Nightmare

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The sound of an infected wakes me up. It's still dark and the moon casts shadows on the ground outside the tent. I hear the sliding of feet and the low moan.

Suddenly, before I can get up, the infected is in the tent. I scream, not only out of fear but also as a signal to the others sleeping around me.

I look around for a weapon, but I realize my bag and photo album are no longer next to my cot. Then I realize no one is with me in the tent.

The infected comes up and grabs me by the shoulders. I look up at it in fear and surprise. As soon as my eyes lock on theirs, I gasp in horror.

Chris.

I scream again, this time more of a wail of sadness rather than shock. I fight back, pushing him away, but his hands are too strong. They push me down on the cot, pinning me down. I continue to scream and wriggle under his weight, but I'm trapped.

Then he lunges forward, mouth open and eyes blazing. As I stare desperately into his eyes, they begin to change. He looks more like James than Chris. That evil James that would more often than not come out of his appearance of sweetness and attack rather than stay calm and civil.

His teeth bite down on my arm that's trying to push him away. I let out one more scream before watching the blood spray out from my arm.

***

I wake up screaming and flailing my arms. I shoot up from where I lay, frantically looking around.

Everyone in the tent is staring at me.

Chris and Anne run in, eyes wide with fear. I take in a deep breath and close my eyes. I put my head in my hands, embarrassed.

"Alice?" Anne walks over to me, sitting on the edge of the cot.

"Are you okay?" Chris asks, still worried. "What happened?"

"She kept making noises and kept going like this," Dawn flails her arms, copying what I was doing during my nightmare.

"Alice," Anne says quietly, trying to pull my attention towards her. I finally look up. "Are you all right?"

I nod. "Just a nightmare."

She immediately understand. She gives me a soft, warm smile and walks back out. Chris doesn't follow behind. Instead he takes her place, sitting on the end of the cot.

"We all get them," he says. "It's from the constant fear. The everyday, every waking minute that we are paranoid of our own death. A surprise attack. Anything relating to the end of our lives. It's our constant worry and uncomfortableness. All of it adds up at night when we attempt to unwind and hope that our night watches on duty will keep their eyes peeled in all directions."

"Always keeping our guards up," I say. "Knowing that death is one bite away."

"Never let your guard down," he says. "Dangers are everywhere in this world. We don't trust people anymore. We can't trust people anymore."

"Shouldn't we be working together once we find new people?" I ask.

He shakes his head. "No one, Alice. I'm going to tell you right now that people are no longer trustworthy. We came across a few groups. A few tried to kill us for our supplies. We barely had any." He pauses, looking away in what seems like shame. "We wouldn't give them any, so they took Anne and held her with a gun to her head. Right in front of us. We couldn't give up our supplies, but we would never let anyone die. Jose had to shoot them."

I stare at him in shock.

"Alice," he says as he reaches out, grabbing my hand to give my comfort. "It was either she died and we still lost our supplies or we would have lost our supplies and died from starvation or dehydration. You have to understand that this world is cruel now. We don't know how much of the population is even left after these few weeks, but we do know that at least half of them have turned not into an infected but into a murderer. We can't trust anyone, we don't have an option now."

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