Walter left a poem tacked to the wall in the bunker room:
I saw a dead bird
A story unheard
A trivial speck to the world
With no one to watch
It fell from the skies
It's feathers now shriveled and curled
I fear I am next
To wither unknown
To die without joy or pain
This bird and the man
Together they stand
For in death, they are both the same
I've learned to sleep with my head below the sun's path. It's become my natural alarm clock. It's been two days since they left me behind and, already, I'm starting to feel a bit lonely; Not the kind of loneliness you feel when your alone, but the kind that you feel when your surrounded by the unknown. Now, I hear every tick and every creak that this god-forsaken building makes...I'm beginning to hate it here. I feel like a fuckin prisoner, forced to survive in solitude and isolation. Normally, I lived as a hermit, but this...this was the god damn twilight zone; At least when things were "normal", I had brief contact with society. It's so quiet, I'm beginning to find it difficult to distinguish the times when I speak from the moments that I think. Every half hour or so, I catch myself sweating, waiting for the moment that I feel is bound to happen. I have to plan my next move if I'm to stay alive.
It wouldn't really be a "Plan B"...more of a "Plan A 1/2". Now that I was alone, it was only a matter of time before the dead found SOMEWAY in. Every morning, I search high and low for all the possible escape routes that I can take in case any of them actually get in. Three options that seemed the most viable to me: the back entrance of the station, the subterranean maintenance hatch in the boiler room across the 1st floor bathrooms, and the fire escape ladder on the north side of the second floor. Whichever one I'm closest to at "that time" is the one I am going to take. Soon, I thought to establish where I would run to next. It would be fuckin stupid for me to just take off without thinking of where to go. I remember that I have my house keys with me, but running thirteen blocks straight to get to it is out of the question. I also can't risk taking the cruiser as bone-dry on gas as it is; Run out of gas in the middle of a cannibal-ridden city and your fucked...
After a long day of trying to entertain myself, I lie down on one of the bunkers and try to relax. I stare down blankly at the olive colored socks that cover my tired feet as I begin to reminisce of "better" days...things I should have done, friends I should have made...girls I should have talked to...ahhh coulda shoulda woulda...I'm not dead yet......(creak) A faint sound causes me to violently turn my head toward the dark hallway. I sit and wait to see if the sound resurfaces........it happens again......I slowly get up from the bed and start walking out into the hall; I leave my shoes behind to remain quiet. Reaching the hall leading down to the armory, I can now hear clearly that the sound I'd been hearing was the sound of snapping wood. Before I can even reach the office where the sound is coming from, I hear a large board slap the ground and soon after, the sound of rustling glass. My fears are confirmed as a terrifying screech bounces off the walls. I run as fast as I can back to the bunk room and grab the holster holding my 45. and the M4 I'd found earlier. I run out into the hall and dash for the stairs leading to the roof. As I reach the stairs, I fire on two shapes that pass the corner I had just turned. One of the shadows falls, but the other just continues relentlessly towards me. My adrenaline carries me up the twenty seven steps in five leaps. I tackle the door as I burst onto the roof. Turning around, I see a man's frenzied face appear from the dark just before the door closes shut. I run up and try to block the door with my shoulder as the bastard nearly rushes out. He puts his hand in between the door and the lock and begins to pry his way out. Without an ounce of hesitation, I leave my M4 mounted against the door in a desperate attempt to give me more time to run to the fire escape. Running down, I hear the roof door give way and bang against the outer wall as the man scuffles onto the roof. Without even looking to see if there are any of them around below, I make the ten foot drop into the alley. As I pull myself together, the man sees me from up above and he leaps at me from atop the building. I run down the alley, easily dodging the falling man as he hits the ground, spraying the nearby walls with gore.
I run undetected for two blocks straight until I spot a small, open liquor store. It seems deserted so I lock the door and turn the lights off. I look across each aisle to make sure that nothing is inside..........clear...Whew, god damn, I made it. I grab a handful of jerky and a bottled water and lock myself in the bathroom. My back slides down the smooth walls as I collapse, fatigued, onto the ground...Fuck, I'm eating inside of liquor store bathroom... I laugh uncontrollably as tears begin rolling down the side of my face. A good half hour passes when I hear a whimper coming from one of the stalls. Sitting down, I can see that there are no feet in any of them...what next, ghosts? Walking down the stalls with my gun drawn, I slowly open them one by one. I reach the last stall which happens to be the largest. I try to open it, but its locked so I try knocking. "Hello...anybody in there?" Through the slits of the doorway, I can see something moving but I'm not sure what. I kneel down and peek beneath the doorway. I'm surprised to see a teen sitting with her feet on the toilet seat; I reach up and quickly unlatch the door. I stand back up but don't approach her because she seems frightened.
Peter: "...It's alright, I'm a police officer...are you ok?"
She nods hesitantly but doesn't say a word.
Peter: "My name is Peter..."
Peter: "Ok, Noralli...um, I have some food and water over there if you're hungry...maybe we can
talk when you're ready?"
It takes a few minutes, but she finally snaps out of her delirium. We seat ourselves perpendicular to each other as we chow down on the last remaining pieces of the Turkey Jerky.
Peter: "How long have you been in here?"
Noralli:"..It's been a couple of days...when everything started, I was in the store...the clerk, he
was with me then...he ran outside to make a call on the phone when I heard him screaming
for me to stay inside...so I did. He didn't come back..."
Peter: "He was right, it's not safe out there, trust me....why are you here of all places?"
Noralli: The night it all happened, my sister was having a party at the house. She told me to buy
drinks for the guests...I was on my cell with her before the connections dropped. She
told me to stay put and she would come get me..."
She begins to tear up and then starts to cry. I try to console her.
Peter: "Hey, hey...I'm sure your sister's fiiiine...she's probably already in a safe place worrying about
you...c'mon, you don't want your sister coming in here and seeing you like this,
do you?...I mean look at your hair, it's horrible!"
A smile breaks through her teary eyes and she gives out a girlish giggle.
Peter: "You see, now that's better! Don't worry, it's gonna be ok, kid, I promise.
An hour later, it hits me.
Peter: "Noralli....Noralli, wake up..."
Peter: "Is your sister's name Nicole?"