7 - Broadway Express - Ninth Car - Zane

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When he woke, he was covered in blood.

            There was a sound he couldn’t identify, a sound that was foreign to him, unknown. His eyes were filled brightness that struggled around a thick layer of red. It was a moment before he noticed the smell and knew that what covered him was blood.

            He wondered who’s it was. He carefully wiped away more blood and opened his eyes further. He immediately wished he hadn’t done so, however. The sound was made clear to him then as he watched a man, at least he thought it was a man, rip the head off of a female passenger and bathe in the artery blood that gushed forth.

            The pile of bodies around him suggested that the man had been at it a while. He was about to sit up, about to stand and ask this shit head what he thought was doing when someone grabbed his hand. He looked down and saw a woman, covered in blood as he was, clutching his hand. “Don’t move.” She said. “Not yet. They can’t sense you if you don’t move.”

            “What are you talking about?” He whispered.

            “Sssh!” She said. “He’s coming.”

            He lay back down and sure enough he heard the wet squelch of footsteps move nearer toward them. The sounds coming out of the man’s mouth couldn’t possibly be human. They were deep and resonant, sounds no human could make.

            The woman, her blond hair and face peeking through a layer of blood, squeezed his hand tighter. The thing shuffled further some more and let out a piercing cry of outrage. It did not notice them. Taking a moment, he looked around him and saw that the entire car of the subway train had been bathed in blood. It dripped slowly off of the walls, hitting the wet floor with loud, liquid plops.

            With another cry of outrage, the man that was a man, but was one no longer, leapt down the aisle of the subway car and wrenched the door at the other end open. He could feel the rush of wind, smelt he coppery scent of blood as the other car’s door opened and the sounds of people screaming in the eighth car. The doors slapped shut with a snap.

            The woman sat up first, her blood soaked hair heavy shining red. She looked at him. “You learn quick.” She said.

            “Thanks, I’m a quick study.” He took another look at the carnage around them. “Are you the only passenger left on this car?”

            She nodded. “He ate everyone else. Just tore their flesh off in strips.” Tears started to leak down her face. “I did the only thing I could think of. I covered myself in other people’s blood so that it wouldn’t smell me, find me.”

            “How did you know to do that?”

            She shook her head. “I don’t know.” She rubbed at her temples. “I heard a voice, clear as a bell, telling me what to do. I just followed the instructions.”

            “You had a hallucination?”

            She let out a bark of a laugh. “You can at least tell me your name if you think I’m fucking nuts.”

            “Zane.”

            She shook his hand, her grip wet and sticky. “I’m Poppy.” There were more screams coming to them from the tenth car and the eighth car. “So,” she said. “Where to first?” 

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