I entered the graveyard with my gun held tightly to my chest. I could still her the young child's muffled cries as I looked around. I noticed a trail of blood leading towards an old, cracked grave, and I slowly crept over to it and listened. I could hear the rough breathing of someone in pain and I peered over the tombstone to see a young girl with long, dark hair and a torn, bloodstained, white dress. She was in a crouched position with her head between her knees. I waited for a moment the slowly approached her. "Hello?" I said. "Do you need help?" She didn't budge, only continued to cry. I bent down and began to examine her, and immediately noticed that the flesh on her left shoulder was shredded and bruised. I stepped back and took a deep breath. This wound had been made some time ago, by an infected being. This young girl was no longer living, yet she was different. She did not attack me. I put my hand against her cool forehead and pushed her hair out of her face. Her face was a pale shade of purple and her hair was sticky with blood. Blood streamed from her eyes, nose and mouth. My eyes widened in shock when I saw her eyes. They were not black, like most infected, but a bright blue. Her teeth were sharp, and perfectly white, even though blood surrounded all areas of her mouth. Somehow, she seemed to be alive.
I jumped whenever she looked up at me. Most infected showed no emotion, but you could see the pure terror on this girl's face. "How long have you been like this?" I asked. She held up four little fingers. I noticed that a bone was sticking out of one of them, and the rest were worn and cracked. I looked around and picked her up in my arms. I ran with her to the truck and put her in the seat beside me. I glanced at her as we began to leave, and saw that she wore a look of relief on her face. After a few minutes we pulled into the hideout and I locked the two of us in a fortified room. I gave her some water and asked, "Back there, did you mean weeks?"
She took a gulp and shook her head. "Months." I was shocked.
I couldn't help my curiousity. "Do you want to talk about it?" It took a moment before she spoke.
"My momma started getting sick, and my daddy was scared. He had momma
staying far way away from me. He said that I wasn't safe with her. One night though, momma snuck out and daddy went missing. I was alone." I held back my tears, as I recalled my own parents death, and put a arm around the child. "The door at the back of the house had a little hole in it. One day a kitty squeezed in. It was sick, like momma, and it bit me. After that I started to get really hungry. I could never eat any of our food, though, because it made me sick."
"So are you...are you like them?" I asked. She seemed so scared, and I instantly regretted asking.
"I don't know." She said. "One day a woman tried to help me and I blacked out. I don't remember where she went, but I'm not hungry anymore. Well, not as hungry." She began to smile.
"Oh, my God!" I screamed. Her back, where my hand had just been, was moving. It was rising, and jerking. She crooked her head and smiled wickedly.
"Thank you miss." She said. Her eyes were no longer blue, but black. She stood and jerked her head up. I heard a pop and she bent over. "I think that Mr. Kitty is hungry." I backed up against the wall and clenched my teeth. I watched in horror as a cat clawed it's way out of her back. I had never heard of an infected animal, but this cat had obviously been infected some time ago, and had actually been living inside of this poor chld and harvesting her. The cat was black and slimey and it had an odd grey liquid dripping off of it. I reached for my gun and shot at the cat. I missed and the cat began to hiss while the girl lay in the corner, lifeless at last. I had a sudden serge of rage, imagining what the girl had gone through. I looked at the cat and took a breath. The cat lept at me and I tried to dodge it, but I felt a sharp pain in my neck as it's claws dug into me, tearing my flesh. I reached behind myself and grabbed hold of the cat. I threw it across the room and aimed my gun. The cat was still for just long enough that I could get a good shot off. I watched as the bullet entered one side of the cat's skull and exited the other. After a moment the cat stood and came at me again, moving loosely and clumsily. It was odd. Usually this would have killed an infected, yet it was alive. It was mutated. I dropped the gun and reached into my pocket for a switch blade. I dodged as the cat lept for me and I snatched him by the tail. I opened my blade and decapitated the cat quickly, and at last he was still. I sat with my back against the wall and took a deep breath. After a moment I crossed the room to the girl. She had a blank expression on her face, her eyes wide in horror. I placed my hand on her wrist and, as expected, found no pulse. I carried her in my arms, along with the cat, and put them outside of the safe room. I crawled into a corner and began to sob. I had been alone for weeks when I came across the girl, and I had thought that maybe I would finally have another person to fight along my side, but all hope was lost for me. I heard a banging outside of the door. I stood and walked over, seeing that the young girl had turned and was now staring at me through the bars. She looked so hungry, so sad. I felt sorry for her. I sat down and loaded my gun with two bullets. After a brief moment I stood and faced the child through the bars.
"I'm so sorry, babe. I can't let you stay like this." She clawed at me with one hand
through the bars, growling at me with a manacing tone. I felt a stinging sensation in my neck. I knew the cat had infected me during the fight. After a moment I aimed for the girl's skull. She would no longer have to feel hungry and alone. Not long after she stopped moving I aimed the gun at my own skull. I could not be one of them. Ever.