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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! :)
Reply
: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:
Reply
: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.
Reply
: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 :-)
Reply
: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.
Reply
: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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:iconeremitik:
Eremitik Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2013
Oh, like your take on the ending. That wasnt what I intended but I now I wish I did.
And Thank You. Its means a lot that you like this- I wasnt sure how it was going to come out but I think I exceeded my expectations quite a bit.

I didnt want to focus on much besides the relationship of these two. I also wanted to flesh out the story just enough to have some explanation of their situation.

I think cheese would live on- its not all that hard to make and people love it. If there is ever an apocalypse, I promise to make you cheese, lol.
Im not sure what I would do. I have thought about it- the loss of oil, electricity, invasion- there could be a variety of reasons the apocalypse comes on and none of them leave me with hope of a normal life. Im not sure if I could kill myself though. Decisions, decisions. . .
Reply
:icondamagedhomewrecker:
DamagedHomewrecker Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
well, honestly, before you introduced pretty much any of the story...i kind of just imagined that they were an older couple, and if it came down to assisted suicide because of cancer, or paralysis, or bedridden, or something that only affects one person, yknow? and then it turned into The Change and i was like huh, this is a really cool and different take than what i originally thought.

yeah but if the apocalypse happens...how will we support the animals that make cheese? there's going to be pillaging! murders! not enough food! i saw The Road...no animals survived! 

i would totally just jump into a Hyena exhibit and let them devour me. "Hyenas eat you alive; it is not a coward's death." and oh how gloriously happy i would be in my demise. hahaha
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:iconeremitik:
Eremitik Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2013
i had no story outline before I started writing it, just the opening question. It kinda evolved on its own, which is something that hasnt happened in a long time.

I think I would like to return to the world of the Change sometime.

Good point. I am assuming that if there is any survivors, then some animals would have to survive as well to provide us with a food source. Otherwise, we are kaput!

Maybe you could just try and join the hyenas, live as they live and try to get them to accept you as one of them. Since I know next to nothing about them, im not sure if thats just fantasy or not, lol.
Either way, you are no coward, hyena meal or not.
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:icondamagedhomewrecker:
DamagedHomewrecker Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I mean if they accept me then yes, of course I'll live with them. There's no doubt about that haha
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:iconeremitik:
Eremitik Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2013
All hail the Hyena Queen!
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:iconaerode:
Aerode Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
All I can say is that I love the ending. The whole piece is creatively fluid, and imagery soars here.

Excellent job! :clap:
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:iconeremitik:
Eremitik Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2013
Thank you. Im really pleased that you liked it so much.
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:iconaerode:
Aerode Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
It's really my pleasure!
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:iconpoeticperfectionist:
poeticperfectionist Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2013   Writer
I love your similes and the way you use your verbs. I have to say collapsing in such a way it looked like a curtsy was by far my favourite line. I could rant about other amazing things, but It's passed my bedtime (woops revealing my youth again).

Also, this is a comment and a favourite, so yeah, I hope this compensates for the other 92% B)
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:iconeremitik:
Eremitik Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2013
Wow :blushes:  Thank you.
I dont think anyone has every complimented me about my verbs before- lol, thats sounds a little dirty...

I liked that line as well. It may sound arrogant, but sometimes I really like my writing and often surprise myself. Its almost like I dont really know what Im writing when Im writing it. Does that make sense? lol
When I go back for a read through, I see things differently than I did when I was writing. For deeper edits, I like to wait a week or two.

Past your bedtime? Where I am its 630a.m. EST
Where are you? If I may ask?

And thank you very much for the comment and the fave.
Reply
:iconpoeticperfectionist:
poeticperfectionist Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2013   Writer
You're welcome! It could be taken the wrong way I guess

I know exactly what you mean, some poems I think about too much and it makes too much sense, but other I just write without thinking and in the edits I realize there's actually some better stuff in it than I initially thought.
Waiting is definitely the way to do it. 

It was about 2am I think when I wrote that, I on PST I think. West coast of Canada to be more precise. You are quite welcome (:
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:iconeremitik:
Eremitik Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2013
Its almost as if by following our instincts when writing, we allow our subconscious to dictate the meaning instead of getting our intellect in the way.

West coast. That would do it.
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:iconpoeticperfectionist:
poeticperfectionist Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2013   Writer
I agree completely, I've been forcing myself to write this one poem about the houses I've lived in for a year, but it wasn't until recently that I just let it come out naturally.

Yup, west coast! We have the pacific ocean. It doesn't take very good, so I prefer fresh water lakes.

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:iconeremitik:
Eremitik Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2013
Letting instinct take over is tough- im still learning to do that. It sounds like an interesting poem

I have never visited the Pacific. I do however, frequent the Atlantic. Its only about 45 minutes away. I am kinda sort lucky to live where I do- Just about 45 minutes in any direction is either a bounty of mountains, ocean or lakes. In some cases, even closer.
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:iconpoeticperfectionist:
poeticperfectionist Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2013   Writer
Definitely, I still can't find it sometimes. Too much over thinking I guess. I performed it at a poetry slam last night actually, it went pretty well even though I was stuttering a bit.

I love the rocky mountains, skiing is a blast. I'm sure the Atlantic is lovely as well, lots of lobster over there I'm told. I don't know if I actually like lobster though. 

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:iconeremitik:
Eremitik Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2013
We do have lots of lobster, or as New Hampshirites call them, "lobstah".

Where do you perform your poetry slams?

I have never been skiing. I went cross country skiing once but I was kid and was using downhill boots. Not good. I would try it again as I have lots of trails near me. Downhill though? i will still pass. Its very expensive here.
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(1 Reply)
:iconlealsfeels:
lealsfeels Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
 
oh
my 
god.

every emotion is perfectly pinpointed.  I can see the scene, I can see the couple, I can see the tears and the flashbacks and the emotion lays heavy on my thoughts.

please
keep writing. 
Reply
:iconeremitik:
Eremitik Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2013
:blushes:

Ya know, I have our friend DHw to thank for this- she told me to stop thinking so much when I write. This is the result. It poured out so quickly, I seldom have that happen.

Thank you-

-and you know it.
Reply
:iconsaltwaterlungs:
saltwaterlungs Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Super cute and emotional and it moves from each feeling with ease. It's very natural and true to life. I did, however, catch an error. "He was the first one to be effected that way." in the ninth paragraph. It should be "affected". (: Congrats on the DD by the way!
Reply
:iconeremitik:
Eremitik Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2013
Only one? lol

Thank you for catching that. I always get those two mixed up as I write.
Im sure there are more. I hadnt really edited it yet. For a little while after posting it, dA was glitching out and would allow me to edit anything. Its cleared up now, and I havent gotten to it.

And thank you for fav'ing it. It is appreciated.
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:iconsaltwaterlungs:
saltwaterlungs Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Only one that I noticed :shrug:

No problem!
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:iconantigone1:
Antigone1 Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2013  Student General Artist
Amazing writing, absolutely loved it.
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:iconeremitik:
Eremitik Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2013
:iconbowplz:

And thank you, once again you honor me.
Reply
:iconthemoltendragon:
TheMoltenDragon Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Oh I love this. The DD is well deserved!
Reply
:iconeremitik:
Eremitik Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2013
Thank you very much. I cant believe how many people liked it, lol.
Reply
:iconthegalleryofeve:
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Congratulations on your well-deserved DD!!! :iconflyingheartsplz::iconlainloveplz::iconflyingheartsplz: :clap::clap::clap:
Reply
:iconeremitik:
Eremitik Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2013
:iconbowplz:

Thank you so much.
Reply
:iconthegalleryofeve:
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:iconflyingheartsplz::iconsweethugplz::iconflyingheartsplz:
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:iconlastphoenixreborn:
LastPhoenixReborn Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2013
Is this like a series? If so, would you direct me to the other parts?
I like the way you write, I mean.. uh, I would extend but I'm just tired. Great, man.
Reply
:iconeremitik:
Eremitik Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2013
Nope. It was a one shot. The opening line was kind of the inspiration- I have gotten a lot of feedback on this, and I may return to it someday.

And thank you. I dont write very much, well not as much as I would like to, but Im trying to get more done.
Reply
:iconcuineth:
Cuineth Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Congratulations on the DD!
Nice work.
Reply
:iconeremitik:
Eremitik Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2013
Thank you!!!!
Reply
:iconmicninja13:
Micninja13 Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2013
Very nice, not sure if you meant for the setting to feel Old Western, but I liked it. Adding this to my favorites.
Reply
:iconeremitik:
Eremitik Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2013
I didnt. But thats ok, its certainly a compliment and I can see how it could feel that way.
Reply
:iconclueless-fire:
Clueless-Fire Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2013
Gah, the feels~
Reply
:iconeremitik:
Eremitik Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2013
:blushes:
Reply
:iconlibbykeppen:
LibbyKeppen Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
So inspiring for the sort of story I am currently writing myself.  Love it!
Reply
:iconeremitik:
Eremitik Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2013
Well, go for it. I would love to read it when you are done. Seriously. Send me a link to it when you are ready.
Reply
:iconlibbykeppen:
LibbyKeppen Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, it's fanfiction so I don't know if it would appeal to you but it's nice to hear that the topic may still interest you.  Here is Chapter 01 of 10. :)
Reply
:iconeremitik:
Eremitik Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2013
Thank you. I will take a look when I can.
Reply
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Submitted on
November 1, 2013
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