short story with a short intro
I joined ebaums in the hopes on showcasing some of my writing capabilities, which I have done thus far through mostly humorous articles I've written in the past. I thought I would try posting something different that I've written. So, here's a short story I wrote about a year ago which involves a woman in a wheelchair abondoned during a zombie outbreak. I hope you enjoy! I hope to post a bit from my forthcoming novel, but it all depends copyright legalities and such. In time I suppose.
“If only these legs of mine worked,” the woman thought.
She didn’t care about her inevitable death that loomed around the corner. She accepted her fate three days ago, knowing it would come from starvation or worse yet…
Death did not bother her. In fact, she was eager for death. Stricken to a wheelchair for most of her life due to paralyzation from the neck down, and now stranded inside her home, death was her only other alternative. If only she were able to do it herself. It was the waiting that filled her with uneasy anxiousness.
“Just get it over with,” she thought to herself, trying to somehow talk to her own brain and speed up the process. “Please…I can’t live like this anymore.”
It was dusk outside, and what little light that was left illuminated the room just enough for her to see. She liked the night much better now than she used to. The darkness gave the small room a sense of openness and eased the claustrophobia that occurred throughout the day. Before her father left the house in search for supplies a week earlier he had left the lights and television on. He never returned. Not long afterwards the power in the house went out. She sat in cold silence ever since, occasionally talking to herself to hold onto whatever sanity was left.
It was the loneliness she hated; living out the rest of her days without any sense of human compassion; stuck in her wheelchair.
“If only these legs of mine worked,” she thought. She had been paralyzed since she was a little girl at the age of four, and now, thirty years later, was the first time she had ever blamed herself for being immobile. For the first time, she had garnered a buried dissatisfaction in herself, and there was no one around to assure or convince her otherwise.
At first she was uncertain of death; hopeful that someone would stumble across her somehow. But most everyone else was either dead or…dead-ish. She couldn’t yell out for help, as doing so would attract those things lurking around outside; whatever they were. About a month prior the deceased had come back to life and began feeding on the living. Her and her father watched the news with horror, fearing that their loved ones would soon perish, as themselves.
Uncertainty was a constant nag. One moment she wished for death, the next she wasn’t sure; a battle of wits with her own consciousness, one side fighting to keep the body alive, the other fighting to alleviate the depression. Frustration inevitably took hold many times, and the perpetual internal conflict dwelling inside her mind only made her whole situation worse than it already was.
It was dark now, and the woman was unable to see more than an inch in front of her face. Often she tried to fall asleep so she wouldn’t have to deal with the darkness of night, but overwhelming fear of what lurked in the darkness kept her awake.
No matter how long she endured it, she never got used to piercing sound of silence. The constant ringing in her ears made her wonder what it must have been like to undergo the Chinese water torture.
A beam of light suddenly shone through the windows behind her and illuminated the room. Confused, the woman tried to turn and see what was causing the light. A flashlight maybe? A car? Somebody must have caused the light to shine in. A burst of hope ran through her body as she garnered what little energy she had to call out to the source.
“Help! Can anybody hear me?! I need help! Please!”
The light began moving away.
“No! Don’t go…please, help me!”
An engine roared, and soon the light was gone.
“Why didn’t they come?” she thought. The virus had brought out the barbaric nature of humans. She began thinking of what all those civil rights activists must be doing at this point, assuming they weren’t already dead. The prospect of death is a strong motivation to do whatever is necessary to survive.
“Stop blaming everyone else!” she asserted to herself. “They probably couldn’t hear you through the walls and over the roar of the engine.”
She sat for a moment and pondered further.
“Of course they could…who am I kidding? They were too coward to risk anything they had for another survivor.”
“They couldn’t hear me…stop trying to convince yourself otherwise.”
“I’m a nuisance anyway. I’d only slow down their group of survivors. I’d be looked at as an inconvenience to their survival.”
“Stop it! You’re driving yourself insane!”
She began breathing heavily; eyes darting back and forth across the dark room, not sure of what she was looking for. If anything was there she couldn’t see it anyway.
“What’s wrong with me?”
She began yelling. Hours, days of frustration bottled up for this moment of uncontrollable emotion; yelling at nothing in front of her, only herself. Her emotions began to physically overrun her. While she couldn’t move most of her body, she began thrusting her head violently back and forth. It was the only movement she was capable of; maybe it would push her wheelchair towards something, anything. Still yelling…her frustration was taking over her actions.
The wheelchair moved. She stopped for a moment, unsure if she actually had moved or not. She couldn’t feel anything, but she thought she heard the squeak of her wheels. She gave her head one good thrust backwards…nothing. Again...nothing. She let out a soft groan of further frustration and again flew her head backwards, desperate to move somewhere. This time she heard the squeak again.
She was moving. A smile came across her face, the first smile of hers since she had been stranded. She didn’t have much energy left, but she gathered up what she could and began thrusting backwards. “Maybe I’ll reach the door,” she hoped.
Fatigued enough as she was, she had to stop briefly in between thrusts. Her determination was strong. This was likely her last opportunity to put an end to this whole horrendous ordeal. The squeak of the wheels continued with nearly every thrust, soon she would certainly reach something.
She hadn’t thought ahead. Filled with so much hope, she bypassed rational thought for sheer innocuousness. She had rolled back enough to position herself directly behind a bookshelf, and with one strong thrust, her head smashed directly into the shelf.
All went black.
She awoke several hours, dazed.
“What happened,” she wondered. “What…was that?” Slowly she moved her head backwards to lightly touch the bookshelf. “Of course, I’m so stupid…how could I forget this was here…I wonder how long I…”
She stopped thinking when she heard rustling in the room next to her. Through the walls there was the faint sound of someone moving around. A slow pace…like whoever it was was searching for something. Sounds of objects being moved around echoed into her room.
“What in the world was that?”
She sat with fear. Had it not been so dark she likely would not have been afraid at all, for she only feared what we could not see.
The rustling continued, only the sound was becoming louder. It was coming closer. It must not be more than a few feet away from her by now. Who was this? Had her father finally come home? Or was this some survivor just going through deserted houses looking for supplies?
She decided not to say anything. Whoever it was obviously could not see her. With her luck, it could be some deranged individual.
Suddenly whoever it was jerked into the wall beside the woman. She heard every move, fearful of what may come next. What if this person found her? Or worse yet…what if it was one of them? The thought hadn’t crossed her mind.
Before she could ponder any more, the person had stumbled directly into her wheelchair. She gasped with fright.
The movement stopped. No more rustling…just sniffing. Heavy, heavy sniffing.
She realized that this wasn’t a person at all. It was a dog!
Of course…no wonder he didn’t have a flashlight and was bumping wildly into things! At last, she had company! A companion! Someone to ease the loneliness.
“Come here boy!” she started.
The dog was as surprised as she was. It jumped briefly, then growled at the woman. It had been so long since she spoke to anyone, she didn’t realize that her voice was completely devoid of warmth, that it was the harsh, sterile voice of a woman who had lost touch with humanity.
She tried to sound affable. “It’s alright. I’m not gonna hurt you. I couldn’t if I wanted to.”
The dog barked. She was obviously only scaring it.
“Shhh. Don’t do that. It’s ok, I’m your friend.”
The dog began backing away, and with a sudden jerk had left the room. His footsteps slowly faded until there was silence again. She had lost her companion.
The woman began crying.
Morning had come. She spent much of her night drifting off to sleep, only to awaken minutes later and cry some more. At least the sun was up. Now she could see the room clearly again.
She had drifted off to sleep for a few minutes. When she awoke, there was a face peering at her through the doorway of the next room.
She could see it plain as day. There was a man staring directly at her, slowly moving forward with a look of death on his face.
Death….he was one of them.
The slender man made no noise aside from the shuffling of his feet on the floor. His skin was pale, his cloths were dirty, and there was a large cut on the left side of his face. That face…it showed no emotion. Just an empty stare that pierced into the woman.
There was nowhere to run to.
At first, her nerves took over. A burst of fear swept through her body. But then she thought… this was finally the end. There’s no escape from this man. He sees his meal, and thus, an end to this ordeal.
The man lost his balance and fell to the floor…but this wasn’t enough to prevent him from reaching his destination. His hunger fueled his every action. He began crawling towards the woman, eager to sink the first bite into her skin.
“That’s it…come and get me. Make it all stop,” she thought, as if trying to mentally provoke the man.
She sat and watched the man feed on her leg, a sinister smile crossing her face. She couldn’t feel the bites, but she could feel that soon it would be over. Soon she could rest. Soon she would be with her father again. Every bite got her that much closer.
“Yes, keep eating.”
Soon there was nothing but bones and blood on her right leg. She stared at it. The bones that had failed her throughout her life. The bones that led to this very moment; this sadistic moment of pleasure as she watched herself being eaten alive without any way of defending herself.
She lost enough blood to finally black out. The man continued feeding, ripping through her abdomen.
The woman’s eyes suddenly opened, and with a snarl the man stopped feeding. He looked at her, studied her. Then, seemingly unimpressed with the woman, he walked away at the same slow and steady pace that he had approached the woman with.
She looked in wonder. Not sure of what was happening. All she was sure of was she hungry. She needed food. Not any food, but live food. Live…human.
…But if only those damn legs of hers worked…
For her there was no death, only an eternity of hunger and loneliness in her wheelchair. No way to move, no one to hear her. Forever.