The sun’s light had been hidden by the thick ash clouds. The air was damp and smelt of smoke and burnt wood, from multiple makeshift bomb fires from almost every road. Ash rested on the streets from the clouds like a grey snowfall. Streetlamps had to be kept on twenty-four hours a day; it would have been too dangerous to turn them off at any time, even if natural light did creep through. It just wasn’t enough.

The streets were lined with rubbish. There was rotten food with fat rats feasting, and small piles of dirt with dead plant life covered the roads, as did sand and gravel; other than that and few people. All of the shop windows were shattered, for all of them had been looted. Everything was happening so quickly, no one had the patience to wait in line to buy the last tin of dried peaches. Life did exist. Not that anyone would call it life, more of the state of existence.

The people who were outside moved quickly, never staying in the same place or position for more than a few seconds. This was for their own safety. If they stayed still too long, they would notice them. They were slow, but it wasn’t worth it.

My head hurt immensely, like I had been struck. Although, I had no time to worry about this. I needed shelter and food. Down the street I spied out a (hopefully) closed-up shop. It looked from here that it was still intact. However, there was one of them walking around near it. I could knock it down easily- I had a crowbar I found in a hardware store not far from this street, and it was heavy enough to do bad damage even with a weak shot.

The pavement was full of glass and stones from the smashing of windows. I had to walk along the road with was being lightly covered in an ash blanket from the clouds above. I prepared myself and began to jog down the road. A shiver of anxiety rushed over my body, and I began to sprint. This is when I realised just how long this street was. It must have been five minutes and I was not even half way down the street yet. I was at full speed, and then almost out of nowhere I was right in front of the shop, and the thing was slowly staggering towards me. My head still hurt, so I blamed it for the sudden loss of time.

I haven’t had anything to eat in ages, I thought, I really need food… At least water. I crept closer to the thing and lifted the crowbar to try and warn it off. It took no notice, so I swung at it. I kept my eyes closed while doing so. It felt so wrong hurting them. They’re human but we have been forced to, for safety. I didn’t look back, and ran to the shop. The door was sealed shut by a brand new-looking lock. Shit, I thought. I jammed the crowbar into it and it didn’t break. My nerves did, though. I wedged the crowbar into the door frame. I pulled with all my strength and it opened slightly. I could get in, but I’d have to leave the crowbar there. It was worth it.

The shop was quite small. Damp damage, large cracks and mouse holes in the walls, and the back room's door was off its hinges. Not very safe, but enough for now. My plan was to get to the Blackpool Pleasure Beach on the pier. It was the only place in close reach that had good places to hide, including high places on top of the roller coasters. All the shops weren’t safe, and the arcades made too much noise. An unmanned roller coaster was, sadly, the safest place in a twenty mile radius.  

Luckily, it was a general store, so there was a bit of food. I don’t know how long I stayed there but it must have been through the night. I didn’t sleep. I think. My head still hurt though. Probably stress. All of this happened so quickly out of the blue. I thought about this while eating a can of cold spaghetti-o’s. Not a very nice breakfast meal, but not really a choice.

I peeked outside the front door. The street was dead (ignore the pun) and it wasn’t snowing ash any more. I went back inside and began to plan. I found a burlap sack filled with potatoes, so I emptied it out and put a few tin cans of food and bottles of water and energy drinks. They do nothing for my hunger, of course, but it’s the thought that counts. As I went out the door, the crowbar twanged and fell out the door, and I picked it up and held it close to my chest.

Walking through the streets showed me just how bad this place was now. The government had burnt bodies on almost every corner- rats, stray and domestic cats and dogs, and humans. The stench was horrible, but it became a normal odour after about four weeks. Anyway, I was making my way to the pier. The smell of the ocean slowly began to block out burnt flesh. I came out a small street to the pier. It stretched far, and was an absolute state. It was covered in rotten bodies, as far as I could see, and the famous Blackpool lights were all smashed and ruined. At the far end was Pleasure Beach, although there was not much pleasure was radiating from it. I walked along and stayed as quiet as possible. I couldn’t see any of them walking around. There were only a few on the ground, laying there moaning in agony. My head still hurt.

I almost fell as I saw something in the corner of my eye. I spun around and readied my crowbar. I let out a sigh of relief as I realised the thing was inside a shop window. It stared at me, swaying slightly. Its eyes were blank, no pupil or iris. Its skin was pale and cut up. I felt sorry for it. I turned and carried on, looking back over my shoulder. It was following me through the window. As the window ended, so did its following. I carried on. I came to the entrance of the theme park and thought for a second. If I turned the metal turner, it would click very loudly. I had to climb over it, and my head was then overcome with an intense pain. I fell off the metal turner in a loud thump. Glass and pebbles on the floor stuck into my sides. My muscles tightened up and I had to force myself to my bloodied, sore feet.

I stumbled about the park for a few minutes when I noticed something. One of the roller coasters was going around its track, full speed. Who’d turn that on at this time? I thought watching it speed around the corkscrew. Then I heard something that made my ears prick. It was a voice, a mumbling voice. But it wasn’t moaning, it was actually speaking like a human. I smiled to myself, thinking happily how I have found another person stuck in this shit hole. I staggered as fast as I could and saw him. He was touching the controls of the moving coaster.

“Hey!” I let out a loud, excited cry. The guy turned and stared at me. He looked thin, but muscular. And he looked very, very angry.

“Get back!” he roared. I was taken back.

“Please, I have food,” I pleaded as he slowly edged towards me.

“Get back!”

I didn’t know what to do. The bastard was all alone and he was probably going to attack me. I stepped backwards and he quickly ran towards me. I’m not sure why, but I think I blacked out from running away. I only remember being on the get-on part of the roller coaster, with my burlap on the floor, the food and cans rolling out. The guy stood there, breathing heavily with a look of pure anger in his eyes.

“Have the food then!” I screamed. He then hit me, with a club of sorts. I didn’t even see it in his hands. Yet, I felt nothing. It slammed hard into my left temple. But there was no blood, and no pain. My head didn’t hurt any more either. Sort of ironic.

He hit me about seven times. Blood finally began to draw from my ears and eye socket. I felt nothing, and I didn’t know how to feel about it. What did this mean?

I couldn’t feel anything, no matter how hard he swung. The realization hit me like a ton of bricks. I loosened my body as he grabbed the collar of my shirt and belt. He lay my body onto the vibrating track. My head lay on the part where the wheels held onto. Finally realizing why that thing followed me, and why my head hurt, I don’t think I mind going like this. I would have only hurt people otherwise.

Then, it hit me.