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Twilight of the Apocalypse
Chapter 9: The Awakening
Central City 14, New Eutora - 15 June 2016, 0150hours
Wayne woke up to a loud scream from his brother's room, which was
adjacent to his. Thinking that he might be having a nightmare, the 17-year-old
did not move a muscle. He rested his head on the pillow, willing himself to sleep.
A cold breeze entered his room and embraced him, soothing him further. He tried
to close his weary eyes, but he couldn't. There came another scream, louder than before.
A constant whining could be heard too. Wayne decided he could no longer ignore this.
Placing his feet firmly on the cold marble floor, he reached for the doorknob, turned it,
and sneaked out of the room.
His parents were in their bedroom. Apparently, they were in deep sleep, because he was the
only one moving about the house. His parents' door was closed. Not wanting to disturb them,
Wayne moved closer to his brother er's bedroom.
He knocked once on the door. The screaming from within had ceased. A part of him
wanted to go in, but the other wanted to return to his sleep, forgetting about the noise,
for it had stopped now. It was his curiousity that made him twist the doorknob, and he stuck
his head into the dark room.
Wayne couldn't see his brother in bed. Where was he, he wondered. Entering, he looked
around. He was sure Danny was in his room. He definitely had heard sounds coming from
here. But, if Danny did not make them, then who?
Wayne knew the answer when a wail of agony broke the chill silence of the air. Looking
up, he saw a black shape drop from the ceiling. Backing up in both shock and surprise,
he stared at the figure now crouched on the bed.
His instincts kicked in. He had to flee. He knew not what he faced, did not know who it was,
or did he? As he stared, Wayne recognized the round, chubby face of his brother. Danny
was in his nightshirt, stained with a deep shade of crimson. Wayne could not understand
this. The face was Danny's, but it looked unfamiliar at the same time. Black scabs with green
edges dotted Danny's face, visible in the moonlight filtering into the room. The rest of his body
was hidden beneath his clothing, and Wayne could not see what lay beneath.
Danny reared his head back, a moan escaping his cracked, dry lips. Wayne tried to fight
his instincts, to move closer to help his brother. He could not. He knew this was not Danny.
It couldn't be! Overcome with fear that struck him all of a sudden, Wayne's body turned
in the direction of the doorway and dashed out of the room as Danny leapt.
Wayne turned left and sprinted forward, noticed that Danny's leap brought him crashing
against the wall. He had to warn his parents, he thought. When he reached his parents'
bedroom, he pounded desperately on the door. He sensed that Danny was moving closer.
There was no time! Open the door, Wayne cursed silently.
Then, the door opened, and his mother appeared, her mouth open as she tried to say
something. Wayne pushed her back and slammed the door shut. Locking it, he collapsed
to the ground, his back against it.
"What in the world are you doing here?" his mother asked.
"Son, we've no time for your jokes again. Go back to your room now," his father
mumbled, his eyes half-closed.
"Mom!Dad! Danny is coming for us!" Wayne shouted, his voice trembling.
"Then open the door for him," his mother replied, reaching for the knob.
"No!" Wayne yelled, knocking her hand away. "Danny, he's a monster!"
His father stared at him, then laughed, a huge grin on his face.
"How can Danny possibly be a monster? You must've been sleepwalking again."
"Its all right son. Your mother and I are going to show you everything is as it should be."
Wayne tried to protest, but his father gently shoved him aside and opened the door.
"See, nothing's out here. Danny's in his room, asleep. Now, go back to sleep, son,"
Dad said matter-of-factly.
"But-" Wayne broke in mid-sentence as a dark shape darted into the room and
pounced on Dad's chest.
"Dad!" Wayne shrieked, as his mother stared open-mouthed.
A tormented cry as Dad tried to push the figure away. His shirt was torn and his
chest bloody. Mom took a pen from the table and plunged the sharp end into the
creature's exposed back.
Wayne backed up and out of the room as fear and terror clouded his mind and killed
all thoughts but one: To flee.
He could not tear his eyes away from the scene. His mother was now on the floor,
writhing in pain as the creature sank its teeth and head into her chest. The crack
of ribs and the gurgling sound that escaped her lips. Mom started to spasm as
blood bubbled out of her mouth, running down her chin in rivers of red.
Wayne looked to the other figure on the ground, saw his Dad motionless, literally
torn to pieces.
No! Wayne's hands were shaking. His knees buckled, threatening to drop him
in this scene worst than the most horrifying movie he had ever seen. He was a
part of it, a living nightmare.
Eyes darting all over the house, Wayne desperately tried to find a hiding spot.
His eyes rested on the main door. Yes, he decided, he had to leave the house!
The guilt in him was nothing compared to the paralysing fear he felt running through
him. He had to survive! He did not want to happen to him what happened to his
unfortunate parents.
Danny seemed to notice Wayne was still alive and sensed his intention to flee.
Hissing in frustration, Danny bounded after he who was once his brother.
Wayne picked up the keys from the container beside the door. Fumbling
with the set of keys, he tried to seek out which one was the correct key.
He slammed the item into the keyhole and twisted it, opening the door.
Wayne stuck his feet into a pair of shoes and ran as fast as he could down
the stairs. He had not even bothered to retrieve the keys.
He would not be returning to this home, definitely not after what he had
witnessed happened. Danny crashed through the gap of the half-open door
and leapt down the flights of stairs. Wayne was scant meters away, ahead
of the horror that raced relentlessly after him. He felt his nightmares become
a reality. Wayne felt the urge to collapse and just let it all end.
But, his fear kept him going. He had to reach the elevator. As he now sped
along the corridor towards the lift area, he screamed for help.
Reaching the elevator, Wayne pounded on the 'call' button. He glanced back
to see if Danny had caught up with him yet. Any second now, Danny would
be in sight.
The lift door opened. Danny suddenly appeared, jumping through the air and
at him, pushing Wayne hard against the tiled wall. Clawed hands ripped
into his body, drawing lines on fire on his chest.
No! He could not die here! Kicking Danny in the abdomen, he knocked the
monstrosity aside and entered the elevator as the door started to close.
A second later, before the door had closed, Danny's hand shot through.
The door crushed it, and blood sprayed from the stump onto Wayne's
shirt. The hand dropped lifelessly to the floor, its fingers twitching.
The elevator moved slowly down the 10 stories to the ground. Wayne did
not know where to go. He had nothing on him, no money, no food…
He just knew he had to tell someone about what had happened in his home.
When the door opened, he came out into the cold, windy air of the night.
Luna was high up in the clear sky, her moonlight illuminating the beautiful
park before him. Here, Wayne thought, he would sit and think. He had to calm
down and remove all fear from his mind.
As he strolled along the lighted path into the heart of the park, he looked for
a bench to sit upon. When he had done so, he closed his eyes for a brief
moment, then opened them. The cool air and serene sight here helped
calm him.
Wayne watched the stars, twinkling. One of them seemed to move. He squinted.
No, dozens more were moving. But, he was not sure if they were what they seemed
to be.
Small black shapes with greenish hues streaked across the sky, leaving
trails of white like clouds behind them. They were heading in every direction.
Fear once again coursed through his veins, seeped into his mind.
Wayne sat up, watched as golden pellets of light shot into the air from
the ground far away, exploding in the sky. None of them touched the shapes.
They continued to move, unhindered by anti-aircraft shells that burst all
around them.
Wayne had never expected his life to change so much within an hour.
His parents were dead, killed because he left them to save his own life.
His brother, too, had changed. Danny, once his sibling, had turned into
a ruthless killer. Why, and how, Wayne did not know. He longed to find
the answer to this question that would plague him for the rest of his life.
Danny, a stump remaining where his right hand had once been, now stood
in his parents' bedroom once more. He had given up trying to hunt down
his brother. His bloodlust had been satisfied and so had his hunger.
He now had more important things to attend to.
A part of him, an instinct, had constantly been bothering him. Danny
could resist it no longer. Rising up on his hind lehs, he bared his chest.
Head thrown back, and yellowed eyes closed, Danny felt the pain grow.
It began in his chest, spread to his belly.
Without warning, jagged lines appeared on his chest. Dripping red,
they grew in length and size. A loud howl from Danny, before his ribs
exploded outward, the bones clattering against the furniture in the room.
Organs spilled out of the cavity in his midsection, and a slimy mass
of white, round objects followed, dropping with a sick thud on the ground.
A large, brown worm-like creature fell to the floor, dead.
Danny collapsed backward, his lifeless body falling. The eggs were
hatching. Within the leathery shells, shapes moved.
One of the eggs cracked open, and a head poked through. Then, the insectoid
body emerged, followed by three long, silver tails that ended in spikes.
Soon, all the eggs had hatched and the creatures moved toward the dead bodies.
Devouring the three cadavers quickly, the creatures spread out in all directions,
searching for more food.
Very quickly, they would mature into full grown adults.
All cross the city, in a few other homes, the same scene played out, and
in the span of less an an hour, the Stalker species had added to its ranks
thousands more new members…