In a post-apocalyptic world, Tiva is running for her life when she stumbles across three survivors who save her from a horde of those things, whatever they are now. The creatures aren’t people anymore. They’re…infected. Struggling to find food, she soon realizes luck was on her side when Russ and his crew welcome her into the safety of their warehouse.
It seems not many survivors remain in what’s left of the world, so they figure they’d do better to stick together. Besides, Russ hasn’t known the love of a woman in a long time, and he and Tiva immediately feel the connection.
As the days pass, the crew takes turns keeping watch for the undead. Russ and Tiva vow to be there for each other should they get bitten. If the inevitable should happen, it wouldn’t be much of an afterlife, wandering aimlessly and killing innocent people.Will Russ and Tiva get their happily ever after? Or are they destined to be undead like the rest of the world?
Tiva awoke, thoroughly disoriented but feeling strangely unafraid. It wasn’t until she rolled over and realized she had one leg out of her jeans that she remembered what had taken place earlier. She also noticed Russ wasn’t present and recalled him saying something about having to take sentry duty later.
“Guess it’s later.”
She spotted a bottle of water sitting by the door. Didn’t Russ tell her earlier he’d left his water in his room? Feeling parched, she crawled over to retrieve it. Once she drained it, she knew she’d made a mistake.
“Oh, great. Now I gotta pee.”
Reluctantly, she stood up and drew on the other leg of her jeans. She debated whether to put on her shoes or just go downstairs in her socks, but common sense kicked in. There could be something sharp she might step on, or something else that might be dangerous. Sighing, she slipped her feet into her short boots. It was always better to be safe than sorry.
She glanced at the candle still burning in its saucer. “No lights outside,” she reminded herself and frowned. This was the one rule she didn’t like. Not because it made sense, but because her fear of the dark had grown exponentially these past horrendous months, ever since this whole end of the world fiasco happened. Once the sun got low on the horizon, she always took refuge somewhere high. Somewhere they couldn’t reach her without causing a lot of ruckus.
She looked around the room. This place was high enough from the main floor. And the fact that Russ and Stu, and a heavily armed Tommy were never too far away made this warehouse a haven where she felt safe as well as comfortable.
“Okay. Downstairs to the toilet, then back up. Five minutes max. Then hopefully the next time I wake up, Russ’ll be back and it’ll be morning. Girl, make a note to ask him if it would be possible to put some sort of chamber pot in his room, like they used to have in the olden days. Or, better yet, put it in my room. That way we won’t have to go too far. Hell, I’ll even volunteer to empty the damn thing.”
Steadying herself, she opened the door and slipped out onto the narrow walkway. After she closed the door, she waited for her eyes to adjust to the darkness.
That fear she knew would swallow her rose up like a monster, massive and black and all-consuming. She could feel tendrils like icy fingers creeping through her veins, coating her muscles until she was unable to move, frozen in place.
“It’s okay. It’s okay,” she kept repeating. She was taking short, gasping breaths, leaving her lightheaded, but Tiva continued to try and calm herself. “You got this, girl. You have nothing to be afraid of. Not here. Not with these guys to protect you.” The words sounded reassuring, but it didn’t work. Her ears heard what she was saying, but her body refused to listen.
Worse, the warehouse wasn’t getting any easier to see. No moonlight filtered inside, probably because of cloud cover.
Something made a noise in the distance. It sounded like a shuffling. A pair of feet. Maybe more than one person. Her imagination kicked in, and she envisioned some of those infected wandering through the warehouse.
Something fell. It was close. She jerked, and her heart started hammering inside her chest.
“It’s nothing,” she tried to convince herself. “It was probably one of those empty cardboard boxes falling over. Or a mouse knocking something over. Now, get your butt down there, do your business, and get back up here.”
A draft of air washed over her. Something was close. Something was nearby and coming toward her. She could almost swear she heard a movement. A sound that threatened her sanity. A shadow, darker than the inky blackness that already enveloped her, loomed up in front of her.
She couldn’t move. She couldn’t think.
Something grabbed her shoulder.Tiva screamed.