Spear turned and ran.

Spear turned and ran.

Hesitation was out of the question. Don't think yet, run, run, run. Harder. Harder! Breathe!

He had seen how to survive a screw up of this calibure:



***



A bored nine-year-old boy peers through a bridge railing, watching flocks of terns weaving above fresh snow below him.  

Suddenly the childs revelrie is shattered by a scream, he starts and spins to his left. A woman stands next to him at the railing, transfixed - mouth still open. The childs heart beats faster, something is wrong. He looks back down, and now his eyes widen with terror. A group of men run along the frozen shore. High above them, on the crest of the embankment, stalk a multitude of figures, naked, pale - unnatural. More people run to the rail, shouting helplessly to those below. Being pressed against it the child can do nothing but stare.

The naked mob turn inward, down the slope, a maddening shape of bodies vectoring into the small group below. The infected crash through the shrubs, bounding heavily through the long grass. They reach the virgin snow on the flats, they are a mere thirty metres from the men. As the cries of the crowd go silent, the inhuman guttural cries reach those on the bridge. And then they are upon them.

 And even at a distance the child can see it all, horror on the faces of the dying, white bodies staining red. But lone figure somehow bursts from the chaos. Mercifully the childs gaze is drawn away from the hellish carnage: and rests on this single man, head down - arms and legs pumping across the hard sand. He never looks back. He never falters. A string of infested trailing behind him. The cries of the crowd urging him on.


***

Spear vaulted over up the rusted turn style, and down the corridor. He heard the screams echoing along the walls. He heard them crash into the gate behind him. Go! Go!

He dimly is away of orders coming through the radio.

The wheezing breaths of his pursuers have lost their distant reverb. He hears with terrifying fidelity smack of bare feet on the dusty tiles: Dont look back! Focus on for movements!

Spear jumps through the door, grabbing the handle and slamming it shut behind him. He whirls and with deliberate steadiness turns the lock. Then he braces his shoulder against the lock as the first body crashes into it. Then another crash - he hears bone snap on the other side. A third body hits the door. No more foot steps - just a low horrible whine. He doesn't look through small safety glass window. He just turns, and runs up the ramp toward the evening light.

He becomes aware of the voice on his radio just as he arrives at street level:

"Do you read!?...Contain the situation!"

Spear turns off his radio, he doesn't need to follow the orders - he is no soldier. He creeps through the abandoned city in the fading light. Empty empty skyscrapers burn orange, then fade to purple. He is small figure flitting between buildings that used to be universities, hospitals, homes. He knows his way around now - he has been stuck with this outfit, in this place, for nearly a year.

 Finally, crouching under a pine in the dark he looks out as his home: The base. A fortified compound in the centre of an ex-horsetrack. His home - but not tonight. Tonight he will sleep in one of the many White nests spaced evenly in no mans land. Spears casts one last look around, and breaks from the treeline. White nests are black seven meter tall towers, topped with small bare platform, no railings, no covers, no equipment, just amnesty. Climb up the rope ladder and display the colours of the militia. If after twenty hours you still haven't spasm with infection, you are allowed in. Otherwise it doesn't matter - you are already dead.

 

Suddenly a gunshot rings out. And Spears hears the crack of the bullet as it passes to his left.

The End

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