The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
Going Gently Into that Good Night
by Chelle Storey-Daniel
The world didn’t end with a whimper or a bang. It ended with a deafening silence.
It wasn’t so bad those first few months and no one lost hope while waiting for the earth to right itself. Life went on. But then the grocery stores ran as dry as the gasoline pumps, and starvation set in. Zombies didn’t roam in this apocalypse, but I’ve learned that hungry humans are more terrifying than any monster in any movie I’ve seen. Humanity fell apart with every sunken eye, hollowed cheek, and emaciated life that withered away. People killed over something as simple as a rotten apple. Hiding inside your home became a death sentence, so folks eventually abandoned their houses or died there trying to defend the nothing they hoarded.
I told myself in those early days and even beyond that I would fight and win.
I think I honestly believed it, too.
Hunger was a bitter taste, but I’d been tasting something different. I had tasted my own death approaching. I’d grown intimate with it and accepted it.
See, when I found this abandoned warehouse I figured I’d be safe from the cannibals and other things that go bump in the night. I didn’t feel like exploring the place at first and slept like a dead thing for hours on end. Yesterday, from a broken window, I watched a group of men kill and rip apart a beagle, probably once someone’s pet. They ate it raw.
I finally explored the warehouse because I was looking for a weapon just in case those men invaded my sanctuary.
I found something even better. I found food. Actual food. As last meals go, I’d say it turned out to be pretty bland and maybe a little acidic, but I can die saying I know what rat poison tastes like. I can scratch that off a bucket list that has never had anything scratched off it before. I found six boxes, and I devoured every last morsel as if it were pizza.
I’d made peace with the truth; the only defense against a life like this was a good death. I was going out on my own terms and with a full belly.
I hoped my flesh would poison the cannibals when they found me.
In the end, my world won’t end with a whimper or a bang. It will end with a deafening silence I will interrupt just long enough to sing myself to sleep.
Fiction © Copyright Chelle Storey-Daniel
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
Where can you find more of Chelle Storey-Daniel’s work?
For more of Chelle’s writing, please visit Burning Eden.
You can also find Chelle on her facebook page!