These are short stories put up each Friday that you can read for free. By the next Friday the post will be taken down and a new one will go up.
He hadn’t seen a soul in 18 days, not since leaving Quantico. He’d had to get out of there, though. After 18 days underground he had to get out of there.
They said the bombs had gone off, but he could see no sign of that. There were no people, that was for sure, but then many had fled when news had broken. Those that hadn’t had been rounded up. For the most part, he had to remind himself, for the most part. There could still be some around, and that’s what he was looking for…wasn’t he?
God, where the hell was everyone?
Walking along the highway was a likely place, but he’d been walking it and walking it. With a sigh he walked off, into the trees a bit. Keeping his eyes on the road, he knelt down and took off his pack. He glanced down after it was unzipped, checking that all was in order. It was. There was a cracker box stuffed with various dry foods, all bagged. A tin at the bottom with wet stuff – butter, cheese, some hummus. Some candles were down there, and the last of the batteries. The radio of course, and some toilet paper. That he had to save more of, he know knew, and he was trying. He reached down past it and grabbed hold of the small bottle of dish soap, brought it up and put a few drops on his hands. There was a small brook here, babbling away, and if he could just find it he’d wash his hands. He hadn’t washed them since breaking camp that morning and–
He paused, listened, looked.
Deer, he saw, and with a slight chuckle he turned his head back to his pack and–
“And what the fuck’d we got here, eh?”
He was just turning his head and caught a glimpse of someone with long blonde hair and bad teeth and then everything went black.
He woke up to the sound of popping.
He was looking up, toward the trees above, and could tell that a fire was burning nearby. That’s the popping he was hearing. He could hear more though – he could hear voices.
“What the fuck do you want me to say?” one said, loudly and with quite a bit of anger.
“Easy, pal – I’m hungry too,” another voice said, this one calmer.
“So what’s the problem, then? The fire’s going.”
“Just what?” the first voice said, a bit of amusement in it. “Just you’re not going to eat a person? Well I say fuck that!”
“You might say that but–”
“Man I haven’t eaten in 9 days, you got that, 9 fucking days! There ain’t nothin’ too eat, not after Ed scarfed the stuff in his bag.”
The other man laughed. “The six you put in his gut was a just dessert.”
“Yeah, well I’m still hungry, and we know what happens when you eat one of the dead, we’ve seen what happens when you do that.”
“I know,” the second voice said, and he pictured that whoever it belonged to was nodding, beginning to agree. That bothered him, for he know that he was the ‘food’ they were talking about.
God, what the hell happened over the past two weeks and change?
He didn’t even work for the feds, just did IT services for them. He’d been doing some stuff on sight at Quantico when the alarm had suddenly gone off. His support contact told him to stay there, went and checked it out, and then when the man came back twenty minutes later he said they were stuck there. Of course by that time he’d already gotten the news online, before they’d shut down the outside internet feed. Even with his skills, it was gone, severed at the source.
How the hell could they have hit us in so many places and so fast?
He’d thought that a lot over the next two days that they’d been down in that basement. There were plenty other workers there, but many filtered out over that time. You didn’t have to, and people were actually encouraged to stay, but with families you couldn’t blame them. He hadn’t had one so was lucky, for when the second attack came…he didn’t want to think about it.
After that it’d just been a waiting game until the food ran out. Quantico had quite the ample stores underground, but that was for the main spooks and marines. He wasn’t one, and his support contact wasn’t either. Low men on the totem pole, they’d been sealed off on the surface floors with a few dozen others, enough food for 2 days. When that 2 days was up, he’d headed outside despite what they’d said, for he’d known from the looks going around that it was soon going to become some Lord of the Flies shit in there.
There was rustling on the edge of the bushes were he was at, and then he saw two figures, the men who’d been talking, he knew. One of them held a long-bladed knife in his hand, and it gleamed in the firelight.
“Sorry, son,” one of them said, the one without the knife, and he started to move forward.
He struggled, his hands and feet tied, but he struggled. All the while he had his eyes on the man with the knife, who smiled.
“Hold him,” the man with the knife said.
The other man came up to him then, leaned down, and grabbed hold of his shoulders. He struggled, and managed to throw the man off balance. Then he threw his body forward, hitting the man’s calves. He started to topple over. There was a chance now, a slim chance, and he started to shimmy about, flopped over, and–
And something soft and long and afterward warm came down on his throat. He looked up to see the man with the knife looking down at him, and now the knife had a thin life of red all down its length, and it was dripping.
“No hard feelings,” the man said, and then things started to get fuzzy and his vision was beginning to blur and…