Welcome! Please take a moment to consider going to the revised edition of this story. It is not complete yet but has extra chapters and less errors. Or, if you'd prefer to read the entire (for lack of a better word) story now, feel free to read this.
Note: This story sprang from a long conversation involving my friend Madison and I planning what we would do during a zombie apocalypse. If a stranger had passed by and listened to our conversation that day, they may have believed that we were well prepared for a zombie invasion. We told a story of bravery, heroism, epic one-liners and happy endings. This is not that story.
The only thing I ever needed to fear in my life was other people.
Sure, when I was younger there was the boogeyman, the shadow people lurking just beyond my vision in the dark, ghosts, and other supernatural projections from the overly imaginative mind of a young child to haunt my dreams. The fear of the unknown has stalked people for centuries, and hundreds of thousands of people all over the world succumb to these irrational phobias, the paranoia that can spread so quickly that it is too late to realize what you really should be afraid of is the way your fear makes you act. Countless people have died because of unfounded fear, and countless more will die still.
But the real, tangible dangers were always from some other person. Your neighbor, your teacher, your uncle. The beings that looked like you, walked, talked, and acted like you. Not some scary werewolf with sharp teeth and pointed claws. Not an invisible malevolent force wreaking havoc in your home, making things go bump in the night. The real, raw terrors always came from some messed up individual or individuals who hide in plain sight amongst the rest of us. The child molester doesn't always look like a creepy man, maybe he's the attractive blonde with the nice car. The murderer doesn't walk around in long dark trench coats splattered in blood— maybe he's the smart looking, sharply dressed business man with a family of four. And for some reason, that makes it all the scarier.
I guess it's only fitting that the first supernatural, how-the-hell-can-this-be-possible event to happen to me involved what I feared most— people. And though people themselves are frightening in their own respect, I found that death can make just about anything a hundred times more appalling. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
So perhaps I should start from before all the shit hit the fan. Maybe I should tell you about myself and my family, my life previous to this one, and maybe you'll feel sorry for me. Or, maybe even more realistically, you'll just feel glad you're not in my shoes.
I was a normal teenager, by most people's standards. It sounds weird saying that, considering what just happened. But I was happy. Naïve, standard, not too smart, just blissful in my averageness.
I had two loving parents, a sister who I sometimes got along with, and a bunch of great friends who supported me. Life was pretty good.
I was a contented eighteen year old with my life ahead of me to think about. I never did anything bad, never committed a felony, never did drugs. Actually, now that I think about it, life was pretty monotonous. Lame, boring, lacking in life experiences.
I didn't do much, sure, but I had my interests. Folklore, scary movies, books— I spent my days reading and learning instead of partying and gallivanting. I always liked the classic movie monsters— the mummy, Dracula, werewolves, all of that, mostly because they weren't part of the real world and I never had to worry about really being afraid of them. You didn't have to be too smart to realize that if you walked in the forest you weren't going to get eaten by the Wolfman, that ancient Egyptian curses didn't bring dead Pharaohs back to life, or that a caped weirdo lapping blood from your neck was going to turn you into a soulless bloodsucker yourself. But they were fun, otherworldly, and that's why I liked them. It's when you thought of serial killers and child rapists and cannibals and atrocities real people commit that the fear stopped being fun and turned into something... else.