How the zombie apocalypse started – 11

London, UK

The big problem with the average hospital was the very real fact that they tended to be where all the sick people went. The virus, that was yet to be named, was only now revealing its true self. As those infected began to get sicker, they began to accumulate in the centres of healing in the hope that the agony in their bodies could be eased.

Some went under their own steam, others were taken there by an increasingly taxed and overburdened ambulance service. On that day when everything started, a few people even used public transport, their breath an infusion mechanism in the overcrowded conditions. Naturally, they took the disease with them, turning the hospitals into focal points of infection.

A spawning point for the dead.

Jack was to be one of the many early victims to die from the virus. He certainly wouldn’t be the last. Lying in the back of the ambulance that he had already soiled, his dazed mind tried to take in the chaos around him. The noise of the sirens cut through his fevered mind, worsening the stabbing ache that was tearing his skull apart. Blurred above him, the image of the masked paramedic kept coming in and out of focus.

The vehicle suddenly stopped, and Jack felt blissful fresh air as the back of the ambulance opened. If not for the agony in his body, the chill might have even been refreshing. Disjointed voices spoke around him, Jack finding the words difficult to comprehend at times.

“Right Hamid, what have we got?” a female voice asked.

“Male, about forty, collapsed in his home. Heart rates way up and he’s having trouble breathing.” The trolley Jack was on began to move, which jarred him. “He’s been on oxygen, but his blood saturation levels keep dropping. Names Jack Finch.”

The encasing of the ambulance was stripped away as Jack felt himself being moved into the open.

“Can you hear me, Jack?” a phantom murmur asked, and he nodded yes, only to cough violently. Red splattered the inside of his breathing mask. Jack tried to rip the mask off his face, but someone gently restrained his hands, and he heard a sucking sound as a tube was placed to suck the blood away.

“This is the third one like this in the last hour.” The trolley was moving now.

“What do you think it is?” Hamid asked.

“I don’t know, but we’re putting him in an isolated cubicle. That ambulance isn’t going anywhere until it’s been decontaminated.” Lights appeared above him as Jack was wheeled down a corridor.

Jack coughed again. More blood, mixed with vomit now, the mask being pulled from his face as he was rolled on his side, a surge of strength ripping his hands free from where they were held. That was when Jack began to spasm and buck. Held down as he was, the medical staff still found it difficult to actually keep him still.

Jack was strong, stronger than he should have been.

Despite his decline, Jack heard a curtain rail, and he was lifted into the air and back down onto softness. These sensations were largely ignored by his brain that was reaching temperatures that threatened his very life. The heat was in an attempt to denature the protein structure of the virus, but if anything, the organism thrived. Lifting a hand up, somebody grabbed it, his legs still twitching and flailing.

“Hold in there, Jack,” the female said. He wanted to answer, he really did, but the words wouldn’t come. Then something in his throat seemed to rip, at least that was what it felt like, the pain lancing through everything that was happening to him.

Jack tried to breathe, but his airway seemed blocked and panic began to swim through his failing mind. He tried again, Jacks eyes going wide as the reality that he was about to die struck him. His hands came up to try and claw at his own throat.

“I need a cricothyroid needle,” a male voice shouted. Seconds later there was a stabbing pain underneath his Adam’s apple, and then the air came. Blissful, almost erotic, Jack breathed in one of the last breaths he would ever take.

“Get the crash cart in here.”

The virus had attacked his lungs to help it spread through the air he breathed. It tired of his life now. Jack gave a final lurch and his heart stopped beating.

As the doctors and nurses struggled in vain to save his life, the changes in his brain began. The Pineal gland released massive quantities of DMT, triggered by the dying body. The chemical rapidly began to alter the genetic structure of the virus, reforming it, creating a new purpose for its existence. In that small mass of organic tissue, science was being re-written.

“Clear,” the female voice said as she used the defibrillator for the third time. The monitors all around Jack showed there was no pulse, but the eyes opened all the same. From another cubicle came a scream. Running feet could be heard beyond the curtain of the cubicle. Momentarily distracted by the out of sight commotion, everyone was surprised when Jack sat up ramrod straight.

The killing was brutal and unnecessarily prolonged.

 

Jack(Z) wandered the corridors in search of sustenance. His stomach was full of undigested human meat, the gastric sack now almost bursting, unable to unload its contents further into the now decaying digestive system. Still, Jack(Z) was hungry, the agony of the desire all-encompassing and all consuming. Which was ironic, because Jack(Z) was passed the stage where it could consume anything. It could bite and chew, but swallowing was now for shit. Even if it could swallow, there was nowhere for the food to go.

Five minutes ago it had been dining on the face of a screaming banquet, only to find it had no choice but to let the food morsels fall from its mouth. When the screaming stopped and the prey he was trying to eat had become predator, Jack(Z) had instinctively known it was time to hunt for more blood.

Although it was not conveyed in language, the message was clear…you do not eat your own.

The corridor it was in was deserted. It could hear human hearts beating their enticing rhythmic dance, but the music was far away, drawing him on. It hit a door which opened allowing it into a chilled stairwell. Luck more than skill sent it upwards, and it tripped over the first step, cracking its forehead on the concrete. There was still a degree of muscle memory, and through sheer effort, it dragged itself up a flight of stairs, enticed by a sound that a human in its position wouldn’t have been able to hear. Halfway up the second flight, it lost its footing and went crashing down to the staircase landing. Without the ability to feel pain, it dragged itself upright and re-attempted it ascent.

On the second to last step, its bowels opened up, unleashing a torrent of foul-smelling effluent down its legs. Jack(Z) didn’t even notice, a trail left behind as it clashed with another door. This one was not so easy to open, and it beat on the wood until it splintered. By the time it was through, the zombie was significantly damaged, the hands now void of the ability to grip. All it needed was its teeth and it followed the siren call, ignoring several people who fled at the sight of its shattered form. Its head was now forced to loll to the left, the cervical vertebrae there damaged, the disc displaced and bulging.

If it had retained the ability to read, one wonders if it would have shown any excitement to the words Maternity Ward.

There were plenty of people here now, and despite the cry of the babies, the proximity of fresh humans sent it on a rampage. Nobody there could match its strength, and there were no heroes who were prepared to take it on, not at that instant. Despite its neck injury, it still had speed, and it grabbed the first nurse it encountered by the hair and bit into her neck, the blood washing down its chin.

Its tongue exploded with delight causing the zombie to bite again.

The pleasure the zombies experienced was a short-lived phenomenon, a heightened response that would pass as the tongue began to rot in the mouths they resided in. The rest of the nurses fled, although one did try to hit it with a fire extinguisher. Jack(Z) took the blow on the back and just swatted the nurse away with an almost casual backhanded slap. Chewing, it paid her no further heed and made its way to where the crying emanated from.

This was where it met true resistance. Three mothers, still recovering from the traumas of giving birth were there to defend the most precious things they possessed. Even together, they didn’t stand a chance, and Jack(Z) left them broken, bleeding and marked. One, semi-conscious on the floor, tried to grab Jack(Z) with a desperate hand. All that did was pull the zombie’s trousers down, unleashing a downpour of fetid shit onto the poor mother’s head.

With no real coordination, this sent the zombie to the floor, crashing into two, fortunately empty, baby cots. The valiant woman began to vomit, and now unable to stand, the zombie clawed itself over to her to remove the threat that she posed. Jack(Z) took her life quickly, although it was not without a degree of agony.

When the mother turned and came back, it joined Jack(Z) in eating the juiciest of human morsels. There were no human ears to be present to hear the babies haunting squeals.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *