The Real Monsters: Part 1

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
A man finds himself in a world torn apart by a plague or suspected genetic mutation, and he and the other survivors must gather together to have any chance in facing the real monsters of this apocalypse.

Submitted: May 15, 2017

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Submitted: May 15, 2017

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The Beginning of the End

I really never thought I'd be the type to write a journal or diary or notebook or whatever this is called. But I think that it would be best to jot all my ideas and memories from this horrendous time in my life. Let's get straight to the point. If you're reading this, you already know what happened, but I'm gonna tell you anyways. I'm gonna write it all down, from my perspective, how the world went to shit.

 

It all started in Mid June, shortly after my graduation from UCLA. That's when the adults started getting sick. It wasn't terribly noticeable at first, a few here, a few there. Everyone, including the scientists, thought of it as some new minor virus that posed a minor threat at most. Boy were they wrong. It started with the elderly, many were contracting it and dying within days. Sad as it was, the truth of life is that the old have weaker immune systems. While it was a tragedy, it wasn't one of truly epic proportions. However, it became a major problem when it seemed to begin to work its way down the age brackets. Soon, a large amount of the adult population was sick. For some reason we have yet to determine, it stopped affecting people younger than the age of twenty-five. Later we realized that all over twenty-five were sick, some just had undetectable symptoms. The ones who showed the traditional symptoms of disease(despite how awful they were) like sores, vomiting, headaches, were the lucky ones. They died quickly. It's the ones that didn't show signs right off the bat, the majority, the ones that didn't die in late June, those were the ones that came to be the bane of the leftover’s existence.

 

July 8th was the day of the first attack. It was a strange occurrence, a group of adults, now considered to be anyone over the age of 25, attacked a group of school children in a small town nearby called Claremont. They didn't just attack them, they attempted to fucking eat them. Despite the deaths, the attack and the suspected new virus, no one but the conspiracy theorists saw a connection. God damn, we should have listened to the crazy bastards. The government, attempting to placate everyone as usual, successfully explained it as a drug induced stupor that caused the adults to attack and consume. That excuse worked for a bit.

 

Until it happened again

 

And again.

 

July 12 was the day they canceled any school still in session. An unexplained recess. Children across the country and the world had no complaint. They simply enjoyed the break. I don't think that they knew that it was going to be permanent. Reports came in of the adults attempting to, and often times succeeding in eating their own children. The government tried to intervene and restore order, but as you can guess, it was chock full of adults. All the governments in the world fell in the coming days. The news went off the air on the 14th, no one was really left to run the channels. Anarchy ruled the streets as children were pitted against the feral adults. As more and more of the competent adults realized what was happening to the whole world, and what would no doubt happen to them, they fled to the country, knowing they would never return to the city while sane. They left their children behind in last ditch effort to save them from an untimely demise at their own hands, and well, teeth. Many adults succeeded in leaving, but it was not enough. Before long the roads were clogged with crushed cars and eventually bodies in the same state, leading the sane adults to quite literally run for the hills. But still, many remained behind, taken too quickly by the disease and consumed by a hunger for the flesh of the young. I haven't quite figured out why they desire to eat children, all I know is that they do, and it's terrifying.

 

July 16th, 2021

 

Today, I was attacked by my neighbor. My parents had left town the previous day, and due to my neighbor's vacant-seeming house where no lights had shown for days, I assumed my neighbors has skipped town too. I wanted to stockpile supplies for myself and my siblings, Art, and Alyssa, so I went in to take a look. I went across the street and began to scavenge. All was fine until I went into that one room. I think it was their bedroom. It smelled like literal shit, apparently, as their mental facilities dissolved, as did their desire to maintain any semblance of personal hygiene. It was dark in there, so dark. The curtains were drawn, the lights were off, I heard groaning and moaning. Then I was attacked.

 

I saw movement off to my right and attempted to dodge, but the thing that used to be my neighbor scratched me with his fingers. I ran as fast as I goddamn could out of that fucking house. He, well actually it’s it now, followed me to the door, but wouldn't come out into the daylight. Every time it attempted, it would run back inside covering its eyes and hissing. I came to figure out that the corrupted adults were incredibly sensitive to bright light, and any exposure would disorient and temporarily blind them. I stood in the sunlight, relieved to be safe for now. The only thing that interrupted my peace of mind was the fact that when night fell, there would be nothing to stop them from roaming.

 

After bandaging and disinfecting my wound, I started to barricade my house immediately after I sprinted across the street. I took wood from the shed and from the garage to reinforce the windows and doors. Then I realized I still had a few windows left to cover. I took my father’s old firewood. I put those up on the windows too for good measure. I hope these makeshift barricades will hold. Hell, it worked in Call of Duty, why wouldn't it work now? My siblings and I spent the day hammering and scavenging for wood to further barricade. When night fell, we were safe. Or so it seemed.  

 

July 17th, 2021

 

We heard thumping all through the night, as the adults attempted to break through the barricade. I slept fitfully but managed to get enough sleep to feel refreshed.

 

Today, I ventured out, looking around the various shops. I wasn't looking for food or water this time like yesterday, no, I needed weapons. I walked down the cluttered streets and saw a few wild dogs run past. I think it was a golden retriever, a german shepherd, and a greyhound. Luckily they didn't attack me, but if a few more days without food passed, it would probably be a different story. Before I had left my house, I had looked around for anything that I could use to defend myself in the case of an encounter with the adults. I eventually settled on bringing a hammer from my dad’s tool kit, and a knife from my mom’s collection of food preparation utensils. Then I set out to scavenge. As I walked down the deserted streets of my formerly thriving suburban town, I clutched my dad's hammer and my mom's cutting knife in my hand, ready to defend against anything that may prove an obstacle. As I walked around the town, I tried to come up with an action plan. I debated going to the old grocery store to see if I could find anything of use. Then, I had a better idea. I jogged home from my position, about a mile from home. Once home, I went to search around the garage to see if I could find anything to help me with my idea. After finding what I was looking for, I loaded the four 5-gallon gasoline containers into the bed of my ‘98 Chevy Sierra 1500 pickup truck. I started up the car and checked the gauges. Dad had had the sense to fill up the tank before they left. I shot a quick thank you in the direction I knew they went and drove off to the gas station. I filled the containers until the pump ran dry. Apparently, I wasn't the first one to think of this. In total, I had about 20 gallons of gas to use how I saw fit. I drove back home and locked the car, didn't want any looters to get in(Although a locked door probably wouldn’t stop them). I saw a few kids on the way, but they paid me no mind and I reciprocated their sentiment. Then I set out again, this time to get those weapons that I had planned to get originally. I decided to go down to Home Depot and get anything that could be of use. It was going to be about an hour walk, but it was well worth it; I met someone on the way there. As I was walking, he came over and joined me. His name was Ralph, and he was about 5'9" with medium length brown hair, worn in a sort of organized chaos way, with grey-blue eyes. Clad in a pair of tan shorts, a navy blue t-shirt, tall white socks, and converse, he had the aura of an athlete. He also had a reasonably strong build, probably a footballer, maybe a linebacker before the world went bottoms up. Initially, I was suspicious of the kid, but I decided to trust him. He seemed nice enough and he provided good company on the walk there. We walked across the abandoned 210 freeway, talking about our old plans for the future, me enrolling in graduate school and getting a Law Degree and him getting a job as a detective. We finally arrived at Home Depot. He looked over and me. "Shit, we're not the first ones to have this idea." A group of people, about half boys, and half girls were walking out, armed to the teeth with knives and chainsaws and anything useful. I called out to them in a hopeful voice as they passed "Leave anything for us?". To our surprise, they replied in the affirmative and continued to walk away, while we continued to walk inside.

Something was off though, Ralph and I walked to the section where the tools used to be, and found nothing. I looked behind me and caught movement out of the corner of my eye. It seemed as though someone had quickly darted behind a shelf, and didn't want to be seen. "Hello? Anyone there?" I asked. Then I saw it again, but this time in a different place. It was too bright inside to be the adults, and they probably didn't have the mental capacity to hide. It had to be kids. Either they were scared, or we had just walked into an ambush. Knowing kids, it was probably the latter of the two options. Ralph quickly grabbed the only knife left on the display and I withdrew mine from my sheath, placed it in my left hand,  and gripped the hammer tightly with my right. They stepped into view, and I saw that it was a part of the people who were in the group we saw initially. I saw a kid with dual machetes bared, and another with a long spear. The girl held a dagger, and the final guy held a club. They arranged themselves so that two kids covered each end of the aisle. The kid with the club and the machetes was closer to me, while the children with the dagger and the spear were closer to Ralph. The boy with the club looked at us and said "Sorry, but we need all the resources for ourselves"

"I'm willing to share," I replied.

"We're not"

"Well fuck, I didn't want to have to kill anyone today" I bluffed.

“Well that’s a shame because I did”

And with that loving final statement, they charged.

 

The one with the spear threw it at me, and I rolled out of the way, grabbed it, and threw it with all my might at the child with the two machetes. He wasn't as quick as I was, and he fell with the spear embedded in his neck, covering the floor with blood. Gross, I’d never seen so much of it before. That much outside the body certainly couldn’t be good for his health. I couldn't look behind me, and I hoped Ralph was doing as well as I was. I sprinted toward the boy with the club and swung with the hammer for his stomach. He dodged and attempted to bash me over the head with the club. I side stepped and managed to get a swipe with a knife in, and he dropped the club with a cry of pain. I swung with the hammer and made connection with a sickening thud and was embedded in his head. I turned around, grabbed the spear, and prepared to put down any more resistance. Only Ralph was standing there, with only had a minor cut across his forearm. He looked over at me, smiled, and gave me a thumbs up. I picked up the pair of dual machetes, along with their sheath, and decided I liked them better than my knife and hammer combo. Besides, I was not down to attempt to get the hammer unstuck from that kid’s head. I strapped the machetes on, found that when sheathed, they would cross blades on my lower back, and the handles would be easy to grab. Ralph grabbed the club and spear. I faced Ralph, held a single finger up to tell him to wait for a second, turned, and threw up. I'd never killed anyone before! I was just bluffing, I thought they would just go away. I cried my eyes out and Ralph did the same. We had no clue how to process what had just happened.

 

We are killers, we have killed and will kill again if we're not killed first. I looked over their bodies, and decided to leave them, they had ambushed what they had thought was a harmless group of kids that just wanted to survive, they deserved what they got. I decided to leave the aisle before the pooling blood could get my shoes all nasty.

 

After we felt better, we found a few supplies and crafted a sheath for the spear so Ralph could sling it over his shoulder. It's a new world, and we needed to defend ourselves.

 

We walked outside but noticed that it was getting dark. Instead of risking the walk home in the dusk, where the adults could roam, we decided to take shelter at the nearby Sam’s Club. The bright lights were still on, but only for god knows how much longer. Tonight, we would be safe. I hope the same can be said for my siblings back at home. Our Call of Duty style barricades should hold. They held well enough in the games right?

Ralph and I spent about an hour or so looking around the store. Surprisingly, there was still a significant amount of food left. I was sure that this entire place would have been ransacked by now. To be honest, I was a little suspicious and kept looking over my shoulder to make sure there wasn’t another ambush to ruin this too good to be true surprise. I grabbed a lot of canned goods and meat, along with camping supplies such as matches and fire starters. I was complaining about how we were gonna get this all home when Ralph told me that he can hotwire a car. I suggested that we should head out and try to get home before it got too much darker, but he accurately pointed out that there could be adults in the parking lot and that it would be too difficult to see the wires without the proper lighting. I grabbed a sleeping bag, and because I'm a paranoid person, climbed up the shelves to make sure I was far enough off the ground that even if the lights did fail during the night, I would be safe from any unwanted visitors. Ralph liked the idea, and we set up our stuff across from each other, about 15 feet of the store floor.

 

We woke up the next morning, and the lights were still on. We took another long look around the store, searching for any goodies that we had missed the night before. I found a few more energy bars and other assorted snack foods. We walked out to the parking lot and found a few abandoned cars. To our surprise and joy, there were some really nice mustangs, almost brand new. There was a dark red one and an oddly colored ashen green one. We had to think, of food or quality of cars? Yeah, it wasn't a very hard decision Even though money and fame meant nothing to the new world, we still wanted those nice cars. Ralph hotwired them pretty quickly, and we piled in our stuff. I invited him to come over to my place, as he had just been squatting in any place that was safe for the night. As we finished putting our stuff in the car. I admired my new mustang, and he looked at his dark red one. I looked at him and said, “Look at us, the Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” My pale mustang and his blood red one seemed to be the colors of Death and War, two of the members from the legendary painting. “Too bad that they're low on gas, I would love to ride these babies all the time” he replied. I laughed, said goodbye, and got into the car.

 

I attempted to tune onto a radio station, out of force of habit but was met with static. I then realized that the previous radio show hosts were probably drooling monsters by now. Oh well, silence is fun sometimes. I drove next to Ralph, dodging kids that were making the same trek that I had made the previous day. Sadly, my encounter at Home Depot had made me somewhat jaded and unwilling to trust children that I did not know. On the way home, I wondered if my siblings were okay, I’m sure that they are, though I wish I had had a way to contact them last night, to let them know I was okay and was just spending the night in a store. Phones aren't really that reliable anymore, and a lot are dead anyways. I drove up to my house and saw the door ajar and a few barricades knocked down. I guess this is more like Call of Duty than I thought, those barricades in Nazi Zombies never held.  

 

I got out of my car, expecting the worst, and what I got was only slightly better. There was no sign of them, anywhere. But there weren't signs of a struggle either, so that was good. Not even 30 seconds later, Ralph showed up and walked up casually, not knowing that there was something amiss. I explained to him that my brother and sister were missing, but there were no signs of a struggle. We then ran around the neighborhood, calling their names and asking any child that we saw if they had seen them. Alas, no luck. Ralph and I walked back to my house, defeated and confused. I have no clue where they had gone. My assumption was that they had been kidnapped while I was away scavenging. If only I had been there... I could have, no I would have stopped it.

 

I walked around the house, dazed and confused as the loss of my siblings, I thought we would get through this. I was their protector, their guide. And I had failed them. Ralph tried his best to console me, but it's so hard to be positive in a time like this. The world's gone to shit, my family is gone, people are dying left and right. It's a terrible place to be, but I will survive. I may not thrive, but I will survive.

 

I will survive to honor their memory.

 

July 21st, 2021

 

Not much has happened the previous few days, just survival mostly. Ralph and I forage and attempt to hunt when necessary. It really is wonderful to have someone to talk to after the apocalypse. Today we went hunting in the hills near my house. It's been a long while since I was up in these hills, and it's fun to walk and reminisce. Every once in awhile, we saw a deer. I’ve never killed one, but I have a barbecue and a hunger for some meat. I’ve been eating like a damn rabbit ever since the outbreak. Fresh fruit and vegetables expire first, and it makes sense to eat them before they are useless. I told Ralph, and we agreed that the next deer we saw, we would attempt to hit with a spear. Apparently, Ralph's dad had been a hunter, so he kinda knew how to skin and prepare an animal. We saw a deer minding its own business and got as close as we could, and Ralph chucked the spear at it. And missed. I swear the deer saw us as it fled. I got me thinking though. It’s quite interesting, the struggles of one species have no effect on these animals. This animal was just living its life, probably unaware of what had happened to humanity. Interesting to think about, but I was still hungry for some meat. You can’t get lucky on the first try anyways. We resolved to try again with the next deer. And again. And then again. It took us about 4 hours to finally wound a deer. I ran over and gave it the quickest death possible by slitting its throat with one of my machetes. We walked back to my house, deer carcass slung between us like one of those movies with the tribals. We had taken two sticks and attached the four limbs of the deer to them, and carried it home hanging from them upside down. I brought an old plastic fold-up table out of the garage and set it up in the grass. I let Ralph get to work on it, while I cleaned off our weapons. I heard Ralph call me. He had an odd tone to his voice, and he asked me to bring along the weapons. I walked out casually carrying the weapons, then I saw the adults. I should have seen it coming sooner. They must have been attracted by the scent of the deer blood, and the sun was going to set soon. As the lights got dimmer, the adults got bolder and came closer, out of the shadows. I handed Ralph the spear, and said: “This isn't for throwing this time, if you do, you’re not gonna get it back until the end of the fight.” He nodded his agreement.

We wanted the adults to be caught off guard, not vice versa. I have learned that they aren't really challenging individually, only in groups, where they can surround you, can they really be a danger.

We sprinted towards them, surprising them with our charge. They were slow; Ralph and I made quick work of the 5 of them. He took two down very quickly, with two quick jabs of his spear. My newly sharpened blades cleaved the heads off two of them, one with each hand. I then attacked the last one and made quick work of it. I stood back up, flicked the blood off the blades, and gave Ralph a thumbs up.

 

He then proceeded to throw his spear at me.  Attempting to kill me. That was unexpected.

 

At least, that's what I thought

 

Apparently, unawares to me, there had been an adult behind me, and he saved my life with that risky spear throw.

 

After I thanked him profusely for saving my life, he replied with “you would’ve done the same for me and continued to skin the deer. I watched so I would be able to do it in the future. As the sun set, I wondered, could I set up a lighting system to scare away the adults? The street lights alone weren't enough to keep away the hordes. The pounding and moaning throughout the night got incredibly annoying and was getting on my nerves. Maybe I’ll attempt to do something about it. That light system could be just the thing I needed for a good night’s sleep.

Ralph and I decided to sleep in the attic, just in case they did get in. We grabbed one of the shorter ladders in my house(the large one that we used to get up into the attic before the outbreak was nowhere to be found). When we set it up, it was just tall enough for us to reach up and grab the lip of the attic opening. The pounding on the windows resumed perpetually throughout the night. I'm not quite sure how they knew we were in the house. Maybe a stronger sense of smell or something? I guess it doesn't really matter, all that matters is that they know we're in here. Well, I'm going to attempt to get some sleep, I'll write more tomorrow.

 

July 22nd, 2021.

 

About halfway through the night, I was awoken by a loud bang. I peeked my head down from the attic opening, and there was a pair of two figures snooping around the house. I couldn't tell if they were adults or children, as it was really dark. Probably adults though, it wouldn't make sense for children to be out in the middle of the night. Then again, it could just be children looking for shelter. I didn't make any noise, just went to wake and tell Ralph what was happening. He went and took a look, and couldn't decide if they were children or adults either. We decided to just try and get as much sleep as possible. One of us would keep watch over the other and sleep in shifts.

 

The night passed without event, but in the daylight, we could see better. We dropped down from the attic as silently as possible and withdrew our weapons. We walked through the house, quiet enough to not even wake the lightest sleeper. As we approached, the room we thought the snoring was coming from, we prepared for a fight. We opened the door and saw two kids, a boy, and a girl. We stood in the doorway for a minute, not sure if we should disturb them or not. I still wasn't very trusting of strangers, and we withdrew from the room to discuss our plan of action. I proposed that we wake them, but attempt to secure any weapons in the room first. Thus, if they were hostile, we would have the upper hand. Ralph was in favor of trusting them, but my logical approach won out. We walked back into the room where the two lay sleeping. I found a plank, probably used as a club, and a dagger. Due to the lack of weapons, I began to believe that they were more docile than hostile.

We woke them next, and they were incredibly surprised to find anyone else in the house. Surprisingly, they apologized for trespassing and offered to leave immediately. I looked at them, and asked: “What are your names and why are you here?”

The boy looked at me and said “I'm Axel and this”, he motioned to the girl, “is Cameron, but we all call her Cami. Honestly, we were just looking for a place to crash for the night, we’re just drifters looking around for a populated area. Safety in numbers, you know?”

“Don't worry about it guys, I have no problem with you guys staying here for as long as you need, as long as you can provide a service or provide your own food. I'm Bryan by the way” I said

“I'm Ralph, nice to meet you both” my friend said

“No it's no big deal, we're gonna move on today anyways,” said Cami

“Alright then, I won't beg you to stay with us, have . Maybe we'll see each other again in the future”

“See ya around Bryan, you too Ralph, best of luck to you two out there"


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