Sequel: Static Screams
Status: bloody

White Noise


The old van held up. I’d managed to turn around, drive northeast for a few hours. I’d managed to make it back to the factory by sunrise to see what remained.

Mostly just bodies – I couldn’t tell whether the bodies were those of the living, or those of the undead; really, it didn’t matter. At that point, they were all dead-dead.

I searched through them, double checking, making sure that my friends made it out alive. From what I could tell, they had.

The large factory seemed even larger without the people buzzing around. It was so eerily quiet. Stepping in through that door felt like stepping into a vacuum that sucked away all sound. Even my footfalls on the floor felt wrong, like a perversion of the silence.

I was tired. I was so tired.

After ensuring that each entrance was secure, I locked myself in the bathroom. For the first time in almost twenty-four hours, I let myself relax. I stood, fully clothed, under cold running water. For several minutes, I barely breathed, before I shivered my way out of my now wet clothes and scrubbed myself raw.


I wrapped myself in a discarded towel after turning off the water, and headed back through to the now-abandoned wardrobe room. I roughly tugged on some boxers, sweatpants, and a t-shirt, before I returned to double check that, yes, all the entrances were secure.

Bone-weary. Dog-tired.

I climbed, though more-so crawled, up the stairs to the second level, until I found the room that was Logan’s. Her cot, with the mismatched blankets and raggedy pillow, might as well have been a king-size Serta with a down comforter.

Drained. Weakened. Done in.

I shoved a chair in front of the door, before I turned back to the cot. I collapsed onto it, feeling my body settle into it as I pulled blankets over myself.

Fatigued. Enervated. Wearied.

Fuck, I was so tired.

The sun rose gently, and I fell hard into sleep.

And I slept.

For two days, I mostly slept. I awoke long enough to see the chair still in place in front of the door. I awoke long enough to recognize the sun setting, and rising again, and setting again. I slept until just before daybreak on the third day, like some Jesus Christ wannabe, when I rose again.

And when I rose again, I got back in the van, and I drove. Driving northeast, hoping to catch a glimpse of one of my friends on the horizon, hoping to catch any hint at all that they’d made it this far. In an abandoned town, in the middle of nowhere, I did catch a glimpse of one of my friends.

In the middle of the street.

Covered in dried blood, crows pecking at bits of flesh.


Beautiful, kind, motherly Sasha.

I screeched to a stop and jumped from the van, sprinting to her side. She was long gone, I knew, but I pulled her stiff body into my arms and I sobbed into her hair. I screamed. I bargained. If Sasha – smart, level-headed, watchful Sasha – was dead, left in the open, that must have meant something terribly bad happened to Scarlett.

To the kids.

The guys.

The girls.




“I’m sorry I couldn’t save you,” I cried into her hair. “I’m so sorry you’ve been left like this. I’m sorry I didn’t do enough. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.”

From behind me, there was a noise. It could have been a zombie. I didn’t care anymore. Her body, here in the street, was all I needed to see to know it was hopeless. It didn’t matter anymore. I squeezed my eyes shut, tears falling in rapid succession. I held Sasha’s corpse tight, bracing for teeth through my flesh but praying for the mercy of a bullet to the heart.

“Holland? Is that really you?”