Danny ran up the stairs, remembering why he had left the safe confines of his house and crossed the street in the first place, which had led to this horrible series of events. It was to check on the only person that Danny could call friend, a girl in fact. She was someone he had never met, at least not face-to-face, they wouldn’t dare, not with the softness still raging through what was left of the human population. And certainly not since the belief was that the softness was spread through a variety of way, but the most common way it was spread was through human contact. That is why Danny had locked himself in his small apartment for over a year now, to try and survive, to try and survive long enough to die a normal death, long enough to at least grow some grey whiskers.

Her name was Becka. They had met by chance – Danny was starring out his window one evening and saw her starring back at him through her own window from across the street. She held up a dry erase board and introduced herself, “Hi, I’m Becka,” the message said. “Do you play chess?”

It wasn’t Danny’s first date, but by guessing her age, Danny suspected that it was her first date. He never was good at guessing ages, but to Danny Becka looked right around seventeen or eighteen years old. “More of a checkers person, myself.” Danny wrote back.

He couldn’t imagine how she had survived this long. Danny knew he wasn’t the last person alive, but he knew that he was damn close to it. He also knew that the trend seemed to be as the walls of society came crashing down, so did peoples morals.

The week of “The Great Die-Off,” as Danny liked to call the time period where government seemed to stop operating effectively, as did police and fire stations as the plague ripped through all levels off society, was when The Softness made the biggest impact on the world. The softness seemed to come in waves. The first wave caught everybody by surprise, but the people who got sick afterwards knew exactly what was happening. They where the ones that set building on fire, and sometimes whole neighborhoods. Others went around steeling cars and driving down the highways as fast as they could go, while others tried to do stupid things like fly helicopters and airplanes.

There were still others that went around killing everything in site. These people – Danny called them “The Jacked” because they generally tended to be jacked up and plain crazy – were the ones that caused the most trouble. They were the ones hell bent on taking as many people with them on their trip to hell as they could, and it was because of them that Danny spent weeks hidden in the crawl spaces and attics of his apartment complex. For a girl like Becka, who was still healthy and alive, The Jacked would have been unforgiving in their methods of abuse and cruelty.

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