Authors: Michael Mcdonald
Who are we becoming…?
The world burns and the ashes mount. Remnants of a time before, that will never be, sit stagnant and foul smelling, envelope everything that goes untouched. The living can only struggle while the undead continue to flourish like a virus – unstoppable and cancerous.
There is no further safety to be discovered. No light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, only loss and despair. The motivation to carry onward swiftly loses speed, presenting the all too painful truth that we lived under a veil of illusion, to which we manufactured and happily blinded ourselves with. A false pretense we swallowed without thought, as we tucked our children warmly into bed each night before resting peacefully.
The sham can no longer be overlooked. No longer can we simply shrug our shoulders and progress in any one direction unaffected by who we once were, presently are, and will be in the fast approaching future.
Valiantly we fight on, no matter the cost…
We fight for purpose, or blindly out of vanity.
A silent television plays, lost in the overpowering gloom of the dimly lit bar. Patrons dabble with their drinks, engaging others in faint conversation as a smokey haze drifts through the motionless thick air, imitating ripples in a small pond. A country song cut into the deafening silence and the singer talked about how he was going to miss his wife every time he went fishing.
Near the back of the bar a Young Man with long hair looked up from his beer to see the News Reporter frantically speaking and waving his arms, although since the volume had been muted, he was unable to hear what he said. Curiosity pulled at the Young Man and he took his beer with him to the bar and closer to the television. The need to hear what was being reported, as if the News Reporter was trying to communicate with him personally, allowed him to break the ambient silence.
“Excuse, me Miss,” he said to the Female Bartender, who looked up from her classifieds to where he could see the sheer boredom burning in her eyes.
“Yeah,” she replied hollowly.
“Can you turn that up, please?” He asked her.
The Bartender turned around and grabbed the remote from atop the cash register, studied it a few seconds, and the pointed it at the television and gave the Reporter his sudden voice. “These reports have been coming in all morning long; Katie and they don’t seem to be slowing at all. Whatever is going on is getting worse.”
Behind the Reporter several cop cars sat with their lights flashing, the Officer’s standing next to the vehicles, hands on their holstered weapons.
“Probably another crazy trying to make a statement. The world’s full of them these days,” the Bartender stated as she shook her head and went back to her classifieds.
“Police are still surveying the situation as things continue to worsen down here on Primrose.”
The Young Man had missed what really was going on and it began to eat at him. “What’s going on over there?”
“It’s another crazy,” the Bartender said. “Worlds full of them.”
“And for those of you just joining. The police have mobilized down here on third and Primrose after several reported cases of attacks were reported less than twenty minutes ago. The Police have the large, what looks like, industrial building surrounded and they are currently waiting for SWAT to arrive.”
One of the anchors at the main station cut in with a question on the split screen. “Greg, have the police issued any sort of explanation or even how they were brought there in the first place?” she asked.
“Katie, they haven’t told us anything other than they received a phone call,” he said.
The Young Man became engrossed in the unfolding events and could tell just by the posture of the Police on scene that things were getting worse, as the Reporter had just stated, yet his tone hadn’t set the stage quite as well as he might have liked.
“Whatever is going on down here, the police are keeping a tight lid on it. I hope to have some new information soon, but until then, Katie, the police are urging everyone in the area to stay away.”
Abruptly there was a great deal of screaming, all of which could easily be heard, then movement from the building sent the Officer’s on scene into a frenzy, as they took up positions behind their cruisers. SWAT arrived on scene and instead of gathering to form some type of plan for entry; they went straight for their weapons.
“Holy shit!” The Young Man stated, drawing the attention of the Bartender. She looked to see what was going on, but there was no real concern in her eye or voice.
“Someone’s about to get shot,” she stated.
Gunshots began to ring out as the Officers were suddenly confronted with a large group of people exiting the building, screaming and carrying on as though they were on fire, although there were no flames consuming them. The proximity of the rounds were as such that the patrons in the bar could hear them not only on the TV, with a few seconds of lag, but also from up the block where the situation was unfolding, in real-time.
“That’s just two blocks from here,” a Man at the far end of the bar said.
Live on television, the patrons of the bar, not to mention those at home, watched as the large group of people fought their way through a hail of bullets and collided with the Police, attacking them and taking them to the ground where the violence increased.
“Did you see that,” an older patron asked. “Those people ran through gunfire like the cops were shooting blanks at them.”
“Holy shit!” Another Man said. “Jesus, Christ! We better get out of here or we are next!”
The Young Man held up his hands to quell the situation before it escalated. “The cops have it under control. If there was any real danger, danger for us that is, they would have come in, sent us all home and blocked this place off.”
“Son, a Man said shaking his head. “You have a great deal to learn about
“How so,” the Young Man asked quizzically.
More dramatic footage rolled on the television and the cops were quickly outnumbered.
“Oh, geez. This is bad,” the Female Bartender said, now fully engulfed in what was unfolding before her eyes.
The Reporter saw what was going on and quickly ordered his cameraman to run away, as he did the very thing. The Television broke in with another special report of yet another reporter expelling of a similar situation to where he and his crew were forced to pull back as well. The world was falling apart right before the eyes of the bar patrons.
“Jesus, Christ!” Another one shouted and made a break for the door.
The Young Man grabbed his cell phone and dialed a number. The person on the other end answered. “Dude, you are not going to believe what it going on down her on Primrose… this shit is hitting the fan, and I mean that literally.”
Brandon sat on the couch watching his two year old Daughter play, as his older step-daughter lay on the couch with a fever. “Sounds to me like you’ve had a few to many, Eric. You might want to head home to Sarah before you wind up in the dog house again, bro.”
“Dude, I’m serious!” He stated. “These cops are getting their asses kicked down here by a bunch of…” he paused to figure out who exactly was attacking them. “I guess they are crackheads, all geeked out and getting rather violent.” His words were halted, replaced by an explicative, and then he continued. “They just killed one of these cops – killed him with their bare hands after taking several shots to the chest… What the hell is going on?”
Brandon had been lazily watching other reports throughout the morning, and although none of them had made very much sense to him, he suddenly worried about the safety of his friend. “Get out of there, man! Find a back door and get your ass moving!”
“There are cops out there; they can handle them, besides we are in no real danger in this place.” He replied. “If we were, they would have come in here and made us leave… wouldn’t they?”
“Are you sure, I mean one hundred percent sure that it’s safe there?” Brandon asked him, still unable to let go of the overwhelming thought that something bad was on the verge of transpiring. He rose from the couch and hurried toward the front door.
“I’m positive,” he answered without thought. “It’s not like the worlds ending.”
A bounding of long rolling thunder forced my eyes open. I could see the well painted ceiling above me and moved my eyes around to see that I was still in my son’s room, lying on his bed. “Why do I keep having these unrelated dreams?” I was neither there in any of them, so it had to be a situation my mind kept creating. A very over active imagination.
I pushed the dream aside and was about to shift and get into a better position before returning to sleep, when a flicker of lightning and movement pulled my eyes to the door and a growing shadow. Something was attempting to enter the room or watching me from the safety of the narrow hallway, either way I was in trouble if the specter realized I was there. I lay perfectly still… deathly still. My heart was banging in my chest
A window near my feet would be my only means of escape, although I would have to rise, break the glass, and exit in order to get away. And the slightest movement, if it had not noticed me yet, would certainly call its attention. My chances of escape at that point would be zero, as it would be upon me before I could even get to the window and if there were several of them, I was definitely screwed.
My mind shouted and I held my breath, thinking that somehow whatever was in the doorway might hear my thoughts. It was also at that very moment that I felt something in both hands that gave me a ray of hope. The SBR was laid across my chest, barrel pointed toward the foot of the bed with the suppressor still attached. I could defend myself from this unseen foe, but not having a clue as to how many of them there were I was a bit hesitant to just start shooting and hope for the best. I seriously doubt this, but they could be there to help. Other survivors that didn’t want to rob and kill me, just simply know that others like them still existed.
As I had mentioned once before, a suppressor doesn’t fully render a shot silent, but rather lowers it more to an audible tone that is hard to distinguish as a gunshot. So it could still be heard in nearby rooms, it just wouldn’t be as loud or definitive as the usual gunshot was.
The specter crept into the room, masked by the blanket of darkness; however, I could identify its outline and could also see it turning its head from left to right. It might not know I was in the room, but could simply be scouting to ensure that I was truly alone before attacking.
Something in another part of the house hit the floor and shattered. I knew then that there was more than just one of them, as the specter didn’t react to the noise in a compulsive way. My instincts not to start shooting at random had been on point.
Come on you son of a bitch, get just a little closer to me!
The comforter was pulled over me, up to about my neck, so moving the short rifle slowly concealed it, but it also made finding the perfect angle to shoot near impossible as I could not see the weapon at all, nor down the sights or even the barrel. I had to use a trick that the Young Woman had taught me and pray that she hadn’t been filling my head with a load of bullshit. She had said that if you hold a weapon and use; say your index finger, naturally whatever you are looking at your finger will – should – come to that precise location as your eyes are. And never having applied said technique myself or even seen it performed, there was a part of me that was extremely skeptical that it would work.
The specter grew closer and I could see, in another blast of lightning, that it was the very character that had slammed me against the wall at the school complex. But if that was the case and it hadn’t harmed me there, what had changed its mind? I didn’t plan on giving it the time to explain, which I doubt it could do anyway.
It was worth trying… the finger technique, that is.
Two muffled shots rang out, hidden further by the thick comforter and it jerked violently. I thrust the covers back, took aim and put it down with a single shot to the head. Footsteps hurrying through the house forced me to my feet and I scurried along the far wall, positioning myself near my son’s closet. In my mad dash I hoped that I wouldn’t upset and knock something to the floor. That way when the other specters entered the room, I would be out of sight and by the time they saw me, and that was a big
, they’d be dead instantly.
Another one burst into the room, saw its buddy lying on the floor and stepped into view. I put it down as well and waited in case there were more of them.
By now the rain was falling so hard I could hear it hitting the roof, easily covering the footsteps of anymore of those things, yet after several minutes of standing in the corner with my short rifle trained toward the doorway, which I could not see where I stood, no more entered.