Waking Up Dead

It was mankind's most fatal mistake. What happened in that year could only be called a fluke; a freak accident. It was an experiment of sorts, testing a virus that would supposedly kill soft-flies, an insect that nested in and ate coniferous trees. It was becoming quite a large problem in Newfoundland, and so they tried the virus.

Too bad they couldn't see what would happen, see the evil they would release into the would. Too bad they didn't know that the virus had mutated into a grotesque disease. A disease that would not only affect the pesky soft-flies, but humans as well. But they couldn't see and they didn't know and the next day they released the thing into the western Newfoundland forest.

I remember that night well. I was visiting a friend in Corner Brook that week, and we were out hiking. He insisted that we take the long trail, saying that it was the most beautiful. Unfortunately, unknown to us, it was also the closest to the virus release area.

"Damian, what is that up there?" I said, pointing to a grey/white mist that had enveloped the sky.

"I don't know." He confessed in bewilderment. "It looks like some sort of pest control. Probably is. I know they were going to be releasing a virus thingy in a few weeks, but that shouldn't be this."

As I continued to look at the cloud, it appeared to be alive, and more so with every passing second. It took me a few minutes to realize that the cloud was headed this way. I didn't know what that virus, if that's what it was, could do to a human, nor did I want to find out.

"Uh, Damian, I think we should leave." I was starting to get uneasy, something I hadn't felt since I was a small child.

"Yeah. Let's get the hell out of here Ally." We started walking briskly down the trail that lead home. I chanced a glance back as we walked and instantly regretted it. The thing was right behind us.

"Run!" I shouted needlessly, knowing that we could never outrun it. Still, we tried, our feet pounded the ground beneath us, our hearts beating friviously in our chests. It was too late though, much too late. I felt the thing overtake me and my friend, knocking us to the ground, burning our bodies everywhere it touched. As we panted, our lungs gasping for air, the virus entered our bodies, scorching our throats as it sped to infect us.

After awhile the pain subsided and I had a chance to look around. I was surprised that I was even alive, sure that something that caused that much pain would have killed me. I realized that the virus, or whatever the hell it was, was gone, moved on. I also realized that while everything looked and seemed the same, something was different. At first I couldn't quite place it. And then I knew. I don't know how, maybe the way every sound was echoed or maybe the way I could see every detail of every leaf of the trees surrounding me, but I knew. I didn't have a heart beat. And for that matter, neither did Damian.

"Damian." I tried to say, but couldn't. I was puzzled. My throat felt fine, like nothing should be wrong with it, yet I couldn't speak. I came to my second realization then' I wasn't breathing. I panicked and sucked in a lungful of glorious air and was relieved to find that I could still breathe. I tried my voice again.

"Damian?" It worked. "Are you okay?"

"Except for the fact that I have no pulse and don't need to breathe? Yeah, I'm fine. Jesus, what the hell happened?" As if I knew. All I cared was that Damian was okay. I leaned over and kissed him gently on the lips, my eyes closed.

"I'm so glad you're alright. I would've been so lost without you." I told him. Well, it was true.

"Come on, we should go." He replied, his cheeks reddening with embarrassment. "I'm glad you're okay too." He whispered. If it hadn't been for my recently acute hearing, I wouldn't have heard him at all.

It was strange. Our lives had just taken a drastic turn and we said almost nothing about it. I ran my tongue over my teeth - something I do when I'm nervous or embarrassed - and gave a small yelp as I felt something sharp pierce my tongue. The sensation was followed by an odd coppery taste...blood.

"Something wrong, Ally?" My friend asked.

"I don't know. Bit my tongue, I guess."

"Here, let me see." I opened my mouth for him and he stepped closer, examining my tongue. If the situation hadn't been so serious, I would have felt extremely stupid.

"My God, Ally!" He stepped back from me, his mouth open in terror. There was something odd about it, the way his top lip stuck out. "You've...you've got fangs!"

I reached my hand to my mouth an felt around, hoping against hope that he was playing some sick joke. He wasn't. That's when I noticed that he had them too. It hit me then, what had really happened. It just hit me.

"Damian, you have them too." I spoke quietly. "You know what we are, Damien?" He shook his head, but he knew. "You know, Damian."

"No." He said, almost a whimper. "NoNoNoNo."

"Yes, Damian." I said sadly. "We are vampires. The undead.." I finished, and when I did, I felt the hunger come over me. It was horrific. I craved something. Blood? My unbeating heart jumped at the though, and something else forced itself to the front of my mind. Yes, that was what I wanted. And I smelled it, too. Another human.

"Ally? Do you feel that?" Damian asked me. "Oh God. This can't be right." So he felt it too, the hunger...the need. "I smell them." Those were the words the boy could get out of his mouth before the hunger took him. He gave me a knowing look and took off in the direction of the smell. He stopped once and turned his head to me, catching me with his golden eyes, calling to me. I followed him swiftly, not thinking, just doing. I was ecstatic in my hunt.

Finally we came upon them. They were the scientists from Raven Industries, the creators of the virus that had changed us. It infuriated me, seeing them in their white suits, safe from the virus that would change them. The hunger that had led me and Damian to them was only infuriated by my range. I wondered if they knew what they had created. If they didn't, they would soon find out. I would show them.

Damian crept up behind one of the white suits while I took on the other. I yanked his plastic helmet off his head and spun him to face me.

"You did this." I said, my eyes glowing golden. "You want to see what you've done? I'll show you." I hissed in his ear. I tilted his head roughly to the side and sank my newly formed fangs into his skin. I drank his blood, enjoying every drop. I wouldn't have been able to stop, even if I wanted to.

As my hunger subsided and I became myself again, I was horrified at what I had done, what I had become. As I looked at Damian and the other dead scientist, I became aware of another emotion, an older emotion. I dropped the body and walked over to my partner. I lifted his chin and looked deep into his eyes.

"I...I killed him, Ally." He seemed disturbed by that fact, and no wonder. "My God, I'm a murderer." I kissed him then, more passionately than we had earlier. I realized that I had always felt for him and I was saddened that I hadn't known before I changed.

"We'll get through this." I told him. "Together".