Before I jump in to the events that led up to the final events of this story I should explain a couple things.
The first is that we really should have seen these events coming. We had all heard about the strange stories on the news, higher numbers of physical attacks, hospital overcrowding, and communications breaking down. I’m sure people suspected the truth, but nobody took it very seriously. Everyone wanted to believe that these were just coincidences and that there was some logical explanation. As time moved on though you could see people starting to get nervous, visiting the ammunition store, canned goods selling out, the mad dash to buy Twinkies. A few people left town to visit relatives, or boarded them selves up in cabins on the outskirts of town.
The second was noticing the increased number of what appeared to be animal attacks. There was a large influx of people coming in with strange bites, and scratches but all of the people that were brought in were unresponsive or so distraught by what had happened that they couldn’t explain anything to us. We patched up everyone we saw and had them taken home, this was a small hospital so we didn’t have the means to keep everyone for observation. Besides, they just looked like animal attacks so a shot and a bandage and we figured everyone would be better in a couple of days.
Even with all these things happening I never could have expected what was coming.
You could tell right from the beginning of the day that something was wrong. There was terrible traffic in the morning, more than the usual anyways. By ten in the morning though you could tell something was going on. People were abandoning their vehicles and just running out of town. It wasn’t long after that that we started to hear the gunshots coming from the distance. Police were everywhere trying to gather people up.
Things in the hospital weren’t going any better either. There had been some kind of incident in the morgue the night before. I had heard a couple of staff members were killed and some bodies had gone missing. The police had come by to investigate, but with all the craziness around town they didn’t stick around for very long.
At some point in the afternoon things started getting really bad. I was sitting in my office doing paperwork and listening to the radio when the sheriff cut in and told everyone that there had been some kind of viral outbreak and that people were not acting like themselves. He didn’t know how the infection was spreading but assumed it was either airborne or caused by infections through physical wounds. The last thing he said before the radio died was that everyone should find some way to arm themselves and prepare for the worst.
Then things went from bad to worse.
From my office I could hear screaming coming from around the hospital, it sounded like absolute chaos had broken out. From my window I could see patients and staff running out in to the streets. To my shame I hid in my office for most of the day. I didn’t want to look outside, hearing the screams was bad enough, I couldn’t bring myself to take a look. All I could think about was how everything I had done was meaningless. All the hours wasted alone for nothing. I couldn’t help but think about my family for the first time in ages. I wasn’t sure I even knew what they had been up to recently. The only family member I had kept up with my my sister Felicia, who I knew was vacationing on the beach the last time we had talked. I hoped her and the rest of my family were able to make it out of this alive.
Later in the evening I finally decided to take a look out the window, the screaming had died down so I thought everything might be over. This was probably the worst decision I had ever made. The minute I looked out of the window I saw Anna being ripped apart trying to get to an oddly placed truck parked in the center of town. That was when I started to feel like I was losing myself. I wasn’t feeling like myself, like I was no longer in control. I snuck out of my office to try and find a way out of the hospital, but couldn’t. It seemed that in the confusion one of the security guards had put the building in to lock down and locked all of the exits down.
Not knowing what else to do I pulled the gun off of a body that was laying on the floor. I was never very comfortable around guns, but I knew how to use one. I had gone to the range a few times since I had moved to town, but didn’t think I was much of a good shot. I decided to check the hospital for other survivors, or any supplies that I could get my hands on since I wasn’t sure how long I would be trapped in this building. By then I probably should have realized what was going on and not gone down to the morgue.
However, as I approached the morgue I could hear what sounded like feet shuffling and moaning. What I saw would stick with me until the day that I died. When I looked inside I saw one of the staff members who had been killed that morning hunched over another body and he appeared to be eating some leftovers. I tried to slip away but I guess I had made an audible gagging noise and the next thing I knew he was on top of me. I didn’t know what to do, I couldn’t push him off of me and it was taking everything I had to keep him from biting my throat out. All I remember is the bang of the gun going off and the body falling off of me.
Instinctively I went in to the morgue and jumped inside on of the empty containers. Some part of me knew that the sound would draw unwanted attention to my location, and all I could think about was survival. I’m not sure how long I was in there, but it felt like an eternity. After however long it was I decided that since I hadn’t heard anything that it was safe to get out of the morgue and try to get back to my office. I can’t really much about what happened from that point to when finally got back to my office. When I finally got back I felt a little tired, like I had been running around longer than I had realized.
At that point I figured if I was going to die I wanted to put my final thoughts down for other people to read. I wanted people to know who I was, that Dr. Hannah had existed.
As I sat thinking about what to write I noticed a handful of people crowding around that oddly parked vehicle in the town square. It looked like they were trying to fight their way out of town. I saw one of them, it looked like a high school girl, get swarmed and killed by her attackers. I could see one of the hospital nurses in the truck, and a couple others in the truck drive off.
I realized that I was pounding on the glass screaming for them to stop, that they weren’t the only survivors.
I was still alive.
I mean, it was just a scratch.