Jun. 13th, 2009 08:39 pm
cat_rood: (Default)
I made it back. The woman with the axe, and the mother didn't. I'm pretty sure that some of this blood spattering my armour is hers.

My arms are leaden, and I can barely walk. I can feel things sliding off this armour, and I'm too tired to take it off.

Aribeth and Fenthick walk amongst us, offering some sort of comfort. It's cold comfort. While the pounding stopped, there were so many...

I didn't know their names. I didn't bother to learn them, thinking that it wouldn't matter. We'd get to know them, later. We could trade stories, and hopes and dreams...

Not any longer.

I need to get out of my armour, and go hug my children. They're scared of the person I've become, of what I look like, having been battling for our lives. To a point, I resent it, wishing that something, anything could have prevented this.

But nothing could. I know that. This is no one's fault and laying blame just exhausts me further.

We're gathering, tonight, to talk, and tell stories. To share what little food and water we have, and attempt to survive through the night.

For now, I will take this one day at a time. Perhaps tomorrow will dawn and this will only be a bad dream. Perhaps, when the sun once again graces us, it will be all over, and this only a nightmare to be forgotten in the light of day.

I hope so.

Most of us are beginning to realise that night is coming, and we're all exhausted. Aribeth is attempting to set up a night watch.

I doubt even that could protect us from the horrors that we witnessed today. I hacked bodies to pieces, and tried not to look at the faces. I tried not to think that these could be my friends, or my family.

Some of those that fell, fell to remembered faces. None of the soul remained though. Animated flesh stalked us. We hacked them to pieces, hoping that none of this would be necessary later.

It's my turn at the showers. I doubt hot water will help scrub away the feeling of filth that I've got crawling on my skin, but it's a good place to start.


Jun. 13th, 2009 04:05 pm
cat_rood: (Default)
We have to fight. The banging against the walls of the city is driving all of us nuts. We can't think. The kids can't hear their movies. The moans and the screams are becoming horrible...

Every able-bodied man and woman. Including me. Even though I'm not a fighter.

My son and daughter have kissed me good-bye. My daughter squeezed me tight and made me promise to come back. My son kissed my cheek.

Armour has been brought for all of us, and my swords are no longer out of place. One of the women I followed here is wielding an axe. She's barely taller than my nine-year-old, and her white knuckled grip on the axe belies her words of comfort to her mother.

My helmet is heavy on my head, and terror races through my veins. I can feel the first bite of adrenaline. Some of those not going out to fight are going up to higher windows and dropping boiling oil on the creatures outside.

I'm going out.

I don't think I've quite come to grips with that yet.

I look once more at the kids, and grip my sword.

The fight is now.

We few precious survivors are going out there to defend this last bastion of humanity in a sea of the undead.

Wish us luck.
cat_rood: (Default)
We made it to a city. I've never been anywhere like this place before.

Clean, orderly, and they're taking in refugees. I couldn't be more relieved. Honestly, it was like a blessing in disguise. The disease hasn't spread this far. Not yet. So, the kids and I can breathe easy for a moment.

This city opened its arms to us. We weren't the only ones to pass through the gates. I had to abandon my car somewhere. It ran out of gas. We came in here, with only what we could carry.

I didn't mind. The city is clean, and there is food. Here and there pockets of children attempt to forget the horror outside the walls, where the battle still rages. Their laughter is just a little too shrill, just a little too forced for us parents to truly believe this is over. Even if it's just a brief reprieve, we can't quite wrap our minds around it.

Some of the children gathered around the videos that have made their way here with the owners. Everywhere, there are small groups of parents. Everyone is wondering just what we're going to do.

There's one woman, tall -- statuesque really -- with flowing black hair and a kind twinkle in her eye that wanders among us adults. She offers a bit of comfort, or an ear, and things get done.

A triage station has been set up, treating the minor injuries that abound among us. I had to get a slice on my arm seen to, but it's fine now.

All around us, there are groups, wondering when we will take the fight out. They ask what can we do, other than cower here in the shadows, waiting for the monsters to fetch us.

No one knows what to do.

No one can explain what is going on.

A small group is becoming organised, over in the corner. The woman, Aribeth, is trying to talk sense into those wanting to run out and fight. There is a Presence about her, something not quite tangible. It seems to surround her in an aura of light.

Every so often, she leaves those of us that need comfort and steps into the arms of a man in the corner. The pair of them together is blinding. I can almost see their love and it makes me ache for the fiancé I cannot contact.

Someone raises the battle cry. I want to ignore them, to tell them we have a responsibility to our children, and to this refugee community we are building. Surely, inside this city that we found, something good can come of it.

The group is growing louder, the speeches more fervent. Aribeth is leaving the arms of the man -- someone told my daughter his name is Fenthick. I've resisted the urge to make fun -- and going to the group.

They are angry. They are scared. I cannot blame them. I want to join them. I want to go and fight. Ammunition is scarce, it is true, but there are other ways to fight. I've brought the swords stashed in the car.

I just want peace. I want to forget... but every time I come close, a new group stumbles in the door, and tells more horror stories. It's spreading. The fight is hopeless.... All these things they say, and no one can dispute them.

Aribeth stands in a shaft of light, making her hair shine and her skin appear golden. She's a beautiful woman, even to me. It makes me wish I could draw. She deserves to be captured on canvas, for words can never do her justice.

I watch around me, seeing the despair, and the depression on the faces of parents cradling children. A mother weeps, clinging to a young boy, and I remember her saying that her husband is gone.

For now, Aribeth seems to be the leader. Some of them follow her lead, others watch her with disinterest, or disdain. I only hope this day might end, so that we might begin to rebuild that which we lost.
cat_rood: (Wonder)
When I woke up this morning, it was just routine. Get up, move around, check the news, go out, spray the plants, and then hang out until the kids woke up. That's the way it normally goes.

That's the way it was supposed to go.

Instead, as I turned on CNN International this morning, I was inundated with warnings:

"It's begun."

Possibly the most frightening words to hear. I stared at the screen, and couldn't believe what was going on. It's like an 80s horror film. Zombies of all things. The reports were slowly beginning to filter in, but I didn't care. I began packing food, and clothes...

We left behind all the books I'd painstakingly packed for the move. They didn't matter. I filled every bottle I could find with water, packed the ice chest I was going to use for next week's camping trip and began packing the car.

Early morning in my neighbourhood is quiet. The dogs aren't awake yet, the dealers and the hookers have gone to bed, and those with day jobs are either gone or not up yet.

During those quiet moments, I silently began packing my car. No need to wake the neighbours, no need to bother anyone. Instead, just quietly leave in the early morning hours and get to safety.

We raced into the night, dawn slowly following our progress as we tried to outrun the sun. My youngest daughter doesn't know what's going on. She keeps asking questions. My son is silent in his seat, save when he asks to stop, or to get out.

I can't tell them just what we're running from.

We were just west of Cleveland when we saw the first of them. An old woman slowly shambled her way across a street. Her walker held her up, her footsteps slow.

I made a mistake. I opened my window, hoping to find out some news, maybe find out if some place were safe. I didn't know....

The fright of that hasn't worn off. I can still hear the thump of her body against the side of my car as I try to race past her. The streets are still deserted, even though it's close to noon now, or maybe it's earlier, I don't know.

I'm not even sure where on the map we are. Towns are deserted, whole cities without the vibrancy of life to keep them moving. The kids and I stopped for just a little while. We needed food and the chance to pee. We needed more water.

My cell is charging off the car, and I have another charger for my laptop. Hopefully between the two I'll be able to find others still alive.

My brother is hunkered down at his place. He and his husband are sure they can last for a while. More than a while if I know them. I thought about going there, but I'm worried the three of us will put a strain on their food supply.

Honestly, I don't know where we're going. I raided a sporting goods store in the last town. We have guns, ammunition. We'll be fine. I think. I'm hoping.

The news has gone silent in this little area that I'm in. I'm hoping... praying... Is anyone left? Have they all fallen to whatever caused this? Am I immune, or will I turn as well? Will my children?

We're going to leave here -- I won't say where it is -- and see about heading south. I'm hoping to meet up with friends. I just got an email telling me a few were alive and holed up somewhere.

For the moment, we are safe. For the moment, we still have all our faculties, and all our abilities.

For the moment never seemed so brief before...


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Cat Rood

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