posted on Sep, 21 2013 @ 08:07 PM
Glass crunched under heavy leather boots. Farther up the leg, dirty pants stained with the wear and tear of what only god knows, moved slowly in and
out of shadows. In front, dirty hands held a tactical shotgun, a 12ga that in simpler times would have been in pristine condition. It had already been
loaded. The 20 inch barrel was the first to duck in and out of the light that crept through holes and cracks in the walls. Dirt, sweat, and grime
formed an edge around the mask, with a filter that had long met the expiration date. Pale blue eyes shined beneath moisture ridden lenses, with
desperation and uncertainty. The intensity of silence added to the already pungent surroundings, ripe with decay and a beauty that was nowhere to be
Slowly the figure made way to the back of the structure, passing a hallway where several dead bodies lay. The figure stopped and shrugged to wipe
some sweat from the ear with the shoulder. The smell was overpowering. As decay flooded the senses it become abundantly clear this was an excellent
time for menthol petroleum. The figure stopped for a moment and quietly placed the shotgun between the legs and used the freed hands to remove the
jacket that was worn. Beneath the jacket was a soiled tank-top that had at one time been white. In one swift motion the figure used the jacket to wipe
the excess of sweat and grime, and adjusted the sports bra that peeked beneath the dingy garment. The figure was female, but without close scrutiny it
would have been impossible to tell. With the jacket flung over one shoulder she forced herself to breathe through her mouth, but the taste of rot
still lingered in the back of her palate. For a moment she thought she saw movement in the corner of her eye, slowly turned, realized a rat was
feeding on one of the corpses. Dinner, she mused.
Continuing the slow and methodical crawl to the back of the structure, it seemed as if time stopped. It was excruciating to know that instead of
nameless soldiers she might find her family as the source of the smell. Suddenly a feeling of indescribable nausea hit her. The rotted surroundings
mixed with the heat of the summer months proved almost too much to handle. The dirt suddenly felt sticky and the accumulation of moisture forced a
bead to roll down the inside of the lens. She felt her inside convulse into an involuntary heave, she squatted down and closed her eyes. Her eyes
burned as she forced herself to think of anything else beside the situation. She settled on the thought of how bleach smelled. Yes, she imagined a
bleach cannon that she covered every rotting corpse with. Slowly her body calmed, now was not the time to throw up. She could feel her pulse against
matted hair and the low hiss of her wet breath through the mask.
She continued to make her way to the back room, where the door was slightly ajar. She poked the end of the barrel through the door and used her
shoulder to push it the rest of the way. Once inside the bedroom she found several dead bodies about. She crept into the room and studied the pillaged
bodies that occupied the space. None of them belonged to her family. For a moment she was both relieved and frustrated. A noise in the hallway caused
her to jerk to the side and hide behind the door. Quiet footsteps could be heard down the hallway and stopped just short of the entrance.
At a distance the woman seemed calm, although her heart pounded in measured leaps beneath her chest that had measured intakes of breath. Even her
breath seemed at a standstill as she waited for any sound indicating who was in this house. Slowly the door opened and a young girl of around 13 or 14
looked around the room-one hand was held tightly against her mouth in defense of the smell.
“Freeze or I’ll #ing kill you.” Quickly the woman moved from behind the door and stuck the end of the barrel in the youth’s back. At once she
noticed the large gunshot wound on the young woman’s other arm. The young woman screamed....but-
“QUIET” moving to face her, she whispered “quiet!”