"No, no, I'm not showing any signs of the virus, it's just a migraine, I think."
Please don't start thinking that I'm infected, I know how you treat the virus victims!
"Okay, Katie. Thank you for letting me know. Hopefully we'll see you tomorrow."
As I hang up the phone, ice cold relief courses through my veins. After another night of sitting up, reading, and generally just racking my brain, I just can't face it. Plus, I need more time with these pictures to work out what I'm going to do next. It's all well-and-good looking through all this stuff until my eyes hurt, but I'm no further along with my ideas. I still don't know how I'm going to save the world.
But first, before I can do any more thinking, I need to sleep. Luckily the exhaustion did make sound terrible on the phone so I'm sure I pulled off my lie, but now I need to get rid of it. I want to wake up with a clearer head.
I stagger into my bedroom and crash onto my bed, pressing my face into the mattress as I go. It won't be long until the blackness of sleep comes for me, I just hope that it's peaceful and I actually wake up rested...
Where's that alarm coming from? What's that smell? Why do I feel more afraid than I've ever done before in my life?
I try to move my head but it feels stuck, like I still have the crick in it from sleeping across my desk. But if I can't move then how am I supposed to find out what's making me feel this way? Is something pinning me down?
My heart rate kicks up a notch, I can almost feel the tight knot of panic starting to coil in my chest. I hate this feeling, the lack of control, it reminds me of when I learned that Mom was sick. All I wanted to do was help her, and with my medical knowledge I should've been able to. But of course, I couldn't. There was nothing that I could do to stop her from dying.
Ever since then, I've craved control.
"Help me," I rasp. Why is my mouth so dry? "Someone, please!"
"Katie." The voice that answers me sounds weirdly hollow, and also a bit like...my mom.
Not that it could possibly be my mom, of course. I haven't gone crazy just yet!
"Help me...whoever you are, I'm stuck."
The ghostly voice doesn't answer me. All I can hear now is growling. The thick smoggy scent of death wafts up my nostrils only freaking me out even more. I recognize that smell, it reminds me of them. The infected that I'm trying to save.
I can almost feel them around me, they're coming for me. I don't know how I know it, but I can sense that this isn't a friendly visit. They haven't come to say 'thank you so much for trying to save us from death'. No, they want me.
Course, paper-like skin brushes against my thigh making me jump. I try to scream, to get the attention of the person I could hear before, but my throat's closed over now. I can't even breathe, never mind yell.
I gasp, I suck in air as fast as I can, but it isn't enough. I'm dying, I'm going to die right here not knowing what's going on around me. They are going to kill me.
Oh God, no. I squeeze my eyes shut and beg. Not like this, please...