Introductions to a Dying World

Passion had reached the end of the corridor and was faced with two flights of stairs. Normally the decision of whether to go up or down would be an easy one but at that moment in time, she was very unsure. She chose down, mainly since she could see the end of those ones. She gave the other flight of stairs one last look as she descended, wondering if in some little way, she feared the unknown at the top. She shook a little just thinking about it.

She reached the bottom in a few seconds, taking two steps at once. She peered around the corners and noticed the dust that coated everything in sight. There was nobody there. She felt like she was in a haunted house. She found what looked like a kitchen but the cupboards were empty. The lounge area was full of outdated equipment - nothing like the screen in her cell.

She decided to check out all the rooms down there before moving on upstairs. She walked slowly, hoping that she'd find someone, not just so she wouldn't be alone any longer but so she didn't have to climb the dreaded stairs. Over the few minutes she'd been awake, she had seen no signs of life. Only age and emptiness Until then.

The stairs now had a body on them. This man was middle aged and dying. His face was covered in blood and scratches. His clothes were ripped, exposing a damaged body. Passion wanted to scream, run away and cry but something in her told her to help this man - she felt like he was somehow the key to something important.

"I did my best." the man said weakly.

"It's ok I'm here now," she said reassuringly, holding his hand gently and looking over his wounds.

"Who are you?"

"My name is... I can't really remember actually. It's all a bit blurred now. My mind was clear before but its gone again. I want to say that I'm Passion though."

"It's the drugs working then. You'll remember in time. If you had everything at once your mind wouldn't be able to cope. Wait. You said you're Passion?" his voice became urgent as he asked for clarification.

"Yeah. I think so." she said, allowing her unsure feelings to come across in her voice.

"Then I have succeeded. Take this." his free hand went behind his back and returned to present her with a gun. "Shoot me." he said simply. His voice didn't waver.

"I can't! I can save you! I'm a doctor! At least I think I am."

"I've been infected. It happened when they broke in. I was the only survivor. And it's my own fault everyone died. But I started the process again and now you're here. I brought you back."

"You're making no sense!"

"My name," he said, his voice now failing him, "is. was Nigel. Remember me."

"You're not going anywhere! Now just tell me where I can find some medical supplies!"

"They destroyed them all and I used what was left to stay alive this long. But now I don't need to fight it. You do. I'm passing the torch onto you Passion."

"I can't fight. I'm not a killer!"

"If you don't kill me, I will kill you." he sounded serious yet she couldn't believe that such a weak man could even remotely harm her.

"You're ill, Nigel. You're not going to be fighting anyone." she said calmly, trying to stop the bleeding as best she could.

"Have you seen them yet?"

"Who do you mean by them?" she said innocently.

He just laughed. Then it became a cough. She moved away from the man as blood came spitting out of his mouth. She shut her eyes to stop the tears and looked away as the man convulsed in pain. She felt his blood hit the back of her feet, causing her to jump in surprise. There was nothing she could do for this man and she knew it. Well...

She looked to the gun he had now dropped. But it was no longer there. She figured he must have kicked it away in his fit. She thought about finding it to end his pain but realised that she could never pull the trigger. Not on another human being at least. Then she made a much more shocking and worrying revelation.

Nigel was gone. He wasn't on the stairs anymore. For a dying man, she knew it seemed unlikely that he'd have wandered off. It was when she turned again that she saw him.

Nigel was standing next to her, staring at her. His eyes were much paler than before and so was his skin. His wounds appeared the same, if not slightly larger and wider than before. There was now only the dried blood; no more oozed from him. That led to her conclusion:

Nigel was dead.

But he was standing. She could clearly hear him breathing heavily. He could move - his neck seemed to work fine as he moved his head forward and back, side to side, like a gymnast stretching. That led to a different conclusion:

Nigel was alive.

At the moment that he lunged for her, she didn't believe either. One word popped up into her head - one word she really didn't want to believe. She fought off the dead yet alive man with both her hands and her feet, holding as far away from her as she could. When his attempts ceased for a second, she made a break for it, running into the kitchen and grabbing the sharpest thing she could before taking cover behind the rather large fridge.

Nigel dragged his feet into the room, his arms remaining limp by his side. That word recurred in her head but she ignored it. For one he wasn't making the stereotypical noise and his craving for human flesh seemed very small. In fact, when he had been attacking her, he hadn't tried to eat her once. She needed a new idea. But first, she needed to get away from him.

She positioned herself behind the fridge and tried to push it over, either crushing him or causing enough of a distraction that she'd be able to find somewhere else to hide. For an empty fridge, it was surprisingly heavy. It wouldn't move. The thing (she had decided to call it that since it didn't seem human enough to deserve a name anymore) was moving towards her. She was trapped. Again.

"This day goes from bad to worse!" she mumbled as she rushed it, stabbing blindly. She felt the knife connect with something so she left it behind, fleeing from the room hastily. She turned as she ran, looking for it to follow her. Soon after, it did.

This time, it moved quicker, clearly eager for revenge for the knife sticking out of its neck. The sight looked almost comical and prompted Passion to let out a slight nervous giggle as the thing neared. She had no hope. It lunged. She forced her eyes shut, making them hurt slightly in the process, but, she figured that would be nothing in comparison to what was about to happen. She had always worried about how she would die; she had never envisaged this.

In the last second, all she saw was Nigel's face approaching hers. He looked angry. She just hoped that whatever had happened to him wouldn't happen to her - she didn't think she could pull of the 'half dead, covered in blood look' he had.

The End

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