Dawn of Z12 | TeenInk

Dawn of Z12

January 2, 2017
By CleoMagnus0704, Guilford, Indiana
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CleoMagnus0704, Guilford, Indiana
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Favorite Quote:
Someday you're going to miss her, that girl who knew she wasn't perfect, but tried to be, for you. She who wanted nothing more than to be there for you, and loving you was the only way to. The girl who saw your flaws, but didn't care they were there.

It was the summer before my freshman year that my world fell apart. I had just turned 14 when my dad got sick. My family didn’t know, at the time, that this disease was the one that would eventually destroy humanity as we knew it. My dad caught the Z12 virus. It was a genetic mutation that changed the very makeup of a person's mind. It basically turned them into zombies, which we didn’t know at the time, either. But those infected with the virus were not the slow, bumbling zombies that you saw on TV. They were fast, with razor-sharp teeth that could rip a human's throat out in seconds. The week after my birthday, Dad came home not feeling well. He had a high fever, and I insisted he go lay down while I made lunch. My little siblings, Eileen, Lucas, and Apollo were out at a neighbor's house for the morning, I was supposed to be going grocery shopping, so I sent them to our neighbor, April's. She has a kid the twins' age, which was eight. Apollo, at the youngest, was five.  I made Dad go lay down on the couch while I rummaged through the cupboards looking for any soup or tea I could make. Like I said, I had been going to go to the grocery store, so we didn't have much of anything. I found a tin of tea bags, and put some water on to boil. I got the thermometer and went into the living room." Take your temperature. You think you might have picked up a bug at work?" I said, handing it to him. "Zanna, I work in an office, which is not exactly the place you pick up diseases. I'm fine, I'll be back to normal tomorrow, I just need some rest."
That was the last normal conversation I had with my dad. No one realized how fast the disease would spread. Dad caught it from someone at work, who had gotten it from who-knows-where, and by the time I was on the bus to the store, he was already mutating. I returned home with a bag full of groceries to find our living room torn apart. The first thing I thought of was a robbery; in downtown Chicago it was almost to be expected. I dropped the bags on our front porch and ran down the street to April's. "April!" I yelled as I knocked on her door. Her daughter, Evan, opened the door. I knelt down and said "Hey, Evie, is your mom around?"  She nodded, and pointed into their kitchen, where April was making peanut-butter sandwiches. "April, is Josh home?" I said, referring to her brother, "I think our house was robbed." She agreed to keep the kids for another hour or so, while Josh and I headed to my house to investigate. He was swinging his gun by his side. He went first into the house, and made me wait outside till he searched the bottom floor. I entered, and checked around. It didn’t seem as if anything was missing, not anything obvious. The only thing I didn’t see was my father. "Dad?" I called. I ran upstairs, despite Josh's many warnings, feeling my stomach drop, knowing something was horribly wrong. I peered under beds in the boys' room, in Eileen's, in his, but when I looked into my dark, walk-in closet, I saw movement in the corner. If I good go back and change things, I wouldn’t have flipped on that light. But I did. A gray blur jumped from the corner as the light flicked on, knocking me to the floor. I screamed, and heard Josh pounding up the stairs. The thing tore at my hair, my face, I kicked and screamed louder. "Zanna! Suzanne! Where are you?" I was thrashing, trying to get out from under the monster attacking me. I felt teeth tear at my shoulder, followed by an almost blinding pain. I heard a deafening noise, then two, then three. In the back of my mind, I realized they were shots being fired. After what I thought was the fourth or fifth shot, it shuddered and slumped down.  Josh scooped me up, and the last thing I saw before losing consciousness was my father's glasses perched crookedly on his gray face, his gray hands to his head, his disfigured face. 

I was in the hospital for a month, I really should have been there longer, but there was no chance, because the world was falling apart. Sheltered inside the building, I didn’t know how bad things had gotten in the real world. Until the apocalypse came to the hospital. I had just woken up when I saw a nurse fleeing down the hallway. I sat up and noticed something. The building was silent. No buzzing of machines. No chatter or tears of people whose loved ones resided here, not nurses flitting around the room and doctors scribbling notes.
Dead silence.
Pulling out my IV with a wince, I stood and walked to the glass door of my room. I opened it cautiously, peering into the hallway. Seeing no one, I ventured out into the hall to the front desk. I peered over the edge and had to fight the urge to vomit. Sprawled behind the desk was the body of my nurse, her throat torn to pieces, her skin dull and gray, the blood seeping into the peach rug behind her.  I gagged and ran back to my room. It had been an attack. The zombies had to be here. Shutting and locking my door, which wouldn’t do much, it just made me feel better, I rummaged through the suitcase of personal items April had sent over for me, looking for my normal clothes. I saw my mom's army fatigues, which I hadn't noticed before. I held them up to my chest, looking at them in the mirror. Even knowing now was not the time for sentiments, I imagined her reflection staring back at me. I had her fawn-colored hair, and her stormy gray eyes, while I had my father's slender build and tan complexion. I put her fatigues on, fingering the worn label on the chest that read Jackson.

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