To be betrayed and abandoned by her own people. What a bunch of heartless bastards. Was Kara no different than the mindless infected that roamed the land with an insatiable craving to feed upon the living? It was true all along; there was not a single sole that could be trusted in this forsaken world. Anger arose from within, the thoughts in her mind unrelenting. Her arms tensed against the constricting ropes that bound her to an old oak tree. What had she done to receive such an unjust punishment? Was this grim reality she lived in finally displaying its ugliest of colors to the fullest extent? Underneath her blindfold, tears began to well up in her eyes. None of what was happening to her made any sense at all.
“Hey Kara, you alright over there?” The overpowering silence was broken, her male companion seeking out her presence. “I’ll be there in just a second. Just hang in there for me.” He kept up his own focused efforts in freeing himself from his own loosened binds. Give him a few more moments and everything would be just fine.
Kara answered back with a shaky reassurance, “I think I am. I can’t see anything, but I don’t feel like there is anything wrong with me.” She made another attempt at breaking free. There was no use, for she remained in a futile struggle, feeling only the friction of the rope rubbing against her sensitive skin. With no other choice but to wait a little longer, she held herself quiet, not wishing to wear herself out needlessly. Even if she could hear the rustle of someone or something just beyond, she would keep herself calm. Not until the second time, with the sound slightly closer than the first, did she worry. “Eric, is that you moving around?” Held in suspense, she felt a shiver of fear race up her spine. “Eric, please tell me I am just hearing things.”
With Eric freed from his own captivity, he stood on the lookout, peering intently through the dense trees, and listened with wary ears of his own. “No, I do think you are right. Something is close by. I just don’t know what.” His voice faded off, unwilling to tell as to what he believed to be approaching them; not in Kara’s vulnerable state. He cautiously moved towards her, minding his own footsteps along the way. A comforting whisper announced his close proximity. “I am right here beside you. Just need to get you out of this mess.” Eric pulled off her blindfold and carefully took to cutting away her ties.
Kara felt relieved at his sight as her eager eyes looked upon him, knowing she would be safe again. As progress continued, she spotted something moving in the distance. She could make out the head of what appeared to be human. Maybe this individual was another from her village. Even so, there was something wrong in its movements; too erratic to be normal. And that face, it almost looked deathly. The frightening realization hit as to what sort of trouble they were going to be in if they didn’t leave right now. “Eric, you might want to hurry up. Please. There is an infected walking this way.”
Eric hastened his actions and vigorously worked through the length of her multiple bindings, primarily the ones around her feet. “They must not have wanted you to have any chance of escape, did they? And I thought I pissed them off.” As the last of the ropes were pulled away, infected eyes located its prey, and took chase. Without ever looking behind his back, Eric grabbed onto Kara’s hand tightly and raced ahead. There was no better way to get the adrenaline pumping in the morning than having a zombie breathing directly down one’s neck.
Appearing as if they had lost the single infected amongst the trees, Kara was signaled to pause. “I think we have a moment to catch our breath.” He steadied his breathing and attempted to figure out the route of escape. Can’t go in the southerly direction from where we came. The northerly looked promising, until a second glance proved otherwise. “What the hell is this? More from the north?” The images of not just one but multiple infected was a daunting prospect. “Let’s pick another direction before we get trapped.” He ushered her to go to the east and try their luck.
“Um, Eric, I don’t think we should be going this way either.” Her eyes widened on the small grouping heading towards them. “Is it possible to go in another direction?” Please let there have been an opening for her to survive all of them.
Eric’s findings brought little reassurance and foreboded major problems if they desired to escape. “No, it appears they are coming from all general directions.” What did they do, stumble right into a graveyard filled with these abominations? And without a weapon, this was going to be a crapshoot. “I don’t know about you, but until we can find a safe place to hide, we need to seriously get moving.”
“Let’s just keep moving towards the north, ok.” Wasting no time both hastened their stride and held onto hope that they could elude their primal pursuers. The events that followed proceeded along in a blur of punches, kicks, shoves, and bites. The infected were more aggressive than Kara ever remembered, encountering several close calls as she attempted to flee from her own attackers. If not for Eric, she would have joined the infected long ago. She hated to admit that she wasn’t a skilled fighter or a marksman.
Running from the world seemed to be the only option at her disposal. But what if there was no choice except to fight these insurmountable battles in order to survive onward? And what were to happen if her only protector were to fall victim to the sinister hands of these infected? What was Kara supposed to do against one who climbed the trees with ease? The infected appeared to be evolving at a far greater rate than she ever understood. If she would have known better and prepared herself for the perils of the world, she wouldn’t have been so helpless.
The sights of the fearless climber dropping from the trees above and Eric tragically falling to his knees, struggling to fend off his merciless attacker was overwhelmingly mind numbing. To believe her protector of all people would have been bitten and would soon succumb to a horrifying disease was unfathomable. As the climber was temporarily pushed aside, Eric urged her to run away, without him. This was her only chance to leave while she had the opportunity. Unfortunately, Kara was already in a trap of her own, the other infected closing in relentlessly.