Enter the Snowflake's lair... Circulation: 111,440,439 Issue: 192 | 26th day of Hunting, Y7
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A Day of Infamy: Part Two

by shadih_temporary


Instantly, Samantha darted forward, and AJ and Darcy ran in different directions. The pets forcefully shoved their way through the immense crowds of zombies. Several times, Samantha and her friends had to rip their arms and legs away from the very strong grip of the zombies.

      It took the trio a mere two or three minutes to break through the crowd of rabid monsters. As soon as they broke free, AJ and Samantha bolted out of the area, dodging a few zombies walking solo throughout the park.

      It took Darcy a little longer to get through, actually. But she made it out without any injuries. As the Wocky broke out of the crowd, a zombified Kacheek grabbed her purse and roared in fury. Darcy spun around and began tugging desperately on her purse. But the Kacheek was much too powerful.

      Samantha, who was almost safely out of the park, whirled around to find her friend in danger.

      "Darcy!" Samantha gasped.

      AJ stopped in his tracks and turned around. The two took no time to look at one another. They suddenly dashed across the park, heading for Darcy.

      "Let go!" Darcy commanded, straining as she tugged harder and harder on her purse.

      The Kacheek breathed out slowly, allowing its steamy breath to slide over the purse and across Darcy's arm. Yet, before she could breathe it in, the Kacheek let go of the purse. Darcy gasped as she fell backwards onto the park's bright green grass. Darcy quickly hopped up and headed away from the mob.

      She darted past AJ and Samantha, who were still running towards the mob to help her. "C'mon!" Darcy yelled, heading for a nearby neighborhood outside of the park.

      Samantha and AJ groaned and turned around, following Darcy. Realizing they had just let their prey escape, the zombies snarled loudly, crawling extremely fast across the grass and towards the trio.

      "Hurry!" Samantha panted uncontrollably. "They're gaining on us!"

      "You know, saying that isn't necessarily going to make us speed up!" AJ yelled over the moaning and hissing of the crowd behind them.

      "Shut up, AJ," Darcy sneered.

      Soon enough, the pets had made it out of the park. They darted across several grassy hills and a long dirt path leading away from the city and into the quiet suburbs. By this time, the trio had outran the mob of zombies. As soon as they reached the huge sign welcoming all to Times Street, the popular neighborhood that they were heading to, the pets stopped and rested.

      Samantha collapsed on the grass. She took a moment to catch her breath, and then spoke. "We lost them."

      "No way! I would have never though!" Darcy exclaimed, sarcastically.

      She and AJ plopped down on the ground beside Samantha.

      "Times Street seems different from the last time I saw it," AJ stated.

      Samantha took a moment to scan her surroundings. AJ was right. Times Street was indeed different. The sky wasn't its usual light blue colour. It had a light grey tint, and several clouds blocked the sunlight. Fog blanketed the grass that seemed paler than usual. Also, the neighborhood was dead silent. Even though it wasn't as big as Neopia Central, Times Street usually had at least some kind of commotion: Beakadoodles chirping, someone's water hose spraying, a petpet mewing, children playing.

      Samantha arose from her sitting position. "Let's see if there's anyone who will let us stay in their home."

      "No one's going to let you in their house, Sam!" Darcy argued. "How do we even know these pets know about the zombies?! Think, girl!"

      Samantha let what Darcy said sink into her mind, and she considered it for a moment. But then she saw it: a stray, blue skateboard laying about ten feet away from her. The skateboard had been ripped in half, and it had several bite and scratch marks covering it.

      Samantha gulped. "I-I think these pets found out the hard way,"

      "Samantha, let's go find someone who will help us," AJ said. "Darcy, you can stay here in the grass all by yourself if you'd like."

      "Fine, I will!" Darcy shouted. "And I'll laugh when you come back to me saying no one took you in!"

      Samantha suddenly grabbed AJ's arm and jerked him away from Darcy. The Wocky was beginning to aggravate her.

      Darcy sat alone on the grass for a few moments. She fiddled with her purse and then her fur. Afterwards, she sighed and stared up at the grey sky.

      Darcy rolled her eyes and hopped up. "Wait for me, you guys!"

      The trio of pets approached a small, one-story house. It was the first house on the extremely long street of Neohomes. The exterior walls of the home had been scratched up badly, and the windows were bashed in. Two dark red bicycles lay in the front yard of the house.

      "Think anyone's home?" AJ whispered, staring at the house.

      "No," Samantha replied. "Let's go and-"

      The front door to the house creaked open a little.

      "Hello?" Samantha called out.

      "You… speak the language of I?" came a somewhat deep female voice.

      Samantha couldn't help but smile. Whoever was inside the house was indeed uninfected.

      "Yes, we are not one of them!" Samantha shouted.

      The door to the house suddenly swung open. A Yellow Kougra with a black tote bag hanging from her shoulder and a black headband around her forehead. The Kougra stared wide-eyed at Samantha and her friends.

      "Come in! Hurry!" The Kougra commanded, gesturing for the trio to come inside.

      Samantha and the others made no second thoughts as they ran up the front porch steps and into the small house. The Kougra slammed the door shut as soon as Darcy stepped into the house. She proceeded to locking the several locks attached to the door. There were about ten locks altogether. When the Kougra was done, she spun around to face the trio once again. Her eyes were still very wide and bloodshot.

      "Hi," she spoke with her deep voice. The Kougra stuck out her paw to Samantha. "I'm Sapphire,"

      "I'm Samantha," Samantha shook the Kougra's hand in return. "And this is AJ and Darcy; my friends."

      "Why is your house all boarded up?" Darcy questioned Sapphire.

      Samantha hadn't noticed that all the windows had been boarded up. Along with the windows, every door but the front door had, too, been boarded up.

      "Isn't it obvious?" Sapphire said. "You must know of these creatures-these zombies! Why else would you have been seeking refuge? My handmade security system is to keep those monsters out there and me in here!"

      AJ arched an eyebrow. "Now, why isn't the front door boarded up?"

      "It's got plenty of locks," Sapphire stuck her nose in AJ's face. "Plus, I'll be leaving soon."

      "Where are you going?" said Samantha.

      "I have no reason to stay here," Sapphire began to explain. "Those zombies took my brother and my parents and made them into… one of them. I'm going to Faerieland. I've heard from pretty reliable sources that it is the only place in Neopia uninfected."

      "The only place?!" Samantha cried. "But the infection broke out only a few hours ago! How could it possibly spread that fast?!"

      "Believe me," Sapphire grinned. "It can."

      "Will you take us with you?" AJ questioned the Kougra.

      Samantha tilted her head. "What?"

      "To Faerieland," AJ stated.

      Sapphire hesitated.

      "C'mon, you!" Darcy smacked the back of Sapphire's head lightly. "You can't just leave us down here!"

      Sapphire stared at Darcy in shock for just a moment. But then, her eyes hardened. She nodded. "You're right. That would be… uncivil."

      Samantha smiled. "So you'll take us away from here? You'll take us to Faerieland?"

      Sapphire nodded once more. "Indeed. But once we reach Faerieland… we must go our separate ways. You'll be on your own."

      "I understand," Samantha nodded in return.

      "I don't," Darcy mumbled.

      "When do we leave?" AJ crossed his arms.

      "I was just about to leave today. But then you three showed up," said Sapphire. "So, I guess we'll be leaving right now."

      "Good," Darcy scoffed. "Because it sickens me to look at a house that needs some extremely serious interior decorating done."

      Darcy strode over to the front door and quickly began unlocking it.

      "Wait!" Sapphire shouted.

      But it was too late. Darcy unlocked the last lock on the door and swung it open. Immediately, a pair of pale, blue arms reached forward and grabbed Darcy by the shoulders, growling intensely. Darcy screamed and drew back, pulling the creature into the house with her. It was a Blumaroo. And it was infected.

      As soon as the zombie had stepped inside the house, Sapphire dropped her tote bag, rolled across the wooden floor of the house, and snatched a large book off a table. Taking careful aim, Sapphire tossed the book at the attacking Blumaroo. The book flew right over Darcy head and smacked it right in the face. The Blumaroo screeched and fell backwards onto the front porch. Darcy slammed the door shut immediately.

      "Gosh!" Darcy exclaimed. "What do these things want?!"

      "They're homicidal creatures," Sapphire began. "It's not really the Neopet it used to be. Once you become infected, you're like… someone totally different."

      Samantha raised an eyebrow. "Why are you so sure of that?"

      "Don't you guys read the newspaper?" Sapphire questioned the trio. "Sure, there was the front page article. But there were about five other articles on the same topic explain what they are, what they do, how to stop them, how you become infected…"

      "How do you become infected?" AJ interrupted her.

      "It's simple," said Sapphire. "If you get the breath of a zombie into your mouth, you're done for. There's no cure whatsoever."

      The trio exchanged glances.

      "And just so you know," Sapphire eyed the three intently. "If any one of you three becomes infected, I'll leave you behind in a heartbeat. I shall no longer risk my life for the life of another."

      Darcy scoffed. "Whatever…"

      "Well, how are we going to get to Faerieland, now?" AJ inquired, looking out the window. "That zombie is still out there!"

      "Hmm…" Sapphire pondered. "Oh! Idea!"

      She darted up the first two steps on the upward flight of stairs. Turning around to face the trio, she said, "C'mon!"

      Darcy and AJ both looked at Samantha. Samantha shrugged in return, and started up the stairs behind Sapphire. Darcy and AJ followed. Once they had reached the second floor, Sapphire disappeared into a room all the way at the very end of the long hallway the pets arrived in. The trio followed.

      They found themselves to be in a rather small room: apparently a bedroom. The walls were painted a pale yellow, and the floor was made of wood. A large sleigh bed with blue covers was pushed against the right wall, and right above the bed was a window. On the wall directly in front of the pets was a large bookcase, and to the left was a closet. Several papers were scattered throughout the bedroom.

      Sapphire strode across the messy room and tugged a drawer on the dresser out. She pulled several objects out of the draw: clothes, paper, writing utensils, and other random accessories. Sapphire suddenly stopped digging around in the drawer and smiled. She removed four surgeon masks.

      "What are those for?" AJ pointed to the masks.

      Sapphire placed the mask over her mouth, and then handed the remaining three to Samantha and her friends.

      "Put them on," she ordered. "It'll help keep the zombies' breath out of your mouths."

      Darcy held the surgeon mask in front of her face with but two fingers. She eyes it carefully, and then tossed it into a nearby trash bin.

      "You must be crazy!" Darcy crossed her arms. "There's no way I'm wearing that piece of junk!"

      "Darcy, you'd rather risk your life than look a little goofy?" Samantha pulled her mask away from her mouth to speak clearly.

      "Well… yes," Darcy shrugged, opening her purse and digging her paw around in it. She removed a stick of bubble gum and tossed it in her mouth, smacking loudly on it.

      Sapphire rolled her eyes. "Fine with me. Just don't come crying to me when you become infected."

      "Haha," Darcy said, sarcastically. She plopped onto the bed.

      Once the gum was soft enough, Darcy blew a bubble. And what happened then shocked everyone.

      The bubble she blew was black.

      "Darcy…" Samantha began, shaking. "What colour is the gum you're chewing?"

      "Pink," Darcy arched an eyebrow at Samantha. "Why?"

      The bubble Darcy had blow suddenly popped, getting the sticky, black gum all over the sides of her mouth. Darcy quickly scraped the gum off the sides of her mouth. She looked down at her paw to see it was covered in black gum.

      Darcy grew wide-eyed and suddenly spit out her gum, catching it in her paw. The wad of gum was indeed black. She allowed the gum to fall from her paws and took to digging in her purse. Darcy removed a compact mirror and snapped it open. She brought the mirror to her face and opened her mouth wide.

      Darcy's shrill scream echoed throughout the whole entire house, ringing in Samantha's ears. Her mouth… was completely black. Her teeth were black, her tongue was black, her throat was black. Everything had turned to black. Darcy's eyes rolled into the back of her head, and she toppled off the side of the bed, hidden from Samantha and the others.

      "Darcy!" Samantha cried, lunging forward to help her.

      But Sapphire grabbed hold of her right arm, holding her back.

      "Let me go!" Samantha yelled. "I have to help her!"

      "It's too late!" Sapphire yelled back. "She's infected!"

      "We have to get out of here, then!" AJ exclaimed.

      Without replying, Sapphire rushed through the door leading into the hallway. "Hurry!" she yelled, halfway down the hall. AJ followed.

      Samantha, however, remained in the bedroom. She inched herself over to the bed. Samantha leaned her head forward by just a tiny bit in order to look over the side of the bed.

      Then, Samantha began to think back to when the trio was at the park. She remembered Darcy fighting that infected Kacheek, determined to take her purse from it. She remembered the Kacheek breathing over the purse and up Darcy's arm. That's what did it. The virus had seeped into the purse, seeing as how an infected one breathed upon it. The virus seeped into the items within the purse, including the stick of bubble gum that killed Darcy.

      Samantha sighed, and shut her eyes tight. She couldn't possibly bear to look at Darcy now. Samantha began to climb off the bed, when a paw covered in pale yellow fur shot up from behind the bed and dug its claws into the bed mattress. Samantha yipped and hopped backwards, staring in awe at the paw. Then, a head appeared. Cold, black eyes stared bored into Sam's eyes. It was Darcy.

      "Darcy! Stop! It's me!" Samantha cried, her arms outstretched in front of her.

      But the monster paid no attention to Samantha's pleas. Darcy snarled in fury, and lunged across the bed. Samantha dodged out of the way, allowing Darcy to slam headfirst into the wall behind her.

      Samantha darted into the hallway, slamming the door to Sapphire's bedroom shut behind her. Samantha mobbed her surgeon mask over her mouth, and then darted downstairs.

      AJ and Sapphire were waiting for her.

      "We have to go!" Samantha shouted at the two. "Now!"

      Then, there came the sound of a door snapping off its hinges and crashing to the ground. Right after that, the trio heard a loud snarl.

      "It's Darcy!" AJ cried.

      "Right, we go now!" Sapphire exclaimed.

      AJ took no time to dash across the room and fling the front door open. Luckily for him, the Blumaroo from before was nowhere to be seen. The three rushed out onto the porch, allowing the front door to slam shut behind them.

      "Oh… this is wonderful!" Samantha flung her arms in the air, eyeing something at the beginning of the long neighborhood.

      It was yet another mob of ferocious zombies. They were simply standing there, blank expressions on their faces, when they spotted Samantha and the others on the porch.

      "We can't outrun them!" AJ quivered.

      "Um… um…" Sapphire stuttered. "Oh! Quick, over there!"

      The Kougra pointed to a bicycle and two pairs of roller skates beside the front porch.

      "Put those skates on!" Sapphire commanded. "We'll ride out of Times Street!"

      Samantha and AJ immediately hopped off the porch and immediately hammed their feet into the slates. As they frantically tied the skates, Sapphire hopped onto her black bicycle and turned to face them.

      "Keep up with me. If you get too far behind, they'll get you. And no, I won't come back to help you. It's ever Neopet for themselves."

      "Gotcha," Samantha nodded.

      Sapphire then grasped hold of the handlebars and pedaled furiously out of the front yard. Samantha and AJ adjusted the surgeon masks on their faces, and then skated quickly out of the yard.

      Just as the two departed the front yard, the window they were standing under just a few seconds ago shattered. Darcy's zombified body climbed out of the hole where the window once was and hopped to the ground.

      "Faster!" Samantha cried to AJ and Sapphire when she spotted Darcy.

      The trio rode as fast as they could down the very long Times Street, the mob of zombies only a few feet behind them. Soon, they began to approach the end of the street, which turned out to be a cul-de-sac. Waiting for them at the end of the street was a huge house with the front door wide open.

      "Follow my every move!" Sapphire called to Samantha and AJ. "Don't hesitate whatsoever!"

      Sapphire tore through the front yard of the huge house. She rode her bicycle right through the front door and into the house. Samantha gulped, and shut her eyes tight. She and AJ skated into the dark house, right behind Sapphire.

      The trio rode through a long, dark, hallway with a linoleum floor. A light at the end of the hall shined brightly in Samantha's face.

      It was rather peaceful in the house, regardless of the fact that Samantha and the other two were riding right through it. You couldn't hear the zombies moaning. It was cool inside; the sun's rays weren't being down on the trio. The lights were dimmed, and it was just so… peaceful.

      The pets rode out of the hallway and into a large room, obviously a family room by first glance. The light shining in Samantha's face turned out to be the back door wide open and allowing the sunlight to get in.

      Sapphire rode out of the back door, and Samantha and AJ followed. They were out of the house and were now in the backyard. A fence made of tall, thick, wooden boards lined made concealed the house from the forest behind it. Yet, the fence gate was wide open. The three pets rode right through it.

      Sapphire hopped off her bicycle as it was still in motion, allowing it to crash into a tree and collapse. Sapphire stepped through the dead leaves blanketing the floor of the forest and approached the open gate. She slammed it shut before her.

      Sapphire turned to eye Samantha and AJ, who had stopped moving but were still in roller skates. She removed her surgeon mask and tossed it aside. "We're nearly there. You can take off your masks. The zombies won't find out we're back here. They're honestly not intelligent enough to figure it out."

      Samantha happily removed the uncomfortable surgeon mask. She smiled at Sapphire. "Thank you."

      "Hey, don't thank me until we get to Faerieland," Sapphire adjusted her headband.

      "How… are we going to get to Faerieland?" AJ questioned Sapphire.

      Sapphire sighed. "I wish I had a newspaper at the ready so you could read it yourself. But there's an article in there advertising shelters in Faerieland for uninfected pets. The article pointed out about fifty different locations that would teleport you to the city, or something like that. Luckily for me, the forest behind Times Street was one of the locations."

      "I don't understand," Samantha was thoroughly confused. "Why would they be advertising shelters for pets if the zombifying virus began to spread a mere day before? Only two pets were infected by that time!"

      "The press lied," Sapphire replied. "All think junk about two Boris being infected was a total lie. The Boris were the only zombies that they could catch. Hundreds of thousands of pets had been infected by that time."

      "How do you know this?" AJ crossed his arms.

      Sapphire blinked and stared at AJ for a moment. "My mother wrote articles for the Neopian Times. She gave me that information. And now… she's gone."

      "I-I'm sorry," AJ blushed. He had said something stupid.

      "No matter," Sapphire brushed some dirt off her fur. "Come, now. We must venture deep into this forest. The article does not tell us exactly what we must be looking for, but it says we will know we have found it when we do."

      "That's pretty confusing," Samantha scratched her head.

      "Indeed," Sapphire agreed.

      And at that, the trio took off into the forest, searching for any signs of a free trip to Faerieland…

To be continued…

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Other Episodes

» A Day of Infamy: Part One
» A Day of Infamy: Part Three
» A Day of Infamy: Part Four

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