I was in another city somewhere, and all I could hear were screams as we ran. Several dozen of us, friends, family, strangers, we all ran and tried not to be the next one who was taken down, who would come back bloodied and disfigured and dead, trying to exact some sort of vengeance.

As we fled through the streets, they’d pop up at us from behind corners, cars, anywhere that was dark and we couldn’t see. Blood gurgled in their throats as they stumbled, calling out to us – fear, pain, death.

We ran inside a hotel, and took the elevator to the top floor, planning to use the staircase to find another exit. It didn’t work.

Every landing on the way down, someone else would be gone, someone else would be covered in blood, dead, but with enough life to hate us. I couldn’t hear what they were saying over the combined screams of the survivors.

As we reached the bottom, and I ran out the door, something tackled me, dragging me to the ground. I felt a thud on my chest as I was punched, and looked down to see myself covered in blood, and one of the zombies grinning at me.

He pulled me close, showing me the sac of fake blood he was holding, and whispered in my ear. “Welcome to the game. Your codeword is terror.”

I blinked, and looked around, non-believing, and saw my closest and dearest friends, all faux-zombies, give me knowing smiles.

I think I screamed.