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A shelter for the night

Subdane's picture
Submission type:

The sun was on its way down over the horizon of the Kaibab forest, its fading light gleaming on Subdane as he kneeled down on the ground, gathering the ropes and carbines scattered on the forest floor. Marissa walked up to him, looking around with a confused expression “I thought you were going to ensure a place to rest for the night” He smiled not looking up at her, but pointed a finger upwards. She followed his finger and saw two hammocks stretched between tree trunks, she smiled and nodded “I see, away from the ground and the predators of the night” Not long after, they were both enclosed safely inside each their hammock. Subdane leaned his head up over the edge of his, spotting the top of Marissa’s head “Think of it as your cocoon for the night, tomorrow a beautiful butterfly will crawl out” Her red hair rose as she smiled at him “I think shelter for the night will suffice” He leaned back down miming the sentence “Crawling up to a shelter for the night…” His eyes lost focus and drifted closed.



Stark terror rushed Subdane as he observed another blight wolf lowering its head, bobbing while sniffing his unfamiliar scent. The wolf was in no hurry, it was in the mood of a cat and mouse game. Seeming to move in slow motion compared with the wolf’s fluid movements, he turned around to run towards the town.


Subdane fled towards the town as fast as he could, having a hard time staying on his feet.  His side was aching and his lungs struggled for air, fear had taken control of his awareness, making his senses fail to acknowledge the reality of where he was seeking refuge. But the wolf picked up on the smells of disease and infection, its chase slowed to a halt. It seemed indecisive for a few seconds, holding its snout high in the air, analyzing the horrible smells coming from the town. The smell of blood and warm meat seemed more appetizing and the wolf turned around trailing away from the man.

He wasn’t aware of the wolf losing interest in him as he neared the silhouettes, it was not until he was a few meters from the first silhouette his mind finally intercepted him. He slammed to a stop like he had hit an invisible wall and felt a new feeling of terror rising as he realized the true reality of his surroundings.
All the houses were in ruins, most of the houses walls and roofs crumbled to rubble long ago.
The smell was awful, the whole town reeked of sickness, disease and decay. His eyes fixed to a stare on the woman in front of him, she was wearing a blue cardigan reaching down to her calves. She became aware of his presence and turned around facing him, and instantly stretched her arms out. The sight made him swallow hard, almost bursting into tears in a complete loss of hope. The front of her clothes were filthy and shredded, the top of her forehead looked like it had been gnawed into a sticky bloody mush, her iris had turned bright white, and all that remained of her nose was an empty void.

Subdane stumbled backwards noticing low movement to his right, his eyes widened in horror as he watched a man crawling towards him. The meat on the man’s ankles had been gnawed almost all the way to the white bone that was clearly visible.  The two stumps were dragged along by the tendons.

His panicking eyes was looking for a way out or for a place to retreat, but everywhere he looked he saw the rotting infected appearing from corners or rising from the ground. He felt like a snack that just strolled onto someone’s dinner plate. The only thing driving him at this point was fear and his will to live.

He spotted a house where most of the roof and walls were intact and with no other options, he bolted in that direction, closely followed by what seemed like the former inhabitants of the town.
When he reached the house, his stamina seemed beyond depleted, spots danced lazily before his eyes. Although most of the walls had crumbled, out of sheer panic he spend several costly seconds trying to close the door, which ended with the door breaking off the hinges.
The horrific faces and moans were almost at the house, but his mind couldn’t let go of the thought of closing the door. Still trying to fit the door in its frame he noticed a hole in the ceiling, he snapped out of his state of panic and quickly leaned the door against the wall. Using the door-handle as a step, he was able to reach the floor above, but in his weakened state he was struggling to pull his own weight up.

The infected reached the house, tumbling and falling over the crumbling walls, flooding inside from every opening on all sides. The first infected that stumbled inside through the doorway was pushed past Subdane, in its course smearing his leg with a snarl. His eyes widened in panic at the touch, his hands frantically reaching, feeling for anything to grab onto. The second of the infected stumbling through the doorway, this time it got a good hold of his right calf, but the thing was missing its lower jaw, making its attempts to gnaw through his skin a bigger challenge that it could chew. More entered, the ones in the back knocking over the ones in the front. Subdane took hold of the ledge, trying to pull himself up. The veins on his face and throat looked like they were going to pop, his throbbing heart felt like it was going to explode in his chest. He felt crooked nails digging into his right calf and screamed out in pain and terror, adrenaline flooded his system. Shouting and with tears running down his cheeks, he pulled himself up, instantly collapsing on the floor above. His body had reached its limit, it spend every ounce of stamina and simply collapsed.



The hours went by but the infected never lost interest, they remained beneath him, from time to time making futile attempts grabbing hold of the dangling foot. The sun retreated in favor of the moon, his calf was turning red and starting to swell. He was delirious most of the time from hunger and pain. Dreaming terrible nightmares of horrific faces, sickening teeth and nails, and lonely aching fear. When the moon retreated for the sun, waves of pain were engulfing him. His feverish brain making him mumble deliriously while every spasm of the calf muscle made his wound ooze a sickly yellow green.


Two vehicles approached the town. They were doing a reconnaissance of the area and as they entered the town, the enforcer manning the M240 on top of the buggy, found the large gathering of infected inside the house peculiar. He pointed the driver towards the house as he shouted “They must have found something, let’s see if it’s still alive” The sound of the approaching buggy lured the infected out of the house, the tires crunched to a halt on the dry gravel. As the dust cloud cleared the vision of the enforcer, a crooked smile was visible behind the visor of his helmet. It was not often he got this many targets streaming into his line of fire. He pinched the trigger.

For the next minutes, the M240 roared while chewing the cartridge belt on one side and spitting out the empty cartridges on the other side. When the deafening sound came to a halt the infected was now decimated to piles of shredded body parts, the walls weakened by the many penetration holes of the 7.62x51 ammunition. A sizzling sound and smoke ascended from the M240 as the machine-gunner cheered “Booya!! That HAS to be some kind of record! OH MAN! Did you see the parts flying off in arcs?” He finished the sentence with a wild laughter.

The passenger door of a pickup truck opened, the car squeaked as a huge man relived it of his weight. His deep roaring voice commanded his men “Move your quivering behinds inside” He turned his good eye to the machine-gunner “And pray this was not a waste of ammunition”

*Edited for typos and FERP deleting a paragraph*


Joe Spivey's picture

((Nice one Sub. I always knew you had to have got the vacant stare and the drooling from somewhere whenever you were with: (insert list of every eligable female, and Ardenn here.).

Stick with me kid and you'll be farting through silk.

Subdane's picture

((Thank you Joe, and yes you have to do what you are good at...to me thats drooling and having a vacant stare :P
You dont think its too descriptive? Too many details making it heavy to read? What about the past tense, better? And what about my new shirt? You like?
And ehm *clears throat* Its spelled "eligible" :P

Joe Spivey's picture

((When the narrative gets too descriptive I skip to the next paragraph, I didn't do that reading this, ergo it's not too descriptive. That being said, it's a subjective thing so *shrugs*. Only noticed one example of an error of tense, I'll let you find it :P. Your shirt is gay (no surprise there as you don't have Joe's sense of style). As for the spelling, well I was still on my first coffee so spelling becomes rather random.

Stick with me kid and you'll be farting through silk.

Subdane's picture

(("For the next minutes the m240" Thats the one, right? *Hands Joe another cup of coffee*

Veronica Volt's picture

((From Hammock to Hell, very nice sense of panic))

Subdane's picture

((Thank you Veronica. I think I will do one more of his 'awakening' and then do a write up of a an old great story in the nfpd. I really want to improve my English and writing :-)

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