Friday, October 12, 2007

To sleep... A chance to dream.

The ground shakes. I hear the megaphone outside.

A shrill almost mechanical voice shouts, “Come out of the pumping house. If you do not comply we will open fire.”

Gabe looks at me from by the controls. He doesn’t say anything, but I can tell from his face that he isn’t going anywhere. I shake my head and go towards the window. I pull up a pistol, break the window with the barrel and point it outside. I say nothing and pull the trigger four times in the direction of the Hummer below, then I drop the ground. Gabe continues to work the controls on the panel.

“We cannot let you leave the area. Come out with you’re hands up and the weapon visible.”

I respond by shooting out the window again, vaguely in their direction. I hear the pumps come on, and Gabe gives me a thumbs up. “You realize,” I say, “There is no way we can hold them off for the 20 minutes it’s going to take to lower the water.”

“You have a better idea?” His voice is shaking, he knows there is nothing else we can do.

“I’m not saying… I’m just saying…”

The air around us erupts. I can hear massive gunfire from outside. It thin steel that this shack is made out of is no match for armor piercing bullets. They fly around us and I can hear them zipping past. I lay as low as I can to the ground without sinking into it. I crawl to the back of the office, my stomach never leaves the floor.

I look back and see Gabe has been shot in the throat and chest. He convulses one last time as his body spews out his lifeblood. His eyes stay open, locked open in an unending stare. I have a strange feeling. I don’t mourn him as a person. I mourn his utility. I don’t care that he died, I just wanted him to live because he was useful. I am sad about him dying only in that his death could lead to mine. The thoughts are shocking and alien, and at the same time natural and instinctive.

I hear the gunfire die down and I stand up and fire the gun. I point it in the direction of the soldiers, but I know that I won’t hit them. I just want them to know that I am not only alive, but also that I don’t yield. I lay flat and reload. As soon as I finish I realize it is time to run for it. I can’t wait for the pump and I have to do the rest on foot. I run for the window on the opposite end of the shack. I start to climb halfway out the window when I hear a sound.


I leap out the window and run. The shack behind me explodes in a way only though possible in Hollywood. I am blasted off my feet landing on my face. The debris files past as another explosion rocks the platform where the small pumping station once stood. It’s so powerful I feel the ground shake so hard, I doubt I could have stayed standing if I were on my feet. Another explosion…


I wake. My side is burning. My mouth is parched. My head and back hurt intensely. I try to stand and immediately fall from both severe dizziness and shooting pain in my shin.

“That went well…”

I hear an explosion from outside. The building shakes. I steady myself, grab my tire iron and force myself to stand. I lean heavily on the desk and walk to the door. I sling it open, and look out into my hall. No one is there, the lights are off and I can hear shouts.

I limp down the hall to my boss’s office. I come to the door and it is locked. I bash the handle a few times and it falls off. The door opens easily when nothing holds it in place. I step inside and see his windows are blown out. I can hear shouts and gunfire below on the street. I walk cautiously to the window and look out.

Hundreds of soldiers hold Wabash Avenue below. There are sandbags and tanks. They look as if they are shooting hundreds of undead as the walk toward the barricades on the street. The waves of undead crash against the sandbags, and the soldiers continue firing. The corpses pile up. I have no idea if they will succeed and looking out at the street below and seeing the long line of creatures, I am more doubtful.

But it looks like my only way out…

No comments: