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The Enemy



I flung myself through the door and vaulted the toppled, long-dead refrigerator that served as an ineffective barricade in front of me. My legs propelled me through the room and into the small hallway on the other side.

I couldn’t stop to eat the expired contents of the fridge, appealing to me despite their stench after several days without food. The shrieks of pain and cries for mercy around me spurred my body onward and filled me with unexpected energy in spite of my hunger.

We were at war.

I came to a halt in front of a small bathroom.

A noise. Something behind the shower curtain.

My fear heightened and images of the enemy flooded my mind. Merciless beasts wearing human skin, devouring indiscriminately, accepting no pleas and respecting no argument. Zombies.

It had begun as we expected, with a virus. The original infected were almost a cliché. There was no humanity left in them. Just mindless rage, twisted bodies, and some primal urge to consume others. Our generation had prepared, with almost obsessive focus, for this monster. The first wave was eradicated with almost laughable ease.

We were not prepared for adaptation. We were not prepared for the creature we bred by destroying the instantly recognizable zombie. A creature with more tact.

Most of the first zombies were killed at close range, you understand, since longer range attacks were less likely to be fatal. We had trained ourselves, even before the outbreak, to equate “infection” with “death” when it came to zombies. A person “died” when their eyes clouded over and they started biting, not when you put a bullet in their head.

The new strain of the virus still controlled the body, yes, but it left other faculties to the host.

Maybe you could pull the trigger on a hopelessly crazed caricature of your best friend, your spouse, your child. But what if there was still a soul behind those eyes? If even as they attacked, they sobbed and screamed in their own voice? All the virus needed was a moment’s hesitation.

I bet you’d hesitate.

I did.

Which is why now I could only watch as my arm wrenched back the shower curtain and my hands reached for the cowering child. Why I could only beg for forgiveness before the virus used my mouth to tear ragged, bloody hunks from his body. Why I couldn’t even vomit as my hunger dissipated with the now sickeningly familiar taste of human flesh.

We were at war. And I am the enemy.

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source: by reddit user AG_plus via reddit.com/r/ShortScaryStories

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