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November 1, 2013
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(Contains: ideologically sensitive material)
“Would you kill me if I needed you to?” I let the question loose and busied myself with the generator. I was pretty sure the carburetor was gummed up but I wouldn’t be sure until I took it apart. I didn’t want to look up and meet her eyes because I was a little afraid of what I would see.  I needed to know but wasn’t sure if I was ready for the answer. Her broom became silent as she realized what I had asked.

“Are you serious?”

“Yes. Of course I am.”

“I don’t want to talk about this.” I heard her broom resume its shuffle on the floor. I wasn’t sure if I should push the issue but I had to know.

“I’d kill you.” I said it simply, with a matter of fact tone that came out a little too casually, like it was something I had been contemplating. The fact was, though, I had. In this day and age, these simple mercies were something we might have to deal with. It wasn’t like we were in the teens anymore, when we had so little to worry about.

“I SAID, I don’t want to talk about it!” Her tone was sharp but there was also a hint of sadness as well. Last week we stood by and watched as Nelson had to put down his sister. I didn’t think he was going to be able to do it, and had started to step forward when he pulled the trigger. We all watched in silence as the shot echoed away, her body collapsing in such a way it looked like a curtsy, and Nelson just stood there, gun still extended like she was going to stand up and have to be shot again. Afterwards, while we were downing shots of whiskey, he told me it was much easier to kill someone you didn’t love. I didn’t press him on what he meant but there was a faraway look in his eyes that reminded me of my Grandfather when he talked about the Great War.

“Hon, I know you don’t want to talk about it, but it’s a very real possibility.” I looked up from my tinkering to see she had her back turned to me, her head was down and shoulders slumped. She was holding onto the broom like it was her lifeline. I knew she was crying and I tried to sound soft and compassionate but I was a little angry. We had avoided this discussion for a long time now but we were losing people by the week. Soon, there might not be any one else left to do it. “We don’t know why this is happening or who will be immune to it. Even though its been four years and we were just as exposed, if not more, than everyone else, we still could get it.”

She wiped her nose with the back of her hand, sniffling away the grief. “I know,” she said,” Don’t you think its something I thought of?” She brushed her hair from her eyes, and stood a little straighter, anger, frustration and grief giving her strength. “I lost my children, John; Watched as this disease took them away from me, turning them into monsters!”

I could feel tears in my eyes, something I haven’t felt since I watched the Mercy Team drag our daughter to the Cleaning Fields as she clawed and scratched at her bindings, the rope digging deep enough into her skin to weep blood. I met her eyes before they closed the door on our life and I like to think I saw relief and understanding in them; that somewhere deep down she knew her nightmare would be over the only way it could be. Two years before that, our son had been killed by Father Papa when he had attacked the group of children he was playing with. The Change hadn’t affected his body so much as his mind. He was the first one to be effected that way. Since then, we had seen about 7 others taken the same way.

Not hiding my tears, I walked over to my wife. “I lost my children too,” I sobbed, and I gathered her in my arms. In the eight months since the death of our daughter, we never consoled one another, taking refuge inside ourselves, pushing the pain deep. For us, it was the only way to survive, but it was no way to live.

We stood there holding each other tight, our tears soaking into our clothes, for a long time. After a while, we leaned away from each other and wiped away the others tears, leaving the only clean streaks on our faces.

“Why, John, I do think you need a bath,” my wife chuckled.

“As do you, my dear, as do you”, I said with a small smile on my face. “ Lets say we help each other get clean.”

Forgetting the broom and the generator, my wife and I walked hand in hand to the baths.

“I would, you know,” my wife said, sniffing away the last of her tears, “if I had to.”

I just squeezed her hand a little tighter.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2013-11-19
Would by ~jas08 is a "subtle yet forceful piece about 'what ifs' and actual events" (suggester's words). ( Suggested by xlntwtch and Featured by neurotype )
:iconbeyondjen:
BeyondJen Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Great piece. I especially like the vagueness of it and how it makes your characters even more interesting. Nicely done and congrats on the DD! :)
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:iconeremitik:
Eremitik Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014
thank you, jen.
It was a completely spur of the moment deal- I seldom get those and happened to be in a place where I could take advantage of the inspiration.
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:iconbeyondjen:
BeyondJen Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
:highfive:
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:iconsilverinkblot:
SilverInkblot Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Hi there! Just a note to let you know that I've featured this piece in my end-of-the-year journal feature :) (Smile)
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:iconeremitik:
Eremitik Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014
Wow, really??

Thank You so, so much. I am humbled that you chose to feature Would among all of those amazing writers. I appreciate it quite a bit and am looking forward to browsing through the rest of your features as well.
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:iconxcha0tic1x:
xCha0tic1x Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2013
Nicely done, and a tasteful way to introduce the idea of a zombie apocalypse... or something like that :-)
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:iconeremitik:
Eremitik Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2013
Thanks, man.
Its not a zombie apocalypse but something else entirely. I will most likely return to this setting in the future as I think my tales from there are nowhere near finished.

And thanks for the fave.

Have a merry Christmas if I dont see you.
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:iconxcha0tic1x:
xCha0tic1x Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2013
You're welcome, and best wishes for the holiday season to you as well.
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:iconeremitik:
Eremitik Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2013
:iconbowplz:
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:icondamagedhomewrecker:
DamagedHomewrecker Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
i absolutely love this. 

in my opinion, having the wife answer the way she did, and having him squeeze her hand a little tighter...it seems like shes lying to herself, and he knows it...but they'll keep this charade up that she would kill him if she had to...

i think its powerful and of course, i immediately thought of a rabies virus gone awry and taking over people...i love that you never really explain what The Change is...

i always imagined, if anything like this happened, i would just end my own life. i wouldnt want to live in an apocalypse with the constant fear of who's next? plus, who the hell would make cheese? a world without cheese? count me out! hahaha
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