Chapter 1

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Annabeth's POV

"Thalia, quick!" They were gaining on us, and fast. They had been for days now. It's rather surprising how fast dead bodies are able to move. We had been running for our lives, for what seemed like an eternity.

Perhaps I should back up a bit, so that this story all makes sense…

About five years ago, a company that named themselves "The Fountain of Youth" created a vitamin. This wasn't your average Flintstones or gummy bear vitamin, though. The company claimed that if this vitamin was taken once a day, your life span could double, or even triple it's normal amount! Naturally every person above eighteen years of age (as that was the legal limit) bought them up and started downing vitamins with their morning coffee.

Technically, the FoY didn't lie about their product. It certainly lengthened your life span… sort of. When the first man to start taking those vitamins died of old age, his body continued to live on. You see, his brain stopped most of it's normal functions, and many of his organs stopped, but he was still alive and kicking so to speak. He was the living dead, literally.

Now, the FoY also failed to list side effects to their miracle vitamins. A simple Warning: this product may cause rotting skin, tooth decay, eye-watering BO, and an insatiable craving for human flesh would have been nice.

When the first living dead old man died, nobody could tell. His body hadn't started to decay quite yet, and though his eyes were bloodshot, they had looked that way for many years so nobody paid any attention to that anymore. For a few days he continued his life of sorts as though he were still, well, living.

Then came the day that the craving kicked in with full force, and he bit his nurse as she tried to feed him his daily pudding cup. Within an hour or so, the virus that the man had contracted from taking those miracle pills had spread throughout that poor nurse's entire body. She too, was a zombie now.

Long story short, the virus spread throughout the entire city of Los Angeles, to the entire state of California, to the entire country, to the entire continent, to the entire world. Almost the entire human population was smashed into nonexistence like a piece of gum under a boot.

These zombies weren't like the zombies you see on TV and in movies. Oh no, these zombies were far worse. They moved just as fast as they had when they were alive, and they were just as strong. Though they had no memories and no feelings anymore, they still had instincts, and therefore were rather smart in the ways they catch their food. Their food being those of use with still living flesh, like myself.

My name is Annabeth. Annabeth Chase. I'm seventeen years old. When the crisis struck my hometown of San Francisco my best friend, Thalia, and I were at the park doing what normal ten and twelve year old girls do: sit on the swing set and talk about boys.

Little did I know, my home was being attacked by dead bodies hungry for flesh. As Thalia and I chatted away about my latest crush on the neighbor boy, my stepmother was eaten alive, and my father and two younger brothers were bitten and damned to a non-life of the undead. Thalia and me were on our own. Almost on our own, that is.

I won't go into specifics quite yet, but lets just say that Thalia and I lost someone pretty special a year ago to these maggot-infested vermin. Ever since then we've been on the run, continuing the research the three of us had started.

Up until this morning, when we were ambushed that is. And now, we've caught up to the present tense…

The sun was brutal, beating down on the two of us and making the sweat from my forehead fall into my eyes. As if it wasn't hard enough to keep my eyes from watering in this rotten, smoggy air!

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