When Caleigh opened her eyes, she was confused by what she saw and heard. A woman was jostling her awake and everything around her was bright and loud even though it was night time. “Can You walk?” the woman asked. Caleigh nodded yes and was helped to her feet by the woman. “My name is Erica, the woman said. What’s your name?”
Caleigh didn’t remember anything about who she was, but she knew one thing. Something was wrong with her body, every part of her was stiff and heavy. Like she had just run a marathon without ever training for one. She thought it may had been the combination of fatigue and stress, or maybe she had just been in some of accident.
“We’ve gotta go, it’s not safe here,” Erica said. Caleigh walked step after painful step as the woman motioned her on, “Not safe?” Caleigh wondered, “Not safe from what?” Still, she followed. Though she didn’t know the woman, she trusted her.
Through all the pain, Caleigh couldn’t help but wonder what had happened to her, who she was. She had no memory of anything before the woman hovering over her as she awoke. Her memory would come back to her, she was sure of it. It would just take time.
Caleigh stopped and turned as she heard quick footsteps coming from beside her. A young boy came running and hid behind her. Her head tilted as she heard a loud moaning sound erupt from the dark. Then her eyes began to focus and she could see a figure slowly shambling towards her. No, not her, it was after the boy.
The man’s skin was decayed and the flesh on his body was peeling away. Most people would find this image unsettling, but for some reason, it didn’t bother Caleigh. The man pushed her aside and the boy slank down on the ground, crying. From out of nowhere comes Erica and breaks a 2X4 over the man, who falls to the ground. Erica picks up the boy and runs into the darkness.
Caleigh was left all alone, her limbs still heavy, she slowly manages to stand upright again. She had to try to find Erica and the boy. Right now, they were the only two people she knew in the world. Caleigh set off in the direction that Erica had run to.
Caleigh walked on and came across more decayed people like the man that had attacked the boy. The first few times, she tried talking to them, but they just stared at her with those soulless eyes and then slowly walked away, aimlessly wandering.
She heard a woman’s scream nearby, she ran as fast as her stiff legs would carry her. When Caleigh finally reached the area where she heard the scream come from, she didn’t see a woman. She did, however, find a group of those things huddled around on the ground. Caleigh slowly walked over and saw the most disturbing thing she’d ever seen in her life; They were eating a woman. The woman was still alive, she reached over to Caleigh and her eyes were begging, screaming, “Help, help”. The most disturbing thing about this was, she wanted some of the buffet too. The thought of eating another human being seemed so wrong to her, but seeing the others in front of her doing it, was something else entirely. Every fiber of her being willed her to partake in the human smorgasbord. Her stomach made a loud “feed me” sound and her mouth was salivating. Caleigh fought the urge and ran away as fast as her legs could carry her.
Caleigh continued along the path to which, Erica seemed to be running. She walked on and on for what seemed like days, until finally she heard a familiar voice, “There you are!!!” It was Erica. “I’m sorry I had to leave you, but I figured you’d be okay. I was coming back for you just now. We’re close to the safe house, come on.” Again, Caleigh followed her.
Finally they reached a sewer drain and they climbed down. They made their way through tunnels and eventually came to an opening with a makeshift camp. “Here, this is your bed. Lay down, you need to rest.” Caleigh nodded and took comfort in the pallet. The boy came running over and hugged Caleigh, as she smiled. “I’m glad you’re okay,” she said to the boy. Then she passed out.
As she slept everything became louder and brighter, she could light through her closed eyes. Caleigh heard two voices talking. First a man’s voice, “She’s been bitten, she’s gonna turn into one of those things.” Then she heard the familiar voce of Erica, “We’ll wait and see, but for now, she’s still one of us.” She thought to herself, “One of those things. I don’t want to become one of them.”
Caleigh awoke to the bright light of her opening eyes. The boy was still laying beside her, asleep. Her hands shook as her mouth salivated at the sight of him. What was happening to her? She had to stop this, she couldn’t become that. The type of thing that would eat a child.
Erica was sleeping nearby. Caleigh stood up, moving around had become more difficult than it was before. She heard someone tinkering in a nearby chamber. She slowly made her way to sound.
A man looked up from his task and instantly grabbed his gun, cocked and aimed it at Caleigh’s head. Caleigh stepped slowly forward,towards the man. With tears in her eyes, she said to him, “Please…set me free” and she wrapped her mouth around the barrel of the gun. The man hesitated, and the girl’s eyes changed from white to bloodshot and her mouth opened with a growing moan.