We had watched the news with fear, watching as the rest of the world seemed to be slowly going mad. Watched and knew that somehow it would soon strike here.
When the footage had first appeared on the news, everyone had thought it was a hoax. Perhaps a new game was coming out and this was the hype. That it was a hoax was the government's official statement, and travel continued as usual. But then footage started in other states of America and then in other countries and it was soon clear that this was no hoax, that this was very real and the zombie apocalypse was upon us.
That was when the panic started. Flights in and out of Australia were immediately stopped, in a effort to protect our little country. Crazed, desperate shopping and looting began and the army was soon repositioned to large cities, to stop us becoming victims of our own fright. Schools were closed once it became clear that no one was bothering to show up. It was a mad race to ensure you had everything you needed for yours and your families survival.
For a week after the airports had been closed we thought we were safe. The infection hadn't made it here, we would be alright. Surely they got the planes shut down in time.
Then the rumors started. There was no official news stories, but people began to talk. Someone in a nearby town had gone missing, and then someone else. There had been sightings, people were hearing odd sounds in the night. The rumors began to multiply, and yet the Government kept their stance. We were safe, we as a country would survive this, the infection would not reach us here, they had acted in time.
But we of the people knew we were not safe. There was too many rumors. More people began to disappear, some looking for remote, 'safe' places, but others without a trace, luggage still in the cupboard, dinners on the table. People became afraid to leave their houses unless they needed something, and would only travel with improvised weapons. The army was still around but even they appeared scared. Some nights the sound of gunfire filled the air.
We must have been running low on something, because for some reason my boyfriend had decided he needed to risk going out. "I'll be back in an hour Tammy, two at the most," he had told me, shouldering the ax we used for cutting down wood. "Don't open the door unless your sure it's me, and check for wounds before letting me near you."
And then he had been gone. I had sat waiting, watching the news that still run with the same statements from the government that all was fine. The news girl looked a little green today and she kept seeming to be nibbling on her fingers. Beside her, the official she was interviewing seemed to notice none of this as he continued his statement, claiming there were no reported counts of infection within our country.
Suddenly the news girl launched across the desk, grabbing the official in a tight embrace. For some it might look like an act of unrestrained lust, as she put her mouth against her neck but you could tell by her colour, by the hunger in her eyes and the panic in his that this was no illicit romance being unleashed. Screams were sounding on the background, as blood began pouring from the officials neck. The camera stayed on the pair, and I could not help watching, in grim curiosity. Wryly I spared a thought for the government official and his everything could be explained statement. 'Try to explain that.'
I had watched the news feed while the news girl lurched of camera. I was still watching when the government official slowly and clumsily got to his feet and then he too hurried away in search of food. Then I turned the tv off and glanced at my watch. It had been nearly 2 hours and Eric was still not back. I began to worry but knew I had to occupy myself. I began cooking some food, glad for the fact that we still had power.
I had just finished eating, much time having passed, before the knock sounded on the door. Rushing to it, I glanced through the eye hole. In relief I spotted Eric, and unlocked the chain lock, before backing up. Eric opened the door, looking so much like himself that relief flooded my chest. But I knew not to approach him yet.
"Are you unwounded?" I asked him. He nodded, and began lifting various parts of clothing, showing me clear, unwounded flesh. It seemed he was safe.
I threw myself into his arms, the worry easing for my stomach. We shared a kiss, before his lips moved to my neck. His teeth grazed the skin, in what I thought of as a playful nibble, and then they sunk in, deep as he began to feed on me. My hands went up, trying to push him off me, to save myself but he was too strong. Soon the strength seemed to fade from my body and I blacked out.
When I awoke I was on the floor, Eric sitting beside me, as if waiting. He held a hand out to me, helping me to stand and then I noticed it, the smallest graze along his knuckles. I was briefly amazed that that was all it took before the hunger overcome me, and Eric and I sauntered out, going to see if the neighbours tasted as good as they smelled.