I sat on the floor in front of a coffee table eating an orange, immeasurable moist the juice drips from my chin onto my new shirt. The house was fully stocked with everything a growing family would need. Except for a drink, which is something I needed. I did, however, find some Virginia Slims hidden in the drawer I found this shirt in. I guess I should feel bad for smoking in their house, but at this point, it really didn’t matter. I tip-toed my way to the window and slightly pull the curtain back. The horde outside has thinned some but still too many to leave, but I was secure enough I really didn’t need to. The thought of my device would trickle back to forethought every few seconds along with the feeling to retrieve it. In an absurd move I turn on the television, it blasts the news reports from CNN. I clamber for the remote, and mute it. The ticker at the bottom scrolls “infection” “Albuquerque” “Mass loss of life.” scenes of people being ripped and torn apart by what looked like other people. My stomach boiled and my eyes watered but my gaze was fixed.
First, there was thumping on the door, then the windows. I turned off the TV and inched my way to the baseball bat I found. The thumping increased as the door started to give. I make my way to the backyard as the doors and windows give with a loud crash. I use the ladder from before to scale the large wall. I fail a graceful landing and twist my ankle. Dammit did that hurt. I stand as I hear the ladder on the other side fall. I limp my way down the alley, the smoke still chokes the air as I make it to the street. I strike one in the head hard with the bat, a substance that looks cranberry sauce oozes out. I am walking down the street with a limp. I heard the old Ford truck before I saw it. I limped my way to the sidewalk, striking another one in the head with the bat. I am limp-running when the truck passes. I wave my arms and the truck skids to a stop. It reverses as I try to make my way to it. It stops ten feet away from me as I step off the sidewalk. A short skinny man steps from the passenger seat as the rest in sitting in the bed of the truck keep their gaze pointed elsewhere. The short man begins to stride towards me aggressively, his hand wrapped tight around a shotgun. He stops 4 or so feet away from me and points his weapon at my head. “Have you been attacked, did they get you anywhere?!” He asks as the shotgun shakes in his hands. “No, they haven’t got me yet dammit, point that somewhere else!” I yell brandishing my own bloody baseball bat. He shifts his aim and blows the head off a creature that was making its way to us. The shot was loud like thunder. “Alright, get in the back of the truck!” He turns and walks back to the truck, I followed him. With some effort and a wince, I climb my way into the packed bed of the truck. There were at least ten people in the back. I barely get seated as the truck pulls off. “Where are we going?” I asked the woman next to me. “Somewhere safe.” she said with a whimper.
After many twists and turns for an hour or so, we pull onto a muddy road. We drive down this for some time when we come to a small house shaded by a tree. The truck rolls to a stop next to the tree and turns off. The short man and the driver step from the cab and let the tailgate down, they help the women and children from the bed. I jump down from the bed and hurt my ankle even more. “That didn’t sound good.” Says the short man after hearing the loud pop come to my ankle. “Yeah, it didn’t feel great either.” I said. A woman steps from the small house, she was beautiful, not in a fashion magazine like manner, but as in a way, her strength showed through bright and strong as a light to guide you home. She cleared her throat and spoke. “Welcome to my home, I don’t have much, but let me know what you need and we’ll see what we can do.” Her speech was to the point and short. I liked it. I hobbled my way to her, “Excuse me,” I said as she looked down at my ankle. “I didn’t catch your name.” I finished. “Well that’s because I didn’t say it, I’m Samantha, everyone calls me Sam. The short one over there is Turk and the confused one next to him is Jose. I believe I didn’t catch your name either.” She said as she reached out her hand. “Well my name is Karl; it’s a pleasure to meet you, Sam.” I said as we shook hands. “You wouldn’t happen to have something to drink would you?” I asked. “Sure do, there’s some water in the kitchen.” I hobbled my way through the house to the kitchen. There was a small line so I just made my way to an armchair in the living room and sat down.
I am crawling on my hands and knees as my house burns around me, little embers make their way into my lounges, and I feel them burn my insides. My house gets longer and longer and the flames grow. I struggle hard to get to my device. I am within arms reach when there’s a pain in my ankle. I yell out “NO!” but the pain returns pulling me away from my device. I kick and scream at the unknown shadow that has me; I struggle with all my might. The shadow pulls then stops, it shifts its form. It becomes a large mouth with dark wet teeth. It pulls me closer and closer.
I wake in a sweat, the house is dark, not my house. It takes several seconds to remember where I was. I try to stand from the chair but put too much weight on my ankle. I try again only using one leg. With the success, I made my way to the door. I open it and the porch light floods into the room; I heard disgruntled mumbles from the mass of people in the living room. I close the door softly behind me; I took one step forward when Sam whispered at me from my right. “Hey, come join me…” I limp my way to the bench next to her. I pull the Virginia Slims from my pocket. Every single one was broken and smashed. Sam saw my displeasure and rolls me one. With hands of a rancher, she uses the precision of a surgeon to get the cigarette just right. She hands it to me; I slap my pockets but find no lighter. “Do I have to do everything for you?” She asked in a joking manner as she handed me her lighter. I light mine and handed it back to her. “Thanks.” I said. We sat in silence staring into the distance where laid my city, burning and dying. Small explosions would pop every now and then, giving off a weird feeling that this was just a performance for our viewing pleasure. Intermission couldn’t come sooner.
To be continued…