Danielle Kim sat quietly against the wall, staring at the bloody remains of her neighbors. It had been two days since the broadcasts online had stopped. Yesterday, radio broadcasts about safe zones began to vanish throughout the day. Any broadcasts since were intermittent and only conveyed fears, prayers, and screams for help.
She hadn’t bothered listening to the radio today. At the time she was too preoccupied with the sounds of struggle in the apartment next to her. She didn’t really know her neighbors that well. Now she found herself staring at the blood that pooled around the corpse of… was it Julie? It might as well have been Julie, now. Danielle had spoken to her a handful of times in the five years that they were neighbors. Most of those conversations came after the apocalypse.
After the sounds of screaming and heavy thumps against the wall had suddenly cut out, Danielle left her quarantined apartment. She had stepped onto the walkway and saw the stone steps that lead up to the second floor were still demolished, and that no ghouls had managed to make it up.
Danielle turned her attention to the other apartment and saw that the door was open. She knocked lightly but heard nothing from inside. She had decided then to step inside.
Julie was already dead. Her boyfriend was on his knees, his face buried into her face. Sitting here now, Danielle didn’t remember making a noise, but she recalled the boyfriend looking up at the time, his eyes pale and unblinking. Between his teeth was a chunk of Julie’s cheek.
He had turned.
She must have stumbled back to her apartment and grabbed something to defend herself. Danielle looked around the living room and saw the volleyball trophy tossed away. The marble corner was caked in hair, blood, and brain matter. Now she turned back to see her handiwork. Next to Julie’s body was the boyfriend; his skull caved in and his arm thrown over Julie. A parody of a sleeping couple.
Danielle began to sob. Everything had fallen apart. She felt like a fool for not having fled somewhere, anywhere, sooner.
The sobbing continued until Julie began to stir. Danielle watched the fingers of the dead woman begin to curl and drag across the carpet. The first stirrings of something horrid being born.
The internet was right. Danielle hadn’t wanted to believe it. The dead were returning to life and attacking the living, forced to wander around in an undead daze.
She rose to her feet and made her way to the trophy. She wouldn’t let that fate befall Julie.
Danielle plunged the corner of the trophy into the temple of Julie’s skull. Soon the rasping moans fell silent, and again, the trophy was discarded across the room.
It was time to leave the apartment complex.
Thank you for reading the first installment of the Haunted MTL original series, The Dead Life. Please share your thoughts about the story with us.