Open your eyes! The sound that had suddenly awoken him from his slumber and sweet dreams of Rene was not the sound of the raging snow storm outside. It was something different. Something that sent chills of fear through him.
The storm had hit sometime towards dawn the first night he’d found shelter in this ramshackle house. That was four, five days ago? He was weak from hunger, pain and cold, sleep his greatest ally and escape.
Going completely still, Arthur strained to make sense of what he’d heard. Some deep instinct told him this wasn’t going to end well.
Fighting the rising panic growing inside him, he tried to move the thin blanket aside. His movements were slow, sluggish. He knew he had to get up, but his body wasn’t co-operating. Arthur’s fingers, icy, numb from cold, sought the rifle he’d propped next to the bed.
The noise, again. Somewhere downstairs. They didn’t call them Moaners for nothing. The sound they made was horrifying. A dry hissing, scratching, gurgling moan, from deep inside their chests, which intensified if they were agitated or smelt human flesh. The sound he now recognised, which was getting louder, closer.
Get up! Move! Agonisingly slowly, he managed to swing his legs over the side of the bed and struggled to sit up, as he did so, a wave of dizziness hit him. No!
The last thing Arthur saw before the blackness engulfed him was the outline of the Moaner in the doorway; it’s ugly, rotten head, turning in his direction, the undead eyes looking straight at him.