Within | Daniel Norrish


Within:

Part 6 of The Bonus Series

Daniel Norrish

To The Nines Part 6


I’m so ashamed of my eagerness in that moment. I just didn’t think; it was like I was drunk on the idea that I had a purpose, a soldierly task again. We needed to get inside and we needed to kill all who rose up against us. Whatever infection was turning these beings into crazed, cannibal folk had to be purged.

Without a plan or even a meeting between my allies and myself, I drove the van bucking and furious down the short stairs and into the sealed doorway. It worked, the barrier sheered away in a single clattering SMASH and the van I drove skidded in the confined, indoor blackness until it slammed up against a far wall.

The engine failed immediately but the headlights threw two spears of yellow glow into the blackness of that powerless place. I sustained no injury in the crash, so I peeled my sweating back from the driver’s seat and stepped out into the darkness.

I heard footsteps and heavy breathing but saw nothing.

“Come at me! Demons! I am not afraid!” I screamed and I heard frantic whispering all around.

I leant into the belly of the vehicle and found a mallet as well as a long wrench in a small, red toolbox. With one of these weapons in each hand, I moved to stand in the light thrown from the front of the car. I didn’t yet fear the people there; I hadn’t seen the horror Antonio had seen. To me, they were still scientists, still human.

Then Virginie stepped from the black to stand in front of me.

“My god, look at you,” I muttered as I let my arms flop by my sides. I thought I’d burned her to death, but there she stood, smiling.

“You look… fantastic.” I continued.

“Yes Edison, well, I’m different now,” she said.

“I don’t understand, how is all this happening?”

“Don’t worry, no one does yet. Just say you’ll help us. Tell me you’ll fight by our side.”

It sounded lovely and looking into her smiling, pleasant face I thought I might agree. I even thought I could love that woman, but I know now she was a killer and a monster even then.
I am so lucky that, in that moment, I heard rapid footsteps approaching from the entrance. Antonio appeared panting and wild looking in the light as it illuminated his scowl and sent more shadows out behind him.

“Get away witch!” He screamed as he pointed a rifle at her face.

“Please no. Put it down Antonio, please don’t hurt her,” I begged but he fired as soon as Virginie stepped towards him.

The bullet hit her in the mouth and those

beautiful lips split like cut rope. Teeth erupted and a slew of pulverised flesh and bone was thrown out behind her. She spun and wailed, but did not fall.

I watched as the hole in her head slowly stitched back together as if a billion tiny workers were constructing her head back from the raw materials of blood and calcium. She coughed, and smiled placidly once again.

“I’m different now,” she repeated and I stood in silence and disbelief. I wanted to kiss her, partly to see if that mouth of hers worked, and partly to feel whatever miraculous power was a part of her. Then she pounced onto Antonio, bit the nose clear off his face with an almighty chomp and swallowed the thing whole.

A few gunshots rang out and all he could cry was, “kill her, kill her, kill her!”

I pulled her off of him and Antonio shot her three more times. She fell backwards into the blanketing shadows around us and we heard the chant of, “kill them all, kill them all, kill them all!” fill the room around us.

Our comrades had joined us and we could finally see a pack of wild cannibals in the torchlight of the lanterns they carried.

The battle was upon us.