Well, this chapter was a lot longer than the last. I didn’t spend a whole lot of time editing/proofreading, so let me know if you find any mistakes.
Also, I won’t be putting up black diamonds or warning when the scenes get sexual, so maybe Reankun will see the posts and edit it for me. Anyway, be warned.
She awoke from the cold. At both her sides, her brothers were sleeping while clinging to her. Feeling that body temperature, Mizuki looks at her surroundings; and with a puzzled expression, discovers that she is in an unfamiliar room. In the corner of this room lined with desks, three people sat crowded in a corner. Underneath them lay numerous cushions.
(Ah, that’s right….)
Fragmented images surfaced in her mind. The dark streets, her grabbing the hands of her brothers, running a great distance to get away… She just ran after the backs of the people in front of her, not thinking about where she was going. They escaped to a place that seemed to be a huge parking lot. As if evicted, people came from the surroundings, seeking shelter inside the Supermarket.
A number of employees were on the first floor. Outside were many dallying shoppers, looking as if they wanted to seek refuge inside. Strange looks were coming from the people who flocked there. Angrily, a security guard approached them,
“Hold it! What are you guys doing?!”
In the middle of his words, he directed his attention to somewhere else. He seemed to have noticed the shaking appearances that were gathered outside of the automatic garage door. Once the door had opened, the figures which were pushing and shoving up against the glass, plunge forward, knocking and shoving each other as they poured inside. In a hurried voice, the security guard spoke,
“Oi! Close the shutters! Close—!”
(TL: For those who are confused—The humans are in the supermarket, standing around. A security guard approaches them, telling them to get out. At that time, the figures (zombies) which were running into the glass, finally opened the automatic doors and rushed in. Panicked, the guard tells the employees to close the shutters in order to stop them from getting in.)
Hearing that voice at her back, Mizuki left the group of people, and ran upstairs. She had to find somewhere else that was safe. She heard screams resound from behind her at a distance. They climbed to the 3rd floor, which had a sign next to it reading ‘Employees Only’. In the back, there appeared to be a lone old man monitoring the state of the store through the security cameras. The old man, with a green face, welcomed them into the room, shutting the fire door behind them.
With the people following behind, seven people entered the room. Mizuki and her brothers, a young couple, a lean man who appeared to be in his 30’s, and a middle aged old lady. With the old man (employee) they met, there were eight people in total.
(I wonder if dad and the rest are alright….)
She took out her cell phone, redialing her parents; and just like yesterday, it rang and rang without answer. While quietly musing over this, she vaguely hears a far away sound. There was also the sound of someone’s voice.
In a way so that she wouldn’t wake her brothers, she gently separated from them. Walking down the corridor, she headed towards the noise. Something was banging on the fire door from outside, and the old man employee raises his voice from in front of the door.
“Please calm down! What happened? Calm down! If you would like to enter, then please say so!”
There was no reply to his words, only a dull banging sound could be heard from the other side.
“U, umm…..” (TL: “A, ano….”)
Noticing Mizuki, the old man turns around.
“Ahh….this, this has been going on since last night. Because there is no reply, I didn’t let them in but….”
“P, please don’t let them in! They are not normal, definitely.”
“Alright…..” (TL: “umu….”)
He lets out a breath with his arms folded.
“Have the children woken up? We have a stockpile of food, so if you don’t have anything to eat, please tell me. We have enough to feed 10 people for three days.”
“Thank you very much. I will take care so that the preserved food doesn’t run out.”
Mizuki bows her head.
“Right, this will all be settled shortly. Let’s be patient until the police get here.”
But, in three days, rescue never came.
The banging on the fire door subsided a bit but, there were still signs of something wriggling behind it. The old man employee tried to contact various places but, there were either interruptions or complications, and he wasn’t ever able to get a decent connection.
The portable T.V., which was set in the corner, reported news of a new type of rabies. Because the people infected become violent, the infection was thought to be the cause of the riots. An aerial shot from a helicopter projected a scene of violent mobs spread throughout the city. On the screen, the word ‘zombie’ was dancing.
During commercial breaks, the screen just became fuzzy. It wasn’t normal.
(TL: Fuzzy = Black and white sandstorm.)
In the office, a cooped-up feeling was in the air. Everyone was silent, staring at the T.V. The couple was snuggled in a corner, the middle aged woman was clasping her cell phone in her hand, the lean man took some distance and kept quiet.
Over those three days, the people shut in together never spoke to each other; and had spent the time separated from one another. Even the old man employee deliberately refused to take leadership, only passing out food when asked. When the news said that provisional government’s quick response self-defense force had taken action, the old man stood and spoke.
“I think we should go outside and call the rescue team.”
There was no reaction to his words. In silence, everyone searched each other’s faces.
“I’ve left an S.O.S. cloth hanging from the rooftop, so rest assured that the police will come if they pass by.”
To the old man who said that while leaving, no one seemed to be calling out to him.
“Ano..” (TL: Calling out to him)
He turned around to Mizuki’s voice.
“Will it be alright….? It’s dangerous….”
The old man replied with a troubled expression,
“…..my family, I haven’t been able to contact them….. I’m worried.”
To those words, Mizuki couldn’t say anything.
The old man never returned. With no hint of rescue coming, on the 5th day, the T.V. no longer received a signal. Without reason to watch the T.V., everyone stopped gathering in the office. Continuing to redial her parents, Mizuki’s cell phone ran out of battery, and she didn’t have a charger.
She cut the food they brought from their house in half, and determined that eating any more than that would be dangerous. She peeked into the locker in the corner, which held the stockpiled food. The cup noodles which were stored there had been reduced to 1/3 the original amount. She took two servings worth, and split it equally between her and her brothers.
When entering the hot water supply room to get some drinks, there was someone already there. It was the girl of the couple.
“Ah…… can I borrow some, for the cup noodles?”
The girl never answered. She just drank hot water from the pot in silence.
“You can get some without permission you know? It’s not mine.”
Saying that, the girl turned and left. Mizuki stood there in silence for a bit, but with a breath, she bent down and took out the cup noodles.
The feeling of time disappeared. The only sense of time was how much longer they could survive on the vanishing food.
Her brother Masaru woke up at midnight, needing to go to the bathroom; and Mizuki accompanied him to the restroom. So that they don’t get turned around, she turned on the light, lighting up the corridor. Waiting on her brother at the entrance to the bathroom, she heard a faint voice. She tilted her head, trying to hear it more clearly.
The voice was coming from inside the locker room in the back. Stepping closer, a girls gasps could be heard. The sound of something hitting against something echoed.
( ! )
Mizuki held in her voice and stepped back.
The couple from before was inside. As it was a locker room, she locked the door. With her face turning red, Mizuki returned to the men’s restroom. It sounded as if someone was just leaving so she lets out her voice,
(TL: Thinking it is her brother –Maa-kun– , she calls out to him, but breaks ‘kun’ into ‘ku’ and ‘n’.)
The person that came out wasn’t her brother, but the lean older male. He looked at her with sunken eyes.
“Ah… I’m sorry….”
The man rudely stared at Mizuki’s body. At those eyes which seemed to crawl up and down her body, Mizuki was covered in goosebumps.
The man left in silence. While holding her chest, she felt a sense of impending crisis.
Eventually, Mizuki began to realize rescue was not coming. The office’s food had run out. The small amount of food they had brought could no longer feed three people. Thanks to the hot water, they were still feeding themselves off of powdered milk and sugar, but sooner or later, they would reach their limit.
The danger of them running out of food had happened.
At midnight, while they were sleeping, Mizuki feels something strange and wakes up. Drowsily, she sits up and hears footsteps nearby. She directs her attention towards them and sees the back of a man leaving the room. Like that, he goes outside.
Mizuki understood the meaning of the scene that happened before her, and thinking about it made her back crawl. The man had been beside her, and when he saw her wake up, left.
(TL: Night molestation :D)
(What was going to happen to me? What was going to happen if I didn’t wake up? It’s dangerous to remain here.)
She would have to take her brothers along, she doesn’t have the courage to go outside alone. When approaching the fire door, even now you could hear something hitting against it from the other side. Mizuki didn’t want to think about what was behind it.
Just like the T.V. in the office, the phone had no connection. Even optimistically, she couldn’t think it was safe outside. She decides to tag along when the old lady or the couple decide to leave.
She makes that decision and sleeps the rest of the day until the next morning.
When she woke up, it felt like there were less people on the floor. In fact, the only person left was the lean looking male. Everyone else was gone. Although her mind had not yet understood what was going on, Mizuki asked,
“Ano… where is everyone….?”
“…..Ah. They left.”
“This morning. The three of them. Using the elevator.”
Mizuki was silent.
(Perhaps they thought two children were a nuisance…)
But, more than the shock of being left behind,
(Why did this person stay behind….?)
A chill hit Mizuki. The man was leaning back in a chair with his feet on a desk, staring at her with hazy eyes. He had a strange presence. Until then, the atmosphere of him sitting by himself in the corner wasn’t strange. As if he was the husband of this place, he sat there in the chair with a relaxed look.
(TL: Japanese say husband or wife of a household, basically she is saying as if it was his house.)
That day, I felt the gaze of the man stick to me many times. When I turn to look, he adverts his gaze, but it’s obvious he was looking at me. An alarm sounded in the back of my mind.
(Scary, scary, scary)
(I want to go outside. I want to go home. But, I don’t have the courage. Those who left hadn’t come back.)
That day, Mizuki never left her brothers. At night, they moved to the locker room; and locking the door, they slept on the hard floor. At the sound of something rattling, she woke up.
Emerging from her dim consciousness, the sight of the door knob turning back and forth countless times entered her vision.
Mizuki became stiff with fear. Squeezing out a voice, she called out.
“W, what is it…..?”
After some silence, the man’s voice could be heard from the other side,
“I found some food, so I thought I’d share it with you.”
(At this time of night?)
Thinking that, Mizuki speaks out,
“T, thank you, very much. Tomorrow, we’ll have some tomorrow.”
With a rattling noise, the doorknob is once again turned back and forth.
Mizuki swallows a scream, and hugs her body. Having woken up, her brothers saw her appearance. Without raising their voice, they clung to her. After a few minutes, the doorknob finally stopped rattling.
With a bang, the door was kicked. The man’s footsteps slowly became further away.
“……………..haaa, haaa, haaa”
Letting out her held breath, Mizuki wipes a stray tear from her eyes. Her brothers look up at her with worried eyes.
“S, sorry. Onee-chan’s okay……” (TL: Onee-chan is big sister.)
Concealing her fear, she wraps her brothers in her arms. Taking in that warmth, she mutters,
“Dad….. A-kun….. help…..” (TL: tasukete)
Tomorrow came and they spent half the day without leaving the locker room. However, the need to use the bathroom, and their thirst, became unbearable. Gingerly, they check outside.
There was no sound, nor was there any evidence that anyone was there. Steeling themselves, they check each room, finding nobody. Only Mizuki and her brothers were left on the floor.