Thursday, April 25, 2019


THIS IS WHAT HE’D trained for. The Academy. His time spent as a rookie riding shotgun with a seasoned Trooper. He should be ready. And yet, as Tracey’s scream hit his ears, Adam found himself rooted to the spot.

It didn’t take but a half a second for chaos to take hold and infect everyone within the small building. That one scream and soon everyone was shouting, praying, cursing, crying, or in the case of the old woman in the cardigan, all four.

The noise woke the little girl and soon she added her voice to the others.

“The keys!” someone shouted.

Adam could only stand and stare as, out in the lot, the man who had only stopped for gas was pulled to the ground by one of the people who had come out of the night from across the highway. Despite the badge on his chest, the pistol at his side, and the oath he'd made to serve and protect, Adam did nothing as the man disappeared behind the car where, thankfully, he wasn’t able to see the rest.

The others were there behind them, shambling along to join their companion out there on the other side of the car. As he watched them, he became aware of tears rolling uncontrollably down his cheeks, and one word grew in his brain. A word he didn’t want to think about. It was a crazy word. Unreal. It just wasn’t possible. Yet he couldn’t help but notice the similarity to the perps outside and the creatures on his favorite survival horror TV show.

He needed to do something, it was his job. He held something clutched in his right fist, a few somethings actually. He couldn’t quite remember what they were but they began to dig into the palm of his hand, biting. The pain jolted him for a moment and he took in his surroundings.

Remember your training, he thought. Assess the situation.

The old couple were kneeling, each trying to comfort the little girl while trying to do the same for each other. Luke and Dan were like statues. By the looks on their faces, he figured that the very same word that had taken up residence in his head had also kicked down the door into theirs.

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