The Choice

by Thomas Scopel

Author's Note:

Some day I'm going to make this into a short film

The Choice

By Thomas Scopel

Reaching into my pocket I pull out the last bullet and look at its tarnished metal shell. It slides easily into the empty barrel chamber hole and I click the latch closed. I can only hope it doesn’t misfire. If it does, well…I don’t want to think about that…

I look upon my dead friend John as he lies silently before me on the moonlit floor. His body looks old and decrepit—probably not much different than mine since we are the same age. He was lucky with old age taking him peacefully away.

Hearing the outside rustling as they move about, I know they no longer smell him. But I, on the other hand, still give off that alive aroma. Before long, they will get a whiff of me and become frenzied. They won’t stop either…not until they reach me anyways. God help me. 

As I listen intently for the instant awareness of wild, chaotic and violent signs indicating they have caught my aroma, I can’t help but ponder about those old George Romero zombie flicks.

I was a fan and can say that I’ve seen them all. But I am no longer an admirer…not since this whole nightmare began. John and I used to joke about the punch line in one of them. I can’t recall which, that made mention that when hell was full the dead will walk the earth. Eventually, it lost the witticism and I can honestly say that I am no longer an aficionado. In fact, I now view Mr. Romero with a reverence once saved for Nostradamus for he certainly had this foresight correct.

Oh, he had it down to an art that Romero guy and I can tell you that his vision came very close to perfect…except for the swiftness that is…these monstrosities move considerably faster than his lumbering about screen counterpart versions. Yep, he definitely had that aspect wrong.

I can see them peering in through the window glass, their lifeless eyes staring into nothingness and I train my sights back to my dear dead friend. We used to joke about that too. We used to say that when you can see the glaze in their eyes, that’s when to fire, sort of a take on the minutemen during the Revolutionary War. In our younger days, it used to be fun, dodging and picking them off. But as we grew older, the excitement and humor settled and we grew to realize the grim gravity of it all.

I watch as John begins to rouse. His head rises. I see his glazed over eyes and I can’t help but to grin. I guess that humor hasn’t completely diminished. I know he’s hungry…real hungry. I press the tip of the pistol’s barrel to my chest. It’ll be the best way to stop my heart. I would consider putting it to my head…but…somehow…oddly enough; I think I’ll enjoy seeing the world through a milky white haze…




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