Chapter 1Mature

The Zombies attack anything with a heartbeat. That's why I gave up mine. Compassion, love...feelings are what control your heart. They speed it up, slow it down. I had no feelings; I haven't seen anyone worth having feelings for.

Until him.

He made my heart beat again. And that brought danger.

“Honey, it’s time for breakfast!” my mother called from the other room, “get your sister while you’re up!” she added. But I’m not, I wanted to holler back. She would probably just mumble something about stupid teenagers and there crazy hormones. She’d probably ask ‘Danielle, there are types of boys that use girls, control them and change them to be someone there not…is there a boy doing this to you Danny?” I swear my mum thought that every boy wanted to be with me. if a boy glanced my way she would gush and say, ‘oh! Did you see that? What a cutie maybe you should-’ I’d cut her off and say ‘no’.

I groaned and lifted myself from my rock hard bed. One night on this lump of stone and you felt what it was like to be eighty. I stretched my muscles, from toes to finger like always before letting a long yawn escape and waddle over to my sister’s cot. We got a slightly larger room than most people hear at base camp 098 because our family was a little larger and my father used was very high in the government. He worked from the base every so often leaving for a very important meeting. That gave us some privileges. I shared a room with my baby sister. Not paradise but not hell either. She may way up most nights crying at least once but it was better than sleeping in a room with my brother while he banged every chick within a five floor radius.

“Oh come here Amelia, don’t cry…no…that’s a good girl. Come on baby time for food” I picked up my baby sister and bounced her in my arms to stop her early morning tantrum. I padded bare foot, smiling down at my sister, into the main room. The area served us as a living-dining area/area were Philip takes his girls to charm and seduce them ‘cause it’s awesome man! We have a flat screen!’ Philips words not mine.

“Morning hunny!” my mother greeted me as I stepped into the room. She was stood over the stove, preparing bacon by the smell of it. It was probably going to be the last time we had bacon. Food rations have been low this month. The FCU (food control unit) said that a big delivery was coming in today. They probably found a town that hasn’t been raided and looted by rebels. Well, it meant dinner tonight was going to be tasty.

“Smell’s like someone’s had a poo poo,” my mum made kissy faces at Amelia as she walked away from the stove and gently taking her youngest (and she would say ‘the least noisy in the apartment be that yelling a song – I’m sorry Danielle but that’s not singing baby - or moaning all night in your room, with or without a girl I may add Philip, please just lock your door next time because I really don’t think your father wants to run into you mastur-’ Philip probably would have stopped her there).

“Plate the food for me honey, it’s done and wake your father and brother and-” my mother started to ask me politely as she placed Amelia on her back on the rugged floor in the living are across the room.

“And get rid Philip’s scank before I drag her by her extensions to the door. I know mum same same” I finished my mums usually rant about Philips hook-ups before quickly placing the food onto plates (and I did so not take a piece of bacon – ah one less for Philip, he’s a man, he’ll get over it).

I walked cross the room where there were two doors, my dad and my brothers. Now who would I rather wake? Easy answer: Dad. But I’d better deal with the scank first before mum does. At least with me she would be leaving with all her teeth.

I sighed before quietly opening my brother’s door and slipping in. His room was a mess as always, games on the floor, panties from past hook-ups strewn across the TV, condom packets in a pile within throwing distance of the bed. I side stepped a bra before coming upon the couple that’s gonna so rule this base! as the slut draped over my brother would probably say. Philip has this type of girl. It would be easier if I told you in his words: I only bang the sluts because I’d rather not ruin the little girl who has dreams of prince charming. The blonde bimbos don’t care ‘bout that shit. Philip might think that he’s being nice to the other girls by not pursuing them but what he doesn’t realize is that he’s the reason that the girls he sleeps with are like that because of boys like him. But still, it was the girl’s choice too to be a whore.

“Hey,” I whispered shaking the girl’s arm, “hey you need to get up!” I whispered I little more loudly, her eyes fluttered open and landed on me. Here eyes widened in shock but then pools of realization as I pointed to the door. She nodded her head in knowing and smiled at me nicely. Strange. I left the room so she could get changed.

I waited outside the door and no more than two minutes later the girl came rushing out. I frowned confused, usually the girls tried to spend as much time with Philip before they had to leave, sometimes sharing one more ‘passionate experience’ together before finally leaving, “why you in a hurry?”

The girl turned and looked at me when I spoke, I looked at her, she was short brown hair, bright green eyes. She looked to only about seventeen maybe, a couple years younger than my brother and one older than me. She wore loose jeans and a long sleeved top lacking colour, no make up from what I could see was on her face, she was very different from the usual bimbo’s my brother brought home. They usually wore tight fitted clothing that showed way to much skin, leaving barely anything for the imagination. Their faces were caked in make up from fake eyelashes to daring (and clown like) red lips. She smiled at me sheepishly before saying, “I have to get home quick, I’m meant to go to church with my parents.” I was officially about to have a heart attack.

I stepped towards her hand in front of me; my mother was watching the scene curiously from the table where she was feeding Amelia, “ok, who are you and what have you done with the usually bimbo Phillip brings home?”

“You got me.” she said before smiling twisting her hands together nervously, “I only slept with Phillip because well, my friends were always going on about him and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about and well…sorry…but he want really…worth it…”

My heart literally skipped a beat for this girl, “ I love you” I gushed, hands over my heart, “ I love you. No one and I mean NO One has ever been so bold to say that bout my brother and well we al know there thinking it, you may not be here when it happens but we all here it when the girl has to tell him how to -” mum interrupted my rant knowing what i was about to say next, “language”, I continued, “name, apartment number and day that’s fits your schedule so we get married.”

The girl looked at me shocked, gasping as I finished my paragraph of sentence before bursting into laughter, me not missing a beat, our laughter filling the room.

“The names Sarah and I live in apartment 3H and I’m sorry but I’m waiting for the one before I say I Do any stranger, good looking or not.” Sarah said. I smiled and pretended to blush and fanned myself, “why thank you!”

“What’s going-” Philip tumbled out of his room in only a pair of black Autograph boxers that were not hiding the fact that the previous night’s ‘passionate experience’ was still affecting him. Sarah noticed this too, I nudged her elbow, “you did good girl.” She blushed before saying bye and that we should meet up sometime.

“Hey Philip, you know how you said that you’d never fuck-”

“Language”

“-a girl who dreams of prince charming?” I finished, ignoring mums interruption. He looked at me confused, “yeah.”

“You just did. Breakfast on the table, Dad! Breakfast!” I said before shouting to my dad, to tired to go wake hi up nicely.

“I could have done that” my mother muttered from the table. I smirked before me and my brother walked over and sat down.

“Hey! Why have I got less bacon?” 

“So Danny, what’s life like?” Philip asked me while we sat down and watched old reruns of the eighties attempt at comedy. The California sun was blazing and I sat on the spot on the coach were you were guaranteed a tan on your face and neck…and only your face and neck, but hey, it’s not like we could go outside and get a full body tan. Well you could but I’d rather not loose and arm for a weeks worth of browning.

The spoils of apocalyptic war go outside and you get chomped on by a zombie. Not something I was looking forward to. The government gave us some rules to follow to ‘help’ us out. Here’s my version of what there are really saying.

1)      Don’t go outside – because we don’t want to get blamed by a crying mother for her poor son’s death.

2)      You must shoot any zombie upon site or warn a nearby guard, regardless if you knew the person or not. – suck it up. ok he used to be your husband shoot him. ha! Like that’s gonna be easy. Good luck.

3)      If you are bit you must tell someone – I don’t want you running up to must half zombiefied go find someone else!

4)      It is their responsibility to shoot you before the disease fully takes over – I don’t want to get bit.

5)      If you are found to be housing or hiding a zombie or a person changing into a zombie then you shall be killed along with it – we show no mercy. Tough.

6)      Don’t leave the base you are staying at at any point unless told so for your own safety - not like you’d need to are bases are fully secure with the best soldiers and equipment, the base is made from hard, thick steel...  (Goes on a rant about how ‘amazing all the governments new safe bases are. Believe me I had to suffer through the president ranting about one for half an hour).

7)      And finally anyone found to be conspiring with the Rebels will be dealt with accordingly – death.

“Such an intellectual question from such a dumb ass person,” I said to my brother, “but if you really want to know, life sucks, but the best thing that happened all year happened this morning, a girl said you were bad in bed or as she put it ‘not worth it’ I love her!”

Phil looked shocked and confused probably couldn’t get over the fact the girl wasn’t knocking on the door begging for round two. I let out a breathy laugh before reaching over to the table and picking up the remote turning the channel.

“What was that?” Phil said suddenly, sitting up straight he looked towards the door. I heard it too. I pressed mute on the TV before walking to the door. Screams could be heard. Women, men, babies. I ripped open the door to chaos. People screamed, small fires erupted, zombies attacked. Wait, zombies? Shit. I slammed the door shut, locking it behind me, a millisecond later something banged against the door, making a groaning noise that defiantly didn’t sound human.

“Danny…Danielle! What’s going on?” My brother jumped out his seat and rushed to me. I could only get out a few words, frozen in shock, string at the door as the undead hurled themselves at it, “z-z-zombies…gun….el-el-elevator.” My brother nodded before rushing to the kitchen and yanking open the highest cupboard so hard the door it nearly came off its hinges. He pulled down a black case, opened it up quick and pulled a black gun out. He studied it quickly before loading it with bullets, pocketing the spares. But I wasn’t paying attention to him; I was looking at the door which now had a large crack in it, a few blows away from becoming only splinters of wood.

“We’re going now!” Phillip said as he grabbed my arm forcefully and dragged me over to the corner of the room were the elevator was. Another privilege of dad being high up- “in we go” Philip pushed me into the open elevator just as I heard a load bang and then I knew. The zombies are in. The elevators doors slid closed as Phillip attacked the button for ground floor but not before I saw them. There face, half meted, blood oozing out their mouths, ears…eyes. The limped, most missing I limb but they still moved fast, well, faster than your stereotypical moaning, arms stretched out, zombie. They may have been ratty with there clothes ripped up, shredded and the smell, they smelt…well, they smelt like the dead but there eyes are what scarred me most of all. So lifeless…so dead. They felt nothing.

“Go! Go!” Philip pushed me out the elevator as it dinged to a stop. The big lobby wasn’t much better, in fact it was worse. Dead bodies littered the floor; some would soon arise while others were being eaten by zombies. The base guards were doing there best to kill and defend but the mass amount of zombies was too much, many were being killed.

Loud gunshots went off behind me I swivelled round fast to see my brother be taken down by a zombie. He was trying his best to defend himself but the zombie hissed at him, blood and pit spraying at him in the face. Then the zombie clamped its teeth on his arm, the one holding the gun, causing his to drop it. He shook his arm about before releasing him and letting him drop to the floor. The zombie looked me way, looked at me as if it was…sizing me up. That’s when I realized it. They weren’t eating Philip. They only bit him. I quickly looked around me and noticed that up to ten zombies would be around one person feeding instead of spreading out; there were enough bodies for one each. It was like they were choosing. The people left alone were mostly men. Strong men…they were picking the best people to fight with them to be them. The strongest men, the people who give the most fight. They were picking who was fit for the job and who wasn’t. But they had no conscience…no soul so how could they make a choice like this?

A feral growl erupted from the zombie in front of me and it must have decided I didn’t fit the job description because it leapt into the air heading straight for me. I closed my eyes and prayed, mum and dad had taken Amelia out for a walk around the base at lunch and I could only pray that they were safe. I prayed that it wouldn’t hurt…that I would at least be dead before they ate me. I prayed- I fell to the floor when something hard hit my legs. I looked over at the source to see my brother, droopy eyed, pale and barley breathing, he gave me a slight smile before raising his arm and shooting the zombie as it came towards us. I cried is sadness and launched myself at my brother.

“G-g-go now. P-please…run…love you” was all he said as he pushed the gun in my hand before his eyes fluttered closed and head slowly fell to the side. I knew I had to go. Any minute he’d come back…dead and I knew if I stayed I wouldn’t be able to defend myself if he attacked me- because he would attack me. Because when he comes back he wouldn’t recognize me, know his own name, all he would see is food. I thought about the rule the government set us. I thought about this specific one:

‘It is their responsibility to shoot you before the disease fully takes over.’

Forget that rule. I may have to leave but I can’t knowing I have killed my own brothers. I gripped the gun in my hand, stood up and turned of the lobby of zombies before me. This was going to be hard, but I had to get out. It’s what he wanted.

I woke from the memory painfully. I rubbed my head were it had come into contact with the metal pole above me which I hit as I shot up. I dropped my hand and thought about the memory. It was me two years ago. I looked back at what happened. I no longer felt love for my brother, guilt, anger, hate. I felt nothing. The zombies groaned around me as they set out for the days feeding. I felt no need to murder them, to shoot them down. And they felt no need to eat me, to change me. I remember looking at that zombie in the elevator, how his eyes scared me. They were so empty. Now they were mine. I lost the feelings, love, have, compassion even loneliness, I didn’t even feel the need to be in another persons presence any more. I’d lost all feelings and along with them I’d lost my heart. I may have well of been a zombie. 

The End

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