Sequel: Static Screams
Status: bloody

White Noise


These days it’s hard to tell if you’re daydreaming – or having a nightmare. They’re all the same. Daydream about the past; have nightmares about the past. No getting away. No knowing if you were really back in the past, just having a bad dream; or if you were asleep and having a nightmare about the past.

Really no way to know; even if you woke up.

The pounding of the speakers by the table wasn’t bothering me at all. What was bothering me was how sick the guitarist of the current band looked. His skin looked like it was gray. But maybe that was just the lighting and how far back I was. Space Run’s merch table was against the back wall of the bar. The exit door beside my chair made me a little on edge, but no one could get in through it; only out.

Caitlyn was in the center of the crowd of people; jumping up and down and screaming along to the lyrics. Though she didn’t know half of the words. As the band finished their last song and started saying their thanks to the crowd and the other bands; Caitlyn skipped through the crowd and fell into my lap. She pressed her lips against mine, though she was out of breath. I laughed lightly as she leaned away. “Enjoying yourself?”

“I love your job!” She enthused, kicking her feet up. I held her tighter so she wouldn’t fall. Across the bar, I heard the sound of a scuffle. Something was happening. I stood, then sat Caitlyn down in my chair.

“Stay here.” I ordered, then ventured towards the noises coming from the stage. There was a circle of people surrounding the front of the stage, like they were egging on a fight. But they were all screaming and trying to pull someone off of the floor. I pushed my way through, trying to see exactly what was happening.

When I saw; I fought a scream. The guitarist of the band that had just finished up, was ripping into the lead singers arm with his teeth. Strands of muscle and nerves were between his teeth, the other ends still connected to the singers arm. The singer was screaming and cursing. Finally, someone pulled the guitarist off. His eyes had lost all color, pupils filling out where the green used to be. Or maybe they were brown; or blue. I didn’t know. All I knew was the veins in his face were visible and his skin was gray. I hadn’t been imagining it. His eyes were black and empty and his skin was gray.

And he had just attacked the lead singer of his band, ripping tendons and muscles from his arm. They were still hanging from his mouth, which chomped repeatedly as he tried to bite someone, anyone, anything. I dragged my eyes from the guitarist and finally looked down at the guitarist. People were crouched beside him, asking him if he was okay.

But he wasn’t responding. At first I thought he was staring at me, but when I moved, his eyes didn’t. He wasn’t speaking, and he wasn’t moving. He had stopped screaming. Half of his forearm was missing and he wasn’t screaming in pain anymore. Slowly, the color drained from his face. Slowly, the color drained from his eyes. Slowly, his pupils grew. Slowly, the realization came to me. And slowly the dots connected.

“Get away from him!” I screamed, shoving people away. They all looked at me incredulously. But they didn’t understand. I didn’t have time to make them understand. “Get back! Get back!” I was screaming, nearly shrieking.

I didn’t see her in time. I didn’t see that she had come closer to see what was going on, to check on me when I had started screaming. I didn’t see. Until the singer lunged off the floor, and grabbed the person beside me. It was only as his teeth sunk into her neck that I saw her pink shirt, her favorite denim shorts. The bracelet on her wrist I had given her for our two year anniversary. The one with the matching partner, which wrapped around my wrist.

It was too late by the time I noticed. Pandemonium followed. Finally people understood what was happening. The fever that the news channels had warned us about had spread; and it wasn’t untransmutable any longer. One bite, and you were gone within minutes. The fever may have been making people crazy in a week. But a bite and you were gone.

I stumbled backwards, being shoved around by the masses of panicking people. Caitlyn had collapsed. He had ripped out the main artery in her neck, and she had bled out in the minute I’d been standing there. The people that had been holding back the guitarist let him go and ran. His black eyes locked on me and he let out the first shriek I’d hear thousands more of over the next year. That shriek would stay with me.

It was his fault she was gone. I was suddenly filled with immeasurable amounts of anger. I was shaking and hyperventilating. He kept shrieking, and then ran at me. I picked up the guitar that he must have dropped when he tackled the singer, and swung it at his head. He fell to the floor, moaning and still reaching for me. I hauled the guitar back over my shoulder, and smashed it into his skull. It was surprisingly easy.

I walked over to the singer. He was still biting Caitlyn’s neck. Her head was barely connected to her body anymore. I bashed his head in, and then collapsed beside her, grasping her cold hands, tears hitting her skin as they fell from my face. With shaky hands, I unclasped the bracelet from her wrist, and attached it to my own. I heard more shrieking in the streets, and knew I had to go. I kissed the palm of Caitlyn’s cold hand, then wiped away my tears, and stood up.

I went back to the merch table, and put my jacket on. Immediately, I felt my phone buzz in my pocket. I pulled it out, but before I noticed the calls and texts, I noticed the time.

Ten minutes.

It had been a mere ten minutes since she had skipped to my lap. In ten minutes the world had become something else, and it had become a world without her in it. I wiped my face with my jacket sleeves again, and then called my dad back.

“Scarlett, where are you?” He asked, frantic. His voice was strong, despite the cancer that ravaged his bones.

“At the bar…Dad…he just…he ripped her throat out…with his teeth…Dad I don’t think the fever is just making people crazy. I think it’s making them into monsters.”

“Zombies, Scarlett. That’s what the news is calling them. Zombies. All of the trains and buses are shut down. Did you take the car?”

I nodded, then realized he couldn’t see that. “Yes.”

“Good. Don’t follow the limit signs. Watch for people in the roads. Come home. As fast as you can. Don’t stop. Don’t let anyone else in the car. Don’t even stop for someone who was a friend. Just drive, and come home. Do you understand me?” I mumbled a positive answer. “Good. Go. Now.”

With one last fleeting glance at Caitlyn’s mangled body, and the smashed heads of the band members, I ran.

And never stopped.


“Scarlett we can’t stay here. The city is overrun with them. We barely made it through the scavenge alive.” Darren stood against the wall, watching between the furniture we’d stacked against the door for any moving bodies.

“We can’t make it anywhere else though. The next city is at least fifty miles. We don’t have a car, and walking that far is just asking for death.” We’d been arguing for a while. Sasha and Ian were quiet, as always. Natalie occasionally spoke up, usually to agree with Darren in a small voice. Peter was propped against the wall on the table pushed under the window, reading a comic he’d found yesterday. The wood planks nailed against the window gave him enough space to watch through. He crunched on a hard granola bar; as we all did.

“You guys,” Sasha finally spoke. “We have to make a decision soon. The sun has been up for an hour. If we’re going to leave we have to go. If we’re going to stay, we have to decide how long and where. We aren’t safe on the ground.”

I sighed. “She’s right. We need to quit arguing and take a vote.” And that; was where having an even number of people in a group of survivors was a bad idea. If three of us voted to stay and three of us voted to go, we’d be stuck. We hadn’t figured out yet how to break the tie votes. We usually just continued to argue until we were forced to decide or someone changed their mind, even just so we’d have a decision.

“If you vote to stay, we stay for a short while. We will vote again every ten days. If you vote to go, we leave in ten minutes. During which we will discuss where we are going and figure out the plan by the time the ten minutes are up.” Everyone nodded in agreement with what I said. “Alright. Let’s vote then.” I brushed my hands against my dirty jeans, and stood. “Everyone who votes that we stay, raise your hand.” I put my hand up, and so did Ian. I waited a beat, and when it was apparent no one else was going to budge, sighed. “Okay. Everyone who votes we go?” Sasha, Peter, Natalie, and Darren all raised their hands.

I pulled my hair up into a bun. Rubbed my hands on my jeans again. Bent at the waist and let out a deep sigh. Leadership was the hardest part of the apocalypse. Not the zombies. Not the death. The leading. I fingered the silver bracelets on my wrist, then sat up, my back popping, and nodded. “Okay. Away we go.”
♠ ♠ ♠
word count;; 1,699 words.

i'm so so tempted to go add a word somewhere
that's gonna drive me crazy

anywho; abs and i both cried over Caitlyn.
heartbreaking. poor scarlett.

comment. recc. sub.