The Ghost Town

March 1, 2012
The dust had barely settled on the lone road, it clouded the noon light with its glimmer of red. The group of riders passed through town, without so much as a wayward glance at anyone or anything. There was no reason to stop, we had nothing. I watched my sister weave her lithe form through porches and hitching posts, she had no mind for the startled horses that stomped the red earth and flicked their tails. The world was silent, no animals other then horses, no people other then my sister and me. Even the pub and general store were empty despite the daylight. We were truly living in a ghost town. I sat down on the steps and leaned back, lighting a cigar. It was Sunday, our mother was baking a pie, I could smell it from the ground. My hands were splattered in the blood of a cow which I had just slaughtered. The poor dumb son of a b**** strayed away and got itself ripped to pieces by a wild animal. I heard its pathetic moaning from beyond the wheat field and got right off my horse to slit its throat. My sister wanted to know why we couldn’t eat it, she didn’t want to waste our cow. But I had to remind her about disease, we could never be to certain. I rubbed the scarlet stain off on the dry grass and looked back out to the street, but my sister was gone.

Lucy? I called out, and all I got for an answer was the silence of a dead town and a faint breeze. I stood up, I threw my cigar on the ground and adjusted my hat. Both ends of the street were empty of human life, any life at all for that matter. The horses started to scream, some of them struggled against their posts and buck and rear.

Lucy! I shouted, but there still was no answer from my sister. I stepped out into the middle of the road and looked around. A piercing scream echoed among the narrow buildings and I started to run, drawing my pistol. It was a little girl. As I ran around the corner, I saw my sister running away from a man
with a look of pure terror paralyzing her face.

Lucy, come here! I said, walking forward. She ran to my side and clutched onto my holster. She trembled.

He bit me… Was all I could hear from her frantic mumbling. That bastard was gonna get it, I aimed my gun, and to my surprise he came barreling at me all lopsided like a dying animal. My shot rang out, I shot him right through the heart.

God damn. I said.

Don’t! My sister sobbed, she hated all forms of cussing. I looked at her arm and saw the bleeding wound. The man really had bit her, he got her good to. A chunk of her arm was missing, I immediately started panicking.

Lucy, we gotta do something about that. I said, reaching for her arm, but she winced and pulled away. Muffled groaning reached my ears, and I spun around, my pistol aimed at the ground. But he was already standing, the man lunged forward, clamping his jaws on my outstretched arm. I kicked him in the chest, just out of instinct, and he fell back, bringing a good part of my arm with him. My gun fell to the dusty earth, and my arm was filled with searing pain.

What the f*** is this? I shouted, kicking the psychopath as he tried to stand. He even tried to bite my feet as they pounded his bloody face. Lucy reached for my pistol and held it out, her hands were shaking, and her fingers tightened on the trigger. I snatched it away from her and shot the guy in the head. He was done, this time for good. I put my pistol in my holster and stared at the gory bite marks that spread over our arms. Another lone shat rang out through the streets. My sister lay at my feet in a pool of her own blood. I dropped to my knees, my fingers on her neck, willing for there to be a pulse. But there was nothing. My hand was on my gun, I heard the dull footstep in the dirt behind me and forcefully stood up.

I wouldn’t. A man with a hoarse voice told me. I turned around and saw the rifle in his hands before I saw his face. But I drew anyways. The man aimed the rifle at my head, but I held my ground

You killed my sister you crazy sonovabitch! He shook his head wearily.

You’ll thank me, she would have become one of him. He said, staring at the dead man beside my sister.

I’m gonna kill you. I told him, he only smiled.

You shouldn’t try. He said. I fired a round anyways. The exploding sensation in my gut was the strangest thing that ever happened to me in my life, and I never could figure it out. I don’t know if the man with the large rifle was just a better gunfighter then me, or his gun was as advanced as he claimed it to be, but he shot me and still had time to dodge my bullet. I fell over my sister and tried to find my gun on the ground around me. The man stood over me.

If you don’t want to turn, you need the antidote. I’m the only one who has it. He said.
I stared at him viciously for what I thought was a long time.

You really are a fool, he said, extracting a syringe from his pocket and stabbing my neck with it. I pulled away, but he clamped his hand around my neck.

Who the hell are you? I demanded.

It doesn’t matter, all you need to know is that I am from the future and I hold the cure for the solanum virus, which turns normal people into flesh eating monsters. He smiled, like he was really proud of who he claimed to be.

You’re crazy! I spat, trying to roll away, already fearing what he just injected me with. The man held onto my shoulder, and he dragged me out of the street, I felt like my insides would fall right out of me if I tried to get away. He sat in a chair on a porch and lit a cigar, glancing at me thoughtfully like this was some casual chat with a stranger. As the ideas slowly consumed me, I realized he meant the reason for the psychopath attacking me and my sister was because of a disease. He still seemed crazy, after all, he just killed my sister and shot me in the gut.

If you had the cure, why’d you kill my sister? Why didn’t you give it to her? I asked him, thinking that if I put flaws in his logic, he would give up this bizarre act. He laughed and flicked the ash off the end of his cigar.

Because she is gonna be a lot worse when she’s older, trust me. She ended up killing a lot of people… Well, not anymore.

All I could do was stare.

And I only had one dose on me. He said. By the way, your story is that you killed this traveler and your sister, with this here gun, before trying to commit suicide. He added, shoving the rifle in my hands.

What? Get the f*** away from me you lunatic! I shouted. By that time, I heard the voices of people, and faint footsteps. The man winked at me and he walked away, I shouted curses and threats all the while.

A few people were in front of me, one of them screamed. A hand was on my neck, I think they were checking for a pulse.

The boy finally went crazy, I heard someone say. They honestly thought that I killed my sister.

What are you talking about! I said, forcing myself into a sitting position and scaring the onlookers pale. This mad man bit me and my sister, and someone shot us right after that!

Who? Mr Clarke asked me, the owner of the general store.

This crazy sonovabitch who said he was from the future. I told them, and they laughed at me. Every last one of them laughed at me. I was a crazed murderer in the eyes of my neighbors. Only that man knew the truth now. The sheriff stood over me, blocking the sun. I opened my eyes and fought the cloudiness that threatened to destroy my body. He bent down, the shiny pistol at his side reflected the light.

It would be cruel to make you wait for a trial, he said. I stared at him blankly. You’re gonna die one way or another. He told me. And I blinked, my last glimpse of the world to be a lonely western town, with the body of my murdered sister beside me. His gun pointed at my head, I didn’t say anything because I knew I was gonna die no matter what, and there was no reason to defend my innocence. He pulled the trigger.

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