Calamity

February 15, 2012
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This is all because of the Breach. The world, as you know it now, is no more. It will never be. No one will never know exactly what happened. A flash, a burning sensation, and then... The inevitable paroxysm, the endless screaming and yelping that pierced the dusty, night air. I cannot think about it anymore. For now, I must sleep. So tired...

The sun blinded my eyes as it flooded through the cracks of our makeshift shelter. I glanced quickly over at the rest of my team, assuring myself that they were out of danger, and I was doing my job right. Yetsley was asleep in an old, creaking rocking chair, with Jade cradled tightly in his arms, as if he was afraid he would lose her.

Yetsley, who was known to us as “Wiseman”, was fittingly the wisest of the team, and also the most aged. At forty-one years old, he looked out for everyone, including me. Jade, or “Teeny”, was an indispensable addition to our troop, due to her small size and surprising agility. I wished that she had not been brought into this world of cruelty and death, she was only twelve years old.

A slight fifty degree turn of my vision, and my eyes rested on Quentin “Trukka” Jackson. Born hours after the Breach, he grew up living on next to nothing. At twenty-three years, he is the strongest of our group, and the most determined. He is invaluable to the team.

Then, huddled in the corner, was our the final member: Hailey “Princess” Rays: twenty-two years old. The nickname fooled everyone. But when you actually got to know her, a more appropriate name would most likely be: “Slayer”. She is the fiercest of our group, and has gotten us out of tight spots more than once. Once, when another Outlander crew decided to rob us of our belongings, we called for Princess to wake up and help, and the Outlanders simply stood there and laughed, their arms full of our valuables. Princess also smiled, and that same smile lingered on her face even after the Outlander crew was face down in the dirt, slowly bleeding to death.

I chuckled to myself. We had all been desensitized, ever since the Breach. Killing was an everyday occurrence, and theft was necessary for survival. Jails were now desired places to reside in, with thick steel gates and extensive security measures used to keep out, rather than keep in.

I decided that it was finally time to stop pondering over previous memories and begin to do our daily necessities. Whistling loudly, I stuck two grimy fingers in my dry mouth to produce the sound. It was very effective.

Quentin and Hailey’s eyes snapped open, and their hands went to their weapons, and they were drawn before I could blink.

I smiled, pleased by their sudden actions to defend.

“Let’s go, pretty women! Rise and shine, we got another day!” I called out cheerfully.

Yetsley groaned, and Jade shuffled in his arms. They both struggled to get up. Jade, still drowsy with sleep, approached me in a childish way.

“Are we gonna have scrambled eggs and bacon, and puffy, crispy waffles, with strawberries and whip cream on them? Oh, and a tall glass of orange juice.”

Smiling, I made my reply.

“No, Jade, you know we can’t have that, but we can have the leftover peasant we shot yesterday, with some parsley, and water.”

As I turned around to prepare our meal, a slight, wheezing noise subtly rose to my ear. I spun around, with my handgun drawn.

My weapon was given to me by my grandfather, just before he turned. It was a beautifully made semi-automatic Colt .45 with an engraved handle. Inscribed, with graceful letters, was the quote, “The Earth belongs to the living, not to the dead. -Thomas Jefferson.” I always believed it was true, which is why we had to fight against our enemy, the dead, clutching onto some form of life with an unknown power of terror. We had to regain the planet, and also our lives. Even if we had to die trying.

I blinked, trying to focus on the dangers that were existent right in front of me. Everyone stared at me, wide-eyed, wondering if I had finally cracked and was lost in the inescapable world of paranoia. I shook my head, vigorously.
“No one else hears that hissing noise?” I asked tentatively.
“Uhhh... No, Gunther, you alright?” Quentin queried with a worried expression plastered on his scratchy, unshaved face.
I was about to make my reply, but suddenly, one of the dark ones burst through the wall and grabbed Quentin. I acted quickly, executing a well placed head shot and freeing him of its unrelenting grasp. The creature fell to the floor, stone cold and not alive. I let out a whoosh of breath, relieved at the close call. QQuentin clutched at his throat, gasping. I rushed over to him. “Quentin!” I shouted. He had retained a fatal injury. He would not die from the loss of blood, or infection of the wound. Quentin would not die from any human causes. He would not actually die, his body would live, and walk the Earth. But it would have no soul. I had to end this now. I slowly drew my handgun. I held the muzzle up to QQuentin’s temple. Looking up, I caught everyone's worried glance. But, they understood. They knew what I had to do.
I squeezed my eyes shut and clenched my teeth, grinding out any last bit of hesitation that would come to me. Quentin and I had been friends ever since the apocalypse. I couldn’t believe I was too late. Now there was no going back.
Some monster inside of me built up the courage to pull the trigger. The next thing I knew, my friend, the fighter that stood alongside me in times of trouble, and my brother at heart... Was lying in a pool of his own blood, with an enormous gash across his neck.
That was it. I had to end this. There was no way around it.
“This war... This battle that has been relentlessly raging on, must end. It must.”
My words rang out in the silence. They understood.





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