Log In

End of an Era Writing Contest 2019: Ziriza's entry

Once, you could have remembered who you once were. But the time spent in these stained white walls and flickering lights has dulled your mind. Each time you drag your feet one step forward, your whole body aches, but there is no rest. The Hunger has taken you. It has taken all of you. There is nothing left.
Outside the storm continues. The sky, dark and foreboding, rumbles deeply and it feels as if the earth itself shakes around you. Occasionally, there is a quick flash of light - you can dimly remember it as lightning.
You had blindly followed your mayor. As usual, there were promises: promises of riches, new land, new allies. But now, you are stuck here, wallowing in your fear. Fear keeps you trapped in your own body. How ironic it must be to have your mind work against you. For every small noise threaten to be the final sound it takes to make you snap into insanity.
How long has it been? How long since you had talked? When you open your twisted maw all that comes out is a long, sorrowful wail. Yes, you grieve, you grieve your own loss, and the others. You are all the same, lost. No, follow me.
Who was that? Who was that voice? In your gut grows a feeling: a light, jubilant feeling, that of hope. Has someone come to retrieve you and the rest of the fallen? Is the Hunger no more? Has it been conquered by the vigilant warriors and determined doctors, who would suffer sleepless nights simply for the village’s sake?
You stumble through the halls, following the flickering lantern light and the paw that beckons. It is dark, shadowy, whispy, as if it was the smoke that danced upwards into the night sky from your warm campfire. But these memories do not serve you well. They only remind you of a time long gone, a time you can no longer retrieve.
Here the paw swoops elegantly around the room, ushering the world into a peaceful silence. “Come, come,” the voice sings, and you follow, for this is the only thing you have left. The others, you know, are long gone.
“Step here, right this way,” they say, and you briefly remember a time when you had entered a circus. What joy you experienced inside the tent, seeing clowns, dancers, and the tight-ropers.
When you step here - where is here, anyway? You suppose there’s no point in asking anymore. Here is wherever you are, and pain overtakes you.
A sharp feeling through your torso. You lurch forward, feeling dizzy. Your head pounds, but even with this, you feel the most relieved that you have ever felt since the Hunger.
Your last breath reminds you of when you had reached the summit of Tiger Eye Peak: refreshing. It made you happy. How you felt when the bitter breeze whipped against your face. It was cold, but the cold had embraced you in a way that made you feel free when you looked down upon the world, everything seeming so small.
For the last time, you soar.


Chester retrieves his bloody blade from the corpse at his feet. Your features are mangled, corrupted, and barely resemble the villager you once were. It saddened him to see his fellow villagers reduced to zombies. The wandering, groaning type that had a particular hunger for flesh. He could have been amused, if the disease - The Hunger - wasn’t as fatal as it was. He’d heard they could still remember some things. But they could never quite put everything together. It wasn’t like Zombipathy. It was different. Worse.
The battle was over, wasn’t it? They had won, but they had lost. This was the sacrifice for their greed.
For once, he feels he empathizes with the other mayors. It was all truly tragic. To have it come to this: to slay his fellow peers like mere monsters, it felt wrong. But he knew it would help in the long run. If he was like any of those afflicted with the Hunger, he would want to die himself.
Chester reminds himself to meet up with the others later. He brushes off his sleeves and with a surprisingly melancholic glance to the limp body behind him, he continues onward through the abandoned building.