Don't ForgetI woke up to the sound of panic and chaos in the streets. Screaming echoed and bounced off of the multitude of buildings in the urban city scape. I shook myself awake to become more alert, and then headed toward the window. As I looked out into the streets of New York City, I saw that everyone was running in panic from something that I could not make out. It looked to be from other people. Squinting my eyes to see, they were running from other people. My first impression was that we were under attack, but as I looked closer, these people were biting them. Some were even eating. There was someone at the door of the apartment I was in. He was beating on it, trying to get in, probably to get away from those things.
I stepped back in horror and quickly got dressed in confusion and started downstairs for the door of my apartment complex. Before I reached the door, I noticed that the loud panic I had heard previously was suddenly silent, and instead, was replaced with a scratching at the door. I retrieved my pocket knife from my jeans, and I very carefully and slowly reached for the door knob. The scratching seemed to grow louder and there was some moans coming from the other side of the door. I twisted the door knob and as soon as I did, a person came bursting through the door, gnashing his teeth at me. It knocked me to the floor and was viciously scratching and appeared to be trying to bite me. I rolled it over, kicking the door closed with my foot, and holding my knife to its neck.
“What are you doing, you deranged madman?!” I yelled to him, still having the knife to his neck. He still just kept gnashing at me with bloodlust eyes, and his fighting against my knife caused my knife to draw blood from his neck. He didn’t even seem fazed though. I picked him up and dragged him, well rather, avoiding his biting, and locked him in the broom closet.
Bewildered at what I just witnessed, I was all that more confused at the current situation I was in. Again hearing scratching at the door, now more than before, as well as from the closet, I went back upstairs. I locked my door and went back to my window. Looking outside, I saw the city seemed to be filled with these crazed people.
Wondering what to do next, I took the remote and turned it on to the news. All the channels were off, and were instead replaced with a black screen and a message on it. It read, “This is an emergency bulletin. A plague has spread throughout several areas of the world. If you are in an affected area, do not attempt to help the infected. Stay inside and make sure you have enough food and rations for two to three weeks…”
So that’s it then. It was the apocalypse. I took a deep sigh and just sat for a minute, staring at the T.V. These… things… were infected. I had to get to a safer place. That door downstairs and my apartment door could only hold them for so long.
I went back to the window to see again just how real this was. I saw someone across the street in the condo. He was moving everything in his condo against the door. They had obviously made it into his complex. I thought of yelling to him, but that would only attract more of those things to my complex. I just sat next to the window and watched, helplessly. He was trying to slide his bed over against the door when his door began to shake. He ran over and threw himself at the door. He managed to hold the door for a short time, but he was soon overrun. I turned my head to avoid the sight. I had to leave if I were to survive. I thought it would be better to be on the move until some of this stuff settled down. Unfortunately, how was I supposed to escape in the first place? I was trapped by at least fifty of those things by now. Then I remembered that my building was close enough to the building next to mine that I could jump across and escape through that one.
I quickly grabbed a duffle bag and filled it with a few bottles of water, dehydrated foods from my pantry, and ammunition. I kneeled down and pulled out a guitar case from under my bed. When I opened it, I found my old revolver from when I was a sheriff in Arizona ten years ago. I checked to see if it was still loaded and preceded to my door. When I opened it, I looked down my staircase to see that the infected person was still in the closet, helplessly clawing at the door, and the main access door was being beaten on harshly by the horde of infected behind it. Checking that it was safe, knife in hand, I went to the top floor and climbed up the maintenance latter to the roof. Walking up to the edge, I looked down. Well, that was stupid. All that did was make me doubt what I was about to do. I threw my duffle bag across to the neighboring roof and stepped back. Taking three breaths, I sprinted for the edge and jumped. The fear and thrill I felt were so immense that I could barely keep from screaming. I had to bite my tongue to stay silent, else I alert the infected below. It must have been a good three seconds I was in the air. Soon my first foot touched the other side. My second foot didn’t. I slipped and quickly grabbed the side with my fingertips. I was hanging on with a leg and fingertips grasping over the lip of the edge.
Taking a second to catch my breath, I pulled myself up. I picked up my duffle bag, my heart still beating a million beats per minute, and unsheathed my pocket knife again. Putting my ear to the roof entrance door, I heard something that sounded like footsteps in a tunnel. I very slowly and quietly opened the door to find that what was making that sound was nothing but a fast drip from a water pipe on the metal steps of the stairs. I let out my breath that I didn’t realize I was previously holding. Taking cautious steps inside, I looked over the edge of the service stairs leading down into the abandoned office building, that not even four hours previous, had been busy and bustling with office workers, going about their regularly normal lives. I paused for a moment, saddened at the thought that many, if not all of them, had been killed or turned into these mindless, immoral creatures.
I shook the thought from my mind. What I needed to focus on was getting out of New York alive. I reached the bottom safely and effortlessly. Before just waltzing out into the street like a moron, however, I took a moment to devise a quick, make-shift plan to get out of the street safely. I saw outside the window that there was a car, still with the keys in it, obviously abandoned in panic to escape the infected. Problem was, the streets were full of them. Full to the point that it would be next to impossible to drive. Then something caught my eye farther down the street. A motorcycle! Unfortunately, it was farther down the street. Examining the area, there seemed to be very few infected lining the streets. Most, of course, had left during the initial panic, in pursuit of the screaming crowd. So that’s what I decided I had to do; I had to somehow survive all the way to the motorcycle, about a hundred feet down the street, and I had to then drive out of the city, either undetected, or faster than those things could run.
I took a deep breath, thinking that I was seriously insane for what I was about to do, not including the building jump I had done earlier, I opened the door and stepped outside. None of them seemed to notice me immediately, but to be sure I could make it to the motorcycle safely, I dropped my bag and picked up a brick from one of the crumbling walls and threw it at a window across the street. Simultaneously, every infected person turned towards where the sound came from, and swarmed towards the broken window. While the infected were distracted, I picked up my bag and sprinted for the motorcycle.
I was about ten feet from the motorcycle when an infected suddenly crawled out from one of the cars. I jumped back in shock. It stood up awkwardly, almost as if it had several broken bones, probably from being hit by the car it emerged from. It frightened me and I backed up from it. With a strong limp, it began to wobble towards me slowly. When it came within about four feet of me, it lunged itself at me and I dodged it easily. I could hear the crunching of shattered bones as it helplessly tried to flip itself around to get to me. I forced myself to suppress a laugh as I watched its little struggle to get off the ground. It flailed about, and eventually grew frustrated and it started yelling. Suddenly, I saw all the distracted infected at the store turn their heads to see what the commotion was. My heart jumped and I turned immediately and ran. These things were somehow much faster than me. Four feet from the motorcycle, one of them jumped from on top a car and landed in front of me. Still in the momentum of my run, I threw myself at it and slammed it against the car. It growled and fell in a daze. Three feet cleared; two feet; one foot. I reached the motorcycle and grabbed the handle with my left hand while throwing my bag over the seat when one of them jumped on my back. It tried to bite me, and I punched it in the face and fell back on it. It was still holding tightly to me so I took my knife and stabbed it into its hand. The knife went through its hand and cut slightly into my shoulder. I winced in slight pain and it let out a howl, momentarily releasing me. I took my opportunity and jumped up. Looking back, I saw a horde of them, jumping over cars, through cars, under cars, over each other, all trying to reach its next victim. I started the motorcycle and jumped onto it, strapping the bag securely to it. I hit the throttle and shot forward in a sudden burst, just inches of three of the infected hitting me. Looking back I saw those three laying on the ground, being trampled on by the rest still trying to reach me.
Taking a look at my surroundings, I had reached the rural north of New York. There were thick forests lining the highway that I was on. Not a single infected was in sight down either way of the road. There was not any healthy person either. I was alone on the highway, in the woods. I looked in my bag and took out a bottle of water. I was thirsty and was feeling warm, even though I could tell it was cold outside, for there was snow on the ground. This was strange to me. I pushed it from my mind and continued drinking the bottle of water. I crushed the bottle when I finished it and threw it into the woods. Not like any police would arrest me for litter now anyway. I took in a deep sigh and continued up the highway north. I had a cabin up there, near Canada, that I would vacation to. I could stake out there.
I had traveled north about two hours when I had to get gas. I stopped in a small town and walked in cautiously. It was really quiet, and there didn’t seem to be anyone there. Not a person, or an infected. I assumed they all fled. I found the gas station and approached it with caution. I walked up to the window and looked in. The lights were off. I tried the door. It was locked so I found a rock and broke the window. Freezing for a moment to see if anything was alerted from the noise, I looked around to find that, still, nothing happened. I found a gas canister, miraculously, and filled it with gas. Before I left, however, I looked at the thermometer on the wall. It was twenty-three degrees. This normally would not have shocked me since it was the middle of winter, but I was so hot now, and visibly sweating. I was about to leave when I heard a voice.
“Hello?” It was a man’s voice.
I turned to see where the voice came from. I saw a man, about twenty, standing with about ten others. “I’m just in need of some fuel for my bike.”
“Who are you, were you bitten?”
“I’m from the city, and no, I wasn’t bitten. I woke up to this mess and I barely escaped with my life. I have a home up north that I’m going to.”
The man noticed the blood on my shoulder and knee, and my sweating. “Why are you bleeding and sweating?”
“I cut myself with my knife,” I showed him my knife, “and I skinned my knee escaping the city on my bike. The sweating must be a result of the bleeding.” He eyed my over. “I promise you I was not bit.” He was silent. “Look, all I needed was fuel.”
He took a deep sigh, “Fine, you can have your fuel, not like we’ll need it. Where ya’ heading?”
“Up north. I have a cabin up there. Hey, I also noticed, your town looks like it wasn’t hit, where are all the infected?”
“What, do you mean the walkers?” He asked, and I nodded. “Yeah, we killed ‘em all. Over half the town turned, so to stop the plague, we killed them all and threw them into the woods, a way.”
“Well you were lucky then, The city was much worse. You would do good to find yourselves some shelter in the wilderness. You might be safer there; they’ll find their way up here eventually.”
“Alright, thank you. You be safe now, and good luck.”
I waved to them goodbye and left. I walked back to my bike, refueled it, and opened up my bag to eat some dried peaches that I had packed. The snow was falling now and it began to gather on my jeans as I sat. I was shivering, but I didn’t feel cold. In fact, I noticed that my skin started looking a little pale. I guess I caught a cold from the weather.
When I finished my peaches, I got on my bike and began riding. After another hour or so of riding, I finally reached my cabin. It was a good twenty minute walk in the woods, reachable only by a jagged dirt road. I stopped my bike and looked around the estate for anything or anyone. Once I was convinced that no one was there, I unstrapped the bag and walked up to the door. I opened my bag and took out my key chain. I went through the keys one-by-one looking for my cabin’s key, but I had a difficult time doing this. My vision was blurred and hazy. I had to hurry and get out of the cold, and start a fire to warm up. When I finally found my key, I shakingly stuck the key in the door and opened it. I dropped the bag and went to the couch. My breathing got heavy and I could barely see straight. I was panicking now. What was I going to do? I was losing my mind. Then I remembered, when I stabbed the infected in the hand, I cut myself as well, getting it’s blood in mine.
I laid down, taking a deep breath. The only thought that ran through my mind was, “Don’t sleep. Don’t sleep. You will not awake the same. Don’t sleep.” I tried, and I must have lay there for an hour. However, the fever got the best of me. My head was swimming now and I couldn’t seem to have control over anything. My arms were shaking, my eyes were fluttering and I thought I was having a seizure. I wasn’t though; I still knew what I was thinking, even though I didn’t have any control over it. Finally I shut my eyes, slowly and hesitantly, but they sealed themselves. My thoughts grew fainter and fainter, disappearing into a dark void hidden somewhere in the dark recesses of my mind. My last thought before it was lost was, “Don’t forget.”