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Server time (UTC): 2022-10-07 03:15

Who Am I? Who Are You?

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The morning air was brisk, and the sun was shining brightly in the sky. Three little clouds of air continued to vanish on the breath of each hiker as they trekked along a path deep in the woods.

"Hey, can you guys hold up? I can't find my energy bars."

"They should be in the front pocket of your pack, Adam."

"I know but they're not in there! Hey, Tak! Can you stop for a minute?"

The girl turned to face her friends and watched them search through their bags for a few minutes before Adam muttered something and the two boys looked over to her.

"Tak, do you know what happened to my energy bars?" Adam asked as calmly as he could, but you could still taste the salt in his tone.

Tak looked down at her boots briefly and kicked a rock into the grass.


"Chris!" Adam growled at his friend as he threw a hand up in Tak's direction. Chris rolled his eyes and slapped his arm away.

"Get a hold of yourself, this trip is for her. Don't ruin it just because you lost a few snacks."

Adam huffed, zipped up his pack and threw it back over his shoulder. He knew that this camping trip was to help Tak get an escape from what was going on in her head, but things were still happening...little things, and this frustrated Adam. He loved his friend to death but he was hungry and therefore just a tad bit cranky.

Chris looked down at his watch and grabbed a pill bottle from his coat pocket.

"Med time, Tak."

She turned and took the pills in his hand and gulped them down with some water.

"Hey, look at that!" Adam pointed somewhere behind them and when they turned around, they could barely make out a small building through the trees. The trio hiked towards the structure and discovered that it was an old house. It was rather broken, with an enormous hole in the roof and half of it was just a brittle frame.

"Cool!" Tak smiled and ran to one of the shattered windows to get a look at what was inside. She wasn't normally so curious but she had a mild fascination for old broken things.

"Hey be careful! That thing isn't sturdy." Chris warned.

"It's fine!" Tak stuck her tongue out at him and put a leg through the window. The inside of the house was musty and covered in overgrown plants, and there was a mess of old wood and leaves where half of the building had collapsed. Tak looked around, pausing momentarily to adjust the straps of her backpack. The house was mostly empty, save for a moldy old couch in the corner that was missing a cushion. Her nose crinkled at the smell and she moved to the other side of the room to continue exploring.

Outside Adam and Chris were peering in the window from a safe distance at their friend to make sure she was still alright until she moved out of their sight.

"Tak, can you come out of there? I've got a bad feeling something is going to happen.."

The very moment Chris finished his sentence there was a loud rustling and then a crash from inside. He practically dove inside the window, with Adam not far behind.


The girl had been showered with wood and dirt, part of the upper floor had been shaken loose and crumbled on top of her. There was a noise above them and when they looked up they were met by something rotten and horrid. The stench coming off of it was enough to make you vomit.

"Ugh, what is that?" Adam covered his face with his sleeve while Chris moved closer to get a better look. Suddenly the thing made a loud screech and lunged forward towards them, causing it to tumble forward onto the floor in front of them. It lifted its ugly head and began to crawl towards them, continuing to snarl and scream.

"Kill it!" Adam yelled and Chris aimed his foot at the thing's head, crushing it several times with his boot, to be sure it wouldn't get back up. Adam set down his backpack and rushed over to check on Tak while Chris moved the thing around with his now bloody and smelly shoe.

"Chris I think she's unconscious, can you get my med pack from my bag?"

"Adam...this was a person..."


Adam turned around and looked closer at the broken, rotting body of what was indeed a human being.

"Do you hear that?" Chris asked. There was a low growling noise coming from outside that soon turned into several growls, and they were coming closer. The two boys crawled out of the broken window and walked around to the other side of the building.

"Oh my god..."

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  • Sapphire

Oh, wow. This is pretty good.

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  • Sapphire

Oh, wow. This is pretty good.

Thank you! Hopefully I'll be able to post another bit tomorrow.

That'll be great.

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It was cold.

My eyes opened slowly to a room full of darkness and bad smells. Rot. Mold. The dirt wasn't so bad, I liked the smell of dirt. I tried to move but there was this weight on top of me. It wasn't too heavy, I was able to wiggle myself free so that I could stand, though as soon as I was up I felt a rush of pain go up my body and into my head. I stumbled a bit and had to crouch back down on my knees for a moment.

That's when I saw it. The mangled body of what I think was a person lying on the floorboards next to me. They were face down with their legs broken and jutting in several different directions, their arms stretched out in front of them. The head...well...it was a puddled mess of skull fragments and flesh with some hair patches mixed in here and there. I wanted to throw up just by how they looked but the smell of the body rotting was just as awful, if not worse.

I looked around and slowly realized that I couldn't remember how I'd gotten there. Standing up slowly this time, I moved to the broken window on the other side of the room. It was dark and my breath was only a faint mist in the small amount of moonlight that the clouds allowed me to have.

"What the fuck?"

Incredible fear jolted through my body. All around me in the grass were rotting bodies. I walked slowly around the building and found a few more but these were different. Two of the bodies weren't rotting, they were just...ripped open. Their entrails were exposed and their faces, caked with blood. I noticed their backpacks skewed on the ground not far from where they were.

Had they been with me? I shifted the pack on my own shoulders nervously. My head hurt as I tried to remember, but I just couldn't recall anything. I inched closer to get a better look at their bloodied faces. Nothing. They weren't familiar at all and I could feel the tears coming in my eyes. Why couldn't I remember?

I had to get away from there. I was alone, scared, and unsure of where the hell I was. I needed to find somebody who could help me. My body was shaking, partially from how chilly it was, but mostly because of the tremendous anxiety I was feeling. Whatever tore those two boys apart, and whatever killed all those other people around that little broken house, might come back. I realized I needed to find a weapon to defend myself, so I searched until the only useful thing I could find was a large piece of plywood. It wasn't too rotten so it would hold me off until I found something better. I found a path not too far from the...mess...and started walking.


Was that a voice behind me?

"Hello?" I stopped and turned.


Absolutely nothing..

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  • Sapphire

A nice little bit. I am liking it. More please. :)

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Long skinny arms.

Tall withered body.

Bald drooping head.

This thing follows me everywhere. It looks all shadowy and misty when it moves around, and it's never far away. The first time I saw it a few days ago I was scared, but the fear faded and somehow turned into slight comfort. Its presence felt familiar, like a best friend you had known since your childhood.

It wasn't very long after I started seeing him that he started talking. I can tell that his voice is deep but he only whispers, even when he yells. He told me his name is Wither, and he has friends. They aren't here yet, they have to find their way back. Back to us I guess, he never really told me what he meant and he doesn't like it when I ask questions.

I don't like making him upset. He pinches me really hard if I do something he doesn't like. He rarely scratches me, and when he does it makes me bleed. Its strange though when he does scratch me, I will bandage myself but when I take the bandage off later there isn't any blood. I guess he's some kind of demon. I can't think of anything else that he might be. Wither isn't mean all the time though. He keeps me company when he feels like it.

I don't think other people see him. I've met a couple people, alive and dead, that don't acknowledge him at all. At first I thought they could. I would talk to him, and about him, as if they could hear the conversations we had but that always ended in me being chased away or abandoned in the middle of the night. So I've tried to stop talking to Wither when I meet new people. Its hard sometimes though, he doesn't like being ignored.

His lack of caring about anything has been rubbing off on me.

Sometimes people need my help...

Sometimes I help.

Sometimes...I don't...

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  • Sapphire

I am not fond of this one....

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It was chilly.

More than usual, but maybe that was because I was right by the ocean.

My feet dangled carelessly off the edge of the large rock that I was sitting on and I scooped another spoonful of peaches into my mouth. Seagulls screeched every now and then and the leaves on the trees behind me rustled softly. It was as if the world was singing me a song. I smiled.

"This is nice. I could get used to this."

"This is boring."

Wither's gross, lanky body was hanging in one of the trees to my left.

"Well nobody was asking you." I said sticking another spoonful of peaches in my mouth. Suddenly he was next to me and his long boney fingers reached out to pinch my arm. I flinched away.

"Don't. I'm trying to enjoy myself for once." I scowled at him. He scowled back. I finished the last of my peaches and after putting my spoon into my pocked, I chucked the empty can as far as I could.


I looked behind me at Wither who was staring back at me.

"Are you sick or something?" I asked him and he growled.

"Is anyone there? Please help me!"

I pulled my legs up onto the rock and leaned over the edge. There was a man down below and he was clutching his thigh with one hand and waving to me with the other.

"Uh, hello? Are you alright?" I asked.

"No! Please help me I think my leg is broken!"

I glanced back at Wither but he wasn't there anymore.

"Do you have any meds with you? I'm in a lot of pain.."

"Uhhhh...let me check." As I started to go through my pack, Wither appeared next to me and hissed in my ear.

"You're going to give this fool your things?"

"He needs help. Do you see anyone else around?"

I felt another pinch on my arm, harder this time. I ignored him and pulled a morphine injector out of the med kit inside my bag. I leaned over the side of the rock and waved my arm to get the guy's attention.

"I have some morphine. I'm not sure if I can get down to you. Let me try to find a way."

"Thank you ma'am, please be careful!"

I searched for a good place to start climbing down and did my best to find some decent footing. Wither wasted no time getting super close to my face and started growling at me furiously.

"Don't do this, he's dangerous. You don't know him, he might hurt us."

"Shut up, nothing can hurt you." I hissed at him.

Just as I had climbed down onto another large jutting rock, there was a shot that echoed all around the cliff side. The bullet smashed into the rocks just right of my head and I turned quickly, grabbing the bow that hung around my chest. Another shot rang out and I crouched down and strung an arrow, aiming out towards the beach.

Two men were running towards the cliffside, pausing only to take a shot at me and the man lying just below me. I fired an arrow at the first man and hit him in the leg. He tumbled forward and screamed a few curses. The second man took another shot at me and the bullet just grazed the side of my pack as I ducked down.

I strung another arrow.

The man dropped, my arrow through his eye.

I swung the bow back across my chest and looked down towards the man on the cliff side.

"Oh Jesus, that was close, thank you! Are you alright? That was some nice shooting with that bow!"

I stared at him expressionless.

"Leave him. I told you he wasn't worth it. You nearly died! This is all his fault, he's probably in on this. Setting you up to a vulnerable position so they could take all of our things! Leave! LEAVE!!"

I turned and began to climb back up the rock. The man's grateful expression turned into horror and he started to panic.

"Hey, no wait please come back! Please help me! HELP MEEE!"

I stood up and looked back over at the helpless stranger below. Part of me still wanted to help him. I wanted to give him the painkillers and pull him back up over the cliff side...but Wither wouldn't shut up about leaving him.

So I left.

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Great story, really enjoyed it reading while drinking tea!

Thank you! Tea is the best. :)

Damn, that's really well made :D

Thanks! It's been a while since I sat down and wrote anything worth reading so it feels really good to hear people like this character and her story. ^.^

Read it all in one shot, it's great ! Really like what you did with Wither :3

Aw thanks! I was a little nervous at how people might react to him since I've been doing all of these in pieces but hopefully now that I've got her story going I can give people a bit more clarity on Tak's illness and how she deals with it in this zombie filled world.

quite good story, reading before sleep :)

Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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  • Sapphire

Wow. That was really good. Good job. :'( Poor guy. Okay, Wither is getting interesting.

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  • 2 weeks later...


There's nothing more calming than sitting by a fire with your eyes fixed on the little twinkling lights in the sky.

I breathed in deeply.

I remember this feeling.

An all too familiar ache in my head started rearing up so I tried to think about something else.

I turned the rabbit I was cooking over a couple times. It had been two days since I'd entered the woods. I figured that I'd try to avoid people for a while since the last encounter wasn't exactly what I'd call pleasant. Wither liked making people feel bad, but I didn't. At least not when they didn't really deserve it. Or do they always deserve it? With Wither around I'm always questioning this.

There was a noise behind me. I turned grabbing my bow and reached behind me for an arrow.

A deer stared back, standing stiller than the trees around us. I lowered my bow slowly and blinked. The deer turned and walked away calmly. I wondered if I should have taken the shot while I had it, but I didn't feel like putting any effort into gutting it and cutting it up. The night was still calm and I wanted to keep it that way. I tossed my bow aside with my backpack and flopped over onto the grass so that I could rest my head on my pack. I closed my eyes for what I thought was a moment, and when I opened them the rabbit I had over the fire was nice and done. I sat up to take it off.

Pain...and no sound. Suddenly my ears were ringing and I felt a gun being jabbed into my back. I looked down at my right shoulder to find it covered in blood. I glanced over the same shoulder to see a man. Had I met him before? He looked familiar...then again my vision was starting to blur and the darkness of the night was closing in rapidly. I was beginning to hear muffled noises. I think the man was yelling at me, but there was another voice coming from in front of me. I could barely make out a blurred figure standing behind my fire. Next to him was an extra black mass that I could only assume was Wither. I could hear him clearly in my head. He was growling.

I closed my eyes...and then there was nothing.

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  • 2 weeks later...


Continuous snarling.

Blurred vision.

This is what I awoke to.

I tried to look around without moving.

The pain in my shoulder was excruciating, but I made the most effort I could not to make any sound. I was in some kind of warehouse, it was pretty empty except for my backpack.

It was quiet...and then I heard Wither speak.

"Look what you've gotten us into."

I rolled over to look at him.


He appeared suddenly right next to my face, his whole essence was shifting quickly like an agitated horde of bees. He looked furious, but for some reason he didn't punish me for my backtalk. I closed my eyes

A little while later I heard voices. They were outside so I couldn't tell what they were saying. I mustered the strength to slowly look around the room. It was still dark, so it couldn't have been too long after I was 'kidnapped'. I sat up very slowly and my face scrunched up in pain. I put my hand over my shoulder, it felt wet and sticky. It was covered and tied with a couple shitty rags and they were soaked in blood. I decided it would probably be a horrible idea to stand if I wanted to make an attempt to escape.

I crawled as best I could over to the wall where my backpack was sitting. I took a quick look through it, nothing was missing really, just my bow and my arrows. Made sense for them to be gone. I started crawling along the wall slowly, dragging my backpack with me. I was almost to the other side of the warehouse when I heard footsteps behind me.

"Fuck." I cursed under my breath, and yelped when a hand grabbed my shoulder and spun me over onto my back.

"Where do you think you're goin'?"

I opened my eyes to look at him.

No. Way.

Standing above me was the man from the cliff, and the one I had shot in the leg. That was weeks ago, how did they find me? My face was too twisted with pain to betray the feeling of fear inside of me.

"You remember us. I know you do"

"How could I not? What do you want, an apology?"

"You really don't want to piss me off."

"Don't get your panties in a bunch already. There's nothing I can't say that won't upset you."

That granted me a fist in my face. I could taste blood in my mouth, so I spat it in his direction. He scowled.

"Whatever you're here to do, hurry up. I don't have all night."

"Why the rush? We're only just getting started." The other man spoke finally. He was the one on the cliff side. It would seem that Wither was right about him. They must have been working together all along to get me into a vulnerable position on that cliff, take me out, then take my stuff. I looked past them at the shadowy bastard.

"I told you." He sneered.

"I know, don't rub it in." I muttered.

"What are you going to do now?"

"I don't know!"

The two men looked at each other and then behind them. I closed my eyes and sighed, immediately regretting the deep breath as another shot of piercing pain ran up to my shoulder.

"Who are you talking to?" The man I shot asked.

"My friend."


They looked behind and all around the warehouse again.

"There's no one else here but us, idiot!"

I looked around and saw Wither had moved to the doorway on the farther end of the room.

"He's there." I nodded towards the black mass.

Wither snickered loudly.

The man I shot motioned with his hand and cliff guy turned and walked outside to check for anyone. Shot man turned back to me and grabbed the front of my jacket, yanking me close.

"There isn't anyone out there. No one will come for you, and you're gonna pay for what you did to my leg."

His breath was gross, and smelled like cigarette smoke and fish.

"Try not to breathe on me too much if you want this to last."

"You little bitch!"

He grabbed my injured shoulder hard, I screamed, and he punched me again. My vision went blurry and very dark with spots. I could feel myself close to passing out again but I fought hard to stay awake. I tried to crawl away but his foot introduced itself to my stomach and I flopped over onto my side.

Pain and darkness.

Furious yelling.

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My vision was blurred and there was so much pain in my shoulder. It was a different pain. It was an intense stinging rather than horrible throbbing. I tried to look around but it was still difficult to focus. I could hear Wither breathing not too far away.

Was that Wither?

It didn't sound like him.

It was cold.

I huffed and tried to prop myself up on my left arm to see what was around me. I noticed Wither's lanky limbs over near the wall across from me. He was staring at something.

"Disgusting!" Wither snarled and it made me jump a little.

"What is?" I asked, and he pointed a boney finger at what he was staring at.

A man?

"What's what?" He turned towards me.

"I wouldn’t get up if I were you; you've lost quite a bit of blood. Other than the obvious pain, how are you feeling?"

He got up to bring me a can of peaches as well as a torn blanket.

"It's not much but it's all I could find before seeing more of those, things that are out there." He sat down across from me.

I looked at my shoulder that was now bandaged more suitably and I looked back at the man. I stared at the peaches and the blanket but didn't take them.

"Oh, sorry for being rude, my name is Shane O'Malley. I treated your wound better than those two who were in here earlier did. It's going to be sore for a while though, so try not to put any stress on it."

This was too weird.

I turned my attention to Wither who was still scowling at the man grumbling about how ugly and disgusting he was.

"I don't like him! Send him away!" Wither screeched at me and jumped towards where I was laying. I flinched slightly and glared at him.

"Stop being a baby." I muttered and winced when he wrapped one of his gangly hands around my arm roughly.

"I'm...Tak." I said finally to Shane.

"Tak huh? Interesting name. So tell me something, if you can that is, do you know who those men were from before? The ones that brought you here?" He asked.

"They...I met them not too long ago." I was unsure at this point if I was dreaming or awake.

"They were bad people."

God that sounded stupid, but I couldn't think straight anymore, there was too much going on.

"Tell him to go away!" Wither glared at me, but I ignored him.

"Are you mean too?" I asked shooting a quick smirk at Wither. He stopped whining and his lip curled into the most distasteful frown.

Shane paused for a moment but then answered. "I really guess it depends on what you mean by 'mean'. I patched you up yes, and that would be considered 'good' but before that I got rid of the men who were in here with you. They brought you here, the mean ones, but I guess what I did to them would also be considered mean. Hmmm, I guess I would say that I'm not mean, but willing to do what it takes to save the good?" He seemed unsure of his answer. "Sorry for rambling there, no, I don't think I'm mean. Just a little... overzealous sometimes."

I stared, saying nothing for a moment and then laughed.

"I like you." I said smiling. This guy, I could tell, was going to be great company, real or not. He seemed unsure but he had confidence. I looked behind me and found that my backpack was still sitting against the wall. I rolled over and despite the pain in my shoulder I crawled, putting weight on my one good arm. I grabbed one of the zippers and opened it, a can of already opened tuna toppled out. I picked it up and, with my back against the wall I ate while I kept an eye on this new....thing in my life.

I smiled too and started to eat the peaches he had offered me earlier.

"So, Tak, how long have you been here? This…country I mean, not the warehouse."

I tried to think of a time when I wasn't here. I could get little flashes that made no sense, and then a huge blank spot before I had woken up in that broken house. My head throbbed and I shrugged.

"I don't know. I can't remember how I got here, or even where here is. I can hardly remember who I am to be honest."

"Don't talk to him! I don't like him, talk to me!" Wither was practically begging if you can call all of his gross snarling betting.

"But I don't want to talk to you, you're a jerk." I smiled, and prepared myself for Wither's claws against my skin. I still flinched when it happened and now I was dripping blood on the floor and my clothes. I sighed and shuffled through my pack for a clean bandage.

"Talk to who?" Shane asked, sounding quite confused.

"Oh him." I nodded in Wither's direction and when I found a bandage I proceeded to wrap my arm with it.

"He's cranky because I'm talking to you." I found it strange that he didn't seem to be aware of Wither but I guess there's not really a rulebook for demons or ghosts or whatever they were.

He started moving closer to me.

"Can I see that real quick? I'm somewhat of a doctor, so I'd like to take a look at the... 'wound' that you're bandaging." He held his hand out not making an action move any closer than he already was.

I looked at him carefully, and held out my arm.

"You're a doctor?" I asked finding it curious that he had a profession. I peered over at Wither wondering why he wasn't an astronaut or something. He rolled his head away as if he knew what I was thinking and I chuckled.

Shane smiled.

"Of sorts, I use to be a medic in the military." He took my arm carefully and looked it over. He looked REALLY confused now.

"I'm afraid I have to ask, but why were you bandaging your arm?" He looked it over once more.

I frowned.

"Some medic. My friend hurt me again....now there's blood dripping all over my clothes." I pulled my arm away and wrapped it back up making a tsch noise with my tongue at all the little crimson droplets on my jacket.

"I like this jacket.." I mumbled rather upset. "Are you sure you know what you're doing?"

"Tak, I want you to try something for me really quick, I want you to close your eyes and focus on the blood. And I want you to focus and think really hard that the blood isn't there and doesn't exist."

My eyes narrowed.

"What for…?"

Wither's disapproval of Shane grew 100 times and he was standing right behind the man screaming at me.

For once in a long time the tall lanky shadow demon was scaring me. I shrunk against the wall and clutched my backpack with my good hand.

I hardly noticed that Shane took a step and lowered his hands.

"Easy, it was just a suggestion. You don't have to if you aren't comfortable with the idea."

Wither's screaming didn't stop and his jaw was awkwardly dropped beyond where it should have stopped. I could barely hear Shane over him so I yelled.


With the strength I had I flung my backpack in Wither's direction and he backed off a few feet, the screaming ceased but his mouth was still wide open. My breathing was rapid and I groaned as I felt the pain in my shoulder now throb.

"Why are you like this?" I asked, mostly to myself but loud enough so that Wither might hear. I slouched back against the wall, suddenly very tired.

"Tak, Tak I need you to hear me for one second. Throwing your backpack split your stitches on your shoulder. I need you to let me re-stitch it to stop the bleeding and pain." He said trying to calm me down.

Woozily, I nodded.

"Do your thing, Mr. Doctor." I said with a half assed laugh. I thought for a moment.

"Are you going to leave? Or are you invisible like my friend..?"

I was so confused about whether or not Shane was physically here. There wasn't really any way I could tell for sure, and the answer to my question might not even matter if he isn't. Still I felt the need to ask.

He started to remove the torn stitches before treading a needle and proceeding to re-stitch my wound.

"I'm going to stay right here, for whatever that's worth to you." He said with a smile.

"There, all done." He re-bandaged my shoulder with clean bandages and a compress to reduce the bleeding.

"Just rest for now, we can figure out what we're going to do tomorrow once that time comes." He placed the blanket on me this time before taking a seat a few feet from me against the same wall.

"Thank you." I smiled back.

It was refreshing having this kind of interaction.

Something more positive rather than negative.

I pulled the blanket up to my face and tried my best to fall asleep despite the soreness in my shoulder.

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