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Almost a week had gone by since the virus outbreak. The world was plunged into a real life Hell on earth with blood sucking zombies. Anybody could be bitten, infected and turned. Nearly seven days ago a group of friends took asylum inside a petrol station from the God forsaken blood-suckers. They were originally waiting to pick up a friend, but unfortunately ... he never turned up.

Katrina opened her eyes with a start. A sudden movement caught her and they darted around. She saw sitting silhouette as she sat up. “Mark?” She whispered and rubbed her eyes. She had been sleeping on the floor on top of her jacket

“Katrina,” he recognised in a dreary tone. His silhouette moved as he glanced back at the squinting Katrina. “Sorry I woke up. I ... I couldn’t sleep.” Then he went back to staring into the horizon. He was sitting on top of the counter with his legs crossed underneath him and his head hung low. He was distressed.

"It's OK," she assured and quickly examined the others.

Jay and Jemma were both proper up against the wall on her right, their coats over their knees and ended just under their chins. Jemma’s head was resting on his shoulder and his on the top of her head.

Katrina slowly stood up, trying not to make too much of a rustle. “Are you sure you should be sitting near the window like that?” She questioned with apprehension and walked over to Mark with soft footsteps.

The sunset was out by now. It appeared so beautiful despite the world being encompassed in complete misery, chaos and damnation. Everything seemed to look so serene for the moment. Reds, oranges and yellows were around the blindingly bright sphere and cast the earth with a golden glow.

“I need to find my brother,” he muttered out of the blue. He put his head in his hands again and choked back a sob.

“I’m sorry. Your ... your brother?” she asked, ripping her sight from the sundown. She needed to make sure she heard him correctly.

“Yeah, he's out there all alone ...[i]somewhere[/i],” he said, looking back at her. The front of his face was bright under the sunset. He swung his legs over the counter and let them hang over the edge so he was fully facing her. “About a year ago he moved out of our parents’ house to live by himself. He wanted to be independent, needed more freedom all that family drama. Our him and our dad never seemed to get along. So he moved out as soon as he turned eighteen.” He smiled at the bittersweet memories.

Katrina nodded at him to go on.

“The last we heard of him was only a month ago…” He took a deep breath. “He’s my younger brother. It’s up to me to look after him I ... I need to find him. Maybe he is in the same situation as us! He has to be. I mean, what if...?” he realised that his voice was raising higher and higher.

"OK, OK, calm down," she coaxed and rested her right right on his left shoulder.

"He's out there somewhere!" He repeated. His dark eyes shining pleadingly.

“We’ll look for him!” She smiled and nodded, patting his shoulder before moving it away again.

He returned the smile but his eyes were still sad. “You should probably get some sleep now. Sorry for keeping you up," he smiled sheepishly.

"I didn't mind. S'OK," she shrugged.

He was going to walk past her but stopped. “We’re going to get through this, aren’t we?”

She smirked halfheartedly and nodded. “We’re going to have to, if we want to survive,” she answered simply. She took her place under the half bordered up windows once again, so she couldn’t be seen from the outside. Mark took his place near the door and counter on her left. A gloomy shadow was cast over everyone.

“Mm, hey ... what happened?” Jemma asked quietly through half opened eyes. She suddenly moved away from the, slightly snoring, Jay and accidentally bumped her head with Katrina's.

"Ow!"

"Sorry..."

"Are you blushing?"

Jemma scoffed and looked away. "Please!"

Katrina shook her head, not believing a word and hid a grin.

"So what was that about?"

“Just had a little chat with Mark,” Katrina whispered, glancing back at him. He was already closing his eyes. “Poor guy. He’s worried about his younger brother. He wants to find him.”

“But what if he’s already,” Jemma stopped what she was about to say and continued in a much lower tone, “dead or turned? It’ll be pointless.”

Katrina heaved a heavy sigh. “How can you say that?” She demanded in a whisper. “I mean we should at least try. His brother is only a teenager and if he is dead or turned already, Mark will at know. He'll have closure.” She crossed her arms in front of her.

Jemma’s lips were set in a straight line critically. “I’m only looking out for us,” she reasoned.

“As am I – and we’re going to find him as soon as Cruise gets here.”

“Speaking of, what’s keeping him?” Jemma stressed. “I don’t understand.”

“Hmm...” Katrina hummed. A bad feeling had been brewing up inside her about Cruise. She said goodnight and turned her face the other way and closed her eyes, ready to catch up on some sleep. I hope Cruise gets here soon! She thought desperately. Where are you?
[VENOM] Echo: Prologue.
Synopsis;

Cruise has lost his memory. Everything and everyone he has ever known are strange to him – all he knows are the people who own him and they are who control him. He is no longer fully human now.

Katrina and gang have to fight against not only the Blood-Suckers, but now they have a new enemy. The people who turned their friend Cruise into a monster.

A secret corporation that for over fifty years has been hiding and operating secretly to experiment with human DNA to create a super human race, creating new biological weapons to wipe out the weak with a new Venom virus. They intend to create a world of super humans.

What will Katrina and the rest of the group do to save themselves?

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<<<Previous Chapter (THE PREQUEL!)...
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Mature Content Filter is On
(Contains: violence/gore)
Cruise’s eyes opened with a start. They were wide and watchful. He was on the dirty ground and his face was facing his left shoulder with his right side touching the ground. He couldn’t move – paralysed, except for his eyes. What happened to me? He thought a little dazedly.

Last night’s incident flashed in his mind, waking him up completely from the grogginess. Fleur and I made a plan … saved the rest … I ran away to distract the dead vamps and then I … I … was … He thought slowly. That’s when he remembered that he was bitten. One bite was on his left leg and the other on his side, just below the ribcage, and then he had lost conscious. Why can’t I move?! Am I … am I dead? He thought frantically and his heartbeat quickened when he heard something.

He ignored it and went back to his thought. I think. I hope Fleur and Katrina and everyone have escaped without getting hurt! I’ll try to get myself somewhere … perhaps I can get up if I keep on trying. He tried to get up.

Nothing. Nothing happened. He was stuck!

He blinked slowly trying to calm down when he still couldn’t move himself still. But after what felt like an eternity his heart soared, finally, the tips of his fingers could be lifted from the grass. A tingly sensation overtook his whole body, which was an outlandish feeling because it wasn’t exactly pins-and-needles but at the same time that was the best how he could explain it as. Perhaps … my body was … asleep? Nah. That’s impossible, he thought.

His hands itched to push himself away from the dirty ground to see what was happening around him, but to no avail. He couldn’t be dead because he wasn’t having that insatiable thirst for blood or anything horrific like that. At least I’m not one of them … yet. Will I turn later? He asked himself mentally, desperately not wanting to turn.

There was a movement behind him but he couldn’t turn on his back to see.

“Arghhhhh … raaarghhhh…!” Came the unavoidable voice. It was a blood-sucker coming Cruise’s way.

Cruise could feel the ground thudding as it came closer and closer. Oh, no… he thought dolefully and squeezed his eyes shut. He nearly jumped out his skin and he listened. Bloody vampire-mutant! He screamed in his head. His eyes darted everywhere to catch the blood-sucker but his body wasn’t fully mobile yet. The tingling sensation gradually leaving his body but still prevalent. No matter how hard he tried he still couldn’t move anymore that much.

To his absolute horror and amazement he watched the blood-sucker dragging its upper body past him as its insides dangled out from the gaping waist line. The thing groaned in agony and hunger on the ground and didn’t even look to see the lying man on the floor.

Cruise would cringe if he could. That’s right, keep going you piece of decaying mess of dog shit! He said silently with disgust and satisfaction. A revolting stink of decomposed flesh and bones reached his senses and he thought he would vomit. His sight caught the dead body’s insides hanging out. It took everything for him not to throw up indeed.

When the last bit of discoloured grey intestines was out of sight, Cruise breathed sigh of relief through his nostrils, glad that he hadn’t become its food. “Thank God,” he breathed into the grass. Suddenly, his eyes widened when he noticed his could finally move his mouth. The tingling feeling was completely gone by now. “Wow it feels good to talk again!” He exclaimed.

Now, he progressed to attempt once again to move his fingers. It worked. He made them into fists and opened them up to look at his palms. Then his toes inside his combat boots and his feet and legs also moved without a problem. A faint, subconscious smile came onto his features when he was OK again. Soon, he was able to budge himself to sit up and study the area he was situated in.

It was daytime now. Sunny and hot. The trees were looking uncannily beautiful as their leaves rustled when the wind brushed them. The rays of the bright sun was shining down from above him and all around him, engulfing him in warmth. Why did the blood-suckers’ bites not turn me? Why am I still alive? Am I in fact still laying unconscious somewhere and dreaming this? He questioned madly and ran a over his face. He didn’t understand and the questions were running wild in his mind, like rampaging ants.

As he pushed himself off from the ground it started to drizzle very lightly. He continued to walk. At first his steps were hesitant but not for long and they started to pick up pace, just like the rain did as if urging him onward. His blonde hair fell over his eyes and matted to his head as the rain poured down. The ground under his feet became muddy and sloshed, which caused his boots and the bottom of his trousers to splatter with mud. He ran his hands through his wet hair and brushed it away from his already obscured vision from the rain.

“Ah!” He gasped as his side hurt as if a needle pierced him. Stopping in his tracks he inspected his injuries underneath the sun and rain. His eyebrows furrowed as he peeled his shirt off. It peeled away from him like second skin.

The skin cells had regenerated exceptionally fast for a normal human. He checked bitten his leg and was met with the same results. He looked back down at his bite shaped scars and watched the dark, half dried blood dribble off with the rain, and watched with perplexity, amazement and shock. “What the…?” He muttered. The bites were no longer open and were scars instead. “I healed, but … how?”

Darkening clouds rumbled. Thunder crackled in the distance, scaring away the sunlight and invited threatening clouds. Rain poured down hard and created puddles.

“Why am I alive?” He said in awe.

“That’s a very interesting question,” a female voice answered him. She was dressed in a futuristic black uniform. She had a sort of dark metal over her head and it masqueraded over her eyes. Her full pink lips curved into a smile as she introduced herself before him.

“Who are you?” He demanded, alert.

She replied with a unwavering tone, “You are very special, Cruise … aren’t you?” She circled around him with sure and confident steps, subtly touching the place where he was bitten on his side with her gloved hand.

“How do you know my name?” He demanded.

“You don’t know me, but I know you very well, Cruise,” she responded with an amused look. “We have been watching you and your friends, you see.” She stopped behind him and traced something undecipherable on his back. Her touch was cold. “You’re quite a beautiful human being,” she sighed.

He watched her come back around to face him. “Who are you and what do you want?” He asked curiously.

“Name’s Fiona … I want…” she said looking into his eyes, “I need your DNA.”
“Oh, Katrina,” Mark said sympathetically. “I’m so sorry to see this happen. You must feel devastated. I know how you feel … I … I’m sorry you had to see this.”

Katrina looked up at him as if remembering something very important. “How is the baby?” She asked worriedly, “Is her mum and dad safe now?”

“They are safe and sound,” Jay assured her and sat down on his heels next to her. “They insisted to give us any help in return but we asked them to go on their way. We explained to them that we were waiting for someone. Then we heard…” He didn’t finish the sentence and looked down at the frail form on the cement floor.

“I’m so sorry, Katrina – Fleur was a good person, even though I hardly knew her,” Jemma gasped and put her hand over her mouth.

Jay put an arm around Katrina protectively. “I’m sorry that she … she is gone. We offer our condolences,” he said in a softer, low voice, “She was a beautiful person.”

About twenty minutes had gone by nut Katrina was not budging. She wanted to stay with her friend. “I’m not leaving her here, damn it,” she cried into her hands.

“Kat, please…” Jay begged. “I know you’re hurting, but staying here won’t bring her back. Would she want you to put your life in danger, hm?” She did her best to be considerate.

Jemma turned walked up to Katrina and knelt down next to her also. She felt her pain, as did the others. “Look, I’m sorry about your friend, but we have to go,” she said apologetically and puts her hand on her shoulder, making jay let go. She felt a pang of jealousy but pushed it away quickly.

"You never know if more might come. We could get trapped," Jay reminded.

“He’s right,” she agreed. “I think we better get out of here, fast.” She was rather edgy and anxious to leave and looked at Katrina, begging her with her eyes.

“We are all very sorry about your friend, but at least she won’t have to become one of them,” Jay said concurred and pointed his jump at the door. His usually intense dark eyes softened again when he saw Katrina sob. He looked away at the ugly coloured walls.

Katrina nodded and slowly bent forward to give her dead friend a light kiss on the forehead. “Goodbye,” she whispered. “I will miss you.” With a final caring gaze at Fleur, she left with her group and stepped back outside. It was raining by now. She knew she had to be strong and hid her emotions at the bottom of her heart for the time being.

“Come, Kat,” Jay said quietly and held out a hand. He smiled sadly at her with kindness. “Let’s all get through this. Right guys?” He asked everyone, but it was more towards her.

She couldn’t help but give him a watery, wobbly smile and took his larger hand. “We won’t make it, will we?” She whispered to him knowingly.

“Only time will tell,” he whispered back with a small smile.

She nodded and looked to her left. “Jemma, let’s go and wait for Cruise. We can’t give up on him. He has done so much for Fleur and I,” she stated.

Jemma gave her a curt nod as they all walked back to the car along with them. “Are you sure you’re OK to drive?” Jemma asked hesitantly when Katrina had approached the driver’s side.

“You need some rest,” Katrina advised and climbed into the car. The key was already in. She turned it and the car came to life. She waited until everyone got in. The boys got in the back and Jemma was next to her in the front.

“Thanks,” Jemma whispered and looked at her, feeling a bit guilty. “I don’t remember when I got some shut eye,” she murmured and yawned heavily.

“No problem. Get some sleep in the back, you guys,” Katrina advised and pulled the car back onto the street. She was headed towards the Petrol Station. Please be there, please be there, she begged silently in her thoughts. I don’t know what we’d do if we lose him. Sure we didn’t get a long a first but after Fleur he was the one I could trust most.

She dodged several broken down and abandoned cars parked haphazardly on the bridge she was going through. Glancing over her shoulder and to her left, she saw that everyone was already snoozing. She looked back onto the bridge, drove a few more meters until it ended and turned right onto a long winding road.

                                                                                                  ~*~

Katrina almost dosed off when she realised that it would be fatal for everyone and forced her eyes open. There was only a little more to until they would reach the petrol station. She kept her eyes on the road as well as keeping a lookout for Cruise and the blood-suckers.

Five minutes later she saw the familiar street corner and turned right, right onto the infamous Ashton Road. There it was. It was just like another other petrol stations but it looked too out in the open for some reason.

Cruise was still not there.

Maybe he was hiding and would come out after he can see us, she thought expectantly and parked the in front of the petrol pump. There were four petrol pumps as per usual and she took the top right one, closest to the road. She switched the ignition off and the wipers stopped in the middle of the window screen, letting the rain obscure the vision.

Jemma mumbled and woke up at once. “Are we here?” She asked groggily yawning and peered through the window.

Katrina nodded. “Yes.”

“Thank God,” Jemma said, getting out with Katrina and closing the door. “An hour must have gone by since we last saw him. He would've travelled on foot.” She turned to Katrina. “Maybe he’s still on his way, perhaps he's late.”

Katrina nodded, but something at the pit of her stomach squeezed her insides and something didn't feel right. She didn’t pay heed to her gut and continued to look around the building in case he was there. When they didn’t see him, she motioned to go inside and watched Jemma wake up the others.

“Want me to come in with you?” Jay asked yawning.

“No, you keep an eye out for Cruise,” she replied, “He’s probably not here yet so I need you and Mark to be our eyes and ears. We’ll be back. Just gonna go and check for him in there, if not, we will grab some essentials and wait. OK?”

“Sounds like a plan,” Jay said shortly. “Be careful. Mark and I will be watching out just outside of the door.”

Jemma held her hand gun out, and nodded at the broken glass window.

Katrina nodded and went inside the door slowly. “He’s not here,” she whispered quietly. She looked over her shoulder and saw as Jay and Mark took their places as watch outs.

After the girls checked that the building was empty, they started to fill the carrier bags that had been strewn across the floor, and got a few female essentials for themselves privately.

“Good thinking, right?” Jemma smirked, lightening up the mood.

Katrina nodded with a smile, but her eyes weren’t smiling. They were wide, anxious and alert. “What’s keeping him?” She whispered out loud. "I'm getting creepy goosebumps."

“Same here. It’s creeping me out!” Jemma shuddered and stopped just right outside the door. “Guys, come inside and have some snacks. We will wait for Cruise in here.”

“I’ll stow these inside the car in case we have to rush out. I don’t want to forget anything,” Katrina announced and quickly ran outside under the rain. She was already completely wet by the time she returned into the building.

“Gosh, girl, you could have took an umbrella before scuttling out in the rain!” Jemma joked and pointed at the rows of stacked umbrellas at the back.

Katrina groaned at herself, annoyed, and forgot her grief for the moment.

Mark chuckled and shook his head.

Jay just stood near the door and watched everyone, regularly checking outside and took the chair that was behind the till to settle on.

“It’s a surprise there’s still a lot of stuff left in here,” Mark said and observed the room. “We can stay here for a few weeks.”

“Why would we need to do that?” Jemma asked as if he was a child.

“Just saying,” he shrugged, “There’s quite a lot of food. It’s helpful.”

“He’s right,” Jay spoke out. “Also we should stock more up in our car in case we needed a quick get-away.”

“We should only take how much we can carry and need,” Katrina reminded.

“Yeah,” Jay agreed.

Jemma was sitting on the floor. She crossed her legs underneath her.

“How long do you think we will have to wait here?” Mark asked, sitting across from her.

Jemma shrugged. “As long as it takes,” she responded.

“What if he’s-”

“He will make it,” she interrupted. “I know him. He’s not one to give up. And neither should we.”

Everyone was quiet after that. The room was getting colder by the minute because the rain splattered through the crashed glass pane that used to be in the door.

“We should border this up. It’s dangerous,” Jay conveyed. He looked over to Mark and inclined his head to follow him. “We can use the empty shelves of the stalls to border it up.”

Jemma quickly got up and suggested, “I’ll go check in the back in case they have any supplies. I think I saw some nails, hammers, and other stuff there. Won’t be a mo.” She walked past the till counter and came back out not a moment later, carrying some big nails and a hammer.

“That was fast,” Mark said.

“There you go,these should help,” she said and passed everything to him.

Jay came from the back with a large metal shelf that was easy unattached. Mark helped him and soon they were both helping each other border up the entrance. They didn’t need to drill holes in the metal shelf since it already had some, so that made the job easier.

“Doesn’t look so bad,” Jemma commented with a hand on her hip. “Not bad at all. Good work guys.” She gave Mark a high five and raised her palm at Jay.

He rolled his eyes and returned the gesture.

“You and your brooding,” She teased.

“I do not brood,” he retorted.

“You are the king of broodiness.”

He sighed.

“I win,” Jemma sang.

“You both are better than a television soap opera,” Mark joked, chomping on a chocolate bar. “Hey, where’s Katrina?” He asked suddenly when she couldn’t be seen anywhere.

Everyone grew alert all of a sudden.

“Katrina?” Jay called. Nothing. “Hey! KATRINA?”

Katrina stumbled out from the back expectantly, her mouth full. “Wha’?” She mumbled with her hands full of snacks. “Sowwy. I didn’ realishe how fawish a yam,” she tried to explain.

“What…?” Mark asked confusingly.

Katrina showed them the contents in her hands and gulped down a can of fizzy drink. Her eyes were red and puffy. “I said, didn’t realise how famished I am,” she repeated, apologetically. Her expression turned sour. “Is he still not here yet?” She asked indistinctly.

Jemma knew that expression. She could tell that Katrina had been crying alone but she didn’t ask her up front, because even she wasn't that mean, she knew how it was like when you didn't want people to find out you had been crying alone. “Don’t worry, we are not giving up. We are going to stay here all night if we have to,” she said, trying to comfort herself and everyone.
Mature Content Filter is On
(Contains: violence/gore)
Right ahead of them was a large horde of blood-suckers coming their way. It would have been easy to just run them over but some people who were human were screaming for their lives as they tried to get away.

Katrina heard a baby crying. “Oh, hell no!” She shouted at once and got out of the car. She could not take the poor little baby’s helpless cries, and began searching for Fleur's cricket bat frantically. She grabbed her Fleur’s cricket bat from her feet. “Where’s the baby? Where’s kid?!” She asked herself desperately.

“Katrina, you can’t do this alone!” Jemma shouted after her.

“Damn straight,” Mark yelled back.

“We’re right behind you!” Jay agreed. He gave Jemma an admonishing glare and Jemma caved in. He watched Katrina run away from the car with Mark. "Don't be such a cow. We're here for a reason. We need to save people to save the earth."

“Come on, hurry up you guy!” Katrina called back and whacked a blood-sucker on its head. It landed with a sickening thud next to her feet. “Die! I’m letting you evil bastards take a baby! Die! Die! DIE.”

“Damn she’s tough when she wants to be,” Jay said as he got out of the car. A blood-sucker ran hobbled over to him, snapping its jaws desperately. He easily pushed it away and kicked it in the gut and stabbed the head.

He was impressed by Katrina's fighting ability. “Katrina, here you go,” he said and threw a spare knife at the blood-sucker behind her. “Take the knife,” he nodded.

“Thanks,” she responded by taking it. It made a revolting squelching noise as she pulled it out from a skull. “I’ll go help the baby and the mum. The rest of you cover me and help the others!” She ordered and pushed through the blood-suckers and jumped onto the jeep that the mother and child were crying and sobbing on.

The baby was huddled close to its mother’s chest protectively and screaming to the top of its lungs. The baby looked to be only about three or four months old with fine dark hair covering the head. Cute button nose and eyes squeezed shut.

“Don’t worry, little baby, I won’t hurt you or your mum. You’ll be safe,” she whispered comfortingly at the baby.

The baby opened its eyes and watched her but continued crying.

“Oh, thank you, thank you!” The mum cried. “My husband and family members wanted to rest but they came at us out of nowhere! I wouldn’t let one of them take my daughter!”

“My heart couldn’t take her cries from all the way over there,” Katrina cried and kissed the baby.

“I needed to get into the other car that my husband was driving, but they were coming for my daughter and I – I just panicked and climbed on here!”

“It’s OK! We’re here to help! Come on, stay by my side, I’ll get you to your car safe and soundly, I promise,” Katrina reassured and held out the cricket bat and the knife with either hands. When she climbed back down, she asked the mum to come down with the baby.

“There it is, the blue one,” the mum said immediately.

“Great, follow me,” Katrina stated and motioned to be followed quickly. The baby was still crying its heart out and it tore Katrina’s heart. Why does a baby have to go through this hell? She thought angrily, but kept focus.

Katrina fought and stabbed several more blood-suckers on the way there – which was only a distance of about two cars away – but it felt a lot longer than that. Soon she was helping the mother and daughter into the backseat of the car in the car seat, when one of the creature's grabbed her arm.

The mother screamed from inside and hugged her baby to her bosom protectively.

“Not today, you piece of cow shit!” She hissed under her breath and twisted herself around, just in time to stab the thing in the head. But before that, a knife had already lodged into the skull. “Thanks Jay,” she gasped.

“Anytime,” he saluted and jogged over to her. He bent down to pull out his knife. “You’re fast, ruthless!”

“Not at fast as you,” she disagreed.

“That’s twice you saved my life just now,” she counted thankfully.

Another blood-sucker groaned and came at them and snapped its jaws hungrily. The fangs were horrid, some decayed and broken with others long and sharp, blood dripping from the mouth.

Jay quickly grabbed it as Katrina stabbed a knife into its skull, sending it sprawling onto the ground.

“Thanks,” she laughed. She felt exhilarated and accomplished. Saving innocent people definitely had its perks.

“MUM,” Fleur screamed suddenly and ran past them. Angel ran out of the car somewhere unseen.

Jay and Katrina gave each other worried looks before running after her.

“Stay with the family. Keep them safe!” Jay reminded Jemma and Marks. “Get rid of the last few!” He meant the creatures.

Katrina ran after her insane friend. “Where are you going, Fleur?!” She asked urgently, trying to catch up to her before she did anything stupid.

“Mum! Mum I’m to save to!” Fleur was screaming recklessly. She skidded to a stop until she came face to face with her mum. Someone who used to be her mum and wrapped her in a big hug. “I’m here now! Thank Heavens you’re not hurt!” she gasped, frenetic.

“No!” Katrina yelled angrily and continued running. Almost there, she confirmed silently.

“Mum…?” Fleur asked tentatively and broke the embrace. Something stank and she covered her nose and mouth to look at her mum. “Mum…?” She repeated, and her hair blew in front of her eyes. There was a strange noise before her arm was on fire and she screamed in pain.

“No, no, no, no!” Katrina shouted angrily. Tears sprung to her eyes when she finally go to her poor friend.

Jay had gotten there first before the creature could do Fleur anymore harm. He swiftly and efficiently got rid of it. Fleur's mum was now completely dead.

Fleur sobbed as she fell onto her knees in pure agony and clutched her bloodied arm. Warm blood oozed from the wound down her arm and dribbled off her fingers, leaving a thick pool of crimson liquid on the ground.

Katrina fell next to her friend and took hold of the bitten arm. “We can get it cleaned up and soon you’ll be fine as if nothing happened,” she explained in a rushed tone, desperate for her friend to be OK. “Get up! There’s a public toilet where we can get that washed and I have-”

“I’m … I’m sorry, Kat, I’m so stupid,” Fleur sobbed into Katrina’s chest.

“Don’t be silly!”

“I am! I thought she was my mum, but she was one of them!”

“Let’s get you to the public lavatory first,” Jay advised and picked her up bridal style. Fleur was too weak to stand up and walk by herself.

Katrina followed behind them and entered into the small building that contained four cubicles. The walls were dirty and the white paint was peeling off in so many places it was hard not to find somewhere unclean.

“I’ll put you here, is that alright?” Jay asked the hysterical Fleur, and received a small nod. He set her against the wall near the entrance and put his leather jacket around her.

“I’ll go and get the Aid box,” he stated before leaving "Cruise always has one in his car."

Katrina nodded and Jay went out.

“I’m going to die, aren’t I?” Fleur sobbed, “Because of my stupidity! I’m going to turn … aren’t I?”

“No you’re not because I won’t let you! As long as we get that cleaned up I’m sure the infection will-”

“Look at me!” Fleur demanded weakly, tears leaking down her face and her eyes were heavy. She removed Jay’s jacket.

Katrina hissed through her teeth and shut her eyes. But it was too late; she had seen the large mouthful of flesh disappeared from forearm. “Oh, Fleur, I’m sorry,” Katrina gasped as a new wave of tears flooded behind her eyelids.

Fleur laughed hysterically. “It’s not even your fault so why are you sorry?” She asked and giggled again like mad. “I’m thirsty. Can you please get me some water?” She asked in a small voice.

“Of course, I’ll get it right away,” Katrina replied at once and went out of the small building.

Fleur was glad that her friend wouldn’t be here to witness this. It had to be done. She reached with her left right hand - which was unbitten - into the inside pocket of Jay’s jacket and pulled that shiny object out. Standing up and stumbling towards the mirror, she stared at herself with tears and sobs. Whilst her shoulder moved up and down with her blubbering and bawling, she fished out her lipstick and wrote something on the murky mirror.

It was going to be a message to Katrina. When she finished her message, she let the lipstick tube and lid fall and clatter onto the sink. They hit the edge of the basin and then flipped into the air only to fall onto the cold, stone floor. She brought the gun up to her temple and closed her eyes tightly. She squeezed the trigger after a moment’s hesitation and the bullet shot straight into her skull.

Fleur’s lifeless body fell onto the ground with a stomach-turning thud. The shot echoed from inside and carried the shock waves right out so everybody heard it.

If only she had taken another minute to consider killing herself, Katrina could have stopped her. But it was now too late.

Katrina stumbled back into public toilets and screamed. So many emotions grew inside her, anger, frustration, love, regret, guilt and sympathy.

There lay her friend on the floor, lifeless and unmoving. Her eyes were wide open that were still glossy with remaining tears, her heart-shaped lips slightly apart and her limbs rested in odd angles. Her hair was messy and frizzy and her clothes covered in semi-dried blood.

Jay, Jemma and Mark all came rushing through the entrance and stopped in their tracks, stunned to discover what the reason behind the shot was.

Katrina’s chest shook with hiccups and sobs as her feet slowly took small steps forwards. My best friend … is dead? She thought. “H – How … oh, Fleur! I b – brought the water you asked for!” She cried, and caught something red to her left in her peripheral vision.

‘I don’t want to turn like my mum. I’m sorry Katrina. Love, your best friend and sister, Fleur,’ was written in big, unsteady handwriting in red lipstick.
Jay watched the lifeless figure that was laid on the road. It was being illuminated by the car headlights. The guy wouldn’t have anymore older than twenty perhaps. He had short dark hair and pale skin from his profile.

“Is it dead? Is it one of them?” Jemma was asking him, looking out of the window.

Jay was about to turn away when when he did a double taking. He caught a twitch of the arm of the and hunched down to check the pulse. “He’s alive,” he whispered in alarm. Standing up, he motioned for Jemma to come out and inspect it.

Katrina hunched down also and tilted her head, her blonde hair looked as white as snow under the headlights. A frown made its way to her forehead. "You're right, he is alive..." she whispered in awe.

Jemma quickly got out – leaving the keys turned on in the ignition as well as the breaks – and got out. She walked around to the front of the and hunched down onto her heels. A frown came onto her soft features in trepidation and curiosity. “Gosh, he’s alive,” she stated after also checking his pulse. “Is he infected?” She looked up at Jay who was to her right and then opposite at Katrina.

“He doesn’t appear to have been bitten nor have any inflicted wounds,” Jay observed, also hunched down next to her. He had a look of concentration. “What’s this?” he asked himself mostly.

“What?” Katrina replied, and her curiosity followed where he was gesturing.

He nodded at the unconscious guy. “Look under his collar on the back of his neck.”

Jemma pulled the guy’s collar back and saw something odd.

“Maybe it’s a tattoo,” she guessed as she leant forward to check his pockets.

"Strange..." Katrina whispered.

“Yeah. We need to check if he has guns. He could be crazy or dangerous.” When she didn’t find anything she sat back onto her tip-toes.

“Nothing. Maybe he was running away from something and got hydrated and fainted,” He guessed, and ran a hand through his dark brown hair.

Jemma nodded. “Let’s go.”

Katrina couldn't believe what she saw. Before she could object, Jay spoke up, and she was glad.

“Wait!” He said suddenly and grabbed her arm. “Are you going to leave him here?”

“Yes.”

"That's totally unfair!" Katrina added. "What if we hadn't come to save you as well?"

Jemma opened her mouth to say something but was cut off.

“That’s not right. He isn’t infected! We should take him with us. More people, more strength against these mutants!” He reasoned, letting go of her arm.

“How many people are we going to save?” She sighed heavily and stood up to head back to her seat. “Whatever. Do what you want. But if turns," she paused to look back at them, "I'm not going to be responsible. "We should go, Cruise is probably waiting for us at the petrol station and I’m seriously freaking out that not a single human is around.”

Katrina stood up to confront her and faced her. “Are you seriously expecting help when you won’t help somebody else in their time of need?” she demanded. She was astonished.

Jemma's face passed a moment of guiltiness and her eyes softened. She glanced at Jay over Katrina's shoulder. She watched the unmoving body. There was a long bloody scratch on his white top. The jeans looked untouched. “Fine,” she muttered, “but let’s just make sure one last time in case he is infected. We can’t be too sure.”

Katrina's blood boiled. "Are you infected?" she snapped.

"What?"

"Let me jog your memory if you have forgotten. We didn't ask if you got scratched by those blood-suckers. But we still took a chance on you because Cruise saved our lives by trusting us."

"What are you going on about? I would never lie about something like that if you would have only asked!"

"Ladies," Jay tried to interject.

"H – Help..." Came a soft voice, but the girls were too involved to notice.

Jay tried again to get their attention. "He's coming to. Look!"

"What?!" Katrina and Jemma said in unison. They looked where Jay was hunched over again and forgot about their bickering.

“D – Don’t leave m – me … here … p – please,” The laying man on the floor whispered. It was so faint that it could’ve have been easily misheard. “P – Please!” He repeated and managed to turn himself onto his back.

“Oh, gosh, you see? He is hurt. Look at his stomach!” Jemma cried and moved back a few steps in horror.

“No … t – this … I hurt myself … fell down in a ditch b – because it was too dark ... t – to see and scratched myself, twisted my ankle … ow! Please help me,” he whispered tiredly. He was slipping in and out of consciousness.

Katrina gasped. “Thank God. I mean thank God you’re not infected, not that you fell down a ditch and twisted your ankle. C’mon guys let’s get him inside.”

Jemma gave Jay a warning glare and before going back to the car.

Jay rolled his eyes. He let the injured guy rest his body weight against himself and walked him carefully to the car and helped him get inside next to Fleur and Angel. Jemma was already in the driver's seat with a scowl. When Katrina took the seat after the guy Jay closed the door and then got into the front passenger seat next to Jemma.

“We need to get him sorted so he can leave as soon as possible,” she was mumbling and removed the brakes. She steered the wheel and glanced into the rearview mirror.

“Hey, man, need water?” Jay asked and handed him a small bottle of water. “You look thirsty.”

After the strange guy finished the bottle of water and gasped to take some air, he looked at Jay and everybody else with a weak smile. His black eyes were studying everyone. “Thank you for saving me, a – and for the water, otherwise I – I would’ve been dead meet … l – literally,” he stuttered.

“It was our duty. We will get that looked at as soon as we can find a Pharmacy,” Jay explained kindly. “Anyway, I’m Jay,” he introduced himself and turned to shake his hand.

“I’m Mark, Mark Hyun,” the injured guy said shook Jay's extended hand.

“Oh, so you’re Japanese?” Fleur asked excitedly.

“Korean,” he corrected, smiling.

“Oh, sorry,” she responded quickly. “I’m Fleur, I'm part french from my dad's side. This is my friend Katrina.”

“N - Nice to meet the both of you,” he smiled a little more. He didn’t want them to think that he wasn’t appreciating their help and made small talk, even if all he wanted was to get some sleep. “Are you Indian, if you don’t mind me asking? Sorry, j – just making conversation. I get nervous a lot,” he chuckled.

Katrina smiled for the first time since everything happened this morning. Her hair was blowing slightly in the humid breeze from her window. “It’s OK,” she smiled back. “I’m Pakistani, born and bred in England. And don’t worry; you have a right to get nervous particularly with what’s happening…” Her smile fainted.

“Yeah. What is happening?” He asked restively. “I just watched my parents and younger sister get torn to bits by those … those … things. They used to be my neighbours. They just went berserk! This is a nightmare!”

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that,” she whispered, suddenly remembering her own parents. She felt guilty for not finding them already. What if they were…? No. NO. They are alive, they have to be. I need to find them soon as we pick up Cruise, she thought.

“Those things are a sort of mutants – they crave human blood,” Jemma took the initiative, “And they care about nothing about hurting and killing humans. They care only the lust for human blood. It’s their life force, it’s what they thrive on and stay alive despite being dead themselves. A part of their brain is reactivated somehow. They can infect you by scratching – that’s why I was so adamant to check your wound if you were infected – and they can also infect you when they bite you.”

“Like … zombies w – we see in the movies?” Mark asked slowly, processing the facts, “…A zombie apocalypse.”

“Yep,” Fleur nodded.

“Only these are blood-sucking vampire zombies,” Katrina opted to correct. She shuddered. “They crave blood. Not meat.”

“As far as we know,” Jemma added.

“This is too much to comprehend,” Mark groaned, fear showing in his eyes and his face pale.

Everyone was quiet for the for roughly ten minutes.

“So,” Jay finally broke the silence that was filly with gloominess. “What happened to you, man?”

Mark sighed and took a deep breath. “A group of those things saw me after killing my family and came right at me,” he elaborated in a soft, painful voice.

Katrina listened sadly.

Fleur patted his shoulder. “It wasn’t your fault,” she said gently.

“Wasn’t it? I could have been quicker, more capable. I ran for it after I watched them die. I wasn’t even able to let them rest in graves! My parents are now dead because of me! I have been running from the morning without food, water or clean clothes … never got the time – I … I’ve been running until you guys found me.”

“Mark it’s not your fault your family couldn’t make it,” Jay helped out, turning to give him an understanding look. “You would have helped as much as you could if you had been given the chance.”

“Yeah,” Fleur and Katrina said in unison, and nodded.

Mark was quiet and didn’t say anything else. He wore a grim expression as his parents dying eyes stared back at him pleadingly, the voice of his younger sister screaming for her big brother to save her from the bad monsters and take her away. Tears stung his eyes as he stared blindly out the window and bit his lip. I’m so sorry mum dad. I’m so sorry for not being able to save you and Kelli, he thought.

“Uh-oh … everyone … we have company,” Jemma announced in a horrified whisper. She slowed down the car to a standstill.

deviantID

Psychosomatic-Psyche
Tehmeena
Artist | Hobbyist | Traditional Art
Well, hi there! :juggle:

Stuff That You Might Like To Know: :sherlock:

:bulletblack: I love to type! I could write stories all day, but since there's not much time ... :shrug: :typerhappy:

:bulletwhite: I love Kulfi Ice-cream (google it if you don't know) and Vanilla ice-cream. And no offense to all the mint+choc-chip ice-cream lovers out there, but I really do not like it.

:bulletyellow: Emoticons are my heart. They pump in my blood! :happycry:

:bulletorange: Hates backstabers. Then again, who doesn't? :disbelief:

:bulletpink: I love to paint :painter: write! :work: I also LOVE to read! :reading:

:bulletgreen: I'm writing a Novel here. :happycry: Tis named Alluring Masquerade. Very masquerade-y, eh? :meow:

:bulletblue: I think this one is so cute >>> :nana:

:bulletred: And pray a lot. :pray:

:bulletpurple: I secretly want to learn how to: :juggle: God knows why. :confused:

:bulletred: I like eating french toast, but not with sugar,:no: I add a little bit of salt instead.:nod:

:bulletpink: Lilt and Cola are my :+fav: fizzy-pops.

...Oooh, :devart: shiny...

:heart:

Favourite genre of music: All Kinds....
Favourite style of art: Guess It Depends On What I Design/Draw/Create/Write, etc.
Operating System: Windows XP Professional.
MP3 player of choice: As Long As Music Can Be Played That's All That Matters. XD
Wallpaper of choice: Soft yet intricate.
Skin of choice: Nothing Bright.
Favourite cartoon character: Homer Simpson.
Personal Quote: Secret to success are your mother's blessings.
Interests
  • Mood: Artistic
  • Reading: Ko Akuma Cafe Manga.
  • Watching: Babytv with my niece.
Hello! :wave: How is everybody?

I wondered if anyone could please help me on naming my new story?

Please? :blowkiss: Here is the summery;

[i] Sequel for [b]"Alluring Masquerade"[/b] (STORY COVER COMING SOON)

A month has gone by since Kael and Hira made their relationship official and had an engagement party to celebrate with the whole world. Her family and his family were getting along just fine, which made the couple so glad that everything was going so well.

Suddenly, Hira decides to take up a student loan and take professional cookery classes this year while working part-time. Eventually, her dream was to open up a pleasant and comfy bakery shop. It would be perfect. Hence, she joined college.

She made new friends and a new life was being unfolded in front of her. Unknowingly, she started spending more and more time within this new group of friends, which makes Kael feel left out and betrayed. The feeling of losing her gets the better of him one day.

Are these new turn of events is for the best? Who is this new guy that's trying to walk into their relationship? And a surprise visit from an old enemy brings her whole world toppling down.[/i]

I won't be posting this up until I have finished posting up the rest of my "Alluring Masquerade" story, which will be the prequel to the new story.

Well, thank you for reading. :) I am so sorry for being away for months on end. but I am back now for good. Yes! Hoepfully, I will post up some new derivations. Yay! So watch out for those.

Take care!

:heart:

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FollowinTheBlackBird Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the fave. :)
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Nexu4 Featured By Owner May 26, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
:iconthankwatch1plz::iconthankwatch2plz::iconcookieforyouplz: and the :+fav: :glomp:
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Angreumachmor Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2015
Thanks for the feedback on the lamp, I really appreciate it 😸
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oldhippieart Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you for the fave.
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TinaLouiseUk Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Tyx by TinaLouiseUk
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Psychosomatic-Psyche Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome! :blowkiss:
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TheGhostSiren Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I thank thee ever so kindly for favoring my work :blackrose: It means the world and is greatly appreciated. :heart:
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Psychosomatic-Psyche Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awww, you're most welcome! :glomp:
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lexxii Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Great Gallery Tehmeena:)

Invite to join :iconcutieshots: A Diverse growing Global Super Group Featuring Over 100+Galleries & dedicated to artists of all genres to display their fine art here:) Please Join Soon xoxolexxiiCutieShots
**Submitted: "SteamPunk World" For Your Approval
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mysticmorning Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2015
Thank you for the fav hon :hug: :heart:
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