Left 4 Dead: The Mercy Diaries – The Apartments

The Apartments.

As I stood upon yet another abandoned apartment block the sound of the overhead helicopter did little to fill me with hope. The smoke riddled breeze filled my lungs with toxic fumes and the scent of rotting flesh.

Thank god green flu isn’t airborne,’ I thought, as I held back the urge to cough. Even if it was, I’ve had my fair share of scrapes to assume I’m naturally immune; how the hell could I have survived otherwise? Despite losing myself in thoughts, my heart barely had time to catch itself before the sound of another blood curdling scream filled my ears. Was there ever going to be a time when I would be used to living like this?

Could I ever be?

For the past two weeks I had watched this virus eat through my friends, loved ones, even the crazed checkout guy. Somehow I had managed to find three strangers to stick with, learn from and who, if nothing else, didn’t mind helping me fend off the ever growing population of infected victims that roamed the streets, sniffing for our blood in a pure, unadulterated rage.

I had soon adapted to become a master of survival, a fighter against an ever growing enemy that constantly threatened to keep clawing at my chest with every move I made. Learning how to fire a gun, scavenge for supplies and shoot the remnants of what we used to call the human race is totally not what I had in mind this semester.

“Zoey; time to go,” Bill said, offering a reassuring pat on my back. I had to admit, this aging war vet had lasted way longer than I expected. Hell, he’d probably outlast me in the end. When all was said and done, what Bill lacked in speed, he certainly made up for in heart, and I guess those left over army skills would always come in handy, right?

Louis and Francis were a whole other bag entirely. The first was your run of the mill IT guy, who looked like he was having a seriously bad day at the office and the second? Let’s just say despite the stench of death that clung to the air, the guy still smelt of motor oil and yearned for the freedom of his motor bike like he was missing a limb.

But, this had become our life, and we were still lucky to have one. Whatever it was spreading through the local population one thing was certain: even if they were ‘living’ or ‘breathing’, there was no coming back from what they had become. ‘They might as well be walking dead‘.

I’d already come to terms with the fact that a bullet from my gun was kinder to them in the long run, and kept me alive for a few hours more. The green flu may not want to eat its way through me, but a savage attack from a relentless horde of infected would still drain my blood and break my body enough to make sure I would never get back up again, and that was just not an option.

As the chopper faded behind the high rises in the distance I gave myself the familiar body check: as much ammo as I could carry, whatever meds and patch-me-ups I could find, and a deep breath before peering over the edge of the roof top to the ground below, trying to figure out a rough way to go.

“Looks like it was headed to the hospital,” Francis growled in his familiar gravelled tone. “Let’s move out, people.”

“We should head to the sewers, there’s a train line we can take that will lead us straight there,” Bill commanded in response.

Crouching low I slowly moved towards the door leading down to the apartments below. I closed my eyes and held my breath as Bill turned the handle, the click of the latch ringing in my ears as I swallowed. Okay, so it wasn’t as abandoned as I thought.

Some-thing was moving down below.

The air went silent as we all let our safety clips off. We knew what had to be done if we wanted to make it out of here and into the town center. Step by step we went down the creaking staircase, the sight of the bloodied hand prints that lined the walls, echoing the bodies that had gone before, did little to turn my hardened stomach, and yet I still prayed to God that our fate would be better than theirs.

Taking the lead I peered through the first broken doorway. A half standing lamp flickered in the corner of a broken down kitchen, illuminating three bodies swaying in such childlike peace that for a second it made me question if I should fire.

The closest body began to turn its head, what was left of its rotting nose picking out the scent of something not so… infected. It waited for a moment, pondering my existence. The light of the person that had lived in its eyes had long since gone out, and as its body jerked towards me ready to attack, any hesitancy washed away as my hands clenched even tighter around my guns.

Firing three rounds from my pistols, I pierced its shoulder with a crunch, spraying a sea of crimson from the wound as it ran towards me. One more round and it fell to the ground with a relieving thud, its fingers reaching out to the ground below my feet.

A bead of sweat trickled from my brow as I stood, now surrounded by my comrades, all raising their arms to the two remaining zombies in the room. Poised to charge at us with a vengeance, once again the game was on. It was time to survive, and no one would be left for dead.







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