Author's Note: Well, here's my first real story on here! You'll be happy to know I'm committed to updating this and I won't quit on it. I'm rating it T for now, but it might change to M depending on whether I think it's a bit much to handle.

Oh, by the by, this story is from my account on . Never heard of it? Of course. Anyway, my username there is "The Third Wheel".


The sun was beginning to set. Corpses were littered about, the amount of flies buzzing around as thick as a foggy morning. The stench of decay was thicker, and four still living figures and I were trying not to breathe too deeply.

"This is disgusting," I said. I dry heaved for a moment, stepping over a decapitated skull. "Where are we headed anyway?" It took me a while to realize I made a pun. I smirked despite of myself.

"Seriously, Larry, let's find shelter," Adrianna complained, frowning. "It's getting dark."

"Yeah, the stumblers are gonna come out soon," I added.

Larry sighed. He was a young guy, in his thirties, with slick black hair and a glint in his eyes that seemed to emanate cunningness. His face was oddly shaped like a fox, which added to the shifty atmosphere that surrounded him, like he was about to pickpocket you and you wouldn't know when. "We'll take shelter there," he said, looking up at the aquarium about a football-field's length away. The sign near it read "The Sea Basin" in big letters.

"But won't more stumblers be there? People go there a lot, and even the animals could've been bitten," Jeff said. That's true. Jeff normally thought of things that we all missed. And I certainly don'twant to have to fight off a rotting octopus that wants to eat my flesh.

"Who cares?" Julianna said. She spoke almost lightheartedly, her blonde hair strewn wildly underneath her beanie hat. "We can handle anything!"

"Larry?" I asked. He thought for a bit, and conceded.

"Alright. Let's go."

We walked to the light blue building with a new vigor in our step, knowing that it must be more comfortable than out here. I clutched my bow in my hand. It used to be a cliche before the world was overtaken, but it's pretty handy to have around. It makes less sound than a gun, so it won't alert any nearby stumblers if I have to shoot. My arrows stuck out of my backpack, at reach whenever I needed it.

We made it to the building, and Larry picked the lock to the double doors. He let us go in first, and I notched an arrow in anticipation. I noticed Julianna flex her fists, catching her brass knuckles underneath her gloves. Adrianna took out the gun she stole from a dead police man a few days ago.

The building still had power somehow. "What's up with the power?" I voiced. "Is there a generator?"

"Most likely," Jeff agreed. "Temperature control for the fish just in case of a power outage."

"That makes sense, I suppose," I nodded.

"I wonder how long it's been running," Adrianna pondered.

We all became quiet, walking around silently, looking around for any movements.

"Fan out," Larry said, his voice echoing amidst the sound of running water. "Check everywhere." I went the farthest right, looking around in the shadows. Nothing so far. I took a deep breath to calm myself down.

Whoosh. Wait. What was that? I turned on my heel, looking around wildly. I saw no one in sight, Larry and the others must've been checking around. I could've sworn there was someone else there. It couldn't've been a stumbler, could it?

"Uh... anyone there?" I called out. I expected some sort of roar, or growl, but instead heard nothing, the sound of running water becoming increasingly annoying. "Huh." It must've been the wind, or a mouse, or something.

I crept along, trying to make as little noise as possible, but each step I took in my hiking boots somehow found a way to obnoixiously tap. My frustration building, I stopped, my nostrils flaring. When I decided it might be smarter to take off my boots, I almost didn't hear the moan over the water, hands clamping over my mouth.

It took a while to register what was happening, yet I knew I had to react a quickly as I possible could if I didn't want to be bitten. The stench alerted me first, and I reached for my knife, the blade being caught on my belt.

Help! I tried to call out. But those disgusting, decayed claws blocked all sound from escaping my mouth. I thrashed around, feeling the teeth sink into the scarf around my neck, feeling his hot, foul-smelling breath against my skin, the skin I wanted so very dearly to protect. Get it off! Get it off!The more I struggled, the more difficult it became for the creature to hold me. We fell to the ground, and I slid from its grasp, throwing off the scarf and notching my bow, sending an arrow into the head of what tried to devour me, the sound of the arrow hitting the tile through the skull causing my knees to buckle.

It... it was dead. Was it? I shot another arrow at it just to make sure, my heart sprinting against my chest. Each beat sent pulses of shivers through my body, and I groped my neck, checking for bites.

"Ohh," I sighed. The scarf protected me. Nevertheless, I dropped my backpack on the floor, fishing around for the small first aid kit I carried around. After I found it, I ripped open three packs of the alcohol swabs, scrubbing the skin on my neck raw just to be sure, and stuffing the garbage into the pants pocket of the stumbler, so when we burned it, nobody would know I wasted supplies.

"Guys," I called out, desperately wanting other, more living, company. "You there?"

But then Julianna screamed, her shrill voice piercing the silence that originally coated the building.