Unbelievable… I actually survived it and made it to this godforsaken shore.
The moment I was thrown overboard I was certain I was done for. I don’t understand any of this but hypothermia is no joke, that much I can tell you. It all just happened so fast, I’m not even sure if I remember it well. Ouch, my head is hurting like hell. I must’ve hit it pretty hard amidst all the chaos. Let’s just think back for a second and see if I can get my memories straight about what lead me to this point, because right now it’s all just a big mess inside my head.
It’s all slowly coming back to me; the rush, the panic, the chaos, the violence… There’s always the violence. And somehow, I always seem to end up in the middle of it.
I remember being nervous. I remember being scared and filled up to the top with adrenaline while I was running for my life. Yes, that’s right. I was fleeing. The sudden rush you get when your body and soul switches to that primitive mindset, you know what I mean? You ever truly experienced that pure need for survival?
But from what was I fleeing again? Damn, it’s cold out here on this beach. Oh, yea that’s right, I’m in Russia for this strange job I accepted a while back. I remember I managed to steal this bounty from that shady Russian dude at the back of a warehouse. It was all going fine and dandy until I got caught and had to make a run for it. “RUN, FOREST, RUN!” I told myself jokingly, moments before shit hit the fan. And the shit did hit the fan pretty fast. As soon as I turned around the second or third corner, I briefly saw someone swinging an object at me, followed by a sudden black-out… You’re just such an experienced and perceptive bounty hunter. Aren’t you, Resza?
When I woke up, I found myself handcuffed on a small wooden boat in the middle of the night, in what seemed to me the middle of the ocean. It was a clear night sky with a full moon and the sea was very calm. A cold but beautiful winter night, one could even say if the circumstances were to be different. I noticed that next to me, two other persons were sitting unconscious and handcuffed. There also seemed to be four armed guards, or mercenaries, evenly spread out at the front and at the back of the boat. I think I’ll just call them guards for the ease of it, I don’t even know who they are anyway and I’m too tired to care about it at the moment.
I think that several hours of silence went by until I finally heard one of the guards say something to another, after looking on his phone. It sounded like Russian but even though I couldn’t understand a word he said, the fear in his voice was as clear as the night’s sky. A heated discussion erupted between the four guards, while two of them were pointing in opposite directions. “Cyka!”, “Blyat!”, now those words I do understand. It looked like the discussion was starting to escalate and the guards were looking more terrified by the minute. I tried to figure out where they were pointing at and, to my surprise, I was able make out the vague curvatures of land hills in one of the directions.
This is the way. The guards are distracted with each other and the shore is within swimming distance, even if I’m handcuffed. It’s cold and I’ll have to be very quick if I don’t want to die of hypothermia but I should be able to make it, I think. Before I was able to slip overboard, a guard noticed I was awake and for a brief moment we looked each other right in the eye. Then I suddenly felt an incredible pain at the back of my head and it all blacked out again.
The second time I woke up, we were already pulling up towards the shore. That’s right, we finally set foot on land. It seemed like the big tough one won the discussion about which direction to go to, as the smaller guard was nowhere to be found anymore. The three remaining guards started yelling and kicking me and the other two hostages, as a clear sign to get out of the boat. My head felt like it was about to explode and I had trouble with keeping my balance.
Since the guards started yelling, I started hearing these weird, gargling noises. At first, I thought that I was imagining things. You know, hallucinating. The hits to my head must have seemingly done some serious damage. Or maybe I’m actually suffering from severe hypothermia, it’s fucking freezing out here. Probably both. But these weird noises kept growing louder and louder, and the gargling noises started to sound more and more humanlike. Sometimes I could hear something faraway that sounded a bit like a distorted scream. It can’t possibly be human; I never heard something like that before. But what on earth could it be? Resza, just why the hell did you have to take on that bounty… You should’ve just become a simple delivery boy instead…
Suddenly the guards, which were arguing with each other, stopped talking. They started to notice these weird gargling noises too. Then we heard multiple of these terrifying screams again. This time closer and accompanied with footsteps, a lot of fast-paced footsteps. It started to become increasingly louder and within a matter of seconds it sounded as if Satan itself had directed his army of devils right at us. It appeared that the guards had more knowledge about the origin of these horrifying noises than the rest of us. The two smaller guards quickly grabbed the two other hostages, while the bigger guard dragged and pushed me towards the boat. The smaller guards got the two hostages on their knees and, without a second of a doubt, hit them forcefully on the head with a baseball bat. I heard loud cracking noises when the bat hit their skulls and I knew it was unfortunately over for those two.
As soon as the second body hit the ground, I saw what looked like crazed-out people running out of the dark curtain of the night. But these were not ordinary humans. They were running like they were possessed by an actual devil, and I’m not even religious. They kind of reminded me of those videos you see sometimes about people who are under the influence of this drug called Flaka. And the noises! For fuck’s sake… The noises I’ve been hearing, they came from them! For a brief moment, the two guards seemed to be paralyzed, completely in shock at what they were witnessing before their very eyes. Just before I got pushed inside the boat by the bigger guard, I saw these humanlike creatures launch themselves onto the remaining people and bodies on the beach. These devilish creatures started feasting on them. Ripping limbs, organs, muscles and tendons apart with their bare hands and teeth. The constant smacking and gargling noises they made was sickening to hear. I guess the plan to use the two hostages as bait failed miserably for those two puny guards.
I was leaning on the side of the small boat and I was unable to sit up straight. Now that I had a sense of being safe, the adrenaline started to wear out and I felt weak. I had no energy left to give and I felt like just giving up, so I could wake up from this nightmare. The remaining guard abruptly started poking me with a paddle, as a sign to me that I needed to help row the boat. He took my handcuffs off and pointed with his gun; first at my hands, and then at the paddles. But I couldn’t comply, I had no hope left of a good outcome. I had no fucks left to give. I just wanted to close my eyes for a second. Just a tiny nap, so I can gather a little bit of energy. Then I can help you row. Yes, I will be the fastest rower you ever witnessed. But first, let me rest. I suddenly felt a freezing cold and realized that the guard had just thrown me overboard.
It’s okay. Now I can rest. Let’s… just… close my eyes, and it will all be over soon…
So, yea, here I am. By sheer luck I somehow washed ashore and I’m back on this godforsaken place with a soaring headache. For now, I see no immediate danger except for the need to find food, water and shelter but I could be gravely mistaken. I do see lots of houses and buildings in the distance, I wonder if there are fellow humans over there. You know, the kind that don’t eat the flesh off your bones? I’m not sure if bounty hunting will have a future for me here, as it didn’t turn out that great last time. But I could still become a delivery boy, if there are other people. Or maybe they need protection from the Flakamen? In the form of brute force? Or shelter maybe? Anyhow, if there are other people, the possibilities should be immense.
I guess it’s time to find out.