How could things become so primal when humanity as a whole was at its greatest?
The thought quickly evaporated in my head as the adrenaline spike rushed throughout my body. I ran down the catwalk just to get enough room as I raised my pistol. I fired, forcing the 1911 in my hand to recoil spitting a blast of smoke and fire from its barrel. There was no sound signifying if the bullet had passed through bone and tissue. All I saw was a blurry half-clothed man slam into the concrete only to be replaced with another person who was screaming at the top of their lungs. The thought of a clock hand spinning quickly pulled me back to the hell that was in front of me.
Slow is smooth and smooth is fast, Dan.
The sights of my pistol found another distinct target in the swarm of infected. The front sight was focused while everything else was blurry and unfocused. My breathing was so rapid it was almost impossible to take an accurate shot. The sight finally settled on that blurry target. It looked like a woman, but there was blood running down her cheeks that had stained her t-shirt.
They aren’t people anymore.
There is some resistance as I pull the trigger again making the slide of the pistol fly backward, sending a brass casing sputtering to the ground. I imagine it would make a sound like a coin hitting the floor, but all I can hear is the steady roar as dozens of primal faces rush towards me.
Maybe these animals in front of me are what humanity truly is when you strip them of everything.
I pull the trigger one more time and another man falls, but I realize this is it. I look to see that my pistol is empty. A small wisp of smoke billows out of the barrel confirming to me that this is it. I know that this very moment is when I am going to die.
I just want to see my wife again. I just want to hold my children and tell them that I love them.
The swarm is so close now I know even if I turn and run I’ll get tackled to the ground and pulled apart. I push those thoughts from my mind. A point of clarity forms in the chaos and I see my family. They’re all smiling at me as we hold each other in a tender embrace. Suddenly, that clarity is gone only to be replaced by that spinning clock. I open my eyes and see the swarm closing on me. They smile back with torn cheeks and horrible smiles. I am horrified, but they are ecstatic.
Deep down we are all a little crazy. Deep down we are all animals.
I trip on my own feet and suddenly I am thrown backward. My helmet strikes the concrete, but I wish the fall had killed me. The one time dying by an unfortunate accident would actually be a blessing.
How could the world come to this? Better yet, what did I, Danny Etter, do to deserve to be ripped to shreds in an instant. This was supposed to be a story about redemption. I was supposed to see my family again. I was supposed protect them, not die on a concrete catwalk at some shitty middle school. This is it! This can’t be! I’m not done. I can’t be done!