An epidemic is spreading. An epidemic that nobody has ever seen before, that nobody was ready for. It doesn't just kill people; it evolves them, wipes them into shells and reinvents them into machines to spread this disease before painfully removing them from the Earth.

Ebony Wilson has lost her mom to this plague, and has lost the rest of her family in the chaos. Unsure of where they are, and what steps to take when she finds them, whether they're infected or not, she works day by day to make it through this. To make it up to her mom and to find her family.

Will Ebony keep her head long enough to make it through, if this epidemic ever ends?


27. Chapter 27

    It started off so painless.

    Everything was quite uncomfortable.  My head starting to spin was only the beginning.  The entire room was shaking, moving like waves cresting on the ocean in a storm.  I feel as if I’m going to be sick, or faint, but I am able to wait it out.  Slowly it subsides and the first stage is over.

    There was a constant, dull ache in my head during this terror, and now it is flowering out from the center of the top of my head.  With every pulsating heartbeat my head throbs, getting worse and worse.  I grab my head in my hands in agony, wishing for the pain to go away, to stop stop I want it to stop please stop.

    The voices outside of the room, belonging to my friends watching my slow spiraling descent, are explaining that the way Cody infected me is the quickest way to get results, to become one of them.  His voice is more prominent when I focus on him and I hear him saying that he really has to work quickly.

    There is a burning on my arm and I try to scream, lifting my arm up to examine it.  My voice is extremely raspy and the scream barely comes out as more than a wheeze, but I swat at my arm.  Ignoring the pain in my head for a moment, I smack at my arm, trying to find the source of the burning sensation.  Finally, I find it - a blood pool under my skin, a dark, black circle under the skin of my upper arm.

    My chest hurts for a long moment, and I am terrified.  There is so much that I didn’t realize, that I already miss.  I am ready to meet my fate, but I’m not necessarily excited for it, waiting for it to arrive at my doorstep excitedly.  Rather, I’m sitting in my bedroom and dreading the moment when I hear the doorbell ring, descending the stairs incredibly slowly, just wishing it would go away.

    All of a sudden, I am incredibly depressed realizing that this is what Miles went through.  This is what Teddy and my father almost went through.

    This is what my mother went through.

    All of these people, people who no longer are people, have gone through this terrible, awful experience, this unbearable pain has been instilled in all of them, all the creatures walking around now.  All of the creatures that I have killed once lived like I did, and I knew that much, but they also died like I am now.  And I wish I could help them even more in an instant.

    Surprisingly, it makes me honored to be dying for this cause.  I’d rather only have me perish than have everyone else, including my group and family, suffer for an indefinite period of time.

    The cause I am working towards is amazing.  If I were to die for any cause, it would be this, especially because my family is involved in it.  I’m glad I am able to see them as I’m dying.

    The pain is coming back in waves, slowly getting stronger and stronger.  I grit my teeth, riding through it, as it slowly becomes more and more unbearable.  Staying calm is the hardest part, but I do not want to break down, do not want to cry.  Even if everyone wasn’t watching me, I wouldn’t want to.  These last moments are what define me.

    People can be defined in many different ways.  They show many different emotions in a variety of situations - when they’re angry, upset, scared, happy.  A person’s final moments can show exactly who they are.  Some go down fighting, some give in.  I want to go out with dignity.

    In order to ride through the mounting pain, I start remembering, reliving some childhood memories of mine.  The first memory that surfaces - a happy one - is the day Teddy was born.

    I was seven when he was born.  My dad had told me that he had to take Mom to the hospital.  I was told that I would have a new baby brother or sister, and I stubbornly explained to my parents that I didn’t want a baby brother or sister, even though I was secretly pleased deep down.

    As he grew up, we grew even closer.  We played so many games as he grew up, and he would come home from preschool, kindergarten, and all throughout elementary school ready to play a game with me.  Of course, he stopped his schooling in the middle of fourth grade, due to - guess what - an epidemic.

    The memories of Teddy getting bigger and bigger start to flee when they end.  They’re still present in my mind, but the memories are fuzzy.

    I can’t remember Teddy’s first Christmas.  The day when I got a new bike for my birthday.  But I can still remember my name.

    Then I forget the day my mother died.

    I can remember that she died, as she’s not present in most of the recent memories that are still there.  But I can’t remember the day she died, or the week before she died.

    Maybe she was sick or something.  My dad told us to stay away from her.  Did my dad die, too?  And there was a boy… he must be dead.  None of them are here.

    There are people outside of the window of my room, watching me, staring at me.  I feel like I knew them, I want to somehow save them, but my body moves without my consent, walking towards the window.  I hit the wall, but I don’t feel anything - I just see my body rock back.  My hands hit the window, clawing, scratching, and my mouth is making biting motions.  I have to touch these people, have to get to these people.  But I want to save them.

    I can’t remember my name.

    They are talking, pointing to me.  It makes me want to feel uncomfortable, but I cannot.  I don’t feel anything, except for a constant nagging in the back of my mind that something is wrong.

    One of the people outside of the window, a boy who looks to be a teenager, walks slowly over to the door of my room.  He pauses before it and I can see him listening to the others, advising him of something.  The boy looks through the window on the door at me, examining me from an angle, then backs away from the door.

    He leans down and the wall obscures my vision of him.  Everyone around him continues to talk, their faces worried.  The little boy with them is standing on his tiptoes to see me, and when his face is in my vision, I can see that he’s been crying.  His eyes are extremely red, and he is sniffling, his body shaking with each breath.

    The teenage boy stands back up again.  He has a mask on now and gloves, as well as a protective layer, I’m not sure what for.

    He enters the room I’m standing in slowly, the door creaking open.  Once he’s all the way in, he shuts the door quickly behind him and turns towards me.

    My body turns towards him as well and we stand still, facing each other.  A creature and a human, an Infected and a pure.  Then I lunge for him, my feet shambling forward.

    My arms claw at him, his face, and my legs are kicking, trying to attack him.  He is hitting me off, using his covered and protected arm to push me off of him.  I continue to shamble towards him, advancing on him, and he keeps knocking me back.  He makes his way over to a table in my room that has many different medication bottles and hospital equipment.

    He picks up an object carefully, kicking backwards to push me back.  I trip and fall, scrambling to stand.  My head is tilted upwards, watching the boy as I try to stand, and see that he’s holding a needle.  Its point is facing away from his body and towards where I would be if I had not fallen.

    Finally I am able to gain my balance and push myself up onto my feet, standing slowly.  Immediately I start shambling towards the boy and he continues to push me back with his arm until he gets over to the bed.

    He pushes me forcefully, making me fall onto the bed.  He sits on my stomach, essentially pinning me down, and pushes the needle into my arm.

    Then the boy jumps up off of me and I jump up after him, still chasing him around.  I want myself to stop, want him to escape, but there’s no way - I cannot control myself, and I wish I could be terrified.  The constant nagging is still in the back of my mind, but nothing more.

    I want to scream, cry, exhibit some kind of emotion, some sign that I’m still in this prison, barely holding on.

    It’s impossible to control myself, to make myself move.  I wish I could be terrified.

    But I can’t.

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