Warning: contains blood and gore, intense violence, and Harsh language.
He opened his eyes when he heard a faint sound of someone crying. His eyelids drooped and he could see only blurred shapes ahead of him. A sharp pain coursed through his head and he grimaced. His ears rung loudly as he groaned in pain, his lips feeling dry and cut. His body felt heavy, as if it were being held up. That's when he realized a tight coldness encased his wrists and ankles.
He heard the crying getting louder. Then another voice, a male voice, spoke up, but he couldn't quite make out the words. He looked around wearily, "Where...? what..." He muttered.
The crying became more audible once his ears had stopped ringing. Whoever was crying sounded definitely feminine. It was a woman's voice, "W-w-we're gonna die aren't we! And after all we've been through just to survive for this long!" The girl sobbed as he heard a metal clang hitting the wall next to him.
"Just shut up already..." A man with a low hoarse voice replied next to the woman.
He tried to make out who it was that was talking and who exactly was crying, but his vision remained blurred and dark. As he tried to move his wrists and feet, he could hear a familiar clanging sound. That's when he realized...
He was chained to a concrete wall. A damp, cold, hard concrete wall. Memories of what had happened to get him in this mess flashed in his mind. He wondered...
Was this where he'd finally die?
Like a beaten kid stuck in a cage, chained to a wall?
Suddenly, pain flooded every part of his body. For as long as he could remember, he was able to miraculously survive somehow, whether it'd be luck or instinct. So many times he'd been so near to death and lived. So many times he felt hopeless and weak, but never had he felt as hopeless as he did now. All his hopes, dreams, and courage of survival seemed to fade from him like water leaking in his boat, sinking it to the depths of the ocean until it would hit rock bottom. The friends he had made, everything he did now seemed like a total waste of time. Right now, all he was was a broken and beaten teenager, stripped of his pride, and trapped like a rat. What a waste of effort.
Even when they'd finally found the truth. The real truth behind all this mess. He had been so close.
He could remember back in time how he met the general. How he met the only best friends he'd ever had. When they'd met Eddie. When they'd all do the stupidest things sometimes. When they did all they could ever do to survive and live. How he cried so many times before when he thought it was the end of him. How much he knew. About their personalities, the things that made them hurt, that made them happy or sad. Even the stupidest little things.
At least he got to meet people who knew how it felt to feel alone. At least he had really tried. But now luck wasn't on his side this time. He had failed for trying to set things straight.
This was his consequence for that.
Chapter 1: Escape
Duffy inhaled deeply through his lips and held it as he cocked the shot gun. He then pulled it up to his face lightly touching his cheek. It felt cold and hard. He closed one eye and focused on the target that hung twenty feet away from where he stood.
Focus, Tim. Clear your head. You need to clear your head, he thought to himself as he held the gun as still as he could manage. It seemed to wobble a bit and this annoyed him. This time, he'll shred that target. Even after months of training, he should be able to just hit that pathetic piece of paper good.
Sighing, Duffy blew his thick, dark brown bangs out of his eyes. His one ice blue eye concentrated ahead. His hands started to feel clammy under the gun. With his finger lightly on the trigger, he pulled it. It fired with a loud bang as the bullet whizzed past the paper target, grazing the right side of it.
He dropped the gun to his side and sighed deeply. Another miss. Great.
"Was your head clear, kid?" A deep voice from behind made him jump. He spun around on his heel to see who it was.
A very tall, built man wearing a military officer suit stood behind him with his hands clasped behind his back. He had a buzz cut and his hazel eyes shined with glee. He smirked, a smile no one but this man would have.
It was the general.
Duffy rubbed the back of his head nervously and looked away, "Uh, yeah. I just missed is all. "
"Don't stress over it. You'll hit it soon enough. Give it time. It just takes practice. You have to have fighting experience out there, you know." The general paced, walking slowly from left to right.
"Yeah. I...I know." But Duffy knew he was right. The general was always right.
He had only been training with the general for a few months now and he still couldn't even fire a shot gun. What could you expect a fifteen-year-old to do now with all the pressure of being in a world where creatures other than you now roamed. When he was young was when the monsters started showing up for a reason know one knows why. He began to call them Ghouls for how big and ugly and black they were. He could tell the human race was rapidly decreasing. Ever since he was young, his parents were eaten by those monsters. He'd been alone then, wondering the streets mournfully. But before he was about to get eaten himself, the general swooped in and decided to take him in, just like he had with numerous of other people. He'd saved countless lives on the streets and maybe even in houses. Now they were all training to fight those monsters alongside the general. Duffy had been the youngest of the group. Everyone else was either eighteen or older and he hated it. But as long as they were all in the general's secret base, the Ghouls couldn't touch them.
The general stalked off on business, leaving Duffy alone holding the shotgun. He went into the locker rooms, carrying the shot gun lazily. Sweat matted his forehead and he wiped it with the back of his free hand.
He lurched forward when a hand slapped him in the back, "Yo, Duff man! Time to hit the showers! Get a move on!" the man that slapped him shouted.
"Yeah, yeah." Duffy muttered, rubbing the spot on his back where the man slapped him.
Duffy fell frontwards onto his bed after his shower and buried his face in the soft blue blanket. He then pulled himself up to his pillow and lay on his stomach, dressed in jeans and a white collar shirt. He didn't care to put pajamas on, he was just so tired. Wet hair covered and soaked his pillow as he gently closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep...
Duffy turned around at the sound of his mother's voice calling to him from a distance.
He suddenly found himself standing in the greenest garden he'd ever seen. Trees surrounded him, with flowers poking up from the beautiful grass. He could feel the warmth of the sun shining on his face. He looked down. When had he been barefoot? When he looked up again, his mother was standing in front of him. She leaned in, one of her hands on her knee. He looked at her other hand, which was closed in.
"Timothy, look. I have to show you something!" She said excitedly. Duffy just stared at her as her hand slowly opened.
A beautiful blue butterfly sat in the palm of her hand, it's wings slowly flapped in place. His eyes widened at the creature, "See?! Isn't it beautiful?" His mother chirped.
It is, he thought in surprise at how vibrant its colors were. He brought his hand up and, with hesitation, he slowly reached over to try and touch it. But just as he was about to, he felt a shudder beneath him as the ground shook.
Duffy looked up at his mother's face. It was now contorted in horror. Concern washed over him as the ground shook again, catching him off balance. He wobbled on his bare feet before standing straight again. He looked up above the trees behind his mother when something huge stood behind the treetops. It's footsteps shook the earth before them.
Duffy's eyes went wide with fear, his mouth gaping at the sight. He shot his gaze back down towards his mothers face. She looked horror stricken as she stood in shock.
With his hand cupped around his mouth, he attempted to shout at his mother to run. Instead, not a sound came from his mouth. He put a hand to his throat and struggled to try and scream that something was behind her, but no matter how hard he tried, no sound could escape his lips.
Duffy's eyes shot open only to be greeted with sunlight beaming down at him from his window. He blinked as his breathing came out in short, rapid breaths. Cold sweat ran down his back and forehead. His blanket was bundled between his legs as he now lay sprawled on his back.
A knock on the door caused him to jump, "Duffy! Get up! You can't sleep all day!" The voice behind the door snapped impatiently. It must be one of the general's henchman.
Duffy groaned, turning and shoving his face into his pillow. The guy pounded on his door now as a sign to seriously get up, "Ugh..." Duffy exclaimed as rose up on his knees. The man pounded on the door again, even louder than the last, "I'm up, I'm up! Stop pounding!" Duffy called annoyingly.
"Don't snap at me, brat! It's general's orders!" He could hear the man shout before he shuffled down the hall.
Duffy stumbled to his feet. He grabbed his alarm clock and squinted at the time. It's only four a.m.! He thought bitterly, They seriously had to wake me now?! At this early in the morning?! He thought as he put a hand to his face.
A few minutes later, Duffy opened the door, rubbing one of his eyes. He walked down the hall with his hands in his jean pockets. He wore the same cloths as yesterday when he fell asleep. He yawned loudly as he made his way downstairs. The smell of sweat and body odor hit his nose. Everybody was already down here practicing shooting and hand-to-hand combat.
He stepped up to one of the big men hitting a punching bag roughly and asked, "Hey, do you know where the general is?"
The man stopped punching to turn to him. He wiped sweat from his brow and answered, "Don't know, kid. Said he was on lookout duty."
Hm. That's weird. Why would he be on lookout this early in the morning? Duffy thought to himself curiously.
Suddenly, the general burst in through the double doors to the far left with a loud bang, "Everyone take cover!" He shouted.
Duffy raised his eyebrows at the sudden intrusion, "What-?"
"Get loaded! Everyone grab your guns! Knives, anything you can find!" The general shouted as he stomped towards the gun shelf to the far side of the training room. He snatched up a bundle of machine guns and pistols.
Duffy ran up to the general in alarm as everyone started bustling around, "What's going on?! Why is everybody running around?!" he asked, following the general as he stomped back through the double doors and out into a big hallway.
"It looks like they infiltrated our base! We have to stop them and get out of here ASAP! Where's your weapon, this is no time for fussing!" The general shouted, his breath coming out in pants.
Duffy suddenly stopped short behind the general. He watched as the man ran out of his sight. They?! Who is he talking about?! He's not talking about-! He thought as panic began to bubble inside him.
All of a sudden, the building shook, knocking Duffy off his feet. He cried out when he stumbled to the wall on his right and placed his hands on it to keep his balance. A loud boom sounded down the hall ahead of him. Pieces of the ceiling crumbled, a few plopping to the ground. "Ugh..." Duffy grunted as he shoved himself off the wall and ran down the hall as the walls shook, "General!" he shouted.
He ran into the main room, catching his breath. He stood in shock.
The generals men stood in all spaces of the room, shooting through a gigantic hole that was busted in the upper part of the ceiling. It looked as if someone had taken a bulldozer to it. Men scouted the area, some on their bellies, others standing behind pieces of fallen rubble. They shouted to one another, firing machine guns at a big black shadow that stood through the hole in the ceiling. Smoke covered the shadow, making it hard to make out. Duffy glanced around, but couldn't see the general anywhere.
Ghouls suddenly started pouring in through the hole. They tackled the men, causing them to scream in panic. The others tried to shoot them but were soon tackled as well. There were hordes of them flooding through.
Blood hit Duffy's horrified face. No...They shouldn't have been able to get in! This base was unbreakable! So how did they...? He cut his thoughts off when he realized he had been standing in shock in the middle of all this havoc the whole time.
Duffy quickly jumped behind a large piece of rubble that had fallen from the ceiling, next to a burly man in a grey, dirty tank top and black cargo jeans holding a machine gun. Duffy flinched when he spoke, "I'm gonna get those bastards even if it kills me!" The man cocked his gun.
To Duffy's surprise, the man jumped out from his hiding place. He turned and stretched out a hand after the man's running figure, "No, wait-!" Before Duffy could finish his sentence, a Ghoul tackled the man in a black blur. It roared and the man screamed as he hit the ground. Duffy's eyes widened and his heart raced at the sight. Turning away, he pressed his back against the giant piece of rubble with both hands on both sides. He shut his eyes when he could hear the man's blood splatter.
Duffy needed to find the general before he ended up like that. He peaked over the rubble, peering over the numerous men to try and spot the general, but he was nowhere in sight. Blood and bodies were everywhere.
Crap! I'm gonna have to run for it! Duffy thought as he sprung out from behind the rubble. He ran around the men getting eaten to try and desperately get out of this mess. Screams and cries filled his ears and It was almost unbearable.
Suddenly, a ghoul rammed its body into Duffy, knocking him down as his back hit the floor. He gasped as his breath was knocked out of him. The Ghoul sat on top of him, screeching and swiping it's claws violently at him.
"Aaahh!" Duffy cried out, attempting to shield himself with his arms. The Ghoul ripped and shredded his white sleeves, tearing claw marks into his forearms. He grimaced in pain and the ghoul opened its mouth to take a big bite out of him.
The ghoul flew sideways and off of Duffy as something big smacked it in the head. He looked up through his arms to see the general staring down at him, his gun perched on his shoulder, "What are you doing?! Let's go!" He reached down and snatched Duffy's wrist roughly, causing him to cry out, and pulled him up off the floor, "If you dawdle you really will be killed!" The general shouted over the sound of guns and men.
Duffy's eyes widened when he saw a figure and he pointed ahead of the general, "General! Behind you!" he screamed in alarm.
A small black ghoul leaped for the general with its claws out and ready to tear him to shreds. The general spun around and swung the gun, ramming it in the face and knocking it away.
Th-This isn't happening! No way! Duffy thought maniacally. He fell to his knees and clutched his ears with his hands in attempt to drown out the blood curdling screams and gunfire.
The general spun around when felt Duffy's wrist slip away from his hand. He bent down in front of him, "Duffy, get a hold of yourself! We're getting out of here! I need you to cooperate with me! All the men are being killed right now, it's just the two of us! Now get up!" He shouted in Duffy's face.
Without another thought, the impatient general snatched him up by the wrist and yanked him from behind as he stomped through the chaos. Duffy tripped and stumbled, not expecting to be forced on his feet. The general wacked and shot Ghouls every which way. Duffy looked up through the broken ceiling when he heard an ear piercing roar.
A giant black ghoul stood roaring through the hole in the ceiling. It's eyes glowed red as it's big jaws gaped with dinosaur teeth lining its gums. It had a snout like that of a bat and ears like that of an elf. It stood on its hind legs, its long arms reaching all the way to its knees with its big meaty claws. He then realized that they had been running right at it!
"No! Wait! Stop! We can't get through!" Duffy shouted in panic, trying to pry his wrist out from under the generals strong hold.
The general tightened his grip, "We're getting out of here! Trust me!" He hollered, running even faster than before at the giant thing.
Once they reached the giant Ghoul, the general dropped down and ran between its feet, dragging Duffy along with him. Duffy screamed when he suddenly slipped from the general's hold and flew sideways, out of the generals reach. He tumbled across the floor, landing roughly on his stomach as he let out a loud grunt.
"Tim!" The general called from behind the monster.
Duffy looked above him in time to see a giant paw coming down towards him. He rolled sideways in panic as it smashed into the ground next to him, rocks and debris flying every which way. He exclaimed as the force of the blow caused him to skid across the floor. With a loud crash, He smashed into a piece of rubble with his back first. A gasp escaped his throat out of the pain in his back.
"Duffy, Get up!" The general shouted, picking Duffy up around the waist and under his muscular arm. He ran past the gigantic ghoul as he busted through the double doors that led to the outside. Ghouls covered the parking lot. With his free hand, the general shot at the ghouls with his gun. He ducked when one of them attempted a leap for him and it crashed into the car behind him.
Suddenly, the general spotted a big black jeep. That was his ticket out of here. Duffy flailed his arms and legs as the general fought through the ghouls towards the jeep. Once he reached it, he whipped open the passenger door and thrust Duffy in the seat like a sack of potatoes. The general wrestled with an ongoing ghoul before slamming Duffy's door shut. He then made his way to the driver's side. He jumped in and shut the door just as a ghoul smashed into the window. Finding the keys on the dashboard, he started up the jeep.
"Aaahh!" Duffy screamed as he saw a ghoul clawing and scraping at his window. He lay on his back, his legs up towards his chest with his arms flailed like he was when the general threw him in.
The jeep bolted forward, knocking the ghouls off the jeep. Duffy screamed again as he sat up, clasping the sides of his seat in panic. He tried to breathe, but just couldn't find it in him. This can't be happening! It's all a nightmare! Yeah, that's right! A total nightmare! He thought desperately.
"Tim...Tim...! Timothy!" Duffy jumped when the generals voice interrupted his thoughts, "Calm down! We're gonna get out of this!"
Panic suddenly washed over Duffy again, "You don't understand! They'll tear us to shreds-!" He was cut off when a big black claw tore through the ceiling of the jeep, causing it to swerve. Duffy screamed again as he watched the ghoul tear the top of ceiling off right above his head. The general sped up, but it wasn't enough. The ghoul screeched and ripped large pieces of the top off. Duffy ducked and covered his head, ready for the impact.
Suddenly, his body was jerked forward when the general stopped the jeep abruptly. Duffy looked up and over at the general when he shot the jeep forward again into drive. Duffy cried out as he jerked forward again. He could hear the ghoul tumble off the top of the jeep when he sped up again. He glanced behind his shoulder as it tumbled across the road.
He turned back towards the general, "This is crazy!" he shouted.
"You don't think I know that?! Calm down!" The general shouted back in his face.
The window next to Duffy suddenly shattered. Duffy brought his arms up to protect himself from the glass shards. A ghoul was crouched on the side of the jeep, swiping in through the window. Duffy yelled when it snatched his shirt. He gripped the ghouls long, scaly arm to pry it off of him. Spit hit him in the face as it roared. He turned his head away and squeezed his eyes shut. Its mouth came to a mere inch from his face until...
Duffy suddenly felt a sharp jerk. He could feel the jeep tilting sideways as he tumbled back first into the general. The ghoul flew from the window as it screeched loudly. Duffy started to stumble around as the jeep began to roll across the road. He could feel glass shards hitting him, each hit against the ceiling and the seat taking his breath away.
It wasn't long before he hit something hard on his back, the jar causing him to roll. He stopped a feet away on his stomach with his arms out in front of him and his legs sprawled out. His face and body burned and he felt like he couldn't move.
Am I dead? he thought.
Duffy realized he was alive when a sudden agony filled his body. He groaned loudly as he lifted his head to see what happened. His eyes widened at what he saw.
Fire surrounded the road he lay on and the crashed jeep. Dead ghouls lay scattered along the road and in the distance. Blood caked the ground from the ghouls, of course. The jeep lay upside down, the bottom half covered in fire. He stared at the mess. I must've flown out of the jeep when it tumbled...He thought.
Duffy sat up on his knees, suddenly feeling a sharp pain in his stomach. He looked down and shock began to creep up to his face.
Blood soaked through his white collar shirt. It dripped on the road from the deep gash in his midsection. His shirt was ripped and tattered along with his jeans. He could see little shards of glass poking up from his thighs, arms, and stomach. Deep claw marks stung on his forearms. Scrapes and bruises coated his body.
He clutched his stomach painfully. Everything happened so fast...I don't know how I...Duffy thought, putting a hand to his forehead. Something wet soaked his palm. He brought it back down and saw blood cake his hand. His head was bleeding.
Wait a minute...The general! Duffy realized he couldn't see the general anywhere. He stood up painfully, "General!" He shouted as a sharp sting rippled through his leg, causing him to stumble awkwardly on his feet. He glanced at his foot. It was bleeding badly as if someone took a knife to it.
Duffy looked up again and continued to limp-run after the crashed Jeep, "General! Where are you?!" He shouted again.
"Tim..." A low moan sounded toward the jeep.
That's when he saw him laying under the jeep. His eyes widened, "General!" he limped and knelt down on his knees, "C'mon! We have to get out of here!"
"I...can't move..."The general spluttered as he strained to get the words out. Duffy examined the generals body. His legs were crushed under the weight of the vehicle, the fire flickering dangerously close. Blood soaked just above his thighs. His head bled and shards of glass stuck out from his back.
Duffy clamped a hand over his mouth and grimaced at the horrible sight. Tears began to prick his eyes, This can't be happening! It can't be! He thought bitterly.
The general reached up and gripped his forearm roughly. Duffy jumped and looked painfully at the generals face, tears streaking his face, "Tim, listen to me...You have to run..."
Duffy stared at him shockingly. He knew what he was getting at.
He wanted him to leave him here.
"No! I'm not leaving you! I'll...I'll get you out! Just hold on!" Duffy stumbled to his feet and gripped the edge of the jeep to try and lift it off of the generals legs. He grunted and pulled, but it only lifted an inch before falling again. Duffy fell backwards at the pain his foot, "Auugh!" He exclaimed as he gripped his foot.
"Duffy...You can't lift it...They're coming, " The generals gazed went towards the right.
Duffy turned in his direction to see what he was looking at. A hoard of ghouls were running towards them. His eyes widened, "No...No way...how did they..." He stuttered.
"Take this..." The general pressed a cold hard gun into Duffy's hand. Duffy stared down at it. It was his AK-47 that he used to fight the ghouls. He spit blood as he spoke, "You need to run..."
Duffy began to sob loudly, "No! I won't! Not until you come with me!" he screamed.
"Don't be stupid...!" The general choked, "I'll be okay...You still have a long life ahead of you...So get going..."
"Don't say that!" He yelled as It became hard for Duffy to breathe through his tears, "I'll...I'll get you out! Then we'll find shelter and everything will be back to normal!"
The general glared at him, "You can't possibly think that will happen..."
Duffy flinched, "B...But...!"
"If you stay here...You'll die...And if you do...It will only make all my efforts worthless..."
Duffy stared at the general as a mix of emotions starting building up. The ghouls screeches were becoming louder, causing him to wince. The general spoke again, "Now you have to run...Hurry up, I'm losing my patience...!"
Duffy grit his teeth and squeezed his eyes shut in regret.
Regret at what he was about to do.
Suddenly, he bolted up from the ground and took off in a run down the road. Pain shot up his injured foot, but he continued to run as fast as he could. Tears blurred his vision as he screamed in his head, General...!
"Aaahh!" Duffy screamed and fell forward with his arms up when he heard the loud explosion. The gun skidded across the road a few feet away from him. His body hit the road elbows first on his stomach as he covered his head in panic. He turned fearfully to see what exploded behind him.
The jeep was now totally ablaze in the fire. Ashes and pieces of metal rained down from the sky. Some landed along Duffy's feetas he stared at the explosion in utter shock. He knew exactly what happened.
The Jeep exploded.
Duffy sat up on his knees quickly and spun to face the explosion, an orange glow lighting up his beaten face and making the blood shine. His face contorted in horror, "General!" He screamed at the top of his lungs. He fell back down on his hands in defeat, tears dripping on the road from his eyes. The glow made them shine as they hit the pavement. Guilt flooded him and the feeling felt almost unbearable.
Suddenly, the screeches of Ghouls pierced his ears. His eyes shot up and he glanced upward. The ghouls were now crawling over and around the jeep towards him. They glared at him with hungry red eyes.
Duffy fell back on his behind now, opening his mouth to scream, but nothing would come out. When he realized what he had to do, he spun around, snatched up the gun and ran for it. He grit his teeth at the fresh pain that coursed throughout his body. His legs felt as if they were made of lead.
He glanced over his shoulder. They were gaining on him, fast. He turned back and tried to limp faster, but his legs wouldn't cooperate. Suddenly, they gave out and he fell to the ground on one knee. Groaning, he pushed himself to get up. He managed to stumble to his feet again. I...I can't...He thought as his legs stumbled around as he tried desperately to run. He could hear the ghouls coming dangerously closer now. Duffy panted as he struggled to move.
He glanced over his shoulder again to find a ghoul right behind him, "Aaaah!" He screamed as it swiped its claw at him. He ducked under the blow just as his legs gave out once more.
No! Not now! He thought desperately as he hit the road. He tried to stand again, but his legs wouldn't go. Instead, he dropped onto his stomach and attempted to crawl away.
Suddenly, a sharp pain pierced Duffy's back. He cried out and fell flat again. The ghoul roared and jumped onto his back.
No! Keep going! I can't die here! He thought and, with a grunt, Duffy rolled onto his back, squashing the ghoul that crawled on his back. At that moment, another ghoul appeared above him. he rolled the opposite direction just as its claw smashed into the road. As quickly as possible, he pushed up with his hands and stumbled forward onto his feet again. The ghoul jumped at Duffy just as he turned around again with the gun in his hands. He fired aimlessly at it, shooting it almost several times before it collapsed. More ghouls came behind it and Duffy just kept shooting. Bullets hit them every which way and they fell almost instantly.
When there were no more left to shoot, Duffy stood frozen with the gun still in his hands. He stared at the dead ghouls for a long moment as if to make sure they were all dead. When none of them moved, he fell to his knees, dropping the gun once more.
He wheezed hoarsely as his body trembled. He couldn't believe what had happened. If I go to sleep, will I wake up with everything back to normal? He thought tiredly. He fell onto his back, feeling utterly exhausted. He stared at the bright blue sky. His eyelids drooped heavily as his body went numb with pain.
He was a survivor.
A/N: Hope you liked it! Read and Review! Seriously it's the only thing that keeps me motivated! ;D