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The Annihilation Protocol

Short story By: M K Brown
Horror



Written for BUnique's Zombie Competition, "the Annihilation Protocol" is a short story written in first person-perspective from the point of view of three characters.


Submitted:Apr 19, 2013    Reads: 47    Comments: 16    Likes: 8   


I wake up feeling like crap. I try to suck in a breath of air but something is crushing my chest. Heaving the weight off of me I try to open my eyes; they're stuck closed. I keep trying and feel something crumble.

Struggling to my feet I start moving around with my arms stretched out as I continue trying to unglue my eyelids. Panic washes through me, I rush forward in an attempt to escape this place... and end up flying face first to the floor.

Yep, great idea. I think. Run when you're blind, arsehole.

I reach out to find out what I hit. Feels like... a hospital bed.

Why can't I remember?

Lifting myself up, I stumble slightly, realising I'm starving does nothing for my mood; I can hardly think of anything else.

I walk forward - straight into a wall. Feeling my way along it I find a doorway.

That's a start.

*****

I run along the hall in a state of alarm.

More corridors - oh no.

This hospital has never seemed larger. Stopping; I take a deep breath. He said to make for the roof. The soldiers are coming for me.

His last words. I sob.

I look at my hands; in one I hold a pistol - it looks so large in my small hands; in the other I hold a bag full of phials. The phials contain the cure, the answer to the disease ravaging my city.

Doctor Campbell gave his life to protect this; and me. I have to make it out.

That thought calms me and focuses my mind. I know where to go now.

Running, east along the corridor. Then left, heading North. Then right and back to heading East. Twenty metres to go.

A loud communal groan and shuffling of feet announces the presence of the infected; between me and the stairs.

"Oh god," I whimper.

*****

I wander through the doorway and some more of whatever is holding my eyelids shut crumbles away. I can see. Very little but better than nothing.

The hallway is complete carnage.

What the hell happened here?

I pick my way along the corridor, tripping over discarded equipment and... bodyparts.

What the fu...

Confused, I look only for a way out. I find some stairs. My instinct says up; so that's where I go.

I bounce off the banisters and white-washed walls like some kind of fucked up game of pinball. I am so hungry - all I can think of is eating. My skin burns and itches at the same time.

The door to the next floor up is blocked off. I keep going.

Up. Up. Up.

I crash through the door to what I guess is the fifth floor. More gunk falls away from my eyes. I blink steadily as the light blinds me. Stepping further in to the corridor I freeze.

A large group of people swaying and groaning and shuffling aimlessly is now between myself and the place my instinct is telling me to go. I tentatively walk forward, very slowly. Shuffling like they do. A groan near at hand, a groan rips from me in auto-response. They look rotten. They're nearly all covered in blood.

They're buying it; they think I'm one of them. Another groan nearby, seemingly answered by one slightly further away.

Echo-location? My treachorous mind tries to make me chuckle at the thought.

I make it by them and keep heading onward along the hall passing a few doors; only one of them is closed.

*****

I stop running and can think only of hiding. Spotting a door still on its hinges I make my way - quickly - towards it. I close it behind me and barricade it with a nearby cupboard.

Finding a dark corner I slip to the floor and hold my breath - my heart slows - I exhale calmly. I begin thinking; wondering how this all went to hell so quickly.

One minute; the doctor is excited that the cure is working; the next - a hospital porter is chewing on his neck.

"Run, Sarah, run. Make for the roof... soldiers coming... take the cure."

For the first time since it happened, I cry at the memory. Clenching my hand, I remember the pistol. I pull back the chamber to check there's a round loaded - there is. I check the magazine and then make sure the spares are easily-accessable.

Something shuffles by, just outside the door of my hiding place.

I wait five minutes to be sure it's gone, then pull the cupboard away from the door.

Gripping the gun I thumb the safety switch off.

Thank you, Daddy. I think as I look skyward. Never thought I'd be grateful for all the trips to the firing range.

He always said:

"I know you hate this, gorgeous, but you'll thank me when one o' them zombie apocsolypsis' happens."

"Well, you were right, dad; I thought you were bat-shit crazy but you were right."

I shake my head to clear the memory and raising the pistol, I open the door and step quickly in to the hall.

Along the corridor I go. Around the corner - heading South this time - I know the stairs are close. The corridor widens and the stairway is in sight.

So are the infected.

Clamping down my panic I take aim and fire. The bullet rips its way into my target's brain.

One down; Seven to go.

I continue rapidly aiming and firing. Soon, all the infected between me and the stairway are dead - again.

Hearing lumbering footsteps from behind me I turn and aim.

Recognition dawns; I hesitate.

*****

I turn to the right, following the hallway which seems to be squint because I keep hitting the walls. There's blood and offal everywhere.

A gunshot rings out behind me. Then another. I follow my instincts which lead me back the way I came.

Moving as fast as I can, I hear another shot ring out. I'm getting closer. Relief floods my mind; I'm not the only one alive. I push myself harder and turn another corner.

More shots echo round me. Then I see her.

She swings round - aiming at me. There is something very familiar about her.

Sarah. My subconscious screams at me. Yes, that's it.

I run towards her; so relieved.

Sarah, it's me. I try to say but my voice won't work. I just grunt.

She seems to hesitate.

Sarah, it's me; please don't shoot. It's me. I try to send this message with my eyes. I say it over and over and over in my mind; trying to make her see I am not one of them.

I continue to say it in my mind as I collide with her. I continue to say it as my teeth sink into her neck. I continue to say it as her warm, soft, juicy flesh momentarily quenches my raging hunger.

*****

"Sir, we need to leave."

"... but the cure?" I reply.

The Sergeant tilts his head and I picture the compassionate expression behind his respirator - he knows I was born and raised here.

"The Brass have already activated the Isolation Protocol. You know what comes next, Sir."

"Annihilation." I mumble.

Realising he is right, I give the order to fall-back to the chopper.

"What about survivors?" I ask him as we climb aboard the helicopter.

"There won't be any." Came the whispered reply.





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