Feeders (prologue)

Once I locked eyes with the beast, I knew it was over. Feelings began to tear through
my mind - hopelessness, helplessness, an end to all things.

The mismatched gaze that overtook me stilled my legs and forced me to turn. The
longer I looked, the longer I had to look. I was forced to stand in place and wait until my
eventual demise.

Stolen eyes, I thought. Truly, it was my last moment of lucidity before my own thoughts
began to drown. A deluge of images and feelings swept over me.

Hopeless. Helpless. An end to all things.

The sky was dark, as it had been for as long as I could remember. A cool breeze
graced my skin, and I could hear the gentle flapping sound of my clothing.

Against any will I had left, my foot drove itself forward. I was a long ways away from the
monster, but it wouldnʼt matter - nothing now would stop the coming of death. The
beast moved toward me with slow, shuffling steps. By itself, it would have been an easy
target for any average group of survivors.

But it wasnʼt alone - they were never alone.

A howl split the air around me. It wasnʼt a natural sound, but it was one I had become
accustomed to. It wouldnʼt be long before the others were here. When they came, I
knew my flesh would be shorn from my bones, and my marrow would be used to
strengthen the horde. Iʼd seen it a thousand times before.

Itʼs time, I thought, but I knew it was the gaze that spoke. Soon, I would completely
welcome my fate - perhaps even enjoy it. Step by step, I made my way down the alley.

Another howl - this time it was close. In the corner of my vision, I saw something
perched atop the wall. As it dropped down to the roof of a vehicle, it sent a cascade of
window glass shattering into every direction. I wanted to look, but I couldnʼt tear my
eyes away from the first creature.

Still, I walked forward. My feet carried me faster now, and I was filled with something
that could almost be described as excitement. From the other side of the alley, a thin
silhouette stepped from the darkness. A pile of debris lay before it, but the trash was
quickly thrown into the air by an invisible force.

Three, I counted. At the thought, I nearly smiled. I saw the smashed vehicle become
airborne as it was hurled into the distance. My legs, nearly jogging forth now, began to
slow.

Itʼs time.

The hulking monster charged at me, and my arms spread wide to receive him. When
he wrenched me from the ground and began to smash my body into the pavement, I
knew the others would not be long. Pain was there, but somehow it didnʼt matter. Over
the ringing in my ears, I could hear my own laughter echo from the cold stone of the
building walls.

My body was torn. They started at my torso, and I looked into the grim faces before me.
Once-human flesh was stretched thin across gaunt features. Soon, they would feast
upon me, and my vitality would be their own.

Hopeful. Helpful. A new beginning.