The Apocalypse

What would you do if life was no longer to taken for granted, but something you had to earn. How would you react if your whole world changed, your loved ones died and you had to learn how to live all over again. This is a story about a group of people, doing their best to survive in a world which has taken everything away from them.

First draft of my apocalypse novella / short story. Temporarily named "The Apocalypse". Copyright on the image, taken by me. A larger version can be found at


3. Hannah


Hannah, now leading the front part of the group, was only just turned 14 when it all started. She remembered it well; the pink dress, the sneakers, and the necklace she had gotten for her birthday. It was partly clouded and she was on her way to her friend on the other side of the town, riding the bicycle which would be, as it turned out, her salvation. And she remembers, clear as day, the very first scream she heard. And the people, panicking, starting to walk away from the scream, some even running from where she had heard it. She stopped a little, tilted her head, and at first, considered going over to check it out. But then she saw it. The girl. And the man, bent over her, tearing her throat open with his bare teeth. She froze. What the fuck was this, she thought for herself. She looked closer. She saw the bite marks the man had. Then he turned, and his bare, half open chest revealed itself. His eyes dead, grey and foggy, but still seemingly watching the people around him. Before she could find out, a man came running towards her, shouting “Get the fuck out, go goddamn it, go! They’re coming!” And then, she saw the rest of them, probably 20 – 30 people, all with the same dead eyes. And she took her bike and rode it, as fast as she could towards home.

As she passed streets on either side of her, more and more of them started to appear. Where did they come from? What was happening? Was she in danger? Nevertheless, the most frightening thought was, by far; if she was in danger, did that mean her family was as well?

She could see them, attacking more people. What were they doing?! Were they on drugs? Were they a part of an experiment? Were they sick with some psycho virus or something? She had never seen anything like this in her young life. Her blonde hair fluttered in the wind as she rode like the storm, her heart pounding. Her eyes flickering and her head trying to process it all. She rode faster and faster, ripping up the dust covering the road, riding on pure adrenalin. She could see her house at the end of the street. A big, red wooden house, standing alone at the end of a gravel road, partly covered by two great birches. Her brother was out, running about in their yard, he couldn’t have been more than 6. She yelled out for her parents, and told her brother to go back inside. She did not quite know why yet, but she had the overwhelming feeling that she had to get them out of here, away to a place without those.. Those.. Whatever they were, she did not want to be anywhere near them. “Mom! Dad! We have to go, something’s happening downtown!” No answer. “HELLO? Are you here? Pack some stuff and get the car, I said we have to go.” Still no answer.

She walked promptly into the hallway, took a quick look around, and then proceeded to walk upstairs. She still wonders to this day why she didn’t react to the fact that the back door was open. She knows she saw it, she remembers it well. She knew it rarely stood open like that because of the dog. But still, she didn’t react to it. When she got up, there they were. Dead. Little did she know this was something she would later become rather used to. Then she saw it, standing in the corner of the room.

She would later describe her actions as bare instincts, a drive that made her thoughts surpass logic, anger or even love.  She didn’t scream. She didn’t cry. She saw her parents lay there, dead, and yet she did not react with emotions at all. Instead, she ran. She sprinted back down, got down the stairs in about 3 steps top to bottom, grabbed her brother and said that they had to go now, that she would explain, and that he had to trust her. And amazingly, the 6 year old boy did not protest. She took his hand, and together they ran. She did not know where they should head, but her instincts told her to get as far away from people as possible. To keep moving until they find a place to hide.

Everywhere she looked, there were people, panic in their eyes, fear in their voices. People tried to grab them, injured people begging them to help. But this only made the grip she had on her brother firmer, and her objection clearer. Neither of them said anything as they made their way out towards the countryside. Up towards the hills where they used to play together not all that long ago. She could feel her own exhaustion, could feel her legs failing underneath her. She knew that her brother was going through the same thing, maybe worse. The noise of the city had started to fade, but she kept going. Had he not said anything, she could have gone on until she passed out completely.

“Hannah? They’re not around anymore. I haven’t seen any of them in a long time now, Hannah. Can we take a break now? I’m really tired” She stopped and looked at the boy. Then she looked around. He was right. The field was empty, no humans nor… whatever those other things were. They weren’t human though, that was for sure. There was nothing humane about those eyes. They might have been humans once, she didn’t know, they sure looked a lot like humans. But their nature, their behavior, everything she had seen them do… there was nothing human about that. She looked around once more. She could hear screams in the distant, but it was just that; distant.

“Yeah… yeah, we can take a short brake. But we can’t wait for long, okay?” “Okay, not for long”, her brother repeated. “James, look at me” The young, innocent blue eyes of the boy met hers. “Do you trust me? If I say that we have to run, do you trust me when I say that?” Her brother answered without even blinking. “Yes” Short, precise. She could tell that he knew that this was serious. “Did they kill mommy and daddy?” “Yes.” The boy looked down at the grass. “Will you tell me about it?” She felt tears forming in her throat, but she cleared it and looked at the boy once more. “Yes. I will”. “But not now? Because we can only take a short brake”.  “Yes, James. I will tell you later when we are safer and can take a longer brake. I promise” He said nothing more, but instead just sat down in the grass and looked. He was strong, she could tell. She could see a single tear form and glide down his cheek. He didn’t wipe it off. They must have sat there for five minutes, maybe ten. “We have to go now, don’t we?” He asked. “Yeah, I’m afraid we do” And then they set off yet again.  

By the time any of them spoke again, it had been hours since they heard screams. It had been hours since they had seen or heard anything of civilization for that matter. She thought they were walking south, but she wasn’t sure. She had never been this far out of town without her parents before, and all the anger and fear that she had suppressed all day long was beginning to surface. The boy had not complained once, and when she asked him if he was okay or if he needed a brake he simply answered yes or no. Had he always been this strong? They walked until sundown. When it had gotten too dark to see, they stopped. She looked for a place to sit or lay down, and they settled on a patch of dry, soft grass, covered by two large pines. “You must be very tired by now. You’ve been amazing today, and I’m very proud of you. But now you have to try to get some sleep.” He looked at her. They held each other’s gaze for a long time before any of them spoke again. “I’m afraid of the dark. What if any of them are out there?”. “I don’t think there are. Come here, I’ll protect you against the dark.” He came closer to her and she put his arms around him. For all she knew, there could be a million and one of those things out there, but she couldn’t let him know that. But still, she had the feeling that he did, despite everything. “What will happen tomorrow?” he asked. “I don’t know. Find some food and water, and maybe some warmer clothes.” “Okay” he answered. “Will you tell me about what happened with mommy and daddy tomorrow?” “Yes, I’ll tell you everything you want to know. Now go to sleep.” He didn’t say anything more, but instead, he just wiggled closer to her, and fell asleep in an instant. She could feel his calm breathing, his heart steady. She held him close and whispered to herself. “I’ll protect you against the dark.” And then she too fell asleep. 

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