Dead World
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A few weeks ago, my life was blissfully normal.

The Nevada city I lived in was teeming with life.

I didn’t have any concerns or worries.

But that seems like an eternity ago. Hard to believe it’s only been three weeks. God knows what state the rest of the world is in. They blocked off Spring Valley a few days after all hell broke loose. They shut off the city’s power, water, and communication. As if shutting us down and pretending Spring Valley never existed could stop this problem from going global.

Damn government.

I remember when city officials installed the warning sirens. They said it was “precautionary” but I wonder how many people believed it. I wonder if the infection had already begun, and the sirens were confirming this city’s demise.

I was at work as a bank teller when the sirens went off. It started as a low howl, but within minutes it had grown to a bone-chilling wail. We all knew what it meant – get out of the city. NOW.

I grabbed whatever money I could, stuffed it in my pockets and joined the crowd of panicking civilians. My plan was simple: get my car and drive as fast as I could to Texas. Get my sister and her husband and their baby girl and head as far east as possible.

I didn’t make it past step one. I got to my car only to find all four tires slashed. Swearing to myself I stood in the parking lot of the bank, in the middle of pure chaos. Blood spilled on the sidewalks. Screams of terror were heard before bodies dropped in the street.

I could only stare in horror at the savagery before me. It was utter mayhem. I was going to do the smartest thing I could think of: run.

My train of thought was broken when a teenage girl with blond hair, wearing a ripped and bloody dress, spotted me. Her right eye had been ripped out of her face, and she was bleeding profusely. When she emitted a loud shriek and came at me, my brain gave a jolt of energy to my legs, and I ran like hell.

I could hear her footsteps close behind me. Then another pair of running feet. And another. Soon I had a crowd of them chasing me, shrieking, groaning, and screeching at me. There could’ve been only a few of them, or a dozen. I didn’t dare stop or slow down to look.

I saw a small group of uninfected people quickly ushering in more survivors while fighting off the infected. I ran to that house and up the steps on the porch. While I leaned over to catch my breath, one man said, “They see us. Get the hell inside!” We stumbled and tripped over each other to get in the door.

Once we were all in the house, the man shut the door and quickly nailed thick boards over the door and windows. A girl walked over to me with a rifle. “Any bites?” she asked. I shook my head no. She held out the gun. “Know how to use one of these?” Again I shook my head. “Gonna have to learn if you wanna stay alive.” She showed me how to load it, aim properly, and cock it. “When you fire, make sure you’re aiming for the head. That’s the only way to kill ‘em. Got it?” I nodded.

We stayed huddled together in that dark room for weeks. As each day passed, the screams grew quieter and fewer. There was the occasional beating on the door, begging for help, but the pleading words soon turned into screams. Then silence.

It’s day twenty as I write this. They’ve been clawing at the door for days. The cheap wood won’t hold much longer.

I’ve given up all hope of being rescued.

My watch stopped last week. I have no idea what time it is.

I can tell by the slits of light coming in from the boarded-up windows that it’s sunset.

Nevada sunsets were always so beautiful.

Too bad I’ll never get to see them again.

The way the door is splintering from the constant abuse, I can pretty much guarantee they’ll have broken it down by nightfall. A few minutes after that, we’ll all be dead.

I’m writing this for the military. If you’re reading this, you’re too late.

Jennifer Yohe, 2011

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