John sprinted down the street of a once quiet suburban town. Now all hell was unleashing around him. He ran past a white station wagon that had been pinned between a red truck and a Pontiac Grand Prix. The two children in the back pressed themselves against the seat as hard as they could, just out of reach of their undead parents’ fingers. The two Z’s in the front of the car remained buckled. His neighbor’s house was up in flames. Out of the inferno stumbled two figures burning wildly yet only concerned with John as he ran past them down the street.

His footfalls fell hard on the pavement below. Pushing himself as hard as he could, sweat pouring down his face, legs burning, he had been running for ten miles as fast as he could, The infection had reached American soil.

John grunted and cursed at himself not to stop until he had reached his destination. He lunged over the body of a dead police officer as it began to push itself to its feet. He was off and running without hesitation as soon as his feet hit the pavement again. Straight ahead of him was a school bus. The inside of the windows were plastered with blood. The bloodcurdling screams from within would never leave him.

As John turned to run down his driveway he noticed the doll being awkwardly held by the five year old walking corpse that was once his daughter. He stopped dead in his tracks, breathless, speechless. Like a twig his mind snapped out of reality to protect him from the horror he knew he was about to witness. His world came crashing down on the asphalt before him.

He stared into the empty eyes of his dead daughter, and she stared back. Her left arm was missing, the wound that had killed her. Her right hand loosely clenched the rag doll she had carried with her since her infant years, the torn and dirt stained rag doll had a few droplets of blood on the head. It swayed in a gentle breeze, the only false sign that there was anything left of his child.

“Abbie? Abbie Baby, are you alright?” He said aloud to the ghoul standing in the doorway of his home. His bottom lip was quivering, a clean trail cut through the soot and dirt on his face where tears were trailing downward with his life. As if in slow motion the doll fell, and she reached outwards for her father, before letting out a sickening moan.

John fell to his knees and wept. By the time he opened his eyes the blurry outline of his daughter was within arm’s reach. He gently placed his hands on her side, her cold fingertips brushed against his tear soaked cheeks. He held her close enough, yet she was so far away.

“Daddy loves you baby, I’ll always love my girl.”

He killed his daughter at 1124, on a Saturday.

He could barely muster the will to drag his shell of a body into his ruined home. A puddle of blood was soaked into the carpet on the floor. A trail of drops lead from the living room to the tile of the kitchen and ended in a blood-soaked sink. A much larger puddle was at the base of the dishwasher. Bloody foot and hand prints were scattered around where a corpse had previously rested. The footsteps lead up the stairs. John stood at the base, not daring to go up. Follow them, maybe they are ok. Oh god please, please. John took a step up the stairs before slowly following with his other foot. He climbed the final step before slowly walking down the hall. He knew what was in store for him. Don’t go in, don’t look around that corner, don’t do it you stupid fuck, just run, save yourself this.

He slid along the wall. He closed his eyes, afraid of what he knew he was going to see. He could hear tendons being chewed on, the squish of blood, the crunch of cartilage. He slowly moved into the open door frame and opened his tightly closed eyes.

A silent tear drop fell from his chin at the sight of his bloody wife, bending over a bloody crib. wrenching her head back splatting blood on the far wall with the rip of a muscle from his baby boy’s body.

Meaker never forgave himself for not being there when they needed him.

“Sir. Sir! You ok?”

Meaker was startled awake by a man about thirty. He was wearing a blue Jacket with a big S on the back and dirty jeans. He was on his way for a meeting with his battalion. Meaker had rested up against the side of a hanger and fallen asleep.

“I’m fine,” Meaker said, wiping a tear off his cheek quickly.

“You sure, sir? We all have nightmares, Especially with all we-”

“You don’t know. Now get out of my face.” Meaker snarled at the man.

He quickly scurried off without a response. Meaker sat up and sighed. In his hand was his daughter’s doll. He quickly stuffed it into his pocket before getting up. He looked around to make sure none had seen.

Meaker never forgave himself.

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