Bitten (An Original Story)

Bitten (An Original Story)

A story about zombies, and how different people cope with it. Who will survive the longest?

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Chapter 1

Chapter One - Part One

Yokohama, Japan - 7 December 2012; 17:00

Heels click against the freshly wet pavement; five high schoolers on their way to a karaoke bar. In celebration of the weekend, the small group is braving their way through the drizzly rain in order to let loose and listen to exceptionally bad singers. Akiyama Goushi, high school third year, is the leader of the group, mostly due to the girls' overwhelming crush on him.

"Akiyama-san, Akiyama-san!" one especially hyperactive first year, Abe Keiko, would squeal, excited at being included with the group of mostly older kids, "I've never sung in front of other people!"

Akiyama would smile at her and say, "Kei-chan, please call me Goushi." Many girls swoon over his smile, and admittedly, Abe looked close to fainting. The other three girls - second year Okano Amaya, third year Kashiwagi Amaterasu, and third year Moki Kazue - all blushed and looked at each other sheepishly. In the back of the crowd, not noticed by the others at all, is middle school third year Akiyama Katsuko. Goushi is her older brother, and she loathes him. Deep, painful loathing, too. She would never admit to this, however; she is the sweet, innocent, somewhat withdrawn girl that everyone expects her to be. She only went along with her brother and his hoard of giggly girls because her father is at the hospital working and she hates being home alone.

They're all still in their school uniforms. Goushi is in a pale yellow button down with a black blazer, and the high school girls are in plaid skirts that come to just above the knee with button downs tucked into their skirts. Katsuko is in a long black skirt down to mid-calf, with a lavender shirt tucked in. The group exits the rain in favor of the karaoke bar, and Goushi grabs a table for them. Katsuko has to pull up a chair for herself, sitting a bit off from the others due to limited space. She sits back and watches as Goushi attempts to push Amaya onto the stage while she squeals and resists. Goushi keeps goading the girls, until finally Amaterasu stands on the stage and begins singing one of the popular songs on the radio. Her friends cheer her on as she sings, while Katsuko slumps lower in her chair.

After Goushi has congratulated Amaterasu a little too enthusiastically, Katsuko leaves the table to use the restroom. They don't notice her absence. Eager to impress Goushi more, the other three girls shove their way onto the stage to sing while Amaterasu blushes next to him.

Meanwhile, Katsuko sits in the stall, waiting until Goushi is ready to go. H'd probably just leave his loser little sister here, anyway. Katsuko sighs and rests her chin in her palm. She smiles a little as she hears what she guesses is Kazue singing. It sounds more like someone throwing a cat off a skyscraper. Not wanting to miss the public display of humiliation, she hastily washes her hands.

Her hands are on the handle of the door as several screams arise, followed by the sound of a sudden spurt of liquid. Curious, the Akiyama sister pushes the door open, and gasps at what she sees. A young man - no older than twenty - is lying on the ground with a large portion of his neck missing. The wound is spurting blood with every beat of his heart. It must have been an artery. The scene doesn't bother Katsuko nearly as much as it should have. Perhaps it's her father's genes. Gross stuff doesn't seem to faze him, either. On the other hand, her brother is crouching behind a chair, looking queasy.

Katsuko can't see any way this could have happen. The man is dead, but she sees a shadow in the corner. She picks up a baseball bat hanging out of someone's bag (must be ditching baseball practice, she guesses), and grips it tightly, ready to attack whenever. However, the man's neck wound quits bleeding, and his fingers slowly begin to twitch. What is this? There's no medical way he could do that after death. And no one lives with half of their neck gone. Still, the man arises, eyes wide and mouth gaping. Many people begin screaming again, and one woman faints. The four girls quickly hide behind Goushi, who looks paler than usual.

The shadow that Katsuko spotted earlier emerges. A haggard, gangrene person comes out. No, it couldn't be a person, it's too grotesque. The only way anyone could tell if it were male or female would be by the clothing it wore. Considering that it's in a tank top and skirt, she would guess the... thing... is a woman. The man manages to stand, and he looks perfectly normal, aside from the gaping neck gash, the dried blood, and the slightly crazed look. He doesn't speak - he merely moans. He snatches a small girl and bites her forearm as she cries. Her crying turns to screams as she twitches and falls to the floor, dead. At this point, everyone panics and hides behind whatever they can. They cannot reach the exit without getting bitten for sure. They're all trapped.

The once dead girl stands as well, joining the man and woman. She doesn't look like a child anymore - she's too evil-looking to be an elementary school student. Everyone is panicking, wailing, or screaming, except Katsuko.

She swiftly looks for an alternative exit, still gripping her bat tightly. She spots a door with the words Employees Only written on it. The undead are biting more people, and she hears a howl from Keiko as the small girl bites her ankle. Her friends look to her in fright, and move away as she gushes blood and falls to the floor. Katsuko doesn't wait any longer before throwing the door open to find a stairwell. She quickly climbs it, wanting to get away from the blood fest in the karaoke bar. She finds herself on the roof, in the chilly December air. She isn't alone, either.

A gangly, awkward employee is up here as well, shaking most likely from fright, not the cold. A slender and terrified high school student has made it up as well. I addition, a university student who looks more brawny than brainy. Finally, one of those... zombies, walking ever closer to them. Katsuko is the only one with a weapon, so she shakily holds it as the thing moves closer to her.

It's a man, gangrene like the earlier woman, and he's missing a hand. Katsuko blocks out the screaming from below her and focuses on her baseball bat and the undead man in front of her. Mustering up every ounce of her strength, she raises the bat over her petite head and smashes it into the zombie's. It explodes, sending brains and blood all over her uniform. The headless and one-handed carcass falls and moves no more.

Something awakens inside Katsuko as she looks at the mess now covering her uniform. She likes this - the slaughtering, the idea of her brother becoming like one of them. She doesn't know what happened, or where these things came from, but she sure as hell like killing them. A maniacal laugh rips from her throat as the other three occupants of the roof look at her in concern. Katsuko just killed a zombie, and she loved it! Perhaps this is her calling - killing.

Moscow, Russia - 7 December 2012; 12:00

An eager Rurik Sayanov drives home from his work for lunch. He's ready to see his new wife - she's due to give birth in a few weeks, so he's been obsessively calling Ivanna every chance he gets to make everything's okay. The answer is always the same: she laughs and says, "Don't worry, Rurik, dear. I'm not due for two and a half weeks. And if I do go into labor early, we live five minutes from the nearest hospital. Our little Vladimir will be alright soon."

Ivanna is convinced that the baby will be a boy, but Rurik is certain he'll soon have a little princess - a Svetlana, obviously. He whistles as he drives home, glad he'll have the whole weekend with his wife once he finishes the afternoon of work.

He passes what looks like a one car wreck - the windshield is completely caved in and is covered in blood, and Rurik wrinkles his nose. He can't tell what the car ran into, though; everything around the car is in tact. No police cars or ambulances are surrounding it either, and there's no sign of the driver. Always one to ignore bad omens, however, Rurik forces it from his mind as he pulls into his driveway.

Ivanna emerges from the front door a bit timidly, her swollen belly filling the oversized T-shirt she put on. The Sayanov's are not a wealthy family, not by a long shot, but they get by. "Welcome home," she says, kissing him softly as he ushers her back into the warmth of their modest home. "I had some free time this morning, so I made you some soup," she says, spooning some into a bowl for him.

"It looks great, Ivanna," he says, smiling at her.

"Thanks," she says, sighing as she settles into a chair next to her husband and hands him the bowl. "How was your morning?"

"I spent half of it on the phone with an annoying customer who refuses to pay his bill, so splendid," Rurik says sarcastically, rolling his eyes. Ivanna smiles and kisses his cheek, eliciting a smile from Rurik. The couple has an interesting relationship. They're perfectly comfortable in silence, just pondering everything about each other. This is usually how they spend Rurik's lunch breaks, just smiling at each other and remembering how and why they fell in love in the first place.

Ivanna was in her third year of college, but attended a graduation party for a fraternity with her roommate. She never saw Rurik until he was leaving, but he had seen her. Too shy to approach her, he asked his frat brother to obtain her cell phone number, which he gladly did. The next morning, he tentatively called her, and they went on their first date.

Four years later, here they are - a young couple in love. Rurik checks the time, and finds that it's already time for him to return to work. "I'll see you tonight," he says, kissing her once more before leaving for work.

During the ten minute drive, he sees more abandoned cars on the road, and is puzzled. Where are the police? What happened? He shakes his head and parks in his usual place, before heading in to the office. Everyone is crowded around the one small television, eyes fixed upon the news. The reporter is talking out on the snowy streets in rapid Russian.

"No one is quite sure what caused this deadly outbreak, but it happened very suddenly, and it is certain to eventually be a worldwide phenomenon. Japan has been affected, as well as China, India, parts of Africa, and most of Europe. No word yet on other islands - Britain, Hawaii, Australia, Sicily, Greenland, Iceland, or Madagascar - yet, or on the Americas, but Japan has definitely been devastated by this deadly zombie outbreak. We recommend that everyone take shelter immediately, and not to go outside unless absolutely necessary." A dead teenage boy enters the frame behind the reporter, who shrieks and runs away, her heels clicking through the snow covered streets. The cameraman follows, and the television quickly turns to static.

Rurik wastes no time in hopping back in car, not caring how ridiculous it sounded. Zombies? Impossible. Still, he feels compelled to check in on Ivanna. He floors his car through the snow and ice, which is probably a stupid move on his part. A half-rotten, elderly man leaps in front of his car, and he yells and he feels his tires crunch over the... zombie. He can see in the mirror that he hit the head, and a conglomeration of guts scatter the road. His hands are fixed tightly on the steering wheel and his eyes locked on the road. His foot is like lead, and the old car wheezes past 130 kilometers per hour. Rurik has no thought for his personal safety, thinking only of Ivanna and his unborn child.

He hits a particularly slippery patch of ice, and the car swerves out of control. He slams into a snowy trees, his head slamming into the steering wheel as the airbags deploy. He feels a broad gash on his forehead, and he wants nothing more than to run home and protect his wife and future son/daughter, but he's so tired... He closes his eyes and lets the waves of unconsciousness wash over him, thankful that his car doors are locked.

Florence, Italy - 7 December 2012; 09:00

Lorenzo tugs on his older sister's sleeve as she pulls into his preschool. "Sissie, I don't want to go to school," he complains as his sister smiles down at him.

"I'm sorry, sweet boy, but you have another exciting day of finger painting ahead of you. Momma's in the hospital, and you 'forgot' to wake me up, so you're already an hour late. Make me something pretty today, alright?" Valeria Crespo asks, kissing the top of her little brother's curly blond head.

"Okay, but I'm not using glitter," Lorenzo says stubbornly, crossing his fat arms across his chest.

Valeria laughs. "Fine, be a big manly man, then. Big manly men don't use glitter. Come on, I'll check you in, then I'm going back to sleep."

Valeria is a college student, but she was already on holiday break. She was still in her pajamas, but she held Lorenzo's hand as she walked him in, anyway. "Good morning, Mrs. D'Onofrio," she says pleasantly as she walks in. The principal's eyes scrutinize her pajamas as she walks her little brother in. "Sorry, I'm on break, and I was in a rush. Sorry he's late."

"Just get him to class," Mrs. D'Onofrio says sternly, and Valeria nods. She lets him lead her to his classroom, and she knocks tentatively on the door.

"Hey, Mrs. Acqua. Sorry Lorenzo's so late," Valeria says, smiling at his kind-faced teacher.

"Oh, it's no trouble. Bring him right on in. We're just finger painting." Valeria smiles to herself as she follows Mrs. Acqua and Lorenzo into a room where twenty preschoolers are messily finger painting. Most of them have a mixture of colors on their face and in their hair.

"Alright, Lorenzo, I'm going to go home now. Can I have a hug?" she asks, crouching down and spreading her arms out.

Lorenzo shakes his head furiously. "Manly men don't hug their sisters!" he cries.

Mrs. Acqua almost scolds him, but Valeria laughs. "I'll ambush you and get a sneak hug in later, then," she says. "I'll pick you up at noon, Lorenzo. Make me a non-glittery masterpiece!" she calls as she exits.

Lorenzo immediately walks to his seats and steals finger paints from his partner, who only whines for a moment before she's distracted by something else. He thinks for a moment about what his big sister likes. Boys. Flowers. Butterflies. Girly things like that.

A spark of absolutely genius hits Lorenzo. A boy butterfly on a flower! He grins as he begins his artistic miracle. He makes a pink and purple flower (not because he likes those colors, but Valeria must because they're girly!) and a very manly, buff butterfly. It's navy blue and forest green (manly colors!) with a black mustache. Lorenzo feels like it's too dull, though, so he begrudgingly goes to glitter-fy his painting. When he's done, there's a very girly, glittery flower, and a Popeye the Sailor Man-esque butterfly.

He signs his name messily, writes To: Valeria on it, and waits for it to dry as the other children finish their paintings. Mrs. Acqua, ever the buzzkill, tells Lorenzo to clean himself off, as he is covered in paint. As he's washing himself off, the old intercom attempts to crackle to life. After a few seconds of the unpleasant popping, Mrs. D'Onofrio's voice comes to life, with a thin layer of serenity covering severe panic.

"Teachers, there is an emergency situation in the school. Please evacuate your classrooms immediately. This is not a drill. I repeat, this is not a drill."

The teachers actually handle the situation excellently. They manage to keep their class of toddlers calm as they usher them out into the hall. Lorenzo first grabs his picture for Valeria, determined to give it to her when she picks him up.

"Please take your class to the storage room downstairs and remain there until further instruction can be given," Mrs. D'Onofrio's voice says pleasantly over the speaker. "Storage room" is really a nice term for "damp, depressing basement", as it turns out. Children begin whimpering and asking what's going on, but Lorenzo just clutches his painting, looking as Mrs. D'Onofrio enters the basement and they barricade the doors. How will they know when it's safe to come out now?

Lorenzo walks around silently, squinting to see in the dimly lit basement. Children begin crying, and teachers frantically try shushing them, to no avail. The loud thumping on the door doesn't help the situation much, either. Most of the children are wailing now, and some of the teachers are clutching their children and sobbing as well. Lorenzo is still silent, staring at the door in curiosity. Manly men don't get afraid. And Lorenzo has to be a man.

The teachers not trying to shush children or sobbing are bracing themselves against the door, trying to keep whatever is up there out. Mrs. D'Onofrio screams and something bites her wrist. Lorenzo can't see much because of the darkness, but even though he's the manliest man ever, he gets scared. He sees some loose floorboards in the corner of the room, and he sneaks over there and manages to tug some loose. Trying to fight back his tears, he remains under there, hearing mass chaos happening above him. Lorenzo shoves his fingers in his ears and waits for the screaming and crying to stop. It never seems to.

Bristol, UK - 7 December 2012; 08:00

Dr. Peter Preston is asleep on his feet. He's been working for eleven and a half hours on pretty much no sleep, and it's been a rough shift. And he still has half an hour of work. He pours what must be his tenth cup of coffee right as his beeper goes off. He groans and gulps a few sips of his scalding coffee before heading to the ICU.

"Car crash victim. It looks pretty bad," a random nurse says as Dr. Preston walks up to the bed. The guy is pretty banged up - multiple scrapes and cuts and bruises, and his breathing is labored.

Peter begins checking the man's vitals as the nurse reads his information off a chart. "His name is Manny Kent, age 28. He's diabetic, and he was in here a few years ago for appendicitis. He has no wife or children, and his family is in Australia."

"Australia, huh?" Dr. Preston says. "Wish I was in Australia. A vacation might be nice." He stretches his arms into the air, smirking as his back pops. "He's stable, for now. Give him some painkillers and just leave him be for now. He probably won't be awake until I'm long gone, so just let Dr. Murphy take care of him."

"Yes, sir," the nurse says, scribbling in the man's chart as some interns move in to do whatever it is interns do. Dr. Preston finishes his coffee, and watches the clock tick down to his shift ending.

"Finally," Peter says, heading for the lifts. "I haven't had a decent night's sleep in ages."

"I can tell, if you're talking to yourself," a voice says from behind him. He jumps, and turns to see a brunette nurse in pink, flowery scrubs. "Even I'm not that crazy."

"Who are you?" Dr. Preston asks as the lift stops in the lobby.

"Layla. I've only worked here for about two months. Oh, there's Priscilla! Hi, Priscilla!"

Another nurse that Dr. Preston vaguely recognizes walks over to Layla. "Hi, Dr. Preston. This is my sister, Layla," Priscilla says, putting her arm around her.

Peter has never really had a conversation with Priscilla, but smiles at both of them anyway. "Lovely to meet both of you, but I'm off, so I'm going to go get some sleep..."

"Oh, we're off, too," Layla says. "Twelve hour shifts really suck."

"Tell me about it," Priscilla groans.

The three of them walk to the parking lot, and Layla and Priscilla split from Peter. He enjoys the quiet, but regrets having to park at the back of the lot last night. He's unlocking his car when Layla and Priscilla begin running towards him.

"Dr. Preston! We can't get out car to start!" Priscilla calls. "You don't have any jumper cables, do you?"

"I'm afraid not, girls." He eyes the bagel in Layla's hands as his stomach grumbles. "I'll give you a ride to your home if you give me that bagel, though."

"Deal," Layla says, handing him the bagel as she climbs in the passenger seat and her sister gets in the back. Dr. Preston sighs a little, but gets behind the wheel anyway.

"So where to?" he asks the girls.

"Oh, not far. Just head out the main entrance and take a right," Priscilla says from the back.

Peter follows her instructions as he eats Layla's bagel. The ride is mostly silent, the only noise being Priscilla's instructions and Peter's bagel munching. Peter, however, sees a figure in the middle of the one-lane road and screeches to a halt.

He blows his horn angrily and rolls his window down. "Oi! Move it, you big idiot! Are you trying to get killed?!" He flips the middle-aged woman off as she slowly approaches the front of his car.

"Dr. Preston," Layla says, her eyes widening.

"What?" he asks irritably.

"She's dead."

"Okay, I know you didn't go to medical school, but that's impossible," Peter says, rolling his eyes.

"No, she's right," Priscilla says, shrinking back in her seat. "Just step on the gas!" she yells.

As Peter looks closer, he can see it. A sunhat (completely unnecessary on this dreary day, by the way) obscures most of her face, but the part that is visible is grotesque, and there's a bite mark in her thigh.

"Hit the gas!" the girls scream in unison.

This time, Dr. Preston obeys, mowing over the woman, as pieces of her rotting flesh stick to the windshield. He turns the wipers on, and in the rearview mirror, he sees at least a dozen more zombies in the road.

"What the hell is going on?!" he thunders angrily.

"We're almost home, don't worry!" Layla yells.

This thought doesn't comfort Peter much, but he floors the car anyway, turning whenever Priscilla shouts at him. He has to run over some more zombies, each time eliciting a squeal from the girls, but when they reach Layla and Priscilla's small house, they all run inside and lock every door and window. Layla also pulls the blinds down.

For a moment, they just look at each other, chests heaving, before Priscilla whispers, "Call the police." Peter moves to the phone first, and dials the emergency number.

"Hello? Yes, there are dead people out here! Well, if you're aware, why don't you fúcking do something about it?! What do you mean?! Your entire job is to protect the citizens! No, don't hang up!" Peter yells as the line goes dead. He turns to the shaking girls. "Bad news. Looks like the police can't do anything."

Layla covers her mouth with her hand as she starts sobbing, and Priscilla pulls her into a hug.

Okay, I couldn't fit all of Chapter One on here, so the final two sections are in the next chapter. Sorry. :b I wrote too much, apparently.

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