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The Day They Walked

The Day They Walked

Branson M Smith

 

1

 

            “What the hell do these people want?” Sarah yelled.

            There were five of them down in the basement. It was Sarah, and four others. They barricaded themselves inside so that they couldn’t get to them. The others that were with the five had either been bitten or mauled.

            “I don’t think they’re people,” Henry replied.

            “What— what do you mean?” asked Mary, the older woman hiding herself behind her husband, Frank.

            “He’s saying they’re something else,” June replied.

            June was nineteen. She had run over from the neighborhood adjacent to this one. She was being attacked and fled. She found sanctuary here with Henry. He had taken her in. It was his house. Sarah was already hiding with Henry, and Mary, and her husband, Frank, came after her.

            “They’re eating people,” June continued. “I’ve seen it. They take chunks out of you and eat them. Like cannibals— or something else.”

            Frank held onto his baseball bat. Mary stayed hidden behind him.

            “Yes, but what are they?” Sarah asked June.

            “I don’t know,” she replied. “But they are everywhere, and they attack. They are slow, but once they grab a hold onto you, they don’t let go until your dead.”

            “Maybe that’s it,” Frank chimed in. “Maybe they’re dead too.”

            “Impossible,” Mary blurted.

            “No,” Henry said. “Frank may be correct. It is possible that they have come back to seek us out for all of our wrong doings. God cursed us. He’s putting an end to this world.”

            Before anyone else could add, a loud bang and thud came from the door.

            “They are trying to get in,” Sarah said, as she backed away from the door holding a tire iron.

            The door shifted and groaned as the outside people pushed against it. It sounded like they were slamming their fists on it.

            “It’s only a matter of time,” Henry said. He lowered his head. Sweat beaded down the sides of his face. He wiped his forehead with the sleeve of his arm. “We’ve got no food, no water. They’ll break through eventually,” he added, as he looked over the others.

            Mary looked frightened, and Sarah was puzzled.

            June said, “Screw that! I’m not dying down here.”

            The basement was hot and humid. Either they would come through the door, or the group would pass out from heat exhaustion.

            “We’ve got to try to get out,” Sarah said.

            “Yes!” Mary proclaimed.

            “Dear,” Frank said. “I don’t think that’s a good idea. He looked at Henry. “Although we have no supplies, we’re safer down here then out there.”

            “We’ll die,” June told him. “We’ll all die.”

 

2

 

            Mary sat on the floor as Frank paced back and forth. It had been a few hours by June’s count since they had all hid in Henry’s basement.

            Sarah was at work at the hospital when everything started. She was a nurse.

            A patient of hers was complaining of pains throughout their body. Before the doctor could see them, she passed away. Sarah peered at her patient and slowly lifted the blanket over her face. That’s when she heard the chattering. Underneath the blanket, the woman’s jaw was opening and closing. It was fast. Then her arms lifted out of the blankets. Sarah drew back. She knew the woman had died. She was in disbelief. The woman raised up and started to crawl out of the bed. Sarah ran out of the room only to find her coworkers being torn to pieces. Patients were gnawing at them and tearing the flesh off their bodies in the hallways. There was blood— it was on the walls and the floors. She shielded herself from the ravenous patients clawing and scratching at her and the other staff. She screamed as she pushed off an old man that spewed blood from his mouth. His eyes were dark and filled with yellow mucus. She ran down the hall and headed for the main lobby where she could exit quickly. She jumped over bodies that lay on the tile floor. She wasn’t sure, but she assumed they were dead. She made it to the lobby to find only more of the carnivorous patients were blocking the doors.

            Sarah ran to the front desk and knelt down behind it.

            “Dear, God, what is going on?” she asked, aloud.

            Sweat ran down her forehead and cheeks. She could only think to get to her car and get home. She had no one waiting for her. She had no husband or kids, but she knew self-preservation was important. She had to continue onward.

            After a few moments, she peaked over the desk and saw that some of the patients had dispersed; they had gone elsewhere, and only a few remain. She decided to make a run for the exit. She stood up and then bolted for the doors. One patient saw her and lunged out after her, but she was fast enough to not be caught. The front doors slid open, and she ran out of the hospital.

            As she entered the parking lot, she fished out her car keys.

            “I have to get home,” she thought.

            She ran and ran until she found her car. She unlocked it and dived inside.

 

3

 

            Mary and Frank’s car had broken down in front of Henry’s home as they tried to flee the neighborhood.

            Frank cursed as the car sputtered to a halt.

            “What is it? What’s happened?” Mary asked her husband.

            Mary was a woman in her sixties. She had always been a stay at home wife. When Frank came flying through the door to their home that day, she knew something was wrong.

            They left as soon as they could. They fled their home and intended on leaving their small town. But the car had never been reliable. It died in front of Henry’s on 2nd street.

            Frank told his wife to grab a bag and get out of the car.

            He had told her earlier that people were going insane and attacking one another on the streets. They were attacking each other everywhere.

            Mary grabbed her purse and one bag and hopped out of the car. She ran around to the driver’s side and waited for Frank to exit.

            “Come on!” she yelled at him.

            She looked around.

            There was a man on the ground eating a dog, there were two people chasing after a young girl, and a cop car had hit the streetlight. The officer was laying on the hood. He had crashed and flown through the front windshield.

            “Jesus,” she thought.

            Frank got out. He looked up at the two-story house painted yellow.

            “Inside,” he said. “We have to get inside.”

            Mary followed him as they ran to the front door.

 

4

 

            She was nineteen and fresh out of high school.

            June had plenty of attitude, but seeing people chase and eat other people turned her stomach. She was running— continuously running— until she couldn’t catch her breath. She held a baseball bat. It was her little brother’s.

            When everything started, she was in her house, up the street from Henry’s big yellow house. She was blocks away but had found sanctuary at Henry’s.

            Her mother was home, little brother at daycare, and her dad was at work at the lumber mill two towns over.

            June figured her mom was dead when she had escaped her home.

            She was lying in bed listening to music when a stranger barged into her room. She screamed and fought them off. After she had escaped her room, she ran out of the house to find chaos waiting outside. Cars were stopped in the middle of the road, people being chased by others covered in blood, and animals running North— they were trying to escape too, she figured. She ran down the street holding the baseball bat tight. She hadn’t hit anybody with it. It was for self-defense if she were to be attacked.

            She ran and ran until she saw a big, yellow house. Inside the window up on the second story stood a tall African American man. He waived her down and signaled for her to go to the front door. She did so.

 

5

 

            Henry had taken a sick day. Of all days to call out from work, it was this day that the world would turn upside down. He was having coffee at home watching the news when the station turned to an “Alert”.

            “Attention! Attention! All residents: Stay in your homes! This is not a drill. All residents must stay in their homes. This is a local emergency broadcast. Please be advised!”

            Henry leaned forward in his recliner confused.

            “What in the hell is this?”

            He heard one of his front windows shatters into pieces.

            “God damnit,” he said, and bolted up from his chair.

            Henry made his way to the front room. He looked at the ground and saw all the piece of glass. He wondered what had happened as he stepped forward into the room.

            “Freaking kids.”

            He drew near the window when an arm shot through the opening and tried to grab at his sleeve.

            “Shit!” Henry hollered and jumped back.

            There was a man in the window snarling at him. His face was cut up and blood ran down the sides of his face and mouth. The man was lunging through the window trying to grab ahold of Henry but was stuck on the glass. It cut into his stomach with each attempt after Henry sawing into his side.

            “Jesus Christ—”

 

6

 

            The five of them had been down in Henry’s basement for hours now. They had all been brought together by chance—or was it fate?

            “So, we just sit here?” Mary asked, aloud.

            “There’s not much else we can do,” Sarah replied. “I know you’re scared and frustrated, but we all have to stay calm.”

            “Okay?” June said, sarcastically. “Let’s just be cool.”

            “June,” Henry said, “She’s just trying to help.”

            The thuds on the door continued. The mob that stood behind it were still there and ready to pour in as soon as the door would give way. Miraculously, it stood—not budging this entire time.

            “I say we fight them off,” June said, taking up her bat. “We can!”

            “Don’t be absurd,” Frank said. “They’ll tear through us like paper. Bite and tear us apart!”

            Henry lowered his head. “We’re going to have to decide something soon. I have a feeling they’re not leaving. We’re all damned regardless. It’s God’s way of setting the world right. He wants it to change—he wants his Kingdom back. He’s set the world on fire and we’re just in the path. It’s nothing to do with us—maybe, maybe not—but our souls are all on the line here. I’m with June. We fight. We make a run for it and find supplies and shelter somewhere.”

            Frank and Mary looked petrified, Sarah—a look of concern, and June had an odd, excited face upon her.

            “I’m going to open the door,” Henry stated.

            “No,” Mary exclaimed.

            Frank squeezed her. “It’ll be okay, dear. Just stay behind me.”

            Henry walked to the door and wrapped his hand around the nob. His other hand gripped the top deadbolt lock.

            “Ready?”

            June and Sarah nodded.

            Henry turned the lock.

-End-

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