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Ground Zero #12, Former United States of America, 2027...


The sky is burning.


The ground is shaking.


Civilization has come to an end.


Tragedies have plagued society since the dawn of time, some worse than others. The Black Plague, The Armenian Genocide, Pearl Harbor, World War II, The Holocaust, Hiroshima, 9/11, Hurricane Katrina… all of these events have led the deaths of thousands, and the tears of millions.


In the year 2018, a new threat emerged; one that would lead the world down a path of destruction. A mysterious virus the government later dubbed Vulnarius, began to spread across the United States, morphing its victims into horrendous creatures with a lust for blood.


But that was only the beginning.


And then it came, the event that ended it all. May 15th began as just another day, the world still concentrating all it’s brainpower on either the growing Vulnarius Plague, or the latest release on Netflix. But then, it came. A barrage of nuclear warheads, heading straight for America with no warning and no way to stop them.


The world shook, millions of people screaming in terror as the patriotic country was destroyed. And then, as the flames tore cities, mountains, forests and lakes apart, they were silenced. Only a handful remained, and with the Vulnarius creatures still lurking, those people were slowly picked off one by one.


One moment, the United States of America was a bustling country of fast food, greedy civilians, and real estate. The next, it was a rabid wasteland of nuclear destruction and mutant creatures that roamed the earth. This was the story about how the world came to an end.






Thousands of bodies laid strewn across the city of Washington D.C., smoke billowing from the torn down building that formerly housed the president. The grass was dead, the trees burnt black, and any sign of life had been snuffed out.


Dirt and dust blew through the air, a cool breeze whisking it through the atmosphere. Up in the sky, light shined down through the clouds of smoke, which plagued the skies and kept the atmosphere almost uninhabitable. Everything in the area was dead, destroyed by the radiation.


A man stumbled through the streets, tripping over a broken car door as they moved towards their target. Their skin was grey, their veins a distended glowing purple. Their eyes were a dark red, blood trailing down their faces and path their sharp sets of teeth. They were mutated, but not from the radiation. From a virus, that long preceded the tragedy that was the American Fallout.


The mutant proceeded towards its target, which was a struggling old man trapped in a ditch. His car had fallen straight into a hole on the side of the road, due to his failed attempt to outrun a swarm of mutants not too far behind this one. He was trapped inside, trying to climb out as he struggled to release his broken leg from the shattered car window.


"Please!" he cried.


"Help me!" he shouted.


But nobody was there. Almost the entire population was decimated. Turned to dust and vaporized by the explosions or torn apart and transformed by the mutants. Only a handful of survivors remained, and there was nobody to help him.


Nobody but one. 


The man screamed, watching as the mutant approached the edge of the ditch and looked down at him. It gazed at him for a second with its blood red eyes before letting out a terrifying screech and pouncing forward on the man's body.


The man let out a scream, but alas, the mutant tore into his body. He sunk his teeth into the man's neck and tore out his jugular, filling his throat with blood and spilling even more out of his mouth. He dug his claws into his arms, slashing into his flesh and tearing straight into the bone. Blood spewed out of his corpse as the mutant pulled its head away, tearing off another chunk of flesh from the corpse's face.


He was dead in moments, but the mutant was satisfied. At least, it thought it was. There was no sign of any further flesh in sight, until a small voice came from inside the car.




The mutant turned its head, attracted by the sound of a child's voice. It turned and approached the side of the car, latching onto the side door with its claws and screeching loudly as it glared at the young girl cowering inside. She screamed, and he roared, tearing off the metal door with a single yank.


The girl tried to push him off, but it wasn't enough. The mutant crawled into the car, and the girl turned around and tried to escape out the other side. She was able to slip through, cutting her ankle on a sharp corner of the broken window.


The mutant followed, crawling through the window as it's sandpaper-like skin split open against the shattered glass window. The girl climbed out of the ditch and hurried into the street, the mutant crawling after it. But it was only after the mutant emerged from the ditch did a shadow step out from an alleyway, drawing a dark black weapon it's belt. A handgun.


"Daddy!" she screamed as she stopped, eyeing her father's dead body laying against the car. His body was torn apart, and with no remorse, the mutant pounced on her.




She screamed, and then came a gunshot.




She froze, opening her eyes a few seconds later to find the mutant laying limp in the middle of the road. Black blood trickled down from the bullet wound in its forehead as the shadowy figure behind her holstered his weapon, approaching the young girl.


"Thank you... but... daddy..."


"He's dead little girl... and you... you are infected," the man said as he eyed her, taking the cloak off of his head and revealing a young man with messy black hair and a scar or two on his forehead and cheek.


"In-Infected?! But daddy said you can't get infected unless they bite you!" she exclaimed, tears streaming down her face.


He shook his head, "that's a lie, a myth from the earlier days. If your blood mixes with theirs, you're screwed."


He pointed downwards, pointing out the cut on her ankle. Blood from the mutant was splattered onto her leg, several drops having mixed with the large gash on her ankle. She looked back up at him and began whimpering, only seconds away from bawling.


The man had seen this tragedy only a hundred times before. So many people, so many friends. Now it was just him. He sighed and reached down for his gun but stopped. It was no different than any other time, but he wanted to give her as much mercy as he could.


"Little girl... what is your name?" he asked.


She sniffled, "M-Mabel..."


"Mabel um... you're a brave girl. I'm sorry it had to end this way but please... turn around. I'll take you to your father," he said, still not used to the idea of mercy killing.


She slowly turned around, crying harder as tears and snot dripped down her face. The man sighed, holding up his gun as soon as her back was turned. His hand shook, and he began to tear up, but it didn't hurt his aim. A single gunshot to the back of the head, and her body fell forward onto the pavement.


"God... why can't the world just give me a break from this," he asked himself for probably the hundredth time.


Just as he holstered his weapon, the sounds came back. The growls, the snarls... The swarm that had been chasing them was getting closer, only a few blocks away now.


He couldn't afford to bury the girl, and as much as it was the right thing to do, he needed to stay alive. He sighed and gave her one final look before reaching down and pulling his bloody hatchet from the other side of his belt, taking the handle of a knife from the other side.


Eight years... eight years since this country had fallen. Eight years since over a billion people had suddenly vanished in a burst of light as fourteen nuclear warheads smashed into the ground and decimated the population. Eight years since I cowered in a dark room, watching my friends and loved ones die around me as the world seemingly came to an end. 


Eight years since The Omega Event...

Submitted: August 10, 2020

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