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Forgotten in Nightmares

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The first thing the girl remembered was pain rippling across her forehead when she opened her eyes. She hissed in annoyance and flung her feet over the right side of the bed she was laying on, only to wish that she hadn’t. Everything ached as if she just had just been through a grueling workout, her sore muscles screamed at her to get back into the nice warm bed. The girl whined, massaging her sore shoulder as if that would ease her pain, it only worsened it. 

Oh, God. She squeezed her eyes shut and tears rolled down her cheeks as the pain rose sharply, then leaving quickly as it had come.

She brushed aside her hair and squinted into the darkness towards the electric clock on the bedside table. It’s red lights blared One O’clock in the morning back at her. She groaned and stood, flipping on the light switch positioned between her bed and window. Her eyes strained under the lights as massaged her eyelids as white dots danced across her vision.

What the hell. The girl winced and braced herself against a rough dusty wall. 

She rubbed her eyes, stepping away from the bed. The wooden floor was cold and gritty, with dust and God only knows what else clinging to her bare feet. A large crooked lamp that hovered over the bed cast the only light in the room, dimly illuminating her surroundings. Outside light struggled to shine through opaque curtains that dressed a small window while just below it sat a compact desk littered with crumpled magazines. To her right, a small galley kitchen, cluttered with pans and utensils covered in food, it looked as if it hadn't been used in decades. 

Where the hell am I? She frowned. 

She looked down at her body, curvy and petite. Dressed in a white tank top and plain underwear, she knew this body was hers, easily recognizing the faint stretch marks that marked her stomach and her light brown legs. The dilemma was, she didn’t know who she was.

What the fuck!? , She blinked idly and furrowed her brow.

Her heart sank. Idly standing by wasn’t going to answer her questions. Hesitant, she took a step forward to the window. Her sore muscles abruptly spasmed and seized forcing her to lurch forward. Her arms shot out as she stumbled over the edge of the desk and in doing so, scattered the magazines across the floor.

She gritted her teeth and worked through the pain as her muscles loosened, taking in a deep breath as the pain subsided she tentatively added more weight, strengthening her posture. She stepped carefully back over one of the magazines, it’s stale glue clinging to her foot, bringing it to her attention.

Reaching down, she peeled the magazine from the bottom of her foot. It was just like any typical magazine, it had local articles on people in the area, local events, real estate listings, etc. She sorted through the pages, before turning to the title page: The Raccoon Monthly.

What the hell? She understood the text, however, the place remained foreign to her. Her stomach did a flip as she slowly read through the blurb under the title.

“Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and safest cities this side of the Arklays, Raccoon City boasts a rich history that is truly a gem of the American Dream.  

"Funded by the Umbrella Corporation since the 1960s, our bustling small mountain community boomed economically and structurally from the small rural town in the Arklay Mountains to the great city we know and love today… ”

She raised a brow, a detailed blurb about where she could be, but only left her with more unanswered questions. A scream echoed through the building, dragging her away from the magazine and her thoughts. Her breath quickened as yet another blood-curdling scream echoed through the halls. Then nothing. Silence.

What the hell? She stared at the door.

Pursing her lips tightly, she hesitantly approached the door, opening it slightly to peer out into the hallway. The place looked as if a hurricane had passed through, doors with numbers barely hanging onto their front were flung open, papers and debris littered the chipped wooden floor. 

I’m in an apartment complex? She frowned. Another scream and the sound of a door slamming echoed through the hallway.

“Hello?” She scanned the area.“A-are you alright?”

No answer. 

She carefully took a step out bringing her arms close to her chest, A subtle breeze drew her attention back to her bare legs. She was practically naked. Looking back, her eyes fixated on the small closet next to the bed. She moved quickly, hardly acknowledging the click of the door as it shut behind her. Coming to a sudden stop in front of a hanging mirror on the door of the closet. Cocking her head she felt her breath catching in her throat as the unfamiliar figure did the same. And again when taking a step back.

T-This is me? She moved an arm for confirmation. 

She ran her hands over her face, examining her features. She was young, at a guess late teens to early twenties? Her nose, soft and refined in shape, seemed to fit her small face that was partly hidden under the shadow of black curly hair. Pushing the dark locks back uncovered dark almond-shaped eyes.

Another scream echoed from outside the door. A small silky bathrobe with matching fuzzy bath slippers greeted her as she tugged open the closet door.

You've gotta be kidding me. She groaned and looked around the apartment for something else hurriedly shoving the flimsy material to one side in search of something more practical. Nothing.

She huffed, grabbing the bathrobe and slipping it on, forcibly tying its small sash securely around her waist. She tossed the slippers out from the closet floor and shoved them on before rushing over to the door again. Cracking the door open, she peeked out. Nothing had changed, the hall was still a mess.

Tentatively, she inched her way down the hall, making sure her steps didn’t make a sound on the creaking wooden boards. She took a quick peek in the apartment to her left. Empty. Clothes and kitchenware were sprawled out across the floor as if the owner had left them in a hurry. She stuck her head in further, Nothing the continued ramshackle state of the place. The fridge had been left open offering nothing more than bare shelving.

What the hell happened? She took a step back and continued down the hall, flashing but a quick glance over her shoulder before tiptoeing down a nearby flight of stairs.

She continued on out of the hall and slowly descended the stairs. She stopped halfway catching the subtle sound of movement came down below her. Picking up her pace she came to a door marked 2F and paused. A soft hiss made the hair on her neck stand up, she inched down and reached for the door handle, frightened and curious to find out what lurked behind the door. Then a scream echoed from downstairs, drawing her attention away.

Whatever was behind that door moved swiftly the moment the scream had let out. The sound of the wooden floor was being ripped apart tingled her ears as they grew louder. She took a step back as a series of short hisses and low growls followed, she held her breath, daring not to make any slight movements. Bringing her hands to her chest, she slowly backed away as the thing scurried away from the door. 

Ok, what the hell? She began to shake.

The sound of a window breaking rung behind the door, followed by a high pitched screech and the sound of wood being ripped to shreds. Then silence. Another strained scream was let out downstairs suddenly ending in a series of gurgles before dying out. She didn’t flinch, her eyes were still locked on the door to apartment rooms labelled 2F, lost for words. A chill crept up her spine.

She lingered for a moment longer slowly pressing forward, continuing further down the stairs to a wall that separated the stairs from the apartment lobby. She grabbed an umbrella from the rack in front of her, holding it firmly in her hands ready to strike at the first sign of danger. She took a deep breath, turning slowly into utter clutter and chaos, a running theme of this place. Bags laid scattered on the floor, fake plants overturned, and the lobby benches pressed firmly against the main entrance covered in blood.

What in God’s name? Her hand shot up, covering her gaping expression. What the hell happened? 

This wasn't right, everything had felt too recent. The fridge from upstairs had been too clean too cared for to have been left too long. The whole building just felt wrong. She suddenly was alerted to the sound of furniture screeching across the linoleum floor. She turned to stare down the hall that made up the east side of the ground floor apartments.

Her ears hummed with the sound of soft slurping and crunching as she proceeded through the hall, umbrella at the ready. She glanced down, blood-stained and trailed across the white floor to the second to last apartment door. She felt her chest wring together in a tight knot, that’s where the sounds were coming from.

“Do you need help?” 

No answer.

“H-hello,” Her small voice echoed through the hallway.

A low moan emitted from the room down the hall. 

Someone is hurt! She loosened her grip on the umbrella and took a hesitant step forward. The moaning continued, forcing her to take a shuddering breath as she continued forward She gripped the umbrella with a new iron grip as she slowly opened the door. She was met with near darkness, faint shadowing gave some defining hints that the room could have been used as a slaughterhouse. More so, when a flash of light illuminated the small space directing her attention to a hunched over figure on the floor.

“Hello?”

The sound of moaning stopped for several moments, followed by a grunting sound before continuing as if he hadn’t heard her. She held her breath while shimmying along the brick wall, groping at every indentation for a light switch. She sighed with a slight relief when her fingers met a switch, the lights flickered on.

It was a man was hunched over on the floor, his white shirt and jeans covered in blood. Without hesitation, she dropped the umbrella, rushing to his side, her arm draping over his shoulder. 

“Oh my God!” She grabbed hold of his forearm and tried helping him up. “Are you-”

The man shot around and clenched his hands around her throat. She tried to scream, but his grip on her was too tight stopping any sound to leave her throat. The attack was so sudden and so vicious, her vision began to cloud. 

She removed one hand from her attacker's wrist and frantically reached for the red umbrella that she had dropped. Her fingers firmly gripped the leather handle, then she brought down hard against her attacker's forehead, hard enough to knock him off her.

The girl scurried away from him, coughing violently and trying to catch her breath. She glanced back up at her attacker, who had taken to thrashing violently, pounding, clawing at the floor. His jaw was dislocated, several inches away from where it should be, his chest had so many bullet holes that it looked like he had been used as target practice. She could see his bones in some places on his leg, from what looked like burns. His arms were covered in deep bites, all of them looked penetrated to the bone.

Oh my God! She clasped her hand firmly over her mouth and began to slowly shift to her feet.

Her attacker followed her actions, limping slightly off balance and snarled at her. She screamed and bolted for the door, slamming it behind her. The creature pounded on the door, roaring loudly. She took a step back, the door bulged forward and the handle rattled violently.

This isn’t going to hold! She felt her stomach do flips. Oh my God! I’m going to die!

Sounds of movement began ringing from another apartment, a medley of growls and heavy footsteps. A grey hand clawed its way onto the trim of the nearest apartment door to her, taking a large chunk from the wood. Adrenaline shot through her. Dropping the umbrella, she sprinted down the hall, quickly avoiding the hands that reached out to grab her. She sobbed, shaking them off, only to attract more of them. She slammed through the double doors to the east hallway without looking back.

She glanced frantically to her left and right, trying to find something strong enough that would block the doors. She sprang into action, gritting her teeth as she pulled one of the benches from the front door to the doors that lead to the hall. She proceeded to pile chairs and others alike.

Taking a step back, she wiped the tears from her cheeks and watched the door as it started to bulge. Moans and growls followed from the other side as grey fingers slipped through the crack between the doors, clawing small-sized chunks out of the wood. Her heart fell into her stomach, this wasn’t going to hold forever.

Oh my God- oh my God- Oh my God! She began to cry again, fighting to stay on her feet the adrenaline left her.

A sound came from above her, there were more of those creatures upstairs. As if to prove her correct, a low growl came from the stairwell. She needed to get out, She ducked and squeezed through the small gap she had made in the wreckage and squeezed out the front entrance holding her small gown down above her knees.

She pushed the door open and crawled outside, standing up she was met with the sight of carnage and destruction. Trash cans layed overturned, riddling the sidewalks with decaying trash, cars were piled up and abandoned in what looked like an attempt of organized evacuation, some were wrecked, having crashed into lamp posts and into buildings.

“Mother of God…” She breathed out and ran a hand through her hair. 

“Attention all citizens: Due to the citywide outbreak, you are advised to take shelter at the Raccoon City police station,” blared off in the distance. “Free food and medical supplies will be provided to everyone in need.”

The police- The police will know what's happening. She felt some relief come over her, however, it was short-lived.

A loud shriek came from behind her, letting her know that she needed to book it. She started to run at the first sounds of creatures banging against the door. She needed to find a map, a sign, anything that could direct her to the police station. She turned a street corner and passed a boutique, stopping to glance at street signs and other directional signs.

Raccoon City Police station, Thank God . She stopped and followed an arrow to the left.

The sound of glass breaking came from behind, she turned swiftly. A group of grey women had broken through the boutique window behind her, growling and hissing at her with decaying teeth. Backing away, she stared at the bloodied glass shards that jutted out from their skin, it didn’t seem to stop them. She cried out and bolted to the left, a large iron fenced stone building stood off in the distance. A large sign marked R.P.D hung over the main gate.

“Oh my God! Somebody help me!” She screamed as she ran and crawled over abandoned cars that had piled up in front of the police station. However, the louder she screamed, the more of those things would limp out from the darkness, snarling and stalking towards her. 

She hopped down off the last car only to wish she hadn't, five of those things thrashed against the gate, shoving their arms through the gaps in bars and clawing at the air. Taking a step back, she glanced at her surroundings.

Another way in- Another way in- She turned on her heel letting out a piercing scream.

A small group of the rotting things had gathered a few feet behind her. She wasn’t concerned with most members of the small horde, just the one who lead them. A man engulfed in flames, snarling at her with crisp charred lips. She screamed again taking a wide jump around him, avoiding his reaching hands and the fire that threatened to burn her, before jumping on top of an abandoned car. The group growled harmoniously and followed after her, reaching and clawing marks on the roof of the car.

“Stop! Get away!” She screamed attempting to swat their hands away. “Leave me alone!”

The sound of glass breaking caught her attention, a school bus engulfed in thick smoke and flame. More of the things crawled out from the busted windows like rodents, shambling to their feet and threw their withering bodies forward, ignoring that their flesh was burning. 

What the hell are these things?!

More continued to shamble towards her from underneath cars and dark alleys, joining in the chorus of moans. One had enough smarts to rigidly climb up on the hood of the car, narrowly missing her ankle. Moving further back on the roof of the car, she turned and slid off the back end, making a run for it further down the street. Glancing back over her shoulder, she caught what sounded like a gathered shriek with more bodies scrambling around the car after her.

She ran the length of the white iron fence before turning swiftly into a street labelled Warren St , only to be stopped by a large barricade. Without thought or hesitation, she rushed forward and began to climb the crude structure. More moans and growls encouraged her to pick up her pace, not looking back, she popped her head over the barricade, finding some relief that the street below her was empty.

C’mon, you can do this! She grunted and hauled herself over the top of the barricade slowly shifting over the piled wood and shifted carefully down onto the wet asphalt below.

The street was no different from the others, only that it seemed to be void of any of the rotting creatures. Wrapping her arms around herself, she hesitantly moved one, staggering towards a building labelled Ennerdale Parking Garage , before it began to rain harder, soaking her completely.

She squealed and ran for the nearest awning by the small entrance to the garage. Wringing water from her hair while trying to keep herself a little warm, she chanced a scan of the street for an entrance into the police station yard. Her eyes settled upon where the spiked iron fence conjoined with a brick wall. Before following the span of the red brick to where an overturned car laid.

I could jump from that car and climb over the wall. She frowned and looked down at her slippers, with limited grip and the hard rain, this was going to be extremely difficult. 

I can do this- I can do this- She psyched herself up with some steady breaths and stretching, relaxing her muscles and getting her blood pumping. Right leg back, one arm back, and chin up, she prepared to sprint. Only to freeze on hearing a low growl and the soft clicking of nails on concrete from behind, slowly turning her head, the sight made her blood go cold. 

At least twenty feet away, stood a dog, a Doberman, or what the very least resembled one. The creature’s skin and matted fur had peeled away from  around its head and slender sides, exposing muscles and gnarled bones. A chunk of its neck had been torn out, revealing more muscle and bone. It stared at her with white pupil-less eyes, the left one was barely hanging one, clinging with effort to a small vein. A grey tongue lathered saliva across the remains if its decayed mouth, thick droplets of the cloudy mess slid down its pointed teeth before letting out a long howl. She blinked at it, frozen in her running stance. It looked back down at her before charging. 

“What the fuck?!” She screamed out loud more to herself and sprinted for the overturned car. Losing one of her slippers to the wet asphalt, she gritted her teeth and endured the rough texture scraping the bottom of her foot. Before she could make it halfway, something black lept across her line of vision.

Another Doberman had come out of nowhere, equally as deformed as the first one. Before she could even react, the first abomination leapt on her back sending her to the ground. Fueled with pent-up adrenaline, she ignored the rough scrapping of her knees and flipped around bringing her fist against the side of the animal’s rotting head before Staggering to her feet, sprinting in the direction of car. 

With howling and barking still echoing from behind, she jumped and climbed up the side of the car before bounding over to the slick brick wall of the station. She gripped onto the indentation etched onto the other side of the wall and tried to haul herself up, her biceps seared in pain defying her actions. Hearing the dogs, she glanced behind her, one of them had made up onto the car.

“No!” She yelled at it, fighting to get a good footing on the brick wall. “Get away!”

The dog snapped at her before leaping, she acted fast, letting go with one hand she swung herself to side. The dog shot headfirst into the brick wall and fell to the sidewalk below her. Its limbs aggressively twitched before leaping back to its feet only now it was joined by three others, each snapping and jumping up at her. Gripping the wall again with her free hand, she let out a cry and began to haul herself over the top of the wall.

The remaining slipper fell, as she tried to gain better traction. The flimsy material barely marking a sound as it tumbled to the ground before the carnivorous dogs. Reaching the wall halfway at her waist, she quickly swung her over the side, straddling the concrete top. Taking a few deep breaths, she looked back down at the sidewalk, watching the dogs ripping her fluffy slipper to shreds. 

Holding back tears at the thought that could have been her instead of the slipper, she glanced down into the enclosed police yard. It was a jungle, each side of the yard was sealed by sturdy looking brick walls with a single wooden gate just to the left. Long grass had sprouted through any given gap hiding what appeared at first glance to be pieces of debris and training equipment. 

She swung her other leg over the side, checking the quiet yard for any signs of movement before jumping down the last few feet onto the grass. She hissed, as her sore ankles screamed from over endurance at her as she staggered to the wooden gate, pushing on it. The gate moved forward a little before stopping. She blinked and pushed harder to no avail.

You have got to be kidding me!

She peered between the crack between the gate and wall, someone had pushed a vending machine in front of the gate. Growling in frustration, she banged her fists against the splintering wood and spun around heading towards the windows of the station. Peering through the first window, she was able to make out a long and empty hallway. 

Gripping the bottom frame of the window, she pulled letting out a sigh of relief when the window nudged upward, only to be caught on something in the track.

Growling in frustration, she squeezed her fingers into the small cracks and pushed upwards with all her might. The frame suddenly shot up halfway, before getting caught in the frame again. 

Well, I guess that's not too bad. She frowned and hesitantly stuck her head through the small gap.

Carpeted stairs that led to a landing was on her left and on the other side of the stairs was a door. She carefully crawled through, setting her bare feet down on the damp red tiles below before slowly shutting the window behind her, and taking a few cautious steps into the hallway. 

“Hello?” She called out, her voice echoed off the walls. 

Like the apartment before, there was no answer. Just the sound of her breathing and old creaking wood to keep her company. Fear made her breath catch, with the pleading hope that those things hadn’t found another way in. Regardless, she looked down at her damp bathrobe, which had turned sheer, revealing more skin than she was comfortable with. She needed to find clothes and shoes first if she were to search for people.

She inched forward slowly, prepared to run at the first sign of a threat. Stopping at the mouth of the long dark and foreboding hallway, she took a left by the stairs to the small closet door. Surprised that it wasn’t a closet at all but what looked like a small office with a heavily shadowed desk and lockers. Past the desk, was a blinking light on the wall, a small light switch.

Without hesitation, she strode over to the switch flipping it on and felt relief wash over her as the lights in the room slowly flickered on. Revealing a small entryway to her left, not concerned with this, she rushed over to the lockers and started opening them one by one, only to find them empty. 

There has to be clothes in these lockers. She slammed the third locker door, moving to open the last which held a hammer leaning against the back with black grime clinging to the handle. Taking hold of the tool, her attention was caught by a piece of paper tucked snugly in the corner of the locker’s metal frame. Taking it in her hand, she slowly unfolded it.

A map? 

Moving over to the desk, she spread the crumpled map out on its metal desktop. She scanned over the map that was labelled Police Station, 2F, she scanned over rooms labelled Library and S.T.A.R.S Office to a set of rooms marked Shower Room.

Maybe someone left clothes behind in there? Sliding her index finger across the page, she followed the set of rooms out the door to a set of small rectangles that marked stairs next to a landing. The ones she saw when she clambered through the window. Taking a deep breath, she folded the map and made her way out of the small office. 

It’s only one flight of stairs, hopefully. She took several breaths and teetered towards the stairs. Clothes and then search the station, you can do this.

Clinging to the banister for support, she slowly ascended the stairs, careful not to make a sound. She held her breath as she ascended the second set of stairs and approached the first landing. As she ascended the stairs the first thing she could make out was a bloodied scalp, reaching the top she screamed an ear-shattering scream that ripped through her lungs and echoed through the halls.

Thereupon the top of landing, under the dim moonlight shining in from the windows, was a corpse of a policewoman laying in a pool of her own congealed blood. Her flesh appeared to have been ripped from her bones with an eye missing from its socket, she bared white teeth still shone in the limited light. The body looked as if it had been ravaged by wild dogs. 

Screaming while trying not to gag, she dropped her hammer and tumbled back down the stairs, leaning onto the banister again for support. Swallowing back the hot bile threatening to spill over her tongue, she moved. She was in full flight now, her mind fainting on sheer madness. She now knew why there were no normal people around, they had been devoured. They were eating people. Eating them.

Reaching the bottom of the stairs, she screamed again as one of the creatures smashed through the window she had entered earlier. Shrieking she quickly jumped over the fallen monster and sprinted down the long hallway. Reaching the end, she turned the corner and screamed again. One of those monsters stood before her, throwing itself against a vending machine.

The creature turned his head and snapped its teeth at her. She stumbled back as the being turned with outstretched arms causing her to fall backwards onto the linoleum floor, something moved below her, grabbing at her leg. She tripped over the body of a police officer, who now like the other, attempted to take a chunk out of her.

“NO!’ She shrieked. “Let go of me!”

Suddenly, awash of light, illuminated the officers decaying features, causing her to scream more. Loud bangs echoed through the hall, her ears rang and she tightly closed her eyes, feeling the monster’s grip on her going limp. Kicking the deceased officer she began to scurry away, only to be grabbed by the forearm and hauled up. She thought she could hear someone talking, but it was probably just another one of those things.

“No!” She wailed. “Let go! Let go!”

Her eyes shot open and she began to shove, hit, and scratch at her attacker, screaming and fighting for her life.

“Miss- Jesus!” Her attacker hissed. “Miss please calm down, you’re safe now!”

Summoning the presence of mind, she stopped her attack and gazed up, her eyes met the darkened face of a man. He was staring back at her with his grey eyes filled with concern, she smiled into his chin that she barely reached and let loose a loud laugh, almost hysterical, startling the man.

“Miss?”

Tears rolled down her eyes as her laughter quickly turned into loud sobs, running her hand through his product stiffened hair she brought him down to her level and wrapped her arms tightly around him, crying into his hard shoulder before going limp with exhaustion.