All Down To Timing

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium
A short story inspired by the Imaginarium Picture Prompt 14.

Submitted: July 04, 2017

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Submitted: July 04, 2017



All Down To Timing.


Is it done.” Chloe shouted across to Evan as he opened the rear door of the van and climbed in.

Yep!” he answered. “It was touch and go there whether we’d make it. Didn’t think the engine would hold out.”

Did you get it all set up?” Dan turned from the drivers seat and Evan waved the remote.

All set and ready to blow. Now all we’ve got to do is sit back and wait.”

The sun was low in the sky but there would be another hour or two to wait before there was much chance of ‘them’ appearing. And the to relax their guard; the timing was absolutely crucial if they were going to get a chance to make it across the desert to the next town.

Evan felt himself beginning to doze. There was so little to see, it was so quiet... He was startled back to full wakefulness by Chloe nudging his shoulder. “Look! Over there! Is that one of them?”

Evan and Dan both looked towards where the girl was pointing. There definitely seemed to be something moving, but it was so far off it could have been a bird, an animal, anything really. The three of them stared, concentrating in that direction now, watching, waiting.....

And then another figure appeared, and another. They were warped, distorted, moving in awkward jerky steps. It had to be ‘them’!

Now?” Evan asked, the hand-built control in his hand.

No. Wait a while. Let some more of them turn up. Don’t know how long it will keep going once we start it, do we!”

Chloe made space and Evan climbed in to the front of the van. More and more figures began to appear on the horizon, apparently aimlessly wandering around. The old car just sat there, ignored, treated as nothing more than another part of the scenery until Dan nodded and Evan pressed the first button.

The car spluttered a couple of times before the engine gave up and died. Evan looked from Chloe to Dan. “I never said it would work.....just that it was worth a try.”

“They are looking at it. Some of them anyway,” Chloe said. “Try it again.”

Evan pressed the button, and again the engine spluttered, but this time did not stop, kept going. It sounded so rough it was some kind of a miracle that Evan had managed to manoeuvre it into place, but it was doing it’s job and drawing ‘their’ attention. Heads were turning, bodies were unsteadily making their way towards it, lurching, dragging each other down.

And then the unexpected happened. Some of ‘them’, the zombies, appeared beside and behind the van. Chloe froze, felt the blood leave her face. Dan and Evan stopped moving too. None of them so much as breathed.

The stench of the creatures permeated the van, even though all doors and windows were firmly shut. Their skin, or what little they had of it, was rotten, a putrid, greenish color. Their various wounds leaked some sort of bloody fluid and insects could be seen, wriggling and squirming is some of the lesions. The fear inside was palpable but they ignored the van and carried on past it without so much as turning their heads.

It seemed that their gamble had paid off. If the sound or the vibration had not worked as an attraction the entire plan would have been hopeless, but now, just maybe there was a slight chance the three would make it across the wasteland. They needed to keep their cool, bide their time and pick the optimum time to strike.

More and more of the creatures approached the car. The first to arrive were already hitting it, smashing windows, rocking it from side to side. Just so long as the bomb stayed in place.

I can’t wait much longer! If they get too rough with it, it’s gonna fall apart.....”

Wait, Evan. Just a few seconds." Dan watched as five more of the creatures climbed up on to the car. “Okay.....Now!”

Evan pressed the other button, held it firmly down. Chloe and Dan put their hands over their ears. Nothing, nothing, and then Bang! A hiss and then the whole thing burst in to flames. It was a strange sight, those creatures standing there in flames, apparently impervious to pain until they were so consumed by the flames their bodies collapsed to the ground.

Ready?” Dan asked.

Chloe nodded, strapped herself into her seat.

Yeah, Dan.” Evan sat in the back, wedged himself firmly in place for what promised to be a bumpy ride. “Let’s get outta here now!”




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