I couldn’t leave. I had to wait until I had nothing here left to live for, but that wouldn’t take too long. The wardrobe was easy to move, was easy to push across the door. No-one would divert me from my plan. Not even those creatures chasing after Andrew and the boy, racing down the street towards us. Not even the banging of a shoulder at the front door, or Connor’s colourful calls for me to turn the key in the lock.
They were soon in anyway, their noise inside the house told me so. Voices calling my name confirmed, but they didn’t need me. What did I have to give, anyway? A fist banged at the bedroom door, the handle turned, rattling loose in its brass enclosure. I didn’t reply and it went away, a scream ran through the house followed by a toddler’s cry. I listened to the wailing voices, not able to stop putting their features to the unholy cries, the sound still getting through my fists despite being pushed hard to my ears.
I heard fighting, was sure I could smell that stench. I turned to Nat, but despite the space between her breath, it wasn’t coming from her direction. Gun shots came next, one after the other, the burning smell adding to the mix. Then nothing. No sign of who’d won. I stood, unable to keep back the tears, watched outside as a crowd built, funnelling through into the house. I heard my name. I was sure and stopped my heavy breath, wiped the tears from my cheeks. A name, my name. They needed me. I turned to Nat and held my palms flat on her chest, moved to her hand and for the first time felt her grip.
It was too tight, tighter than when she was alive. My fingers ground together and I pulled back. She wasn’t Nat anymore. Her eyes were open, white, sinking deep into her skull as I watched. It was time. I reached into my pockets expecting to find a weapon, but I hadn’t put one there, hadn’t prepared. My chest grew tight and I realised as the weight lifted from my shoulders, I would be no good on my own. My name was called, but much more distant this time. These were my people. They were my friends. They were what I had left in this world. I couldn’t see them dead at my hands.
“Sorry Nat,” I said as she rose, letting the covers fall and I turned to the wardrobe and shoved it, tried to shove it aside. It was much heavier this time. I turned back to Nat. No not anymore. Turned back to the creature in her body and shoved her cold flesh down to the bed and heaved the wardrobe to the side.
With the door open the stench was almost too much to handle and I slammed it shut at my back, my stomach heaved and would have poured out if there had been anything waiting. I called out, my words stirring movement below. I leant down over the banister. Those weren’t my friends milling in the hallway. Running to the other bedroom, I dragged out the drawer of the wooden dresser and smashed it apart with one hit to the floor.
Holding the plank of wood out in front, I raced down the stairs and called for Andrew. His reply came, but it was so far away, so distant. They’d left, had gone, but what little choice had I given them. The first creature didn’t know what hit it, the wood crushing through the plate of bone between his eyes, falling back, tumbling the others down the stairs behind him. I leapt over the diagonal banister, landing on a body, it didn’t react as I crushed the bone in it chest, there was no air left to escape. Behind me I saw a queue forming at the door, a long, orderly line, ready to take the place of the next I took down.
I rushed to the kitchen, passing the locked up back door. I could hear their calls, but they weren’t in the garden, only those creatures scratched at the window. I turned, backing my way in, hitting out left and right, blood spraying across the walls as my feet battled with the contents of the cupboard strewn over the kitchen floor.
Even though I’d changed my mind, I’d got what I wanted. I was doing it my way. I would die through my own choices.
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Reading out of sequence? Why? Here’s Chapter One