The teen feinted left, then dove right. Kathy followed, changing direction in mid-air, tackling him again. She latched on to his backpack and tried to bite through the canvas. Crying but unaware of it, the boy unsnapped the straps, letting bag and ex fall. Inside, Kathy could hear cans tumbling around, food, supplies. But she wasn't interested in those, even though she was hungry. Starving. All she could think about was eating. And her target, her focus was this boy, this teen, struggling to get away from her. He was hungry, too. She could tell from the thinness of his cheeks, the way his clothes hung on his frame. But he was willing to lose all the cans of food in the bag in an attempt to escape her.
She hit the ground, discarding the bag of food and bounced back up to her feet. The teen had run a few hundred yards the first time she jumped at him. This time, he barely got fifty before she was on him again. "No," he begged. "You don't understand. I have a little sister, she needs me..."
He was right. Kathy didn't understand. All she understood was hunger. She craned her head and bit into Eli's neck, pulling away a mouthful of skin and flesh and blood. He screamed, a high-pitched sound like a rabbit in a snare, but she didn't care. She only cared about the hunger. Another bite, fresh blood forming new stains on the white gi. The bites came faster as the scream gurgled to an abrupt stop and Kathy hunkered over the body, holding it fast even after its struggles ceased...
Kathy flung herself upright in bed, gasping for breath, shaking her head in hopes of dislodging the last images of the dream. No, memory. It was too real, to vividly detailed to be a dream. She was starting to learn the distinctions between the two. Like how memories were always worse.
Glancing at her clock, she saw that it was almost one, but the adrenaline threading through her veins wouldn't let her get back to sleep anytime soon. She thought about doing a couple of laps around the island to try to tire herself out and get a few more hours of rest but honestly? It rarely ever seemed to work. Neither did vegging out in front of the TV until dawn, or soaking in a hot bath with a book. The problem was, none of those activities were good at giving her what she was looking for: a chance to get out of her own head, to forget those things her brain was forcing her to remember. Maybe she should call Anders? He'd said to call if she needed to talk--but no. It was late, he'd possibly be in bed, and she didn't want to talk, she wanted to do.
The lights over the water from Baltimore caught her eye through the window and she shoved her blankets out of the way. Maybe that was what she needed, a trip into the city. Boston hadn't done much for her state of mind, but she'd managed to sleep every night. The bars would be closing soon, but she knew of a couple of after-hour clubs she could get into. With the pounding beat, music loud enough to deafen, and a crowd of bodies to get lost in, Kathy might finally find a way to drown out her thoughts even if she couldn't shut them up.
[Warning for zombie-typical violence to a teen under the cut.]
- The Apartment Above Lukes to Baltimore, Late Thursday Night