The train came out of the long tunnel into the snow country. Unknowingly entering hell itself, the unaware passengers on board were either chattering with their friends, or reading the newspaper they had bought along with them. All around them a dazzling blanket of snow covered the ground, enveloping it in Winter’s own chilling embrace. The sun was high in the pale blue sky, throwing thousands of diamond glitters off the sparkling ice and back into the eyes of whoever happened to notice it.
Tyler ignored all of this however; he was too busy focussing on the figures stalking him. He had been on the run for twenty three hours and thirty minutes precisely. Every time he settled down for a rest, they would appear and he’d be forced to run once more. The bitter scent of December’s sharp wind filled his nostrils and made his heart pound ferociously. He didn’t like to think about what he’d left behind; if he did he’d surely lose it. All he had to focus on now was making it out alive. Even though his legs were numb and the world was spinning around him, he had to continue. If not for him, then for his parents.
The aching, exhausted feeling was instantly replaced with anger and grief at the memory of his parents. He still hadn’t seen them since the night he’d been discovered but he couldn’t hang around to find out what had happened to them. Right now, his main instinct was survival. Call it callousness, call it cold-hearted call it whatever you want, but Tyler knew that once you succumbed to your fears, and let yourself get distracted for just an instant then it’s all over. Everything you worked for would be in vain.
‘Gotta keep going,’ Tyler muttered to himself, forcing his legs to take him through the thick snow. A flicker of movement in his peripheral vision snagged his attention as he jerked his head to the side.
An empty surrounding greeted him. It seemed to scream far more than if it were fully occupied.
Feeling more than a little unnerved, Tyler quickened his pace. What he failed to notice though, was the crescent-like shape of blood imprinted into the snow just a few feet to his right.
A haunting, guttural moan filled the silence that the passing train left behind.
Tyler groaned inwardly, contemplating for one fleeting second of just giving up and letting them have him. But that passed just as quickly as it had come on and he trudged forward a little more urgently. He would find a house, get to a phone and call someone. Anyone. That is if they were working… The last time he had tried he’d found the telephone inconveniently broken, the line ringing out a monotonous, echoing beep.
He was immersed completely in his thoughts, so he didn’t notice when a figure came shuffling out from behind the trees. Tyler stood frozen to the spot, his muscles refusing to work. They all had the same dead, decaying flesh rotting into a sickening green shade, accompanied by cuts and gashes decorating the body like artwork. This particular one had a large cut in its cheek and Tyler’s stomach rolled as he realised he could see straight through, mouldy brown teeth stained with red lined the gums. He swore he could see bits of flesh wedged into the back of the mouth.
It was moving towards him with slow, sluggish movements and Tyler reached for the gun he kept strapped to his belt, directing it straight towards the creatures head.