Life, in its natural form, was never rainbows and candied sweets. It was never a perfect utopia. People bitched and moaned on social media because--despite having the newest phone or the fanciest car--life was unfair to them. The poor complained that they didn't have enough money to feed or properly clothe themselves, only to shoot up with needles or get high on prescription medication. It was a dog eat dog world, where even the highest bidder could dictate who was allowed to have their basic human rights and rights guaranteed by law. There was no joy in life but only the false lies people told their children as they put them to bed.
In truth, life had always been shit, yet the grousing of yesterday soon became irrelevant when the darkness of the present arose. No one knew what brought them. During the beginning, no one knew their insatiable hunger would bring down civilization. Humanity found themselves unaware as neighbors and loved ones turned on each other with either deadly weapons or savage teeth. As a fictional character put it, chaos was only but a ladder. Some tried clinging to their old beliefs, only to pay dearly for it. Others turned into twisted shells of their former selves, reveling in the new world as if it was a sandbox.
Blood was blackened as madness befell humanity. Words, like currency, soon meant nothing. Trust meant betrayal, and having supplies meant you were prey. There was no liberty in choice once the world changed. To survive, you ate what you hated and you bandaged yourself with stolen supplies. Buildings were forcefully broken into as they were scavenged to the last drop as if a flock of carrion birds raided it. The laws of the old were nonexistent, and the new continued on with no semblance of order. The world had become an abyss, staring back at those who dared to stare as it begun to claim all hope from those attempting to live...
"Get him inside!"
The shout shattered all reality of hoping for a peaceful night months into the apocalypse. It served as a reminder of the evils that lurked within the concrete jungle that was Brussels. A hopeless place of deteriorating structures where the dead severely outnumbered the living. Humanity was swept into the rising tide of chaos once more as the scavengers--with a well placed kick--sent the door flying open and vaulted inside with a bloody and bitten man. The blood mixed with the oil stains on his mechanic jumpsuit, creating quite a palette of colors on the man's clothing. His breathing was labored as he faded in and out of consciousness, while his body turned feverish, clearly brought upon by the bite on his shoulder.
"What the fuck happened to Enrique?!"
"Gott hat uns verlassen... Wir sind bereits tot!"
"Quit your shouting! We've got company!"
Everything descended into chaos. People soon rushed to the door, fighting with all their might to keep the walkers out of their hideout. Rotting limbs poked through the gaps as the walkers pushed back; the clattering of their mangy jaws being heard even over the shouting and confusion. First it had only been a few, but then more and more began to join their dead brothers and sisters in their attempt to get inside. The bashing and banging drew more of them like a flock of mindless drones, and the sound of shattering glass as they broke through the windows would only serve to their advantage. An endless tide of undead would break through, unless they were dealt with before they could.
It was supposed to be a peaceful morning--as peaceful as it could possibly be in walker-infested Belgium.
The group had been held up in a sort of bookstore, or so Hiroko had thought. Whilst Hiroko could not understand anything of the French language, the supposedly French building was outlined with shelves for all the eye could see. That was until they were broken down, and plastered to the various windows that surrounded the walls of the bookstore. They gave the group a small moment of peace, but keeping the walkers out was only one of their worries. Food, along with some other supplies, was falling into a shortage, and it was only a matter of time until got the idea to betray the group or they all died to starvation.
And so, a few members of the group sought to remedy this problem. Using a map of the neighboring areas, the group voted on where to search and scavenge for useful material to at least allow them to live another day. Some of the scavengers were volunteers, having wished to search for supplies to play the hero, or simply to escape the tensions that existed within the bookstore encampment. Whether it was pre-walker or post-walker tension, it clearly existed, with several members of the group not seeing eye to eye. In any case, those that were sent to scavenge soon left the area, but not without cracking the skulls of a few straggler walkers that roamed near the building.
Seeing at the time there was little for those inside the bookstore to do outside of counting cans over and over or preforming maintenance on the few guns they had, Hiroko moved to one of the various booths that existed within the building, and sat down to read one of the books that had not been yet burned for a cooking fire. It wasn't too engrossing, but when you're stuck in a post-apocalyptic world, there isn't much one can do for fun or to pass the time. Eventually, the minutes turned to hours--hours that felt like an eternity. The group had not yet returned, having been gone longer than the established time for them to return until...
"Get him inside!"
The shout pulled Hiroko from the lure of the book she had been reading. Shouting was dangerous in the apocalypse, as it could quite literally turn the heads of both living and dead. If Hiroko and the rest heard it, surely a number of walkers heard it too. Regardless of who heard it, however, the group had bigger problems. Those who were busy scavenging burst into the bookstore carrying a bitten and bloody Enrique, whose oily mechanic jumpsuit had been stained with his blood stemming from his shoulder. Confusion set in, with walkers trailing in and those within the building arguing among themselves. With the sudden panic, Hiroko took a moment to calm herself to have a level train of thought.
Count to four.
Having relaxed herself, Hiroko snatched the map while others struggled to hold the door shut against the impending walker doom. Glass began to shatter as the walkers reached their mangy arms in, but Hiroko needed to do something. "The fenced off alleyway next to the building. We can use that to escape," Hiroko spoke in the best calming, fluent English she could before being cut off by someone screaming about how they wouldn't abandon Enrique. "Let me finish. A gate connects it to the street. We can use it to maneuver around the walkers before they attract more. Do we have a plan or not?"