Perfection in the World of the Deadbyvinnydiesel©
It had been four years since the virus had escaped. It's transmission, through blood. Over the first few days it spread like the domino effect. Over the first few weeks, around the world, lakes and rivers dried up, lush green terrain and forest land decayed. Over the first few seconds of its escape the people all changed. Mindless, blood- crazed carnivores now murdered and consumed their very own, former, brethren. By the first few months over three quarters of the Earths population was wiped out to be replaced by death, decay and
destruction. It was just the 'virus.' All human civilization was now scattered and divided, a few roamed in small groups, those lucky enough found places in which they could rebuild in small towns and become refugees, others wandered the Earth looking for salvation with those they found on their way.
Me, I was a lone-wolf. In the world before I was a trained blade- master and assassin. Now I walked the Earth to kill those who threatened what was left of humanity. I carried light, a long bow with a quiver full of iron headed arrows, ten short knives, five pocket knives, two long swords, and one katana. As well as my prize possession, 'The Blade Glaive' a carbon-fiber disc with three curved iron blades, easy to kill a minimum of five infected in one throw.
Date: 2024 April 15
Location: Europe, Britain, countryside (unknown)
All thoughts, signs of serenity and dreams elude you in the world of the dead. You focus on what lies ahead, literally, in my case, on a farmland field with only mist and shadow to greet my eyes. I was born with black eyes; I had no visible pupils or retinas, just jet black circles on a plain of white, my hair also like my eyes, black, my skin, pale and as bright as the moon. I was fit for this world; standing at six foot five inches I towered above my enemies, over sufficient muscle in the upper body to overcome any strength obstacle. I walked with no expression, eyes darting, piercing the horizon. I counted sixteen infected, all aware of my presence, they had evolved since the early days, before they roamed mindlessly and now they were stronger, their senses heightened, posture more formidable, and worse they had developed a basic sense of knowledge. They knew danger, they knew who was weak, when to attack, where to go and also, how to work together.
I sighted them all, four on my twelve, six on my three and six on my seven. I sensed they all closed in, all within twenty paces, pretending to know nothing of their existence; I carried on, waiting until the right moment to strike. One on my twelve paced forward toward me and instantly lost his head, sliced by my left sword. My right hand grasped my 'glaive' and instinctively I launched it at the group on my three, as it flew back towards me, I heard six heads fall to ground. As I placed my 'glaive' back into its sheath, I grasped my right sword and in one swing decapitated the three infected left on my twelve. Swiftly, I pelted my own body around and my hands grasped four short knives, and in one lightning fast moment hurled them towards the heads of the infected. The two left standing ran back away from the onslaught as I walked to collect my knives. I forced two of the blades further into the heads of the mindless bastards and green, puss filled blood oozed out the opening. I ripped both blades out, wiped, and then sheathed them. I placed my fingers on the handles of the other two, only to hear an echo. I jerked my head to the side as I pulled the blades out. I intended to follow my original path when I heard it even louder a second time as if it was coming closer to me.
I stood full height and withdrew both long swords. My eyes sprinted over the distance and my ears studied the sounds. I fixated my head to the East, and sprinted into the unknown nether. I saw decaying woodland, only a few trees had sufficient foliage for cover. At full sprint speed I darted up the tallest Oak and climbed to the upper branches and pulled over my black cloak. Staring down, a hoard of infected, numerous beyond count. They were surrounding something, or someone. They gathered in a circle I managed to estimate around four hundred, and then I saw. Four survivors, four human survivors, four human living survivors, trapped, caught and doomed. Three were male and one was female. All armed, very lightly, two of the males had long serrated knives and the other a rusty axe, and the girl had a small silver pistol. I knew they would be dead in no more than a few seconds. I had to make a choice, continue my path, or help the helpless. I eyed the surroundings, dry dead oak and ash trees littered
the area, and rain was rare now. My left pocket had two more match sticks left, and I had the perfect plan. A small hollow shell lay in side- pocket of my one-strap bag. My mother gave it to me when I was young and always I kept it with me. With full lung capacity I blew into the opening and from the shell came a cascade of sounds which temporarily deafened me. Now all infected had lost interest on the survivors and focused on me. I ignored the new threat and looked at the group who simply stared wild-eyed at me. I nodded my head forward and signaled them to creep away as a gap had emerged from the back of circle of infected. I whipped the matchstick on the dead bark of the tree and saw that the Moon was now starting to move into the sky, looking back down at the infected, I smiled, dropped the flame and whispered
"Good night mother-fuckers."
The crowd of infected started their own domino effect here, one by one they all burned to ash. In no less than two minutes the mob of four hundred was no more than forty, the rest literally in patches of dust and ash. The remaining, enraged un-dead ran towards the tree I was perched on and attempted to climb it, they didn't even get within five yards of the base of the trunk, the fire still encircled half the tree and in my left hand, the long re-curve bow fired a non-stop barrage of arrows, they all pierced the faces of the animated dead. No more than ten were left standing now. I jumped down and dispatched the remaining few with one sword. Then silence reigned supreme, I checked to see if any were left and when confident I was alone again I began harvesting my arrows again. Once my blades were re-sheathed and arrows collected, I went in the direction of the survivors, each one of their faces still fresh in my mind. One of the men, late fifties he looked, barely fit and falling ill, another in his thirties, brown hair, athletic and strong, the other, a boy, no more than twenty years of age, blonde and stout, no warrior however. And then there was the girl, young, again no older than twenty, blonde hair, green eyes, stout and strong figure. After a quick and silent sprint I caught sign of the group, they headed for another forest. I detoured and circled around them; I reached the entrance of the woodland minutes before them and waited in the trees.
"It doesn't matter who he was, he saved us and killed all those infected, he's not an enemy so we shouldn't fear him!" stated one of the group.
They neared the forest boundary and their voices were coming into ear shot. It sounded as if it was the girl who said it, higher pitch than that of the men. They continued to debate over me and who I was, it was actually fun listening to the fears the living have over those who still live rather than those who seek to maul the flesh of them. Having tired of their meaningless conversation and detecting that danger was increasing the further we went into the forest. I decided to engage, rather than being friendly, I went for the peaceful/hostile approach.
"Dangerous to walk in the shadows of the forest at twilight, only to
have death sing of your tale when cornered. Not everyone's lucky to
have me around." I spoke in a low, dark tone.
I was surprised the group hadn't jumped or had been startled by my words. They remained silent. I looked down and stared into the eyes of all four, only then to jump down. I landed in a crouch and then revealed my full height. My cloak still concealed my entire body and my hood draped over enshrouding my face from their eyes, while still letting me see them. All my blades were hidden under my cloak as was my bag; the only thing that was visible was my quiver and my bow which was wrapped with its string in front. "Show your self!" the brown haired one demanded.
"Or what?" I asked rhetorically.
No reply came from them.
"You see, there are no rules in this world, all you must do is keep going, and not fall into shadow." I stated.
"Who are you?" the older man asked.
"My name is Roman Hazard, former assassin and blade-master, I am nineteen years old and my mission is to destroy this viru-"
Caught off guard, a few infected surrounded us, I ran to the North while the group got separated, the three men went up to the trees and left the girl behind. She was now surrounded by eight un-dead with only a gun, though she dared not use it for fear it's sound would attract more. I swung out my 'glaive' and in one throw wiped out four infected. With a second swing all but one fell to ground; as I placed the 'glaive' back in its sheath I tripped over the remaining un-dead and crushed his under my boot. The girl, no more than two yards away, then ran over and clutched me while sobbing. Close proximity was something I never had for years and a new flame inside me erupted. I knew however we had to get out of this place, and the other men had obviously darted.
"How far are we?" she asked.
"From where?" I asked.
"From where we're
going to camp for the rest of the night." she stated.
"I grew up not far from here, about ten clicks, me and my friends used to play in these fields and woods, if I remember correctly, our old shack is right here." and I tapped my boots to the ground and a hollow knock echoed.
I pulled open the door and walked down, as she followed me down, I lit the candles on the sides of the passage with my final match, as I got tithe center, I went back to the door and padlocked it shut. The room was encased in two thick layers of wood as well as three inches of metal. This was an old, forgotten, abandoned bunker, enough to house ten people for a few nights. The entire underground room was soundproof and nothing could get in or out, save for the now secure and padlocked door.
"This is where I used to go to escape everything, reality, school, parents, everything, and it was my temple, my shrine and now, it's my saviour and home." I smiled.
The room was brightly lit thanks to all the candles and actually very clean. Everything from my childhood was here.
"Mattress, duvet, pillow, Luxury" I exclaimed. I pulled out a box of matches from the drawers as well as the pistol my dad gave me. "We can spend the night here." I told her and she nodded in approval.
I frowned and slowly walked up to her, she was shivering and sobbing. I studied her for a moment. She was average height, around five foot nine inches, long beautiful golden hair that ran to her shoulders, slender body with smooth attractive curves. I placed my hand on her waist and the other on the bottom of her chin and lifted her head to meet my gaze, "you're okay now, I've got you" I assured her. Thankfully she smiled and wrapped her arms around me. As we leaned out we looked at each other, and from everything that was bad out there, for once I felt nothing but goodness, as she leaned in to kiss me. Her lips were actually so soft and sweet, sort of tender and her aroma was purely luscious. We both slept on the same mattress and because all the candles were blown out, the room became chilli. She then curled up to me and said calmly and gracefully
"My name is Maria Velenka, I'm eighteen years old" she paused "and thank you" she finished before falling asleep in my arms.
I smiled to myself and also drifted away into a deep slumber. Morning arrived. Days were dark now and the Sun barely could peek through the clouds. The icy-chill of winter's breath lingered in the air. The ground was littered with nothing. When nearing the end of autumn, one would have assumed the Earth to be covered in yellow and gold crisped leaves which had fallen from their perches amongst the trees branches. But there were barely any leaves now, the odd one or two lay here and there. Some tree bark had gone jet black from its wholesome brown. Life was dying once more. As the years drag on even more human survivors would perish. I had perched myself atop a tree and sat there with my thoughts. My peace was interrupted by Maria, as she attempted to climb the tree; I extended a hand and pulled her up.
"Aren't you freezing up here?" she asked while shivering.
I pulled my arm from my hip and placed it over her shoulder so my cloak would keep her warm.
She then huddled closer to me and asked "I miss it Roman, the world before, before all this." All I could do was nod. "Did you have a family?" she inquired.
Again I just nodded.
"You still think of them?" she followed.
I sighed with exasperation, "not a day goes by when I don't think of them, but I don't miss them much." She stared at me and I knew she wanted additional context so I added "My parents died when I was five, my brother was murdered when I was eight and my sister went missing and never found, she was classified dead when I was thirteen. I was taken into the care of my cousin, he was a former marine and front line infantry, it was him who taught me how to fight, it was him who taught me to be strong, to be hard and to have compassion,
that's what made me save you." I explained "I will never forget my family, it's actually them that keep me going, that drive me on, give me a reason to stay alive, I just live through them."
Maria was silent after that, I saw her shed a tear and then she held my hand. Only when she held my hand, did I realize, it was clenched into a fist and trembling heavily. I never had talked about my former life to anyone; I never had even discussed it with my cousin.
"What about you?" I returned.
She shook her head and went "all turned, virus got 'em, the three guys I was with, they saved me, from my own family, the guys, they weren't that friendly, they were going to use me as a decoy while they could escaped from the mob when you saved us." she explained.
I looked down at her face, smiled and rested my chin upon her head. We sat there for a while until there were sounds. Moans, rasps and dragging feet, the sounds were getting louder and louder. I grabbed Maria, my left arm grabbed the under side of her knees and my right her back, as I swooped her up, I jumped down to ground, the impact stung my feet badly, but the group were closing in. I opened the shelter door as I let Maria go, she ran in and I followed quickly. A quick glance at the mob and I saw there had to be hundreds of them.
I closed and locked the door as Maria forcefully said "we could have taken them, killed the lot."
I looked at her and sadly replied "I wish, about three years ago I could have killed five times more than that, while cornered with but a single blade, they're evolved now, plus I
wouldn't want to burn the place were we live." She sighed and agreed.
There was nothing to do for hours because of the mob of infected walking over the bunker. I was kept busy, I had to maintain my equipment, one by one I sharpened each sword and blade and then straightened my knives. After, I tightened the string on my bow then sharpened and re-fletched my arrows, next I wiped clean my glaive drenched in blood. Finally I started to make some packs. From supplies, I managed to make half a dozen medical packs; two dozen food packs four ammunition packs. Maria just watched me silently as I did them. After I was done I pushed over half of all the packs to Maria.
"For you" I said with a smile.
She stared at me wild-eyed "you're leaving me?!"
I simply chuckled "no, they're just for you, use them only for emergencies, and don't waste anything."
I got up stretched my aching body, the temperature in bunker was getting hotter, and I decided to take my shirt off.
Maria smiled as I turned to face her, "nice body, workout much?"
I shrugged and went "starting to hit the gym and all that you know, treadmill for cardio, weights for strength and all that" and she just laughed.
"Can you train me?" she asked. "What?" I asked, tilting my head. "train me, make me stronger, fitter, teach me how to fight, how to use a sword, fire a bow, just something so that I can be of use." she said enthusiastically.
"Alright, not today, maybe tomorrow, I'll start up a schedule, strict, you start from tomorrow, and you do as I say, when I say." I said. Again she just nodded.
Maria was sleeping. I had crept out of the bunker near midnight, the moon fully lit the dead forest, I had once again perched myself up on the beaches of the old oak, the mob of infected had passed through the forest. Outlines of them could be seen in the distance. The racket of sounds had dissipated as well. For once, a wave of drowsiness washed on me, and I slowly dismounted the branch, and entered the bunker, after it was padlocked, I went to my mattress and glanced over at Maria, she was fast a sleep and yet her hands were shivering and
shaking, her breathing was in rasps, I easily I could sense she was cold. There was no heating in this place, no way to make a fire without the fumes choking us to death. I smiled, for once I actually felt as if I was not on my own, as if I had someone. I walked over to my mattress pulled the duvet over and put it over Maria, then I huddled next her, and felt that she wasn't shivering or shaking anymore. I put my head on my pillow and shut my eyes.
Morning came slow, grey clouds hovered in the sky, the Sun was blocked out and the forest was dark. Maria and I headed out into the plain landscape, there was little fog there and you could see for miles. My jeans were thin and flexible, and on my torso was just a white tank
"What are we going to do first?" Maria asked energetically and excitedly. She was wearing half cut tight jeans and a blue sleeveless shirt.
"You see that tree there" I pointed to a tall conker tree, "you run there and back here three times."
Her face dropped "running?!" she asked.
I just nodded. She sighed with exasperation, turned and ran to the tree full sprint. I was really surprised at her sprint speed and pace; she was quick, but not quick enough.
"Done, three times" she gasped, clearly she was out of breath.
"Great, that's the warm-up done" I said.
Her eyes flared "WARM-UP?!"
"Yep, I'm going to do the next twenty miles with you and then we will finish of with some knife throwing" I said with a smile. She sighed once more and we were off. Ten miles in and I was surprised that she was still going after her sprinting. I could tell now that she was starting to tire, her leg movements became more limp and rustic and her arms were starting to flail about. "C'mon we have only done five miles." I shouted.
She cursed under her breath and started to sprint to catch-up to me. We had almost done twenty miles, we had about two hundred meters to go and I simply shouted "ten more miles to go, we're half way there now" and again she set off a resilient sprint. "Stop" I shouted, "that's twenty miles" I said with a bright smile. Maria was gasping for breath, her hands were on her thighs and she was sweating real heavily. It took a while for the words to sink in. She understood I had told her the wrong distances to see her consistency and work rate, I had to say I was impressed. She was still panting; I walked over to her, took hold of both her hands and placed them on to the back of her head. "When you're out of breath, open your lungs and body fully to take in more Oxygen" I explained.