Vampires and zombies come to Britain.
Passing out in a bus stop, facedown on the floor was never a good idea before shit started getting weird. But now, it was probably one of the more stupid things you could do.
I woke up to the groaning and shuffling and pleas for help of one of the infected. I lifted my head off the pillow of tarmac I’d been resting my head on, feeling my face start to bounce back into shape, resisting all the little lumps of gravel that had tried to make room for themselves in my cheek.
“Please,” she coughed, “please get me some help.” Her voice rattled in her chest and thank the gods for instincts, right? One minute, I was hungover as fuck, the next, I was on my feet and already putting the bus stop behind me. I glanced back a couple times, shivering at how eerily quiet it was.
Everything was eerily quiet outside these days, though.
I paused before I rounded the street corner and looked back at the woman that had woken me up. She’d collapsed against the side of the shelter, watching me leave. I think we both knew I wasn’t going back for her. What exactly was I supposed to do anyway? Hospitals were already over run by people like her. All infected. All dying. No one had quite decided what to do about the growing epidemic yet, and the problem was starting to get out of hand.
I met just one more on the way home and counted myself lucky.
I don’t think anyone knew what happened when these patients died, either - if they died at all. The infection had just appeared out of nowhere and suddenly there were people wandering around puking up their insides, dressed in their own peeling flesh and collapsing where they stood. People that touched them or had blood to blood contact were all infected instantly. Either way they were taken in and treated at hospitals... except no one had any idea what to do with them, so they simply locked up the hospitals and quarantined everyone that came into contact with them.
For the most part? Life just went on. This is Britain, after all. People effectively being turned into zombies weren’t going to stop us from going to work and complaining about our day.
I slid my key into the front door and slipped in quietly, not wanting to disturb my housemates. I’d catch an earful and end up at one of those hospitals if they knew I’d been asleep outside all night. Anything could’ve happened - but let’s face it, I’d be dying the same way they all are by now if anything had happened to me.
“And where the fuck do you think you’re going?” Crap.
“To my room.”
“You were out all night,” Jessie pressed me for details. After ten minutes of standing at the foot of the stairs arguing about the safety of sleeping in bus stops, she pulled a big cotton swab out of her pocket - the kind they use in labs. “If you’re infected, I want a sample before you start falling apart all over the house. Maybe I’ll come up with the cure,” she was entirely stony faced and deadly serious.
“So our chemistry student has high hopes,” I joked, half grinning at her, “I don’t think they’d let you take that into uni with you, y’know. People at hospitals wear hazmat suits and shit. Last I saw, your little lab at uni doesn’t have anything like that.”
“I’ll keep it safe. Scientists are working on finding a cure or a vaccine, you know that. And so far, no one has actually recorded any deaths from this disease. It just makes your body rot.”
“Oh yeah,” I threw up my hands and put on the most sarcastic voice I could muster, “it only rots your body, what’s the big freakin’ deal?” Jessie’s face scrunched up irritably, her eyes flashing.
“You be careful before I come get this sample when you’re sleeping. It won’t be so voluntary then, trust me.” Mike wandered out into the hallway, sleepy eyed and tousled hair, a yawn threatening to escape him.
“Jessie,” he sighed, “just leave it.”
“Oh, but you know I love it in the arse,” I grinned, bending over in front of Mike. “C’mon Mike, let’s just do it right here, right now. Jessie, you can get your sample by sucking my cock, how’s that?”
Jessie rolled her big blues and stomped off. Mike put a hand on my shoulder and pulled me back upright, planting a kiss on my cheek.
“Let’s just go to bed. I missed you last night.”
“I’d love to say I missed you too, babe, but I was busy being passed out in a bus stop, if you hadn’t gathered already.” He grabbed my hand and pulled me up the stairs towards our room. He wasn’t supposed to live here, according to the rules our arsehole landlord had put down, he was technically squatting. Neither of us cared. “I wanna meditate. You know I like meditating after a long night out.” He just nodded.
The altar to the magick and gods and nature that created the world and all the life on it sat neatly in the bay window of my room, overlooking the garden that desperately needed some maintenance. The curtains shut around it cast a dim glow where the sun managed to pry its way inside, seeking us out. I twitched it closed and sat cross legged with Mike on the floor, opening my mind and soul to the gods.