Chapter 13: Taking a Late-Night Stroll

Michael’s whole block was lit up by glowing blue, red, green and yellow trees, vines and other types of plants. However, across the single-lane street, was brightly illuminated by a myriad of raging house fires.

He could hear people screaming inside; a tall man, with charred skin actually jumped out a two-story window. Yet, even with with two broken legs, he somehow managed to drag his crippled body into a car that was parked a few meters away.

Right when he was about to unlock the door, a teenage girl, carrying a machete, started furiously hacking apart his head and back. Then she was shot through the temple by a snub-nosed revolver, at close range; only to turn towards the terrified old man, chopping his left arm off, before grabbing the gun in his right hand and unloading the rest of the bullets into his face.

It was only then that she finally died from her head wound. Michael sighed dramatically, muttering “Well, they ain’t zombies, that’s for sure… At least not the generic kind. Oh wait, those kinda do look zombie-ish though?”

A dozen men, with gaping, rotting wounds all over their bodies, were slowly hobbling towards him from across the street and to the left a few dozen meters. However, he was far more concerned about the other things.

Those glowing green wasps were flying around and stinging ‘normal’ people; they either died instantly, like his father did, or swiftly started transforming into a dryadic monster. As he watched the shambling group of dark-skinned undead, a handful of enormous, eagle-sized pigeons swooped down and ripped half of them apart. They tried to fight back, but they were just too weak and lacked the necessary mental capacity to defend themselves properly.

Michael saw Violet devouring a screaming little girl, but a second later, she was hit by a speeding yellow taxi-cab. The car literally lifted off of the ground and made half a rotation in the air, before flipping upside-down and skidding down the street for a few dozen meters.

That bear-sized rodent was heavily injured, but it still managed to scamper away. “Guess I’m ‘alone’ now, huh? Now where the fuck should I even go?” He was talking to himself, while holding a huge butcher-knife in each hand, and walking down the steps, onto the sidewalk.

To the left were half a dozen ‘actual’ zombies, the street in front of him was covered in crashed cars and wreckage, and to his right was a neon-orange venus flytrap that was big enough to eat him. In the end, he decided to head towards the undead, since they seemed the least troublesome.

He could see helicopters in the distance; some were news choppers, but there were a few Apaches as well. They weren’t continuously firing off rounds anymore, because it was difficult to tell who the friendlies and hostiles were.

As he casually approached the hobbling zombies, Michael sighed dramatically. They had cataracts over their eyes, and wore baggy jeans and t-shirts, along with a decent amount of golden or silver chains around their necks. He complained “These damn undead gangstas are too fucking tall…” and simply walked around them.

They didn’t seem to even notice his presence and continued trudging along the sidewalk. Compared the people with rabies or the dryads, the zombies didn’t seem that dangerous to him.

Of course, once he passed them, they suddenly started sniffing the air and turned towards his back. Their blank expressions turned vicious and their cataracts seemed to be replaced by glowing violet irises and pupils. Then all six of them began screeching loudly and sprinting forward.

Michael shouted “Oh for fuck’s sake!” as he looked back and saw the rotting corpses running at a ridiculous speed. Fortunately, he had already walked across the street and they weren’t exactly the most cautious or agile creatures. One of them tripped and skid across the asphalt, another smacked into the side of a van and broke the passenger-side window with his face, then the third was attacked by a crazy, obese, half-naked brown-skinned woman

She tackled his rotting corpse onto the ground and started using a hammer to smash his fragile skull open, while screaming “Die you fuckin bastard! Fuck yo zambie ass!”

As for the other three, they all made it to the leather-jacket wearing man, but he casually side-stepped and avoided their ridiculous charge. One decapitated himself with a ‘stop’ sign, the other got his feet caught in the gutter and practically ripped his own legs off, while the last one face-planted on the concrete and skidded for a few seconds.

The faceless zombie was able to stand up properly, but it just continued to sprint towards East Avenue. Michael turned left and started walking down the side of the block, following Bank Street.

“I really should’ve grabbed one of my swords… Even if they’re dull, they could still stab pretty well. These knives would work great on ‘normal’ people, but they’re kinda too short and I don’t really wanna get covered in someone’s brains, blood or guts…” He was grumbling about the situation as he briskly passed an alley to his right.

At that moment, he heard a loud gunshot and felt a sharp pain in his left shoulder blade. The pain seemed to shock him into a totally different state of mind. He grinned and swiftly dashed towards the blonde-haired, large breasted, chubby hispanic woman who had just pulled the trigger on her black glock.

The semi-automatic pistol fired three more times in quick succession, but the surprisingly nimble man was able to narrowly avoid getting hit. She screamed “¡Mantente alejado!” as he swiftly arrived at her left side.

One knife was stabbed into her spine, immediately paralyzing her, while the other was sheathed inside of his coat. Before the woman could even drop the gun, he quickly took it from her and then scanned her waist with his glowing purple eyes.

Michael yelled “Fuck! The dumb cunt doesn’t have any goddamn ammo!” He smirked at her horrified expression, and pulled his blade out of her neck, only to stab it into her forehead. Once he kicked her relatively small body a few meters into the alley, three giant mutated rats started tearing her apart.

After that, his irises changed back to their ‘normal’ brown color and he felt a dull ache in his head, which was much worse than the sharp pain in his right shoulder blade. Then he muttered “This is way worse than a zombie apocalypse… There’s just too many different things happening at the same time. Nobody has any clue what they’re doing and it’s practically impossible to tell if someone’s crazy, sick, or just trying to defend themselves. Besides that, it’s so dark that anyone running around out here right now, is probably some kinda insane. Anyway, where the fuck am I even going anyway?”

There were plenty of people driving, but most of them were crashing into things nonstop and pretty much every road he saw was blocked by cars, trucks, busses or other vehicles. Motorcycles were more effective, but still extremely dangerous to ride under such conditions.

As Michael continued walking forward, he could hear gunshots, explosions, screaming, yelling and roars in the southwestern distance. The north and east seemed much ‘safer’, though he could definitely see the a decent amount of houses were burning.

He witnessed a small group of people running around with red handkerchiefs covering their noses and mouths, while their eyes seemed to emanate a crimson glow. There were a few women but most were men, and they were all hispanic.

They kept throwing molotov cocktails into people’s windows and laughing hysterically as they watched the buildings go up in flames. Some of their members had metal baseball bats and others were using knives or machetes, to hack apart the rabid dogs, cats and rats that were constantly trying to kill them.

It was surprisingly rare for Michael to hear cries of “Help!” or “Save me!” For the most part, it was just people screaming “Die!” or “Fuck you, you piece of shit!”

With that glock in his right hand, the short, pale-skinned man in the leather jacket, continued heading east without stopping. He passed several intersections, but noticed that it wasn’t very hard to simply avoid the undead or insane, since the only light was coming from the Moon and those raging flames.

As he checked his magazine, he muttered “Only two rounds… hollow-points, not sure if that’s good or bad? Probably nine-millimeter? It’s a really common type of ammunition, but where the hell… Oh, maybe I should go rob a gun-store? I wish I had a map or something… Well, at least if I keep going in the same direction, I’ll escape the city eventually. Didn’t Arcana say I had some kind of sealed-up superpowers or something? Ugh, I wish I could just teleport or fly, but that’d be ridiculous, right? Hehehe~…”

Shoving the clip back into the handle of the pistol, Michael realized that there was actually another bullet already in the chamber when he pulled the slide back. He had never even held a firearm before then, but he had played tons of games, watched plenty of movies and television shows, plus he had done a lot of research for books he was writing. Thus, the twenty-three year old man at least understood the basics regarding a myriad of conventional and ‘odd’ weaponry.

Of course, he had no idea that the reason he felt so ‘comfortable’ with the gun in his hand, had nothing to do with his own ‘knowledge’; he was unconsciously drawing on the memories and experiences of a certain adorable cat-girl.

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