Level 1.4A Chapter by Church
Jim reaches the forest and realizes just what he has done.
It had been an hour. Once he had gotten past those first three infected, he hadn’t seen anyone. It helped that his school was rather rural, but still. It was unnerving. All he heard was their screaming and his own strained breathing as he tried to get out of their as quickly as possible.
He could see the forest ahead of him. After not running into anything, he was wondering if even walking in there was a good idea. Sure, he knew the way of the forest and he knew most of the paths, but... What if they could find him by smell? He might be walking himself into a very bad situation.
Then he heard more inhuman screaming behind him. It was much closer this time.
“This is a really s**t idea...” he muttered to himself as he pedaled into the forest.
It didn’t help that it was getting dark. Add to it the coverage from the trees and it was amazingly difficult to see. Jim tightened his grip on his crowbar. Hopefully those things hunted by sight and not smell. If they didn’t, he was royally screwed. They would be able to smell him far before he could possibly see. And here, there were a lot more places to ambush. He shook his head, grinning sadly. Let’s hope they don’t have too much of their logic centers intact, yeah?
The screaming faded the deeper into the forest he went. Soon, he couldn’t hear anything other than his breathing. Whatever these aliens were doing, whatever these infected people were, it had scared off the wildlife it seemed. He just hoped the wildlife couldn’t get infected as well. That would be inconvenient to say the least.
As the sun set, it became almost impossible for Jim to see where he was going in the forest. Not wanting to use a light just yet, he coasted over to one of the bigger trees. Looking up, he saw the faint outline of a tree stand. He grinned. Thank god for hunters. The woods were dotted with those platforms.
Resting his bike on the side of the tree, he slung his crowbar into his bag before climbing. He took it slow in the dark to make sure he didn’t fall out of the tree. When he reached the top, he flopped onto the platform, exhausted.
The platform was only about five feet long and wide, but it would be enough. At least he wouldn’t fall out. And it was around fifteen feet off the ground. It had to be safer than sleeping on the ground.
Putting his bad closest to the tree, he looked up into the canopy. Just what was going on? This was like stuff out of a s****y science fiction story. He would know, he had written enough of them. What was wrong with these infected? Were they actually zombies? Or something else completely? They didn’t act like zombies.
Then the realization hit him. He had killed two of them. Two of whatever they were. His eyes widened in shock. He hadn’t killed anything other than a bug before, and he had just brained, for all intents and purposes, two human beings.
It didn’t matter that they were insane. It didn’t matter they had been trying to kill him. They were still people. All his s****y stories had been about preserving life. And he had just taken two in the blink of an eye.
Suddenly, the night was much colder. Pulling himself into something like a fetal position, he pulled out the picture of her one more time. With eyes beginning to water, he kissed it and muttered something before tucking into his pocket. Shaking, he slowly let sleep take him.
© 2010 Church