God. What time was it? I rolled on the rigid mattress to look at my alarm clock. The room was completely dark except for the small sliver of moonlight that peeked through the ragged curtains that hung in the window at my back. It was so crazy, it had been six months since the world turned into a giant shitstorm and I still expected to roll over in the morning and see the angry red letters of my crappy alarm clock glaring at me. I let out a long, frustrated sigh and glanced around the room. "Michael?" I whispered. Wait- that was his name, right? I held my breath, waiting for any response or sign of life from his mattress across the room. Nothing. He was probably sleeping, like I should have been. It was just all happening too fast. It seemed like just yesterday I was on the phone with my fiance, telling him that I would be coming home from college on my spring break. Shortly after that as I was driving the long drive home I heard the news on the radio. "This is not a test. We repeat, this is not a test. Public service announcement from the United States President. This is not a test." The words that came after that had shaken me to my core, but I laughed it off, putting in one of my favorite CDs and blared the music, trying to forget the stupid PSA. Shit just got wierder after that. For six months I struggled to survive, trying to make it back to Martinsburg to find my brother and my fiance. After losing my car, I strayed on foot, trying to find my hometown again. For some reason, I just couldn't reach it. Every way I tried seemed to be over-run with Walkers. Yesterday I got the closest I had ever been. I had found a backroad that wound up the mountain and would run straight through the town, my dwindling food supply was practically nonexistent and I hadn't had anything other than a few very small sips of water in almost twenty-four hours. It was later in the day when I reached the large green sign that promised I would be home in about 5 miles, my head had started to grow foggy and I began to feel weaker with each step I took. I coughed and then gagged at the dryness of my throat. My water was gone and I knew the only way I was going to survive was if I made it to the town. 'They had to have prepared some sort of safehouse, right?' When I reached the familiar surroundings of my home, I was shocked. Slowly, I sunk to my knees. It was gone. Everything was in ruins. Everything looked so empty and destroyed. Buildings were vacant and had aged about a hundred years, the streets were layered with decaying waste and filth. The Walkers. There were so many of them. Grouped around different buildings and abandoned vehicles. "I have to find them," My voice came out hoarse and barely a whisper. I felt something jerk my shoulders back as I went to take another step. "Are you crazy?" It was a man. I stared into his hardened blue eyes and tried to figure out if he was real. I hadn't seen another human in almost six months. I pulled myself from his hands and shrieked. "You-you're alive!" My voice came out too loud then and he reached for me again, dragging me behind him and back into the woods. "No! I have to go back! I have to-" I saw the low-hanging branch of the old tree too late, and I was out cold. --- When I opened my eyes for the second time the sun had just risen and the flannel curtains were flapping in the light breeze. I I was staring at an empty mattress. I sat up a little too quickly and had to press my palms to my temples to keep the room from spinning. Wait. My head was bandaged with a square of dingy cloth. Shit- what was his name again? "Michael," he had told me as he tended to the ugly gash on my forehead. Oh, right. I took a quick look around the room. It was pretty barren. There were two mattresses on either side of the wall and a cardboard box in the other corner. In the middle of the room was a small trap door that must have led down to the rest of the house. Where was he?