Last One Standing

March 9, 2012
By Pathosandpassion BRONZE, Huntington, West Virginia
Pathosandpassion BRONZE, Huntington, West Virginia
4 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time."

It was late November and the sky was clear, nothing but the pale moon and dim diamonds of the night sky to break the solitude of the universe. The stars were just as dead as the rest of the world, ghosts of the past still shining down upon the Earth, not yet realizing they had burned out centuries ago. The spectral light danced down the branches of the fallen trees, autumn stripping away the life from the deciduous bark, and highlighted a single silhouette. It was a mindless creature, shambling and stumbling over gnarled roots and hidden rocks. Driven by the simplest desires this monster moved aimlessly, circling the circumference of the same ancient oak with no purpose, no place in the gray forest. The grotesque fashion the shadows cast upon the bare earth signaled how unnatural the owner was, how distinctly unreal the figure should have been.

For a moment a small bang could be heard from a distance, carried by the cutting, cool winds. The figure stopped to listen intently, seeming to almost question, as if it had a mind to think, what caused the disturbance in the calm air. After a moment of silence, the head drooped back down and the creature continued its fumbling over the troubling obstacles on the forest floor. Suddenly another pop rang out and the head shot straight up, unnatural instincts kicking in and the sluggish feet starting to shuffle toward the source of the noise. Then the legs began to walk, then run, then sprint, and then the limbs were moving with a speed and precision through the forest path that would have appeared impossible a few seconds earlier.

The creature was driven. It leapt over the obstructions and complications of the trail as if the route had been written in its blood. It felt no fear and no fatigue, marching at insane paces to the reach the location of the commotion. Suddenly another figure burst onto the road, following it's fellow thoughtless monstrosity through the brush. And soon another joined the entourage, and then another, and another, and within minutes a mob of mindless mentality was hurdling toward a clearing where a small, rugged cabin sat next to the edge of a steep cliff. Others had already surrounded the structure shoving limbs and disfigured faces through the boarded and barricaded windows; biting, scratching, and pushing through solid mass in insurmountable numbers. The building looked as if it was being attacked by waves of senseless flesh. Some of the creatures were being pushed over the cliff's end, flailing like ragdolls toward the sharp rocks and the river of gore below.

The creature failing to stop smashed headfirst into the back of the crowd. Ignoring any sense of pain, it reached out with open arms to receive some hidden reward. Blasts of light and powder lit up the dull darkness; each sound followed by an explosion of blood and whispered moans of defeat from those receiving. However these utterances were disregarded over the sound of wails and wood being broken between grasping hands. The creature managed to climb its way over fallen boards and bodies to reach the side of the cabin, inches away from the precipice. It began tearing away haphazardly at the dead skin of the framework, making no real mark against the resistant protection. One shove knocked the creature closer to the end of its sad journey, but in a twist of fate and forgotten agility the wild hand grasped the corner of the shelter and pulled itself back into the screaming crowd.

Without notice a door was breached and in a rushed line the crowd began pouring in. Once protection the cabin became a cage and bullets sprayed out hopelessly against the unholy mass. The creature made its way through the opening and ran forward with its accomplices into the line of fire, blind to the death that lay ahead of them. Like lemmings they sacrificed themselves attempting to reach some unknown, momentary salvation. Discarded weapons, empty cans of food, bits of literature, shells, casings, corpses of the recently deceased, and an array of junk littered the blood-stained ground the multitude of feet pounded upon. Before long the creature stood face to face, five feet away from a small, solitary man armed with a twelve-gauge shotgun.

The gun spit air and the metal made a clicking sound that chilled the soul like death approaching. The tiny man began to form tears and silent prayers from the corners of his eyes as the creature leapt over to him. It wrestled the man to the floor and in a last ditch effort to preserve a few more moments of life, the twelve-gauge was forced into the gaping jaw, teeth gnashing against the barrel and nails snatching at any loose article of clothing on his body. But it was all in vain. The firm grip of another monster wretched the last piece of safety left and soon, a the mindless creatures sank their teeth into the flesh of the last man left on Earth.

The author's comments:
Short-story about zombies.

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