The man was running desperately out of the woods through the knee-deep snow, stumbling and falling every few feet, heading toward the house. Darren grabbed his parka, slung it on, and ran out into the yard. The two met after several minutes of fighting the elements, the man collapsing into Darren’s arms.
“You have to get me out of here,” he begged. “They’re all dead!”
“John?” Darren replied, finally able to recognize his face.
What was left of it.
“Who’s dead? We need to get you to a hospital.”
“No time!” John screamed, grabbing Darren’s hood, and he began to cry. “I need to go away.” Now Darren could see the fear in his eyes. No… more than fear. Terror.
“Let’s get you inside.” Darren put John’s arm around his shoulder and started helping him toward the house.
The screams started faintly at first, thousands of voices drifting toward him on the soft, frigid wind. He turned to see tendrils of gray fog snaking their way out of the forest, unnaturally.
The screaming intensified.