Waking up gets harder to do everyday.
The constant state of paranoia and fear that runs through my mind each time I close my eyes makes it harder for me to sleep. With the less sleep I have the more likely I'll crash. When I crash, waking up just doesn't feel well with me.
The strain is unbearable at times that I ask myself why I even bother? Why not stay in bed and just sleep the world away.
Sadly, this was not one of those days.
Waking up by hearing "There's someone out there!" is not the best of ways to start your day.
Bryce's tone was a mixture of concern, alarm, and confusion. Considering the fact that he must've realized how void this place was from living beings, this was certainly a change. As is with me. Within the past few months I barely saw another person. Bryce's very presence was a rare occurrence but to have another person show up is all too impossible.
"Move." I gruffly said, pushing him away from my window to peak into the streets below. Just like he said, a body was weaving through the sea of the dead. Hands gripped tight to a crowbar as they tried to take flight and avoid the undead.
I narrowed my eyes down at the scene and turned to Bryce. Both of us staring at each other, perhaps he too was wondering what to do next.
On one hand, there is a potentially dangerous threat walking about. After all, being alive this late into the end of the world must mean that you are, in some way, capable of holding your own and to deal some damage.
Yet on the other hand, there is another sentient, alive human out there. Trying to survive much like Bryce and I. With the end of the world, isn't it almost granted that we should try to save them. Strengthen our numbers and what not?
"Marie," he spoke resulting in me being pulled from my thoughts, "We have to do something."
His eyes met mine and, for a second, I saw a cacophony of emotions swirling in the hues of his eyes. Desperation, anger, need, and... hope.
Gulping, I nodded wordlessly. Turning away to gather my gear as he did the same. My bat strapped tight to my back as we made quick haste out the suite.
"I have a fast way down. Come on."
With that, we entered another room on the floor. although it was bare bones it served a special purpose for it's balcony was positioned right next to a street lamp. Giving him one last look, I hopped onto it and zipped down. Sliding down the pole and landing on the concrete floor with a soft 'thump'.
I didn't bother to wait for him. Besides, the heavy 'Thud' from behind me was more than enough to say that he got down.
My senses, instead, noticed the beginnings of a pile up of dead as all of them noticed the fresh meat walking about. The situation turned dire when gunshots started to rebound against the walls of empty homes, shouts of curses accumulating at the base of one such house.
Both of us began to pick up the pace. My bat soon slipping back into my hand as I darted forward. Taking stance to wack into the nearest staggering body when another gun shot pierced the air. This time coming behind me. The result was the Z in front of me and, soon after the one behind it, dropping to it's knees and keeling over. Holes were solid mass once was.
Loosing my rhythm, I found myself staring back. Shock coursing through my veins but it was soon dialed down upon looking at the expression on my companion's face.
That shy, awkward, and clumsy kid from highschool was gone. Instead stood another soul hardened by the woes of the world. Face cast with a dark shadow as the look of, what i can only describe as, a soldier replaced the one I knew. One cold glare at me was enough to get me moving again.
As more Zs began to break away from the pile, only to be shot dead on sight, the closer I got to the other person alive.
"Who-" He attempted to speak but instead lost his focus, one of the hands gripping onto the fabric of his jacket and pulled him on the ground.
What happened next was fast. Too fast for me to accurately remember.
Him, falling to the floor. Bryce yelling, me screaming back. My bat touching flesh as it was swung down. Gun shots. Bodies falling. My hands replacing the dead. The jacket ripping in my hands. Me throwing the man forwards. Bryce behind us, emptying his gun. Then us running.
It wasn't until we made it back to base did time go back to normal.
My body barely registering the sudden change in movement as I crashed onto the numerous dust ridden pillows that laid at 'home'. Desperate for the pounding in my head to stop, I found myself clawing for my helmet. Removing the hunk of plastic from off my skull and feeling the sweet relief of fresh air rushing the exposed skull.
"Weapons, remove them."
'right... We're at this point.' I thought, turning over on my side as I watch Bryce do the equivalent of a pat down on the new comer. Soon all that was left on him was his t-shirt, pants, and his gas-mask. My eyes glided across the new form, taking in all of it's lanky features and tall stature, before finally landing right back to where his face should be.
"The mask." I reminded, soon standing up and standing behind him so I could remove it myself.
The the hunk of plastic dropped, my eyes caught the strange look on Bryce's face. First shock, then confusion, then hatred. His face contorting upwards to a snarl as he crossed his arms.
"You can't be fucking serious! Why are you here?" He hissed causing me to raise a brow.
Taking a side step to face him again. I finally took in the man's full form. There was something familiar about the way his hair curls. The light brown locks. That freckled face. Even that beard.
"Wait... Bryce?" He spoke before turning to me. His eyes assessing my own features before a strangled gasp. His hands coming up to cover his mouth.
"No fucking way," he laughed as he took a step back, "no fucking way! How are you still alive?!"
"Don't fucking say that about her." Bryce spat back, coming in front of me as I looked up at him. His face still holding resentment. Gulping, I found myself tugging at the edges of his jacket.
"Who...?" I wondered aloud, my words once again lost as both men seemed to snap from whatever they were thinking about to look at me.
Was something wrong with my memory?
Bryce let out a shaky laugh, soon turning around to grab my shoulders. His eyes looking back at the man before turning to me. His look seems to be asking that same question. Whether or not he was, he shook his head and turned to address the equally confused looking newcomer.
"That's... Marie, do you remember Richard?"
The name suddenly rang an echo in my head. Once more memories began to spin in my head as the loud thump of my heart began to override whatever they were saying. My mouth agape as words left with each wheezing breath.
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