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Ghosts
The Last Days
SCREAMING TOMB - TALES FROM THE GRAVE
Saturday, 19 February 2005
Broken Bat - by Francis Allan Barangan
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: The Last Days
He has been walking the hi-way.

An old man heeding a call that he has answered effectively in the past.

A man once known through his deductive ability and fighting skills that made him known throughout the world as an avenging crusader, defender of the weak and a symbol of justice.

He walks wearing his uniform. Once famous and known throughout the world is now dirty, ragged and almost unrecognizable. He carries a boomerang, black and big as a man's arm to ward of the undead that may come up behind him. In his prime he was able to throw his boomerang at pinpoint accuracy, but now he's barely able to lift it. He wears a belt, once full of gadgets, now empty and dangling round his waist, rusted and wasted. He walks the lonely hi-way to a place he believes still exists. And if by chance he met with one of the undead, he never turns back but charges on without fear or regret.

Ever ready to face the inevitable. Ever ready to heed a call. Ever the B---

A scream breaks out in the distance. The scream of a woman! His mind focuses, his blood boils. Dragging his heavy feet, he huffs to the location of the scream. There in the distance, a young woman, wounded, is crawling in the dust. Behind her, a group of the undead walked towards her salivating and full hunger. The woman desperately cries for help when she sees him. He hurried on, but his body is too slow and too weak. Age has definitely slowed him down, but that is no reason not to answer a call of help. Attempting to divert the attention of the zombies, he shouted fierce words while dragging himself. The undead barely noticed or ignored him. Now that they are almost on top of the young woman, the undead braced for a feeding frenzy.

His hands search for something he could use. He grabbed hold of a small object tucked in his back. It's a capsule he once uses to disable his enemies. He took it and threw the capsule at the undead. The capsule hit the ground and breaks empty. One of the undead noticed him but quickly turned away when one of them grabbed hold of the young woman's feet. The young woman screams in terror and pain as the undead holding one of her foot tooka bite at one of the fingers. He hollered, still trying to divert attention as he lumbers nearer to the person he wishes to rescue, every step seems like an eternity, so near and yet so far. He looked at the woman struggling and reminds him of one his partners, mauled and left for dead by one his enemies, she was confined to a wheelchair until later when three zombies broke into her house in the first year of the dead rising. She was found dead and no longer fit for reanimation because of the extensive loss of body parts. The young woman screams again, as one of the undead took a bite here and there. Her flesh are slowly ripped apart, her arms and legs are chewed, large amounts of blood shoots out like a fountain with every mouthful. He hasten his move but every step seems to slow him down a bit. He can feel his heart racing, his breathing become more irregular. He coughs extensively, further slowing him down. He looked at the woman being eaten alive, he looked at her eyes pleading for a rescue. He could see the pain she's experiencing and he seems to feel it too. The ghouls are now gnawing at her stomach and pulling muscle parts and skin. Red blood bubbles up the open wound and flow profusely to the ground. One of the ghouls reached inside her stomach and began pulling something while the others pulled at her now barely visible ribcage. Her eyes shot that look of extreme pain and began moving upwards.

Tears ran down her cheeks as the undead succeeded in breaking open her chest. She breathes her last and her eyes fixed on him. He shouted like a mad man and raised his boomerang high and slash at the nearest ghoul. It hits the arm with a small cut but doesn't damage it as he intended. He realizes the boomerang is no longer sharp enough to inflict terrible wounds. He slowly raised it up again and slashes on the next one. Again no effect. The undead continue eating the young woman's entrails and completely ignored him. He shouts at them again, then raised the boomerang again for another slash.

But the weight of the weapon is now too much for his old arms, he dropped to the ground with a BANG and sprained his arm in the process. His face is turned away from the gore, but he can hear the undead eating, the splashing sounds they they do to her body, and the ripping sound of flesh being torn from her bones. He closed his eyes and try to find the strength within him. He thinks of his comrades who also suffered the same fate. He gained strength from the memory and slowly, he straighten himself up. No way he's going down now he thinks to himself. After some time he was able to sit up. Trying to catch his breath and clearing his mind, he notices that the undead are now gone. Satisfied with the kill, the zombies moved on to their wanderings, walking aimlessly until the feel of hunger sparks again.

He's left alone with what's left of the young woman. Her body stripped most of its flesh, only the head has more skin than her body. Her eyes still fixed on his direction. Once it was so much alive, now it is pale and dead. He cried realizing how he failed her. He shouts and curses at the sky, then at everywhere he sees. He curses the undead and the only person who could have prevented this. He shouts his name long and loud. But no one answered him. Nothing but whistle of the wind.

Then he noticed her eyes moved. The mouth opened up and closed as if to say something, and that may have been if she still has her throat. Her remaining muscles clenches to move what's left of her arms. Her open chest vibrates as if to feel her missing heart and lungs. Noticing his boomerang lying near him, his body shivers at what he must do. Yet he must do it, like he has done a hundred times since the first revival of the dead.

He grabbed the boomerang with his other hand and slash at the head of the reanimated girl. Again and again he slashed until her brains oozes out of her skull. Sure that the girl is already dead, he lumbers again to the highway. Tired, wasted, he walks again hoping to reach the place in his mind still exists. He comforts himself by thinking of having defeated his enemy, a corpse who just reanimated and cries about the woman he failed to save. But there are other people who needs him, and he won't fail them. Again his mind wanders in the past. He thinks of himself jumping from every rooftop, looking out for his city. He thinks of his partners. His friends. He thinks of his cave and the butler who raised him. For a moment he seems to see a signal in the sky.

The man walked on.

- THE END -

Posted by Francis Allan M. Barangan at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 22 February 2005 10:20 PM EST
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