A zombie apocalypse begins during a night out. (Needs editing, formatting and re-writing)
I wrote this story a long time ago. Must be as far back as 2000. I had just moved to a new country and didn't know anybody. I had an old laptop, (old even then) that was given to me by the previous occupant of the bedsit I had moved into.
With no TV and only a radio for company, I got bored and began to write stories. This was one of the first and was probably influenced by being alone and struggling to make new friends that spoke another language. Oh, a love for horror stories might've had something to do with it too.
The story is set in my home town too, maybe I was a little bit home sick.
I looked for a number of places to put the stories and after a new friend of mine opened an internet café, I found a place.
I stopped writing properly a good few years ago. Life took a number of turns, mainly for the better. I just didn't have the time anymore. This would've been in around 2012.
After spending nights doing writing sprints for nano, with a few people from the wdc community, I think I suffered burnout. I never finished a novel.
Since then, I've moved countries a further two times. Now though, I'm settled.
I read this old story back and thought that it still should be shared. It needs a lot of work, but there is a story in there. I re-uploaded it and have promised myself to work through and make it better. Being my first longer piece, it seems to mean a lot to me.
I hope you enjoy it in whatever form it is in when you read.
Darkness was beginning to spread across the city of Liverpool when Gabe stepped out of the taxi. He felt it was going to be a night to remember. Everything seemed to have gone wrong all day. In fact, he thought things couldn’t get any worse.
First thing in the morning, he woke up late for work. He'd had his final warning last week so he lost his job. It didn’t bother him too much as he was planning on starting something else soon anyway. He'd arrived late to the sports centre where he was a swimming pool assistant, and was sent home 30 mins later after talking to his boss. No argument.
He visited his local jobcentre hoping to find something temporary but only succeeded in finding that mysterious substance; nothing. Then he was turned away from receiving social security benefit because of the way he lost his job.
Always tonight he thought.
There were supposed to be 3 of them going out tonight, but Steve was ill and Colin had no money. Gabe, who was really looking forward to the night decided to go anyway.
“I’ll know half the people there anyway,“ he thought.
He stepped out of the cab. He felt a wetness soak through his trainer and looked down, it was a great big puddle spreading along the side of the road next to the taxi. The puddle spread away to the right, his left foot remained dry.
“Oh no” he mumbled.
The only source of light in the street came from the street lamps and the well lit Church street shops. It was unusual for a Friday night, it was empty, silence drowned out all noise. He turned down an alley at a point where there was a kiosk. The lonely shopkeeper turned and watched him walk up, disappearing into the darkness. His wet shoe seemed like it was the only source of noise.
He reached Mathew Street. The bars, lights and music, all started him out of the daze he was in while walking in silence. It was 10 o’clock.
“Where is everyone tonight” he found himself thinking.
The lights were on in the bars, the music was playing, but there were only a handful of people.
He headed towards Flanagan’s, the first bar in the street, and the one that seemed most lively.
“Any spare change?”
Gabe was startled again. The man who asked the question was a tall bearded man, he looked to be in his late 40’s but was probably younger.
“Sure.” He gave the man a pound coin. “Thank you, god be with you,“ the man acknowledged in a strong Irish accent.
“Hey! No problem mate!”
The man smiled and turned away and headed off in the direction he had come.
Gabe walked up to the bar inside Flanagans. It was dimly lit, and was fitted with a full wooden interior, trying to catch a look of old days gone by.
“Pint of lager please.”
No answer. Instead, the barman just turned, got a glass, turned back and poured the pint. He put it on the bar, “one pound eighty please.”
Gabe paid, not a smile was exchanged. He decided not to sit at the bar, and went and took a seat at a table next to the door.
He looked around the bar. There was about 30 people, a couple of them looked alone, and a bit freaked by how quiet it was. The rest all just seemed to be sitting and staring into space, not talking to the people they were with.
“This is strange,” he thought to himself.
He jumped again. This time it was caused by the chair opposite sliding on the wooden floor.
The girl who pulled chair out sat down and looked at Gabe.
“Bit quiet tonight isn’t it?” Gabe said looking back at the girl.
“Freaking me out”, was her reply.
“Where're you going tonight?” Gabe was trying to make conversation.
The girl was quite pretty, long dark hair, almost black. And she looked like she had green eyes, but he couldn’t tell in the light.
“Some lads we know.” She pointed back indicating she was with one of the quiet staring groups, “They’ve got a night on in the Lomax.”
“Yeah, that’s were I am going too.”
She smiled at him. “Really?”
“Yes, there were supposed to be a few of us, but now I’m on my own.” He considered asking if he could go with them, then decided what the hell. “You mind if I tag along with you lot?”
“If you want, but this lot aren’t being much fun tonight. They’re being dead quiet.”
“Dunno, it's weird, they’re normally a laugh.” She looked concerned.
“Everyone seems the same tonight,” Gabe was looking at her and gathered courage, “Your the first normal person I’ve seen all night.”
She smiled, looked slightly away and just said, “Thanks.”
“I’m Gabe” he put out his hand.
“Claire” she put her hand in his, he lifted it and kissed it jokingly.
“Very nice to meet you Claire.”
“You too.” She blushed.
They sat and talked at the table, and had a few more drinks.
“Are you lot coming?” Claire called over to the group. They just looked back. “I’m going over now, this is Gabe, I’ll walk over with him.”
One of them nodded back.
Gabe and Claire left Flanagan's and headed toward the Lomax.
“That’s more like it.” Claire sounded pleased. Outside the Lomax was a long cue of about two hundred people. It was going to be a busy night.
Gabe smiled, “It’s about time.”
They stood in the queue, talked and laughed a lot, about nothing in particular. Not even listening, talking to, or even looking at the people around them. They just hit it off really well, and were just totally involved in each other.
So enthralled they where with each other in the queue, it took a moment for the doorman to interrupt when they reached the entrance.
“Tickets or paying?” he asked loudly for a second time.
They continued talking to each other, he hated it when this happened. “Oi,” he shouted. “Tickets or paying?” The menace in his voice grabbed the attention of the young male and female who where obviously a couple.
“Paying.” This was the young man. The doorman didn’t recognise Gabe or Claire as regulars at the club.
“Ticket” Claire said, smiling at Gabe as she did.
“Oh, not a couple” the doorman thought. “Will be soon though.”
Instead of sending them to the separate counters as he was supposed to he sent them both to the paying counter, and gave them a smile.
He was thinking it was going to be a trouble free night, not many people were being noisy, in fact, they were hardly talking. He was relieved in a way to see the young man and girl.
He looked back at them again, smiled to himself slightly, wished he were young again, and turned back to the almost silent queue.
It was dark inside, smoke clouds were changing colour, there were flashes of brilliant light between the different segments of the amazing spectrum. All the colours of the rainbow, appearing one after the other in seconds. All in time to the beat of the hard electronic techno drum. Strobe lighting gave the dance floor a frantic look, and the people, who before hand had been so quiet, were not noisy, but were dancing like people possessed.
Claire and Gabe noticed this the second they entered the small dance hall at the top of the stairs from the lounge.
Gabe immediately began to bob his head and shake his shoulders in time to this beat, only lightly. Claire on the other hand, began to jump around on the dance floor, a smile the size of the golden M of McDonald’s on her face.
Watching, Gabe began to feel the music more, soon he was jumping himself.
After about 30 mins of dancing and shouting and having a really good time, Gabe went to the bar. He could still see Claire dancing around, near the front of the stage.
“I’ll just get her a drink” he thought, “dancing like that, she’ll need one.”
He went to the bar. He was served immediately, no queue. “Lucky,” he was thinking, when he noticed not one person in the place, had a drink.
He wandered over to Claire, drinks in hand, not spilling a drop, which was miraculous in these lights, and the way people were dancing. He offered her the drink.
She took it and washed it down in one go, it was a whole pint. She smiled at Gabe and carried on dancing.
Gabe wandered back to the bar and had a few drinks while standing, watching the mayhem unfold before his eyes. It started at the front, not far from where Claire was.
A lad of about eighteen or nineteen fell to the ground. But instead of just one person going to help, everybody in the club seemed to close into him, pressing against each other, not backing off, but pressing, as if to become one giant mass of human. Faces twisted and contorted, hunger gleaming in their eyes. Violence loomed, Gabe could sense it.
Gabe seen Claire almost caught up in this and ran over, around the crowd and pulled her away, towards the bar at the rear.
At the bar, Gabe held a very tearful Claire against him. She couldn’t look at what was happening. Gabe was watching though. Even watching he couldn’t tell what was happening, until he seen a bloodied face turn and look at him.
“Are they eating him?" He asked and added, “Lets go,” to Claire.
“Why?” she replied. “It's only early.” She was shaking.
“’Cos this is messed up” he told her.
“I think that too, but it's happening all over town.”
“Come on.” He pulled her.
Claire didn’t struggle. Instead she walked, being led by the hand toward the stairs leading down and out of the Lomax.
On the way out, lying on the floor was a big man, dressed in a black suit, white shirt and dickie bow. He was just sitting there outside the Lomax on the damp floor. He looked at Claire and Gabe. His face was covered with scratches, blood dripping from his chin onto his white shirt, leaving a large red patch at the top centre.
“Help me, please, I’m so hungry,” the bouncer pleaded, whilst looking at Gabe.
“What the fuck happened?” Gabe asked, and was about to walk over, when he felt a hand on his shoulder.
“Go,” said the stranger, “and say your prayers, it’s too late for him.” The Irish accent was both strong and clear.
Gabe had seen the bearded man before, but he couldn’t place where. He stood staring for a moment, holding onto Claire’s hand. Then he looked at the scratched face of the large doorman sitting on the damp ground and turned away.
“Hold on, just one more thing,” the Irishman called after him.
Gabe looked back.The man tossed something small to him and without hardly having to move his hand, Gabe caught the object.
“Get a cab and hope God goes with you.”
Gabe looked at the object. A pound coin.
“I know you,” Gabe began to mumble, “you were outside Flanagan’s earlier.”
He looked up and the Irishman was gone.
“Who are you talking to?” Claire spoke for the first time since they were standing at the bar.
“Wish I knew, lets get a cab.”
The clouds had cleared up, the moon, it was half, shining amongst the scattered stars in the black sky. It had grown colder and wind was blowing the litter and the leaves, from the city centres few trees, down the silent streets as though they all belonged to nature now. A young couple strolled, hand in hand through the silence, being watched by the lights above, the only source of light since the power of the city temporarily ceased to create a light of its own. A power-failure. They seemed to be searching, looking for something. Anything normal maybe, as everything had seemed to take on an unnatural form. Losing its life energy and giving off the feel of an absolute dead town. Even rats, cats and dogs could not be seen or heard.
The silence was broken, a plane flew overhead. The roar of its engine making Sean O’Brian stop staring at the scene before him and get to his feet.
“Its happening” he thought, scratching his beard. “Everything you told me mother, its actually happening.”
He began to walk in the direction of the couple, he had met them both twice. The boy had helped when he posed as a beggar, the girl, she told him in not such a nice ladylike way, in completely different words, to “go away.”
In his mind, whilst walking a great distance behind the couple, he went over what his mother had told him as a boy in Ireland.
“Boy,” she told him, whilst lying ill in her large bed she once shared with his father before he died after also being ill for a long time.
“Boy, you must go with your brother over the sea, to the town where our people landed in England and carried a curse of revenge on that land.”
Sean was only 12 years old at this time but had been brought up by his family to know the history of his country. His father was very anti English, but his mother sympathised with them for being so hated over things that had been done a generation before and not by the people who lived now. He was only 7 when his father died, so his mother’s influence had rubbed off on him much more than his fathers. He sat at the bedside and listened.
“There was one reason, one reason only that I married your father Sean. It was his family who set the curse, and only his family can undo it. Your brother has inherited your fathers beliefs but I hope that you, as you have no hatred of the English, can go and find the man with the Angels name and work with him to rid the land of the curse.”
“What is the curse?” Sean asked this after waiting a moment to be sure his mother had finished.
“A lot of people believed that when the English inhabited Ireland, they sucked the life out of the land and out of the Irish people themselves. The curse will make the people who inhabit British soil suck the life out of the English, or even descendents of our ancestors who moved there and call themselves English. They will become soulless bodies that just wander and feed off any life they find on their land. It will begin near the beginning of the new millennium.”
“How do I stop it happening?” Sean asked this, fear obvious in his voice, his mother realized this and told him “You cannot stop it happening, you can only end it. Find the man, and a girl will hold the key.”
This was the last time this was mentioned during the short lifetime his mother had left.
He forgot all about this by the time. He was around 25 and his brother invited him to go to Newcastle to work on the docklands. He went there and lived there ten ears till his company moved him to work in the docklands of Liverpool.
He worked there for two years before the struggling business in Liverpool docks made him lose his job. But he stayed. Now, almost a year after losing his job he remembered what his mother had told him, all that time ago. The memory was stirred when he seen a man fighting outside a bar. The one he was fighting against seemed not to feel any pain. He used his fingers and scratched at the man's face. What stirred the memory was when the man who felt no pain had finished scratching, he knocked his opponent to the floor and just began licking his face. Feeding on his life.
“Taxi.” Sean heard a shout that stirred him from his memories. He watched as the boy and girl climbed into the black cab.
“Look after yourselves, you don’t know how important you are” he thought to himself and also thought it as a blessing for the young couple.
It was Sunday now. Silence in the streets. The sun glaring down on empty roads making the tar bubble. And the smell. The pavements where busy. Busy with flies and other flesh eating creatures that had crawled out in the sunshine after the mayhem of Saturday. And not only was it human bodies lying on the ground not moving, it was also human bodies leaning over the corpses like the scavenger flies and hungry dogs. I say human bodies, as they no longer contained any human. It was as if the body was being controlled by some exterior source.
After getting a cab on Friday night Gabe dropped Claire off at her home. Which to his surprise was only on the next estate to his, about 15 minutes walk. Before Claire got out of the cab, she wrote her telephone number on a strip of paper she had taken out of her purse. She kissed Gabe on the cheek and walked up to her front door.
None of the lights were on in her parent’s house. Gabe said to the taxi driver “Wait there,” before opening the cab door and running up behind Claire. She heard the footsteps behind her and turned. Gabe seen the terror on her face and put his arms around her. I’m sorry I scared you.”
“You didn’t. I mean, just because of tonight, I’m a little shaky.”
“You want me to come in Claire? Looks like no ones home.” Gabe looked at her in hope.
“Yes” she told him, and then turned away and walked to the door. Gabe followed her.
“But” she said, “My parents are home, they're in bed.”
She turned, looked at Gabe. “Come here.” Not an order or question, she was inviting.
Gabe went over to her. Claire hesitated, but then moved towards him and they kissed.
“I’ll have to go in now,” and then she put her key into the door.
“Bye Gabe, call me tomorrow.”
“I might,” he replied being sarcastic, “But does trouble always follow you around like this?”
“I thought your name was Gabe!” She joked back.
“And Gabe, one last thing." She smiled at him. "Thank you for being there tonight.”
“Apart from everything but you, it was a pleasure.”
He turned and walked back to the cab. He heard Claire close her door behind him. He liked her, and he would definitely call her tomorrow.
Gabe woke up on Saturday morning. He thought someone was at the door. Then he came to his senses. No, not the door, too much noise. He walked over to his window to have a look out.
He drew back his curtains.
At first the sun rising in the clear sky, above the maisonettes opposite, startled his eyes and it took a moment for the coloured blotches that formed in his vision to clear. When they had cleared though, he had to rub his eyes to make sure.
It was real.
His mind was not accepting what was going on, but with his own eyes, he seen it.
Was he the only one not down there?
The whole street had come out. Everybody. They were standing facing each other across the road. The people in the opposite houses were the enemy, it was this side of the street against the other.
The neighbours were armed. The weapons of choice being chair legs and sticks that had nails in. some were holding cushions or pillows as shields. It was war.
House windows had been broken by thrown bricks, and car windows smashed along with headlights. At the other end of the street there was smoke rising.
Gabe looked towards the rising cloud. Tilting his head and looking right, he could see fire and all around it people were fighting. It was like some sort of medieval battle, but there were no knights in shining armour.
Below him, a stone was thrown. It hit the resident, who lived below him, directly in the face. Instead of falling, the old man just stood, not moving at all, just staring at his opponent. Across the street his opponent stared back.
The noise Gabe heard must have been the breaking of car and house windows, and the smashing of headlights.
Somebody crossed the street. First just the one, but more began to follow.
“What the fuck is this about?" Gabe mumbled to himself.
Claire woke up. Glass had been broken and scattered on the floor all around her room.
There was shouting and screaming coming from the street through the broken window.
“Dreaming” she thought and put her head back down.
It continued, getting louder and louder, she could hear more windows breaking, more cars being hit, more people shouting.
“Not dreaming” she contradicted her own thought.
She watched through the broken glass. It was so strange, in fact it was madness.
All her neighbours were out of their terraced hoses and were, well, just breaking things. They were carrying sticks and broom handles, anything they could use to smash what was in reach. Then there was nothing left to break. So they began to head to their houses. Instead of going inside, they just stood there and faced the people opposite.
“Mum,” she shouted out of her window when she realised her parents were a part of the strange happenings.
No reply. They didn't react to her at all.
“Dad, what are you’s doing?”
“Mum, Dad, what’s going on?”
Her father turned and looked up at her, the look on his face chilled her. His staring eyes seemed not to be looking at her but through her. Reading her.
She observed a few other people, they all had the empty, lifeless look her father had.
She thought of her friends the night before. All with that same look.
“This isn’t right,” she thought, “definitely not right.”
A riot. No not a riot, a battle was taking place in the heart of Liverpool.
No warring tribes, no order, no discipline, its every man for himself. Use anything you can as a weapon is the order of the day. Hit the nearest person, beat them, drink their blood, feed on their life. The only order left is the uneffective, running away. But it’s useless running, you will be caught. No escape, just to many of them. So you must fight back. But they have no feeling, they wont fall. They just stare with gazing eyes.
They attack, oh hell, do they attack. Using everything they can, they will beat you, cut you, scratch and tear. Anything that draws blood, then they want it, the blood. They will lap it up like a cat lapping milk.
He’d found the boy again, and the boy was leading him to the girl. He now also had reason to believe he was related to the girl. They shared the same surname. O’Brian.
Was she the youngest relation he had, she couldn’t be no more than 18.
If she is the youngest descendant of his fathers family, all Sean could think of that he must do to end the curse, is kill her. Kill Claire O’Brian. End the family.
Break the curse, and do it before the savage humanlike creatures drink her life fluid. He doesn’t know why, he just thinks it feels right. But would the boy let his happen?
“He’s got to,” Sean thought, “He’s got no choice.”
After looking out of his window for a period of time totally unknown to himself, and seeing the mayhem being caused by the cursed creatures turn into a full fledged battle, Gabe thought of the girl he met last night.
There really wasn’t any body else he could talk to, Steve and Colin, who he was supposed to go out with last night always let him down. Anyway, he never really considered them real friends, they were more like, well, acquaintances.
He hardly ever spoke to or seen his parents after moving away at the age of 17, they didn’t like his hardcore, underground life style.
He liked Claire, in fact she was the first person who he had met in a long time on his level. Not a higher level, no, he was no better than anybody, but his level of interest. He and Claire had talked more last night than he cold remember talking to anyone before.
“I hope she’s ok.” As the thought entered his mind, a rock flew up toward him in the window. He ducked, the rock wasn’t even close to hitting him. He scrambled along the floor to the clothes he wore for his night out. Staying on the floor so he wouldn’t be seen, going to the clothes to get Claire’s number. He thought about the kiss. It was special, she was definitely a special girl.
He dialled the number from his downstairs telephone, near the kitchen, away from the front and back doors. He cold hear the screams and shouts and Gabe didn’t think the phone would ring, but it did. And when it did he was relieved to hear a familiar sound. Ring Ring.
An answer, not Claire, an older lady by the sound.
“Hi, you reached the O’Brian home, lucky for you, you don’t have to speak to us as we aren’t here. Leave your name, message and num….”
It broke off, then a breathy, panicky voice of a younger lady came on.
“Help, me mum and me dad, something is wrong, help….”
“Claire?” Gabe questioned, he already knew it was.
“Who’s that, Gabe, Gabe is that you? A smile of satisfaction crossed his face at being recognised, he was glad she remembered him even during everything that was happening. Then his smile vanished, he realised the panic in her voice.
“You ok, what’s happening?”
“My mum and dad are with that lot downstairs, and they’re all killing each other.” She was sounding edgy, right on the edge of hysterics.
“Hide somewhere in the house, I’ll be there soon, fifteen mins ok?”
“O.k., but….” He cut her off again.
“Claire, just hide, I’ll be there soon.” With that he put on his T-shirt, tracksuit pants and trainers, headed to his front door.
She put the phone down. Deep inside behind her terror, behind her panic and her worry for her parents, Claire was happy, happy Gabe had called. She’d always kept herself to herself when she went out, just mixed with the people she knew. And then only because she would get free tickets to parties and raves. She was shy, very, and thinking back she couldn’t believe she went over to Gabe last night. It was like something inside told her to do it and she could not refuse. But after that she found herself liking him, he was the same as her, talked about the same stuff. And as the strangeness turned to madness, and then mayhem in the club, he looked after her, and now he was coming again. Like her knight in shining armour, coming to save her, the damsel in distress locked in her tower.
Before she knew it, she was in her waiting for the arrival of her knight, her guardian, and she was confident of safety.
Running, wanting to go faster, he couldn’t. They were everywhere, swinging sticks at him and each other, not just sticks, anything, anything swingable. He was ducking, dodging, nothing was going to stop him. So he thought until he seen one sight, a sight that almost made him vomit. This plague, as well as making people crazy, also slowed them. So, it was like slow motion when it swung at him, at first he thought it was going to grab him. Then he realised the arm had hands and ripping marks at the elbow and nothing above. One of these crazies was using a severed arm as a weapon.
“This isn’t a plague, these are zombies, real life fuckin zombies. Shit” he was scared and sickened by the thought. Then out loud he repeated this thought, “Shit!” then he carried on running.
He made it, he was in Claire’s street. Closer, closer, almost at the house, people lying on the floor everywhere. An open air cemetery, “my street will be this bad now” he was thinking to keep his mind from shattering along with the normality he knew.
“How do I know her name is O’Brian, how did I know where he lived, why can I walk amongst these ‘things’ without harm?”
Sean had so many questions, the only answers he could think of were magic, or maybe destiny. “Was this all was place o this earth to do? If so, why do I have to follow the ‘angel?’ Gabe to find the girl? Shouldn’t I know that too?”
Sean didn’t know it, hatred was beginning to burn inside him at Gabe and Claire, maybe jealousy that they were also involved and he wanted to be the saviour alone. Or maybe he couldn’t walk amongst the once human creatures without harm. And lastly and the truth, the loss of normality was driving him insane. Lives were in Gabe's hands now, Sean was as dangerous as the creatures. But Sean, still needed, must live. His father’s Irish blood in him is needed.
Footsteps, she could hear them. Coming up the stairs, higher, higher, they reached the top. Stopped, silence but for the heavy breathing, whoever as out there was out of breath.
Claire was holding hers. Every muscle in her body tense so she could make no sound. No light coming into the closet from her window and she couldn’t peep out now. Opening the door would make too much noise. She just sat, at the bottom of her closet, soundless and frozen.
Walking now. She heard the footstep go to her parents bedroom, try the door, open it, walk away from the room. Then try the bathroom, come away.
“Gabe,” she thought, “its Gabe”.
“Gabe,” She shouted now, positive it was. She stepped out of her closet, just as her bedroom door opened.
“Gabe, thanks for…..” She stropped talking. It wasn’t Gabe.
“Dad, what’s up?”
“Dad, what you doing, Dad, no don’t, Dad….” She was creaming now.
“Dad, no, no, Dad.”
He swung the large spanner he was holding at Claire. She ducked out of the way, falling into the closet as she did. Still screaming.
“Dad, Dad, don’t, Dad, please, no Dad.”
He kicked at her in the closet, only managed to connect with her arm. She squirmed past him and out of the closet, but he cut her off from making it to the door. He swung again, too far away to connect, but he kept swinging that spanner, forcing her back toward the window and her bed.
She threw her lamp at him, missed, her clock, clump, right on his forehead. He didn’t stop, he kept swinging, staring at her with his glazed eyes. She tripped, fell backward, felt her head hit against something and darkness.
He reached the front door, through the window he noticed was broken upstairs, he could hear shouting. Screaming, “Dad, no.” was what he could hear. “Claire,” he shouted out loud.
He ran to the open door, the stairs, right in front, up he ran. A door straight ahead at the top, a door next to it, shouting, screaming, the crashing of thrown objects, from a door to his right. He stepped in just in time to see Claire falling over backwards while ducking away from whatever the tall man in front of her was swinging.
Her head hit the mattress on her bed, but she seemed to pass out anyway through fear. The window that was broken was near the pillow end of the bed.
Gabe not knowing where the strength came from, and not knowing he felt so deeply for Claire, charged the man, pushed him, the man had tried to turn, and as he reached the window, the object he was using as a weapon swung toward Gabe, but before it could reach him the man was falling. Gabe was still in the room.
Claire was unconscious and Gabe couldn’t take her anywhere, too dangerous outside, he was lost, had no clue what to do.
Sitting alone in that room with Claire, the noise of terror outside the window, Gabe had never been so scared in his life. Even as the sun was going down outside and the noise was diminishing he held the unconscious Claire, on the floor next to the bed where she landed, in his shaky, scared arms.
He knew the silence was not because the zombie-like people were going home, but because they were becoming fewer, they were dying at the hands of each other and the surviving creatures were getting stronger from feeding on life. It was only a matter of time before they found him and Claire and he was beginning to think they were the last normal humans left in Liverpool, he hoped there where more in the country.
With these thoughts and Claire in his arms, he drifted into sleep.
He dreamed, and in his dream he was drifting down a dimly lit corridor slowly. He could hardly see the doors to his left and to his right, or the chandeliers dangling close to the top of his head. But he felt his leg rub hard against a small table set to his right outside a door. He felt it scratch. But he didn’t pay attention, he was focused on the scenes at the end of the corridor.
It was lit brightly, a man standing between two doors which unlike the doors to his sides, faced him directly. The man was watching him float closer.
Gabe began to feel uneasy, and wanted to turn. He couldn’t, he actually was floating. Inside his head he was panicking, he wanted to cry out, nothing came. He wanted to turn and run, he couldn’t. Now terror, in his mind, he was out of control, somebody else controlling him.
Then he eased off, he saw a familiar face. The man standing at the end of the corridor wore a beard and looked older to Gabe than he actually was.
It was the man who made them go home from the Lomax, the man who stopped them helping the bouncer, the man who, after begging, gave Gabe his money back.
His mind stopped struggling and he drifted into the light.
“Look into the doors, they are the pathways you may take.”
“What?” was Gabe’s reply.
“Listen now for next time I wont be advising.” The Irishman said through a thick beard.
“I’m listening.” Gabe stood and waited for a speech.
“Neither choice is right or wrong, it’s the girl who has the answers.”
“What girl?” in his dream Gabe did not know Claire.
“Look thorough the doors.”
Gabe duly obliged. First heading to the door on the right. For the keepers of such information the doors were dull, just plain white hotel room doors.
He looked through the door.
Inside was a girl, a pretty girl of around eighteen or so. Very dark hair, lengthy in height but slim. But what caught Gabe’s eyes most was the way she looked at him, recognised him with her sparkling green eyes.
In her chest was a dagger, what she was looking at him like, the expression, was because of shock. Shock that he had performed the act? He could never do such a thing.
“You let me do it,” a voice came from behind him, an Irish accent.
The door slammed in front of him, he couldn’t see the happening no more in the room still he felt relieved that he never performed murder.
“The other door,” the bearded man said impatiently.
Gabe did as he said.
In this room was the same girl. The same setting. But no dagger in her chest. She looked at him lovingly, like a hero of hers. Like a girl would look at a rockstar. She was in awe.
On the floor between him and the girl, there was a bearded man lying, the man in the corridor. Blood seeping into a pool around him
“You didn’t let me do it.” The man said angrily, almost shouted it.
The door close behind Gabe, and although the girl in this room was safe, he still felt something wrong. Trapped. And space was getting less, the room was closing in, and all that was outside was closing in.
She kissed him and then looked at him straight in the eyes.
“Its all we can do now.”
Gabe was in panic again. Trying to think of an escape.
“Gabe?” the girl said. “Gabe, Gabe.” She spoke quietly. He felt her shaking him, but she had backed off. But still he felt the shaking.
“Gabe, come on, it’s ok.”
He opened his eyes. In front of him was the girl. Then he woke from his dream. It faded away. It was Claire. He had dreamed of Claire.
“You had a nightmare.” She said this softly like a mother talking to her child. “Its ok now.” She leaned forward and kissed him, “Thanx for coming.”
“Nice to see you again, just wish it could be nice and simple, we could meet properly.”
Gabe was awake now, properly, and was so glad to see that Claire was ok.
“I’ve just had the weirdest dream and you were in it.”
“Hope it was nice,” Claire then added wit to her reply, “but not too nice.”
“Actually it was horrible.”
“No really it was,” he then told her seriously.
She looked at him, no smile, things were too dangerous now, so she had too much fear inside for a smile.
“Are you scared Claire?”
“What do you know about all this?”
Claire looked at Gabe again, puzzle went on her face now. Her head cocked to one side and replied, “nothing.” Then with a question of her own, she asked “why?”
Gabe explained about the dream and the murderous Irishman, whom Claire could not properly remember.
He told her about his meeting with the man outside Flanagan’s and once again outside the nightclub Lomax. He had to tell her of the meeting as at the time outside the Lomax Claire was in a state of shock and didn’t even notice the man when he spoke to Gabe.
He told about drifting in the corridor and the two doors at the end, and he told of the scenes beyond.
Claire obviously happier with what lied beyond the second door listened with interest.
Gabe, who was about to stand and walk to look out of the window to see the scene, which lay beyond, noticed a tear in his tracksuit pants.
“Can’t be.” He stared to Claire. “Dreams and reality don’t mix.”
“Wouldn’t be so sure with all this going on Gabe,” was her response.
“Must have been when I pushed that fella out of the window before.”
“Who” she asked.
“Was it your dad Claire?” he looked at her hoping she would say “no!”
“Oh God, yes, I remember, oh Dad, what happened to him?” she had blanked it out of memory as soon as she became unconscious, Gabe had now reminded her and her eyes began to fill with tears.
“I pushed him away from you, I’m sorry.”
“What happened, where’d he go?” she asked, crying now, tears running down her cheeks like small rivers, eyes reddening.
Gabe felt a part of her sorrow and looked at the window.
“Out there. I pushed him out.” He looked away from the window and at the floor whilst facing Claire, “I’m sorry, but I didn’t want to let him hurt you.” Tears were forming in his own eyes.
Claire walked to the window and looked down to where her father’s body must have landed. Two men leaned over the corpse and as one of them lifted his head away from the shoulder of her fathers body, she seen his blooded face.
“Get off him” she screamed down, it was useless shouting, nobody down there was going to listen. Still she screamed, “Get off him, no, stop, please get off, don’t.” then her shouts gave way to sobs. She slid down the wall next to the window, opposite side of it from the bed, buried her head in her hands and cried.
Gabe had never seen anybody so distressed, he didn’t know what to do. He wanted to go over and hold her but was afraid of being pushed away and being blamed for the death of her father. His tears finally escaped his eye socket and before long streamed down his face until they dripped from his chin onto Claire’s pillow on which his head was over, whilst balancing on his hands, being supported by his elbows.
“I’m sorry.” He mumbled “oh Claire, I am sorry, really.”
And then there was silence, broken only by the frequent sobs inside the room and the odd scream of survivors who survived no more out in the city.
He’d waited, bided his time, unnoticed, hiding in the back of a car, by the creatures. The curse was everywhere, not an ordinary person in slight. In fact he hadn’t seen a single individual of human moral and spirit since following Gabe to the house.
Sean had heard the cries from within the house and seen one of the creatures fall, land on its head and break its neck, from the window above.
He had slept and dreamt of guarding doors in a corridor but to him it was hazy.
He now knew he had to go into the house and get the girl, and if the boy got in his way he would get him too. He opened the rear door of the car and stepped out, fearless of the creatures, he felt as if he was about to become their saviour and that they would know it.
He marched into the open door of the house and up the stairs. “They would be too gutless to leave that room,“ he thought to himself.
At the top of the stairs he heard sobbing coming form one of the rooms.
He pulled a large gold handled dagger from his belt, felt the blade, its sharpness drew blood from his finger. Then he smiled to himself whilst selfishly thinking, “Time to make history. I’ll be remembered forever.”
“Shhh” Gabe hushed Claire. He had heard a nose outside the door of the bedroom
She looked up at Gabe from her palms, her eyes were reddened through crying and were also full of unrecognisable emotion. Terror maybe, or maybe anger at the creatures, which had claimed her father. Gabe couldn’t tell.
The door opened slowly into the room Claire didn’t move, Gabe was watching the door, breath held, waiting for a crazed creature to enter. He felt helpless he didn’t know what he could use as a weapon.
The door opened wide. Standing in the doorway was something worse than the creatures. It was a madman, a devil, a crazed psychotic killer. A man hunting for self glory and not truly knowing how to get it. A man wanting to kill the only person who could dispel the curse, which had spread, not only in Liverpool but throughout the whole country.
Gabe didn’t know all this, but still seen danger as he recognised the face, it was the man from his dream. Now though looking far from helpful, he was here to carry out the duty, which had been shown to Gabe in the dream. Gabe wasn’t going to let this man kill Claire.
“Hi, I’m Sean O’Brian,” said the man in the doorway, grinning wildly, showing so many teeth Gabe wondered if he himself had a full set.
“Hi,” Gabe said, nerves obvious in his voice whilst saying just one word.
“We’ve met before haven’t we Gabriel?” Gabe, whose nervous hand was grabbing at a pillow behind him to muzzle the large blade, nervously replied, “I guess so, yeah.”
The man was walking into the room now, bringing with him a sense of insanity of extremes Gabe had never witnessed, it wasn’t just the grin or the Irish voice that also came from that mouth. It was in the walk, the eyes, in fact the guy just oozed the essence of crazy.
He looked at Claire, “You’re Claire O’Brian.”
Claire didn’t answer, she was just sitting with a numb helpless look on her face. Terror had token a firm grip of her.
“Met you too, you wont remember the second time, but you must remember the first.”
He took a step closer to Claire. He was also now within pillow swinging distance of Gabe.
“You told me to fuck off when I asked you for help. And we’re supposed to be related.”
Sean lifted the knife and stepped forward to Claire. Stopped and then said “Claire, you know you’re my families youngest relative?”
Still she didn’t move or speak.
“You know how I must end this curse?”
Still she said nothing.
Gabe who had no clue about the curse or anything along them lines was waiting for the knife to be raised.
“I think you do,” the Irish man said and raised the knife.
As Sean stepped forward to be close enough to stab at Claire, the knife was knocked from his hand by a swinging pillow in Gabe’s hand.
As luck would have it, the dagger fell behind Sean and near the bed. Gabe reacted swiftly. He bent down, grabbed the dagger and lunged forward. The Irishman turned at the moment the dagger was about to strike him and received the full blade into his chest. He stared at Gabe in disbelief, how could the young man have stopped him saving the world in which he is a part.
In another moment, the Irish man was sprawled on the ground, blood creating a pool around him. He would be a threat no more.
Claire stood, she looked at Gabe. Her face was white now, all blood drawn deep inside of her from the horror of which was in her room.
Then she looked at the body. Surrounded by blood and the pool was spreading.
She shook her head and leaned over the body. She pulled out the knife.
“He was wrong.” She looked at Gabe. It reminded Gabe so much of the scene in his dream, this time though he felt the moment of danger was over until they had to face the creatures outside.
“My mother told me about his Gabe, I never listened.” She started crying. She ran to Gabe holding the knife. Threw her arms around him, careful to keep the knife away so as not to harm him, then they kissed.
“Thanx Gabe, thanx.” She stepped back still looking at him.
Gabe was astounded. Even with all the creatures outside the house and a dead body on the floor in this very room, he had never felt such power in a kiss.
He looked at her in the hope of another.
But Claire looked into his eyes. Her eyes still filled with tears from earlier and now welling with more.
Gabe stepped toward her.
“Wait,” she said. “We might be the last two people in this city Gabe. If not the country.” He hadn’t thought of this in the moment since the kiss, he was shocked she did.
“Yes” he replied. She had a peculiar expression on her face that he couldn’t place.
“You killed my father.”
His head dropped and looked at the floor, he wanted to reply.
Before he had a chance to do this he saw the dagger enter his chest, then he felt pain. The pain faded after a moment, he fell to the ground weakened and getting weaker. He looked up from the carpet on which he now lay and saw Claire, hand over mouth shocked by what she had just done.
“Claire, why?” he never heard an answer or seen a reaction, for as he said this she turned into blackness along with everything else. His final thought was, “I’ll never be kissed like that again,” and “Claire be careful of them things.”
She was alone in that world now.