Chapter 2Mature

Cancer stalked through the abandoned hotel, checking and rechecking every exit and window he could get to. Aside from the man he’d encountered in the kitchens, there were no other signs of life - if there were any others living here, they were well hidden. That didn’t mean, however, that there weren’t other people.

Suicides, he thought. At least two rooms had housed a family at one point, all of them shot through the head, or their throats cut, the weapons left lying in the hand of the desperate soul that had sought to avoid the suffering of their loved ones.

He collected the weapons from their stiff fingers and moved on, shutting the doors of those rooms behind him. The stench of death had stolen over towns and cities like a noxious fog, but here in the hotel it was stifling.

Picking a room that was, for the most part, decent, he eyed the blood stains on the wall from the doorway, he decided he wouldn’t be staying here long. But he needed somewhere safe to rest, at least for the coming night or two. His body felt fragile and though his manner in the kitchens did little to betray it, he felt the sickness creeping through his veins the same way he imagined the virus might.

Pushing the hotel desk against the door, he traipsed over to the window, taking in everything about the room. As he moved past the bed, the source of the blood became clear. Cancer’s stomach lurched, not entirely from cravings as he saw the twisted body of a young girl, lying broken on the floor. Her clothes were torn just above the knee to reveal a deep, rotten bite mark. Her head was lying a couple of feet away from where it should’ve been, her sunken eyes staring sightlessly at his feet. A grim smile tugged at his lips as he threw open the window inhaling deeply at the gust of fresh air that greeted him. Checking the street two storeys below him, he wrapped his hands around the girl’s skinny ankles and pulled weakly on them. He gritted his teeth. He blinked a droplet of sweat out of his eye, only vaguely aware that his shirt was sticking to him.

His body and mind were both screaming at him for a hit so loudly that he was seriously considering just leaving the corpse where it was. While he had a sadistic enjoyment from violence, he wasn’t sure he could bring himself to sit next to a beheaded child and not be haunted by her eyes as the world faded away from him.

The anticipation of enjoying his bliss alone gave him one last burst of strength - enough to throw the girl’s body out of the window, quickly followed by her head.

By the time he sank down onto the bed, his hands were already working to rid him of the pain that sent his spine shivering.

Stripping himself of one shoe, he prodded around for a vein, sighing in relief as the needle slid under his skin. When his craving released its icy grip on him, he pulled his shoes back on, slumping back against the headboard.

The End

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