Cass pulled the blanket tighter around her, squeezing her eyes shut against the morning light and the call to get up. The night had been a long one, hours spent awake listening to the constant moans of the hungry undead. Sleep was not a luxury she allowed herself these past weeks, her body insisting on staying awake and alert. She curled her body tighter, the sofa beneath her old, with threadbare material worn thin and fluffs of cottony stuffing pushing their way to the surface. Despite its lumpy surface, it was the most comfortable place she had lain for some time. She cringed as memories surfaced, a basement floor, cold and damp, and all the people crammed into the small space. There had been no food and the smell of unwashed bodies had been enough to make her forget she was hungry, even after three days. The group falsely believed they were safe, that the doors would hold. It was the double cellar doors at ground level which caved in first, allowing all the infected to pour inside. Cass was shoved about, her only weapon a shovel she had been handed when the inevitable collapse of the doors occurred.
Screaming, the sound of flesh tearing, gurgling sounds as throats bubbled with blood….these were the things she tried to shut out. She had been surprised at her own ability to inflict blows and ultimately death. The shovel was an ungainly tool, but was quite efficient when it came to decapitation. When all the carnage ended, she was one of two left standing. The undead and newly dead filling the cramped room with the odor of blood and rot. She had gagged, vomiting clear bile, as she was pulled from the basement. Together the two survivors had ran, seemingly forever, until Cass noticed she was running alone. She had back-tracked, calling out, feeling an odd connection with this stranger she had spent a few grueling days with. She couldn’t remember his name, and in the end she only managed to attract more of the infected. She moved on, weaving in and out of different establishments, stopping to grab up supplies or rest. She slept in empty houses, gathering food and water into a large purse-like tote she had discovered near a corpse. She had kept a few items from the bag, a brush, mirror, chapstick, and a bottle of pills. When she had reached the apartment complex she was residing in now, she was worn out and defeated. Pushing her way into the building, she had collapsed in the foyer, wrapping her arms about her legs and rocking. She zoned out for some time, only coming back to awareness when a set of hands lifted her to her feet. She hadn’t resisted when she was led up five flights of stairs and taken to this apartment. There was some sense of safely here, even if it was only temporary, and the pills she had found added a feeling of false comfort and calm. Without them, she was afraid she might lose her mind.
Groaning, Cass poked her head out from the blanket and greeted the dawn. Running her hands through her hair which barely covered her ears, she ruffled it into place. A short black leather jacket was crumpled as a pillow at one end of the couch, another item she had found while on the fly. She unwrapped the cocooned blanket from her shoulders and slipped on her boots. She was hungry, the dry coating on her tongue evidence to her thirst as well.
“I’m up.” She responded, Louie’s yawn producing one of her own. She stretched, using the back of the sofa to rest her hands on as she extended each leg and cracked her back. Turning her head from side to side, she worked out the kinks from the restless night. Breakfast…she wondered what that would entail. She would kill for some yogurt and fresh fruit…literally. Reaching into her newly acquired bag, she pulled out an amber bottle and tapped out a white pill. Chewing the valium dry, she savored the bitter taste and the calm it would bring.
FEEL THE FEAR...LIVE THE HORROR...DREAM THE DREAM...OF NIGHTMARES!