The sunlight shone through Max’s window above her bed. It lay itself over her face, warming her tired body and causing her to stir in her sheets. She had been so exhausted. School had only just started back for her, and already the strain was too much. She had come home last night at 9 o’ clock, eaten supper, and crashed almost immediately. The moment her head hit the pillow, she was out cold. She didn’t want to get up…she didn’t want to stand. It was Friday, but she couldn’t stand the thought of getting up to go back to school.
“Grr, stupid morning.” Max growled as she tried to roll over and block its gaze. “Just wait a few more hours.” However the sun did not leave, and she could only groan and roll out of bed onto the floor. She stretched tiredly and walked to her closet to find some clothes.
“Mom, I’m up!” Max called. There was no reply. “Mom?” Max turned to her clock and all the tiredness she felt leaped from her body in an instant. The clock read 11 o’ clock in the morning! Not only had she slept in and missed school, but it was almost time for Mom’s lunch break.
“Oh, I’m such a moron!” Max sighed. “I better go and visit her at the very least…I owe her that for missing school.” Max’s mom was an attendant at the nearby hospital just up the road. Max loved her mother and she loved Max, but sometimes they would squabble like children. Surely, her mom would come down on her for missing school again, but there was nothing to fix that now. They had no car and no means of transportation, which is why Max rides the bus to school every morning. All she could do was go to her mom and face the music. Max was, after all, an honest daughter.
Max slipped on a pair of black tights over her legs, and then a pair of blue cut jean shorts. On her feet she slipped a pair of brown ankle high boots. Finally she found her favorite red hoodie, which had always been a little big on her, and slipped it onto her. She pulled the hood up over her head to keep the sun from baring down on her and hurried to the stairs. She scurried down to the front door and looked back for a moment as a cold chill ran up her spine.
Something didn’t feel quite right to Max. Sure, the house was empty, but there was an odd sensation that she was getting…as if something was out of place or out of order. It was one of those nagging feelings that she just couldn’t shake…like something really bad was about to happen. Perhaps it was just the guilt that she had missed school? Maybe…but she couldn’t be sure. She tried to shrug it off and walked out the door.
The sight before her was horrifying. Indeed, something was very wrong. The street before her was a mess. Cars were wrecked along the driveways and sidewalks. Broken appliances and destroyed rubble lay all around. The streets and blocks were totally devoid of life…there was no person to be seen at all. The world looked destroyed.
“What happened here?!” Max gasped. She dared to take a trembling step down from her door and walk onto the street. She tread carefully where she stepped, scared that the pavement might fall out from under her. The street looked like it had been in an explosion, but there were no people or injured around to see. Maybe they’d all been taken to the…
“Hospital…MOM!” Max took off down the street like a bullet. She jumped rubble and wrecked cars, trying to make her way to the hospital. To her dismay, the building was not far away, and from what she could see…it looked in bad shape. Cars were blocking the entrance to the hospital because of all the wrecks and crowded parking. Max climbed over a few cars and stumbled to the front door. She grabbed the handle and pulled the door open, only to see that all the lights in the building were off. Had there been a black out? She walked cautiously inside and walked to the front desk.
Normally, the hospital was a nice and bustling place. Patience and doctors littered the hallways and rooms, moving from place to place. Phones rang and people chatted while some coughed and sneezed in the corner. Usually, Max’s mom was working behind the counter, and would always smile when she walked in. However, this time was different. The front hall was bare and empty. The floor and walls were coated in an odd and oozing liquid, and the light from outside cast eerie shadows all around her.
“Hello?” She looked around, seeing no one and decided to take a look over the edge of the desk. “Oh GOD!” She screamed. Laying on the floor behind the desk, soaking in blood and torn open guts, were two nurses and a hospital custodian. They lay dead, with vacant expressions, unmoving and eerily silent as flies buzzed around their bodies. Max resisted the urge to throw up and stepped away from the scene. Something terrible had happened in this hospital. “Mom, please be okay.”
Max wandered deeper into the hospital, avoiding fallen carts, a few busted down doors, and one or two bodies laying around. Max stepped as far away as she could from the bodies, trying not to look or think about them. They were all torn apart…ripped to pieces and…she didn’t even want to imagine what could have done this. The more she thought about it, the more she worried for her mom. Searching down and up the hallways, she began to realize that the entire building had been demolished by something…or someone. But what could have caused this?
Suddenly, Max came to a large pair of double doors which she recognized as the doors to the infirmary. It looked unlocked, but undisturbed for the most part. Max crept close and silently eased the door open. “Mom?” She called quietly, praying that she would get an answer. There was the sound of a soft thud as something moved. Max let out a small yelp, trying to peer through the darkness to see what it was that had moved. She took a step deeper into the dark and silent room as the small amount of light seeping in cast terrifying shadows along the wall. Just then, Max let out a squeal as she saw something stand up.
“Who’s that?!” The object turned around to face Max. Max noticed that he looked like one of the hospital attendants. “Oh, thank goodness someone else is here besides me! What’s been going on here?” The figure made no sound, but only slowly began to shuffle around the desk towards Max.
“Are you…alright?” Again, the attendant did not reply, but now Max noticed something very wrong with the attendant. Close to the neck…and along down the shoulder, there was nothing. The flesh had been torn away by what looked to be teeth! Blood was stained down the side of his uniform and his eyes…his eyes were cold. There was no life in them. They were pale and sickly, and his mouth hung open, showing the saliva on his jaws.
“S-stay away!” Max cried, backing away quickly. The attendant kept coming, his arms outstretched to grab for Max. Max spun around and grabbed a pole near her and took a swing at the attendant, hoping he’d back away to avoid behind hit.
The attendant didn’t even slow down as the pipe smashed into his chest. The sound of a broken ribcage told Max that she’d caused severe damage…but the attendant hardly seemed fazed. He just kept rushing towards her, his feet shuffling along the floor.
“HELP!” Max shrieked, falling backwards against the wall. She knew no one would hear her…and no one could come to her rescue. This beast was going to kill her…eat her…and leave her for dead, just like all the others in the hallway. The attendant…if that’s what he was anymore, made a furious growl and lunged at her, jaws wide open. Max watched in horror, unable to back up anymore. The beast let out a loud growl and came upon her.
“DUCK!” Max heard the voice, but didn’t quite process the order. She looked to see something flash across the air and suddenly the attendant let out a groan as something was suddenly piercing right through its forehead. Max saw that it was a sword of some sort…a blade! Holding the blade behind the attendant was a boy about her age. He was wearing a leather, hoodie jacket and a shirt underneath it. He was wearing jeans and boots, and in his hand was what looked like a long samurai sword. His eyes though…his eyes were like nothing she’d seen before. They were green…but there was a feral feel behind them. A wild and vicious aura to his gaze…like a dog that needed taming. Yet, at the same time…they looked lost.
The boy yanked the blade out of the attendant and the man sank to the floor, unmoving. Max could only watch in amazement and then gaze back up at the boy who was cleaning his sword with a rag.
“You’re lucky that I got here so fast, huh?” The boy said darkly. “What was your strategy anyway? To hope he didn’t like the taste of you or the smell?”
“What…what are you talking about? Who are you?”
“Listen,” he snapped, tying his sword around his back, “I’d love to chat, but we need to leave, right now.”
“But-” The boy turned and grabbed her wrist and yanked her to her feet.
“Let’s go, before more show up!” He growled.
“More what!?” Max squealed.
“More like him,” the boy replied pointing at the body of the crazy attendant, “if we run into a mob of those things, we’re both done for.”
“What was wrong with him?” Max begged. “What’s happening here?” The boy stopped and looked at Max in stunned amazement.
“Where have you been the last 12 hours?” He demanded. “Girl…the city is in the middle of a class 3 zombie outbreak.”