Saturday, July 16, 2016

28. 6. 15. 7.


28. 6. 15. 7.

The man ran his thumb across the lock face hanging off his pack strap as he fixed his grip on the slip ring of his rifle. He stepped off his midnight Boulevard and onto the gravel trail. The wind sliced through long stalks of wheat, perfuming the air with the scent of straw and the almost cinnamon hint of autumn. The man let the breeze fill his lungs. This was his last stop in this part of the world.

His boots crunched the slate underneath their tread as he stalked up the unimproved road. He listened amid the hiss of the grass for any indicators the emptiness of the land was an illusion. Much in these days were. The winding path led up a hill to a white slat house. His eyes picked up on the golden silhouette standing on the porch without the aid of optics. Glancing over his shoulders, he knelt on the stone road and lifted his weapon.

She stood poised in the fall sunlight as he always remembered. Her last summer dress on, embracing the honeyed light of harvest. He could see her skin retained the sun’s kiss, tanned well beyond caramel. A tear slipped into his dark beard. A ghost of her appeared to remain inside those milky eyes. Her head was leaned back as she breathed deeply. The sun had not drawn her out the torn screen door. His scent had. His finger slipped onto the trigger as he thumbed the safety. He let his breath out, trying not to gasp. He squeezed. The rifle barked two quick blasts. She rocked on her heels before stepping toward the stairs. He blinked and sighed in order to press the trigger once more. The third round struck her freckled forehead and she fell to the deck.

He sucked deeply and let the tears spill over his cheeks. His trigger hand drifted to his pack strap and found the same block of metal on its ring. He turned the first dial three times while letting his grief dribble off his chin to stain the dirt. More droplets pelted the earth and released its slumbering aroma. Thunder rippled across the skies and flattened the drooping heads of grass. The storm had pulled anchor and thrown out its sails to cut across the sunny expanse in an attempt to ram the sun out of the sky. The man rose with a huff as if the normal task wearied him.

He slung his rifle and pulled out a slender tube. He pulled back the catch as he screwed a red cannister to its tip. He held it as one would a wand and pushed the metal button back into the slide. It rushed forward and a roar tore out of the ruby topper. A crimson meteor hurtled across the field and into the gloomy window. He waited to hear for a muffled explosion as the flare stuck true. Flames shot out the dusky portals of the old house and gnawed at its dried lumber. He had remembered rightly.

He mouthed wordlessly as he stared solemnly at the engulfed house. He dug a heel into the ground and finally said aloud, “Goodbye, Sis.”

He pivoted and jogged down the trail toward his bike. He hopped onto the rain-slick leather seat and revved the engine. He reached up to the lock, felt along the face, and then tugged. It did not open. He mentally read the numbers as he kicked the stand up, letting the dust fly into the air to mingle with the downpour, as well as the smoke and cinders of another lost home.

25. 6. 15. 7.

Characters and story: (c)/by Corey Blankenship

#Rabidworld #Rev #vol2 #Zombies #shatteredrealms #Oceania


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