Things in the Dark
My breathing echoes in the darkness. I’m sure that someone can hear it. If there’s anyone in the dark besides me, which I doubt. No one else is that stupid. Just me. I reach my hands into the blackness, searching for the wall. Nothing. Then, my fingers find something. It’s slick with goo. I shudder, yanking them back.
For a moment I stand in the dark. Blind. Shaking. Then I reach my hands out again, needing to feel something besides the dark pressing in on me. But I can’t find anything. Whatever I had felt is gone. Something else’s here.
“Miss Adams, have you been taking your pills?” asked the doctor. The sticker on her shirt said her name was Ashley Philips. The old woman looked up, suddenly furious,
“Of course I haven’t! Those things’ll kill me before the pneumonia does!”
The doctor pursed her lips, “We’re only trying to help you Miss Adams-” she began.
“Then help me by minding your own business and leaving me alone!” shouted the woman heaving herself up from the couch and making for the door.
“Wait! Miss Adams! Your pills!” shouted the doctor behind her.
“To hell with them!”
The appointment was over.
The old man drove his car along the road. It was full of potholes and bumps. Pebbles kept flying up around him. He pulled his car into a small, unpaved parking lot and climbed unsteadily out. He took a bouquet from the passenger’s seat and walked into a small cemetery. He placed the bouquet on a grave that had wilted flowers already on it.
“Look Dolores,” said the man, “I brought you something special for our anniversary. It’s our sixtieth today. I was tellin’ Sam yesterday not everyone makes it to their sixtieth.” He turned to leave, smiling,
The hall seemed to have stretched itself out impossibly long. Marco could’ve sworn that it hadn’t always been this long. Faces glanced at him as he walked by. Then they ducked back behind computer screens. They all knew why he was walking down the impossibly long hall. His breathing was heavy and his heart pounded. Finally, he reached the end of the hall. He stopped before his boss’s office, his arm raised to knock. Black smoke poured out from beneath the door. He dropped his fist against the wood. The sound echoed against the moans and screams. The door opened.
She found him squeezed into a nook behind the boathouse. The note that had told her to meet him there was crumbled in her pocket. He grinned when he saw her and moved over to make more room.
“Do you have it?” he asked excitedly.
By way of answer she held out the book she’d stolen from the library. His attention immediately turned from her to it as he flipped through the dusty pages. He’d forgotten to say thank you. He always did. She watched his quick, eager eyes scan the words and smiled slightly. She knew what he meant.
The man didn’t turn to face the owner of the shaky young voice. Too young.
“The backup just called. They won’t here in time, sir.”
The words seemed to echo around the room.
When the man said nothing the young voice spoke again.
“Sir, we’re almost out of ammunition. We won’t last the night without backup.”
“Yes.” The man finally turned.
“What should I tell the men sir?”
The man looked down at the pictures he’d received yesterday. The pictures of a baby that had just been born.
“Tell them to write letters.”