Warning: This work has been rated 16+.
The call was still going and the now screaming voice of the woman on the other line was unheard against the noise of the situation. Stepping on the phone, Thomas’ foot brushed against the hang-up button and ended the call. He backed away, his mouth hanging like a hammock propping up his tongue and teeth that shook with fear. Hands held up weakly, he stumbled back into a shelf, knocking down the tin cans as they rolled away in contempt and crashed against the floor. It gurgled. It spat. It dribbled. Blood. The door burst open, giving an easy path to the dishevelled figure reaching towards him and raising his arms to grab Thomas’ collar. A whimper fled his throat and he lunged towards the till swinging away from its grasp. There was only one thing he could do, he thought, watching it chomp its teeth together. He pulled a small key from his pocket rapidly and fiddled with it in his hands, bending over to a locked drawer at the counter. Paranoid for the safety of his son, his father had given him the weapon. Jigging the rusted drawer, it opened and he saw a pistol lay limp inside. Reluctant to use it, Thomas’ had been taught from a young age how to wield it. Laying there, silent and tempting, he looked at the gun, refraining from thinking back to the times that he nearly shot somebody with his inexperienced aiming.
Taking it from the desk, he loaded it using the three packets of bullets that accompanied the metallic device. He navigated the shop through its tiny lens and targeted the approaching figure. Wincing, his finger rested against the trigger and only when it came too close he pulled it. No sound echoed from his deed and all he heard was the dull thump of the corpse as it hit the ground. Thank you Dad he thought, appreciating the fact that his dad had silenced the gun for his sake. It was funny, in a way. Why would his gun need to be silenced? Unless he was planning to murder somebody….
Fuck. He had just murdered somebody. Steadying himself with the edge of the counter, he watched the smooth layers of blood spill from the brain of the corpse and could still see the bullet embedded within the soggy flesh of his target. The mouth was askew, its jaw unaligned. The stench was overpowering and pressing down on its neck to check its pulse, he thought it was strange that the body was so cold, and so soon? Kneeling down, he stared into its dead eyes that lolled about the shop as the body adjusted its position, now flat on its back with its limp arms hanging by its side.
The shock was welcomed back by the frail thoughts that emerged into his mind. Would he go to prison? Would he be arrested? Why did his dad silence the gun? Could he hide the body…
The last question struck him in a death-like freeze as he reviewed this thought. I mean, now that he thought about it, there were no sirens, no police cars. Surely somebody would have seen him. Peering out of the window, all the cars were gone too. What if he didn’t have to kill him? What if, there was another way. He frowned, thinking about the man’s family, friends, who would be at loss because of his actions. But, he had to.
Feeling a lump under his shoe, he moved and saw his phone cracked and damaged. He held it in his hands. I mean, the ambulance was long gone. He could call the police, surely. But since he had heard no sirens, he was in the clear...
“Well, not really,” he remarked, continuing his line of thought and looking down at his blood-stained shirt and the body that was motionless like a rag doll on the garage’s floor.
He didn’t know what to do. It wasn’t like this was a common situation. He decided on his next move. If he even had any. Outside, the night howled with wind and the stars shone pridefully. It was dark. Could he.. Go? Could he run away? Never look back. He couldn’t help but sketch out a plan in his mind, thumbing through the details of his possible escape.
No- it was murder and would be even more so if he fled. He wasn’t a coward, and from his experience, running away doesn’t get people anywhere.
Slumping back against the wall, he dialled the police and held the phone to his ear, his eyes lingering on the corpse and the blood that was gradually travelling rapidly towards him. He stood up and moved further away.
The phone rang. It beeped. It vibrated. No reply was made and all he could hear was the methodical grunts it made. He hung up. Strange. But, he had to do something, anything, and he couldn’t wait any longer. Pushing himself off the floor, he sighed and thrust his head upwards to the ceiling in despondence and frustration. Swinging his bag over his shoulder, he went outside and trudged solemnly to the police station.
The air was thick with must and black shadows skittered in the corner of his eye. Squinting through the darkness, he could make out hushed and blurred figures of buildings tower over him. Deep snarls scowled anomalously and he quickened his pace, hearing the voices getting nearer to him. He was unable to see around him, but every so often, he felt a hot breath lean on his neck and something pull at his shirt. As the voices grew louder, he started to jog, which turned into a run, which turned into a sprint, his footsteps echoing on the ground. He slammed the door behind him and heaved. Clenching his fists in anxiety, he laughed quietly and was grateful for the glow of the lightbulb in the foyer of the police station. He had run so fast, and could only make out the slight whisper of words as he checked the sign to confirm his destination before swinging the door open. But he was here now, and it looked like a police station. That was good.
Now that he was here, he reflected on his decision. What was he thinking? Seriously, this?
He panted and ran his hands across his knees in exhaustion, smiling.
Suddenly, he was interrupted by the realisation of where he was and snapped his head up, expecting a glare from a receptionist or the cold clamp of handcuffs press against his skin. But all that responded to him was a silent room. He loosened his posture and rang the bell at the desk, peering around the hallway. Not like he was eager to get arrested. Resting his arms on the reception desk, he huffed and took in the contents of the room. A bulletin board held missing person flyers etched with names of people and brief descriptions. The chairs in the foyer streamed along the wall and a stack of newspapers piled on a small wooden table. Decorated in an unappealing mustard yellow, the walls were blank and draughty. A coffee mug rolled on the carpet and coffee had spilt out of it, staining the tiny fibres. Nobody was coming. He had waited for five minutes now and his heart was growing weak with annoyance and fear- a very sorrowful combination.
Massaging his forehead, he opened his mouth to yell but looking but turning behind he saw the shadow of a thousand figures crowd the station and thrust against the walls. Their bodies shook against them, reminding him of the man that he had encountered at the garage. Their teeth gnashed and their arms raised in defiance. It was only now that he could see them, eyes- wide and trudging towards him from nearby buildings. Feeling around his jacket and jeans for his gun, he cursed himself for his stupidity. But then again, how was he to know that a thousand of these rabid people would come knocking on the door? Was he really going to take the murder weapon to the police station that he used? He ran, rushing through the corridors and navigating through the fairly small building, his fingers running against the walls as he looked behind him every so often, unable to hear the gurgle of voices. When he reached an exit, he slipped out slyly and manoeuvred back to the garage. Fuck. He didn’t want to be near that thing that he could have killed. What was happening, wasn’t human. But, where else would he go? He didn’t have a car, he had parked his fathers’ outside of the garage. And it’s not like he had the time to try and steal a car right now and stop dead in his tracks.
Reaching the garage, he took back his gun and tucked it away into his jacket. Grasping a couple of tin cans, water, and a lonely pen knife that sat idly on the floor, seemingly from the dead man, he stored it in his backpack. He placed it on his shoulders, turned and squinted through the window, scouring the parking lot for any of the creatures that had followed him. Turning back towards the exit, he fumbled around for his keys, patting down his jeans and chest. Searching within his pocket, he could not find or hear the signature jangle of metal or the plastic picture that accompanied it. He rushed out of the backdoor, where his car sat parked and patiently waiting. Running forward, he pressed his body against the door, the first time ever praying that he had left it unlocked.
“No, no no!” He heaved and hit the trunk angrily and began to return to the garage.
The engine started behind him.
Spinning on his heels, Thomas’ mouth hung open as he watched three young teenagers climb in and put the keys in the ignition. A girl was in the driver’s seat, her face flushed with excitement as she gripped the steering wheel in awe. Her head turned and she saw him standing outside through the pristine glass window. Jaw clenching and her fists whitening, she stared at him. Then, the other two took the same position, gaping at him, shocked.
The other girl raised her voice, tentatively meeting his eyes with fear “Who are you?”