Monday, December 12, 2011

Sweet 16

Half of me wanted to wait , to see the exact repercussions of being bitten. Was this what caused people to turn into "things"? I had not seen anything in the past few days to tell me a bite actually was causing this but my mind from years of bad and good zombie movies was telling me otherwise. I watched as the parents of the boy wiped his face and were crying in a frightful wail like the boy was already dead. He was laying there very pale almost not moving at all with such cold eyes. The kind of eyes you see on a doll almost but never on a child. The wound was awful and as we ran down the road bumping along the only thing making the boy move more than his breath was his body absorbing the rough ride. I turned and the faces of the rest of the people said almost without words what they were thinking. Get that boy out of here or it will be the end of us all. I had the same thoughts, almost like when someone has a cold and you say don't come near me , if this was some form of infection, keep that kid away.

I looked around for something sharp , anything so that I could cut a window or access to the cab thru the back canvas. I found a bayonet and started making a hole. I reached in and yelled  " we have a bit of an issue". I hated the thought of being the "rat" here but I also didn't want anyone getting infected or bitten or whatever and feeling I could have done something to stop it. I looked back and surveyed the people in the back of the truck , funny they were all at least five feet from the parents and the young boy. I wasn't the only one squeamish about the situation. A man from the front said to me "what is the situation?". I turned back leaned as far towards him as I could and said "someone was bitten back here". Instantly the truck came to a stop and I had a bad feeling what would come next.

I turned to look back at the cab and it had already emptied out, all the men from the front were already on their way to the back so I turned to the rear of the truck and waited. The back flap of the truck flipped open and the soldier who made the motion to the flap began tying it open the second soldier leaned in and opened the back gate pinning it down like a pick up trucks tailgate. Then a flashlight beamed in looking around to see who was the future "thing" or worse. The light beamed across our faces one by one and stopped in it's tracks when it reached the back of the parent's who were shielding the boy from them. "Excuse me I need you to turn and face me" the soldier with the light said sternly. The father and mother both looked back then looked to their son again. " Have either of you been bitten?" the soldier inquired. Both parents in unison shook no.

That was when the soldier I guess realized they were tending to someone because he reached down and drew his handgun , aiming it with the flashlight . " I need you to step away from the corner of the truck and show me your hands " the soldier said without the option of their being a choice at all in the statement. The father moved away first and then the mother but they did it with a certain resignation that made you feel it was a goodbye of sorts. They were halfway to the middle of the truck and the mother dove onto her son saying "leave him be he's just a child". The father reached over pulling her off the son and as he did I had a better view from where I sat what was going on.

The boy was already a "thing" , just that quick just that fast he was one of those "things". I looked on in horror as the boy started going from an innocent wounded child to this jerky , almost instinctual "thing". I was frozen just looking , this was how it happens I thought. That was the first time I remember it being like a movie, a zombie movie. But the sad thing was it was all real all happening. I wanted to run right out of the back of that truck and keep running until I was on the beach of my dreams watching the sun go down on the waves. That would be a better thought than what was running thru my head at the moment.

The soldier motioned the parents away from the boy and he and the soldier next to him grabbed the edges of the blanket the child lay on and dragged him to the edge of the truck. Both parents clung to each other crying, the mother getting more hysterical by the second. The father more cathartic as he just held her tightly and nodded at the men to take the boy, clearly he knew his son was already dead and for a man that had to be the hardest pill to take. Watching them haul the "thing" off and the father sit watching, shielding the mothers eyes from the entire process was disturbing. I imagined different men have different reactions to something like this and this particular mans reaction led me to believe he was a hard man with a tough demeanor to act the way he was.

The soldiers pulled the child off the truck and lay him down at the foot of the tailgate just below our view. One soldier aimed a rifle down and the other made a prayer with his hand across his chest and ending on his heart. The mother wailed " NO , NO , NO ,  MY SON ,NO , NO,YOU MONSTERS , NO! ". But her cries were punctuated by two shots from the rifle and then her wails were joined by the fathers as they both crumbled into a heap on the floor of the truck. At that moment it was sinking in fast the soldiers had the orders to shoot to kill no B/S no stories. It was comforting and not , what if someone thinks you have been bit? Either way I had a feeling of guilt for a while with the thought that if I had shut up the boy or "thing" or whatever it/he was would still be here with the parents.

The soldiers didn't say a word they shut the gate pinning it and closed the flap. I could hear them walk past the side of the truck and make their way to the cab then the doors shut. As the truck started back up my stomach sank and looking at the people in the back of the truck it was as if I had pulled the trigger. I sat for a minute and then burst out with"do you think this isn't happening? do you think the things we shot back in the city that killed the other soldiers weren't people too? Thank me later when your still alive or keep dreaming it isn't that bad, either way just wake up we are all in deep".

The truck continued down the road and we all sat there listening to the parents sob and hoping this would all actually be a dream.


  1. Well, that was depressingly sad... Which was the point, I know, but sheesh. LOL