Scritchity scratch, scratch creak. That is the most terrifying sound that he has ever heard in his life.
Sitting, isolated from the world, that is all he can hear. Every day he ponders about his life and why it is worth living. He hasn’t been to work in weeks it seemed, but was probably closer to 5 days. The way time has been moving, so slowly one could almost see the second hand move backwards at times, it may have been twenty years. Still he ponders taking his own life, he has a gun, and he could do it with no issues. The one thing keeping him going is the human drive to live and hope, even when it doesn’t feel like there is any hope left.
The news is on while he is getting himself ready for work. Each day he likes to keep up on the current events of the world around him. Although he only lives a simple life he would love to one day get himself into politics. One of the stories playing on the television was about a missing officer in some Podunk town. They have search parties in the woods looking for him, but have found nothing but a blood stain and tracks leading into the woods.
The living room is an absolute mess, there are soda cans everywhere. A few empty pizza boxes line the counters in the kitchen, and a sink full of dishes. The trash hasn’t been taken out in days, but I guess with the trash no longer being picked up anymore it didn’t really matter.
Work had been an uneventful time that evening. With the same old customers that come in each and every night, nothing could possibly make this day any more mundane. Finally the shift has ended and he heads home. He turns on the news yet again to see if there was more happening in the world than nothing. Immediately he is hit with an anchor talking about the missing cop. This time though it appears that there are several of the search party missing with some other locals in the area. It is all very strange and they are thinking that it may be terrorists. Plus they are talking about several towns in the area that have seen a sharp rise in crime as there have been many murders in the last day or so. A couple of survivors of attacks talk of crazy people that just wouldn't stop and would bite. These people have been taken to local hospitals to tend to their wounds. All wounded so far are expected to survive.
Lying back on the couch looking at the ceiling fan and light he realized that he still had power, “Wow, that should be out soon, can’t imagine anyone wanting to keep my power on much longer,” whispered to himself. He looked over at his name tag, Tommy with a small 2007 in the bottom right corner. Looks like there won’t be any more paychecks coming his way from that store. What a waste of time that job was, but it did pay the bills. Can’t dwell on those thoughts now though, that job and those people are long since gone. In fact everything at this point in Tommy’s life is gone, hence the gun and the want to kill himself.
Awakening the next morning was quite possibly one of the worst things he could have done in his entire life. If only he knew what was coming he would have gone back to sleep and never awoken again. The news was blaring all kinds of crazy things. The local hospitals had an outbreak of violence so bad that the local police couldn’t contain the situation. Many towns in the area have been overrun with violence as well. It appears that it is still located in the rural areas, but a lot of the injured had been sent to hospitals in the cities and they are reporting outbreaks as well. They are calling in support to contain the situation and anyone in the areas mentioned will need to stay indoors.
Tommy had plenty of food, no need going out into the world for that. The power would get shut off at some point, but not something he could control. He had till the end of the month for rent, not really like that mattered either, but Tommy doubted that he would be here all that much longer. One single bullet to the head would take care of it all, then someday someone would come along and find him, but of course his was not a unique story at this time.
He still went to work, as things in his area were still quite calm. Today though was different as many people were talking about the violence going on. There were so many stories it was impossible to tell what was real. Some were talking about toxic sludge in the water, while others were making stories as far-fetched as zombies. Either way he wasn’t going to be taking any chances if things went downhill in the area. Before the end of that shift though, things would go downhill.
Another five minutes has gone by, that scratching noise was still there and Tommy wasn’t any closer to grabbing that gun to end it all. “There is no one I can talk to. They are all gone. Why am I still here, what is holding me to this plane of existence? I have tried to end it before now, but I can never bring myself to do it. Why won’t god let me end it? Is this a sick joke that he is playing on me?”
Near the end of his shift that night a car screeched its tires and ran into the cement corner at the store. What looked like a drunken man came stumbling from the car and collapsed just outside the door. His coworker ran to check on him, while he called 911. The lines were busy on both phones and his cell. It was at that time he heard something….