Lullaby

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By the first few steps of running, I can tell I am in a bad position. From what I can guess, I have not ran for a very long time. I have barely eaten much food these past two days, let alone the days where this started and I was in a comma without a proper working machine to aid me in food and water. How I'm still alive makes me wonder.

My body aches all over, from head to toe. My head throbs and my heart thumps loudly in my chest as I take every fast paced step. I don't know where we are running to. I don't see anything from this position on the streets. All I know is that there is a neighborhood close, or at least I hope.

Todd, a man who must be in his thirties, leads the front of the group. His house is somewhere in the neighborhood where we are headed to. Jose takes the back, which is quite a downer on my part because I am the slowest runner here, therefor now I must run just a few feet ahead of him and he snickers at me from behind.

Chris occasionally peeks back to make sure that I'm not hunched over vomiting or passing out. He can tell I am having one hell of a time trying to run alongside the rest.

A young woman who I heard was named Brenda stands on one side of Dawn while Anne stands on the other. They have Dawns arms wrapped around their necks to support half of her weight. She runs on the one good foot, hopping like a rabbit. Though she's only a few years younger, I feel absolutely terrible. She's fragile and weak and now has a most likely broken ankle.

Chris falls back a little so he can run beside me. "I think we are almost there," he says, seeing my exhausted face. "You can do it."

"Yeah, but it'll take me five years to," I laugh. Laughing causes me to burst out into a coughing fit, making me slow down even more. "Chris, if I fall too behind, just go ahead, okay? Don't slow down for me."

He shakes his head, panting. Sweat runs down his forehead, his skin shinning from it. His eyes are drooping, dark circles form below. He looks like hell, yet somehow attractive. I shake the thought from my head.

"Alice, no matter how slow you are, I'm not going to just go right ahead and leave you. This isn't a horror movie where the friends leave each other behind, okay?" He looks at me, waiting for an answer. I nod. "Good. Because almost every time the friend leaves them to die, it was an opportunity to save themselves. They just never took it." And with that, he speeds back up to cover the left.

As soon as he's gone, I realize that talking was a big mistake. Now I'm out of breath and fighting to continue.

As I go, I see movement just ahead. Close to Chris. Something had moved behind a red car that he's approaching. My heart races faster as I see a head pop up from the hood of the car. It's a mangled human, their flesh torn from their cheeks. Dry blood clings to their neck and clothes. It's a horrific sight.

I can feel myself about to vomit. But I need to warn him. "Chris, behind the-"
And then I hunch over in the middle of the road and puke the small amount of food that was in my stomach. I nearly fall forward from the momentum. My head spins and the world slows down.

Just as I look up, I see the infected come up from behind Chris, who's turned towards me because he heard me say his name and also vomit in the process. He takes a step forward, towards me, unaware of the danger behind him. Jose, Anne, Brenda, Kim, and I all scream at the same time as we watch the infected grab hold of his arm.

I have no strength to move, but somehow I pull myself forward, hands reaching out for him. He turns around, swinging his arm up in automatic defense. He lets out a cry of surprise as the infected pushes into him. It grabs his shoulder, pulling him towards it.

In just a few seconds, Chris grabs the knife from his belt and plants the blade right through the skull of the infected. It falls limply to the ground.

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