Chapter 1: PETSMART
It was an average January morning for Eve. She woke up from another depressing dream, gathered her supplies, and for half an hour she rested her ear against the dark tinted window of the car she spent the night in. At first all she heard was quiet
then she heard someone calling out for survivors.
Hello, He yelled, Anyone alive!?
It was quiet for a moment, the survivor began to scream
and then it was quiet. Dumb bastard, Eve said under her breath. Maybe a few months ago she would have attempted to save the idiot. Back when she still cared about most things. Back then she was the average straight A, over achiever, but that meant nothing when the world had been thrown to anarchy. No government, no order, no law
and no friends
with all of that gone she had only one thought within her common sense, looking out for herself. She felt that everyone else had abandoned her when they died, but she wanted to prove them wrong.
After a while the surroundings were quiet once more. She put on her backpack, and with her left gloved hand she held the baseball bat she had found in the park two days ago, and quietly opened the door of the car with her other hand. Embracing the cold winter air she exited the car.
Anyone seeing this figure exiting the car would mistake it for a criminal, or murderer of some sort. She wore a pair of grey/black combat boots she had looted from a nearby store. There was still a price tag on one of them. Over them she had a pair of winter army-camo jeans that she found in the mens section of the abandoned Kohls. They were too long for her so the ends of the leggings were tucked into her boots. She wore a long grey trench coat that she found the morning of the initial panic, inside the closet of her house. It was too big for her 15 year old frame, but it served useful as a blanket when she had to sleep for the night. The collar of the coat covered her mouth and she wore a winter cap over her head. The only things you could see were her brown, sleep deprived, eyes, her pale skin, a few locks of her brown hair and just part of her nose.
She looked around and stepped lightly through the snow filled city. The clouds were grey, and the surroundings were silent. Eve rested the bat against her shoulder. hm
where should I have breakfast this fine morning, She thought in a sarcastic tone. She looked around and found a bagel shop
perfect! She walked towards it and examined the building. It was the only restaurant for a while, this was a business district of town. Unfortunately, no one else had decided to be a hero and loot the building first.
maybe Ill get a lucky break, She thought as she tried to open the door. It resisted her strength very well.
Eve checked the surrounding area
no infected in sight
She took a deep breath, and swung her bat into the glass window. The shatter of glass offered her some amusement, but it didnt last long. Some infected heard it, and they growled from all directions of the city. Eve jumped into the building and started her morning shopping.
Morning gents, She said to the empty building as if she had shopped there every day of her life. She grabbed a plastic bag, and filled it with anything that hadnt spoiled over the past few months. The refrigerators were still running, somehow power was still on in portions of the city. As soon as she had enough supplies, she put them in her pack and left, eating an apple as she walked off.
Strangely enough, Eve didnt really mind the end of the world. During the day it was peaceful when no infected were around, and when they were, usually it wasnt anything overly dangerous. More often than not, humans were completely devoured because the animals infected were quick. Those who had escaped the initial bites would choose to run and turn, rather than end their suffering with a bullet. Eve was mostly assured by the fact that the infected would migrate with the majority of the population. Living in southern Colorado, she realized that if she traveled north with everyone else, shed be dead within weeks.
Psychologically, however, this girl was a mess. It had been two months since the great panic, and for two months, she had been alone. There was no one to talk too and no one to listen too. Eve wasnt much of a talker, before the infection spread, she had very few friends. Now she had even less reason to give other people a chance. Part of her was actually glad everyone was dead! No more lies, She thought out loud, Just me, my smarts, my surroundings, and nobody else.
On cue, a loud groan was heard down the street, quickly breaking her concentration. She looked up to see the first infected of the day. It was taller than her by a few inches, male, with tattered business cloths. A fresh coat of blood was across its already ruined suit. She sighed, pocketed her apple, and raised her bat. The creature snarled and charged at her, swinging its claws at its prey. Eve sidestepped, and swung her bat into the things spine. It let out a hellish scream as it fell, then got up and made another attempt at getting its target. As it got within two feet, Eve kicked it in the stomach, forcing it back. As it regained its footing, she swung her bat with great force, breaking its skull, and causing bits of blood and brain to stain her bat. The zombie fell down and didnt move when Eve kicked it with her boot. She smiled, got out her apple, took a bite, and said proudly, First one of the day.
For about two hours she simply wandered through the city streets, moving from the business district to the shopping centers. During that time something kept popping up in the back of her mind.
Where are all of the infected?
In those two hours she had found only three other infected humans. Two of them had heard her when she looted the café, and one was found by accident in the park. Aside from them, she had found two infected squirrels. She hated them, they were amazingly loud for such tiny creatures, were fast runners, and good jumpers. If it werent for her thick clothing, she would have been infected by now. One of them had bit her jacket sleeve, but she shook it off and kicked it, the other two became pieces of splattered fur and guts on the street after she got her bat. Other than that, there was nothing!
They couldnt have left
they didnt get me yet
so where are they?
Something wasnt right, and Eve had to find out what. She continued through the streets but kept on guard. Finally she began to hear howls and groans again. She tightened her grip and walked toward the noises that led her through the parking lot of the shopping center. She finally realized that not all of the noises were infected. Several sounded
and not the bad kind. They were coming from the local PetSmart that was up ahead. Its glass doors were shattered in, and the howls got louder as she got closer.
sucks to be them, Eve said turning around, As long as its not me, I dont care. She turned around and began to walk away. At first it was an easily paced walk, but then she began to run. The farther away she got, the louder the animal cries were. By the time Eve reached the street she stopped, she grunted, Fine! She turned around and ran into the store.
The power was still on, and the inside of the store was warm. She set her backpack down, unbuttoned her coat and tossed it at the front counter. For one of the few survivors left, she had a surprisingly slender figure under her loose, grey, long-sleeved shirt. She took off her hat and put it with the pile, then she picked up her bat and walked through the store. The cages up front had been broken into. Bones littered the area, and blood stained the food bowls and pet toys. At the back wall was the fish display
shattered and bloody
not a single fish left
Eve sighed and looked for the source of the all the bloodshed. She walked towards the back of the building, hearing snarls and growls, followed by whimpers. She found ten or so infected
seven of them human
two of the some sort of dog breed, and one a cat. They surrounded some dead creature, Eve couldnt tell what, but that wasnt what she needed to worry about. She grabbed a squeaky toy and tossed it at the group. They turned to see the girl and let out several groans. The animal infected lunged at her first, while the other zombies limped towards her. Eve sidestepped as one of the dogs tried to tackle her, she swung at the other when it neared. The things neck made a loud snapping sound when it flew backward. It fell lifeless. Eve kicked the cat at the mob of zombies and turned her attention to the other dog. Its fur was grey with a whitish underbelly. It had a bite on its leg that made it hobble as it ran for her. It barked several times and jumped at Eve. She turned her bat sideways and the dog latched onto it, instead of her, breaking several of its teeth. She swung the bat, flinging the dog off and into a shelf.
The zombies were within reach and Eve went from one to the other, swinging her bat and sidestepping their attacks. One by one they fell, the bat was starting to bend. Eve threw it at a zombie and ran for a new weapon. There were only a few infected left, but nothing to kill them with. She ran into the other isles yelling things like, Come and get me! or You want some of this? With few weapons in this store she was forced to throw fish bowls at the zombies that neared her. The glass tanks exploded against their heads, but only killed one of them. She ran isle to isle after that point, looking for something to kill the other four zombies that remained. Nope, She said looking through the dog supply isle. The next isle had collars and things, but nothing she could use to kill a zombie. The next three isles had nothing better, but then she found the pet furniture section. She smiled as she picked up a cat scratching post. It was a bit bigger than her bat, with a base on one end and a bed like area where the cat would sleep on the other. She looked back at the ghouls as they neared her and swung the base end into one of their faces. The zombie was killed, but the wooden base fell apart into a splintered bludgeon.
The other zombies fell relatively easily, but Eves new bat was completely broken because of it. She caught her breath and heard one last creature snarling. It was that dog, its hind legs were broken when it crashed into the display shelf. It tried in vain to get close enough to bite Eve. She simply looked down at it, raised her boot, and ended its misery.
Eve returned to the spot where she had originally found the infected within the building. They had been eating a human
an employee by the looks of it. He was dead, too dead to even reanimate, one of his arms was missing however, but she had an idea when she noticed a trail of blood to the back room. Eve followed the trail, finding several infected corpses along the way. At the end she found a shotgun on the floor, a hand it belonged too, and a locked door with a key still jammed in it. Eve hesitated, then unlocked the door and opened it. As she did several animals burst out. Birds, cats, dogs, mice, anything! They all ran (or flew) outside and into freedom. Eve smiled and started for the door, when she heard a whimper from the room. She looked back and found a puppy hiding in the corner along with a few other animals. There was a small green lizard with blue spots, a tan/brown ferret, and a small grey mouse with a black spot on its back. Eve approached them, and they backed away.
Im not going to hurt you, She said, raising her blood stained arms, trying to look as trusting as possible. Eventually they approached her and she picked them up in her arm and walked to the front door. She couldnt help but notice the fine grey fur the puppy had, and when she passed the destroyed display shelf she covered the puppies eyes with her free hand. She set them down by the front door and began to get her coat and things together.
Ok, you can go now, She said as she put her arms through the sleeves of her coat. The animals simply looked at her. Go, its safe now, She yelled getting impatient. The animals didnt move. Fine! Whatever, I killed the zombies, Ive set you free, my conscience is clear, She said, getting her backpack and putting on her hat. She walked towards the sports store, I need a new bat. As she walked through the snow, the animals followed her path, the lizard hitching a ride on top of the puppy. Eve eventually heard the footsteps and turned around, seeing the animals following her. What, She asked, the puppy responded by approaching Eves leg and nuzzling it. Eve moved away, No, bad! The dog stopped obediently, its tail wagged. Eve put her hands into a stay motion and backed away but kept her eyes on her followers. They didnt move, and when she was a good distance away she turned around. When her back was turned, they began to follow her again. Eve occasionally turned around and as she did the animals would stop where they were. To them it was a game of red light, green light
or.. Dark grey light, lighter grey light. By the time Eve got into the sports store and retrieved a new baseball bat, she figured out their game and snapped. Go away, She whisper yelled so she wouldnt attract any infected, I dont need any company, especially from a bunch of useless tiny animals! She unknowingly held her bat threateningly.
The little dog began to whimper/howl, loud enough that any infected with decent hearing could detect.
No, Eve began, feeling like she was arguing with a little kid, Shh! Be quiet. Please? The puppy continued. Eve sighed and set her bat on the floor. She took a deep breath, kneeled down and said,
would you guys like to come along with me? The puppy smiled and barked happily in response. Eve smiled back, wiping the sweat off her forehead, Just please, keep quiet. The dog stood on its hind legs to reach her face and licked it. Eve blushed, after all this time on her own, not needing anyone, she had finally met her match. Ok, lets see, She said standing up. She picked up the lizard and set it in her front left pocket. Then she picked up the mouse and placed it into her other pocket. All that was visible of the two were their heads so they could see what was going on. Eve looked at the ferret confused at first, then she smiled and placed it into the pouch of her backpack that was meant for water bottles. The little fuzzy thing curled around in it playfully, found a comfy spot and relaxed. She looked at the dog, petted it, and walked back to the pet store, Come on lets go.
It was an hour until dark, so Eve didnt take long with her new shopping list. She emptied her backpack of anything that wasnt necessary, then replaced it with food and grooming supplies, as well as books about animals. With that done she smiled when she noticed machine by the front of the store that made pet tags. She borrowed some money from the cash register and made four tags. One she attached to her left pocket that said, Freckles. Another she put on the right that said Spot. She clipped another tag onto the pouch of the bag pack that said, Skip. She went to the collar section and clipped the last tag to a collar and tried to put it on the puppy. Defiantly he avoided the thing. Come on boy, this is to make sure no one else takes you, Eve said, even believing for a moment that things would be normal again. The dog stayed away. Fine, She replied, grabbing an extra collar she walked towards the machine and made one last tag that said Eve on it. She fixed it loosely on her neck and smiled, showing it off. The dog looked confused for a second, and looked at the other animals, which were enjoying the shiny toys attached to their seating arrangements. The dog grunted and looked up at Eve whimpering. Eve tried not to laugh. Oh you want this, She asked holding up the extra collar. The dog barked and she smiled, putting the collar on the dog. The word Zombie shined brightly on it, and the puppy lifted its head proudly. Eve petted him and walked outside, Zombie followed right behind her.
They walked back towards the city streets and they traveled with the road until it was dark. Eve found a truck that was perfectly sized for them to spend the night. She set her bat down and took the lock picks from her pocket. She attacked the locked door carefully, waiting for the right clanks and clicks of the lock. Zombie started barking as she did so. Shh, not now boy, I almost got it, She replied as she continued. Zombie began to tug her pants. Alright, Eve said thinking the pup was playing games, she turned around, What is
Eve stopped, grabbed her bat and swung it quickly, hitting an infected cat. It flew back and landed on the concrete. Poking it with her bat, Eve realized it was the same cat that she had found at the PetSmart.
.good boy, She said, petting Zombie. She opened the door to the truck, and set her new friends inside, Wait here a second. She got some plastic bags to cover her gloves and she picked up the dead undead cat. She walked towards a tree that was a good distance away from them and set the corpse down. She gave a quick prayer, tossed the plastic bags away, and she returned to the truck.
Adjusting the seats, Eve made a makeshift bed for herself, and she used her coat as a blanket. Good night, She said closing her eyes after the long day. It was quiet a moment, then she felt a ten pound fuzz ball climb onto her and lay on her stomach. Eve sighed and petted zombie. She felt a small being climb up next and she opened her eyes. It was Spot. She climbed up Eves blanket and laid down next to Zombie. A cold presence climbed onto Eves hand and crawled up her sleeve, into her shirt, and finally rested against her chest. Eve almost yelled something, but didnt, knowing Freckles was cold blooded and she needed a warm place to sleep. Finally Skip scampered into Eves sleeve and started rolling around. Eventually his head popped out of her sleeve and he laid down next to her arm, using the fabric of her shirt like a sleeping bag. Eve smiled and said softly, Good night everyone. They slept peacefully, and woke up the next morning refreshed and alive.
Eve had another dream that previous night... But it was different. She stretched, greeted her friends, and looked out the window of the truck. Maybe the future wont be just me, Eve said petting Zombie,
maybe theres hope for me-