I woke up face down on the cold concrete of an old cracked road. I slowly picked myself up off the ground. I had a terrible headache. I can't remember how i got here ,in fact I don't even remember where I am ,or better yet who I am. I tried to think of anything before I woke up but there's nothing. It's just blank. The only memory I have is that cold concrete. I noticed a black duffel bag next to my feet half unzipped. I kneeled down and unzipped it the rest of the way. There was a black long sleeve shirt an extra pair of pants and an old leather jacket, under the clothes was a knife and a canteen. I grabbed the canteen and shook it. It was full , I twisted off the cap and smelled it to make sure it was water. It was, so i put the cap back on and put everything back into the bag. I stood up with the bag in my hand and looked around. I saw a sign that had faded letters and an arrow pointing straight and the number 12 next to it. Whatever town was up ahead. it was going to be a long walk. I opened the bag to get the leather jacket because I was starting to get cold. i put it on and closed the bag back up ,and started walking. Miles passed and none of the scenery changed it was just the same trees and fields. I came to a sign that had more faded letters an arrow pointing left and 1/2 of a mile left to go, and sunlight was fleeing. i walked a little faster hoping to get there before it got really dark. As the town came into my view the sun was setting behind it. I walked closer and closer to the town i started noticing more and more cars, but there was no one in them. They actually looked like they've been there for years. They were all rusted to a point that the paint that was on them had completely vanished. i got closer and closer to the town and there were more and more cars piled up some were completely wrecked and others had broken windows and some even had what looked like blood on the windows. It was getting colder and then the wind blew the first thing i noticed was the cold cutting through my pants and freezing my legs. The second thing i noticed was the smell. It smelled like roadkill that had set in the sun for two weeks. It was wretched, and i had no idea where it was coming from. As soon as the wind stopped the smell went away. I continued walking toward the town. The last light of the day was fading and all i could see was the town on the horizon. The town was split down the middle by what i'm guessing is main street. In the split was what looked like an outline of a man. it was taller and looked more built. I cleared my throat and yelled "Hello!"
I saw the figure turn slowly and it began limping in my direction. I became cautious in an instant i unzipped the bag and grabbed the knife out and held it firmly. i noticed it wasnt quite walking right its arms were dangling at its side and it was dragging one foot and stumbling over the other. A gust of wind hit me in the face and that smell, that wretched smell was was closer and smelled ten times worse. I almost gagged but i kept it down as the figure approached. I heard a sound come from the figure. i thought maybe it was whispering so i said
The figure just moaned back a deep raspy moan. It was getting closer it was about thirty feet away and it stuck its arms up and started moving faster.
"Stop right there" I yelled.
It was about ten feet away and i could tell where the smell was coming from now. It was coming from this thing. It got within reach and i swung the bag hard and hit it right in the head. It went down with a moan, and rolled when it hit the ground. I dropped the bag and bent my knees and had a ninety degree bend in my elbows. The thing was getting back up and i was ready this time. It came at me again and i side stepped out of its way and as i did it snapped in my face. Its back was facing me and before it could redirect i kicked it in the back i jumped on top of it and brought my knife down with full force into its back and then i twisted the knife and it stopped moving. i got up and wiped my knife on its shirt and as i did lightning quick it grabbed my hand and tried to bite my forearm. i took the knife in my other hand and even faster than the thing grabbed me i drove my knife into its temple and it fell lifeless back to the ground. It was dead finally. i cleaned my blade back off and walked back to the bag and threw the knife back in it. i threw the bag over my shoulder trying not to think about what just happened, but it wasn't working had i just killed a human being? Where did i learn to fight like that? but the biggest question of all was what the hell is going on? I can't remember who i am or where i came from. i dont even know what my own face looks like, yet i have instinctual fighting skills? Im so confused i need to find out who i am, and the only way to do that is to find out where i came from. I couldn't have come from that far away maybe even this town up here. i collected my thoughts and focused on the task at hand. Find where i'm from. So i began my journey again walking into this town in the pitch black night.
I made it to the town and it looked completely deserted from what i could actually see. i slowly and quietly walked through the town. Suddenly i saw huge flash in the distance and a loud bang came a millisecond later. Then i heard a man scream in pain and another in sorrow, and i took off in a sprint toward the flash. I came upon a short building with two men on top and what looked like a heard of people huddled into a group circling around something. The two men were talking back and forth. Then they started yelling "Help!" simultaneously. So i did the first thing that popped into my mind. I reached down grabbed a good sized rock and launched it through a store's window. An alarm went off echoing through the streets, and i didn't need to see to be able to tell i had a thousand eyes turned toward me. They gave one collective moan and then they all started shuffling toward me. i turned and ran as fast as i could and turned into an alley and hopped the fence. i ran to the building the men were on it was about an eight foot climb. i walked up to the wall and put my hands on it my fingers slid perfectly in between the bricks and i started climbing up the wall. I got to the top and whispered
"hello! is everyone ok up here" there was a pause then someone whispered back.
"Yeah we're ok thank you who ever you are."
"can i come up?"
"yeah, come on up." another voice said.
So i climbed the rest of the way up and asked what they were doing.
They replied "We were checking this town for survivors. We heard there were some people held up in some of these buildings, but you're the only person we've seen."
"How did you get stuck up here then?" i asked.
"We were sweeping the buildings when we opened a door and those ghosts swarmed out. Someone must have trapped them in there because we hadn't seen any other ghosts in the entire town."
"Ghosts?" Was all i had to say.
They looked back and forth at each other.
"Yeah ghosts? If you've been alive for this long you have to know they're called ghosts?"
I just stared at him with a confused look on my face.
The older one said. "Son do you know what's going on?"
"No i have no idea whats happening? What are ghosts and what do you mean by survivors?"
"They're coming back we better go now if we're gonna make it." The younger one said.
They grabbed their bags and the younger one jumped off the roof. The older one looked back at me and motioned his hand as to come on. Then he jumped too. So i followed i jumped off the roof and landed softly on the ground barely making a noise and the three of us took off in a sprint down the road.
We didn't quit running until we hit a tree line and we knew the things weren't following us. We slowed down to a walk, but we all kept silent just walking through the woods until we came up to a house in a little clearing. i could barely see but from what i could see it looked like the windows were boarded up and the door had a two by four attached to it.
"We'll check it out, just wait here."
They ran over to the door and one of the men pulled a crowbar out of his bag and they pried off the the board and went inside. I waited for about a minute and then they waved for me to come in.
I walked inside. The men had lit a lamp and illuminated the living room of the house. There were two sofas and a recliner that were covered in dust, and the carpet looked brown, but was probably white at one point in time. The wallpaper was peeling off showing the rotted wood behind it. The whole place looked like it had been vacant for years. It smelled like mold, mildew, and dust.
"This place is disgusting!" The younger man said. I could see his face now, he had a young face. he was no older than 25 he had brown hair with a short beard growing. His chin was pointed and his cheekbones stuck out. His face was skinny and gaunt, but he was built. He was wearing some kind of soldier gear. It was grey and brown urban camo with a patch on the shoulder that wasn't like any military patch i've seen before. It was a white owl with a red background in the shape of a shield. I glanced at the older guy and almost instantly i could tell they were father and son the older guy had the same face features but his face wasn't as skinny and his hair and much scruffier beard was peppered with white, and he had a scar going from his temple to his jawline. He was much more built than his son, but wearing the exact same uniform.
"Well this is what we got. So be thankful we're safe at least."
"Yes, sir." the younger one replied.
"i'll take the recliner." the older man said as he dusted it off. We followed his lead and dusted off the sofas and sat down. I looked at the old man with a serious look and he sighed.
"I guess you want some answers, huh?"
I nodded my head.
"Well where do i start," he paused thinking back" Well lets go to the day it first started. I was 38 then i was stationed in a base in Oklahoma. At first there were just reports of sick people in hospitals sick with some new illness. Then a few hours later the death toll went through the roof and nobody knew what to do. we thought that was the end of that illness because anyone who was infected died within two hours. We were watching the news two hours later and the dead were... they were coming back. They were coming back and they were crazy they were attacking people, but not just attacking them they were eating them." he paused for a few minutes. "The news told us to stay inside and lock our doors, but people didn't listen most people packed up in there cars and tried to leave. All those people trying to leave at once the traffic backed up and the ghosts caught up to them. They smashed the windows and tore whole families apart women, children, and even infants. They have no mercy for anything. After twelve hours there numbers doubled. Then the army showed up. The survivors thought we were saved The Great American Army had showed up and like many battles before they thought they were gonna come in and defeat the enemy with tactics and more fire power, but the ghosts feel no pain or fear they just keep coming relentlessly and the army didn't know how to kill them they didn't know they could only die from brain trauma so they mowed them down, and the ghosts just got back up and they did it again and again until they ran out of ammo and they were over ran. Twenty four hours and there were more of them then there was of us. The commander and cheif at my base said we were getting ready to deploy to combat this unknown foe. He only let those of us who had family on the base with us stay. It was about twenty of us soldiers who stayed and the rest of the troops went out. They kept in radio contact for a few hours then they engaged and went quiet after an hour. I could only assume the worst. The rest of us got together and locked down the base, but we started running low on supplies and we were too far away from civilization to scavenge for food so we moved and over this time of being nomads we started losing people. Some of the soldiers lost their families, some lost their lives, and some lost everything. A week after we left the base there were only a few of us left. We hadn't seen another human being in weeks just ghosts. My guess is most of humanity was wiped out within that first week. Only the lucky ones survived. Me and my boys and a few of the other families stumbled across a small town on top of a hill the town was empty so we took refuge there and that's been our home ever since we built walls and watch towers. We started farming and people started showing up looking for help and we took them in. We've been living like that for almost eight years now." He looked at me with a sincere look and said, "That's all i know about what's going on."
"Wow." i said astonished i could barely even comprehend what i was just told. I just stared off into space wrapping my mind around it all. I laid down and turned away from the man and closed my eyes. My last thought before i went to sleep was, All of humanity is wiped out.
"Wake up, wake up, Miles." A young girl said to me as i opened my eyes."We're gonna be late for rations." She grabbed me by my hand and pulled me out of bed. I thought to myself as this young girl pulled me by my hand behind her, Miles. That's my name. I remember my name, but who was this girl? I followed her to a warehouse where people were lined up and she said
"I already have our place in line Conner has our wagons so we can cut up to him."
We maneuvered our way through people to a spot in line where a young boy about thirteen years old had three wagons. He saw us walk up and said
"About time you got out of bed dude you almost missed rations. Your mom would have killed you!"
"Huh?" i said confused wondering where i was.
"Still sleepy Miles?" The girl said to me.
"Ye...Yeah i guess." i replied. The girl still hadn't let go of my hand i looked down at us holding hands. Were we a couple? The boy looked at me really fast and back at the girl. I was wondering what that meant when all of the sudden the girl kissed me on the cheek. i looked at her and her face was beet red and i could feel mine getting red for no apparent reason.
"Conner bet me i wouldn't so i had to!" The girl said to me. Conner was laughing profusely and said, "look how red his face is getting." He continued laughing
"Shutup Conner!" the girl said defending me.
"Excuse me!" the lady behind us said. We looked forward and it was our turn to get rations. We grabbed our wagons and walked up to the army man. He smiled and started piling food into the back of our wagons. He finished and said
"A month's rations each. See you next month kids." He said smiling. We walked out of the warehouse and Conner went to the left and said
"See you guys later!" we waved at him and kept walking hand in hand. We walked down the road silently until we came to two identical houses separated by a fence and thirty feet of grass. She stopped and so did i and she said "Meet you at the creek in an hour?"
"Yeah." i said instinctively.
"Ok go tell your mom your home she's probably worried." she said with a smile. She hugged me and walked to the house on the right. I walked to the house on the left. I opened the gate and walked up the walkway to the door. I opened the door and pulled the wagon inside. I looked forward and there was a young thirteen year old boy in a grey hoodie and blue jeans and some old black sneakers. He had blonde hair, brown eye brows, and he had light brown eyes. i picked up my arm to wave and so did the boy. I realized it was a mirror on the wall and i just studied my reflection for a few minutes. The wind sucked the door closed and it slammed pretty hard.
"Is that you Miles?" a woman said from the other room.