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It was a bleak day when it caught up to our town. We knew it would eventually, but decided to ignore the vital signs. In the end, if you ignore something, it’s not real right?
The day dripped by like a broken faucet, monotonous and painful. It started with my neighbor, and intertwined it’s madness with our minds like a tightly coiled spring.
Some stayed, either ignoring it altogether, or scraping at the hope for immunity.
Others, like me, ran.
There’s no safe place from it, it lingers in the food, the water, hanging in the air damp as a wet towel.
I stayed in abandoned houses, the shrieks of the Lost filled my thoughts; I only heard screams. I didn’t sleep, I couldn’t. Sleep was as equal as death; it could sneak up behind you and pounce without so much as a whisper.
Food frightened me more than sleep, but after five days and multiple blackouts I was out of choices. I only ate canned food stored in the cupboards of the houses I occupied.
It had been two weeks since the bleak day, or so I imagined. The passing of time meant nothing, and so I grew accustomed to only light and dark, and ate only when black spots stole my vision.
I avoided big cities and towns, where it ravaged people’s minds to the point of insanity. I’d seen a girl, running like me, walk into a big town, only to get ripped apart and eaten by the locals. Her blood curdling scream echoed in my mind for days, staying there like a leech sucking out my lucidity.
That’s what it did. It ate you, mind and soul, rocked your entire being so your perception was cast aside and replaced by your worst fears.
In fact I could have it right now, and I’d never know it had altered my reality. My body could be doing things that my mind doesn’t have the capacity to understand anymore, my view of the world could warped by the disease. The forest I’m surrounded by could be a town, that stump could be a body, and I wouldn’t know.
After all, it’s only how you perceive it.