Survival of the Fittest

Survival of the Fittest

I have nothing left to live for. Friends. Family. Enemies. Dead, all of them. I am the last one, surrounded by those…those things that replaced them… I have no idea how to kill them. Even if I did, I have nothing to kill them with. They look like the people I used to know, but inside they’re dead. I don’t know why they’re here or how it happened; all I do know is that they are hungry, always hungry, eating anything living in sight. That’s not what bothers me. What bothers me is the one question that is always on my mind. Why me? Why of all people who used to live on this God-forsaken planet, would I be the one to survive? I guess Fate has a sick sense of humor. Everything dies, and I’m the one person who survives. Then they started to come back, and I thought that surely I would die soon. But I didn’t. I haven’t yet. Maybe I won’t.

It’s been months now, and I don’t remember anything about my life before this hell. Name, job, birthday, none of it matters in this Earth-after-life. When every day could be the day I die, the day the human race goes extinct, nothing matters but survival. No matter what it takes, no matter what the consequences, I must survive. Not to prove something, not for some life-goal, not for revenge. All of those things are gone now—meaningless words of a past civilization, another age. There are no rewards in this new age, other than survival. Everyday I wake up, wondering whether or not I’ll die. The only motivation I have not to curl up and just wait for death to come is the small hope that somebody else made it. The longer I survive, the more I hope that somebody will find me. That hope is the only reason I keep going, but how long can it last?

I’m brought out of my misery by a low grunt outside. My hiding spot is inside the back of a moving truck with no warmth and no light, but it’s safe. Most of them just wander by my camp, but this one is different. I hear a light tapping on the back door of the truck, and I know I’m being hunted. I have two choices, either stay still and silent and hope it passes, or make a break for it and take the chance to outrun them all. I know I have a better chance against just one, and so I resign myself to keeping absolutely still. The tapping grows louder, and then completely stops. I hold my breath anxiously. Then, a loud bang echoes through the back of the truck. I’ve been found. I scramble around the back of the truck, looking for something, anything, to defend myself with. A crowbar. My last hope is a crowbar. Fantastic.

The door opens.

There she stands, looking almost normal except for the blank, soulless stare on her face. I recognize her from somewhere, but at that moment survival is the only thing that matters. I make a dash for the crowbar as she lunges to grab me. She grabs my ankle, I grab my only hope. I turn around. My arm moves up and down quickly, and suddenly she doesn’t look so normal. Time slows down. I only feel my rage and my arm. Instinct takes over as I smash her face into a pulp. Soon I don’t recognize her anymore. Survival is all that matters in these moments. Survival of the fittest. I will not die because I am capable of surviving through this epidemic. Then I notice the swarm moving in.

One by one they take notice of my movement. They turn towards me, and despite their slow shamble, I am already surrounded. With nothing but a crowbar, I accepted the fact that now was my time to die. My blind hope breaks at last, leaving me no reason to survive. I jump out of the back of the truck, determined to rid the world of as many of the dead as I can. I smash in a skull, break a few ribs, and then make the mistake of trying to stab one in the eye. The crowbar is stuck. The swarm moves in, hands pulling me away. As dozens of mouths come closer to their meal, everything slows down. Images of a forgotten life flash before me. My family: a son, a daughter, a wife I had just killed. My pathetic job as a biology teacher. My thirty-second birthday. The images fade and time resumes. I feel the teeth sink into my back. My last sight is of two child-like figures moving in to join the meal. I was never fit to survive anything like this. If ever there was proof of that, it was now.

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