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LIFE was a recycled waste land ━ you're born, you soldier on, you die, you come back. Bill wasn't sure if there was a higher power that transported you to down under or above, if you eventually came back in the form of another baby destined to a life of unfulfillment, but sometimes it was as damaging to assume there was a repent in his future than continuing living day by day like he has nothing to lose. Because, he didn't. The virus started as a few confirmed cases in Los Angeles ━ or the cases of junkies in an abandoned church getting overrun by the biters and it only went south from there. Soon enough, his job as a security Paul R. Williams High School was put up for bids when the school began to get overrun and every kid was sent home. Neighborhoods were transformed into militia camps, food was rationed among the civilians, and riots exploded as people tried to escape the confines of the harsh martial law put into place. Bill can't even remember a time where there weren't citizens storming the troops keeping them contained, but he designated it as the new normal ━ there wasn't much going for them otherwise.

A skeleton was what Los Angeles was ━ rotten cars riddled the streets as people who tried to flee were met with an indisputable fate. It was only a shell of what it used to be, no one could even leave their designated safe zone unless they were assisting on patrol duty or were kicked out. They were only allowed to eat whatever was rationed to them that day ━ and Los Angeles was one of the last cities to get shipments, meaning what was left from the rest of the county was sent to them. Oftentimes he would have to fry Spam or half of an apple. Not to mention, the pipelines were either rotting, fractured, so clean water was hard to come by ━ and they were reserved to the children and the eldery first, and then progressed to the other groups. They were allowed to take one shower a week. It was more of a hose down, to be specific.

The beginning of the end was in the middle of the school day. Kids swarmed around phones during class, watching the videos surfacing online of the infected wandering the streets and getting shot down by law enforcement when they wouldn't obey their orders. Many began to protest the officers involved by criticizing their ways of keeping the virus contained, and the infected ━ civilians started to take it as a go to rob from stores, break into others, and drive recklessly all the while starting riots in the city square. The schools weren't any better, either. More and more parents pull their kids out as the days progressed and the case rate went up ━ Bill was advised to confiscate students and other people who came through the building in search for bites, or to be on watch for those who may show symptoms of being infected. Teachers were beginning to take an indefinite leave of absence or use up their sick days until the cases were kept under ━ more and more military began to bleed into the streets like they were in a war zone. Bill supposes they technically were, but he hadn't seen an infected person close up before, and when worst came to worst he was sure there would be some sort of reckoning. Judgement day had come a lot faster than he had anticipated.

The police shooting that had happened that day put the entire town into a frenzy. School was a half day, people were swarming the halls trying to find ways home, and Josephine Cabot skated down the linoleum hallway despite the students having to dive out her way. Papers skid from beneath the wheels of her battered skateboard, her earbuds plugged into her ears as the news played through her ear drums. Her heart was beating too fast in her chest for her liking as she made her way to her locker to try and gather her books before they left. Someone grabbed her wrist.

"I don't think you'll be needing any of that," a short chubby boy, Tobias was his name she assumed, shook his head. He had a knife in his hand and she retracted from her iron grasp rather quickly to avoid him. She didn't have many friends but she certainly didn't want to be associated with him.

Malevolent.         The Walking DeadWhere stories live. Discover now