Infected- Chapter 1

Infected- Chapter 1

A Chapter by DreamCatcher

I lay looking up at the sky, staring into the dark grey clouds that threatened rain at any moment. I swallowed hard as my chest began to tighten again and I tried to catch my breath. I began to wheeze, trying to calm myself down and be as relaxed as possible, as I waited for the inevitable.

I could hear the moans of the undead as they began to surround the tall rock I was perched upon. It was as if they knew what was happening to me, like they were waiting for the change to finally happen, waiting to greet me as one of their own. I coughed and heard a loud screech come from down below. I peered over the edge of the rock and saw the poor b*****d clawing at the rock, trying his hardest to drag his lifeless, rotting, corpse of a body up to me.

“You’re too late.” I sputtered as I placed my foot on his bony shoulder and kicked.

He stumbled backwards into the undead group, hands still reached out towards me as he groaned louder.

I shook my head and dragged my aching body back to my lying position. I was running out of energy, everything I had in me was slowly being taken away. I was becoming lost. Soon no one would recognize me. I would become yet another rotting shell of a person. No one would know what I liked to do, or who I even was before I became one of them.

Someone somewhere will hopefully do me a favor and put a bullet right between my eyes as I try to make them my midnight snack. I’d do it myself but I don’t have the balls.

Or maybe it’s because after you watch the person you love the most gasp for their last bit of air, die, and then suddenly lunge back to life with a hunger out of this world, that you suddenly need to know the exact pain they felt as their heart took its last beat, and they became a monster, never to remember you again.

Yeah. That’s why I’m letting the change happen. I need to know exactly how he suffered.  It’s the only way I can fill this never ending void. And I’ve almost reached the end of that journey.

 

I could hear the sound of the waves crashing and lapping the shore. I tried to tune out the constant groans of the dead and focus on the waves. I took as deep of a breath my rotting lungs would let me, and breathed in the salt air. I made the right choice traveling here to wait out the end of me and the beginning of a whole new person. I couldn’t think of a more perfect last memory.

If only I could erase the ones that I had seen in the past few months.

No. Never mind. I take that back.

It’s not the world’s fault that it turned into a living nightmare. It’s whoever is up there, calling all the shots. The big man upstairs, as some call it. It’s his fault. Not that I believe in something like that. I used to, sort of I guess. I believed in something. But since this has all went down, I find it hard to think someone that people worship so fondly would let something so horrid happen to everyone. Yeah there are a lot of bad people on this Earth, and maybe I was one of them. But to see all of this happen and still have faith, you have to be one dedicated son of a b***h. As for me I was never sure he was even there in the first place, and now’s not the time to start putting my faith into him.

I’m dying. Slowly dying. And there’s no reason to start believing I can be rescued now. If I was destined to be saved, it would have happened a long time ago.

Now that I’ve gotten religion out of the way, I suppose I can start taking responsibility for my own actions. It’s my fault that I’m dying, not anyone else’s. Once you know the person you love is dying, you get kind of careless.

Love. That’s a big word isn’t it? One that I don’t throw around very often. I’m selective with it. And the only person I shared it with isn’t here to share it with anymore. And it’s my fault.

He’s dead and it’s my fault. And now here I am, in the same s****y boat on the river to dead land- population: me and about a billion other people.

At least he won’t have to walk around, wondering aimlessly, searching for the one thing he cares about- food. Well, he always cared about food. Now it’s just specifically humans as food.

I should have let him bite me. It would have been more romantic that way.

I thought about it while he was still alive- while he was still human. I’d stay awake as he slept, handcuffed to a pole in someone’s old creepy basement, and think for hours about whether or not to let him just change me. I’d sob and pace around the room feeling so hopeless. And to think I’d chained him up in case he changed while I was sleeping. Little did he know, I never really slept. Instead I’d wonder what it’d be like if I let him make me his dinner, if I let him sink his teeth into my flesh and bite a chunk before I put the gun to his head, and pulled the trigger. It would have been a great ending. But that’s just not how it happened.

The truth is much more anticlimactic. It was a result of me just simply not caring anymore.

I coughed greatly as my whole body convulsed around me, groans echoing out over the beach. I looked down in my hand, covered in my blood from the coughing. I remember him coughing up blood towards the end.

Shouldn’t be too much longer now.

I really should have taken my gun with me. Why did I leave that house without it? Why did I find the middle of the night a good time to go for a walk? Have I always been this much of an idiot? Why hasn’t it rained yet?

I got bitten.

I couldn’t bear to tell him. Not after he risked his life for mine and was now paying the ultimate price. He was so weak and frail, so empty of who he once was, clinging onto what little life he had left. I couldn’t dare bring myself to tell him.

I walked back to the house, stunned with disbelief of what had just happened to me. I was going to lose him any moment, and then have to try to keep going knowing that I was going to end up the same way. How the f**k could I do that? What was the point? And seriously why hasn’t it rained?

I’d like the rain to wash all the blood off of me before I turned into a living dead girl. That’s what I get for slaughtering undead person after undead person to make it all the way up to this rock. I’d like to start my days as a zombie with somewhat clean clothes.

So I got bitten and I didn’t say a word; Not one damn thing about the throbbing pain in my side. I took an old t-shirt and cut a strip of fabric and wrapped the bite to help stop the bleeding and didn’t say a damn word. I laid next to him and sobbed as I held his practically lifeless hand and didn’t say a damn word. I dried my tears and kissed him and wandered over to my makeshift bed, just out of his reach, and I didn’t say a damn word. Not one.

I let him believe that I was perfectly healthy, not a single thing wrong with me. It was the least I could do. Let him die without worry. Let him die peacefully. He had faith in me that I could continue on my own back to the camp, where my sister and the others were. He believed I would make it back safely without even a scratch, and that I could explain to them what had happened and why he didn’t come back with me, why we had to stay gone for all this time.

I still went back despite my situation. But I went back with way more than a scratch.

I went back long enough to explain everything and then I left. I knew how much time I had before the ever looming change happened. And I knew what my plan was. I knew where I wanted to be when it did happen. And here I am. At my favorite beach, waiting to become one of them.

Maybe when I changed I wouldn’t be able to get off this rock. Maybe I’d be stuck up here and rot away. Or maybe I would tumble off of it and break my legs and never move from that spot again, until I became part of the Earth. But probably not. I have too much fight in me.

That’s what Eric would say. He’d say that I had so much fight in me that I could make it through anything. And that’s why I never took the easy way out of my situation. That’s why I stuck it out until the very end. Because I have too much fight.

The real reason?  Who knows?

Honestly I’m just too stubborn to admit he was right.

It’s sad to think no one will ever look at me again and say “Man, that girl is a fighter.”  Or say “Man, that girl is a insert special word here.” They’ll just scream and fire their guns at me, hoping they’ll get that one lucky shot to my brain and end me. No one will ever know who I was before. They’ll only see me as who I am now- a dead girl searching for some brains. Or any human organs for that matter. I won’t be picky.

They took such a big chunk out of him. It took me so long to stop the bleeding. I thought he’d bleed out, and never have to have the virus spread through his body causing it to slowly decay. But I managed to stop it. And then we managed to have one more beautiful week together before he left me. I still remember how calm he was about the whole thing. He just seemed so at peace with the fact that he was going to die, that his fight was ending here in this old, creepy house while being handcuffed to a pole in the basement.

It was because he was dying for me. At least that’s what he told me. He said he was dying for me. He protected me and in the middle of it all, he got bitten. I still felt so guilty. But I’ll never get the image out of my head of how happy he seemed through it all.

The virus took over his body one day at a time, until there were no more days left. And he stayed so positive through each one of them. He talked about all the great things he’d done, all the great things we had done. He talked about how I would go on to find a cure for all of this. He believed in me. He believed I could save everyone. Wasn’t that the Big Guy’s job?

Oh right. We already discussed his lack of saving any of us.

We were going to find a cure. He was determined that it was our destiny. He was big into science. I remember all the science documentaries we would watch on Saturday nights, as we ate his home-made burritos and drank cheap wine. He would look over at me and see that I was a tad lost about what was being said, and he would smile and explain it to me in better detail. I would nod and pretend I understood what he was talking about, and then kiss his cheek and compliment him on the food he made. He never let me help cook. I’d always offer, but he would decline and tell me he had it under control. He liked cooking for me.

Towards the end he couldn’t eat. He had no appetite. Boy did that change when he changed. He lunged at me so fast, bearing his teeth as he snarled like a hungry animal. I sat back and watched him for a moment; I wanted to believe he was just joking. That at any second he would laugh and smile and yell “Gotcha!”

As you probably guessed, that never happened. I couldn’t bear to watch him struggle to get to me anymore, so I covered his head with a shirt, told him I loved him, put the gun to his head, and shot.

I gave him a proper burial. He deserved so much more, but me being all of five feet four inches, there was only so much I could do.

He would watch me as I dug his grave. I’d help him walk outside and position him up against the house, his gun in his hand to kill any undead that got too close, and he watched me dig his grave. He’d make smart a*s remarks that I wasn’t doing it right, that he was going to have the most unsymmetrical grave in the world. I’d smile and politely tell him to shut the hell up.

A loud bang would ring out as he shot one of them who were stumbling their way over to me. He would joke about how he didn’t feel right killing them now, it was like he was killing his soon to be friends. He said he should take them out for a beer later, and get to know them better before they became BFFs. He’d make up a name for them and apologize before he’d blow their brains all over the ground. I’d ask him if he wanted me to let him stay one of the undead. He’d pause and reply by saying that they seemed happy, they seemed content just walking and searching for humans to eat. He thought maybe they were all just searching for their husbands or wives, that they were maybe searching for the person they missed the most, and the living just kept getting in their way.

He said that maybe I should let him stay one of the living dead, because then he could spend the rest of his life searching for me, that if he stayed changed he would still have a purpose. He admitted he was afraid of death that day. I didn’t think he was afraid of anything.

I shot him.

He decided that it was the best option. And that if I didn’t do it myself, that someone eventually would. He wanted it to be me. I tried to conceal the fact that I was less than excited that I was chosen to shoot my own boyfriend.

Sure maybe I had thought about it when he was pissing me off during that dreaded time of the month, but I’d never actually do it. Smothering him with a pillow would have been much cleaner anyways.

That was completely a joke. For the most part.

I loved him. And I missed him more than I ever thought I would.

Although the situation I am in is seemingly the most terrible thing ever, I still can’t find it in me to sulk around, and be cynical about the whole thing. I was surprisingly ready for it to be all over. I looked forward to not having to live this life of pure terror and fear. Not that it’s much different now than before the Z Virus infected everyone. The world was still just as s****y, just as scary. The only difference now is that there’s been another species added to the list of things that want to kill you. Another thing added to the acceptable to hunt list. It’s zombie season all year long. Lucky us.

I guess I should start from the beginning. From the moment that everything changed. The moment that he got bitten. The moment in which would change my whole life.

I know what you’re thinking- wouldn’t the start of the whole zombie apocalypse be the changing point of my life?

Technically, yes.

But I prefer not to get into detail about the start of that. In fact, I’d like to forget the things I saw altogether.

During these last few days of my life I am going to write down exactly what happened to us, what got me to this point. Who knows? Maybe someone who is still human will find it and read it. Maybe there’s something special I can leave behind after all. Maybe.

Well. Here it goes. The story of my undead life. Enjoy.



© 2015 DreamCatcher


Author's Note

DreamCatcher
ignore grammar problems- rough draft. :)

My Review

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Reviews

This is the most interesting zombie premise I've ever read: from the Zombie's perspective. As every good writer knows: the first chapter is everything. If you can hook the reader at the beginning they will more than likely read on till the end. Especially if the rest of the book is as edgy interesting as this opening chapter is. One thing you absolutely need to do though: find an editor, and allow them to help guide the story. You understand the story, and they understand story pace, which like the opening chapter: is everything. Don't be upset if you send the editor 95k words and they send you back 80k words, which translates into weeks of work. What they've done is carve out the redundancies (there are ALWAYS redundancies in an original manuscript), eliminate the speed bumps that slow down the story, and generally frustrate the writer. Don't be frustrated. Use their advice as a learning tool, and make your re-write as close to the editors suggestions as possible. One other truism: NO book is ready after the first re-write. It often takes several. I average five re-writes per book, and I use Beta readers liberally. If you think that the editor stomped on your story just wait till the Beta readers get ahold of it. But this is a good thing. One thing I always tell my Beta readers: if you like the story then fine, woohoo in fact, but what I really want to know, what I really need to know is what DON'T you like about it. Where does it drag, what makes you confused? It's these questions and subsequent answers, once corrected, that make a better book. Writing is a long process, and you've got a good nucleus, now go mold it into something great.

Posted 5 Years Ago


Hey, here's my review, i like to give points where i think it could be improved. i like the ideas used here and there is an intriguing relationship to be explored but there are a few problems.

1. The structure. this is the biggest problem. i don't like the 'start at the end' style book. i totally understand why you want to write this way and there are some advantages to it but... you basically give away two huge points of your story in the first chapter. She has been bitten and will die and she had to kill her love. That means when these things happen in the story she is writing the drama and suspense has already been taken away. just start at the start. she can still write the story at the end and you can use this as a good way to end the book with a little mystery.

2. even in this structure you start telling some of the story before she is writing her story. that mixes things up a little i think and makes things a little confusing. she goes from talking about him in the basement then she is coughing up blood and it is not immediately apparent when she is coughing up blood. i would just start at the start of where she is going to write from and go from there. the more you jump backwards in the time the more confusing it gets.

3. Readers do not care about the characters yet because they do not know them. they are as faceless as the undead. you need to show these two characters, show that he loved food, show that they loved each other. that way when she has to shoot him, it is traumatic for the reader.

4. it all reads a little too much like a police report, set the scene a little more, show the emotions she is feeling. 'some creepy old basement' is not enough, why is it creepy? what is in there? is it cold? this is the problem with jumping back in time, you don't get a sense of being there, or being in that exact moment. it also takes the mystery away.

-Example -
this is just totally for example and is very crude but it shows what i mean.

Lets say the scene is: "she is running away from a zombie"

and you wrote, 'she couldn't run well because a week ago she had been bitten'

Then you jump back and tell the story of why she was bitten and write, 'she wasn't expecting a zombie to be in the car but when she opened the door there it was and it bit her.

Then jump forward again and continue with her running away, 'she grabbed the wound and ran fighting the pain.'

There are actually 2 scenes here not 1. "she is running" and "she is bitten" and it is confusing and frustrating for a reader when you switch between the two.

Firstly you lose the momentum in the current scene of her running away. The question 'will she get away?' is put on hold and the suspense is lost because you have switched scenes. Secondly the reader already knows the ending of the "she is bitten" scene. so when she opens the car door, there is no surprise or mystery about it. you end up spoiling 2 scenes of the story just because of the order you show the reader the events in question.

If you just started at the start the reader would have the suspense of her opening a car door/the shock of a zombie biting her. then later when she is running and limps clutching the wound the reader already knows why... and may even think, 's**t, her leg is wounded, she should have been more careful with that car, will she get away?' keep them wondering 'what will happen next,' dont tell them what happened to get to this point in the story.

hopefully i made my point clear--------

anyway these points are meant to help you tell your story in a better way, not as criticism for the sake of it.
keep it up, i really want to read more. please ask me if you want me to explain what i said further.

Posted 6 Years Ago


DreamCatcher

6 Years Ago

Thanks so much for the feedback! I really appreciate it.

I kind of wrote this story .. read more

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Added on November 14, 2015
Last Updated on November 14, 2015


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DreamCatcher
DreamCatcher

Charlotte, NC



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Kat. 24. Night Owl. Lover of Literature. more..

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A Chapter by DreamCatcher