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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Tom Reynolds fears that the world is coming to an end. When his neighbor stops by late at night to ask for his help, Tom realizes his fear may be coming true.

Submitted: November 07, 2018

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Submitted: November 07, 2018

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The world is going end. That was the thought going through Tom Reynolds’ mind as he watched the news. The newscaster, with her neatly styled hair and beautiful complexion, was going on about how Smokey’s Chicken Company had been neglecting some basic sanitation and decided to go ahead and ship contaminated pieces of chicken. 

“Anyone unfortunate enough to have eaten one of these contaminated pieces have been reported to develop symptoms such as bleeding from the eyes, and acting with aggressive behavior.” The newscaster said as pictures on popped up on the screen showing pale, crazy eyed people in hospital gowns tied down to their beds. 

Tom shut off the television and sighed. He had been growing increasingly cynical and paranoid. Every day there were more stories about bombings in Europe, sexual assault victims being laughed at and ignored by politicians, and corporations caring about profits over ethics. The idea in his head that we were all going to die just got more and more prevalent. It seemed to Tom that everything was coming to a head and his fear would soon come true. The world would end. 

Tom got out of his recliner chair and walked from the living area and into the kitchen. On the dining table laid the shotgun he purchased this morning. Tom decided he needed a gun for protection when the world went to shit. Or maybe he’d use it on himself. He wasn’t sure what option he’d choose until the time came. 

He sat down at the dining table and inspected what the salesman called his new “forty eight and a half inch 12 gauge pump action beauty”. Tom had no idea if it was beautiful and he didn’t care. It could look like a pink nerf gun as long as the thing could perform the basic function of a gun. 

The shotgun had a nice weight to it. Tom was never a gun kind of guy, but holding the shotgun up he did have to admit it gave him a feeling of power. And security. 

A loud banging on his front door almost caused Tom to drop the shotgun. He regained his composure, set the shotgun back on the table and sped walked to his front door. 

Tom peered through a narrow window on the right side of the door and the panicked face of his one of his neighbors, Lenny Farmer, jumped at into frame. Tom recoiled back, startled, and then shook his head. 

“Lenny, what do you want? It’s almost midnight.” 

“Oh Tom, it’s bad. Real bad. Do you think I could come in for a second?” Lenny said, his voice shaking.

“What’s the matter?” 

“It’s cold out here man, can we please talk inside?”

Tom sighed. Letting someone into his home past midnight was the last thing he wanted to do. He took another look at the fear and panic on Lenny’s face and, even though his faith in humanity had been waning severely lately, still felt the urge to help.

Tom unlocked the door and Lenny busted in, shivering. “Thanks Tom, do you mind if I sit?” Lenny asked. 

“Go ahead, do you want something to drink?” 

Lenny sat down in Tom’s recliner. “A beer, if you have some.”

“Yeah, I think I have some Coors in the fridge. Be right back.” 

Tom walked back to the kitchen and got two Coors Light from out of the fridge. He pause for a moment, staring at the shotgun. Tom set the beers on the table and loaded a few shells. Tom knew that Lenny probably wasn’t dangerous, but he also knew not to take chances. 

Tom returned back to the living area with the beer and handed one to Lenny, who took a sip and then started chugging. When he finished, he let out a large belch and leaned back in a satisfied manner. 

“Oh sweet Jesus, I needed that,” Lenny said.

Tom took a small sip. “So what’s up?”

Lenny took a deep breath and rubbed his eyes. “It’s my wife Jenny. I need, uh, need some help with her.” Lenny squeezed the beer can. “She had some of that damn chicken.”

“The stuff from Smokey’s?” Tom asked.

“Yeah. She’s acting like a crazed animal with rabies or some shit. I mean that’s how I got this wound.” Lenny held up a bandaged forearm. “God damn crazy bitch took a bite out of me.”

“Jesus,” Tom said. 

“She’s clearly not well, so it’d be a huge help if you could lend a hand in getting her into my car so I can take her to the hospital. She’s become quite a handful, more than usual.”

Tom nodded. “And what would you need me to do?” 

“If you could distract her while I get a bag over her head, that’d be wonderful. Once I get that bag on, she can’t bite and I’ll be able to restrain her and get to the hospital.” 

“Distract her how?”

“Well based off my previous experience, you just need her to look at you.” 

Tom wanted to say no. He wanted to say that he had a big day tomorrow and that Lenny should go talk to the McKenzie’s or someone else. But Lenny’s desperate face made him say “Okay, fine.”

“Bless you Tom.” Lenny stood up. “Follow me.”

Tom grabbed his winter coat. The moon hung high and bright as he stepped outside with Lenny into the chilly November air. 

 “I can’t thank you enough Tom, you’re a good neighbor,” Lenny said as they walked down Tom’s driveway. ”Unlike that prick Ralph. I know that son of bitch has been throwing his dog’s shit in my backyard.” 

Tom kept his hands in his pockets and his head down as they walked, trying to keep warm. “Uh-huh,” he said as an ambulance siren rang in the distance. 

“Been hearing those all night.” Lenny said. 

They turned right at the end of Tom’s driveway and walked on the sidewalk in silence until they reach Lenny’s house. Lenny led the way up to the front door, and opened it for Tom to enter. 

Lenny closed the door behind him and pointed to the kitchen. “She’s in there. Locked in the pantry.” 

Tom followed Lenny into the kitchen. A rhythmic thudding sound was coming from the pantry, but stopped as soon Tom and Lenny walked in. 

“Okay. I’m going to open the door and she’s probably gonna come right at you. Here.” Lenny grabbed a green painted wooded green chair and handed it to Tom. “Use this to brace her. I’ll slip the bag over her head, and get her on the ground.” 

Tom looked at the chair and put it on the ground. “Lenny, I got to be honest with you, I think you should call the police.” 

“I can’t do that Tom. You don’t know how Jenny is. She’d never forgive me for the embarrassment.”

“I just feel like we’re putting ourselves in unnecessary danger here.”

“Come on, Tom. You’re already here.” Lenny said in a pleading tone. 

Tom looked to the chair, then to the pantry, and then to Lenny. Tom closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “Alright fine.”

“Thanks Tom, I swear after this is over I’ll buy all the beers you want.” Lenny said.

“Yeah, whatever. Let’s get this over with,” Tom said bringing the chair up, and holding it out in front of him like he was taming a lion. 

Lenny put his hand on the knob. “One.” He turned it all the way. “Two.” Lenny looked up and Tom nodded. “Three.”

Lenny pulled open the door. Jenny stood there twitching, slowly bringing her head up to see. Her hair was matted with sweat and blood streamed from her eyes. She looked over Tom and then let out a bloodcurdling scream. She went into a full on sprint. Tom wasn’t ready for the speed she displayed and didn’t brace himself properly. Jenny slammed into the chair and knocked him to the ground.

Jenny got on top of Tom, opening her mouth wide to take a bite out of his face. Tom put his forearm into the front of her neck and momentarily kept her at bay. Lenny came over and pulled Jenny off. 

“Sweetie, that’s our neighbor Tom, he’s just here to-“ Jenny was biting into Lenny’s shoulder before he could finish explaining. Lenny screamed and pushed Jenny away, a slab of flesh from Lenny’s shoulder going with her. 

Jenny was about to leap back onto Lenny, but Tom struck her in the back of the head with the chair. Jenny fell to the floor as the chair shattered from the force of impact. Tom in a frenzy of panic grabbed a piece of the chair off the ground and prepared to drive another blow to Jenny’s head. 

“NO TOM!” Lenny screamed and decked Tom with his good shoulder. Tom staggered backwards and slipped on Lenny’s blood and slammed his head on the hard ground. 

Tom stared up at the ceiling, his vision going in and out of focus. He could faintly hear Lenny speaking, “Shit, sorry Tom I swear I’ll get you home…”

The room around Tom faded to black. 

 

***

 

Tom awoke with an awful headache and his hearing dulled. He looked around and saw he was in his living room, reclined back in his chair. He pulled the lever forward and noticed a letter in his lap.

Hey Tom sorry about all that. Good news, I was able to get Jenny tied up so she’s not a danger to anyone. I’m going to take her to the hospital, but first I got you back home. I’d take you along but our Fiat only has two seats, and I figured you only hit your head so you’ll be fine for now. After I get Jenny all settled in, I’ll come back and get you. I’ll pay for all the medical expenses too don’t you worry. Thanks for your help. 

-Lenny

Rubbing his head, Tom breathed a sigh of relief. He didn’t feel any gash. He stared at his feet and flexed his toes. His hearing slowly came back to him; sirens and screams were coming from outside. He got up and looked at the large window facing his yard. The curtain was drawn but the unmistakable illumination of morning light was shining behind it. A shadow dashed past his front yard. Tom took a step forward then saw another shadow. Two more shadows followed then a flurry of screams. 

Tom hustled to the window and drew back the curtains. The entire street was in chaos. Cars slammed into one another, lawns on fire, and people running around in terror. Tom looked to his left. Three figures were hunched over a body, tearing it apart. 

He let the curtain fall back into place. He slowly walked into his kitchen. He sat down at the kitchen table, poured himself a drink, and scooped up his shotgun. Vicious banging noises came from his front door, accompanied by awful guttural-like screams. 

Tom aimed the shotgun in the direction of the door and pumped it. The door started to give way. Tom heard multiple people hopping over his fence and into his backyard. Tom sighed and let tears fall. He readjusted his aim and put the muzzle of the shotgun under his chin. End of the world, he thought, guess I know what option I’m going with.

Tom pulled the trigger.

 

 

 


© Copyright 2018 J.D. Jones. All rights reserved.

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