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E2-The Draw Breath
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
“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
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
“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
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
“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
“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
“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
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.