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Outbreak: Origins
By slephoto   |   Watch
134 105 5K (1 Today)
Published: May 16, 2010
© 2010 - 2019 slephoto
THIS IS A HUGE FILE. PLEASE ALLOW IT TO LOAD SO YOU CAN SEE THE WHOLE THING AT FULL SPEED! Please take a moment to read the story (below) while it loads!

The following narrative is based on true events.
The world's a very different place now, and we've lost a lot of what we used to know. Some of us are trying to rebuild that, and a big part of it is reconstructing the outbreak, trying to figure out where it started, WHY it started, and how the dead were able to come back and overtake the living. There are those who say it's a waste of time and those questions don't matter... only SURVIVAL matters. But maybe if we can find the answers we can find a way out of this hell.

So we send out seeker teams in to the ruins, looking for hospitals and police stations and news buildings where there might be records left. We scavenge gas to run generators and pray their old computers boot or their videotapes play and the printers will work. Sometimes all we can do is write down the stories on the screens. We cannibalize parts for the few machines we have left whenever we can, but those can't make up for the all too frequent losses of the team members who actually know how to WORK them... we have no tech schools now, and not enough working tech survived to train everyone. Each of us that spends time as an archivist knows one day our turn in the field will come, and I dread that day.

Our relay team (with much of the old world's infrastructure gone, communication is carried out by relay groups kind of like something in the history books called "the Pony Express") came in yesterday with a find from a local TV station in the southeastern part of what used to be the United States. It's the earliest reliable record of an attack after the outbreak started, tho many seemed to dismiss it as a hoax at the time.

Apparently this guy was an unemployed blogger who spent most of his time recording the minutiae of his life and posting it all over the internet. Weird idea, the internet... a global network that was apparently only good for people to waste their time and look at porn. Hard to fathom something like that now... not the communications part, we'd KILL for that, but the idea of so many people having SO much time to waste on so many superficial & trivial things. Anyway, according to what his roommates said, they'd been finding neighborhood pets mutilated in the ravine behind their development fie weeks since Spring had started. The night this happened, it was warm enough to have the doors and windows open.

They all thought there was a bobcat or feral dog out there attacking things, but the police & animal control wouldn't waste their time checking on it. So when he heard a cat yowling in pain he grabbed his camera, took a shot of his computer (Maybe to show off to his internet friends? We'll never know.), and walked out in to the woods to try & catch whatever it was doing it for proof he could take to the authorities.

What he found instead is the nightmare we all live in now. He must've thought he'd stumbled on a neighbor that'd been attacked by the animal. Until it started moving, anyway. He must've still be taking pictures as he backed away, probably trying to talk to it. Apparently he jammed or locked his shutter button, or maybe his finger was gripped on it while he ran. We'll never know. What we do know is that he found out how deceptively quick the monsters are, and how dangerous it is to try and outrun them on rough ground at night. Looks like he fell, and it was on him before he could get up.

It looks like the TV report (we transcribed the facts from it, but the recording was a mess) included the images run together like some bizarre old cartoon. I guess they couldn't sell anything without "video," or they thought it'd make it seem more real. Who knows, it was a different time and they were VERY different people... maybe they thought it was "entertaining." We've been watching it with morbid fascination, like some jerky parody of our... well, "nightmares" isn't the word, since we see them same thing when we're awake.

For those of us who're old enough to have faint-but-fond memories of childhood pets, the most horrifying part of this are the glimpses of the creature pausing to grab a cat and casually snack on its guts while it chases its victim. There are almost no "domestic animals" anymore, as we, and the monsters, have turned to them as a source for food, causing the survivors to become feral and flee at the sight of anything that looks like a man. I guess we're kind of alike in that regard. Still, we're all pretty used to seeing this sort of thing happen to friends, family, hell, everyone around us. It seems more horrible somehow for it to happen to something that you might've held & called "Fluffy" once. Maybe that's the most horrible part of this whole thing... a cat's death shakes us more than a fellow man.

I'm not sure these images and their back story tell us anything, but maybe there's some value in seeing how our long nightmare got started. I'll leave that for you to consider. I have to wrap this up now, the sun's going down and we have to prepare. They mostly only come out at night. Mostly.


PLEASE NOTE: The written section above is all original (minus the quote in the last sentence), and it is © James Glendinning, as well as the image! Theft of the words or concepts will be vigorously prosecuted.

Model is ~AngelleDeGuerre :iconangelledeguerre:, AKA Renee Blaine, The Original Sin, Nude & Fetish Model
I'm playing the victim.
This really was inspired by a true event. :)

The design of this is based (as with several of my other horror images) on older (60's to early 80's) low budget horror films, obviously with special respect to the works of George Romero. I shot it with my Nikon D70s in both auto & program mode with the on camera flash in RAW+jpg in order to create a cheap P&S look. I'll be making stills from the RAWs for higher res images from some of the best frames.

The cat is our cat Skid, he was in no way harmed during the making of this. The little idiot rolled in the fake blood all by himself.

Blame for this piece can be assigned to *nitchwarmer at #dA-Morgue, he asked for animations & video & that got me thinking... :D

Image & text © James Glendinning/SilverLight Esoterica Photography.
Image &/or text may not be used, copied, or distributed in any way or form without express written consent.
This work is NOT in the public domain.
This work MAY NOT be used as stock.
Image size
640x426px 11.94 MB
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Comments (104)
single-leg's avatar
Just curious, how did you put this on DA..I mean the scrolling sequence of individual photos/jpgs?

It looks like a fun way to segueway to video!
Reply  ·  
slephoto's avatar
slephoto|Hobbyist Photographer
It's an animated GIF.
Reply  ·  
single-leg's avatar
I want to try this with photos in the future for a horror project. What program did you do this with if you don't mind me asking?

Thanks for any help you can give me!
Reply  ·  
slephoto's avatar
slephoto|Hobbyist Photographer
I did it in Photoshop.
Reply  ·  
single-leg's avatar
This was really cool! A way to tell a story with photos rather than video..it is jarring and effective.
Reply  ·  
slephoto's avatar
slephoto|Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks!  I have to finish Part 2 one of these days.
Reply  ·  
tarzan47's avatar
tarzan47|Hobbyist General Artist
Shit! Where the hack I lost my AK47!!! heeeeelp!  LOL

Awful!
Reply  ·  
slephoto's avatar
slephoto|Hobbyist Photographer
LOL
Reply  ·  
Tov-Henderson's avatar
Tov-Henderson|Professional Photographer
Cool stuff man.. I like the jerky-camera style.. it aids in the emotion that he's panicking and running for his life. Very creative concept...
Reply  ·  
slephoto's avatar
slephoto|Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks! Yeah, we were going for that, I was actually running & firing my DSLR one handed. :)
Reply  ·  
Tov-Henderson's avatar
Tov-Henderson|Professional Photographer
Nice. Well it turned out very well.
Reply  ·  
jughead2345's avatar
jughead2345|Hobbyist General Artist
Awesome
Reply  ·  
slephoto's avatar
slephoto|Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks :)
Reply  ·  
lilsweetheart123's avatar
what the hell
Reply  ·  
slephoto's avatar
slephoto|Hobbyist Photographer
Uhm read the story in the notes while the entire animation loads & then watch it. :)
That SHOULD explain it, I hope...
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Starkpretty's avatar
that is so incredibly brilliant, and I love the jerky style.

Silly cat XD they amuse me!
Reply  ·  
slephoto's avatar
slephoto|Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks :D
Reply  ·  
Demonoftheheavens's avatar
Demonoftheheavens|Professional Photographer
that is creepy and cool
Reply  ·  
slephoto's avatar
slephoto|Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks!
Reply  ·  
SAMLIM's avatar
SAMLIM|Professional Photographer
creative....


...i'm going over to this swamp place to get your camera....lol
Reply  ·  
slephoto's avatar
slephoto|Hobbyist Photographer
Watch out for the zombie cat!
Reply  ·  
slephoto's avatar
slephoto|Hobbyist Photographer
Yeah, he wouldn't go away so the zombie ate him lol
Reply  ·  
LimstellaLebrun's avatar
LimstellaLebrun|Hobbyist General Artist
Very cool =D I'll have some nightmares tonight XD
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