Special thanks to Sleeping_Insomniac for writing John’s story.
“We got ourselves a problem.” John entered the front door to find a kukri at his throat. Leo dropped and slid the kukri back into her sheath. “Sorry John, I only heard one set of footsteps. Where is Tookes?”
“That’s our bloody problem. Yesterday, Tookes and I both got up before dawn, ate our breakfast and went back to our rooms to get our gear. Max caught me on the way out and said to me “That is not going to be enough.” he was pointin at my gun. I ain’t never, not listened to his advice, even if he is a kid, and I won’t make that mistake again.”
“When I walked out of the room he looked at my two extra magazines shook his head and said to me while shaking his head “Grown ups are so silly sometimes. I’m going back to bed. Look behind you when you get there.” I really like the kid always looking at us like we are idiots. Can’t ever argue with kid logic, it makes too much sense.
“We got down to the river, Me and Tookes that is, and as we walked I could see it all like no one else. Flicking a few pebbles knocking down flying insects, I sensed their moves like seeing the textures of the breeze like the flow of the water in the river beside us.
“I saw movement on the other side of the river a couple of times, just flashes, I figured them to be game running about. I’d love to hunt game again, instead of these damned zombies. There was a moment I swear I saw a glint of metal and I felt drawn to it, like I did with all guns. The moment the shine went the moment the drawn feeling disappeared so I thought nothing of it.
“We clambered to the top of the steep embankment from the fishing spot and stared at the range. I picked up a pebble ready to flick at another insect. There wasn’t any, hell there wasn’t even a bird singing, wind blowing, or nothing.
“Max’s voice ran though my head “Look behind you when you get there.” Sent shivers down my spine hearing it like that. I turned to late, I saw Tookes get hit the back, not serious, he’ll be fine if they… Well it was a blood trap.”
“They started from behind don’t know how they got there without me noticing. I could barely hear their shots, like something was suppressing the sounds even their footsteps were muffled.
“I was shooting the moment I turned by the time I spent the second magazine Tookes was out cold. I hit one bloke square in the head and it didn’t drop him at all, I saw the bullet drop, squashed like it hit metal. A bullet through the eye stopped him though. Two bloody bullets to take down a man was ridiculous, so I hit the rest of them in their right eye to make sure.
“I was on the last magazine 17 shots left, dodging bullets like they were soccer balls being kicked at me, when I got hit from behind in my left shoulder. We were surrounded by so many, too many were decoys, they didn’t even have guns. I shot the first from the fresh magazine taking down one that looked like to be covering something.”
“Three more shots, three more men down. Behind them were freshly shot RPG’s coming at me I shot the first three in mid air without a drama but the last was to close and it blew me into the air and down the embankment. I got off three more shots before I landed, leaving Tookes behind the log.”
“I put two shots into the grenade looking things, one on a blokes chest and one ready to be thrown at me. That shot took down eight of them including the one holding the grenades. Those guys weren’t giving up didn’t matter how many I killed. But a path was now clear to the water and I shot the last into the ones that seemed the most dangerous. Just before I hit the water a bullet skimmed my temple. I could even see it fly past me with my burnt flesh and a trail of blood following, like time slowed down.”
“That was it. I was gone and the thought of drowning dawned on me as the blackness took over as I was rushed down the river back home.”
“I woke up walking towards the house. I dunno how I got to walking, or even how I got out of the bloody river. I was automated, I heard a kids voice in my head as I dreamt. Well, I though I was dreaming, I thought it was Max voice at first and I was gonna have words with him when I got back. But it was my boys voices in unison, both of them were leading me back to here.”
John sat down finally taking the finger off his trigger. He looked at Leo, he knew what she was planning, Marshall was already heading towards the area where we kept the guns, and Tookes mother put the coffee on. John loved his coffee, it heightened his senses beyond reasonable.
John turned to Max who was standing in the doorway behind him. “I killed 57 of them bucko, I did everything I could to protect your dad. After the blast I had to move, I couldn’t get back to him mate. I’m sorry, I really did try. I just… I don’t leave people behind. I’m sorry mate.”
“It’s ok John, the bugs cheated, but they are making sure the bad friends don’t hurt daddy. They want to use him, but it’s ok. I’m hiding from them. I’m hiding all of us. I’m hungry, can we have lunch before we save daddy?”