The raindrops felt like small pebbles as they poured down on her face, preventing her from seeing clearly. Emma did not know how much longer she could hold the rusty metal bar. Cars were still parked on both sides of the collapsed bridge, while others dangled off it across from her. Emma saw a couple of the cars impaled by the same metal bars that she was now clinging to.
Although the rain made the bar slick, Emma knew she had to deal with it. The bar was the only thing keeping her alive. Emma knew that she needed to be strong and put all her efforts and strength into holding onto it.
The rain prevented her from smelling the crawler’s rotten flesh, but Emma could not avoid being in the path of the decomposing fluids that dripped down from every part of their bodies. She gathered strength from deep down to keep herself from vomiting as the mix of rain, blood, and flesh from the crawler’s, dripped down on her face. Emma started to feel like gagging; the texture of the fluids on her face was the most disgusting thing she had ever felt in her life, but she knew that any sound or movement could be her last.
The crawlers were standing right above her, inches from her head. The only reason they could not smell her was due to the rain. Emma thought about climbing up and somehow fighting her way through, but she didn’t have any strength left to fight. She barely had enough to hold onto the metal bar. It seemed like an eternity, but she had only been hanging for a few minutes. Her strength was rapidly fading away.
Food was not easy to find, and it been almost day and half since the last time she ate. She never saw herself as a quitter, but this time was different. She was pushing herself as she had never done before. Surviving the end of civilization was exhausting, and fighting every day for food and shelter was worse. Emma knew she was lucky to be alive. She had devoted friends to be grateful for, and she was not going to let them down. She tried to gather some strength to wipe her face on her shoulder, but she was too exhausted. She looked up again and saw the reflection of a crawler on the window of a dangling car.
The crawler seemed like it was standing still, unable to see her, but Emma could see its reflection. It was a female crawler. She was still clinging to whatever pieces of humanity she had left, smelling, scratching its nails on the pavement, and letting out an unholy scream that sent Emma’s nerves into a complete frenzy. Emma noticed her long, dark hair dangling down in ragged clumps. The crawler’s clothes were torn, exposing one of the crawler’s breasts, though now it was no more than shredded skin dangling from her chest. The crawler moved on in a slow, shoveled pace. Emma knew this because they could no longer walk like a person; they did not have the will or capacity. They had degenerated to beast’s mode, searching for prey. This was their only primal instinct. The crawlers could smell any uninfected humans, and some of them were still able to use their eyes to track them down. Emma was glad the one on the bridge did not have eyes. The rain was keeping her concealed. If it had not been for the local town mayor investing in solar powered streetlights, she would be in complete darkness. She was relieved that she had some light illuminating on her. There was one downside to this though, crawlers, just like flies, were attracted to light, or at least they always stayed closed to it. At this moment, all she could do was concentrate on not letting go of the bar.
Unfortunately, she could not see what was below her, or how high she was from the ground. All she could see was darkness beneath her, a never-ending sea of shadows that she would soon be drowning in if she let go. Her thoughts strayed, if she had been stronger or faster she would have avoided the crawlers, maybe she could have even saved her family. But all of that was in the past now, she needed to focus on the