The prologue to The Long Years.'s story
|WARNING: --- This story/chapter contains content of PG-15 nature. This contains, but is not limited to, extreme profanity, graphic scenes, death, gore, overt violence --- Read at your own risk!|
It was just an ordinary day that changed at about 12:30 in the morning. I was at home with my brother, Daniel. I and he had been talking all night about school and how stupid and crap it was, hey we were just kids back then. I was 15 and he was 13. Our parents had gone out for the night and were partying their heads off. Who were we to complain? We had the whole house to our selves. Then we heard it. We were in the living room watching a movie (can't remember what it was now) when the noise crept into our ears like a flie.
There was a bang, a really loud bang coming from the town centre about a mile from where we were but it was extremely loud. It made me jump and him fall off the bed. I ran towards the window to try and get a look. All I could see was smoke and an occasional flicker of fire. He joined me by the window looking up wildly at the smoke.
We looked down at the streets. People were getting out of their houses trying to get a better look some went straight to their cars and some... some were running. We heard the T.V flicker to some sort of broadcast saying to stay in our homes. We didn’t understand what the hell was going on. Suddenly our porch door burst open with a massive boom only to be quickly shut. That person began banging at the door, screaming to be let in. Daniel went for the door, I pulled him back.“We’ve gotta help him” he shouted.
“No we can’t” I shouted back.
“Cause look in the window” Daniel looked wide eyed at the window.
He’d hadn’t seen what was happening as we had backed away Jean Thomas and Joan Thomas, our neighbours, were banging on the windows with kind of sad looks on their faces, eyes beat red with yellow bags encasing them. That was one sight I’ll never forget. The man at the door was Jack Thomas who was trying to escape from his brother who was trying to force his way through our porch door.
“Daniel we gotta go”
I stepped back pulling Daniel with me towards were we had dumped all our school stuff at the base of the stairs. I then let go of him once he assured me he wasn’t going to open the door. I bent down and grabbed my school bag, took all my school books and dashed to the kitchen. I opened up the fridge and began to stuff my bag with various chocolates. I told Daniel to start filling his with crisps and anything useful. He just stood there watching me forcing me to shout at him “NOW”.
I grabbed a couple bottles of water as well and dropped them in. My bag wasn’t even half filled. Daniel raced in and began filling hid bag too. There was an ear smashing scream at the door. I left the kitchen. Jack had stopped pounding at the door and the twins had left the window.
Only when I heard the chomping of teeth did I realise they were eating him. I ran to the table and picked up my phone, running upstairs I placed it in my pocket. I went to my draw and took out my wallet with about 50 dollars inside. I hadn’t realised money would mean nought in this world now. I shoved it in my bag and hurried to mum and dad’s room. I knew I only had a minute or so before those things began trying the door themselves (took me a while before I finally called them infected). I rummaged around the bottom of the bed until I found my dad’s special safe.
He told me the combination as he also kept my valuables in there as well. I took out my watch and something he said only to use in a real emergency, his handgun. It only held about 5 bullets in the chamber. Back then I didn’t even know what type of gun it was. It was a smith and western revolver. It was already loaded with a spare ten bullets in the small box it was kept in when in the safe. I took it out.
At first I was taken aback by the weight but soon adjusted, stuffed the bullets in my pocket then made my way downstairs. Daniel was standing at the kitchen door with his bag on his back as white as a ghost. He was watching what the infected were doing at the door. Only the girls were eating now, the other trying to smash through. I grabbed Daniel, shaking him to focus on me.
"We gotta go out the back, you got that”
“They’re eating him” Daniel said, tears welling up in his eyes.
“I know but there’s nothing we can do for him. We have to get out” I guided him into the kitchen.
“Okay, get the door open and be quick.” I searched anything else we could use.
I noticed that we still had some glasses of champagne and Vodka still in from the summer. I grabbed them and added them to the bag. At the time I just got them to throw; never knew I could make them into something a little more effective.
“Got it” Daniel said as he opened the door.
“Good, get out and see if you can get dads saw... no... Drill from the shed”
“I’ll explain later, just hurry” I rummaged through the kitchen more and more. Then the door smashed open.
“Fuck it” I breathed. I grabbed a cleaver and our two sharpest knives from our knife holder. I then bolted for the door shutting it behind me. I missed them by seconds. But they were now banging on that too.
“Daniel, forget the shed just get the gate open” I shouted keeping eye contact with the door. Daniel ran over and began to search for the gate key.
“Daniel, open the fucking gate” I shouted.
“I’m trying” he shouted back.
“Screw it we’re gonna have to jump over” I said prepping myself for a run up.
“Are you mad?” Daniel made me realise just how tall our fence was, a good 8 foot which was much too tall for him climb as quick as we needed to.
“Your right, I’ll boost you up, be quick” he went to protest but I halted him. He leaped open my hands as I helped him over. As I prepared to pull myself over, the back door smashed open with the 3 walking corpses collapsing as they did. I drew the gun and pointed it towards them.
“Okay...I’m warning you...just...” I stuttered with fear but Jack’s brother had already got up and began to run at me.
Without a second thought, I opened fire, the bullet heading straight into his chest. The man fell back and began to fidget as though he was having a fit. I ceased viewing, snapping my eyes shut, then turned around to quickly climb the fence keeping my eyes half shut the whole climb.
By the time the girls recovered I had already leaped over the fence. Daniel was shaking on the other side. He wasn’t wearing anything on his feet or a coat whereas I had a thin wool jacket I hadn’t taken off all night since getting in from school and had socks on. I took off my coat and put it around him. His shivering didn’t stop.
"Come on we have got to keep moving.” I started to jog pulling him with me.
He was scared stiff. I was scared stiff. It wasn’t so bad where we were at the time. We lived in a small town just out of Connecticut. Apparently the infection had started spreading in the cities which we never really went to, only going there occasionally.
However, our parents had jobs out there, so maybe...just maybe. I didn’t know where to go or what to do. I only had a handful of bullets plus the ones already in the chamber, my phone and keys (why I took those I have no idea). I had thrown random food into my bag. The rush of those few minutes of my life was chaos; I hadn’t given a damn about what I had picked up.
It was because of this that I decided to stop and actually take a look at what I had got in the bag in the park where we had jogged to from our house about four blocks away and up the hill. What surprised me we the emptiness of the park. It wasn’t big about as long as a street block and as wide as one too but still there we nothing. We went into the play area, closing the gate behind us. We jogged into the middle so we were the same distance from each gate at either end. The fence wasn’t tall, about up to my waist, but it was better than nothing.
We stopped our running with Daniel panting for breath and me instantly rummaging through my bag. Inside I found I had about six bags of crisps, a few biscuits, some tinned beans, and half a loaf of bread plus the alcohol I added earlier. Daniel’s was full of biscuits form the biscuit tin and some bottles of water. I put the stuff back in the bag in a more orderly fashion this time since the panic had settled slightly. I stood up and pulled out the revolver and reloaded one of the bullets.
My dad had taught me how to use it but had always said I should hope and pray I should never have to use it. He had actually taught me how to shoot it here in this very park. My dad was a police officer, a sergeant in fact. He had received all the gun training and all even got the permit to have it with him at all times because we had a bit of land in the country where we would go once a week where we would go hunting with rifles and everything but I never learned how to shoot a handgun there. It was more close to home he taught me that.
He taught me it all on a bench not far from this play area where we were concealed by a “convenient” bin. He had opened the cylinder and demonstrated how to un-load and re load the bullets into the chamber then had me do it a few times. It was quite heavy at the time (I was only like 12).
I wasn’t childish about it like “woo, my dad’s showing me a REAL gun with REAL ammo”, but I couldn’t help but crack a smile the first time I had put the bullets in. (I doubt I had smiled the night when I had done that). Daniel had taken the moment to sit on a swing set in the play area. I decided to join him. He hadn’t even cried like I’d imagined he would; one would just think he was cold, not scared shitless.
I sat down and started to swing. He stared at me blankly. I just smiled and got up. I’d asked him if he was okay but he just said “I’m good”.
(I wish I had said something better to him...)
“Well. We can’t stay here. We gotta go somewhere”
“Where?” Daniel asked blankly.
“Well...somewhere safe. We ain’t exactly safe here you know.”
“Why?” he said.
“Well, where we going to sleep?”
“Under the slide” he said even more blankly.
"Under the slide?" I forced a chuckle but he just looked away from me. Then he stood up and walked over to the slide.
“This is perfect shelter and we’ll both fit” he said waving his arms around at the slide.
“Yeah, but there is only room for one” “Well not for two dogs” Daniel said a bit more brightly.
"Huh?” I asked, confused.
“Those two; under the slide” he said, pointing at two small dark figures. I looked at where he was pointing, the small smile I had been forcing faded in an instant. The two dark figures were not dogs.
“Oh my God”
“Danny step away from there now!” I said with a raised voice, drawing my gun.
“What? They’re just two cute little dogs who are sleeping” he had bent down to stroke them. I leaped forward to pull him back. I had reached his hood when they had his arm. Blood gashed out covering the slide.
I pulled him back before they got a grip on him. My gun was right in the boys face in a second. I let out three shots at them, blood covering my shirt and jeans as I did so. Their bodies fell back against the slide. Daniel looked at their bodies, turned around and was sick (puked his whole guts out). Even I was sickened by the sight of them but I was easily put off by the throbbing pain in my wrist.
I fell down to the floor on my back, rubbing my wrists the pain of firing three rounds that fast was too much for my wrist. I groaned on the floor for a few seconds before I composed myself and began to check the gun. There was steam coming from the chamber form where I had just forced out the recoil. I opened the chamber carefully and began to examine it. It was still in good condition but was now red hot (something I hasn’t remembered would happen until I went to reload it)
“Damn it...” I muttered to myself as I closed the cylinder. Only one bullet was left in the sizzling chamber.
“Erm, Andrew. I think we got a problem” Daniel squeaked. I looked to where he was looking to see about six, maybe seven, tall figures running towards the gate.
“Aww shit” I said. I ran to Daniel, grabbed his arm and began to force him to run to the other side of the fence but they were there too four of the fuckers heading right for us. I panicked; I didn’t know what to do. We were trapped with nowhere to go and only one bullet to fire.
"Daniel, I’ll but you time just try to get out of here while I take care of them”
"But there are too many”
“I know but once they hit the fence they’ll fall like they do in the movies giving you time to run.”
But they didn’t fall. They weren’t like in the movies. They jumped over the fences, it was then I knew we were fucked. But to our luck, bullets rang out one after the other. I pulled Daniel to the ground and watched as the bullets hit them and made them fall like rocks on hill.
Once it was over, I stood up pulling Daniel with me. To our luck two soldiers (probably that delta force judging by their uniforms as they were similar to those I’d seen when I’d played “Call of Duty”) had found and saved us in the nick of time.
“Thank guys” I said breathlessly.
They entered the gate slowly, almost cautiously, their assault rifles pointed right at us.
“Hey what’s the deal, we cool, we are not like those guys or anything” I said approaching them.
I was within about ten feet when the one nearest me lowered his gun and approached me quicker. By the time I realised what he going to do he was already too close. He grabbed my left arm where the gun was resting, twisted it, then forced me around, kicked me onto my knees.
“What’s the deal man?” I shouted as he forced the revolver out of my hand. The only reply he gave me was forcing me to the ground and searching my pockets ripping my bag off as he did.
"Search it” I heard him say under his gas mask as he tossed my bag to the other soldier. Daniel began to cry as the soldier began to punch my face to stop me from trying to turn around.
“And get that boy out of here”.
“But sir orders say that all citizens are not allowed to be taken to-“
“I know what the orders are that’s why we are going to kill them” on the word kill and roared into life again taking the officer by surprise. I managed to force him to let go on of me then punched him clean in the jaw, threw him off of me and tackled the other one before he could turn the safety of his rifle off.
We wrested on the ground but I had the edge, his prevented him from using his arms and I was on top of him. I laid into him relentlessly I was going to kill him; I was going to kill them both. It was only when the other one clicked my dad’s revolver did I finally let up. I turned and saw he had his arm around Daniel’s throat with the gun wedged into his temple.
“You sadistic fuck” I said with malice.
"I’m not the one who attacked a sergeant in the United State Army!” the soldier countered.
"You call yourself a soldier? Pointing guns at innocent people, you call that being a soldier?”
"You don’t understand. If I don’t do this then they’ll kill me!”
“Who’ll kill you?” I dared to ask, stepping forward cautiously towards him; hands in the air.
“Stop or I’ll shoot!” the soldier said pressing the gun into Danny’s head even more so.
“Please just let us go, give us a chance” I pleaded tears swelling up in my eyes.
"I only joined the army for an adventure not this!” he said glancing towards the revolver.
“Please don’t” I stuttered, crying now.It was at that moment that Danny suddenly screamed and bit his teeth right into the soldier’s arm causing blood to leak out.
The man winced and let go of Danny dropping him to the floor. I seized the moment and tackled him to the ground. We wrestled for the gun but I had reached into my pocket, took out a knife and jabbed it into the bastard’s neck; killing him. I then picked up the dropped revolver, checked the chamber, reloaded it now it had cooled down and then just sat there catching my breath.
"That was close huh?” I said wiping tears from my face, still not turning around. It was then I heard a gunshot.
I span round to see, to my horror, Danny’s body lying lifeless of the floor blood leaking out from his forehead. The other soldier had regained conscious and had the gun trained on Danny’s body smoke hanging at the edge of the gun. I fell back in horror dropping the gun as I did so. He just stood there mouth wide open with a slight shake in his wrist as he pulled the gun towards his body.
It took a while before my voice finally returned to me that I was able to wail “Why, just why?”
“What have you done Ricky, what have you done?” It took me a long time to realise that the whimpering voice had come from the soldier himself.
I began to feel less depressed and soon began to feel bitter anger that I dared to stand up and shouted “What the fuck have you done you asshole?”
“Why did you do it Ricky?” the soldier continued to mumble as though crying.
"Answer me damn it! Why did you do that?” I bellowed stepping forward with no concern for myself.
“He did as he was told” I spun on my heel to see who had just said that.
It was my friend Gareth. His usual baggy joggers and Adidas t-shirt as he always wore with a blood stained axe in his hand. His hair was slightly untidy but he still looked more or less the same as he had ever looked. But I didn’t care then.
“What are you talking about tell me!” I bellowed, pacing towards him in place of the soldier; who was now on the floor gun just lying next to Danny.
"It don’t matter, we got to go”
"Anywhere but here, you gonna kill him?” Gareth asked in his deep voice pointing briefly at the soldier.I didn’t respond.
“Well, if you’re gonna do it get it over with. I’m not holding up for you” With that Gareth turned around and ran back out of the play area and into the bushes.
I turned my attention back to the soldier. I briskly walked over to the gun, picked it up, and aimed it at the soldier who had completely lost it and was just mumbling about someone called Gerald.
My finger was on the trigger, I was going to shoot him for complete revenge but then another idea struck my brain as I heard the sound of infected people nearby.I shifted the gun to the soldier’s stomach in place of his head and fired. The shot rang out like a school bell. He screamed in pain but I didn’t care. I turned around and fled into the bushes after Gareth.
Just as I got out of ear shot, I heard the soldier scream in complete pain and it was then I knew that, to survive, the old me would have to die- he had died when Danny had died and that I was now reborn and I was going to survive this thing with no regrets no matter the cost.
Yeah, that was something I soon regretted but it is too late for me now. Guess that’s why I joined the Fireflies.
Next: Chapter One