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The Cellar
(© Joshua Wohlers)

There are only three of us down here.  We could be the last for all I know, haven't seen anyone since the last group of looters was chased off by a gang of those things.  There is hardly any point to leaving anymore, we've gone through every house in the subdivision already so we just sit and wait.  We've been down here for a month now, we don't even know what we are waiting for.  At first we were waiting for rescue but after we saw a group of those things wearing National Guard uniforms stumble past we knew it wasn't coming.  So now we sit and watch the world through our little basement windows waiting for anything really.  We don't even speak to each other anymore, at least like we used to, no more small talk, no more fantasizing about what we were going to do.  We used to do that; we even made a plan to get out...there was five of us then.  No more plans, no more grand ideas.  For now, we have plenty of supplies so we sit and we wait.  Sometimes I think we are just waiting to die, a nice quiet death down here in the cold dark cellar seems much better than the loud violent death that awaits us outside.  No one says it but it's there in their eyes, their will to go on is only strong enough to keep them from killing themselves.  Who knows how long that will last...I wonder who the first will be?  Not me...not today anyway, though how many more times can I watch what used to be my wife shuffle past the cracks in the boarded up windows? One more time?  A hundred?  If I'm the first to do it I would be polite at least and do it nice and quiet, no guns.  Wouldn't want to put the others at risk, they have to make their own choice after all.  Not today though.  It's getting dark out; time to make sure everything is secure and get some sleep.

Another morning comes, we eat in silence as always.  We gather our trash and the buckets we relieve ourselves in and creep to the top of the stairs.  Quietly removing the crossbar on the door we enter the main portion of the house.  We move quickly to the open back door and toss out our trash and dump our waste and then scurry back into our safe little hole.  We stand on the steps barely daring to breath as we strain to listen as hard as we can for the slightest tremor of movement in the house above.  For ten minutes we stand there on the steps...our morning ritual, our moment of silence for the dead world above us.  I don't think anyone even prays anymore while we wait...they used to, I could see their lips twitching involuntarily as they silently prayed for the silence to be unbroken.  Now we just wait, always waiting, no more praying, no more hoping: ours is a religion of silence, we show piety through strict adherence to the routine.

The routine, oh praise be to the routine.  It has kept us safe when God abandoned us here.  It has kept us secure as all that Man built came apart.  We know that like all things in this waking nightmare it will end one day.  Maybe the food will run out and we will be forced to try and leave again.  No, not that,  my guess is that the routine will simply fail one day.  We will look up, there will be shock and fear, followed by running and screaming.  Followed by the dying, but always the screaming.  I hope I don't scream when it's finally my time to go.  It always attaches guilt to whoever hears it even if we had nothing to feel guilty about.  The first one is always the lucky one.  They just have the fear and shock on their face and then it's over, no more running, no more fighting.  I wonder why we fight so hard when we are in danger when all we can think about is killing ourselves when we are safe?  But not today, I'm too tired to kill myself today.


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Genre:Living Dead
Type:Short story
Rating:6.08 / 10
Rated By:48 users
Comments: 2 users
Total Hits:12907

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