The City (3)

Date: 5/24/2019

By Stiyona

I ran... They chased close behind... My friends, I assumed, were at my side. I heard the slapping of rubber soles against hard concrete, the panting of lost breath from the Humans running with me, and the snarls of the undead things chasing us. We ran through a driveway, and immediately I recognized my childhood home. Not my actual home, mind you, my uncles house, formerly owned by my grandmother, honorarily titled the family hangout. To the right of the driveway, before the carport, we ran into the gate that closed off the pool area, straight through, jumping over the gap seperating us from the door to the pool house. We rushed and crammed each other inside, and one of us must have had the sense to close the gate behind them because we had the time to close and lock the door and loosely barricade the windows. We hid through the building... Two people ducked behind the bar, another went down the hallway and hid in the side bathroom, I layed beneath the pool table and held my breath. The groans and snarls were quieter now, but not due to lack of trying... We all waited, we all prayed they wouldnt find us... Then they did. The windows crashed open and glass flew everywhere, someone screamed, they dove through the broken windows and toppled over the towers of wicker furniture. They ran straight to the bar, I heard more screaming, and I heard one friend, who I recognized now, yell to me to follow her. I crossed the gap of the living room as quickly as possible, the monsters distracted by the flesh and rattles of their victims. We bolted down the hallway and into the garage, leading behind the pool house. We crawled beneath the door and sprinted away, only to see a large, green neon exit sign hanging in the tree, pointing us in a direction. We followed, and eventually wound up back at the house, on the other side of the carport. The monsters were gone, there was no noise at all, and a thick fog started to envelop the edges of the house... We walked unsteadily beneath the carport by the front steps to the main house. Suddenly, I started to notice, the walls, moving... They morphed right in front of my eyes. The architecture of the house itself changed before me, from large white columns to rusted grey gargoyles, from white picket fences to bloody iron spikes. Then, a voice echoed through the fog, and my mind: "Stop. Turn around." "Don't go any further." My friend didn't hear it. She spoke to me, but I didn't hear her. 'What? Who are you?' I wondered "You're going to die." "It's useless." "Stop!" "Turn around, now." It echoed again and again, deeper and deeper, until we walked back through the pool gate, then Black... It took a moment for my eyes to adjust, but I made out a dim light in the corner of my vision. I looked around, my friend was still beside me. Frightened, I grabbed her hand and walked torwards the light, and found it to be a small candle lighting an outdoor alleyway, the buildings made of stone, like an ancient Adobe. My eyes adjusted more... It was a city. A huge, sprawling maze of alleyways, nooks, crannies and corners exposed only by tiny glimpses of dwindling flame on an otherwise dark and windy night. The city worked progressively up a huge cliff face using a seemingly infinite amount of short, crooked stairways. We walked into the first door we heard sounds from, and.. I'm not even sure how to describe what I saw, other than: Filth. Humans of the most horrendous odors ate "foods" of abhorrent texture... Those who didn't eat spilled swigs of cheaply home brewed alcohol onto the sewn rags they considered clothing. Those who did neither rested from their binges in puddles of their own... Well, as I said before, dear readers, filth. We exited hurriedly. It was only a few seconds before we were spotted by a resident of this place. An older man, very skinny, with a lot of skin to spare in fact, wearing overalls with seemingly nothing beneath and a straw hat. He looked at us both with a suspicious grimace. He walked towards us and said "Here, want some of my milk?" He opened the top of a large bowl he carried in his arms, and inside was what looked more like a stew of clam chowder, and was definitely not milk. We both grimaced in return and denied politely - Which only served to make him more suspicious. He told us to follow him, as there was someone he wanted us to meet. Confused and scared, we took the only direction we found. We had walked several stories down the city when a very large, pitch black helicopter whizzed overhead, very low and very close, with a bright spotlight shining on the city. It was the only hint of technological sophistication I had witnessed here. As it passed, the farmer-like man went berserk trying to get its attention, screaming "HEY, DOWN HERE! DOWN HERE", but when his calls went unanswered he turned to us with a defeated and enraged look. "Come on," he snapped "hurry up." We continued a bit further before he led us into the belly of a similar helicopter laying dormant in the streets. The contraption whizzed to life and we ascended into the air... And then I woke up.