Because I Care

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  No Houses


Written for India Emerald's latest writing challenge -- to write a story about a woman of strength.

Submitted: January 21, 2018

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Submitted: January 21, 2018

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Because I Care

We all ran, even though we did not know what we running from. The screams that were becoming louder, closer, were more than enough motivation to cause us to panic. Families tried to stay together but we were all looking out for ourselves, for our own.

Flynn and Helen were in front of us, faster more agile, but not knowing where to go. Even though in their teens, they were our children and our natural inclination was to put ourselves between them and whatever danger was approaching. I ran behind them, and Chris, even though I knew he was so much faster than me, stayed in the flanking position.

So close now, those screams, together with bangs, thumps, breaking glass. I looked behind, saw them....people, but mad, crazed, intent on bringing down and devouring as many as they could. Body after body was being jumped on, knocked to the ground; we had to find shelter.

“There,” I shouted to Flynn, pointing to an open doorway. The wood it was made from didn’t look too strong but at least it would get us off the street.

The reports were true. There really were zombies! And they had arrived in our town. I felt in my pocket for the gun I had taken to carrying, ‘just in case’, and was relieved to find it. Only a direct head shot at close range would kill them, but bullets could slow their approach, give that few extra minutes. It was better than nothing.

Flynn had got the message. He and Helen were both veering off towards that door, the one I’d pointed to. And then that yell, that cry of pain from behind me. Chris! They’d heard him too and were slowing down.

“Don’t stop, you two. Get behind the door and wait for us. Go!” and they went back to running.

Chris was on the ground, but the thing that had brought him down was distracted, was chasing after someone else. I’d get back to him, get him on his feet. He’d be alright now. He had to be.

He was still alive. He recognized me too. He’d be fine, he was okay, just knocked down, winded, maybe a sprain or something.

But there was blood. So much blood. His arm that until then had been hidden was ripped and torn. There was no time. I had to find something sharp, really sharp and just chop that arm off, the infection wouldn’t spread then; I’d find a way of dressing it until we could get to help, get it seen to properly.

“No, Jay....” He croaked out at me. “There’s nothing you can do. Don’t let....” he paused as his whole body went in to some kind of spasm, and he coughed up blackened, coagulated blood. “Don’t....let...me....become one...of them!”

What was he saying? What did he want me to do? No, I couldn’t do that, I could not kill my husband. He would be alright, he’d recover. “No. Come on, Chris. They’re waiting for us, look. Flynn and Helen. We’ll sort you out, you’ll be okay.”

Even as I am talking his body is hit by more convulsions. “Get inside!” I shout at them, and reach down, try to get Chris up on to his feet. He’s a dead weight, cannot help me at all. And then I see his eyes, that pleading, begging.

“Please, Jay.....End it.”

His skin is greying in front of me, his eyes are turning red. It’s too late. My Chris has gone.

But can I do it? The gun feels so heavy in my hand. I know this is what he was asking for, what he wanted; but do I have the ability to place the muzzle between his eyes and pull the trigger. No, I can’t do it.

But then he growls, and I am sure within that growl is a final plea. I take the gun from my pocket and, with shaking hands, press it hard against his head. Taking a deep breathe, looking away, I squeeze the trigger. The explosive effect knocks me backwards, saves me from some of the blood but by no means all of it.

They are coming, more of them. I have to leave him, have to turn away and run. Desperately I wipe at the blood around my mouth, my nose, my eyes. Am I already infected?

The door is not far, I can get there. Helen is holding it open, staring at me, a look of total horror on her face. It dawns on me then; she watched me shoot her father, my husband. She can see that I am soaked in his blood.

“Open it, Helen,” I scream and she does.

As I push past her, slamming the door and looking for somewhere better to hide out, she whispers accusingly, “How could you?”

I find it hard to look at her, or at Flynn. But they need to understand that they might have to do the same for me. I want to shout, to scream, to wail in grief, in the guilt of what I have allowed myself to do. Instead, I make my voice clear and level as I say; “Because I Care.”

 

886 words.


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