Everything I’d ever learned about them, I learned from the movies.
Large buildings standing erect, alone in the streets. Some still had lights that would blink at night and words that would stream across the top, as if they were running away from the darkness. Some of these cinemas would have the films still running, things I vaguely remembered in my hazy mind. If you were lucky you could find one or two that had the running films and the working screens. You could sit inside and watch them on the screen while the world passed outside, completely unaware that you were there.
The movies told me so much. I could see how these creatures moved, how they acted, how they communicated and how they attacked. I could watch the same film over and over again, letting it be burned into my mind with every detail.
I knew they moved at night the most. Days were spent inside buildings and covered places, where they couldn’t be seen. Nights were when they moved, with lights and sounds and flashing fabrics – anything that caught your eye would set them off. So from this I learned that day was the time to find them. Day was the time I could be safe around them.
I knew what they ate, how they attacked. Hands weren’t enough. Some used them, like you would expect, but weapons were the best. They seemed to pick up everything they could find around them, using it to aid in tearing flesh apart and eating it. Or, using even stranger weapons to attack each other, many resulting in flashes and loud sounds which always brought more to the scene. It was actually quite brilliant how a single attack could also alert others to the need for help. So silence was the way to go and I must make sure they couldn’t get to any loud weapons.
I knew they moved in groups. Any who were alone could be taken out easily – and often were in the films – so that wasn’t an issue. But when they were in groups, then they were things to be worried about. The groups could always move faster, they could attack from many places and if you were surrounded you didn’t have a chance to survive. So attacking them one at a time was the best.
I watched the movies endlessly. I’d seen them a hundred times, but each new time there was something else important I learned. While everyone was running and moaning outside, I was the smarter one. I was learning and I would know how to handle them when my time finally came.
I was so sure of myself.
I decided one day to stop waiting. True to what I’d learned, I went out in the day when the sun was shining, moving between the buildings as fast and as silent as my bruised and battered feet would carry me. At each building I peered inside and waited until I saw them move. If there was more then one, I moved on. A group would kill me, but one or two, that I could handle.
I finally found a place with just a single one. A small house, at the edge of the city. This one was smaller, thin and moved slowly around the house as if one of his legs was damaged. He couldn’t move fast, I was sure of it. So he would be perfect to see if I was right.
I moved inside, finding a window that was broken and covered with cloth and some old piece of furniture. I managed to climb in between the narrow opening and then moved through the house with still even more silence. I couldn’t give him a chance to find any weapons, nor any chance to make a sound. After all I was small and thin and I knew that more then one was easily out of my range.
I found him in the bedroom, walking around with socks on to make his steps silent, maybe I could use that on my next hunt. I waited until he was in the middle of the room and everything was out of reach before I pounced. The poor fool never saw me coming at him. I was right! He never even suspected!
The flesh ripped so quickly, tearing away as if it were nothing. Screams were muffled easily enough by hitting him in the throat, another trick I’d learned from some other film. He landed on the floor with a dull thud and soon I was on top of him, clawing and ripping.
The down side about sitting there so long and watching the movies was the hunger. You saw them moving and talking on the screen and all you could think about was how amazing it would all taste, but you had to wait. When I bit into him now, I wasn’t quiet and I wasn’t silent. I was hungry! I ripped and tore and bit and swallowed. Blood, guts, gore and life, spilling out in front of me in an amazing feast.
I left the best part for last. Brains. An entire brain all to myself. I didn’t have to share it with other rotting hands, grabbing and ripping around me. No, this human was all mine and I enjoyed every piece of him. That alone made the endless films worth it.
When I’d had my fill, I found a place to hide for the night, careful to hide what was left of his body and myself. I could wait another night. Soon the sun would rise and I would find another one all alone. A human feast to myself each day. The others were fools, converging on them at night with loud moans and slow steps. They’d catch one or two and then they’d all have to share in a feeding frenzy that wasted more flesh then it ever caught.
But not me. I know how to catch them alone. I know how to have a feast every morning. And now — I can’t wait for the sun to rise again.