Down Turn Part 1
There were no worries; a figure approaching in the distance was moving slowly up the dirt road, that was dark it was barely visible in the night. The surrounding fields where black, there was a wretched howl the wind batting against a lose piece metal plate from a building north east of them. Gerome looked at his younger brother Derrick; there was no concern on either of their faces. “Flash a light over at the man, Derrick.” Gerome whispered. Derrick put down his bag and quickly shuffled through it, bringing out with his left hand the flashlight. “Now Bro?” he whispered back to Gerome, Gerome had his pistol raised and ready. “Shine him Derrick, I’m ready.” Whispered Gerome as he clicked the safety off. Derrick turned on the flashlight it beamed over towards the figure, from a better glimpse the figure was old and mostly torn apart, his legs where crooked and his arm-twisted, he looked at Derrick making a quiet grunt. “It’s one of them Gerome, shoot it!” shouted Derrick “Shush baby bro, waste of ammo. Step over to the side make him follow you, I’ll get behind it.” Derrick begins to sidestep onto the field, carefully placing his feet, the light still fixated on the old man shuffling towards him. Gerome was out of sight he sneaked behind the old man he was ten paces behind, he held his pistol like a club lose in his hand, he got within five paces, he could see the light move further away, the old man stopped shuffling, Gerome took his chance and raced towards him swinging his arm, the gun connected with the old man’s head knocking him down. He took one more swing to the old mans head there was a loud cracking noise, the body twitched horrifically but then he was still, dead. Derrick raced over to his brother; Gerome was searching through the corpses pockets. “Will you turn that light off!” Gerome ordered. Derrick switches it off and places it back in the bag. Gerome turns facing Derrick with a cigarette lit in his mouth, Derrick stares at him. “Didn’t you quit?” asks Derrick sarcastically. “Well brother, that was before the world quit on us.” They both laughed. “You sure you don’t want to try one?” Derrick picked up the bag and handed it over to Gerome. “Your turn with the bag and besides your smokers lungs will come back and I just need to outrun you.” They both laughed making there way back to the dirt road.
The walked for what seemed like miles in the dark before they came across a farmhouse just to the left they could hear a stream in the distance. They were both outside the large farmhouse, “Any ideas?” Derrick asked. Gerome took this gun from his side. “Only one.” He raised his gun and walked slowly over to the porch, Derrick followed. They were stood in front of the door, “you want to do the honors for this one bro?” Gerome saying with a smile, suddenly there was a large bang. “Sounded like something heavy.” Derrick informing Gerome, “Maybe its not lethal.” Derrick added.
“I don’t know what it is but it came from upstairs. Okay we sneak into the kitchen and arm ourselves” Replied Gerome, he peaks through the glass he can see the stairs. “Okay I’ll watch the stairs straight ahead, the kitchen seems to be straight down the corridor. You ready?” says Gerome calmly. Derrick showing some nerves pats his brother on the back. “Okay lets do this.” Gerome slowly opens the front door slipping inside the house; his brother slowly follows after him. The floors of the house were wooden, Gerome walked and stood at the bottom of the stairs, he thought inside the house seemed darker then outside. Derrick slipped along the corridor and began silently rummaging around in the kitchen he soon found a large metal mallet in one draw and a decent sized knife in the draw below. He heard quiet rustling in the corner; it was coming from the pantry. He held both the Knife and mallet in each hand and reluctantly moved towards the sound. Gerome by now was getting bored of looking in the dark; he looked down the corridor and couldn’t see any sign of his brother so he headed towards the kitchen. Derrick now at the foot of the pantry put his back on the wall, the rustling had stopped. He slowly peaked his head into the pantry, it was empty the rustling was caused by the wind blowing against an empty bag. He reluctantly stepped back, he felt a grab from behind he swung around with his knife and mallet; Gerome dropped out of the way falling to the floor he landed on some pots all clattering echoing through the house. Then silence. They both stared at each other before Derrick helped his elder brother back to his feet. Gerome slaps his brother’s head, “what in hells name was that?” Gerome questioned
“I’m sorry Gerome, I thought there was something in the pantry.” Said Derrick struggling to look Gerome in the eyes. “You could have killed me.” Barked Gerome snatching the knife from his brother’s hand, “you shouldn’t be playing with sharp objects. You can have the mallet.” There was another large bang from upstairs; footsteps ran across the floor above them. They both looked up, “shit sounds like three four maybe more.” Shouted Gerome holding his gun up facing the door, Derrick moved close behind his brother. “I didn’t want to tell you this but I have three shots remaining.” Gerome said turning his head to derrick giving him a nervous smile. The thuds where heard again down the stairs there was another large bang coming from the bottom of the stairs, they could here roars as they ran down the corridor towards them. They stormed into the large kitchen four five maybe six of them, Gerome fired his first shot catching one in the side of the head it dropped to the floor only for another to jump towards Gerome, Derrick swung his mallet catching it in air sending it buckling to the side, another seemed to have moved around them grabbing Gerome by the back, Gerome quickly shot the closest in front then moving the gun against the one holding him pressing the gun against its skull and fired his last shot it dropped down. Derrick kneeling on one was swinging frantically with his mallet crushing its skull; he looked up wearily at Gerome who had just finished the last one with a clean strike with his knife. The two brothers where in silence again…
The next day daylight shone through the large farmhouse windows, Gerome noticed from waking up the interior of the house was newly renovated. One of the rooms he entered was unfinished, the walls were half painted sky blue and the carpet was rolled to the side. There was a newly bought cot in the middle of the room, the light breeze coming through the open window caused the crib mobile of various sea life creatures to spin and danced around, Gerome smiled at the fondness of such things, reminding him of the kindness and gentleness of what was before. Gerome starred for a while, he closed his eyes and those fond distant feelings soon dissolved, replaced only by the screams of the people he cared about, the one person he cared about most in the whole world, had gone. He was kindly awakened by a noise from down stairs, ‘Derrick making breakfast he thought.’ As he entered the kitchen the bodies had gone, pools of blood and pieces of small skull remained, the kitchen door was open leading out into he farm’s yard, as he exited he could smell the burning of rotten corpses.
Derrick had woken before his brother, like usual. He could smell the corpses from downstairs, he decided to clear them out. He had the fire at the end of the farmyard just to the side of the barn. He found oil and a wheelbarrow, it took him an hour but he had the last body in the barrow heading towards the flaming pile of flesh. He wasn’t put off by the rotting flesh, luckily for him at an early age he broke his nose, falling off his bicycle trying to beat Gerome, the breakage left him without the ability too smell, ‘a worthy trait to have’ he often thought to himself. He reached the foot of the fire; tipping the body out it rolled into the flames, it soon fully devoured and one with the fire. He picked up the oil and splashed some more on the blaze. He liked fire, ever since an early age he was a fire fanatic, always at home staring deep into the flames, the only difference now being the wood and coal had changed for flesh and bone. He stood and watched his work. He noticed a fold out chair amongst the long grass to the side, he picked it up opened it and sat down he put his feet up on the barrel in front of him, he raised his hands behind his head to rest it and closed his eyes. He could here the crackling of the fire, he imagined home.
“There you are baby bro,” said Gerome with a tired tone. His brother just looked at him and smiled, “morning bro, you catch up on your beauty sleep?” Gerome laughed before saying “yeah right, but I see you’ve been busy, you should of woke me.” Gerome took out the pack of cigarette’s from the previous day, took one out dipped it in the fire then took a massive drag. “How about you go for a quick hunt to see what you can find?” asked Derrick
“I would but hunt with what? I’m not exactly gunna kill a dear with just a knife?” Replied Gerome letting out a cloud of smoke. “No but I think, I found something that can help you.” Gerome took another big drag before slowly releasing with a smile, “I think I’m going to like this. By all means baby bro lead the way.” Derrick stood up and walked around to the entrance of the barn, Gerome followed smoking away. They entered the barn and headed towards the back, to a tools bench there was a large box underneath, Derrick pulled out the wooden box. “Open it Gerome.” Gerome all excited pulled up the metal bracket and shoved the box open. His eyes gleamed and his smile widened. “A rifle, with at least sixty bullets of ammunition.” Derrick boasted.
“This isn’t just a rifle bro, this is the Winchester Model 70, my, my isn’t this a sexy piece of pie.” Gerome picked up the rifle handling it with care he gave it a thorough checking over. “Looks like she has a bullet in her already.” Said Gerome as he cocked the bolt back in place.
“Do you want to take it for a test, see if it works?” asked Derrick.
“It’ll work alright. You go outside look for something for me too shoot I’m gunna give the box a looking over.” Said Gerome. Derrick just nodded then walked outside the barn.
‘The weather was beautiful.’ Thought Derrick, rubbing the sweat off his brow. He walked down the gravel road leading to the farms closest field. He looked out upon the field, birds had ravaged the corn and it all was dead or dying. At first he thought he saw a figure in the shape of a person out in the field, he lifted his hand to block the sun and to clear his view, he was about to shout for Gerome but something was off, he realized it was a well made scarecrow. ‘Gerome can blow his head off.’ He looked back at the barn Gerome must still be inside, he looked around, there was a jeep parked underneath a large tree halfway up the field. He made his way to the jeep. The jeep looked in excellent condition; the driver’s door was open. He swung in to switch open the boot, then strolled to the back of the jeep, he clicked it open to find... “Sweet mother all mighty!” he shouted hardly containing his excitement. Inside the boot were stacks of cans, beef, soup, tuna, sweet corn, beans and sardines. ‘A treasure chest he thought.’ He slammed shut the boot and ran back to the driver’s door, he hopped in. praying for his luck to continue, it only took a minute to find the keys under one of the pedals. He slotted it into the ignition and turned it, the jeep shook a little before roaring into life. He backed up turning the jeep around and then followed the dirt road next to the tree back to the farm.
Gerome was waiting in the farmyard, he had the rifle raised as he heard an approaching vehicle, the jeep turned the corner around the barn and skidded to a halt. Derrick opened the driver’s door. “You looking for a ride?” asked Derrick laughing. “Today has just been your day brother.” Gerome spoke.
“Oh that’s not all bro, check out the boot.” Derrick asked while clicking open the boot, Gerome putting the rifle on his shoulder walked over to the boot. He pulled it open. “Oh my god” he paused to laugh with enjoyment. “We will be eating like kings tonight.” He continued. Derrick turned off the ignition and jumped out, he walked back over to the field learning on the fence post. “You reckon you can hit that scarecrows head clean off?” challenged Derrick. Jerome shutting the boot walked over next to his brother. “I reckon so. Okay baby don’t let me down.” He unslung the rifle from his shoulder and held it up, the butt firmly against his shoulder his eye solely on the target; he began to breath slowly waiting for the shot to be ready. He softly squeezed the trigger. There was an explosion at the end of the barrel and an almost silent wiz then almost instantly the scarecrows head cracked sending pieces around in a cloud of dust. “Hooah.” Said derrick excitedly patting Gerome on the shoulder. Gerome turned around and smiled, “that’s it Derrick, Hooah.”
Derrick was glad, the previous owners of the house liked there cooking old fashioned, there was a furnace ideal for cooking. He found a sack of neatly cut wood; he began emptying the bag into the bottom compartment. He then glistened the wood with oil before sparking it with a match from the box of matches he found earlier that day. He then went out to the jeep, took the keys from his pocket and opened the boot. He began taking out tins, “hmmm, a tin of beans, a tin of beef, oooh a tin of pork and one more tin’s of beans.” He then locked the boot and went back inside.
Gerome had collected their bag from upstairs; he takes out a map and a walkie-talkie, placing them down on the kitchen table. He took his pencil out of his pocket and flattening the map with his hands, his eyes scour the map searching for the farm, with his finger he follows the road they took last night and came across Hannington’s Farm. He circles the map, snapping the lead of the pencil. He let out an annoyed gasp; he took the hunting knife from his belt and begin plucking away gently at the pencil. “Did you get that knife from the box?” asked Derrick as he began opening one of the tins. “Yep, why do you want it?” Gerome replied back to his brother. “No man, I was only wondering. Did you find anything else?” Derrick hoped.
“In fact baby bro, I found this.” Gerome putting his knife down took out a pistol. “A Beretta M9, you want it?” Gerome asked staring at the gun then to his brother. “Yeah, Gerome it will be safer that way, won’t it?” Gerome looked hesitant, but reluctantly he hands over the pistol. “Here baby bro, the safety is on and it’s not a toy, one bullet could be a matter of life and death.” Derrick, takes the gun from his brother, he lifts it up and aims it down the sights, then puts it down to the side. “Derrick, keep the pistol on you at all times. Understood?” Gerome picks the pistol back up and places it in Derrick’s hands. “Understood brother I can do that.” Derrick replied wedging the pistol in the back end of his trousers.
“What are we having for dinner bro? I’m starving.” Asked Gerome sarcastically rubbing his belly. “Beans, beef and pork in a bowl.” Replied Derrick getting back to opening the tins. “Sounds better then yesterday’s dinner.” Said Gerome cheerfully. “We didn’t have dinner yesterday.” Quickly replied Derrick.
“Exactly.” Reminded Gerome. The two brothers went quiet again; Derrick began spewing the cans into a saucepan and placed it over the flames. Gerome went back to the map, planning their route through the country. “So where are we headed?” asked Derrick curiously. Gerome muttering led his finger along the map. “There, where heading towards the coast.” He pointed on the map; Derrick took a look at the map. “There’s nothing there?” he questioned.
“Trust me brother, there will be a small camp, with friends.” Explained Gerome. Derrick uncertain turned away, “Do you not believe me Derrick?” Derrick tended too the saucepan giving it a quick turn. “I trust you with my life Gerome. You know that…”
“But!” spoke Gerome raising his voice.
“We have been on the road for almost a month. Why did we leave the others?”
“They were broken Derrick. We left them when we should have.”
“Why didn’t we try and convince others to come, people who we both knew. We left them to what. Die!” shouted Derrick turning to face his brother. His face was that of anger but trust. “Calm down Derrick. I assure you most would have stretched out into smaller groups.”
“But we could have helped them? We could have done something.”
“Don’t blame me, little bro! I left people too, I left them and that is it final.”
“I hope you know what you are doing?”
“I haven’t got the faintest fucking idea.” Gerome said coldly. Derrick pulled the saucepan out from the flame and onto the table. “Shall we eat?” Derrick said to break the tension. “Mmmmm smells delicious baby bro. Maybe in another life you could have been a world famous chef.” They both laughed as Derrick served up the meals. The ate there meals in silence, not that they were mad at each other this meal for them was a small taste of heaven.
Later that evening, Gerome and derrick where sitting around a large fire out in the farmyard. The night sky clear lit above them with a net of stars and a large full moon.
© Copyright 2016 John Clone. All rights reserved.
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