ONE

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"You're going to have to kill her." Matt shouts, pinning the writhing girl with his body.

I stand frozen in place, because after all this time, I still never had to kill anyone. We were so good at hiding, we didn't have to be part of this. But not anymore. They found us and now there was nowhere left to hide.

"Addy, now!"

There's no time to waste. Any minute now she'll throw him off, going for the jugular. Once her teeth sink into Matt, there will be no saving him. I can't put us into any more danger, not again.

I snap to attention, bringing up the knife I've been gripping in my hand. One to the heart, one to the eye. Separate the head from the body and keep it separate. That's how you kill them. We learned that the hard way.

Just as I move, she throws Matt off, screaming with inhuman rage. The sounds shakes the walls around us, rattling my nerves further. Matt's on the floor, the wind knocked out of him and I'm afraid I won't get to him in time. But she's not interested in him any longer. She has already turned her attention on me.

Pushing off the balls of her feet, she flies at me with unnatural speed. We come together in a tangle of arms and legs, slamming into the floor below. Somehow I hold on to the knife and when her disfigured face looms over mine, I don't hesitate.

"I'm sorry, Molly." I say, as I plunge the knife deep into her chest.

She staggers back from me and the look of recognition comes back into her eyes. But I know it won't last. I've seen the people revert back to themselves as they die. But only as they die. Shutting my heart away from the pain, I bring my feet up and kick her farther away from me. The movement of her body rips the knife from her chest and I'm no longer hesitating. This time, I'm on her, pinning her down with my knees as I thrust the blade deep into her left eye.

Just like that, the light goes out. But I see the sense of relief in her gaze, if only for a moment. I stand, taking the knife with me, and surprisingly, I'm not shaking. I expected to be, but maybe that'll come later.

"Addy-" Matt's voice calls out to me from the darkness and I stagger toward him, dropping to my knees as he tries to sit up. "You okay?"

"I managed."

He gives me a small proud smile, looking me over to make sure I'm not injured. After a quick study, he pulls me up to a standing position. I don't want to look, but he walks over to the body to finish the job. The head must be burned if we're to kill the infection from spreading. I don't think I can do it. Not with her.

"I took care of it." Matt says from behind me and I turn around to see him holding a bag.

"We need to get out of here." I reply, thankful I'm not the one with the remains in her hands. "And find the others."

"They might not-"

"Don't say that!" I interrupt, much more sharply than I intend to. But I can't have Matt putting into words my darkest fears. I understand that if Molly was infected, there's a good chance the rest of them was too. But I won't fall into that pit of despair until I have actual proof in front of me.

"Let's just get back to the dorm," I say, a bit more in control. "And see where we stand."

I walk past Matt, without waiting for a reply. Stopping only long enough to pick up my knife, I wipe it against the first piece of cloth I come to, but I don't turn to look at where that knife has been.

I knew I'd had to kill one of them eventually. I just didn't think that my first kill would be my best friend.



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