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The Hunger
The Hunger
Published by SOTOS
04-21-2008
The Hunger

The Hunger

Their cries sounded almost human. The despair in their voices was unmistakable.

They must have realised, he thought.

He couldn’t help them any more than he could help the others now. He hadn’t seen any of them lately. It was probably driving the others crazy – but if they’d realised, if they knew what had happened, they’d help themselves. They’d find something to end their miserable existence and stop the hunger before it got worse.

Turning away from the window, he staggered back to the bed and, groaning, sat on the end of the mattress. He resisted the urge to reach for the radio. There was no point now.

There was nothing on the airways anyway. There’d been nothing for days. Or was it weeks? He couldn’t be sure. He’d heard a voice, but it sounded so far away that it might as well have been coming from outer space. Maybe it was. Yes. Maybe all the scientists, the doctors, the teachers and the builders had gone to the moon. It would be safer there. The man on the station mum listened to had said thing here were so bad that even the army was struggling to cope. Mum took it badly. But she was worried about dad.

He was worried about dad too. He didn’t even know they’d been separated until they were clear of the crowds.

He tried to imagine how hard it must have been for mum to shoot dad. He doubted if he could have done it, even if he knew then what he knew now.

But it had to be done.

It was for the best.

He thought she was just trying to defend herself when he saw the gun in dad’s hand, but dad would never have hurt her, not on purpose; the gun had been for his own protection. The letter explained that, as well as the outbreak and the carnage on the streets. She filled in the gaps.

She had the bug too, just like dad.

She needn’t have left. He was in the same boat as them. He peered at his mottled arm, trying to focus on the scratch, and cracked a wry smile.

He thought it was just that, a scratch, but he was wrong.

Aiming the gun at his head, he pulled the trigger.
  #1  
By barrywood on 04-22-2008
Re: The Hunger

This story delivers shock in few words. Well done.
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  #2  
By SOTOS on 04-22-2008
Re: The Hunger

Cheers, Barry.

The story spawned another one with even fewer words - a companion piece, I like to think, at sixty-six words. It's the shortest one I've written so far.
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