Friday, July 25, 2014

Flash Fiction Friday #23 - Imprisoned

Today's piece, Imprisoned, is derived from two different things. One, I have been wanting to write a zombie-type piece for a while now. And two, I started playing the Alpha version of The Dead Linger on Steam. The second time I tried the game, I spawned inside of a prison full of zombies. So there, you have it. Enjoy!

The smell is the first thing to hit me. Not light. Not the pain in many of my extremities. But the smell. A combination of rotting flesh and burnt wood. I’m not sure what is causing that smell, but I’m almost certain it is what has woken me from the darkness.

At first, I am not able to open my eyes. I reach my right hand up to my eyelids and find them coated in a sticky substance of which I am certain is blood. I lick my fingers and apply sputum to my sealed eyes. When the blood is wiped away, I try to open them again. Slowly. Flickers of light sneak in through the darkness. As soon as my eyes are opened wide, I see the debris around me: large chunks of cement, metal bars, and small pockets of fire here and there.

My arms and legs are spotted in blood. I am able to stand, but my left leg is sore. I wonder if the cement debris collapsed on me at some point. I realize I am in a very small room – a prison cell, indicative of the bars in front of me.

What am I doing in a prison? What caused this damage?

On the other side of my cell door is a mob of beings that look human but are shuffling around in various directions, as if they are brain dead and inattentive. They flood the open area between my cell and the others. We must be in a barracks of some sort. Each individual is clothed in rags that look shredded and torn from whatever caused this damage. Most are male, but there are a few females in the bunch. Only a few. The skin of these strange beings is whiter than snow, and they each have a black stripe down the center of their face.

I spot one of them staring at me from the center of the crowd. His eyes are glazed in a pearl white. He makes a clicking sound with his tongue and the others suddenly turn their attention toward me. All of the males, anyway. The females keep shuffling around, oblivious to the world around them.

The ones that have noticed me shuffle to my cell door, grab hold of the bars, and began pulling on them. They are not strong enough to destroy this protective cage I am in. I glance around me and find a large chunk of cement which I lift into my hand. I see a set of keys sticking out of the lock of my cell door. I quickly grab them to keep them away from these strangers.

The grim realization suddenly hits me: I either stay in here – protected from whatever these beings are, or I open my cell door and fight through them to get out of this place.

How long until hunger sets in? How long until help arrives? Is there anyone left in this place who hasn’t been turned into one of these things?

I shove the key back into the cell door…

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