Thread: Jock - a story
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Old 10-01-2017, 07:55 AM
seandeville seandeville is offline
Little Boo
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: UK
Posts: 3
Jock -Part 2

Jock never understood what had happened exactly. He never saw the news reports about the virus, about the way those infected quickly turned against those around them. He had awoken on the street, homeless and alone, only to find the whole world had gone mad. Through an alcohol induced haze, Jock had seen the infected rip into the terrified commuters, overcoming the police, felling adults and children alike. He had seen revulsions that would shock the average man. But they did not shock Jock. When you lose an arm and lie screaming from the pain surrounded by fire for what seems like an eternity, the horrors of the infected hoards didn’t hold that much power over you. His own mind held infinitely more abominations than those that now roamed his beloved streets.

What had surprised him was his sudden desire for life. Jock had been slowly trying to kill himself with alcohol for years now, he freely admitted this to himself in his more lucid moments. The alcohol calmed the flashbacks and quietened the voices that came to him incessantly, but also offered the promise of eventual blissful release. And yet, when faced with the plague, he had run, had hid, had survived. Scurrying through back streets and short cuts only a homeless person would know, he had removed himself from his normal begging ground, to an area thinned of human population. Several times he had come across groups of infected, only to avoid them by stealth and luck. Eventually he had found himself outside an abandoned off-licence, its doors smashed open. The calmness of the street and the fact that his heart felt like it was doing everything it could to escape his rib cage had compelled him to seek refuge. Holding a piece of metal pipe in his one good arm, his other meagre possessions long since abandoned, he had explored the establishments interior and, finding it empty, had brought down the security shutters using the switch he found behind the serving counter. Momentarily safe from the dangers outside, he had marvelled at the array of alcohol available to him, an Aladdin’s cave of ethanol and oblivion. Well if the end had come, it was only fitting he should go out in style. He had no illusion he could survive much longer out on the infested streets of Glasgow.

He was now into his third bottle of red wine. Sat in the corner farthest away from the front entrance, Jock sang softly to himself, remembering fallen comrades, true friends who he would never see the like of again. That was the problem with war, you made a bond with dozens of people that could rarely be achieved in civilian life. When you fought beside them, when you saved their lives and they saved yours, you got to know and respect people to such a degree that you would die and kill for them. That wasn’t the problem, because as he freely admitted to himself, he had loved war. Up to a point. The problem was when those people were taken from you by bullets, by bombs and by fire. The resulting chasm in one’s life couldn’t be filled, and whilst Jock didn’t know if others felt the same way, he found himself resenting the very people he had lost. He had found something that made him whole, made him complete, only for that completeness to be rocked by the death of those around him. And he had lost so many, and then had almost joined their ranks. Then the truth of war descended on him with a greater force than the ordinance that had blown his Land Rover clean off the road. Returning from a foreign land, shattered and ruined, he was abandoned by the people who had sent him to that hot godless country in the first place.

He finished the last drops in the bottle and flung it across the off-licence interior, hearing it crash into the far wall. He instantly regretted the action, because within seconds he heard a shuffling outside on the street. This was followed almost instantly by something slamming into the barriers which, whilst sturdy, rocked and swayed at the assault. Jock stood gingerly, dizziness and drunkenness hitting him in waves. From his now elevated position, he could see over the alcohol lined shelves, could see multiple figures through the slats and the holes in the steel shutters. He stepped forward, using the wall to balance him.

“Crap,” he said under his breath.

“Feeeeed” multiple mouths hissed at him from outside. They knew he was here. How long before the barrier was breached? Could it hold out against their strength and determination? He had seen the power these creatures possessed, had seen one rip a child’s arm clean off. Did he even care? Jock didn’t think he did. There was something almost appealing in the thought of becoming one of them. No more pain, no more nightmares, no more rejection by society. His drunken and diseased mind began to play out some bizarre utopian fantasy, and Jock walked over to the counter, almost stumbling twice, his shoes crunching on broken glass from the previous ransacking the off-licence had experienced. His good hand latched onto a bottle of vodka on the way, and he now opened the screw top with his mouth, the mobility of his teeth giving a mild discomfort that he easily ignored. Spitting the lid away, he downed a mouthful, safe in the knowledge that his liver was well accustomed to such excessive ethanol consumption.

“You want me do you eh?” Jock shouted, his words slurred. Should he let them in? They would get him eventually, if he didn’t drink himself to death first. But what was best? A slow death by alcohol poisoning or becoming them, joining them, helping them overthrow a society that had used him and cast him on the shit heap. There was a renewed excitement from outside in reaction to his voice, and Jock found himself smiling.

“So you do want me? Well hell, why not?” Taking a final swig of vodka, he walked around the counter and cast the bottle aside. What was the point in carrying on? He had nothing to live for, hadn’t for years. The flight mechanism had saved him when the infection had first appeared this morning, but now on reflection he saw the futility of it all. His hand now free, his other lost in a war that nobody seemed to this day to understand, he pressed the button to raise the shutters.

As the metal ascended, the infected poured in, their smell preceding them. There was no hesitation on their part. They were on him instantly, all teeth and claws, their red eyes bleeding.

“Thank you” he said as he felt the darkness take him, shock hitting his system as wound upon wound was inflicted upon it. He passed out before the virus took hold.

When he finally woke up, Jock was no more, the contagion eradicating everything that had every made him human. Now he was the hunger, the craving, insatiable gnawing in his stomach, in his mind. Now alone, he picked himself up off the floor, the scent of blood strong in his nostrils. The blood of his prey, hiding nearby. Deep within his mind he could hear the beat of a frightened child’s heartbeat.

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