The world has ended. People are fighting to survive. Others are dying.
So, really, its the usual.
Except the fact that there are less than ten humans left. Everyone is either a hybrid, zombie or shadow creature.
Apart from me and my gang.
I'm a human. But I try to keep to keep that from becoming common knowledge.
What do we remaining humans do?
We kill.
What we don't do?
Fall in love.


1. Thief


My fist connected with Jared's nose with a statisfying crunch. Although the skin on my knuckles split viciously, I smirked. Twit had it coming to him.

"You ass! You utter ass!"

I shrugged, shaking my hand slightly to speed up the healing. "Your nose would still be intact if it wasn't for the fact you'd been stealing from me."

Jared gasped against the wall, holding his broken, bleeding nose. "I didn't, Trick! I swear I didn't!" His words were whiny, nasal. More blood sprayed through his fingers as my foot smashed into his stomach.

"Stop lying to me, you moron!" I wrapped my fingers tight round his throat and yanked him up the bricks, hopefully scraping his back. Still gripping his neck, I brought him away from the wall only to snap him back against it. The high-pitched shriek that echoed from his mouth made my blood run hot all of a sudden.

"Trick, please! It wasn't me it was--"

"Who? Who was it?" I was yelling now and I didn't care.

He looked pathetic. His cheeks and lips were smeared with crimson, the blood dripping off his chin. I could see the odd setting of his nose, and knew it wasn't going to heal straight. His eyes were wide and crazy, rolling skyward when I tightened my hold. Through a spray of blood, he cried, "Gemma! It was Gemma, okay!"

With a noise of disgust, I tossed Jared off to the side. He sobbed up against the wall snottily, whimpering, "She's gonna kill me, she's gonna kill me..."

I stormed up the alleyway, flexing my hand again and again. The numbness was travelling down my arm to my hand but I could still feel the stinginess of the punch. I snorted. Unbelievable. Now I had to go confront someone else about stealing from my stash and I couldn't even beat them up? Ridiculous.

The alley led on to a main street. Skeletons of cars stood, covered with nature, in the centre of the road, shattered glass lying in their shadows. Oversized sewage rats scrambled from the broken drains, hissing and crawling along the ground on overgrown yellow nails. Before the Era, I would've stopped in my tracks and backed away from the monster rats as fast as I could. Now, I sighed and stood on one that was in my road. I heard its spine pop, snapping in two. I smirked. This is why I preferred wearing these knee-high metal boots. Sure, they made my feet sore as anything but they were huge and clunky, easy to break things with. The bolts up the sides of them cut into my knees but I'd got used to them.

Buildings that lined the once busy city road could barely be called buildings anymore. Parts of them had fallen away, crumbling onto the ground in heavy piles of concrete. Wires spewed from the massacred floors, along with dangling pieces of rubble and smashed stone.

Humming, I stalked along the middle of the empty road, hopping through the bones of the cars and finally clambering over the roof of the large yellow bus at the end of the street. Once upon a time, the bus had fishtailed viciously on this road, spinning out of control and smashing into cars.

I'd been on that bus. Eleven years old and nerdy beyond belief. I remember feverishly clutching at my bag as the fifth and six years clambered onto the bus.

Now, I ducked down into a crouch. My lips curled. Four years on and I couldn't have been more different. A piece of glass lying in front of me reflected my image. I'd swapped a mousy crewcut for longish blue hair--it had taken both me and Max to bust into the local chemist to grab the hair dye. My nerdy glasses were replaced byblack rimmed square goggles that perched back on my hair, hidden by my straight azure strands. I really only used them when I was catching wild animals, so they didn't claw my eyes out.

The school uniform I'd been wearing when the bus crashed were the only clothes I'd had on me. At least for seven months, I'd went round wearing a tatty blazer and stupid straight trousers. That was before I'd learned to stand up for myself. That was before I'd learned to steal.

My torn blazer was now a hard red leather jacket, covered with patchwork badges. I could still remember how I'd gotten it.

A couple of months after the crash of the bus and the disappearing of nearly every human on the face of the planet, I'd began searching houses for clothes and food. In one house, one with no good pickings of food, a small Jack Russell had slept in the living room, covered by a red and black leather jacket.

Once I was wearing the jacket, the Jack Russell was dead and its blood spattered my hands.

Hey, don't blame me if the Jack Russell was foaming at the mouth.

The boots I'd made myself. I was handy with the blow torch and it didn't take much to make scary metal shoes.

I crushed the shard of glass under my foot and straightened up. A slight breeze ruffled my hair as I crossed the roof. The clunks of my boots echoed in the bus.

"Yo, Trick!"

I turned, my eyebrows raised. Away up at the very top of the street, I saw a small figure of Ally coming towards me. Her hands were fisted at her sides so I knew she was annoyed about something.

"Thought you were taking care of the Fence today?"

Ally hopped up onto the bus roof effortlessly. "Nah, JJ is covering. She offered, so,"--she shrugged--"Why would I deny her the pleasure of trying to keep zombies from breaking through the gates?"

I snorted. "You really have no heart, you know that?"

Ally looked at me with level brown eyes. "You can't have a heart and survive here, Trick."

"I know." I sighed. "Just trying to make a joke."

"Well, don't." Ally smiled to take the sting out of her words.

The sun was sinking through my jacket, heating up my blood. I shifted uncomfortably and sighed again. Ally peered at me.

"Dude, seriously, can't you ever stay still?"

I glared at her. "No. It makes me feel weird."

Ally rolled her eyes and pulled her hair up into a high ponytail. It swished in a black waterfall down to her waist. She hooked her arm through mine and said, "Coming back to K's?"

I shrugged. "Sure. Not much else to do."

"There never is," she said, twirling away from me and leaping like a cat down onto the cracked pavement. She grinned cheekily up at me, her teeth glinting.

As I landed beside her, I gnashed my teeth together. "Did you hear?"

"What? That you beat Jared up for something he didn't do? Yeah. Sorry I didn't bring a party for you."

I scowled. "It wasn't even him. It was--"

"Gemma. I know." Ally shrugged at my judging look. "What? She made me swear not to tell."

Groaning, I walked along side her. "You guys really try my patience sometimes."

Ally winked. "Our charm."















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