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Nothing We Could Do

Author: was_i_ever_real
ASL Info:    23 _ f _ tx
Elite Ratio:    8 - 194 /91 /52
Words: 892
Class/Type: Story /Misc
Total Views: 1448
Average Vote:    4.0000
Bytes: 5196


Inspired by a picture by Petersen which was in turn inspired by an excerpt from the book - World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks.

"And that was when the line collapsed. I don't remember it all at once. I see these flashes: people running, grunts, reporters... They're not afraid! No matter what we do, no matter how many we kill, they will never, ever be afraid! Yonkers was supposed to be the day we restored confidence to the American people, instead we practically told them to kiss their ass goodbye."

Nothing We Could Do

the world is colorless
the world has ceased to function
in color.
Amid the crumbling remains
of buildings and
between each pointless
there are only varying shades
of grey.
Our blood runs black...
and even the sun has taken on
a smoke-colored hue.....

Outside I can hear the gravel crunch as soldiers run by, screaming orders about a breach at blockade five. The helicopters flee like giant birds from the dying city, carrying their young to safety, before returning to the fight. Only the children were evacuated this time.

I look around at the deserted room in this deserted building, and notice the smoke rushing in, like a crowd of people trying to elbow their way into an already full elevator. My breaths come in harsh gasps and leave me choking from the ash that's been falling like rain since day one.

When they came to clear us out, I remember the women screaming. They stormed the building in their dark suits and gas masks, pointing their guns frantically as the women threw stones at them in pitiful attempts to protect their children. Finally, one soldier took his mask off and yelled something about evacuation helicopters and we foolishly tried to pack what little belongings we had and follow them out. Matilda, my nurse, was lifting me into my chair when one of the men stopped her. He pulled at her arm and pointed at his wrist. Apparently, there was no time. She fought as long as you could expect a hired nurse to fight for a cripple before she looked over her shoulder at me, and with tears in her eyes, shrugged. She ran toward the door along with everyone else while I sat in my bed, looking after her. There was nothing she could do, and I wouldn't blame her.

Just below the window I could hear the angry protests as the soldiers lifted the children into the helicopters and told the rest of the crowd they'd do best to run for the hills. A shot rang out as a man tried to push his way onto the big bird, and the sound of running soon followed. I guess the other residents of the building decided running for the hills was a better alternative to death.

The soldiers swept the building once more to make sure it was vacant, and when I heard the nob turn and the door open, for one foolish second I thought it was Matilda coming back for me. Instead, two soldiers walked in, guns hanging at their sides. Their surprise at seeing me sitting on the bed made me chuckle. I moved the blanket aside to show them my lack of limbs, but they avoided eye contact. They looked at each other.

"We can't just leave him here, Sarge." The younger of the two pointed in my direction. I nodded in agreement, and seeing this, they turned their back on me.

"He hasn't got any legs, Lopez. And I don't know if you noticed, but he's got one prosthetic arm too. Even if we put him in his chair, he wouldn't be able to push himself. And before you even suggest it, don't. All the birds are gone. He'll just have to stay here.

During this conversation I had tried to pull myself onto my chair. It was my last desperate attempt to show them that I might not be able to push myself, but I would try like hell if only they would help me down the stairs and into the street. I would have simply told them this if I'd have had a voice. Instead of making it onto the chair, I slipped and tumbled to the floor. They turned quickly, pointing their guns at the sudden noise, but I was too ashamed to look up.

"Come on Lopez. We'll come back for him when it's over."

The two walked back to the door, and for the second time that day, I saw someone look over their shoulder at me. Nothing he could do.

"Poor bastard." He said, and they were out the door.

It's been four days, but no one has come back for me. In fact, the soldiers I just heard outside the window screaming about blockade five have been the only human sounds I've heard since the day of the evacuation. Ah, the sirens are starting now, which means B5 must have failed. It's only a matter of time before those mutated monsters find me, and so, I'm leaving you with this.

That is if anyone ever finds this.

My name is Milton. I am going to die today, that is, the 15th of March in the year 2037 because I hadn't the legs to run nor the voice to cry out. I loved once and long ago. I was a good man.

And I forgive all those that left me behind....

There was nothing you could do.

The world has ceased
to function in color.
Amid the crumbling
remains of buildings and
between each pointless
there are only varying shades
of gray.
Our blood runs black
and even the sun
has taken on
a smoke-colored hue...
And we tried our best but....
there was never anything
we could do.

Submitted on 2009-01-27 00:38:46     Terms of Service / Copyright Rules
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  krystle.. you once told me you liked writing short stories but ive never had the opportunity 2 read them until i came 2 this site..
you are a great writer and i know you have the imagination 2 write whole books.

my only question is... why havent you started?
| Posted on 2009-06-12 00:00:00 | by PO3TiKPO1SON | [ Reply to This ]
  great write!
| Posted on 2009-04-11 00:00:00 | by blackbird | [ Reply to This ]
  Okay, I've read this so many times and I hate that nobody's given you a comment yet. I was trying to wait, to leave you on the 'needs a comment' list - so that someone better than me as a writer, can come and give you a well constructed criticism to help you out in any way you wanted... But nobody's come yet, and...Honestly, this was so well written that I... Have nothing to say, I just... Kept coming back to it and can't bring myself to leave without giving you some kind of praise. All kinds of praise.
I'm sorry I don't have anything negative to say, but I wouldn't change anything.
I love that it ended nearly the same way it started - just with a little more to it.

Oddly enough I think the part that hits so close to home is "I was a good man"... For personal reasons, but I felt like crying - and this says a lot because, generally I only cry in words. I can write about it, I can sympathize with it, but I tend to save my tears for rainy days.

The forgiveness about your character- with all the ruthlessness he's endured... It's inspiring and heartbreaking and, being that it's set in the future kind of freaks me out a little.

I don't know what it is exactly but I just.. appreciated the read.
| Posted on 2009-01-27 00:00:00 | by stefhy | [ Reply to This ]

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