I’m not the only one. This isn’t that kind of story. I’m just the unlucky one. Lucky enough to not be dead, but unlucky enough to have been bit. Except again, I’m not dead. I’m the only one they know is immune. There were others, but with the world the way it is right now, there are lots of ways to die that don’t come from being turned. Maybe there are other immune people still around, in fact I’m sure there is, but unfortunately there’s only really one way to test that, and guess how many people are willing to do that? Yeah, definitely not voluntarily or on purpose anyway. The odds aren’t really in their favour as we’ve learned. That’s not the only thing though, I have O- blood. That means that yeah, anyone can have a blood transfusion from me, and the reason that that matters is that whatever immunity I have, might be able to be passed to someone else to help them fight off the virus if they have been bit. It’s not a cure, of course, but having a fighting chance is better than anything else anyone has had after being infected thus far.
The other problem, of course, is that some people don’t believe that there are any immune people, so before anyone can even know if someone is immune a lot of people are already shot dead. Extremists, conspiracy theorists, all around terrible people didn’t suddenly disappear just because they couldn’t spout their vitriol on social media after all. God this is dumb, I thought writing all this down would make me feel better, or I don’t know, make me feel more sane? Except all I’m doing is writing stuff I already know, how is this stuff supposed to help?
… shit, I hear something. I quickly shut off my reading light and held my breath. I could feel my heart thumping against my ribs, and a cold sweat start to form over my body as I found myself frozen impossibly still. I’m in the forest, there's going to be sounds but… I don’t know how to explain it other than it sounded like a person's footsteps, and… I suddenly heard a low gurgling and that cold type of dread run through me. Yeah that… that’s… what I was afraid of. From inside my tent I should be fine though right? They can’t see me and… I don’t know how good this one’s smell is though… I could feel my heartbeat in my ears. The inside of the sleeping bag felt both hot and freezing. All I can do is stay here frozen and listen outside. My arms start to go numb and tingle from the position but I can’t move. The silent panic in my own mind is deafening. I tried to breath as slowly and quietly as I could, but the adrenaline coursing through me made me want to hyperventilate.
Every once in a while I heard that gurgling again, and occasionally small shuffling. Their no longer alive, so they could just stand there until their whole body decomposed and fell off their bones. But I can’t wait here that long. I tried to slow my breathing so that I could gather my thoughts. Ok, it seems like at least for now they’re just standing out there. It’s just one right so… God don’t be stupid yeah it’s just one but you have no idea how fresh they are. The fresh ones are always the strongest, and the fastest. I can’t take on a fresh one, it’s not worth the risk. So what the hell do I do? I can’t run from it, I can’t fight it, and I can’t wait here indefinitely-
“Oi! What are you doing over there huh?” My eyes grew wider than they already were and my heart raced. Huh? Who the-
“Yeah you! Oh- you’re dead huh? Woops haha well, that’s ok, I was looking for a meal anyway, thanks for the meal!” Who the hell is that? Are they out of their fucking mind? I heard the gurgling of the undead get loud and shambling footsteps, quickly followed by fast paced even steps followed by a sound I’ve grown to know as cracking bone. “Well now you’re dead dead haha.” I was still frozen in my tent. Did he really just kill it that easily? It’s not like I can see anything that’s going on out there from in here so, I guess there’s no way for me to know but…
I see a light pierce through the thin fabric of my tent. “Oi, is that another one of you in there?” Fuck he can probably see my silhouette through the damn fabric shit shit shit. Alive people can be just as scary as the dead ones. I'd rather he just left. I really don’t want to get involved with other people, that has only ever spelled trouble for me. I hear his footsteps get closer and closer to the tent. My heart was beating so quickly all I could hear was the pumping of blood rushing past my ears. The tent zipper was being unzipped but all I could do was stare at it in dread. Until finally the small flap of fabric that was protecting me simply fell open.
My eyes were greeted by a blinding light and I couldn't see the face of the person that had just invaded my space. “Oh hey, you don’t look dead, guess that’s why that thing was hanging about huh? Well perfect!” I suddenly felt something cold and wet touch underneath my chin. “So you must have food right? Give it to me.” The light was finally moved from my eyes and pointed down, it took a second for my eyes to adjust but the first thing that I was able to see once they did, was what was being held under my chin. An axe… with blood dripping from the blade. My body was shaking. I heard the snap of a finger and the blade of the ax tap under my chin. “Oi I said give me your food! Are you deaf? Do I have to write it down for you or what? Or do you not speak english?”
“I-I” He rolled his eyes and grab my hand and yanked me out of the tent, I winced both from how hard he pulled but also from which hand he grabbed. I found my self yanked to my feet outside, only a few feet away from the undead wich was now very much once again dead, it’s skull split open. I felt my stomach flip and I quickly averted my eyes from it. The guy put the ax down and put his flashlight in his mouth. He was still tightly holding my hand to the point were it hurt, I could feel the strange tingling and shots of sharp pain up my arm from my scar and subsequent nerve damage.
“Listen I don’t care what your sob story is I’m taking your food, and I saved your ass from that guy that was hanging out here anyway so consider it payment alright?” My hand that he was still griping onto twitched and my eyes watered from the pain.
“I-I it- c- can you- can you jus- just let- it- it hurts I-” He cocked his head at me not understanding, until his eyes followed mine to where his hand was gripping my own.
“Huh?” He let go and then grabbed onto my shirt instead. I immediately gasped and a few tears that had been forming flowed down, I held up my throbbing hand by my wrist as I sucked in heavy short breaths. “Hey I wasn’t grabbing you that hard…” His eyes fell onto my hand as if to check if he had really held it harder than he thought. And then he froze when he saw it. I whipped my hand behind me. I was careless. I was so caught up in the pain and the suddenness of everything I… I forgot. I tried to pull away but he was gripping onto my shirt too tightly. “Well, you’re not dead so, you must be one of them huh? I didn’t know anyone like you was still alive.” I was trembling. This is so bad.
“It’s not- it’s not that I- When I was a kid it’s-”
“Save it, you already have it written all over your face, no point in lying about it right?” All I could do was stand there and shiver. The throbbing of my hand that I still had hidden behind was still very present. I felt naked, my gloves were in my tent still. I knew this place wouldn't stay safe forever. I had managed to spend the past few months here just fine, I got too comfortable. Was this karma for just heading here as soon as things hit the fan instead of trying to help people? But I don’t have any special skills, I’m just a guy, what use would I have been anyway? Or am I just making excuses again? “Well lucky you, looks like I’m not gonna take all your food and you get a bodyguard? Honestly I’m a saint.” I stopped shivering for a moment out of pure shock. What? What did he just say? All I could do was stare with wide eyes. “What? You’re not gonna say thank you?” I blinked a few times.
“Wh… Why are you… why would you…?” I couldn't quite formulate all the questions I wanted to ask, all I felt was pure confusion.
“Are you that dense? Do you think I would find an immune person and not want to have someone like that? You realize you’re worth a lot of money right?” My eyes widened and I tried to pull away hard but he was still gripping onto my shirt so tightly. He yanked me closer, I could feel his body against mine and his breath against my hair. “Hey, don’t be stupid. You’re scrawny, clearly have no fighting skills, and the only reason you’re alive right now is because I saved your ass. This is a good deal for you.” I tried to push him away but his body was like a rock, he wouldn't budge. Fuck, do I just give in for now and bide my time? He’s not going to be awake 24/7 right? This place probably isn’t safe anymore anyway if both him and an undead found it. I guess I could just try and use him back before making my escape. I stopped pushing on him and let my hand fall back to my side. He chuckled. “Good boy.” My eye twitched, I almost smacked him. This guy was a lot bigger and a-lot stronger than me though, and clearly had a few screws loose. I didn’t want to test his limits. As much as that remark made me want to.
My body went stiff again. The sound of twigs snapping behind me.