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My entry for my Hallowe’en Writing Challenge is here. Thank you participants, and Happy Hallowe’en.

“The Last One”

The fire had died down too much during the night, but it couldn’t be helped. I’d been in desperate need to rest after three straight days of running from them, and Marcus had been caught by them partway through the second day, so there was no one to share the watch. His screams had followed me, even into sleep.

As soon as I woke, I scrambled for a handful of twigs, leaves, and sticks to rekindle the flames, knowing that they were the only thing that would really keep them away. Once the fire was beginning to burn in earnest, I checked the gun I’d managed to grab from the facility guard’s body, a Colt 1911. “Only four rounds left,” I sighed as I checked the magazine. The .45 had been effective against them so far, but there were so many of them. Only one of us, me, now that they’d gotten Marcus. I sighed again, managing once more to hold back the tears that had threatened for the last day and a half, and chambered a round.

“He’s gone. Get over it. Get up, and get moving.” I added a small branch to the fire, watching as the flames kissed and embraced it, growing larger and brighter. As I listened for footsteps in the distance, I reflected on the past few days and marveled at how quickly everything had fallen apart.

We’d joked  for years, about how we couldn’t wait for it, and how our lives as video game geeks had prepared us for this exact situation. Well, let me just tell you that nothing, and I mean nothing can prepare you for the sight of your best friend being swarmed and eaten by those…things. We said that we’d make it through together, and now…I put my first three bullets into their heads. The fourth went through Marcus’ eye when I realized he wasn’t going to get away, when he realized what would happen if I didn’t.

The fire had scared them away, we didn’t know why, and I still don’t. I had the Zippo Marcus had given me for my eighteenth birthday, even though I didn’t smoke. I told him his habit would kill him. He said my nagging would be the death of him. Well, we were both wrong, but he was closer.

A crack of a twig breaking snapped me back to the present. They were here. I’d not gotten the fire started in time, and now they were here. “Son of a bitch,” I muttered, grabbing the burning branch in my left hand and the Colt in my right. They were getting closer, surrounding me, but there was no way in hell they could know what my plan was. I knew I wasn’t going to survive, but I was going to take as many of them with me as I could. I fired my first three shots as they came into view. I dropped my torch into the dry leaves and raised my gun to my head.

 

 

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