Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

A Bleak Reality

Opaqueness. It was everywhere, like an impenetrable, inky blanket. No light. No sound. Nothing. It felt like he was in a deep pit. Hell maybe? Was this hell? He tried to feel his body. He began with his toes, but it was as if he wasn't a physical being at all. He tried to feel, something, anything. Alas, his efforts were insignificant. However, the more concentration put into the task, the more he thought he could feel the beating of his heart. He scolded himself, he did not want to be hopeful. The power of thought is omnipotent, he reminded himself. And although he didn't want to be propitious, he almost thought he could hear his heart beat becoming louder. After several silent minutes of scrutinizing, he realized that the noise he assumed was his heart beat had matured into a vociferous sound. It crept into a throbbing sensation someplace far beyond him in his nebulous reality. The intonation he had previously been eager for, progressed into a painful pulsing tactility. He suddenly wished he had never tried to pull himself from the depths of his subconscious. If only he could've remained in his imperceptible state of mind. The agony was bordering unbearable. It refused to recede from whence it came. With the sudden appearance of pain, came the formerly yearned for ability to feel his limbs. One by one perception returned to his ligaments.

His eyelids fluttered briefly, before he summoned enough strength to open them all the way. He blinked rapidly. Light finally penetrated the surface of his brain, flooding his retinas, burning them. It took several minutes for his cloudy onyx eyes to adjust to the illumination, though it was exceedingly dim. Frown lines formed on his excoriated face. He was staring at... was that soil? Groaning, he flipped himself over, breathing heavily from the strenuous effort. He stared above, at the massive tree trunks that loomed over him. He wasn't sure how long he lay on his back, eyes closed, bruised and marred arms covering his face, but he didn't care. His head was throbbing, pounding, it seemed, against his eyes. An uncontrollable tremor ripped through his body as questions plagued his mind. What happened? Where was he? How did he get here? He couldn't remember his past in the slightest bit, it was as if it had been completely erased from his memory. The answers to his questions were nowhere to be found in the depths of his hippo-campus.

Laying his long arms at his side, he pressed his palms firmly against the dirt and pushed himself into a sitting position. He surveyed his surroundings diligently. He discovered, after his long moment of observation, that he was in a forest. Once again, he tried to recall how he'd ended up in such a place, but just as before, he came up with no explanation. His head pulsed painfully; reaching his weak hand up, he felt the back of his skull. The warm liquid his fingers brushed against caused him to recoil hastily. He peered at his phalanges, a thick red blood dripped down his wrist. What the...? Blood poured from his wounded scalp, causing his short black hair to become sticky and matted. He lifted his right leg up to check for any injuries. He inspected himself thoroughly, and except for the cuts and bruises that scattered his skin, nothing stood out to him. He reached above and wrapped his fingers tightly around a thin branch. In the very back of his mind a tiny voice worried about the tree not being able to support his weight, but he ignored it, as far as he was concerned, it was inconsequential. He heaved himself to his feet and leaned heavily against the enormous trunk.

He listened to the inhale and exhale of his breath and once again closed his eyes. Idly, he wondered whether everything was this difficult in his past. He was suddenly hit with an onslaught of vivid memory snapshots. People all around him. Faces. Corpses. Fire. Running. Falling. His eyes widened. He still couldn't remember, but the pictures he saw in his head were enough to make anyone's knees go weak. He had a sudden intense feeling that something wasn't right. A bad thing had happened, but he wasn't sure what it was. And it was that uncertainty that made him nervous and jittery. Or at least... he thought it was.

A snapping sound rang out in the forest, just beyond the trees. His head whipped upward. The sound echoed off the wooded terrain once more. The only difference being that it became constant. It was almost as if some kind of animal was heading straight for him. Listening closer, he thought, scratch that there are more than just one! A herd maybe? As the noise gradually intensified, he wondered what the animal could be. What animal was it? Was it an animal at all? The idea caused a shudder to ripple down his spine. Should he run? No. He didn't even have the energy to stand without the support of the tree trunk. Let alone run. The stampede was approaching his clearing void of haste. His heart pounded ferociously against his scathed chest. Far in the depths of his amnesic mind, he knew that each broken stick and crunching leaf, brought with them, the promise of an inescapable doom. As the creatures neared, 100 ft, 50 ft, 10 ft, it became much more apparent that they weren't as much walking, as they were dragging their feet. His heart beat sped up even faster.

When the first creature stumbled through the shrubs and bushes, his knees buckled beneath him. He slid to the ground, the tree riving chunks of flesh from his back. Another one appeared behind the first, followed by three more in the opposite direction. They resembled that of a human but... portions of their bodies seemed to be missing. The first creature he observed was small, it looked like a female child. A large gash was cut deep into the rotting flesh on the pale cheek. One of its eyes was falling out of the socket while the other was stained with dried blood an black from dirt. The wound above its nose was so deep that he could see the cartilage. The thing that startled him the most about its cuts was that there was no blood at all. Its teeth were dull and crooked, covered with a thick yellow-brown coating. Its hair was sticking out everywhere, falling out in thick tufts where sticks and branches were caught in it, ripping large chunks from its scalp. It wore a pink summer dress that was so shredded, the piece of cloth that barely clung to the creature hardly resembled a dress at all. The largest of the holes was torn from its left shoulder to its stomach. The abdomen was split open exposing half decomposed organs, dried and shriveled, just barely attached to it by pieces of discolored skin. Its right arm, up to its shoulder, looked like it had been hacked with a meat cleaver. It had just a jagged piece of bone protruding form the socket. Its legs were short, pale and crooked, sticking out in opposite directions. It dragged itself toward him.

With every second that passed more of them staggered into his clearing. They muttered, moaned and screeched unintelligibly. He stared at the child. There was no tongue in its mouth and its lips were an obsidian black. He couldn't help the urge that originated in his stomach, he turned to his left and vomited bile on the forest floor beside him. He thought fleetingly that maybe he should pray, but with another look at the mutated child, he dismissed the idea. A puke green foam slid from the corner of the creature's mouth and down its chin.

The mutants reached him within a few minutes and began to claw at him, shredding his skin, tearing limb from limb. He tried to fight them off at first, but his efforts remained futile. As they sunk their rotting teeth into his flesh, he realized that he'd been wrong earlier. This was hell.

? ? ?

I watched the zombies attack him. He cried out for help, and I was tempted to look away. I wanted to turn a blind eye. But I forced myself to witness his murder. There was no way I could help him, so I was punishing myself. I glanced over my shoulder toward the shelter I'd built years earlier. My wife and son were inside sleeping, unaware of the events that were taking place just below our home. The man only showed up a few hours earlier. He'd already been bitten, but the transformation took at least three days. If I didn't want to blow my cover, I'd of shot him in the head myself. He called out to one of the gods, but I could hear the despair in his strangled voice. If the “gods” were real, they'd already abandoned the human race; there were no gods. Humans had been sentenced to hell, where only the best of the best survive.

I silently climbed across the branches and slid through one of the windows of my house. Taking a long look at the peaceful faces of my family, I gripped my knife. It was survival of the fittest these days, and we were among that small class of the world.

The End





Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

vampiresrock said...
Dec. 22, 2010 at 10:29 am
Woa....veeeeeeery niiiice! i loved it! you are a really good writer...kudos! :)
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback