Last Stand

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic
An anthropomorphic weasel battles for survival in the post-apocalyptic wasteland that is his home. Written for a friend based on a world of his creation.

Submitted: April 22, 2014

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Submitted: April 22, 2014

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Zamir stood utterly still, chest heaving with his struggle for breath. He was covered in the blood of his enemies; his body riddled with bullet wounds and scratches. Adrenalin still surged through his body, and he had a moment of clarity in the midst of this battle for his life.
 
He stared at the ghoul in front of him, and time stood still. If someone had asked him how long they had stood staring at each other, he would have said minutes at least. He'd heard it happened sometimes. In times of high-stress or in dangerous situations, time slowed down. 
 
And now here he was. One lone weasel, staring down a ghoul with murder in its eyes and a wickedly cruel grin on it's face. And for the second time this day, he saw his death. In this moment, looking at this evil creature, he knew this was the end. It was like he was in a dream. He watched the creature move toward him, and in his mind it was slow motion. There was plenty of time to act. 
 
MOVE dummy! he screamed to himself, Get your ass in gear!!! He's trying to kill you!
 
But in reality there was no time. The creature moved faster then he had ever thought possible. Yet it was so calm and calculating in its actions. It's expression never changed. It never stopped looking into his eyes, either. Even as its clawed hand reached out to his chest and began tearing into his flesh. Even as the blood first dripped and then gushed from it's hand, as it held his momentarily still beating heart.  
 
Wait. 
 
What? 
 
Still grinning it made a guttural sound that may have been a laugh or, perhaps, an attempt to make a word. 
 
Please, God, he begged whatever power might exist, Please don't let this creature's eyes be the last thing I see...
 
* * *
 
Earlier That Day
 
The weasel, strong for a typical one of his kind, continued to slink his way through the remains of what used to be a super center. “WA - M RT UP NTE” the sign read now. Those who'd been left behind, like himself, had learned those letters meant supplies. 
 
Sometimes it wasn't much. The years had not been kind after all. But, occasionally there would be usable items. Canned goods, preserves, or clothes and blankets that had not yet been moth eaten. Sometimes even tools or weapons.
 
Today, however, had proved a boon to Zamir. There had been a small tool kit, along with a solar powered lamp. He'd found large containers of “butter”, “milk”, and “protein” powders and potable water in thin plastic bottles. Also large containers of seasonings, to use on butchered meat and cleaned fish.
 
There had also been thick, tightly rolled blankets that could be zipped shut. He and the other Reclamationists called these "Zip Tight Sacks", but he wasn't sure that was what the right name. These had all gone into a cart he'd found in the store.
 
But the best of all had come from the “Gard” and “Sport oods” areas. In Gard, he'd found hundreds of packets of seeds. Carrots, and tomatoes and corn and lettuce... Every kind of food he'd ever heard of which grew in the ground. Even some foods he'd hadn't. 
 
All of these he'd placed in a water-tight box, placing it on top of the other items in the cart. There were also bags of dirt which were meant for planting. Good, rich, healthy dirt. He'd gathered as many of these as he thought would fit and stacked them on the rack beneath. 
 
And in “Sport oods” he'd found a fishing pole and line, a net that only needed a little repair, and a decent hunting knife. And a gun. A simple hand gun, true. But it was still a gun. With a cleaning kit and several boxes, mostly full, of bullets which fit just right in the clip. He preferred his bow and arrow it was true, but a gun! Oh, if it worked...
 
But he couldn't check now. Too risky. Best to wait until he was back at the camp. 
 
Speaking of risky, he thought to himself, I've been here two hours already!
 
It was time to move on. He needed to check the rest of the town. See if there was anything else in this area he and his team could use or repair.
 
He grabbed a can of gear oil off of a shelf. He shook it, making sure it was still usable, then gave each of the wheels on the cart a few spritzes. He wanted to make sure they were well oiled. You could never be too careful. Then he tucked the remainder of the can into his pocket and heaved the now heavy cart into motion. 
 
As he neared the wide double doors, broken open after several years of inoperability, he paused for a while. He just stood there, nose and whiskers twitching, ears moving slowly one way then the other. He was listening intently, and smelling. Trying desperately to sense whatever might be there. There had to be something. There just had to. 
 
He'd spent too long in the same building. He knew that. But he'd found such a great cache of goods! They'd live like kings, for a little while at least. Once he got it all back, of course.
 
If, he thought to himself. If you get it all back. You've been here for too long, and you know it. And something's not right, something's -
 
The sounds of mad laughter and screams (and gun fire, couldn't miss that) met his ears then. And somehow he knew his tail was toast. In that one brief moment, he knew he'd never walk away from this town. But, that knowledge wouldn't stop him from putting up the fight of his life.
 
He pulled the hand gun and bullets from the cart, and shoved them into his pockets. He checked the large knife in its sheath at his hip, made sure it was clear. The bow on his shoulder and quiver of arrows on his back were adjusted. He was ready. He would give them hell.
 
* * *
 
He'd been completely unprepared and utterly outnumbered. Oh the gun had helped, sure. And thank the powers that be it had worked at all, or he wouldn't have lasted half as long. But it simply hadn't been enough. Things had just kept going from bad to worse. 
 
It had been bad enough when the Purists got to to town. They would have been enough of a challenge for anyone, with their wild rage and contempt for anything that wasn't human. They were leather and metal clad battle monsters. 
 
Their weapons were mismatched abominations of such sheer madness, like something out of Zamir's worst nightmares. The weapons never looked like they should work. There were bombs which ooked like toys; cruel, wickedly sharp blades made from pieces of whatever metal they found lying around. These they attached to anything and everything they could find which would hold them. And of course there were guns. 
 
And their faces, he thought to himself. Oh god, their faces! They are insanity and death!
 
But no, he couldn't think that way. That way lay helplessness and death. He needed to compose himself. He drew a deep timid breath. He steadied and prepared himself for the next moment.
 
They had poured into this town in such massive numbers. Zamir assumed they'd had to leave their home for some reason. They had NEVER raided with such force before. He could put up a fight for quite a while, and he would take a large number of them with him before the end, but he knew he wouldn't last forever. 
 
He was one lone weasel against an enemy that numbered in the tens of dozens, at least. And the enemy hated him; hated the mere thought of him and anything like him. They hated the fact that anything like him was allowed to exist. And, more then claiming the world for their own, their goal was to wipe all those like him out of existence.
 
And still he could have fought bravely and well against them, had they been the only thing he'd had to worry about. But they must have been scouting this place for some time. They knew everything there was to know about it. And, it seemed, they had a good idea how many ghouls there were here and just where they were dening for the day.
 
They had come in cackling their insane laughter, screaming like wild things, and shouting nonsense. They fired their guns into the air, aiming for nothing. They wasted so many precious bullets. Zamir was sickened. 
 
It was the casual way they wasted a commodity so precious, which first stirred him into action. He drew his bow and arrows, and gave himself as much cover as he could with the wall and the door frame. Then he began firing into them, one after the other. He aimed for center of mass, and every time his aim was true. 
 
* * *
 
He made a valiant display. He had taken out twenty or more in just a few moments. He'd used all of his arrows, but wasted none. He swapped gun for bow and prayed it would work. Prayed it would not misfire or blow up in his paw. It did not.
 
He took out several more with a clean shot to the head of each. The battle hungry, raving humans (so closely resembling the wild animals they believed Zamir and those like him were) had only just realized something was wrong and started to look around for the source. One of them locked eyes on him and moved toward him, axe-like blade raised over his head.
 
He never took another step. A sewage grate flew up out of the street and landed some feet away. A clawed hand reached up through opening and snatched the man's ankle. He had just enough time to look down at his leg, an almost comical expression of surprise on his face, before he was snatched down into the darkness.
 
Zamir had heard his screams of pain and anguish over the roar of other noises. His keen ears perked, and he'd been able to distinguish them from the others sounds. And something else as well. The evil, malevolent gutteral sounds of the ghouls.
 
They began pouring from the sewer grate then, like baby spiders from an egg sack. They sped towards the Purists who were still whooping and cheering madly, apparently drawn to the noise and commotion. The carnage they inflicted on the Purists made a mockery of anything he'd ever seen the Purists do.
 
To Zamir's credit, he never stopped firing. Even as the ghouls tore off faces whole and eviscerated the outmatched Purists where they stood, exhilarating in the blood and juices from their victims; still he fired shot after shot into the writhing mass of carnage which was his enemy.
 
He was the eye in the center of a perfect of storm of violence and death. For one brief moment, when it seemed like the ghouls and had the same agenda as he himself, he thought he might survive. Then the ghouls began running out of Purists to maim and kill. And they started for him.
 
And still he fought. Gun in one paw, blade in the other, he fought them off. A claw would rake him, he would stab out with his knife paw. Movement in his peripheral vision would draw his attention and he would pass the gun paw in front of his body and shoot to either side. His Reclamationist brothers would have been proud.
 
He kept fighting, adrenaline surging through his body. Even as the ghouls began backing off and looking anxiously at something behind him. He didn't really notice it at first. He just kept attacking his enemy. He was determined that though he would die here this day, he would take as many of them as he could with him.
 
And then he heard a strange, guttural noise behind him. He turned, and looked into the face of his death.
 
* * *
 
Please, God, He begged whatever power might exist, Please don't let this creature's eyes be the last thing I see...
 
The ghoul was chewing on his heart with blissful greed. Its maw was smeared with blood and gore.
 
There was no pain.
 
His head lolled to the side, and still more images kept flashing through his mind. And then it settled. There were no more images. 
 
He looked down, and he saw a single, misshapen flower struggling to grow in the parched earth. A bee buzzed around it. For once, the bee was whole and lovely. It's body neither distended nor marred. 
 
Its healing, Zamir thought then, the world is finally healing.  That's good then.
 
He saw and thought no more.


© Copyright 2019 Selnique. All rights reserved.

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