Sparrow’s Flight by Jenika Snow

Chapter One





Five months after the fall of civilization





It was only supposed to be an immunization, one that was a failsafe for people getting something as common as the flu. But then they realized by accident that it also prevented and stopped the spread of cancerous cells. It had been hailed worldwide as a magnificent accomplishment, one in which the scientists thought they had come across something monumental. Well, they had, and it turned to shit and backfired in the worst possible way. The ones who had gotten it started exhibiting signs of cannibalism and necrosis of the entire body.

They became far sicker than anyone could have imagined. Everyone thought they were safe, that they were helping people, curing something as devastating as cancer. They had been wrong. Whatever was in the flu shots infected people, changed something inside them and made them crazed, thirsty for blood, and something that wasn’t considered human. It slowly killed them from the inside out, made their flesh rot, every orifice bleed, and all logical reasoning vanish.

What made this already disastrous situation even graver was that all it took to have the healthy become mindless drones salivating for death was a scratch or bite from the sick. The incubation period for someone who was infected ranged from person to person, but the end result was always the same.

They became something Sparrow read about, had seen in movies, but never thought would become a reality, her reality.

How quickly things changed. Even months after the infection, Sparrow still couldn’t believe how fast the world deteriorated. It spread from an isolated incident in the United States to something that affected the entire world. Riots had broken out. The healthy were killing off one another, and people were becoming uncivilized and as ravenous as the sick who walked beside them.

The sound of a deep but low moan filled her ears despite the fact that Sparrow knew they were trying to stay quiet. She closed her eyes and clenched her thighs together. She was currently in an abandoned building that she could tell had been a mechanic’s shop before all this had gone down. There were a few wrenches and other tools scattered on the floor, a dented toolbox turned on its side with about an inch of dust collected on it pushed against one corner, and various other “shop” material on the ground.

The front door hung from its hinges; the bay door looked as if a car tried to drive through it, and the only two windows had long since lost their glass. Sparrow stared out one of them. The floor was hard and unforgiving, but the stillness around her was welcome. But then there was another gruff sound, followed by a longer moan, and then silence. Yeah, clearly, they had just gotten off.

She covered her face with her hands and breathed out deeply. How wrong was it that she could hear Mason Stone and Asher Vincent fucking no more than a few feet from her? Not as wrong as getting wet because she could hear them, picture them doing it, and wanted to be a part of it. Although it was selfish for her to think they shouldn’t continue with their... relationship, or whatever it was that was going on between them, just because she joined their group.

They helped her three days ago when she had been attacked by one of the infected. Sparrow knew how to take care of herself. She wouldn’t have lasted this long if she hadn’t been willing to kill to survive, but she had been so tired from the running, from the situation, and just from the life she was living in general. But as they say, Mason and Asher had been in the right place at right time and had pulled the bloody, snapping, clawing body away from her. They killed him without so much as blinking. Mason sliced its neck and then proceeded to stab it in the skull three different times. It only took one clean hit to the head to kill them, but she remembered vividly the look on Mason’s face as he killed what used to be a man.

It was frighteningly vicious, and he looked like he enjoyed it immensely.

They had then given her the choice to go with them or stay on her own. It hadn’t been a difficult decision to make. For the past month, she had been by herself, and although she survived thus far, she really didn’t know how much longer she could last. Sparrow was also sick and tired of having no one. Solitude was a nasty bitch.

So, she had gone with them without any hesitation. They had given her food and water from their own rations and hadn’t wanted anything in return, except for her to keep up with them, stay quiet, and not get in their way if they came up against trouble. That said a lot about them, and so did the fact that they didn’t expect sexual favors as payment for what they gave her.