Jul 18 12 10:25 AM

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Alexander Rise

E2-The Draw Breath Chronicles

Ms. Jasmine Ituki

The faded buttons of the cracked and aging Sony tape player finally snap into place, giving the tape player life.


Jasmine pauses as she attempts to find the words, and to listen for the sounds of walking death.  

“I don’t know what happened, it was so sudden.”

Jasmine turns off the tape recorder and shakes her head; this was more difficult than she thought it would be. She knew that all she had to do was to tell her story, tell her story to this recorder, this inanimate, emotionless object, the closest thing to living she had seen in 3 weeks.

She sits in the closet thinking about what happened, how she was forced to cope…

The air hung thick with music and smoke as the 3 girls stood outside waiting to get into club Main. The streets were packed with flashy cars and the usual plethora of people looking to make their mark on the Dallas streets.

“This line needs to hurry the hell on!” said Tracy as she leaned out of the line and shouted at the bouncer, who sat lazily on a barstool casually talking to a police officer.

Jasmine adjusted her size 7 dress and reached into her purse for her cell phone,

“All I know is Alfredo better still be in there when we finally get in. I’ve been wanting to roll all week.”

Suddenly, across the street from the club, a Honda Ridgeline flipped from behind a building, landing upside down, crushing the cab as it slid down the street, finally coming to rest in the middle of the intersection.

People immediately left the line to investigate the accident; the scene revealed an obviously drunk driver stumbling out of a crushed Escalade, and a motionless truck driver in the overturned Ridgeline.

The 3 girls stayed in-line, not willing to lose their place, or the chance to get Ecstasy.

“Too early for all that.” Jasmine said as she looked back at her cell phone, ignoring the accident, which was gaining more attention by the minute.

A man crawled out of the Ridgeline, his left  arm severed at the elbow, his femur torn through his leg, grotesquely altering his walk, his cheek crushed against his jaw, the skin indented and torn, revealing several cracked and bloody teeth.

“Oh my God! How is he walking? I know I’d be all the way on the stretcher.” said Tracy as she and Micheala looked at the now burning wreckage.

The shocked comments of the crowd began to fill the streets as the police officer ran toward the accident, and pushed her way through the gathering crowds.

“Dallas Police Department! Everyone back up! Back up!”

The officer shocked at the man’s appearance, pressed her radio,

“This is Rogers, accident on Good Latimer and Main, ambulance needed immediately, over.”

The officer shakes her head as she approaches the man,

“Sir, you are in bad shape and possibly in shock, I’m going to need you to have a seat. I have just called for emergency services, help is on the way.”

The office reached out for the man, intent on helping him; suddenly the man lunged at the officer biting her outstretched hand.

“Ahh! Goddamn it!”

The officer drew her hand back, bone exposed; blood poured from her hand like freshly cut steak.  The officer drew her gun and steadied it,

“Get on the ground now! This is your first and last warning!”

The warning went unheeded as the man slowly walked toward her. His leg suddenly buckled and snapped, the torn, rigid skin hung from his femur, blood poured from his leg and into the street, pooling with the leaking oil from the overturned Ridgeline. The officer, who was visibly getting weaker with each passing moment, shook her head back and forth trying to focus, but before the she could follow through with her threat, she collapsed to the ground.

The man, his mouth bloody from the bite, eyes a thick toneless grey, descended on the officer’s body, biting into her ribs, tearing through the fabric, ripping and pulling the flesh from her ribcage.

“What the fuck man??” A random onlooker said as he approached the two, “Oh my god, this dude is taking…he’s taking chunks out the cop’s ribs!” said the onlooker to as he looked back at his friends.

Without any confirmation from his friends, who were giving him puzzled looks, he approached the increasingly gruesome scene unfolding in the streets,

“Get off her bro!” said the onlooker as the man continued to dig into the officers ribs. The onlooker ran toward the man and kicked him off the officer, sending him rolling backward. Flesh hung from the man’s mouth, blood staining his torn white dress shirt as he eyed the onlooker.  Blood sprayed out if his mangled leg as he leapt forward knocking the onlooker onto the ground, biting deep into his neck. Blood shot from his neck, painting the side of the wrecked truck red. “Ahhh!! What the fu…help!! Help!!”  Screamed the onlooker as his pleas for help turned into blood drenched murmurs.

His friends immediately rushed in, knocked the man to the ground, and stumped him repeatedly.  As they continued to stump the man, the officer leaned forward and brought herself to her feet.

“Stop, stop. The cops up, let her arrest this asshole. This crazed asshole attacked you officer, then attacked our friend!” one of the men said as he rushed over to aid his friend.

“Oh God! Oh God, David’s dead, he’s fucking dead man! That fucking freak tore half his neck out!

The officer walked toward the grieving man, her face pale, her eyes a thick toneless grey,

“Put some cuffs on this freak!” One of the men yelled as he held himself back from stomping on the man again.

“Officer, he’s dead! Call for an ambu….”

Suddenly the officer sprang on him knocking him to the floor. The officer bites into his face, tearing out a thick, bloodied and crushed chunk of flesh and teeth fragments.

“Get her off of me!!!” Screamed the man, as he struggled to free himself from the continuous bites of the officer.

His friends grabbed the officer and threw her off of.  She rolled into the burning wreckage, igniting herself.

“Dude, what the fuck is going on?? Call the cops…call an ambulance, call someone ma…”

Before he could finish his sentence, his friend rose, his spine visible through the gushing hole in his neck,

The men looked around and saw David, his half eaten, puss dripping, lacerated face, twisting and contorting as he made his way toward them,

“Oh shit…something ain’t right, run man, just fucking run!” said one of the men as they ran off and disappeared into the crowd.

All four of the dead, now stood on their feet, their thick, toneless grey eyes surveying the overcrowded streets.

Then they sprinted…

Suddenly Jasmine turned off the tape player and sat silently, she heard something. She knew from experience that when you hear something, you either check it out, hide, or re-kill it. Jasmine stood up and cautiously gripped her .410 bolt action shotgun. She opened the closet door and peered into the outstretched living room. She slowly made her way around the corner and down the hallway, her shotgun an extension of her eyes, not quite ready to face the horror that steadily gripped her.

As she entered the family room, she could see a dog in the kitchen eating molded overturned food that littered the floor.

“Hey, get the hell out of here!” says Jasmine as she points the .410 at the dog. The dog looks at her, picks up some of the remaining food and runs out of the open back door. Her heart finally slows as she watches the dog run down the street and out of sight.

Jasmine didn’t notice the open door when she first entered the house, she was too concerned about finding safety from the horde she encountered down the street, so she ran straight for what she thought was a secure house, straight to a bedroom and hid in a closet. 

Jasmine takes the tape player out of her pocket and puts it on the kitchen counter, then walks` over to the back door, shuts it, and leans her head against the door, making yet another vain attempt at creating any shred of sense of this new life she acquired.  It didn’t make any sense, nothing since that Friday night made sense; people with severed limbs, half their face missing, halved bodies, missing jaws, bullet ridden bodies, missing eyes, charred skin, and even the skinless, all walking around, all mindlessly killing, all mindlessly feeding.

Suddenly the door splinters as several pairs of broken and bruised hands crush their way through the door grabbing Jasmine by her hair and shirt.  Jasmine jerks back and forth trying to free herself from the grip of darkness. As she thrashes back and forth she sees the maimed and rotted flesh through the quickly splintering door that was threatening to give way. Jasmine grips the .410 and presses it hard against the door, and pulls the trigger, sending the fragmented door and rotted corpses flying backward.

Jasmine pulls the bolt back on the .410 as she runs back to the bedroom.  She looks back to see the living room flooded with the undead,  slowly advancing in their dark march, their grotesque figures, altered  inhuman forms, smearing blood on the walls as their labored walks brought them closer to her.  Jasmine stares at Hell in solid frozen horror. She knew she had to react, die, or worse.  She raises the .410 and points upward, the constant burden of never enough shells taught her that, and pulls the trigger, blowing rotten brain fragments and discolored flesh all over the walls. She pulls the bolt back, kicks the shell out, slides the bolt forward, fires , pulls the bolt back, kicks the shell out, slides the bolt forward fires, pulls the bolt back, kicks the shell out, slides the bolt forward, click. She was out.

The .410 bought her enough time to get to the closet and pick up her last box of shells. She knows that she has to get out of the house, now. She runs to the window and breaks it out with the butt of the .410, climbing through just as the maimed corpses of the once living crawled over the shredded dead in the hallway.

She was out of the house, sunlight illuminating her still beautiful face. The clouds seemed to float listlessly above, as if they didn’t care if plague or blessing fell beneath them. She didn’t have time to bask in the sun that once warmed her as she swam outside in her pool no more than 3 weeks ago.  

She runs down the narrow passage between the houses toward the neighborhood streets. If she could get to another house and fortify, she could withstand the hordes until her next move. As she runs toward a fenced in house 6 houses away, she could hear the pattern of irregular footsteps, and they were gaining ground quicker than she could create it. In mid-stride, she swings around and points the .410 at the mangled, broken corpse, it’s mostly eaten chest exposing half a devoured heart, black and dripping; its ribcage exposed, showing several cracked and broken ribs; The torn grey oblique muscles loosely supporting the torn shoulder and broken neck as it dangles near the child’s hip, it’s teeth snapping furiously, blood running from its broken nose, trickling down the upside down lacerated face.  The sounds of ravenous inhumanity spew from its blackened, puss laden mouth as it run toward her.  Jasmine steadies the .410, lining the dangling lacerated face with the iron sight, and pulls the trigger.