Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Twenty Sixth Entry: Zombie Me

November 26th

Well that didn't take long. Do you know what Hashmir has done with those supplies we brought back on Monday? The paper, and ink, and toners, and whatnot? As much as I would like to say that he did make up de-motivating motivational posters, or maybe some nice lolcats, he didn't; he made recruiting posters.

I went down this morning to discover that most of the empty surfaces of the shopping sector (and to a lesser extent, the business and residential sectors) is covered in posters of Alexandre Rontreal flanked by two Aryan looking security officers tell me to “Join Mallville Security, Keep our Community Strong and Safe”. There are also posters with pictures of Hashmir trying to look inspiring that read “Strength in Unity, Defeat in Dissent”. Is he having a laugh?

I think what may be the scariest thing is that the buzz I heard from hanging around down there was general approval. I think most of the refugees are the same soft-minded idiots who believed everything they saw on Wolf News. Where are the recruiting posters for other positions? Scavenger? Cleanup? Hell, where's the posters for janitorial?

Nothing against the good people in security (a list which I must leave Rontreal and Kaur off of), but they don't really do much but keep the peace inside the 'Ville. Yes, they helped save Sharon's and my ass on Monday, but I would say the roof guards do more overall to keep us safe; it's them that kept this place from being surrounded by zeds at any rate.

Of course I was a roof guard, so I will admit to being somewhat biased in their favor, but still.

In an odd way though, it seems that the posters have quelled a little bit of the growing unrest that has been simmering in the refugees. I've heard of a few incidents of security laying the smack down on someone caught vandalizing or removing the posters, but the vast majority of people seem to like them. I wonder if Alex has anything in mind to go against this.

I wonder if he has anything in mind that won't lead to loss of life, I should say.

Rumors of disappearances continue. Mrs. Dwonch's apartment has been reassigned to an interesting German guy named Hans Gruber. For some reason his name makes me want to laugh, but I cannot place it. He's a nice man, probably in his fifties; he came over and introduced himself a couple of days ago, and asked if we knew what happened to the former occupant.

Apparently no one even cleaned up Mrs. Dwonch's apartment before assigning it to Mr. Gruber, as he was quite disturbed by the mess of broken glass. I would think that Kaur would at least have the decency to not leave behind the mess resulting from him disappearing someone, but then I guess that's why I'm backing Alex in this little power struggle. For the record, Tara and I did help him clean the mess up.

The smell in the hallway outside Tara's apartment seems to have leveled off, but it is still awful. It smells like something dead and rotting. I don't know what sort of miracle is keeping the smell more or less out of Tara's apartment, but I thank God for it.

Speaking of the smell of death on the sixth floor, I had another one of those dreams. This was the worst one yet, and it's been bothering me all day. I think if I write it down it might help, as I haven't told anyone else about it, not Tara, or Sharon, or anyone.

This time I was in Tara's apartment, it must have been around midday, and suddenly I could smell that stench in there with me. I was there alone for some reason, I don't know where Tara was, so I got up to try and see where the smell was coming from.

I went over to the door to the outside hallway, and I could smell it there, but it didn't seem to be the source. The smell was coming from the direction of Tara's bedroom. I walked down the hall, trying to get some sense of direction from the odor. I checked her gaming room, but it wasn't coming from in there.

I went the rest of the way down the hall to where her bathroom and bedroom are. The bathroom door was sitting open, but the bedroom door was closed. I flicked on the light in the bathroom, but found nothing but the usual; toilet, sink, tub/shower, mirror, towels, etc.

Then I went to the bedroom door. Tara doesn't usually keep any of the doors in her apartment closed, as she likes the outside light filtering in as much as possible since she spends much of her day down in Alex's office which doesn't have any windows, so it was odd that it was closed. I felt a surge of tension as I placed my hand on the doorknob, and slowly, quietly turned it.

As I pushed the door open, I realized that the bedroom was the source of the odor; it was even stronger in here than outside in the hallway. Whatever it was, it was in here. I was afraid I would find Tara's dead body, but something else found me.

The curtain was closed, and the room was fairly dark. I stepped fully into the room, and as I did I heard a rustling sound. It had come from the closet. The room appeared empty, so I went over to the closet's mirrored sliding door.

As I reached for the end of the door with the intent of sliding it open, it exploded, showering me with shards of glass. A figure burst out of the shadow of the closet at me, into me, knocking me backwards. I clumsily staggered back until my legs hit the bed, and I fell over onto it.

The shape fell onto me, it was a woman, but not human; not anymore at least. I felt a sharp burning pain in my neck as she bit me. I felt the wetness of my own blood flowing out of me. I felt the tearing as she pulled her head back, ripping a piece of my flesh out. Just writing about it, I can feel it again.

I got control of myself, shoved her up and off of me, and got to my feet. Already I was feeling dizzy, but I couldn't give up. I hadn't fought to survive all this time to lose to one single stinking (literally) zed. I quickly looked for something to use as a weapon.

The zed recovered from my shoving her, and lunged at me again. Like something out of a movie, I was able to grab her left arm, and pivot. I used her own momentum to throw her past me, and into the window. The window held, but she got tangled in the ice blue curtains. The curtain rod pulled free of the wall as the ghoul struggled.

Light flooded the room, and I could see that the woman had long filthy matted hair. She looked familiar, but I don't know who she was. Probably a real zombie I've seen in my all too frequent experiences with them. She was wearing a filthy grey skirt and business jacket combo, and she was free from the curtains in seconds.

The zed charged me again, and in the state I was in, which was both dizzy and fading yet fully alert at the same time, I kept looking for a weapon. Suddenly I remembered that Tara keeps a Glock in her nightstand (I've never asked he when she started that because I'm kind of afraid of what the answer might be).

I dodged the ghoul's charge, and it went straight past me and back into the closet with a crash of broken glass and falling hangers. I yanked the drawer open, and there was Tara's handgun sitting right on top. I grabbed it, and turned to face the zed as it pulled itself back up and out of the now destroyed closet.

The ghoul started at me again, but I raised the handgun, and fired. I pulled the trigger until the gun stopped firing. Even in a dream the sound of the gun firing repeatedly in the bedroom was deafening, and the smell of gun smoke now fought with the smell of rotting flesh for my nose's attention.

Most of the shots hit the woman in the head and upper chest, and she flew backwards like a bad guy in an action film, crashing once again into the closet, and sliding down the back wall of the closet too the floor. As she fell she pulled more of the now gore soaked clothes off their hangers so that they fell on her partially obscuring the body.

All of the strength drained out of me, from the blood loss I would guess, and my knees came unhinged. I fell back onto the bed, and the now empty Glock dropped from my fingers. I was at the same time a mass of aching joints and muscles and complete numbness. I was losing consciousness while still being fully aware. It's almost like I was seeing through my own eyes and through a third party's eyes at the same time; like I was watching through a camera or something.

I lay there, both looking up at the ceiling and looking down at myself. I could feel myself slipping away, but not. I could feel the infection from the bite spreading through my body, and my body stopped responding to my commands; I couldn't so much as twitch a finger. My vision started to get cloudy, like someone had placed a nearly empty glass of milk on my face.

Then it happened; my heart stopped. I lay there for what seemed like an eternity, or at least until the sun went down. Then I heard a noise. Someone entered the apartment. It had to be Tara, who else would it be?

Then again, why would there be a zombie in Tara's closet?

It was Tara, she called out to me. “Are you here?” she asked.

I wanted to yell, “Yes, I'm hurt, I need to get to the med center. I've been bit!” but I couldn't speak. However my body started to move. I was not making my body move, not commanding it or controlling it, it was moving on its own. I felt overwhelmed by this immense pain and hunger that seemed to be in every fiber of my being.

It was like being on a Disneyland dark ride; I was a passenger only as my body rose slowly, somewhat clumsily, to my feet. I had been bit, I had died, I had turned. I was one of them now.

“Run!” I tried to yell, but all that came out was a soft “Wrrruuuuhhhhh”. I did have some control, I could still make noise, but I couldn't communicate. How could I warn her?

The light was now on in the living room, but the hallway light was off. I could see her through layer of fog that seemed to have formed in my eyes. I could smell her, her flesh, her blood, and I wanted to taste her. I slowly walked towards her.

“Are you okay?” she asked me, not able to see me clearly yet.

“Tuuuurrrrhhhh, wruuuurrrrhhhh!” I tried to warm her.

She looked at my shadowy form suspiciously, “No,” she said under her breath.

“Guuuuuuh!” I tried to yell as I stepped into the light from the living room. This put me between her and the door, and now she would have to go through me to escape.

She shook her head, and sounded almost disappointed, “No. What happened to you? What did you do?”

From my outside view, I could see myself clearly. My skin had gone a pale gray, and the blood that had flowed from the wound in my neck had soaked my shirt, and dried to almost black. From inside I saw Tara starting to back towards the couch.

“I'm sorry,” she said in a cold tone that didn't convey the truth behind her words, “I love you.”

She spun, stepped around the coffee table, and went for the couch; I went after her. She reached over the back of the couch, and pulled out a Browning (there's not one there in reality, I checked), she turned to shoot me with it, but it was too late; I was on her.

My body lunged at her, while my mouth groaned “Nuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhh!” I wanted to stop myself so bad, but nothing but my vocal cords would respond in even the slightest. I pushed her backwards onto the couch as she fired the rifle.

She had been aiming for my head, but I knocked the gun aside, and she took off my left ear instead. The sound made my head ring, it was a new layer of pain on top of that hunger, but my body did not even seem to notice.

My right hand grabbed the hot barrel of the rifle, and yanked it out of her hands. She didn't scream, or cry as I raised the gun over my head like a club, and brought it down on her face. The skin on her forehead split, and blood poured over her face.

My body raised the rifle again, and brought it down. Tara put her arms up to block it, and I heard the crack of bone as my blow snapped her left forearm. She pushed against the rifle when it hit, trying to stand up from the couch. She succeeded in making me stagger backwards. My left leg caught the edge of the coffee table, and I went down, the rifle tumbling from my hand.

She jumped up from the couch, and tried to hop over me and run for the door, but my left hand snagged her ankle, and brought her down to the floor with a thud and a grunt. She tried to scramble away from me, but she couldn't get out of my grip.

I half pulled her to me, half crawled on top of her. She kicked at me with her free foot, but it was to no avail. My body crawled over hers, but this time it was no romantic act. She never screamed, or begged, or cried, or anything, she only said, “You don't have to do this. I love you.”

“Suuurrruuuhhhh,” I moaned, “Luuuuuuuuhhhhhh yyyyyyuuuuuhhhhhhh.”

My mouth sank its teeth into her right cheek; she squinted but made no sound other than a sharp hiss of breath as I tore a chunk of her beautiful face free. Blood flowed from the hole, and from my outside eyes I could see her teeth through the hole.

It was so real; I could taste her blood in my mouth. I could taste her flesh, and it tasted so good. The taste of her flesh seemed to dull my pain, like a dose of heroing temporarily make an addict feel good. Oh God, I can taste it now just thinking about it. It's like I have these conflicting memories of delicious ecstasy and foul revulsion. I feel ill.

The dream didn't end there. I didn't wake up. My body kept eating her, even when she stopped breathing I kept eating. It wasn't until there was a knock at the door that my body decided it was done with her. My body abandoned the cooling meal for the prospect of a fresh hot one.

Sharon's voice called my and Tara's names as she knocked again, “Hey, anybody home in there?”

Sharon knocked again, “Whatever you're doing in there, knock it off, and come open the door!”

My body was on its feet, and moving towards the door, not as fast as I would have, but fast enough that I was there when I heard the knob turn. Tara didn't lock it when she came in, and Sharon pushed it open to find me standing there.

My body at her, me still a prisoner in my own head and an outside observer I couldn't do anything to stop it. Sharon staggered backwards in surprise, and I slammed into her, She was driven her across the hallway and into the opposite wall. She threw up her hands to push me off, and my body sank my teeth into her left forearm.

I feel sickened again, because I can remember how she tasted. Her flesh and blood was sweeter than Tara's. She was very different than Tara in the dream. Where Tara surrendered herself to death and almost calmly let me kill her, Sharon fought with every ounce of her life force. She screamed, and struggled as I dragged her down the surface of the wall to the floor.

As I tore at her flesh with my teeth, tearing off chunks of her and swallowing them without chewing her fighting grew weaker and weaker. I prayed that I would somehow choke on one of those pieces so that I would have to stop. Can a zed choke to death? I wished I could.

Sharon died in my arms, by my hands, by my teeth. Her blood on my tongue. Oh God, it was awful; I feel like I want to either cry or throw up just thinking about it, but I don't think I can get it out of my head unless I get it down on paper, and I have to get it out of my head.

I'm almost through here, please just bear with me a little longer.

My body continued to savage Sharon's cooling corpse until another familiar voice spoke up.

“I knew you were a risk to Mallville,” said Alexandre Rontreal from down the hallway, “I told Kaur as much. Thank goodness I'm here to put a stop to it before your infection spreads any further.”

Rontreal pulled his sidearm, a Desert Eagle just like Hashmir has been carrying recently, “With Sigler and all of his little friends gone, I guess Mallville will find itself a safe place.”

I rose from Sharon's remains and started towards Rontreal. He raised his gun, and fired.

I woke up, and this time I did scream, because Tara jerked up beside me. I heard her open her dresser drawer, she was going for her Glock. When she realized it was just the two of us there, she stopped, and turned to face me in the darkness. I was panting and crying, and she was there for me. In my mind I had just murdered her, and there she was,'

“What's wrong? Are you okay?” she asked in a confused and unusually panicky voice.

I couldn't speak, I just took her in my arms and held her tight. I could taste blood in my mouth as if it had all been real; her blood; Sharon's blood.

She held me tight, and “shhh”-ed me, trying to calm me down. She tried to get me to tell her what happened, but all I could say was that it was a bad dream. I told her it was about the attack on Halloween, and that seemed to satisfy her.

I couldn't tell her the truth. It's all I can do just to write it down here. That was a lot harder than I thought it would be, but I do feel somehow lighter for it. The only thing is the taste of blood in my mouth.

The taste.

I can't get rid of that taste. I know it's not real, but it won't go away.

I think I'm going to be sick.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Stirring, looking forward to the next enty as usual. Can't wait to find out what that damn smell is. Creepy.