"Family Means Everything"

A Fall 2018 Contest Winner: Cowley Student

Axton was the best detective that New York had to offer until the zombie apocalypse started roughly a year ago.

If it wasn't for him, his little brother, Silas, would've died that first night. They've been surviving in an abandoned pier since the beginning. It had proper security measures, weapons, vehicles, and supplies that would last for even a couple more years. It all came tumbling down when someone wanted what they had. During the middle of the night, a very desperate man decided to drive his truck through the gates, bringing in the undead hoard that was following him. The sound of the gate breaking woke both of them up and when they went to investigate, they saw that the truck had crashed into a cargo crate and the man inside was being torn apart by the undead horde. Before they knew it, the brothers were noticed and the horde that was enjoying their latest meal started shuffling after them. The brothers jumped on top of the truck and Axton helped Silas on top of the cargo crate, but as soon as Silas reached out his hand, one of the many undead grabbed Axton’s ankle, and within the blink of an eye, Axton disappeared into the abyss. 

 

This scene takes place on top of the cargo crate. Silas, alone, depressed, and angry, is trying to come to terms with what just happened as he is surrounded by the monsters that just consumed his brother.

Silas:

I... I... I can't believe... He is gone...

Tears start rolling down his face. His brother's arm reaching out to him as he fell is the only thing he sees when he blinks.

Silas:

Why didn't I let him climb up first? He could survive this, I can't. I can't do anything. He saved me. He was the only person that has ever cared for me. When our parents died, he was the one who raised me.

He attempts to look out past the undead, but he realizes he can't. They just keep flooding in through the gate. It is like everyone who died in New York is coming to get a piece of him. He goes to the edge of the crate and looks down. The only thing he sees are hundreds of hands reaching up to him.

Silas:

WHY DID YOU HAVE TO TAKE HIM?! WHY COULDN'T YOU HAVE JUST GRABBED FOR ME INSTEAD?!

He is bawling now. There is no emotion in him besides anger. He turns towards what is left of the man in the truck.

Silas:

WHY DID YOU EVEN DRIVE IN HERE?! WHY DID YOU HAVE TO RUIN EVERYTHING?! THE WORLD IS ALREADY HORRIBLE ENOUGH FOR EVERYONE! IF YOU WOULD'VE JUST ASKED US FOR ANYTHING YOU NEEDED, WE WOULD'VE GLADLY HELPED YOU! MY BROTHER WAS THE KINDEST SOUL THAT EXISTED! YOU COULD'VE STAYED WITH US IF YOU HAD JUST ASKED!

He drops to a sitting position. His legs dangling off the edge, just barely out of the reach of the bloodthirsty beings. His anger has drained. Now, all he feels is sadness. He looks at where he last saw his brother. 

Silas:

I am so sorry Axton. I should have let you go first. You could've figured a way off this crate. You could've survived. You could've found a way to save me. I'm useless...

Now, Silas is staring at a particular zombie in the crowd. His brother had turned. He is looking at his face that is half gone, his eyes, that have no light behind them, and his one arm that is reaching for him, as if to lure Silas into the sea of bodies only a few feet below.

Silas: 

Axton?

He wipes the tears off his face.

Silas:

Is that you? You have looked better.

He laughs.

Silas:

For once, you look like there is nothing bothering you anymore. You look... peaceful.

He just stares at his brother's dead eyes and his one arm that is reaching out for him.

Silas:

Are you wanting me to join you?

He swears he sees his brother's bloody face smile for half a millisecond. 

Silas:

You were never wrong about anything when you were raising me. You always knew what was best for me. Why would you lead me astray now?

Silas stands up, turns his back to his brother, and crosses his arms.

Silas:

I'm coming, brother.

Silas begins falling backwards, and he starts to smile. He hits the dark, bloody mass below and all he feels are hands grabbing him, lowering him into the abyss. He begins to feel the teeth puncture his skin as he closes his eyes. His last thought before he begins his dark sleep is an old memory. His brother teaching him how to shoot on their first hunting trip when he was 12. He laughs as he starts to fade away, at peace once again. Rejoining his brother in the dark depths of an endless slumber.