This is Entry #5 for the GF Records Best Writer contest. ** ** ** ** I never thought about how the world would end. I never worried about my accomplishments or working towards my dreams. I lived a low-key lifestyle consisting of reading a book at the end of a day's work. I, and everyone else, took for granted things like a hot shower and my daily frappuccino. The little items that make your day to day life easier are the things that are now unobtainable. Instead I'm sitting in a tree with a stranger, afraid to fall asleep and even more afraid that they will find me. The moonlight makes the whole situation more eerie than it needs to be as I struggle to keep my breathing from becoming panicked. I guess I should explain what lead me to this point. I was never very well off in life as I never made it through an entire semester of college. I suppose in the end it didn't matter considering the predicament I am in now. My primary job was a sales clerk at a local retailer where I made a barely passable salary. I was forced to live in one of the worst areas in the city. The kind of place that people drive past but refuse to venture into. I lived in a studio apartment with no real contact to the outside world apart from the bus ride to and from my job. No phone, no computer, and no TV, more things people took for granted before this god forsaken world. It was the lack of communication that probably saved my life, at least for the time being. When it happened I was on my weekend, quietly writing in this very journal. I heard the commotion outside and thought nothing of it. I lived in the slums after all. The last thing I was worried about was what was most likely another gang scuffle happening right outside my small window. I had learned a long time ago that it was never worth it to scream at them. I kept my mouth shut and continued to write about the now trivial fears that I once had. Fears of never finding love or getting that promotion I was dreaming about. Those fears are nothing compared to the fears of death and destruction that I have now. The fears that started when I tried to leave for work on Monday. As I opened the door I had gotten a feeling that something was wrong. Usually the kids were on there way to school for the day, or at least pretending that they were. There were no sounds coming from the street, only the wind blowing gently in the make-shift wind tunnel. At that moment I saw it in the distance, the beast with the blood red eyes. My instincts must have kicked in as I quietly shut the door. I quickly sprinted down the stairs towards my basement apartment, grateful that regardless of what that thing was there were none in my building. At least I got to live in that blissful denial for a short stint of time. I began to hear the scratching and clawing inside the door of my neighbor. I become petrified, rooted to the ground unable to move an inch. What were these things and why on earth were they coming after me? I was naive enough to believe that this whole situation revolved around around me. That I must have done something horrible to deserve this. It wasn't until later that I realized it was the government that had done this to the entire world. When I was able to regain my thoughts and move my legs I went straight for my door, taking care to stop and listen for scratching. After ensuring that the coast was clear I stepped into my living room and went straight to the kitchen. My over active imagination was usually a burden but at that moment it seemed like a godsend. I opened the door to my pantry and found the food that had been stockpiled in case of a natural disaster. The food that was a reason for my semi-poverty. Deep down I knew something like this would have inevitably happen and for that reason I am standing here today. It wasn't food that would be a problem. I began to think about how I would keep myself entertained. I only had so many books to read and only so many drawing supplies to use. I began to ration them out and began to entertain myself by thinking up insanely convoluted plans for survival. Well maybe entertain is the wrong word to use. It was more like a tool to keep my brain occupied as I had all the time in the world to just sit there. Eventually the howling had ceased as the creatures had obviously began to migrate away, looking for new prey no doubt. It still took several more weeks for me to feel safe enough to venture out. The fact that my food source was dwindling down definitely helped guide my hand in that matter. The first time I went out I was petrified to move further than my open door. The claw marks on my front door made me start to question my safety in my little hideout. The gashes were jagged as though the creature had met the obstacle with frustration. Of course it is completely feasible that there were many of them all bidding for the chance of me as a next meal. I guess it just proved to be to much effort for them to continue on when the mass hysteria was causing people to try and escape. The next attempt proved a bit more successful as I made it to my neighbors door. I stayed out there for a good few hours listening intently for any noises that indicated something alive was hiding in there. I decided it was safe to open the door but the horrors that waited inside for me proved to much to handle. Dessicated corpses littering the floor, the streaks of blood on the floor indicating their feeble attempts to escape. I lost all sense of reality as I collapsed on the floor in a fit of sorrow. Everyone in that room was dead, eaten quite possibly alive, and I knew in my heart there was something that could have been done to prevent it. I'm still searching for that answer myself though, I know that's why I'm where I am right now. I ended up sleeping there that night despite the smell of decaying flesh. I think at that point I had lost the will to survive. When I came to I took one look around and all the emotions I had felt earlier had come cascading back into my head. The sorrow and helplessness had completely canceled out the fear for my life and I began to think about ending everything right then and there. I could easily climb to the top of the building and jump off and worse case scenario I would meet one of those things on my way to the top. I managed to get to my feet and began to climb up the stairs. By the time I reached the top I began to feel at ease with the choice I had made. I knew deep down that this was the best choice to make given the circumstances. The door that led up to the roof, which was unbearably neglected as made clear by the amount of chipped paint and dirt, was an ominous shade of gray but the small window at the top was remarkably clean. The light from the sun was shinning through creating a little ring of light on the floor almost as if God was welcoming me home. All my doubts had completely left my mind as I opened the door to meet my maker. That is when once again my whole life was flipped, turned upside down. As I stepped to the edge of the building I heard the shot of a gun. I immediately dropped to the ground and began to cry as the pain spread through me. I looked down at my leg and realized that I was the target. There I was hoping that someone was trying to reclaim this area for mankind but for some reason I was the target. I screamed in agony as the pain from the wound gradually grew to be much more intense. That was the first time that I heard your voice. The details of what you had said are fuzzy mainly due to the fact that I was in the midst of blacking out. Of course you know the rest of the story. How I woke up in your arms and tried to escape. How our alliance was formed and we began our journey together. The comrades we have lost along the way and the fear that we will lose more. Maybe in another time the circumstances of our meeting would have been a bit more pleasant but even still I am glad that I had met you.