that matter, and while I certainly didn't have one myself, the fact that I was armed surely improved my chances. In the end though, it was them whom I could save. After all why shouldn't I? They were my friends and they were still alive. I decided that whoever the voice was, I was going to do everything in my power to ensure I would complete the task they gave me.

Looking around the classroom, I saw that it wasn't particularly out of order save for the desks, a sign consistent with an evacuation signaled by fire alarms. The oddest thing for me though, was the fact that the window shades were drawn. They were never drawn and given that I sat near the large windows that stretched across the left wall of the room, I would often look outside rather than actually pay attention. The sounds I heard coming from outside though discouraged me from wanting to do so now. It was also a hint that walking home through this mess probably wasn't the best idea.

I made an attempt to stand up, but nearly fell back down because the whispering voices who had populated the darkness rushed into my ears, speaking nonsense. They were accompanied by a very sharp pain in my temples, causing my hands to fly up to my head.

"Are you okay?" Dani asked, legitimately worried.

"Yeah, I'm fine. That was pretty strong hit though. I've never blacked out like that" I responded, rubbing my head to ease the pain.

"You can thank Tia for that" Dani said trying to smile.

"I'm really sorry, I was-"

"It's okay, you didn't know." I answered simply. I found the Kar 98k lying on the floor next to where I had been lying down. I picked it up and turned around to see very shocked faces.

"Where did you get that?" Dani asked.

"I found it" I answered in a more or less nonchalant fashion

"Who the hell had a gun with them?!" Tia asked, unable to come up with a logical answer. She was a person who always tried logic and reason before giving into emotion. I liked this very much about Tia and it reminded me very much of myself.

"One of the sick people had it" I responded.

The room went silent after that. Outside the unpleasant sounds of screams and gunshots ensured that no one could forget the fact that the world was going to hell right outside. Then I heard Dani yelp. Tia and I turned and looked at her. She was looking at her phone with her hand to her mouth and her face displaying a relieved suprise.

"What is it?" Tia inquired

"It's Isa, she's still alive. She says she's upstairs in Mr.Orston's room" she stopped, then looked at me. "You have to help her, please" I stopped and thought about the request. Going outside was surely a suicide mission, but someone had to do it, and the way things were shaping it up, that someone was gonna have to be me. Truthfully I preferred to do it myself

"Very well" I answered, bringing up the rifle once more as I walked over to the door and opened it. The coast looked clear. Before advancing any further I looked back at Dani and Tia. "Make sure this door stays closed. If you want to live, it needs to stay that way. When I come back I will knock twice. Don't open the door for anyone else" They nodded, then closed the door.

"What a day..." I said to myself as I made my way to the nearby stairs.
Last edited by tyrud on Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Humankind cannot bear very much reality." ~ T. S. Eliot

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Re: The Shifting Tide: A short by Tyrud

Postby tyrud » Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:52 pm

The Shifting Tide: Part 3

The indoor stairwell that led to the classrooms above was only a few steps away. I entered it to find it was devoid of moving things. There were no cannibals, no humans. Absolutely nothing. The only sign of activity was blood, which was flowing serenely down the steps to form a crimson stream. Oddly enough it didn't seem to have a source, except maybe the walls, which were drenched in the red substance. This however, seemed to be common place throughout the school now. Bloody walls and floors marked scenes of violent massacres, which dotted now empty halls, rooms and stairwells.

"Where is everyone?" I thought to myself, but before I could come up with an answer, a better question dawned on me. Why on earth was I outside? Why was I here standing alone in this stairwell when I should have been hiding like any person with common sense would've been inclined to do? My answer to that?

"I have a task to complete, assigned to me by something bigger than myself" I said aloud, as if though actually hearing myself say it would make the statement that much more reassuring.

It didn't work though. The more I thought about, the more foolish I felt. For this unknown voice had told me to save 'them' when the fact of the matter was that I didn't even know who exactly 'them' was supposed to be. Maybe I was I going insane. After alI, I was listening to and following the orders of something that might just be all in my head. I put all those thoughts past me however and continued forward, remembering that I had somewhere to be. Isa was hiding and might be in trouble, and that was surely quite real.

Once I reached the top of the stairwell, I made for the double doors that lead into the hallway. As I did so, my pocket shook. I looked down and once more I felt my pocket shake. I realized it was my cellphone and pulled it out. The caller ID happened to display the name 'Nico'. Nico was my best friend from middle school. He was a sarcastic fellow and a damn good writer with laid back attitude. Overall he was a good person and a hard worker when the time called for it.

"He's still alive huh" I said to no one in particular before answering.


"Holy sh*t dude... you're... you're still alive?" Nico said, voice flush with relief.

"I think so, I haven't really checked"

He laughed a bit over the phone. "Don't play like that man, this is serious because in case you hadn't noticed, the world's gone to hell"

"So I heard" I answered

"You wouldn't happen to know what exactly's going on, would you?"

"Not at the moment, no"
I answered him truthfully. That was the cherry on top of all of this. The fact that I didn't know what was going on.

"Where are you?" I asked him after a short silence

"Second floor of the New Building in a classroom with Spatz" Danny Spatz was another friend of mine from middle school. A tall, champion tennis player, I always called him Spatz, simply because I knew too many people with names similar to his. He ironically enough hung out a lot with Dani.

"You found him?" I answered.

"Yeah man. Where are you?"

"I'm on the other side of the school near Ms.Mitchell's classroom. I found Tia and Dani"

"They're still alive? Hell that's some good news"
Nico stopped for a minute, then continued.

"What are you gonna do man?"

I took a minute to think of a possible plan and I concluded that our best bet was to get to the highest ground possible.

"Nico listen to me. I'm going to head over there, but I need you and Spatz to go to the third floor and secure our old history classroom"

"You got it man. Just be careful though, it's not looking pretty out there"

"You too man"
. With that we both hung up and I felt significantly better knowing that my best friend was still breathing.

I put my phone away and went through the double doors, once again finding myself in an empty, blood drenched hallway. I wondered if any part of the school had been spared by this madness. I walked over to Mr.Orston's classroom and prepared to enter. I had no more than touched the door handle however when my mind was overwhelmed with the voices I had experienced earlier. Their illogical ravings were all I could hear and my vision blurred slightly as the headache returned. It took me a minute to recover.

"God damn it" I whispered. What could be causing this? What were the voices saying? Were they trying to tell me something? If they were, they were doing a pretty **** poor job of it.

I shook it off and focused on the door. I grabbed the handle and pulled it down, inching the door open. Suddenly, something on the other side pushed full force against the door, almost knocking me over in the process. Before I knew it, I was pinned against the wall, struggling against my attacker who was trying to take my rifle from me. As I focused however, I saw who my assailant actually was.

"Isa!... Isa, stop! It's me"

When I spoke, the girl halted almost instantly, taking step back, her hands going up to her mouth in shock. Isa was a pretty thing. Fair skin, longish red hair, a soft, elegant complexion, thin waist and bright green eyes all topped off with a magnificent signing voice.

"Oh my god. Is... is it really you?"

"I think so"

"Oh god, I'm... I'm so sorry. I... I could have killed you... I heard something outside and... and the door was opening and..."

"It's okay. Come on. Tia and Dani are waiting downstairs"

Having calmed down enough, Isa joined me as we headed back downstairs to Ms.Mitchell's classroom. I approached the door and knocked twice. The door then opened to reveal Tia and Dani, the latter of which lit up at the sight of her best friend still alive. The two proceeded to heartily embrace each other.
"Humankind cannot bear very much reality." ~ T. S. Eliot

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Re: The Shifting Tide: A short by Tyrud

Postby tyrud » Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:54 pm

The Shifting Tide: Part 4

"Isa, you don't know how happy I am to see you" Dani said, her face radiating with glee.

"Me too Dani" Isa replied, displaying just as much happiness as he friend. She then turned towards me

"Thank you. I don't know how much more I could of lasted if you hadn't found me"

"It was no problem" I answered sincerely, since it really hadn't been.

Suddenly a question popped into my mind and without thinking about it first, I proceeded to ask it aloud.

"Do you know what happened to the others?"

Isa's face immediately darkened with a flood of sadness. She sighed heavily and then spoke

"I don't know. I... I went to the bathroom and I saw.... a group of people.... and they were eating another person" she stopped and took another deep breath, obviously horrified by what she had seen. "I ... I ran back to class but... no one was inside. They all left somewhere. I'm not sure if they're alive or de..." She stopped once more. She appeared to be on the verge of breaking down, and I knew why too. One of her best friends had been in that class with her, as had a number of my acquaintances.

Now wasn't the time for mourning though. Now was the time to act, for if we didn't do so, we would no longer be in control of our fates and we would surely succumb to whatever was going on.

"We need get going" I said, grabbing the attention of the girls.

"Where to?" Tia asked.

"The new building. Spatz and Nico are still alive and they're securing a room for us as we speak"

"They're still alive?!" Isa said, turning ecstatic once more at the thought of few more friends still alive and well.

"Yes, but that's liable to change very quickly unless we get going now" I said as I walked over to my desk, leaned over and grabbed my bag. It was a black leather satchel that was hardly worth the money I paid for it, yet it still had it's uses, not to mention It was light and comfortable. It wasn't normally like that, courtesy of all the heavy books I had to lug around. After emptying it of it's worthless contents, I placed whatever ammo I had into the bag and was out the door with the girls in tow.

We headed out into the hall and retraced the path I originally taken to get to my English classroom. While we walked, a glint in the tall grass bordering one of the buildings parallel to the path caught my eye. I stopped and walked over to it. The glint turned out to be a Colt M1911. It was a beautiful bit of artistry and gunsmithing with a polished nickel plate skin. It's beauty was contrasted by what lay next to it. It would appear someone, likely who ever owned the gun, had left their arm behind. The truth was likely much more gruesome. I found it odd that I hadn't noticed it the first time around, but I didn't waste a second picking it up this time.

I checked the magazine and found it had all seven rounds. The previous owner hadn't even had the chance to load his gun. Nearby was another magazine, surely yet another thing this poor soul left behind. I was somewhat thankful I had found it though, as two guns were better than one.

"What'd you find?" Dani asked.

I turned around to see three faces staring at me. I turned the gun around and held it out to them.


The girls simply stared. The nickel was reflecting light like nobody's business and was well polished, so much so that you could see your reflection in the slide.

"Do any of you want it?" I asked.

None of the girls dared reach for it, nor did they make any indication that they wanted it. With that settled, I put the gun behind me and we continued on with our journey. As we trudged through the silent hallways, a voice came over a loud speaker. It was't coming from the school speakers and seemed to slowly get louder and louder.

"Attention citizens of Miami, this is the National Guard. A state of emergency has been declared. We advise that you stay in your homes, lock and secure all entrances and avoid any contact with suspicious or violent beings. We repeat, stay indoors, lock all entrances and avoid contact with any suspicious beings. We ask that you please remain calm"

As soon as the voice finished, we heard and soon after saw a military helicopter race over our heads the while continuing to repeat the same message.

"Did you hear that? We're saved!" Isa said excitedly.

"Not quite" I retorted

"What do you mean?" Dani asked, confused.

"I doubt this is isolated by the looks of things. The whole city is probably suffering from this predicament, so the National Guard is trying to establish order first. I'm guessing it'll be a while before any actual evacuations occur"

"Then why don't we do what they say and hide? It seems like a good idea right about now" Tia said somewhat annoyed at the fact that they were doing the opposite of what had been said on the message, which seemed to be pretty good advice.

"Because they won't see us from within a classroom, most of which aren't safe to begin with. The roof is our best bet. It'll give us the best chance of being seen and rescued, not to mention it's safer than being on the ground" I answered.

Satisfied with my reasoning, we continued down the hall, past the library and even more blood splatter. We reached an intersection and were about to make a turn, when from within a hallway to our right, a scream pierced the veil of silence. We looked and saw that at the far end of the hall, a classroom door was trying to open.

When it did, an arm popped out, followed by a head and a torso. The student to whom it all belonged to was struggling to get out, but was being pulled back in by something inside. The entire time, the student let out agonizing screams of pain. He turned to us and tried reaching for us before being pulled back in with the door shutting behind him. A final scream was heard before the halls returned to their silent state. It was definitely a disturbing sight, but nonetheless we needed to keep moving. I would've done just that when I heard somebody behind letting out a few quiet sobs. It was Dani.

"Dani? What's wrong?" I asked

"We're going to die aren't we? We're going to end up just like that" she said through tearful eyes.

"Dani" I said approaching her. I gently grabbed her and held her at arms length, looking at her elegant face, which was now stained with running tears "I want you to know this. I want all three of you to know this. You will not die, for I will ensure that nothing happens to any of you. I will ensure that you will all be rescued and that you will all get out of this hell. Mark my words"

She calmed down and stopped crying soon after this.

"You're going to be fine. All of you" I said looking around at the scared faces. Having reestablished some sense of hope, I turned towards some double doors leading into an adjacent courtyard and was about to open it when Isa spoke out.

"What about you? Will you be alright?"

I stood still for a minute and thought about the question. Without turning around, I answered her

"Spatz and Nico are waiting, we need to keep going" I then opened the door and the 4 of us exited into the hallway.
"Humankind cannot bear very much reality." ~ T. S. Eliot

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Re: The Shifting Tide: A short by Tyrud

Postby tyrud » Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:55 pm

The Shifting Tide: Part 5

The four of us walked through the hallways trying to stay as quiet as possible. It was no easy task considering that we seemed to be the only ones making noise. In fact we had yet to encounter or see any other normal looking beings besides ourselves. Thankfully, since we were walking through open air hallways, our foot steps were drowned out by other more unsettling sounds coming from all over the city. Screams, sirens and occasional gunshots told me that the city was now a war zone to say the least.

I put up my hand and stopped near a set of stairs and the girls followed suit.I turned around and the girls looked at me as I looked back at them. The faces of all three conveyed the same emotions. Fear, hopelessness, and insecurity seeped out of their expressions, yet a slight hint of something else was hidden behind this veil. A small glimmer of faith and and optimism. They felt they could trust the boy in front of them to help lead them to the light at the end of a very dark and ever collapsing tunnel.

"Alright, I'm going upstairs to get a good look at the pavilion. We haven't a clue what the situation is out there and rushing in without a plan won't end well"

"Shouldn't we come along too?"
Tia asked.

"No. I'd prefer it if you all stayed here. Should anything happen, you will be able to run. I'm serious about that last part. I don't want you to try and help me. No, you run. Run anywhere, just don't stay. I can't have you become just another statistic"

The girls nodded in reluctant agreement and I proceeded to head upstairs. Once I reached the second floor, I went down the hall over to the railing, giving me a view of the pavilion. My worst fears were confirmed. Out in the pavilion were dozens of cannibals. Luckily tor us though they were spread out erratically and weren't focused on anything in particular. With enough cunning, we could run through the crowd, using our speed and agility to dodge and outmaneuver the sluggish moving buggers and reach the New building on the other side.

I was about ready to walk back over to the girls when I noticed an open door to my left. I stood in front of it and looked into the darkness. The lights were off, but I could see a number of lit up computer screens and concluded that it must of been one of the programming classrooms. They were common on this floor of the building I was in. The fact that I didn't see anyone inside got me wondering where everyone could've gone?

I shrugged off the question and started off, but I was stopped cold when shadows moved and jumped out at me. From within the room a cannibal charged at me. It had caught me off guard and managed to grab my rifle. The cannibal had more strength than I could have imagined, for as I tugged and pulled at the rifle, crazy thing managed to hold on with gritty determination. By now it was close enough that I could very tell who this person was at some point.

He was a young man, likely 17 or 18 years of age. His distinct uniform told me he was a student here as it was quite similar to mine. I failed to recognize his face and he was surely one of the many people at the school who I didn't know. He was foaming at the mouth and his eyes were heavily blood shot, yet couldn't possibly be tired. Not the way he was resisting my efforts to get away. Although he only made primitive noises like some jungle savage, I understood exactly what he wanted.

He wanted to kill me, and he was going to unless I did something fast. In fact, I was sitting on the fence and one wrong move on my part would leave me like Humpty Dumpty, a broken mess that no one could put back together again. Slowly the fatigue of the fight began to get the best of me and I knew then and there that I had to end this now or I would succumb to this nightmare creature.

With all my strength I yanked the rifle away from the cannibal and I managed to finally brake free. I vastly miscalculated my own strength however and the rifle slipped out of my hands and fell off to the side. I turned around and punched the thing in the jaw just as it tried once more to take a bite out of me. Even though I punched the cannibal with enough strength that its lower jaw was dislocated, the thing continued its onslaught with frightening persistence. It grabbed me by the shoulders and tried once more to bite me, even though it physically couldn't. I pushed back, yet it wouldn't move.

"****!" I said through clenched teeth as I continued to try and push it away. My efforts were futile however and the distance between it's mouth and my neck kept on closing. Suddenly, with the cannibal just about to make contact with my neck, my eyes flashed white and my vision tunneled. The whispering voices then came back, almost screaming their nonsense in desperate fashion.

"Right now is a really bad time fellas" I managed to say inwardly.

I felt a burst of strength fill my tired body and made one final push forward, knocking us both off balance and onto the ground. I landed on top of the cannibal, whose head hit the floor with a cringe inducing cracking noise, yet it kept moving and struggling despite it's injury. From behind my back I drew the 1911, my field of vision returning to normal, and I put the tip of the gun on the cannibal's forehead.

I felt my finger move back and pull the trigger. Time seemed slow down and I could feel the mechanisms within the gun working their methodically as they lit the primer in the bullet, igniting the gun powder which propelled the slug out of the barrel and into the cannibal's head. The entry wound was clean, yet the force of the .45 exploded out the back, taking with it the insides of the cannibal's head and splattering it onto the floor. When my vision normalized completely I looked up to see the three girls staring at me, shocked and disgusted.

"Didn't I tell you all to run?" I told them simply, panting after almost every word.
"Humankind cannot bear very much reality." ~ T. S. Eliot

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Re: The Shifting Tide: A short by Tyrud

Postby tyrud » Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:56 pm

The Shifting Tide: Part 6

"We...we heard a loud...a loud bang, and we...we just couldn't leave you" Isa stammered.

Dani stood, appalled and horrified at the bloody display of the cannibal's innards decorating the floor. Tia couldn't stomach the sight and stumbled over towards the wall and threw up. I had no time to be angry though, for when I got up and rushed over to the railing again, I saw that the cannibals were beginning to converge on our position, having heard the commotion. They scattered formation gave us some time act, but we had to do so quickly. I notice the 98k on the floor and hurriedly scooped it up as I spat out a command.

"Listen it's alright, but you weren't the only ones who heard the shot"

"Wha-What do you mean?" Dani asked fearfully, still shaken by what she had seen.

"I mean we have to move, now" I answered.

I gave everyone, myself included, a minute to regain their composure. As I rested, my eyes drifted back into the room from which the cannibal had emerged. Just then, on top of a table at the front of the classroom I spotted a godsend that came in the form of a pair of walkie-talkies. Without considering the safety of the room, or considering anything at all for that matter, I rushed in and grabbed the walkie-talkies, which upon closer inspection looked to be in working condition. After sticking them in my satchel, I ran outside and regrouped with the girls.

"Come on, let's go" I ordered.

I walked over to a nearby stairwell and made my way down, rifle up, with the girls close behind. When we reached the bottom, two cannibals were waiting. I shot one closest to us and quickly sent another round into a nearby buddy of his, allowing us to get into the pavilion, all the while thanking my father for having taken me to the gun range on so many occasions. While running further into the pavilion, the caliber of our problem became more and more apparent. By my count, a good 100 cannibals were spread out in groups of varying sizes all across the pavilion. Our window of opportunity to get to the New Building was still open, but was fast closing as the cannibals began to box us in.

We rushed forward in of line of sorts with me in the lead. Not too far behind was Isa, and only a little bit further behind her was Tia. A few paces behind Tia was Dani. I stopped and looked behind me to make sure everyone was alright.

"Get to the third floor, quickly!" I yelled as Isa ran past me. A second later Tia ran past, but before she got too far, I saw something that made my heart drop. As Dani ran she slipped and fell, rolling on to the floor as a few cannibals diverted from their attention and began slowly shambling towards her.

"Dani!!" Isa screamed. She stopped cold at the sight of her friend about to come to an untimely end.

"Isa keep going, get to the New building!"

"But, Dani-"

"I'll take care of her, just keep moving!"
I barked out.

Isa did just that. Tia, who had stopped as a result of the yelling was about to do the same when I stopped her.

"Tia I need you to cover me while I go get Dani" I told her as I tossed her the 98k.

"But wait, I don't-" she started to say, but I didn't stick around to let her finish for I rushed off, drawing the 1911 as I went back for Dani.

I ran towards her as fast as my legs would carry me as I wasn't about to break my promise to keep the girls alive at all costs. I stopped just short of her, held up the 1911and pulled the trigger. The gun shot off a round, taking out the cannibal nearest her. I let off another round into the next closest cannibal, who made the mistake of mixing up it's priorities by turning towards me rather than continuing towards Dani.

"I got you Dani, just hang on a minute" I said once I had reached her.

She let out a groan, then spoke softly "My ankle... it hurts"

"It's ok, I've got you. I'm going to get you out of here" I said as I grabbed her by the collar and began dragging her to safer area.

As I dragged her, I tried to avoid the cannibals, who were starting to get a little too close for comfort. From out my left however, I suddenly I heard a loud primal roar, for lack of a better word. I turned to see a disturbing sight. One of the schools English teachers, the fat African American one to be exact, had become a cannibal as well. We had always cracked jokes about how she ate students, but now that it was a reality, the joke was no longer funny, rather, it was a real life horror that was on the verge of killing us.

I didn't stop for a second though and pushed forth. I tried to aim the 1911 and fire it at the monster cannibal, but no matter how many rounds I put into it, they did little to stop it's advance toward us. I ran out of ammo sooner than I expected, yet the monster cannibal didn't appear to show any signs of giving up. It was almost right on top of us when I closed my eyes and prepared for the worst.

A loud crack suddenly rang out and I opened my eyes to see that a good portion of the monster cannibal's head had gone missing. It fell backwards onto the ground. Once I was sure the monster cannibal was dead, which it was, I turned towards the source of the sound. What I saw was Tia engaged in a melee with a cannibal. She forced it to the ground with ferocity and smashed it's head in with the back of the rifle. She must have shot the monster cannibal.

She turned to see me just as I yelled out "Go!! We need to get to the third floor!!"

I would've thanked her, but there was no time as more blood-thirsty cannibals entered the stage. I tucked the 1911 into my back pocket and picked up Dani in my arms. Then I met up with Tia and we ran towards the New building just before the cannibals tightened the noose around the pavilion. We met up with Isa, who had been waiting and watching in the stairwell of the New building, and we all ran to the third floor. We entered the hallway of the third floor, panting and out of breath, to find it empty and silent. Assured that we were alone, I led the group to where I hoped Nico and Spatz would be.

"Isa, knock on the door" I said, still holding Dani. Isa did as I asked and soon after the door opened to reveal none other than Spatz and Nico, who looked shocked, yet relieved and happy to see us.
"Humankind cannot bear very much reality." ~ T. S. Eliot

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Re: The Shifting Tide: A short by Tyrud

Postby coinsruledude » Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:57 pm

"You can only talk rubbish if you're aware of knowledge." ~Karl Pilkington
"**** it, it's late. Change it later." ~Me and Teddy

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Re: The Shifting Tide: A short by Tyrud

Postby tyrud » Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:58 pm

(It happens^^)

The Shifting Tide: Part 7

I was happy to see that my old history classroom was still intact. The degree to which the classroom was intact, however, was quite eerie. Everything was exactly where it should have been. The desks were side by side in their normal rows and columns and all the books were neatly placed in their respective shelves. The room was too perfect frankly, and seemed to be stuck in time, waiting patiently for who ever had previously inhabited the classroom to return and continue class. That wasn't going to happen anytime soon though by the looks of things. To be honest though I didn't mind the primness of the classroom, for I had just about had it with all the chaos and all unfair, random occurrences fate had decided to throw into my life and that of those around me.

Spatz and Nico stepped aside as we moved into the room. Once inside, I set Dani down as delicately as I could so that she was sitting with her legs stretched forward and her back against the wall underneath the dry erase board at the front of the class. Having down that, I looked around and saw Isa hugging Spatz, perhaps because she could not believe he was actually there, alive and well, standing in front of her. Tia was simply leaning against the wall, facing the roof with her eyes closed. She was still holding the Kar 98k.

She'd just saved Dani and I from an untimely end back there, but taking a life is never an easy thing, even if it was to save others. The fact that she had killed two cannibals didn't make the situation any easier to cope with. The fact that she had it in her to be so violent was not something I ever expected from her, being as calm and reserved as she normally was, but I guess the situation at hand was really starting to bring out the worst in people, maybe even reveal their true character.

Regardless, the truly important thing was that we were alive, even if just for the moment. I took a deep breath and sighed. Running had always been a pain for me as my endurance was pretty mediocre despite my being on a swim team. I had done a lot of running back there all the while carrying another person and although Dani wasn't very heavy, being as elegantly thin as she was, it still took quite a toll on me.

Nico approached me where I stood and halted right in front of me. We stared at each other in silence for a few moments before we locked hands and gave each other a firm handshake.

"It's good to see your still alive man" he said, smiling approvingly.

"Ditto" I answered back

"I'll be damned man. It looks like you stirred up a sh*t storm down there" he said, looking out the window at the hoard below.

"You don't know the half of it" I said shaking my head. "We got really lucky out there just now"

"I don't doubt it. We heard the gun shots and saw you guys coming in. We wanted to help but-"

"It doesn't matter now man. The important thing is that we're all here now" I interrupted while waving away his apology.

"What happened to Dani?" Spatz asked, sitting on top of one of the desks. Isa had now gone over and was sitting by Dani, most likely comforting her.

"She fell while we were running over here. She says her leg hurts, but I'm not sure what to do. I think it'd be best if she just rested for now" I said.

Spatz nodded in understanding and then the room fell silent. Without much warning, the lights went out but it was only about a second or so before they turned back on. The power must have gone out, prompting the school's generators to kick in. There was plethora of topics to discuss, yet no one said anything. It remained quiet for a few minutes before Tia broke the silence.

"What do we do now?" she asked, eyes still closed. Despite being an inescapable question, no one really wanted to confront it, and it failed to get anyone talking immediately. We needed a plan though, and a good one at that, or we wouldn't last past this short respite.

"Well..." I began trying to make eye contact with the others "we don't know how long we are going to be in this situation, so we should start with obtaining the essentials. Food, water and the like. That should be our top priority as of now"

"Well the cafeteria's right downstairs, we could go there" Isa suggested.

"Nah, that won't work. We need things that don't require too much heating or preparation. We also need to make sure whatever we acquire doesn't spoil easily. All that cafeteria food needs to be refrigerated and won't last long without some kind of preservation. Since we haven't a clue how long the generators are going to be working, I don't think it is a reliable choice. It's somewhat lacking in nutrition too"

"And on top of that, it's just plain nasty" Spatz added in.

"Where do we get supplies from then?" Nico asked.

I thought for a minute about possible sources of supplies. There were plenty of houses to the west of the school, but there was likely going to be people inside them if they had listened to the National Guard message. To the east was a number of shops and such, but they were a bit far to travel to. Then it struck me.

"Well there's a 7-11 right around the block. It has plenty of canned and dry food, not to mention water" I answered.

"That's the first thing that's going to get emptied out though. Think about it. We aren't the only one's knee deep in sh*t, and we definitely aren't the only one's who know about the 7-11" Spatz retorted.

"I still think it's worth a shot. If anything the school vending machines have food that we can take. It won't be easy though. Their caged in and there are cannibals all over the place" I said

"I don't know..." Nico said, clearly doubtful as to the viability of the plan.

"Well does anyone have any other ideas? It's either that or face starving for an indeterminate amount of time until we get rescued" I asked.

'If we get rescued' I thought to myself. No one said anything after that.

"Ok then" I said aloud "I'm going out to the 7-11then"

"Whoa, whoa, whoa you can't do that. You just got here!" Nico intervened.

"Survival doesn't take break and neither do those things by the looks of it. We won't increase our chances of staying alive by just sitting around here without any food or water" I said as I loaded the other magazine into the Colt. I then walked up to Tia, who was still leaning against the wall with her eyes closed.

"Tia" I whispered softly. She opened her eyes, blinked a few times "You alright?" I asked her. I very quickly realized it was a pretty stupid question as there was no way in hell she was going to be fine. Not after all that had happened so far.

She let out a sigh and nodded her head 'yes' in response.

"May I?" I asked. She looked down at the rifle and then handed it to me. I grabbed it and pulled the bolt back, letting an empty cartridge fly out. The lack of noise in the room was so much that we all heard the sound of the empty cartridge hitting the floor and ricocheting around the room before finally coming to a stop somewhere in the back. I then pushed the bolt forward, loading in a fresh round.

"So, does anyone want to come with me?" I asked as I went over to my satchel and put it on.

Yet again silence overtook the room.

"Fine, I'll go by myself then" I said as I turned around and went to walk to the door, quite OK with playing the lone wolf. It reduced the chances of anyone else getting hurt.

"Wait!" Nico exclaimed. I turned around at the uproar.

"I can't let you go out there bro. Not by yourself anyway. I'm going with you"

"I'll go with you guys too" Spatz added.

"I'm going to have to stop you there Spatz. I can't have everyone who knows how to use a gun out on a mission. Someone who can shoot well needs to stay here"

"Got it" he responded.

"Do you need a gun?"

"No, we found one" he answered, pulling out a standard 9mm Glock from behind his back. "We managed to get this from a cop who turned into whatever those things are. Wasn't easy I can tell you that much"

"I can imagine. So, is anyone else going?" I asked for a final time

"I'd go, but I think I'm more useful here trying to help Dani" Isa said. I nodded in agreement. As silence began to envelope us, Tia spoke out.

"I'll go" she said, moving away from the wall and towards Nico and I.

"Very well then. We shouldn't be gone too long. If we aren't back within 2 hours, assume the worst. Don't come looking for us. Just try everything you can to get rescued at that point" I then reached into my satchel and pulled out one of the walkie-talkies.

"We'll communicate with these. If there are any problems, radio them in" I said handing it to Spatz.

"Ok, while you're gone, I'll see if I can't find a way to reinforce this door somehow" Spatz said as he took the walkie-talkie.

"Good idea. When we come back, we'll knock hard three times on the door so you know it's us. Don't open this door otherwise, Ok?"

Isa and Spatz nodded in agreement and with everyone understanding the plan, Nico, Tia and I headed out the door into the empty hallway.
Last edited by tyrud on Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Humankind cannot bear very much reality." ~ T. S. Eliot

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Re: The Shifting Tide: A short by Tyrud

Postby tyrud » Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:59 pm

The Shifting Tide: Part 8

The silence of the hallway put me at ease. Although it was becoming a little too common, it affirmed me that the hallway was devoid of life. It was a cynical thought, but the silence meant that we weren't in danger of encountering those cannibals who seemed so eager to kill us.

"So what's the plan again" Nico asked. His tone of voice was of disbelief, most likely of the fact that he had actually volunteered to go out and face the dangers outside.

"We're going to 7-11 to see if we can't find any supplies. If we find nothing, we have to find a way to get supplies from the vending machines here in school" I answered him.

"Right" he said with a nervous and unconvincing smile. The plan was hopeful at best and we all knew it. Our chances of finding anything at 7-11 were slim, and the chances of the three of us coming back alive unscathed were only slightly higher than that. We had to do something though, because without supplies, we wouldn't last for more than a few days

The three of us began walking down the hall. We couldn't go down the exterior stairwell because there were simply too many cannibals downstairs. Instead, we would have to go down the side interior stairwell. We slowly trudged towards said stairwell, carefully watching all the large indents in the wall which marked the location of a door to a classroom, just in case some nasty surprise lay hidden, ready to ambush us. Yes, because the silence also left that as a possibility as well. We reached the end of the hallway without incident and stopped before the double doors that led into the interior stairwell.

I turned and face Nico and Tia and drew the .45. I pulled the slide back and loaded a round into the chamber. I turned the gun around and held it out to Tia given that she had already shown her prowess with a firearm. She looked down at it, then back up at me. Her faced seemed to ask 'Are you sure?'

"Take it" I said in a reassuring tone. Tia then took the gun in her hand and examined every detail of the gun like it was a piece of art, which it truly was in all it's nickle plated glory.

"Be mindful with that thing. It's loaded and will kill something you might not want to kill if you're not very careful"

Tia looked down at the gun once more, then back at me and nodded. I to a quick look around and found a bookbag sitting on the floor nearby, abandoned by someone who had decided it was going to weight down their escape. I keeled down and looked it over. Except for a bit of dried blood, it was in perfect shape. I picked it up, knowing that another bag would be very useful, and emptied it of its content, which weren't too many anyway. I set the bag down on the floor and opened my satchel, grabbing the empty clip for the .45 and handed it to Tia for safe keeping After grabbing some bullets for the 98k and shoving them into my pocket, I closed the satchel and gave it to Nico, who was the fastest runner out of the three of us.

"Alright. I need you two to stay here while I check the stairwell to make sure it's safe. If anything bad happens to me, I need you both to run back. Clear?" I said as I grabbed the bookbag and put it on.

Nico and Tia nodded in agreement and I turned towards the doors. I raised the 98k and then kicked the bar that allows the doors to pushed open hard enough so that the door swung wide open. I quickly moved in and looked about rapidly, making sure there were no threats, while listening intently for any possible threats I couldn't see. The stairwell however mimicked the hallway I had just come from quite well. Silence and lifelessness prevailed as the dominant features of the stairwell's environment.

I shook my head then moved down the stairs to ensure that the latter of the two was true. Once I was done I moved back up the stairs. As I passed by the double doors that led into the 2nd floor hallway a constant, yet faint moaning sound could be heard coming from inside, an indication that some cannibals had gotten out of their rooms and where now roaming the second floor hallway. Luckily the doors were chained shut. I moved back up to the third floor and reentered the 3rd floor hallway.

"There's no one in there. Let's go" I told Nico and Tia, gesturing for them to follow me. We made our way downstairs and reached the first floor momentarily. When we got there, we stopped in front of the doors that led into the first floor hallway. To our right was another pair of double doors which led directly outside.

"I think we should take these doors" Tia said pointing to the doors that would lead directly outside. "It'll be quicker no?"

We all nodded in agreement, but almost as soon as Tia touched the door to open it, the unknown voices violently screamed out in protest. I immediately made a noise of pain and took a step back, holding my head. Nico and Tia stopped immediately and looked back at me, confused.

"Are you okay man?" Nico asked

"Ugh... Yeah... Yeah I'm fine. But I don't think we should go out those doors"

"Why not? It'll be quicker. The faster we do this, the better right?" Tia retorted

"Yes, but if there is something we can't handle on the other side, we won't be able to escape and that'll be the end of us. Those doors only open from the inside remember? Besides, I just realized that we'll need to go through the attendance office"

"What for?" Tia asked

"The nurse's office is there. There's bound to be medical supplies there and who knows when we might need those"

"Hmm, I guess your right" Nico said shrugging. We turned to the doors of the 1st floor and stacked up before pushing through and entering the hallway. The scene we encountered was horrific.

Bodies lined the walls of the of the hallway, some slouched over, others lying face down while some others were face up, faces frozen with looks of fear. All were equally bloody, yet not everyone was in one piece. Limbs were missing on some and organs were visible on others. The stench alone was overpowering. Combined with the imagery however, the deadly duo managed to display the brutality and raw bloodshed that had accompanied this outbreak in explicit and uncensored detail. And worst of all, it was still uncomfortably silent.

We all covered our mouths and noses with our hands and moved forth slowly, struggling to take everything in. We were about halfway through the hallway when we heard a soft groan. I looked over to my left and saw something that made me gasp.

It was Rachel, sitting down with her back against the wall, with a bloody arm wound.
"Humankind cannot bear very much reality." ~ T. S. Eliot

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Re: The Shifting Tide: A short by Tyrud

Postby tyrud » Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:00 pm

The Shifting Tide: Part 9

The three of us quickly gathered around Rachel upon noticing who she was, although it didn't seem as though she had done the same.

"Rachel? Rachel, are you okay?" I asked her. I realized how foolish the question was though. She clearly wasn't okay, for her upper arm had a nasty wound. Clearly the cannibals had caught up with her. Given her lack of response to our presence, as well as my lack of knowledge in reference to the bite wounds, I took a moment to observe the details of her bite wound and took note of any special or unusual features it displayed for future reference.

There was a clear imprint of teeth marks in typical human bite form. While there was blood coming from the wound, it wasn't much. In fact, the wound was relatively clean, however it had a very ominous and distinct feature that unsettled me. Emanating from the initial bite were black vein-like branches which spread forth across the upper portion of Rachel's arm. Like roads spreading out from a central roundel, they formed a web-like pattern. The veins themselves seemed to glow black with an evil poison. That must be the source whatever was changing people into cannibalistic robots intent on satisfying their hunger at all costs.

By now Rachel had begun to stir. She opened her eyes and looked about wearily. However she didn't fail to smile when she noticed us staring back at her.

"Oh it's just you" she said faintly as she looked at me, her breathing was shallow and sporadic. She was an extremely pretty young woman and her curves had always caught the attention of most of the guys in our grade, myself included. She was smart though and very kind. To see her in such a state disheartened and saddened me, yet as she lay there, she still maintained her friendly attitude and her pleasing looks.

"Rachel, what happened to you?" I asked

As I awaited an answer, she fell silent and closed her eyes. She simply breathed for a bit, then opened her eyes and spoke.

"I was in the hallway heading back to the stairs... when the fire alarms suddenly went off... then a lot of people came from all directions and sources... everything got a little blurry after that..." she explained through labored breaths.

"All I remember is a pain in my arm... someone had bit me... what a terrible way to pick up a lady no?... jokes on them though since I'm not that kind of lover..." she added playfully and with a smile. She then coughed a bit and closed her eyes once more, here strength draining ever so slowly from her body.

I felt terrible for the poor girl. Worst of all, I couldn't do anything for her. A friend of mine lay dying in front of me and for everything I wanted to do, I was powerless to change her fate. Rachel opened her eyes slightly and looked at Tia and Nico, who were equally shaken and sorrowful, and smiled at them before looking back at me.

"I'm going to die aren't I?" she asked bluntly.

The question shook me to the core and made my heart ache. The terse statement had turned into an knife and cut away a piece of me.

"No... No, you're going to be just fine Rachel. We're going to find some help and you're going to be just fine. You'll look back at this and laugh... we all will" I retorted, my voice nervous and shaking slightly. Rachel smiled weakly and chuckled, unconvinced.

"Liar" she said simply. She seemed to have accepted her fate as her smile never disappeared. She then closed her eyes and slowly began breathing less and less until she exhaled a final breath and ceased to move.

I shut my eyes tightly and held back my sadness with all my strength. It pained me terribly to see Rachel die without being able to do anything about it. In the end though, she was just another statistic of this outbreak. It was a cynical thought, but I knew I had to keep going or those who were still alive with me would face the same fate as Rachel. I felt somewhat better knowing she had gone peacefully, but it was still a hard pill to swallow. I took a deep breath and let out my pain with a heavy sigh. I crossed myself and asked God to accept Rachel into his heavenly flock, though at this point I wasn't too sure the powers at be, whoever they were, were listening to my plights.

I turned to turned to face Nico and Tia, who stared back at me in solemn silence in order to say something, but before I could speak, at the very end of the hall, the doors to the building's indoor cafeteria shook violently, startling all of us. The doors had been chained shut and cannibals were trying to push through and pour out into the hall.

"Come on, we need to get moving" I said motioning for the door which led back outside.

We went outside and saw the cannibals in the pavilion lazily walking about. I could still see the results of our battle earlier in the day still lying about. A shell here, a body there. We quickly turned right and quietly entered the attendance office without attracting attention.
"Humankind cannot bear very much reality." ~ T. S. Eliot

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