Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Apocalypse Denouement

The light flickered, then went out. That was fine with Coltrane. He hadn’t really expected the utilities and associated amenities to last forever anyway. It had been a week…maybe more…since he’d last had contact with another uninfected human being and so, he supposed, the darkness might almost be as much a blessing as a harbinger of the end for him.

It didn’t matter how many film festivals you’d been to, how many graphic novels you read, how many survivalist books you’d had in your, admittedly, unusual home library, nothing really prepared anyone to accept the stark reality the Apocalypse had actually come.

He’d been on the run from the hordes for probably six weeks before he stumbled upon what, he’d thought, was the silver lining in the unbroken bank of steel-gray clouds that had overtaken the skies, the light at the end of a long, black, unbroken tunnel that seemed to lead nowhere good…her name had been Jacie.

She was the kind of woman he’d sought all his life and never come close to finding until his life was, for all intents and purposes, over and done with. She was tough, smart, savvy and had the greatest set of natural endowments he’d ever encountered outside of a DVD. When you added in her unmatched survival skills, unquestioned marksmanship and the fact she actually thought he was “cute’, Coltrane was ready to imagine the Apocalypse might not have been such a raw deal after all.

That had all changed three days ago. He’d been asleep and she’d been on guard. He had been feeling more tired than he had in his entire life and hadn’t argued when she told him to rack out for as long as he needed to…that she wasn’t all that sleepy. A scream…the unexpected crash of broken glass and the unmistakable sound of the walkers feeding jangled his senses and brought him bolt upright.

The last he saw of her was her boot heels as she was dragged through the jagged wreckage of the window frame and into the writhing mass of rotting feeders. He’d emptied the clips of every weapon he possessed and liked to think he might have been able to take her down before the virus had a chance to change her into one of…them. Sadly, he hadn’t had the luxury of waiting around to find out. His only choice had been to get gone or get eaten. It wasn’t really much of a choice.

Alone in darkness, of an electrical and a metaphorical nature, he simply didn’t have any momentum or desire to drag it out for even a single day more and he wept. It was okay to cry in the dark since nobody could see you do it. It would have been nice to leave a note of some sort for whomever might come upon his cold remains and his bullet-blasted brain. But, in the final analysis, there wasn’t really anything left to say, now was there?

This story was written for the weekly Finish That Thought flash fiction writing challenge phrase prompt: "The light flickered, then went out". I accepted the special challenge to also work in the components: a transformation, a broken window, and a note. 

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