Wednesday 22 October 2014

Horror Bites - Toxic World

I have struggled to write for the new Horror Bites photo prompt, wanting to find an original story within it. I also made the mistake of reading others before writing, as I find it colours what I write or the ideas that I might come up with. Finally I settled on this one, which managed to capture what I had in mind - apocalyptic - but bringing in the horror too. I 'think' it works. Let me know what you think.

Chris and deadwood

Agnes didn’t believe that they had to stay down that long; she was convinced it should be time now. She was sick of living underground, skimping and scraping, eeking out rations, surviving on nothing but what few belongings they had managed to grab during the evacuation. It had been four years now, and she was sure the worst must have passed by now. She convinced Tyron of it too.

They stood at the entrance to the shelter, surprised at how simple it had been to open the steel door that had been protecting them all this time. Agnes went first, struggling at first as her eyes adjusted to the bright light, feeling like a mole coming out of the ground after a long winter.

She stepped out onto the remains of the boardwalk, and took in a lung full of air, Tyron joining her.

“I can smell sulphur,” he said.

“Me too. But that’s to be expected, isn’t it?”

“I suppose so.”

They edged out into the land, which was scorched a strange yellow, and observed the remains of trees, frozen in their devastation, stripped and bowed of anything that resembled life; grey sculptures in the desolate, stripped land.

“What’s that?” Tyron pointed at a swirling, ground hugging cloud.

“I don’t know, probably just some early morning mist.”

It drifted their way, but they continued to walk on, not paying much attention as they focused on the wrecked landscape around them. Then Agnes started coughing. 

“Are you alright?” Tyron asked.

Agnes couldn’t catch a breath to reply; each time she inhaled she felt her throat and lungs burn. Then Tyron started coughing too.

Unable to draw breath, they fell to their knees, clinging to each other as they watched blood from their scorched throats and lungs begin to spatter across the boardwalk in front of them. Within minutes they were prone, and choking ensued, their ruptured airways blocking any chance of relief.

Agnes stared into Tyron’s eyes as the light faded, regretting her haste, and wondering if humanity would ever be able to live above ground again.

347 Words

1 comment :

  1. Poisoned air, nice one. This has so much scope for another story, yes? :-D