The quiet stillness was queer. Almost… Disturbing. Many things could happen in a quiet stillness like this. Almost anything. And that's what scared me the most. Knowing that, in fact, this very dark quiet could the death of me; the death of all of us. Because sitting in noiseless dark is the time you can hear everything. Every movement, every sound, every take in of breath, every exhale of air. In this darkness your best dreams can become your worst nightmares. And I think that fact was getting to us.

When my eyes had finally adjusted to the dark, I looked around to see stone walls on all sides of us. The quiet was still there and my ears hadn't gotten used to it yet. But even now, the quiet was broken with screams of terror and pain. I knew, we knew, the next victim could be one of us. Any of us. And that too was getting to us.

Bobby laid next to me. His lean, dark body covered in his own blood. The red liquid still seeping out from the wounds. He had killed himself long before they had released the disease on us. Long before it got to anybody. Now, he lay still and lifeless with his throat gouged out by his own fingers and hands. The thick vein in his head inanimate, unlike all the other times he was worried or stressed. The smell travelled around us, thickening the tension between us all. It gave us true knowledge of what we were fighting against.

Kendra sat in her own corner, weeping and screaming as the symptoms got worse. Within time she would turn just like Joey. The remains of his torn up body sat in the back of the room, quiet and filling the room with an even worse smell. In just a couple of hours, her body would turn against her just like Joey's had. She would thrash and wail, throwing herself against the rock walls hoping to find solace in the arms of death. Her hands would tear her eyes out and her teeth would grind and chew until her tongue was a bloody mass. And this would continue and continue with her shrill screams slicing through the quiet like a knife.

The toughest thing about this was the knowledge. Knowing that this could happen to you. Knowing that it will. Knowing that it's happened to a good friend. Knowing you can't do anything about it. Knowing just how much you and they will miss out on in life. Knowing that you can't stop it. Knowing that there is no cure. Knowing there's no pill you can take that will make this go away. Knowing there's no drug you can take that will dull the pain. And the worst thing is: You know you're dying. You know that at some point your body will turn on you, on everyone around you. You know your heart won't stop beating until you've gone through the worst torture imaginable.

The unknown is unbearable as well. Not knowing when this will happen to you. Not knowing how much pain the person is going through. Not knowing how much pain you'll be going through. Not knowing what you may do to others. Not knowing how long it will last. Not knowing how to stop it. You don't know when you may die. You don't know when you're heart will stop beating. You don't know how much pain and torture you'll be put through or for how long.

As the observer of these things you know and don't know things too. You know that just as they change, you'll have to kill them. You'll have to kill them before they kill you or change you into one of them. A single bullet pounded into the heart is the only cure. You don't know if you will be able to kill them. You don't know if you'll have to drop the revolver and let them take you as well. And these things were just… Just too much for even I to bear.

Margaret sat on my right side, still not affected by the symptoms. We were the only two left of our troop. We hadn't been infected. Our torture was killing the ones we loved and cared about… And if we didn't, we were dead. It was a matter of how much you love yourself. To these people, loving yourself was the greatest sin. We were the problem. We were the sin in the world. We were the ones not humble, not lowly enough to give ourselves for our loved ones. That's why they made us the killers. It made them look humble. It made us look selfish. We were killing our friends for our own safety. Not the safety of others, but ourselves. And that's why they chose us.

But, we knew that at some point we would be infected. We would be secluded, left to kill each other or ourselves. There was no avoiding it and no chance at surviving it. The joy of doing what we were doing was one thing and one thing only: Doomsday was put off for just a little bit. That was all. Our joy didn't come from killing our friends. Our joy didn't come from the torture they were put through. No, our joy came from the fact that we wouldn't be next.

And even as we watched, Kendra started the last symptom. The thrashing and wailing. I couldn't bear to watch. All I could do was sit and listen to the screams and listen to her throw herself against the wall, waiting to get tossed into Death's inviting arms. I placed my hands over my face, hoping to get rid of this horrible nightmare. Within seconds I felt a cold metal cylinder pressing lightly against the side of my stomach. Without looking, or thinking, I grabbed the Colton Python .357 Magnum from Margaret's hand. I fingered the trigger, counting slowly to ten. Ten seconds was the least amount of time that they told us to wait. Afterwards we could kill them whenever we wanted to.

The shiny metal weapon gleamed wickedly at me. In the darkness I couldn't see much detail of the revolver, but could feel a rough printing on the handle. We had reloaded the revolver just minutes ago, so the cylinder held six shots. It seemed like a grin was placed on the end of the cylinder just telling me to shoot Kendra and get it over with. I righted the revolver in my hand and placed my finger on the trigger. My finger ran up and down the trigger, thirsting for a way out of this situation. My eyes watered with salty tears and I closed my eyes, hoping that I could be strong for this last moment. The last moment I would see Kendra alive. I moved the revolver higher up and fired. The backfire pushed my arm back a few inches, but I gritted my teeth and shot again.

Feelings I can't describe flooded through me at that moment. Anger and resentment against them. Against the people that made Kendra the way she is. That made us, me, kill her. My best friend, my true friend. I couldn't control my feelings in that moment and kept firing. Bang after bang filled the air. I fired and fired until the bullets ran out. Kendra had fallen, lifeless, moments before, and my shots hit the wall, but it still felt good. I kept trying to fire, until Margaret placed a hand on my shoulder.

That somehow pulled me back into the real world and away from everything that was going on. It pulled me back into the reality of the situation. Kendra was dead. I had shot her. I had shot her like a rabid animal. And it never occurred to me what I had been doing. The adrenaline rush was amazing and I wanted more. I wanted more of that adrenaline high I felt when I was firing.

The revolver still lay in my hand and I glanced at it. This was how it feels to be a murderer. The adrenaline rush that made you just want more. It was better than drugs, better than anything in the world. In that moment, you were blinded by your feelings. Rage and anger, sadness and longing. They crossed over your eyes, blinding you to right and wrong. Good and bad. All you felt was the high of the adrenaline. The blood pumping through your veins and rushing through your ears. Your heart beating faster than you ever though possible. And the power… The power you felt. Having that revolver in your hands, knowing you can do anything with it. Thinking you're on top of the world and thinking that people will obey you if you threaten them. That feeling was amazing.

I dropped the revolver immediately. I was scared of myself. If I could do that to Kendra and feel that way, there was nothing stopping me from doing the same thing to Margaret. And in that moment it was clear to me… They wanted this. These people wanted us to feel this high; they wanted us to want to kill to get that high. That's what they were designing us for. They were designing us to clean up their mess so that they wouldn't have to. So that they wouldn't have to jump down from their "lowly" position and become selfish human beings like "us". So that they wouldn't feel the high and want it. They knew how we would feel and they didn't want it. In that moment… Everything was clear as daylight.

Margaret looked down at the revolver, stared at it really, and then looked back up at me. Words weren't exchanged, but they didn't have to be. I could see it in her eyes. She thought I was an animal. An animal designed to kill and only to kill. I reached out to comfort her, but she flinched from my touch and moved over farther away from me. When I tried to walk closer, she scrambled to pick up the revolver and pointed it at me. The revolver held no bullets, yes, but she was the one that could reload it.

When she spoke, her voice was rasp and her breath was rapid. She held the revolver at arms length, still pointed at me. "Who are you?" she asked me. I held my hands up to show I wasn't going to hurt her. I didn't know what she thought I could do to her. I had no weapon and no strength to do anything remotely harmful. But still she held the revolver and kept her eye on me while she carefully reloaded. When she finished, she moved the revolver from the point blank range on me. With ease she lifted it carefully alongside her head and fingered the trigger.

I knew what she was doing, but what could I do to stop it? If I moved even an inch she would shoot me and then herself and where would we be? There was no choice. So I stood and watched, mesmerized by the stillness her hand had as she fingered the trigger. The revolver shook slightly as she moved it closer to her skull. I reached out to stop her, but she fixed her eyes on me. They were angry and full of fire. I didn't know how to help and her next words shocked me the most:

"Go to hell, Cara."

That was the last thing she said before her finger pressed the trigger. Blood spattered the wall behind her and her lifeless body fell to the ground. I cried out and felt salty tears overflowing. I ran over to where she lay and dropped down to my knees. Her brown hair was matted against the bloody wound in her head and her glassy eyes stared straight ahead. I grabbed her hand and gasped at how icy it felt.

I was starting to feel crazy. The world was spinning and my mind was reeling. I was stuck in a room with four of my closest friends. And every single one of them was dead. The smell was getting worse and I didn't know how to help it. Everything was spinning in a dark circle and I didn't understand right from left or up from down. I kept my eyes on Margaret who still stared blankly ahead.

Suddenly, I felt my body jerk. I didn't know why at first. My body kept twisting and turning and causing me extreme agony. I cried out a few times and clutched at what I could. When I looked down at what I had grabbed, it was Margaret's hand. I had practically broken it. The bones were twisted at obtuse angles and the veins in her hand were twisted into a contorted shape. I let go of her hand and stepped back.

This was what it felt like, I realized, to be infected. My body was turning against me. Twisting me to do what it wanted me to, telling me to say what it wanted me to say. I didn't have control over my own body. I clutched at the wall, the slimy wet feeling crawling onto my hand. The darkness was still spinning and I couldn't walk. All I could do was sink to the floor, wrap my arms around my legs, and hope for the best. And so I did.

I sat there trying to remember something, anything, to make this whole ordeal just a bit more comfortable. But I couldn't think, I couldn't make myself think. I knew that your mind was the first thing that would turn on you. As long as you had control over your mind, you had control over your body. But when your mind was being controlled, not by you, but by some… Infection, it was harder to control yourself. Not until the end was your mind completely controlled by the infection, but you never had maximum control over it.

There was a quick pulsing in my head. It hurt horribly and I knew this was just the beginning. I restrained myself from hurting anything, or even myself, by scrambling into a corner and grasping onto the wall there. The pain was immeasurable, something that I just couldn't describe or even want to describe. After a few minutes, the pain died down, but it was still a distant memory and feeling.

I felt so far away from the high I had felt only moments before. The feeling of being on top of the world, of knowing that you can do anything with a weapon in your hand. Now I felt at the bottom of the world. I didn't know what to expect or how to prepare for what was to come. And I knew I couldn't do anything. I knew I couldn't go out into the open and be fine. I knew that. But it was a longing desire to just go out into the world and enjoy the sunlight for the last moments of my life. To have that last look at the world and what it could have been if this didn't happen.

The pain escalated, giving me the worst possible headache ever. I couldn't do anything to stop the pain and all my body wanted to do was throw itself across the room. But I wasn't going to let it. I clutched, with both hands, on a knob in the wall. My hands clasped together and the knob crumbled beneath my hands and became dust running through my fingertips. I tried grasping something else, but it too would crumble and become dust.

The amount of strength a person had after being infected was unknown to me. I hadn't known that with a slight squeeze and a push I could bring this whole building down. I hadn't known that these people had planned this so that we couldn't save ourselves. So that, because of our strength, we couldn't be constrained and no matter what we would die. No matter if the kept us in a cave like this or if the bound us with leather ropes. We would get out and the only way to stop us was to kill us.

I couldn't believe I was thinking about my death as if it was something that happened every day. The panic that is normally there for a person who is about to die, just wasn't there for me. I don't know if it was part of the infection or even if the physical strength you had transformed to even better mental strength, but the panic wasn't there. I felt strangely at ease leaving this world. Leaving this world and not knowing what was to come or what would happen. And although I hadn't done many things I wanted to in this life, it was okay. The things I had done were better than the things I hadn't. And I think that's what put me at ease. Not the physical strength, not the mental strength, not the infection. But my own strength. My own mind. Everything that was my own was what put me at ease.

The pain grew again. And it kept growing. I couldn't stop it; all I could do was hold onto the wall and grit my teeth. This is how it would end. I would finally get relief and then the pain would come back with a sharper bite than ever. I was scared, that's for sure, but still felt at ease. It was a strange combination. One I had never felt before and knew I would never feel again.

But then I remembered that although I knew I would die, I would die slowly and painfully. I wouldn't have the bliss of being killed before going through that torture. I wouldn't have the sincere hope of something better than this for eternity. I would have to brave through it and let my body do as it wished. But I couldn't. Before the pain could come back, I scrambled over to the revolver and picked it up before scrambling back into my corner.

My eyes were finally adjusted fully to the dark so I could see the revolver. It was a dark brown color with a wooden grip and a beautiful hand carving. The metal barrel was long and dark with a mysterious air about it. It glinted in the darkness as if showing me exactly what it was capable of. The cylinder was missing one bullet, leaving five more in it. I ran my thumb over the barrel then to the cylinder and over the grip. I rested my forefinger on the trigger and kept it there.

I started wondering if I would be able to kill myself when the time came. Would I be able to pick up this gun and pull the trigger to end my own life? I had barely thought the question before the pain struck again. It was worse this time. I gritted my teeth and grasped the wall so hard that a hole formed in the shape of my hand. The physical pain was so much to bear and my mind couldn't stand being taken over by something other than myself. I knew this would continue, this pain, and it would be worse than ever before.

I weighed the revolver in my hand and briefly considered chucking it against the wall. But I didn't, I set it on the ground next to me and let the time pass waiting for that moment. The one moment where everything would come to an end. While I waited, I cherished the sweet and precious moments I had left. Whenever I could overcome my mind I would think of everything that I'd done in life. It was almost as if I was playing a home movie in my head over and over again. And that's how I spent almost every minute I had left.

It was when my teeth started grinding together that I knew I was in trouble. I had to do something soon or I would suffer so much more pain. I reached for the revolver and quickly grabbed it. My hand curled around the handle and I stared the metal barrel in the eye. I was going to die anyway, why not play a little Russian roulette? I grinned to myself and spun the cylinder. Once it stopped spinning I pulled the barrel up to my skull.

The cold metal burned through me like a fire and I gritted my teeth. My stomach was doing flip flops and somersaults. I took a last glance at my friends and loved ones lying around me. My finger tightened on the trigger and without a second thought, I pressed it down. My eyes rolled back in my head and my last thought was, "Go to hell, Cara" before everything faded to black.

A/N: Yeah, I haven't fallen off a cliff... Yet... Well okay... So this is a short story I wrote during our SAT testing. I was REALLLLLYYY bored and I was like "What the heck, why not?" So here ya go. Yeah it's a bit dark and dreary... I've sort of been depressed the past couple days and NO I am not thinking of commiting suicide... But anyway... Hope you enjoy it!