The Last. Short Story.

Hope everyone had a good weekend, mine passed by fairly quickly.

It was pretty fun, though some parts were less so, like lifting a big ass dog who’s too fat to jump into a car. I didn’t even know dogs could be that heavy, of course it didn’t help that he seemed to be against the idea of getting into a car. Still, we managed it in the end. We also tried to feed him chicken nuggets. Didn’t quite work out. Had to hand feed them to him when we got home. I’m not sure if he didn’t get the whole eating them thing or if he was just too sleepy to eat them or what. It all worked out though!

Also, watched a really good movie called The Perfect Host, I’d recommend giving it a watch. I thought it sounded kinda crappy based on the IMDB description, though I understand it now as it is a very difficult movie to describe without giving away a lot. Just take my word that it was a really good thriller and you should totally go watch it cos it’s awesome.

I also went out to dinner for my cousins 21st, it was really nice, had Thai food, which I’ve never really eaten before which was interesting though I wasn’t that adventurous, I had duck. Mostly because I panicked when asked what I wanted and chose it because I couldn’t think of what else to get. It was delicious though, so it worked out in the end at least.

On with the show!

——————————————————————————————-

The Last.

She walked through the streets slowly, taking her time. There was no worry, the darkness would hide her from any prying eyes. The street lights were out, they had been for some time and the moon was blotted out by clouds. They were hunting her, but she would not be caught, she hadn’t been before and she wouldn’t be this time. She was too important to be caught. The buildings were large and dark, their windows stared at her malevolently. She could feel the people inside looking out, searching, not just for her but for anything. The buildings were packed full of people, three or four to a room. They had fled from the suburbs during the uprising and though the fighting had been quelled, they were still too frightened to return just yet. In another few weeks, maybe a month or two people would return to their homes or reclaim new ones. The city would start to move again, people would return to work, power would stop needing conservation and she would be driven out by the light. She couldn’t remain hidden for too long. Sure streetlights cast just enough distortion and shadows to enable her to blend, but that would only work for so long. If the wrong person caught sight of her face, if rumours spread, she could be pinned down. It happened before to others. Jezzy, her last sister, had been cornered that way. Some stupid kids saw her, they didn’t get the significance, but they ran home to tell their parents about the freak they had seen. It wasn’t long before a mob had started. They had dealt with her before the police arrived. When they finally did there was nothing left of Jezzy, they only knew what she was through DNA testing of some blood splatters. Not that those who did it were punished, oh no, they were just doing their civic duty. One by one her family had been hunted, her parents had died together, in a fire. Her brothers had all gone out with blazing guns, too stupid and cocky to be cunning, they knew they could take on the world and had to make sure everyone else knew it too. They had died screaming, crying and begging for mercy, or so she heard. They deserved it. Only her youngest sister, Ellabell, had died accidentally, she had fallen down a covered well when she was six. They didn’t find her for a week. When they had she had already died, her parents thought the shock had killed Ellabell and she hoped so too.

Her skin was distorted and marked, traits of her kind. It had served them as an advantage before, but now it was a beacon for death. She needed to be careful. There were surgeries that would remove them, but they were dangerous at the best of times, lethal at the worst. They left scars too, not as obvious, but could still mean death if people were suspicious. Some got extra scarring, so they could say they were in a fire or an accident. She didn’t have the money for that kind of surgery, not anymore. They had sold all of their belongings a long time ago. The money had run out surprisingly fast, but they needed food and shelter and it always cost more for their kind, even when they found shop keepers who were sympathetic.

she took a left, then continued on, it wouldn’t be much longer until she reached her nest. It had escaped everything pretty much unscathed, then again there wasn’t much in it anyway. Anything she needed was with her in a small bag, everything else could be left and acquired later. She would find a community for a short while, maybe there was still one left. She wasn’t alive when her kind ruled, but she liked to hear the stories, some didn’t, they didn’t want to know what they had lost. It was their history though and that was important. She knew little about her own family, very few of them did, it was always hard to keep track, but the old stories endured, let them know what they came from and where they could be again. She knew that she was hunted, she knew what the price on her head was, hell, once broken down and sold off she’d keep a family set for a couple of years at least.  She would take back what was hers, they all would eventually. They couldn’t be exterminated.

Her nest was small to keep in warmth, she had mostly scavenged blankets from the surrounding areas, luckily she started before such things became scarce. She relaxed into the blankets, shifting to get herself comfortable. It had been a long night, she earned her rest.

The moved at a steady pace, burning everything in their path. The city was ablaze, flames cracked and flickered as deep, black smoke billowed into the air. Heat from the fire rolled from it in thick waves, their thick silver suits reflecting the heat and light. They had confirmed reports of a M.I. in the area, they couldn’t let her escape. She was the last of her kind, it was suspected that they were close to extinction for years, but with an extra hard push the last few years it was almost true. Just one left and they would be erased from the earth. Their ears were shielded, they couldn’t hear the roar of the flames or the screams of the people. Soon their task would be finished. They cornered off a twenty block radius, a burning square would be maintained for twenty four hours, nothing would escape. She would be gone. It might take a while to find the body, but they would confirm her death. If it was a male it wouldn’t be as worrying, but there were rumours that the females could self-fertilise.

The people in the buildings could see the fire grow brighter, feel it’s approach, some tried to run, but there was nowhere to go, there were only more flames. The lucky ones died from the fumes, As buildings started to collapse some were crushed, but most burned in twisting agony. She had been woken from her sleep by the screaming, she could feel the heat already and soon her skin would start to blister. She wasn’t worried though, she had an escape plan, she always did. She grabbed her bag and looked around the nest quickly to make sure nothing was left behind, once satisfied, she left. The fires were burning fiercely, great walls of flame, impossible to pass through. She smiled, almost flattered, but still, they underestimated her, the small thing inside her moved gently. She would do whatever it took to protect herself and her child.

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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