Betty’s Story

Destruction and the undead spanned as far as she could see. She navigated the road cautiously as she waited for Betty’s story.

“It began at the airport. We didn’t notice anything was wrong at first. They just changed so fast! We barely escaped.”

“We?”

“There was a group of us to begin with. We got separated in the tumult,” she sniffled. “I lost my husband to one of those awful things…”

Zilyana swerved hard to avoid hitting an abandoned car. Cash fell from Betty’s bag. She arched an eyebrow at her.

“Mind explaining that?”

The drop of blood that seeped through Betty’s bandage was no bigger than a mite, but the damage was done. It was only a matter of time.

“There was a group of us, but I got separated…”

“Right, you already mentioned that. And the bag of cash?”

“What are you, a cop?”

“I’m just a nurse. Betty? Betty, what’s wrong?”

Betty thrust the loose bills back into her bag, and was struck with a fit of coughing. It tapered off into a full seizure, foam frothing from her lips.

Resigned, Zilyana pulled over as Betty went still. She opened the backdoor and checked Betty’s pulse, finding none.

She hummed a pleasant tune to distract herself from the gruesome task. Betty’s head exploded like dynamite as the axe fell, spilling blood and brain matter across the backseat.

Zilyana turned to find arms flailing from an open car window, reaching towards her. Soft growls came from within.

With mounting trepidation, she peered inside.

A little girl snapped her jaws at Zilyana, her skin a pallid gray. Zilyana opened the car door and hefted her axe once more…

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Her First

Zilyana tried to make sense of Daniel’s words, but they were only moonshine to her. Foam frothed from his mouth as he tried to speak again. He fell into a seizure soon after. Panic rose as she pulled over, taking his axe as she exited.

The only light came from a smoldering truck and her feeble ruby emergency candle.

“This can’t be happening.”

Daniel was already dead, corpse cooling in her passenger seat. He started jerking, arms reaching for her, teeth gnashing.

She hoisted the axe and segued from nursing into
monster killing with one swing.

The axe landed with a sickening thud, gore splashing the Italian leather.

Zilyana removed Daniel’s corpse with tenderness. It wasn’t his fault he became a monster.

A piercing cry for help caught her attention. Feeling venturesome, Zilyana made her way to investigate.

She crept closer. Two undead were trying to climb onto a truck. She felt like a chameleon as she gleefully executed them.

With that accomplished, she helped the young woman from the roof of the truck.

Zilyana performed a cursory visual examination of her before introducing herself.

“Zilyana.”
“Betty, and thanks.”

Zilyana liberally doused Betty’s pricked finger with rubbing alcohol before bandaging it.

“Mind the blood. Don’t let it get into your cut.”

“I’ll just sit in the seat behind you.”

“What happened back there?”

Betty glanced around nervously. Zilyana tossed the remnants of her cinnamon coffee out.

“Betty?”

“It is a long story,” said Betty, her soft, lilting accent unrecognizable.

The Nurse

The nurse gently plied the needle, stitching Hannah’s forearm. After hearing Hannah’s tale, she found herself unaccountably nervous. A code was called, & apprehension tingled on her skin. Hoarse cries were cut off wetly. She knew they were in trouble.

Hannah slept feverishly.

First came screams, then a squelching silence as the dead devoured hungrily.

She dared to escape when the wet crunching began, leaving Hannah behind. She passed a hallway of waiting patients in various stages of distress. A pang of guilt nearly stopped her. Only her instincts saved her life.

The dead followed in her wake.

A melody of screams reached her as she fumbled her keys into the ignition. A man smeared with blood banged on the transparent glass window. She hurriedly locked the doors. He bestowed a middle finger as she began to reverse.

The hungry dead approached.

She heard quickening footsteps, then they were upon him, devouring.

Gore sprayed her windshield. She wondered what fresh hell she was in.

She saw a head lodged in a basketball hoop as she drove slowly past. Horrified, she watched its’ mouth still gnashing at the people below. A veritable flood of humanity fled the hospital behind her.

The dead inexorably advanced.

She had seen enough violence to last several lifetimes. She was benumbed.

A man stood in the road, chopping heads off the animated dead. The heads chomped on, relentless. She honked her horn, and let him inside.

“Daniel.”
“Zilyana.”
“Thank you for the timely rescue.”
“You seem adept at handling that axe.”
“I’ve had practice…”

Daniel’s stripes of blood splatter hid his festering bite. His fever spiked.

Introduction

An accidental scratch from a cadaver was the beginning of the apocalypse. He wishes the scratch never happened. Now his arm is swollen infected…

He was dead before help could arrive. His corpse reanimated as the paramedics entered, creating a gory scene. No one left the third-story alive.

The infection continued to spread.

———————-

Hannah grabbed an armful of her coursework and dumped it into her bag. She grabbed her travel mug and took a gulp before checking she had everything. Satisfied, she swung her bag over her shoulder and left her apartment. She set down the travel mug outside while she locked the door.

“Hey Mr. Rollins,” she glanced over, pausing. “Are you feeling okay, Mr. Rollins? You don’t look so great.”

He shambled towards her. She reached over to grab the keys and his teeth tore into her forearm. She punched him, frantic for release. She yanked her arm free, stumbling backwards, knocking over her travel mug in the process. Mr. Rollins chewed on the flesh he had torn loose and Hannah ran, terrified.