Dead Lucky

I go to the glass entryway at the front of the building to look outside. Those fiends are still out there and I try not to think about what they’ll do to us if they catch us. They’re looking the other way, busy with something and I don’t want to think of what it might be. Our car is parked on the street between them and me. It would be an easy, short walk any other day but I’m so scared that it might as well be death’s own doorway I have to walk through. My legs feel watery and weak. I’m unsure of my feet but I push the door open anyway.

I crouch low and move very carefully along behind the parked cars until I get to our car. I’ll have to walk around the car and I’ll be out in the open when I do. I check to be sure that they’re not looking then take a deep breath before I walk around the car, unlocking the driver’s door with the key so the car won’t beep. Then I open the door slowly and get in, slouching in the seat so I’m below the window, pulling the door closed without latching it.

I need a moment to calm my nerves. I take another cold pill and some pain pills, chewing them up and swallowing them dry. Before starting the car I think about getting Mary and the boy from the lobby to the car and I don’t see how it’s possible. When I start the car, they’ll hear it and come for me. Faced with that prospect, it’s very hard for me to summon the courage to move and when I do, I sit up just enough to peek out the window. They’re looking around and I’m afraid that I’ve missed my chance. I’m tempted to drive away. I tell myself that they might follow me; that I could lead them away from Mary and the boy; that I could come back later, but I’m afraid that’s not what would happen. I’m afraid that I might not come back.

The car starts easily and they hear it. They’re looking in my direction. I gun the engine, swerving out into the road, then around a body and onto the sidewalk in front of the lobby. I stop the car with the passenger doors right next to the lobby entrance. That’ll make it easier to get Mary and the boy in the car. But I’ll have to go around the car to get them, and again when I come back, and I’ll be out in the open when I do.

Those fiends are close now and they’re coming fast. I won’t have enough time to get both Mary and the boy in the car, so I decide to leave the boy. I hit the unlock button on the door handle as I get out of the car so I can open the passenger door when I come back with Mary. My legs tremble. I have to will them to move because I’m afraid that time has run out for us.

As I run around the front of the car, I spot a man carrying a tire iron running toward me. He’s closing the distance between us quickly, too quickly, so I stop and begin to backup. Then he shudders and lurches forward, as though someone has given him a body block. As a grisly looking mass of viscera erupts from his chest, I hear a pop from somewhere off in the distance. I freeze next to the driver’s door and scan the buildings, spotting movement high up on a balcony a block away. I hear the gun again and see another one of the car people drop as his head explodes.





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