• The boy glances over his shoulder to me a few times. I take no bother to duck for cover. Stealth doesn’t matter anyways. He picks up speed, turning through the damp, rotting alley way. He’s huffing, obviously out of breath. He turns left, I followed. It was a dead end. The boy was now trying to climb inside a nearby window with a rope—he was about 30 feet high. There’s a girl, a bit older than his age, inside the apartment. She was holding the other end of the rope, helping him up. Once she saw me she gasped, letting go of her grip. The boy screamed then quickly turned around to face me as he fell through the air. I crouched on all four, readied my aim, and launched myself towards him in a flash. Both my feet and my left hand dug into the brick wall, catching the boy with my right. I held his wrist as he dangled in the air. I can hear him crying. I can hear the girl crying. I don’t respond to the situation. Misery…this is misery. I stare blankly at the red bricks. And this is torment. That’s what I know but I can’t understand what their reaction is or why this is their reaction. The boy screeches and starts clawing at my hand. The girl curses at me, telling me to not kill the boy. I glance at both of them, their eyes full of something intense but I can’t make it out. I wondered when time went by, why must they raise their voices to such extreme? My right hand began to bleed and tear but I feel nothing. The boy I’m holding, I can’t feel him. It’s like I’m grasping air. The wall is rough, I can tell, but it’s nothing when I touch it. I gaze up as the girl shouts at me, telling me that I’m hurting him.
    “Your grip…you’re hurting him…his hand will get dislocated so please…stop!” she cries. Her eyes changed in a way, it wasn’t like it was before.
    I looked at his wrist and see it was purple and bright red. Hurting…am I hurting him? Not knowing what else to do, I took my right foot out of the wall, threw it as far back as I could, and kicked the building, making a large hole. I went inside, dragging to boy along. The girl screamed, went for my right arm, and bit it. I didn’t know why she was doing this. She tried harder and harder, making no progress. The boy limped, getting droopy.
    “Let go, let go!” she shrieked, punching my chest. She wasn’t any taller than I was.
    I grabbed both her wrists with my left hand and lifted her up. She trembled then spat at the floor.
    What is the meaning of these behaviors? I am doing as I was told. Humans must be tormented, punished. I gaze deeply in her blue eyes, trying to find any hints of this. Tears flow down her cheeks. There’s something in her eyes that makes me let her and to boy go. Right when that happened, she lunged toward him and hugged him. I stared at them. Hurt…I have to, but why cant I? I am a living dead, a living dead whose purpose is to bring misery to humans, so why do I hesitate?
    Nothing happens, nothing at all. These thoughts I have aren’t what I usually get. I can’t figure out why I’m thinking it or what it means. I stare at my hands—listening to the sounds of weeping. The living dead…
    I walk over to the girl and knelt beside her. She gave me a look, eyes swollen. I open my mouth but then close it. Her reaction was uncertain. I open my mouth to speak again—nothing. The girl trembles but doesn’t back away. I try again, for the third time, same results. I can’t speak.
    “T—try ta—taking a…b—breath” she says but I don’t know why her words were fumbling.
    She told me to take a breath. I’m not certain I know what she means. I see her gape her mouth and suck in air. I stare at her but then mimic what she did. The air was strange, I see my chest rising. This must be taking a breath. I gave my last try, this time words came. “What…” out of air. I sucked in deeper. “What…am…I…?” I croaked.
    She stared at me, loosening her grip on the boy. “You…don’t know?” she answered with a question of her own.
    I didn’t know what to say. “Is there…something wrong…with me?”
    “There must be” her voice was smoother now. “Living dead’s are murderers. Vicious killers that feel nothing for us humans. They live off hate and strength, wanting nothing more than feeling our blood between their fingers!” she gazed at me intensely. “Even you, you crashed into our home and broke his hand. I hate you” she grits her teeth.
    I stared, unknowing to what she was saying. “What is…hate? Why do you…do that to your teeth? When you raise…your voice…what does it mean? And crying…why must humans…cry?”
    She had a strange look on her face. “Emotions…” she paused. “You don’t know what emotions are…?”
    I didn’t reply.
    She quickly stood up, carried the boy somewhere, and then came back without him in her arms. “Emotions are what you feel”
    I stare at my hands. “Cant…feel”
    She gaped then brushed her fingers against my cheek. “You’re so…cold but can you feel that?”
    “…so that’s it…that’s why it’s so hard to kill them…but that means you wont be able to control your strength if you cant feel how much pressure your giving out” she shook her head and stood. “Get out”
    I still don’t understand the meaning of human reactions. I talked, gained nothing by it. Humans aren’t understandable—neither am I. As I was ready to jump out of the hole in the wall, the girl speaks.
    “Why would you want to become a living dead in the first place?”
    I paused, trying to remember. “I don’t choose, I just am”
    “No, you can’t just be like this. You look like your thirteen years old, just like me. Who are your parents?”
    Parents…I don’t know what that is.
    “Sisters, brothers”
    I don’t know what that is either.
    “Your memory before this all happened?”
    I gaze up at the dark sky. What is this human saying? She’s telling me something, but what? Does it matter if I don’t understand her? Does anything I do even matter? I leave the building, not wanting to hear anymore nonsense.

    As I exited the alley way, I see tall buildings and smoke. There’s black smoke everywhere. I wonder if that was why the clouds are so dark. As I walk around, I see others wearing the same clothes as I am—they’re one of me. All of them have white hair, clear grey eyes, and pale skin. I look like that, too, I’m guessing. They’re clawing at humans with their long sharp nails. The humans are shrieking and crying. I observe the scene—misery and torment. I walk through the town, seeing more of the action. I start to notice one by one that we don’t shout or cry. Our facial expressions don’t even change at all. Does it bother me? I can’t tell but watching all this makes me feel strange. I ignore passing by superiors. There’s not many roaming around, they’re more like someone who makes sure we do what we are told. An old lady tripped and fell right in front of me. I gaze down at her. She looked up then started begging, pleading me not to hurt her. I don’t know what to do. I shouldn’t listen to her, should I? This all doesn’t seem to make sense. She started trembling, tears flowing down her cheeks. I stared, not doing anything. She slowly stood up, glanced at me one last time, and fled, stumbling a lot. I watched her leave then began walking again. Someone put a hand on my shoulder. I turned to see who it is. It was a man wearing a black robe—a superior.
    “That is not how you do things” he says. “Torment, punish, hurt, that is what you are suppose to do to humans” he gestures to the other living dead’s who were beating up the humans. “That is the correct way. What you did is not acceptable. That old woman, you were supposed to punish her without hesitation. What is your code?”
    My code…my code. “LR234” I replied.
    “Ah, you are one of the new ones. I will let this slide for now but you mustn’t repeat this failure, you understand?”
    I didn’t respond to him.
    “Now go”
    I did as I was told, continued the way I was going. Whenever I see a lone human come by, I would yank their hair and use my nail to cut an ‘X’ mark on their left cheek—a soon to be scar. I don’t know how many times I did that to the humans, I didn’t even bother to count. It was the superior’s orders so it matter not to me. There was a strange feeling every time I see a human abused but it was even stronger as I did it.
    Night came. The town was overshadowed by darkness. I don’t know how I can but I could still see. It was different, the colors were a scratchy grey and everything looked sketched out. I don’t know what I should do now other than to wander the streets. Some humans lay against the building walls, sleeping. It didn’t matter if they weren’t awake or not so I would come to them and puncture one of their eyes, right in the middle. They would wake up and scream, pressing their hands against their bleeding eye. All of those I did it to would react the same way, all of them. Some curses at me but none come at me with thrashing fists.
    Is this okay? Am I doing the right thing? Nothing makes sense. I can’t get rid of this strange feeling I’m getting. It’s the only feeling that I have, but why can’t I understand it?

    To Be Continued