Listening

Lingering, withering, shivering. The world rumbles brightly as the crescent moon makes it's last merciful round. It's the dawn of the end times, blood will be spilled, blood has been spilled. Life is just at it's conclusion, or is it? City's burn, towns are emptied, everything is gone, the world doesn't even make a whisper. Welcome to the apocalypse.

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2. The Darkest Night.

You have to live, for her, come on why did you have to be so dumb? Hanem, you have to live, for her. The stakes have been raised even higher, but at all costs damnit, at least show mercy to her.

The room was still, like flat pond water. The smoke had emaciated from it's bullet holes, and the room had an eerie, death shattering feeling.

As the men outside road off, Hanem just looked at me in awe.

She was devastated, and so was I. I lay on my barren knees, the floor was cold, my body felt cold. The bite mark plundered blood from it's roots, drizzling off my hand onto the floor, it's iridescent luminous figure shined in the dark.

A bright red.

The knife fell out of my grip, clattering to the floor. Tears swelled in my eyes, bubbling up, trying to hold them from the girl I was suppose to protect.

How could she trust her life in my hands? I can't even keep mine afloat. This is crazy, out of all of the destitute situations I could die in, I didn't imagine going out like this. 

"Hanem, give me the gun." 

She didn't move.

"HANEM, GIVE ME THE GUN!" 

She didn't respond, just a flinch. I started to bawl, flooding my cheeks, hammering my fists into the hard floor. My hands banged against the floor, pounding harder than ever, shaking my life around inside a small bottled container. I felt adrift, lost. The words wouldn't come out anymore.

I just did what survival told me to.

The knife. My body just instinctively reached for its handle.

"Derek, no..." 

"I-it's the only way."

I put the handle in my right hand, facing the sharp end at my wrist.

I cut the skin, and decided it was too hectic of an idea.

The blade clattered again.

"What can I do Hanem?" 

"You have a few days, before you turn. We will have to find something sharper. You can't cut it off with that knife."

"It will spread throughout my body if I don't stop the infection now."

 

With that said, I cut off my hand, breaking it first, and then finishing it with the sharp blade. Patching it up and stopping the blood was the hard part.

 

"Derek, I know your weak, but you need to get up, we need to start moving again, its time to get out of this hospital."

I started rub my eyes, and then realized the horrors of my left hand once again. It had been wrapped with lots of torn cloth and duct tape, and disinfected with what little alcohol we had.

I wasn't sure if I would live. Hanem hadn't acted any different, except the shock she went through when I slammed the knife into my own flesh.

I grabbed my stuff and followed Hanem's lead, we took a slower pace, because of my health.

Jogging out of the hospital and onto the street was overwhelming.

Skyscrapers of immense destitution and destruction were completely obliterated by the plague. Many infected lingered around the streets, preying for their next meal. We were trying to get out of the city for months, it was impossible.

As cars blocked the roads, and were mostly abandoned. Fire had broken out all over the city, leaving people wondering what was next.

Now autumn was here, and overgrowth had taken the city over by storm. Dead and living, the plants would reign supreme.

Mother nature always wins, as they say. What a joke, but look, it sure did come to ambition, or enlightenment.

We guided our way through the maze of the dead, and headed off, taking the biggest step so far, taking a turn. Cars bloomed over the horizon in this direction too. No signs of life at all, none.

"Let's stay here for tonight." Hanem pointed into a fairly dark alley, which I thought was a terrible idea, not only was it a dead end, but it was dark.

"Not a good idea, let's sleep in that parking lot, we can find an abandoned car to sleep in."

She gave me a look filled with happiness.

"What's that look for?"

She smiled, "It's nothing, your just a lot more optimistic now."

I took her hand, "Whatever you say."

I didn't let her see me break a smile.

We ran up to the second level of the garage, and looked for the best car.

"Any of these unlocked?" I asked.

"No, not any ye--wait, this one is unlocked!"

She waved me over to the car. 
It was a black car, and probably not very noticeable in the dark.

I rushed over to the car, getting in, as the dark was closing in, and the dead chimed their songs a little more frantically.

It was quite, I slept on the cushion in the back seat, and Hanem was sleeping below me in the floorboard. The car was more comfortable, I offered her the cushion, but she refused, stating that she felt safer where no one could see her. In my opinion it wasn't any safer, I think she was just being nice.

The rain began to downfall, flooding the world with its resource. Straggling zombies moped around the parking lot, some banged against the car windows lightly. The tears of the darkest night trembled down the window, curving around the seal, and dripping off to the ground.

It was late, maybe around midnight, at times like this, the best thing I can do is count the seconds, with my hands, hand, I mean.

Cutting off my hand was emotionally the most difficult thing I had to ever do, but I knew living in these treacherous lands, that it was only the tip of a very, very large iceberg. 

The world was very dark, peril, and lost. We were all living, drifting, some were dead, most were dead, but I still had faith to an extent.

I looked at Hanem, she slept silently, peacefully, dreaming of stars and whatnot, I imagined her sleep was what she looked forward to most. I knew sleeping for me was hard, I would always worry things would happen.

Hanem and I went to school together before the world collapsed in on itself. We weren't friends, but after both of my parents died, I wandered among the street of danger, and found her sobbing. It turns out, she had lost her parents too, it gave me a reason to live again.

Protecting her from tears and sadness like that again gave me something to protect, something to not hate, I just want her to be okay.

At that point we were together, in a brave new world, a new frontier, an unexplored environment.

That night my parents were slaughtered by barbaric, out of control people. They had gone insane from the fear that loomed in their hearts. The outbreak had reached it's peak at this point.

Hanem's parents had thrown Hanem out onto the street, locking her out, protecting her from the infection.

Her mom had been bitten, and her dad made a selfish decision, to die with her, and abandon their daughter. I don't bring it up, I still think she suffers from the trauma. I don't talk about her problems, and she doesn't talk about mine.

I'm glad I found her though, I would be dead many times without her.

This car was actually becoming a nice cool temperature, and awkwardly soothing. My eyes began to crisp, and sleep engulfed my anguished eyes.

A bunch or rattling noise, and moans put my hairs up on end.

I woke up sweating, looking around frantically, through the windows the sky couldn't be seen, the dead had circled around the car, trapping us in.

"Derek, what do we do?" She cried, whispering softly.

"Damn, if I knew, I would have acted on it already!"

"We can't stay here, but we have to get out of this car." She said.

I observed our options quickly.

"Okay, we have TWO options, option one, we draw straws, option two, we wait for help." The glass cracked as I let out my last words.

"Never mind, we can't wait here, let's in fact, draw straw."

She looked at me hatefully, "Seriously?"

"Okay, okay, forget it, you have any ideas?" 

"NO I DON'T DERE--" An infected bashes their forehead through the window shattering glass onto us, and simultanelousy biting  Hanem deep into her neck.

"AGHHHHhhhHH, Damnit! HELP ME!"

I reach for her and the dead looks at me with it's cold black eyes, freezing me in my tracks, as blood dripped from it's chin.

I wake up in a pond of sweat.

"Shit, I'm so glad that was a dream."

I turned my head to look down in the floorboard. She was sleeping soundly in peace. 

That's when I realized Grygs's men had found us.

 

 

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