The Bitten

Avatar Author: lostsalient I have made a study of dissatisfaction and found it infinitely to my liking. Read Bio

People say they came from Asia. People say China trapped them; Russia planned their release; that they crept through the DMZ and onto our troop transports.

I think they may always have been here. Just… sleeping.

In the cities, people are still drinking organic coffee and wearing expensive shoes. People read the latest news in skyscrapers with electric lights and central heating, while the creatures hunt less fortunate souls through silent, empty suburbs. They den by the hundreds in abandoned granaries. I’ve seen them there. Sleeping.

People believe themselves lucky, although they can’t protect against the invaders. After all, the government can detect the bitten, and the bitten are removed with quiet efficiency.

No one is lucky. You can’t feel the first bite, you see. But they can smell it in you, and they wait while it turns you into prey. They are patient. And like prey, once bitten, all you can do is run and hide.

They pity us in the cities. But we will grow teeth of our own.

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Comments (4 so far!)

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  1. Avatar YaYa

    I dig it, Salient. I dig it a lot. Nice atmospheric work, and the monsters (?) are just vague enough to be scary.

    As for the last sentence, I’d try just “But we will grow teeth of our own” after the cities line, it’s just a little too long. You need to be concise to really button the ending, and you’re not doing that right now.

  2. Avatar lostsalient

    Yesss perfect, that is exactly what I needed.

    Sometimes when I’m editing I get stuck on a phrase without realizing it.

  3. Avatar Spiderj

    This is groovy.

    This – “They den by the hundreds in abandoned granaries. I’ve seen them there. Sleeping.” – reminds me of a visual from the I Am Legend movie (in a good way) when the ‘vampires’ are roosting in the abandoned building.

    I think you could drop “you see” here: “You can’t feel the first bite, you see”. The repetition of ‘you’ seems a bit cumbersome to me but I’m only being a picky bitch because you were receptive to the first bit of constructive criticism and I enjoy the tone of the thing overall.

  4. Avatar jesteram

    This is a tight read with plenty of room to expand. I like the multiple layers of predator and prey: the things and what they hunt, the government and the bitten, the protected city folks and surviving outsiders? Oh, and I particularly like the “not about vampires” tag.