Search
  • MDLP

FORWARD: DAY 1 CHAPTER 2

Day 2


Daylight… how long had it been since he saw the morning sun, the heat and the Miami humidity; that smacked his face without skipping a beat. How long had he been asleep he thought? When did he last go on his ordained supply run? He shook his head as if shaking it would scatter the confusion from his sight to allow him to focus. He swung his door open quietly, purposely overloading his paranoia, and allowing to concentrate on the fact that the world was utterly quiet. Not a single human noise. Not a laugh, snore, car, clock, voice, conversation.. not a single sound. Birds chirped in the distance and the wind cut through the apartment hallway with a magnified hum, as the cool wind on his already sweating face was welcomed.


He looked left and then right, nothing…


He looked down the stairs out into the parking lot and was pleased to see his truck still standing there alongside a full parking lot. No one seemed to being going on their daily shifts for food and supplies. He slid quietly to his front neighbors door and put his ear against the wooden framework that had been painted an annoyingly bright blue... He felt 8 years old again when he used to knock on doors with his friend and run for his life. The thought of being young again brought a smile to his face, but turned quickly into a grimace when the thought of his friends came to mind.


He heard nothing…


He went to the next door… nothing…


The next and the next… nothing


“What the fuck is going on…” he whispered to himself, too nervous to utter the words any louder. The neighborhood had been quiet lately but never this bad. With the months of quarantine people had begun to develop ways of fighting off boredom or isolation. There had been small soil squares of tomatoes and other veggies to be farmed where mulch and bushes once had been. Strings tied from balcony to balcony would carry notes when assigned Wi-Fi times became a law. Musical instruments and balcony concertos had become the norm over time despite it starting with annoyed neighbors. Roof top meetings and small gatherings happened in the cover of night because the government knew better than to close liquor stores and people always find a way to party.


The human desire to socialize is a powerful thing. From secret meeting times, to unknown backseat affairs, to the simple smile of a stranger; the need to belong to something or someone had become palpable the last year. He sat there and looked around over and over welcoming any type of noise or movement for fuck's sake.


Nothing…


As the sun began to beam down a little harder he made his way down the stairs. He almost chuckled out loud at how unbelievably hard he was trying to not make a noise as he gingerly stepped down each stair only to fail miserably as the cans of Chef Boyardee clang together, and his left knee creaked louder than all hell. With the world so quiet, his breathing was louder than ever and all his senses were magnified out of fear or survival. It didn’t help that he was thinking of every science fiction movie he had ever seen and it was just a matter of time before “when the man comes around” would be blaring and he would be sprinting down the street with hordes of zombies behind him. He wanted to smile at the thought of this being a completely farfetched idea but the way world had been the last year, it didn’t seem too far off.


With the government expanding its fingers exponentially and laws being declared daily, there was no longer the illusion of safety, instead there was the real feeling of fear. If the government was overreacting, what did they know? What was it that was making them act so quickly and at times mercilessly? Especially the last few days. With military presence becoming a daily routine, people disappearing, or being shot for saying the wrong things. Being at the “wrong place at the wrong time”, the idea of a comic book gore fest didn’t seem as ridiculous as it used to…

When he grabbed his keys for his truck he realized his hands were sweating and cursed at himself for getting so lost in his imagination. His 92 bronco was no quiet lady and he knew this. She took to swift turns on the ignition and she roared on. He placed his hands on the dashboard and got lost in memories of bringing his truck to his dad. He had grown up with a similar truck when he was a boy and the pride in his parents eyes when he rolled this tank in their front lawn was priceless. He thought of endless dark nights driving in circles for no reason when the world was normal. He thought of her… windows down blowing wind through her hair as country music echoed through dusty back roads and city streets. He remembered the smile she shot his way when he turned the volume up even louder just to show off the sound system he didn’t know how to use but came with the truck. She knew that too, and still smiled anyway… there was so much that needed to be said, so much he wanted to say... and the silence of the day drenched him with sadness.


He checked his phone again… Nothing…


He backed up as the giant tires of the lifted Bronco were too big for her frame and scraped loudly against the bumper. No louder noise in the world could have been created and yet, not a single movement in the world. He drove. Not exactly knowing where to go but instinctually  heading in the direction towards his gym. Being a creature of habit he didn’t even notice as he turned right in the direction of his previous job. Before things had gone south, he had been the owner of a gym that had local popularity and a great culture of lifters. He had worked endlessly to keep it open during the first weeks of quarantine but as the mandates began to drop harder and harder on his back, he had no choice but to officially shut her down. During this time, some of the more loyal lifters and clients would come in the cover at night when police patrols were at their lowest and small gathering revolved around the big lifts and the gyms liquor stores from previous parties. But eventually that too came to an end. People were forced into their homes and with allocated communication times it became harder and harder to reach out to non-family or non-essential members in your life. When had his friends become so distant? When had that happiness slipped so fast from his life?


He sat there driving in a daze wondering where they had all gone? If they were healthy? If they were home or safe? Had they been moved to the Navy ships for containment? Had they been ruthlessly isolated from their loved ones like he had been? He squeezed the steering wheel so tight his knuckles turned white and his hands ached from the pressure. When the fuck had all that disappeared he yelled at himself…


It was then when he caught something from the corner of his eyes. Something… was it clear? It almost reflected light as it streaked by the corner of his left eye. He slowed the truck down on the intersection a few miles from the gym only to be met by dead silence. He turned the truck off and looked around, this time not caught up in awful memories but instead with a very heightened sense of things. He had not even noticed he was in the middle of an intersection that now seemed to be abandoned. Aside from a corner spot covered in a military tent and what used to be a small check point, there was nothing. He looked around for some sort of presence or contact or even a gun being pointed at him from the early hero recruits that were placed in the police department out of desperation to swell numbers. With the odds stacked against them, who could blame them he thought.


He looked…Nothing…


There it was again! Something moving around but he couldn’t get a shape of anything just that small annoying flash. He looked over hoping to see the sun reflecting off of someone’s watch or glasses or something. Instead he found himself staring into empty office buildings that had been boarded up, used up for storage by the government, or completely looted. He reached into his bag and got his gun. He had seen way too many movies to be that asshole that simply walked into trouble without a proper weapon. He walked slowly but noticing every piece of gravel making a cracking sound as he slid by them with his boots. He was tempted to call out but knew better. As he got closer to where he had noticed the flash, or light or movement?… He felt his heart pounding through his chest. He was tense, almost anticipating something. He didn’t know if it was the loaded gun in his hands, the movie paranoia or the immense silence around him but the hairs on his neck were standing up like never before. He couldn’t shake the feeling that he wasn’t alone as his sweaty finger was slowly sliding towards the trigger. It was then when he caught his reflection in the window. Fuck he had lost a lot of weight. Pushups and pull ups could only go so far as he rapidly assessed just how much strength he had probably lost. His beard looked a little extra disheveled and why hadn’t he shaved his head recently? Days? Since when? How long was I asleep…


FFFFFFFFT!….. “REEEAAAAAAAARRRR! And then nothing…


… He heard it… fucking close. A sliding shoe or was it a bare foot? A cat... That was a fucking cat and it’s hurt! Or was…


It was fast and felt right around the corner. He breathed in tight, listening to his heart beat as he tried to remember all the previous years of martial arts and guns training. He took the corner with a swift turn confidently aiming the gun at a safe position to mask the sheer terror that drummed in his head. His eyes widened, and his grip intensified on the gun. What was he looking at? The flashing light he had seen previously hard turned into a real figure or form or something right in front of him. He could see a small cat floating? The cat being ripped apart in midair as if something was holding it… No… tearing at it. As the blood splattered against a form, a light, or something impossibly carnal. Blood landed on what looked to be teeth and shoulders and the top of a bald head as piece by piece of this poor cat was being consumed. The creature? The thing? It ate endlessly, unbothered by his presence as the crunching sound of bone and sinew echoed viscerally behind the warehouse bay. The lifeless body and cold eyes of this poor creature being ravaged and shaken wildly like if by a wild dog in human form.


“WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?!?”, he roared. He knew he fucked up. He knew it the moment he opened his mouth and couldn’t help himself. What the fuck was it and why was it eating this cat? It turned with an unexpected speed. Its mouth a gaping dark red hole dripping with what was left of the cat. The splatter of blood had painted this... thing… enough to show what looked to be... a face? Was this a person? Hands, yes hands he thought, covered in blood giving them the very real shape and digit index of a human being. It looked at him from where he thought eyes would be but instead he was looking at the cement side walk behind the figure. Its invisible?.. this thing is invisible and it’s looking right fucking at me, he yelled to himself, as everything seemed to be happening a hundred miles an hour but simultaneously at a turtles pace.


It lunged with impossible tenacity at him, uncaring and unyielding with a very real desire to destroy. “HEY!!”, he screamed as he fell back expecting to have pulled the trigger but instead caught up in the split second of seeing an invisible “thing” rip apart a living creature. The being knocked him over with a loud thud grabbing onto one of his legs as it crawled up his body like a ladder of flesh intending to rip his throat apart. An easy and effective kill as a wild animal would do. The blood had drained enough down the chin of this thing for its throat to be painted into vision as his hand instinctually went to grab it and hold this thing back from killing him. The being seemed unaware of what or where the gun was as it lunged, nipped, growled, reached  and bit at thin air as the slamming sound of teeth chomping hitting clamored  in the air.


He breathed in and stiffened as he placed his gun on what he felt or looked like the side of this things head. He pulled the trigger wildly placing 3 out of 4 shots into the head of this monster as blood, skull fragments ,and brain matter exploded behind, in front and around the invisible form with the fourth bullet slamming into the bay door. The being fell lifeless next to him as he breathed loud into the air “FUCK.. WHAT THE FUCK MAN?!?”. He was breathing harder than he had ever done in his life... as confusion, fear, anxiety, doubt, and survival drained out of his body. With his eyes to the sky and strange blood dripping off his face and through his shirt he felt exhausted. Weakened by the experience and overwhelmed by the fact that he had just fought for his life and it didn’t end up exactly how he had envisioned during his younger years. Man to man maybe, man to beast possibly but this… what the fuck what this?


He was barely catching his breath and rolling up from the sticky fresh blood puddle when he heard something… something close again… Was it breathing, or growling, or … It didn’t matter… it was close and it was more than one as he could hear the slapping of flesh on asphalt at a full sprint around the corner. He turned to look towards his truck which felt miles away and began to run, to sprint, to dash for his life. He ran with everything left in his body with an overwhelming dread in his heart and very real death at his boot heels. He ran as he heard them behind him at full tilt… he ran….


© 2019 BATTLE AXE GYM

  • White Instagram Icon
  • White YouTube Icon
  • White Facebook Icon