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Left 4 Dead: Clemency
(© Bryan Way)

Page 1

13 Days After First Infection

A spiral bound notebook lies motionless a few feet away from the sidewalk on the corner of a quiet metropolitan street. In the distant night, a police siren quietly drones, not getting any closer or farther away as it saves the air from an otherwise unsettling silence. Staggering footsteps inch closer to the street corner, accompanied only by an indecipherable mumbling. The feet stop at the edge of the notebook as a soft breeze flips up the top page to reveal a message: READ ME.

A middle-aged man falls to his knees and holds up the notebook, his chapped lips twitching as he reads. He turns the page and squints after a few seconds. "What the fuck…" He slowly rises to his feet looking left and right before dropping the notebook and frantically looking at the rooftops around him. "Who’s out there?" He asks quietly. He pulls a snub nose .38 from the front of his pants and holds it up. "WHO’S OUT THERE?!" A high pitched, blood curdling scream rips through the still air before a dark figure slams into the man’s upper body, causing him to instantly topple over.

The creature digs its fingers into the man’s chest, instantly tearing through his shirt and reaming the thick skin of his stomach as a quick, fat splatter of blood shoots up. The man screams until the blood bubbling in his throat causes him to choke moments before the creature wraps its fingers around his windpipe, jerks out a pulpy, muscular mound of flesh and stuffs it in its mouth. The man’s weak, sinewy fingers awkwardly writhe about as a few more jets of blood fire from the arteries in his neck.

Once the man stops squirming, the creature seems to lose interest, growling softly as it crawls on all fours across the intersection towards a dark, distant alley. Two of the blinds in a ground level window immediately adjacent to the notebook spread apart no more than an inch, revealing a darkness that wraps around the faint glint of a pair of eyes. A full minute passes before the two blinds snap back together, followed quickly by a door slowly opening a few feet away. A young woman duck walks out of the stoop holding a crowbar behind her head.

Slowly, she edges herself towards the nearly unrecognizable corpse, her head snapping back and forth before peeking over at the alley. She kneels down a bit further and lifts the revolver out of a puddle of blood. Just as slowly as she came out, she goes back inside the doorway, leaving the notebook on the ground: LIST THE MEMBERS OF YOUR FAMILY BY NAME, GENDER, AGE, AND RELATIONSHIP. Once inside she pulls up an oily rag and starts cleaning the blood off of the revolver, and once the gun is clean she swings out the pivot and pushes up the extractor rod, freeing two empty shells. "Fuck." She whispers to herself.

She sighs, looking at several bags of potato chips, granola bars, and cans of soda. She quickly stands and walks towards the window, poking two fingers between the blinds to see the street again. She paces away from the window only to return seconds later. "Oh, fuck it…" She says softly, unzipping a book bag and inserting a few granola bars and cans of soda into it. Leaving the backpack hanging open, she pulls out a plastic swimming clip and fixes it over her nose. The name ZOEY is embroidered on the backpack. She opens the door slowly and slides herself through.

Once outside, she goes right back to the corpse and checks his pockets, but they are empty. Scanning up and down the block, she puts the notepad into her backpack and quietly zips it before slinking along the darkest parts of the open, suburban-esque street. Every few feet she stops on a dark stoop or indentation to look around, eventually making it to the end of the block without a sound. She freezes near a massive, open intersection, staring at the other side intently for a moment before quickly standing and quietly rolling her feet as she traverses the crosswalk. Once at the other side, she kneels with her back against a wall and points her revolver to the left and right. She takes a moment to breathe.

Zoey pauses at the edge of a relatively well lit strip of road with rows of houses on either side. Her eyes turn towards all the dark spots before she stands and quietly glides along the buildings. She stops in a shadowed doorway, disappearing from the light. For a moment, the street is completely motionless and silent, and then she hustles to the next dark spot behind a trash bin. When she stands up and starts moving again, a pair of heavy feet can be heard quickly dragging across the asphalt behind her. Zoey quickly and soundlessly glides into another doorway and freezes. The footsteps are joined by another pair along with an excited wheezing sound. Remaining in the shadow, Zoey only moves her eyes back and forth, keeping the revolver perched a few inches in front of her face.

[ Continue to page 2 ]


Genre:Living Dead
Type:Long story
Rating:7.39 / 10
Rated By:136 users
Comments: 13 users
Total Hits:6693

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