Chapter 1: Question
Question; what would you do when there’s a knock on your door, and when you open it, you get a huge, big-ass gun pointed in your face? And what would you do, if a soldier grabs you by your arm and pushes you in front of you, forcing you to walk down the stairs? You hear screams and loud BOOMS coming from outside, like the people of Runem started their own war, and see lightings and explosions. You have no idea what the fuck is going on. Tell me, what would you do? I’ll let you think about it.
In the main time, I’ll tell you what I did. I walked forward as the soldier forced me to do. I lived on the 5th floor, so I had to walk a lot of stairs. My poor legs. I wasn’t the athletic type of guy. I was a candy-lover and a regular at the local fast food- restaurant. My hair was brown and my eyes had a strange, gold/brown colour. I was wearing a blue shirt and baggy jeans. I wasn’t fat, not at all. I just liked candy, OK?
I asked the soldier what was going on, but he only told me there was a national evacuation going on, that there’s no time to pack my bags and I should stay calm. I asked again what was happening, but still; "I advise you to stay calm sir.”
Wow, that’s very helpful sir, but that’s not what I asked.
I walked down the stairs till I got to the main entrance. There were a lot of other people from this flat standing there, all panicking about what is happening and what not. I just lived there, so most of the people were strangers to me. Lucky for me, Michelle from the 4th floor, a pretty blonde girl I met in the elevator, and Nora from the 2nd floor, an old lady that made me a pie when I first got here. They were standing close to the stairs, and Michelle seemed relieved to see me.
“Aiden! Thank god you’re OK!” she said, smiling at me. (NO, there’s not going to be a romance between us, she has a boyfriend, you idiot.) “What’s going on?”
“Some kind of national evacuation.” I turned to Nora. “How are you doing miss Glass?”
“I’m fine, thank you. I only wish you would call me Nora, instead of miss Glass” she said with a smile. “I hate my last name.”
I laughed at her, but my smile faded away when I saw soldiers standing at all the entrances, even the emergency exit on the left. They stood there with those big-ass guns and poker faces.
Yeah, that’s how you calm down the people. Great job, guys.
“Why are they guarding the exits?”
“I don’t know dear, there like statues. Not moving, no talking, nothing.”
I sighted. On my only free night, something like this happened. I swept the sweat of my forehead. It was in the middle of the summer, and we had the hottest one in the history of Runem. I had seen some shit on the news, about a national disaster in the U.S. An infection or something. We probably got it too. Well, that means we’re fucked. Or maybe not. The military seemed to be prepared, if you look at the soldiers. Well-equipped and they seem to know what to do.
We heard a shot, coming from upstairs. I lived long enough in this neighbourhood to know what a gunshot sounds like. The people got silent for about ten seconds, and then they started shouting and pushing.
“Let us out! Let us out!” The soldiers didn’t move a muscle.
Michelle’s eyes widened and she started to breathe real fast.
“Michelle, are you OK?” I questioned. She shook her head.
Nora pushed me aside. She held Michelle’s head in her hands and looked her in the eyes.
“In through the nose, out through your mouth. Like that, yes.”
Yeah, I’m not good with that. That’s a girl-thing. I stand there a bit awkwardly, patting Michelle on her shoulder. Good job, dude. Superman would be proud.
“What’s going on in your head, dear?” Nora asked Michelle. It seems only women can see when something’s wrong with other women.
“It’s Tyler. He’s still at work. In the Centre.” Michelle’s voice sounded really scared. The Centre was in the middle of Runem, it’s like New York. Almost everyone who lived in the area worked there. Most of the people who lived here too. They lived in shitty, cheap apartments, which were built especially for the employees of big businesses, so the Centre wouldn’t be overwhelmed with homeless.
Tyler was Michelle’s boyfriend, they lived together.
“He’s OK, trust me” Nora said. “If the army-boys are already here with the evacuation, they have already done the Centre. You’ll see him again, at the shelter.”
Michelle seemed to calm down by the words of the old lady. I wish the other people in the hall would too. They were still shouting, and now they were throwing things at the soldiers. Little things, like pencils, keys, books, things they carried on them. Suddenly, a big man stepped forward. He walked towards the soldier and held up his fist.
“I ain’t playing games, son” he said. The soldier held up his gun, like that was going to protect him from this giant.
Suddenly, there was a gunshot from upstairs. The hall got silent, there was no sound for about 10 seconds. Then, the panicking started. The people pushed each other to the doors, sandwiching the soldiers against the walls. I stand before Michelle and Nora, walking back, towards the stairs. It was a huge chaos in the hall. Everyone wanted to get out of this mess, which I found quite stupid, because the situation wasn’t any better outside. There were still screams, BOOMS, fires and smoke. We were right in the middle of the shit.
Suddenly, I heard a scream behind me. It was Nora, who got grabbed by her shoulders by a man. The man looked pale, his eyes had no pupils, and his cheek looked chewed off, like his dog was really hungry. He made a weird sound, like a dying animal, before he planted his teeth in Nora’s shoulder. Nora screamed of pain and tried to get the man of her.
“Help, help me!” she screamed. I wanted to do something, but my legs were stuck in the ground. I couldn’t move, I was frozen. In shock. The man was eating her, like dinner. Like a real predator. Blood was all over the place. I could only look at his hungry eyes and teeth in flesh.
When I finally found the courage to move, someone pushed me a side. A soldier. He held up his gun and shot. It was so quick, I couldn’t even understand what was happened. Nora’s body fell on the ground, and the man next to her. Nora’s left cheek was almost gone, completely blown off. Her eye was just a black hole, her lip was burned away and I could see her teeth. The man next to her was shot in the right side of his face. This was also exploded. I was stunned to see him getting up again. He stood up, like nothing happened. He reached out his arms, trying to get the soldier in his ugly fingers. The soldier held up his gun again, and without hesitation, he shot the man through the head.
“Let’s go” he said to his men. “It’s time.” He colleagues who were still guarding the doors, nodded and opened it. The people ran out, like they were kept prisoner for a hundred years.
I was still shocked. Nora was dead. Nora was dead. Michelle grabbed my hand and pulled me away from the corpses. The picture of Nora’s exploded face would always be in my mind.
Outside, the chaos was still on. For the first time in my life I saw a tank, which was riding towards the highway. On the highway I saw people running away from their cars and other people who were walking slowly, like they had all the time of the world.
A soldier pushed us out the door, forcing us to run and get back to the group. They were leading us to the local supermarket. Everywhere around us, I saw normal people being eaten by the strange looking people, like the one that “ate” Nora. When we walked by, a couple of them looked up to us, and wanted to get closer, but its body fell down the ground when a bullet went through its head.
The supermarket was filled with scared people. They were sitting everywhere in the store.
Michelle still hold my hand, but didn’t say anything. She stared into nothing. I led her to the fruit department, there was a nice smell there that calmed me down. We sat down against some boxes.
I held my head in my hands. Nora is dead. Nora is dead. Holy shit. Nora is dead. Nora is dead. This isn’t real, is it? Is this a joke? Is someone messing with me? Is this a dream? Am I really here?
“Wake up, you idiot. Wake up!” I whispered to myself. A few soldiers walked by. I looked up and saw them disappearing through the back door of the store.
“Uhm, hi” said a manly voice. I turned my head and saw Caesar, a man who lived at the 2nd floor of the flat.
“You’re Aiden, right?”
“Yes, and you’re Caesar” I said. Another couple of soldiers walked by. They too disappeared through the mystery door.
“May I?” He asked me if he could sit down.
“Yeah, sure go ahead.”
He smiled grateful, like I had given him a gift or something.
"I…I'm sorry for what happened to Nora. She…was a nice lady" he said. I bowed my head.
"Yes, she sure was."
A few army men walked by, looking worried. I watched them go through the back door.
"It's weird, huh?" Ceasar said. "Those crazy army people, just taking us away from our homes. Crazy, I tell you."
I watched the door the soldiers had gone through, they could be back any minute. More soldiers ran by and go through the door.
"Where do you think they're going?" I asked Ceasar.
"The back of the store of course" he answered, like I was some kind of idiot.
"I know that's the back of the store, but why aren't they coming back?"
Ceasar laughed. "There probably just debating about what to do next."
Another group of soldiers came by.
"Excuse me, sir" Ceasar asked nicely. They looked at him and walked through, ignoring him.
"Well, there not very polite, are they?"Ceasar said, a bit offended. Another group walked by, and another one. I stood up and watched them disappear through the door. Where were they going? Instead of walking to the backdoor, I walked towards the front door. I heard Ceasar stood up as well and followed me. I stopped at one of the pay desks. I looked at the glass doors and saw hundreds, maybe thousands of bite-things, slamming at the glass and screaming like hungry cats. I stepped back. Suddenly a few cracks appeared in the glass. They slammed and more cracks appeared. More people started to notice and started running to the back of the store. Everywhere I looked, on every meter of the glass, there were those things. Monsters slamming on the glass. Creepy as fuck.
"We gotta get out of here" I said to Ceasar. "Now!" I started running, back to the fruit department, back to Michelle. She was standing up as she saw me running towards her. Her eyes looked brighter than before, like she could think again. I grabbed her arm.
"We have to go." She understood and walked with me. At that moment I heard the glass break. I didn't turn around to see it, but I could imagine what it looked like; millions of tiny glitters flying through the air, the monsters pushing and pulling, trying to get into the store. Their jaws clapping and arms cracking. People started screaming again and ran through the backdoors. Many didn't realize what was going on and sat where they sat. It was too late to save them
I ran to the doors at the back of the store. We came to a loading area of the shop. There, I saw an army truck that drove off, leaving all these innocent people behind. I stood still, listening to the footsteps of the monsters, attacking the people that couldn't make it towards the doors. Hearing them raised my heartbeat. I closed my eyes for a second, trying to think.
"Aiden! Aiden!" Ceasar screamed. He smiled as he held up his arm. In his hands, he held a carkey.
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