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Hollow

It was a low-spirited autumn day, wet mucky earth covered the small town of Hiawatha, Kansas, and heavy air lingered in the atmosphere. I have been on the run for five weeks now, and believe me it has felt like so much longer. I first heard about the disease on the radio on the day of, driving home. Apparently it spread quickly throughout the Midwest and then to Northern and Southern America in a matter of a few weeks. I climbed up the front steps with my backpack halfway off my shoulder. I knocked on the door before opening it, but I didn’t complete the second step. Something pounded on the other side of the wood, and I let out a screech as I stepped back. A million things ran through my mind; I was expecting the worst as I stepped inside onto the tile.

I trudged down the empty road as a silent tear trickled down my face, and I sniffled. A heavy school backpack was weighing me down. I had ditched all of my textbooks after a week went by and I knew I was never going back to school, but my bag carried other supplies replacing the books’ weight. I had just passed the poor houses on the outskirts of Fairview, Kansas, and now I was entering the downtown area to scour for resources like a ravenous bear in the beginning of spring. On both sides of the two-way street there were different stores varying from a hardware store to a pharmacy, but a tavern at the end of the road seemed to catch my curious eyes. The exterior was made of a dark oak wood, and it had a big wooden green sign above the door that read “McCoy’s Tavern”. I crossed the threshold as the darkness washed over me, and I scrubbed my eyes with the back of my hand. I left the door open to let in some sunlight while investigating the interior for any unwanted visitors.

To the right of the tavern there was a slick dark wooden bar with glass shots of stale liquor sprawled on the counter like star consolations and a couple beer glasses in front of the leather stools with “McCoy” written on them in green lettering. A TV screen hung above the bar, and when the electricity was still on, it was probably playing whatever football game the alcoholics requested to watch. To the left of the tavern there were leather booths and tables with Irish paintings hanging above them. To the back of the bar there was a big map of Ireland, a couple multicolored dart boards on the walls, and an old pool table.

I swung open the kitchen door behind the bar and gingerly walked toward the back pantry. I slowly twisted the knob and a pile of misshapen skin-eaters collapsed on the floor in front of me in a big pile. I yelped in surprise and stubbed backwards. I then took a step back and wielded a fire axe I picked up by the front door. The infected slowly regained their droopy posture and stumbled toward me. There were too many of them, four at least, and I couldn’t take on all of them alone. I dropped the axe to my side and receded out of the kitchen in fright. I turned toward the tables, where more famished skin-eaters faltered toward me. My heart started pounded inside my chest faster and faster and sweat emptied of my pores. There were at least eight skin-eaters on me. I twisted around to face the open front door and stumbled through the doorway. I pulled out my axe, trembling, and faced the doorway as they filed out in line. I needed this. I crushed the first one’s skull with my axe and blood sprayed all over my clothes like red paintballs.

The next one advanced towards me, and I sliced its body into a separate torso and legs. Then, something grabbed my shoulder and yanked me backwards. I whirled around and implanted my weapon into its brain and shouted in triumph, but it wasn’t over yet. I turned back around, ready, but there were only blood and three dead bodies scattered on the ground. I had only killed two in front of the store. A skin-eater wrenched my ponytail behind me, and another one snuck up in front of me while I was occupied. Unexpectedly, an arrow flew through the air hitting the skin-eater in front of me above its decayed ear. I exhaled and wiped wet fly-aways from my forehead, but my heart still pumped loudly in my chest. There was a man, not a skin-eater, a few meters away shaking his head at me. I stared at him with wide eyes not caring what he thought of me. I never thought I would every see another human being again. “What the heck were you thinking?” I just laughed and answered “What?” I was hysterical. He then asked me if I wanted to go with him. He said I had a fighting chance and could make it in this messed-up world if I was crazy enough. I stopped laughing and accepted his offer. I followed him out of the downtown area to his camp, and a few others he told me about. I didn’t have to survive this alone anymore.




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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

GreekGoddessThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
yesterday at 6:55 pm:
This is interesting, and you caught me right at the begining. I do have a couple of suggestions though. First off, don't call the infected skin eaters. It'd be good to metion that they eat skin, but unless the main charater is a child, call them the Infected, or the Sick or something else because "skin-eaters" sounds too much like something a small child would say. Also the last paragraph is where the main chacrater's (excuse my spelling :P) life is changed as they get a co... (more »)
 
Madie2kThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
today at 7:22 am :
Thanks for your feedback! I really appreciate it!
 
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