I can feel it. It’s starting right now. Slowly taking over and transforming the way I think. I don’t have much time left. I’ve locked myself inside of this basement with no escape. The only exit is the door I came in through, which is now locked shut and the key to open it resides inside my stomach. I’d much rather die in here then out there with those — Things. Plus I know that as long as I’m in here, when my mind finally loses it, I won’t be able to harm anyone. This room is cold. It’s so cold I can feel the air tightening the muscles around my air pipe as the blood within my body constricts. It doesn’t matter though; I’ll be dead by tomorrow. I found this notebook down here in the basement. Inside of it were drawings and rough sketches of design plans for a new bedroom addition to the house. I guess that also explains the pile of wood and steel that was lying around in here. Its too bad that whoever owned this house never could make it to completing the new addition but at least the materials helped me seal the windows shut. I’ve decided to amuse myself at my last moment of death with writing in this notebook the events leading up to this moment. Hell! It’s better than just sitting around waiting for my brain matter to start decaying.
It’s a tough call but I’d say the first day was definitely the worst emotionally. The epidemic hit fast and hard and not one single person was prepared. It’s difficult to explain how it feels when your whole life you wake up to a city full of normal functioning people that you pass by without thinking twice about and being able to kiss your loved ones good bye to waking up to people in the outside environment ripping out each others hearts and brains for lunch. It sounds ridiculous even talking about it now but at that first moment the only thing going through your mind is to run and run fast! Well at least that’s what my thoughts were; I’m guessing anyone who had a different thought is probably a pile of bones and half eaten intestines right now.
It wasn’t even the gory scenes I witnessed that made the first day so miserable. No, not that at all. It’s the fact that I had to leave my family and friends behind. I guess that’s a cop out though because I didn’t actually have to leave them behind but I chose to. If I had chosen to go looking for them, I never would have made it this long. However, making it this far didn’t really lead me to any place I want to be. Now I’m contemplating if my decision was even worth it. There was no way to even know if they would have been alive by the time I found them anyway. I digress, at this stage it’s not even worth a damn. Back to the actual events, I ran without a clue of where it was I was even heading. At that point it didn’t matter because any place away from those creatures seemed like a good place to be. The streets were in chaos; everyone was running five different directions. People were getting trampled over while others were being eaten alive.
The roads were of no use either. Cars were wrecked and emptied blocking off any escape through the highway. The only way out was on foot. I think if I knew at the time that the cause of this was an epidemic spread out across the states I might have just stayed put and died in my own home. There was never any real escape from death. All anyone could do is prolong their lives for a reasonably short amount of time. I guess I can pin it on luck or instinct that I made it this far. Like I said at first I didn’t know where I was running until I made it to the outskirts of the city. There weren’t many of those things around but because you can’t easily differentiate them from normal people I almost met my demise. I saw a woman with a bloody injury to her leg. She was stumbling around aimlessly and didn’t look mentally stable. Nevertheless, She was the first person I had seen away from the chaos and I needed answers. I just needed someone to talk to.
I approached her and asked if she was okay to which she did not respond. I assumed that her mental condition was from the blood loss she received from her injury. As I got closer to her she lunged at me and grabbed me. Her teeth her trying to gnash and tear my skin! I tried forcing her off but she was way too strong and that’s when Bryan came. He snuck behind her and stabbed her right in the back of the neck and then the woman fell motionless. He then grabbed me by my neck and placed his knife around my throat and asked if I had been bitten or cut. I told him I hadn’t and he checked me over and let me go. I asked him what was going on and why that woman attacked me. That’s when he told me about the epidemic. He didn’t know what had caused it. All he knew was that it was taking over fast and there was no cure for it.
He told me the stages that occur to the infected. The first stage is directly after getting bitten, during this stage you will began to feel intense pain in the area that the infection has began to spread through. The second stage happens within the next 24 few hours when the bacteria spread to your brain. You began to lose motor function, your vision becomes impaired, you drift in and out of consciousness and your thought process is severely affected leading to dementia. The third stage happens within hours of the onset of the second stage. The third stage is death. The fourth stage is when you come back alive as one of those things! No one really knows why this happens but my best guess is that the bacteria destroy the brain tissues but leave enough the of the brain stem and surrounding meninges intact for the parasitic bacteria to control your actions.
Bryan also told me he was heading north alone because the epidemic had started further south in the Georgia area and he was hoping he could reach land where it hadn’t spread yet. At first he was reluctant to take me along with him and I don’t blame him but I offered my help in any way possible and told him my life was not his responsibility and I would not slow him down. After this we set on foot towards upstate New York. We were leaving from lower New Jersey so it took about two days two get there.
He carried three shotguns and two handguns on him and was kind enough to loan me a handgun till we got to the next town. Bryan told me before we entered the center of the town that if things got ugly he wouldn’t stick around to save me and he certainly would not wait for me. I agreed and we walked on. Even though we carried enough guns and ammo to take care of quite a few of these dead walkers we still walked the town quiet as the wind. We entered the local Wal-Mart for supplies. I had to grab a hiking backpack, as much canned food and water bottles as I could cram inside of it and I also stole some of my own weapons and ammo. Bryan told me not to waste time trying to find a sleeping bag. He said there would be hardly any sleep and the less comfortable you are when you’re sleeping the better.
As we were about to leave there were two of these dead walkers creeping around outside the parking lot. I cocked the rifle I had just taken from behind the gun counter and Bryan just about clocked me in the face. He told me that two infected were not worth it to draw attention to us. He said we can make a run for it and if they cause any trouble use your knife on them. We ran outside back towards the highway and they caught hold of us. These things are fast! Especially when you are carrying 30 pounds worth of extra weight around your back. I panicked and pulled out the closest weapon I had to my hand, which happened to be my pistol, and I shot the sucker right in its face. I hadn’t even fully thought about what I had done until I saw Bryan already far ahead running away without me as he screamed, “you’re on your damn own now!”
I knew that if I ran to catch up to Bryan he would probably shoot me dead for causing the trouble I did but I had to run somewhere. I decided to continue heading north even if I had to do it alone. That’s when I heard them coming. Hundreds of these flesh eaters coming from the neighboring streets and buildings. I thought for sure I was done for!
They were about 250 yards from me but I knew they were coming for me fast. I turned and ran as fast as I could, I took a right turn at the next street and relocated into the gas station and hid in the back freezer and locked the door shut. Fortunately for me the electrical system seemed to not be functioning so the freezer was not working. I didn’t know if those lurkers had seen me come in here but I wasn’t taking chances and I hid away from the window only occasionally peaking out. After several hours passed I took a look out the window and saw one of the infected walking through the store and decided my best bet was to spend the night there. I hardly got anything close to what you could call rest. I was too scared to fall asleep and every noise I heard was amplified. I’m not sure what time it was exactly but the sun had finally risen so I knew it was the next morning. It seems that these creatures are urged only by the absolute primal instinct to feed and don’t wait around for food to come to them because they did not hang around waiting to find me after those several hours of hiding.
I grabbed my bag and my guns and ran back towards the interstate. This was now my life for the greater part of two months. I stopped heading north when I realized that I would probably never reach a place that had not been infected yet and even if I had they had probably quarantined themselves off from the rest of the area. I spent my time at small, low populated towns for days at a time and go back on the road again. Supplies began to get harder and harder to find and the lack of sleep really started to take a toll on my body. My reflexes began to slow, my strength greatly diminished and I’d even drift into sleep unwillingly at times during the day. I was also severely lonely. It had been 2 months since I had any contact with anyone besides those damn flesh eaters. I did not even know if there was anyone else out there, it started to feel like I was the only one left. I don’t know maybe there were people left and they just had a smarter plan then walking these lonely towns.
It finally grew too much to bear and I decided to go look for other survivors. I didn’t care if I would put myself at risk; the only thing that mattered was to have someone to share this experience with. I started to search for towns with radio stations in the hopes I could use them to search for someone over radio signal. I knew I had to avoid the big cities so I started to search in the small university towns around New York. I finally made my way to New Paltz, New York.
I had began to notice a pattern that walkers were usually more abundant at night and decided my best chance was to enter through the town mid afternoon. I managed to avoid being noticed by the occasional infected along the way. I entered the university and found my way to their radio room. I took a chain out of my supply bag and chained the door shut. Those creatures are strong but they aren’t strong enough to break through solid doors with locks and chains. I spent 3 days there constantly listening for any incoming radio signal. I was almost ready to give up when I finally heard a faint voice breaking through the static. I carefully adjusted the knob till the signal became clearer. The signal was not very strong but it was enough to distinguish the words with.
It was a message from Buffalo, New York. There was a military camp stationed up there with several other survivors. It was urged that if anyone in the nearby area was a survivor to find refuge at the camp. They proceeded to say that the military was taking charge of the situation and outlooks looked well. They warned survivors outside of a reasonable distance from Buffalo, New York to stay put and find safe shelter till military forces found them. I had no reason to think the military would fabricate this story and decided I needed to set off towards Buffalo. I knew that the distance to Buffalo was far but I didn’t want to stay put any longer. I had walked great distances already and I wasn’t about to stick around lonely waiting in hope of being saved.
I wasted no time getting sleep and packed my things and left. After several days I only made it to Binghamton, New York. My muscles were starting to fail from fatigue and I was running out of water. By now my body went from being a slightly out of shape 180 pounds to a skin and bones 138 pounds. I could hardly keep myself going anymore and I had to get rid of the excessive supplies. I only kept my rifle, some bottles of water, and cans of tuna with me. My sense of time had ceased to exist and my ability to reason was starting to be affected by lack of sleep. I had not even realized that night was closing in on me and I had nowhere to keep sheltered. When the sun started setting I knew I had to find somewhere to protect myself quickly. By the time I made it to the outskirts of town and found some small neighborhoods the sun had already completely disappeared. I knew I had to find my way into one of these homes but I had to be careful that I didn’t choose one that already had infected lurking inside of them.
As I got further into the neighborhood I could see the infected walking around ahead. I decided I didn’t have time to be cautious anymore and walked towards the closest house near me. I crept towards the door but my leg severely cramped and I stumbled into one of the metal trash bins outside the lawn. It was enough noise to get their attention. The infected up the street caught sight of me and just as my luck would have it the house I was entering was infested with these damn brain eaters too.
I was surrounded from all sides. They weren’t even looking at me; they were looking straight through me inside my flesh and bones at the blood and guts, the bloody good, juicy core. They’re mouths salivating and foaming like rabid beasts. There were 5 of these things heading towards from the streets and two in the doorway. I felt like they could smell my blood. I didn’t know if there was more of these creatures inside but that was my best chance to find protection. I pulled out my rifle and shot through both infected at the door. I turned around and shot the flesh eater that was running towards me and ran into the house.
I made my way through the hallway towards the back of the house. The infected swarmed inside the house and were closing in on me. I began to shoot at them while walking backwards. I heard glass break and felt myself being pulled towards the outside of the window. One of these damn flesh eaters had a hold of me and before I could react he took a bite out of my neck. I used the butt of my rifle to hit the thing in the face and felt his grip loosen. The other walkers were running straight at me now down the hallway. I let out a shot and sprinted towards the door at the end of the hall. I opened it and ran in closing the door behind me. I could feel their fists banging and scratching at the door trying to get in. I pulled a table from against the wall to pin against the door. The table also had the key to lock the room and the notebook, which I am writing in.
I think that’s pretty much my whole story to tell. I don’t feel like I have much time left before I reach the second stage of the infection. I feel weak, probably from all the blood loss from my neck wound. I can feel the bacteria inside, the parasites taking over control of my brain. They have already reached my pain receptors as my nerves are sending signals that make it feel like my bones are being ripped apart. My vision is starting to become grey and bleak and I can’t seem to focus anymore…. If the military didn’t lie — If they do succeed in winning against the epidemic — . When they find my body along with this journal — I just hope that I’m actually still dead!