This is a short story I wrote which ended up being chapter one of "Tales of The Apocalypse, the popular online zombie story. I think it stands on its own quite well...
Doctor Nils Plassen walked into the passenger area of Oslo’s Gardermoen Airport and sat in the first seat he could find. He took a handkerchief from his pocket and wiped his puffy face, his heart thumping hard in his chest. He had just carried a highly classified viral agent through airport security. Nils composed himself, trying to look casual, as he got up to find his gate. He walked slowly, barely aware of the people around him. Nils was not interested in them, only in getting to Germany, and handing over the vial he carried. As Head of Viral Research at one of Norway’s top labs, he had been approached by a mysterious group of men who had asked him to secure this certain vial. He had agonized over the decision for days, finally deciding that the obscene amount of the payment is worth it. In a few weeks, Nils would be sitting in his new luxury home on a lake in Northern Norway, with a drink in his hand, and a stack of good books. He would never have to work again.
Nils was still sweating and his heart rate was not coming down. Nervousness is one thing, but this was not normal. He found the gate for his Air Berlin flight and sat near the counter, setting his carry-on bag on the next seat. He is beginning to feel dizzy, out of sorts. He took deep breaths and willed himself to relax, to no avail. He looked out the big windows at the planes. He blinked, once, twice. The colors were somehow muted, darker. Something is happening to his vision. His heart beat even faster. He thought, finally, that he could not do this. He couldn’t something so deadly over to God-knows-who. He would get up and make his way out of the airport, back to his car, back to his life. He had lived for years in misery, drudgery, but at the moment his old boring life seemed very comforting.
He was about to get up when the first drops of blood hit his coat. He held the handkerchief to his nose. Even with his head back, he could see the ticket agent watching him, asking if he is okay. Nils waved and tried to be casual, like all of this is an everyday occurrence. His vision is troubling: colors were flatter, the light somehow different. How long could his heart beat like this? Of course, the thought of it made his heart pound even harder. It is a vicious cycle which Nils could not stop. He began to feel a stabbing pain in his elbows and knees. Things were out of control. He had to admit, then, that he had made a mistake. Actually several mistakes. One is agreeing to this scheme in the first place, but worse than that, Nils now realized that he must have, accidentally, exposed himself to the virus. It is the only answer. This isn’t nerves, or stress. Nils is dying, and he is carrying enough deadly virus to infect everyone in the airport. If the infected people managed to board planes, they would be all over Europe in a few hours.
He could not take back what he had done, could not turn back time, but Nils could do one right thing before he died. He had to alert the authorities. He reached for his bag, feeling a squeezing, fiery pressure wrapping around his chest. He felt around for the vial. It is in a small box, disguised as cologne, a two ounce sample in a thick glass vial.
It was hard to breath, hard to see, and Nils had to keep his handkerchief to his nose, but eventually his hand closed on the small box. The ticket agent is standing a few feet in front of him now, saying something about him being unable to fly. His heart is squeezing in on itself, constricting. It would shrink to a black hole, a singularity, then explode, Nils is sure. The ticket agent is a dark shape against the bright windows. Nils managed to pull the vial out of the box, his breath coming in gasps.
“I am Doctor … ,” Nils says. “Plassen … Head of Viral Research …” He stopped, tried to take a deep breath. “I have a viral agent … kill … everyone here.”
Nils heard the commotion, but could no longer see. Vague shapes rushed around him. He held up the vial.
“Bio hazard team …call. Please. Call.”
He heard screaming, then the chair seemed to slide out from under him. Nils was dead when he hit the floor.
There is chaos at the gate. One of the people who had heard Nils’ plea is running from the gate, shouting to warn others. That set off a wave of people running toward the terminal. Others ran too, though they didn’t know why. Some stood by, unsure of what to do or what is going on. There were collisions, shouts. Someone is screaming.
At the gate, a small crowd gathered around Nils’s body. He is lying on his back, his complexion grey and waxy. One of the ticket agents approached him to start CPR, then thought better of it. The dead man had been ranting about bio hazards. Besides, he is obviously dead. The ticket agent covered the corpse with someone’s abandoned coat, and asked the small crowd to step back. She looked down at the body, and a shiver went down her spine. She took a few steps away from the dead man and waited for help to arrive.
Ten minutes later, Nils sits up. His skin is pale and cold, and rivulets of blood stream out of his nose. He looks around with dead, dark eyes. His nostrils flare. Nils lunges sideways and bites the ticket agent on the calf. People scream and begin to run. The zombie apocalypse has begun.