Zombie in the Making
“There’s blood on the walls, man. Handprints, just everywhere. I can still see them when I close my eyes.” Martin’s last words to his commanding officer were ominous.
“I’m glad you are going home. I don’t think you’ll be back this way anytime soon.” The CO patted his arm before he covered the two steps it took to get inside the chopper.
“I hope not, man. The blood, man, blood everywhere.”
“Boo! Hahahahaha!” Kate jumped six feet in the air as Martin sprang from the darkened corner of the kitchen alcove. He took the bag of groceries from her and set it on the counter as Kate leaped into his arms.
“Ahhhh!! Oh my God, Martin! You’re home! I just got your text!! I was totally not expecting you to be here, but I’m so happy to see you!” She paused long enough to pepper him with kisses before engaging his lips in a long and deep one.
“How did you manage to get an early leave? Is the war over?”
“Ha. I wish. I don’t think I’ll be going back over there for a while.” His face lit up in a smile she hadn’t seen before, replacing the lines at the corners of his eyes and softening them, as Malcolm toddled over to him. “Mal, boy, how you have grown!! Oh gosh, how I have missed you guys!”
His tears flowed openly as he wrapped them both in a tight embrace. Gratitude washed over him briefly as he looked on his family before something else started to take over. Disgruntled, he released them and took off wordlessly to his bedroom, locking the door behind him. Kate was perplexed over his behavior, and the emptiness she saw in his eyes. He looked haunted, but she didn’t have time to dwell on it. She had the now crying Malcolm to soothe and care for. Her husband would have to wait.
Kate shivered slightly as she felt a cold finger softly tracing invisible lines on the exposed skin between her t-shirt and underwear. More cold digits touched hot flesh, working their way underneath her shirt, gently pinching and teasing the delights held captive beneath it. She gasped slightly, desire quickening throughout her body, her heart rate becoming arrhythmic. She turned onto her back, her lips searching for his, her hands seeking his warmth. They joined in heightened passion, anxious for the other, until their fires quickly extinguished. Their bodies, slick with sweat, clung to each other as their chests heaved in search for air. A coldness crept between them, like a fog rolling in over a humid swamp.
“There’s blood on the walls, man. Handprints, just everywhere. Bloody handprints on the walls, everywhere I go.” These words, shocking and unexpected, were particles of dust that danced through the air.
Martin recoiled from Kate as his fingers brushed her sweat. He leapt from the bed before she could ask questions, and paced the hallway naked. His lips were moving, but she couldn’t hear the words. Never before had he acted this way after they had sex- not before he left, and not in the week since he’d returned. A fist gripped her heart, squeezing her chest, choking her.
“Maybe you should get some help,” she whispered. He stared blankly at her in response, a mere shell of the Martin she knew and loved. She buried her face in her pillow, letting her tears trickle silent paths into its softness. She was still awake when he returned to the bed, but she remained still, hoping he would drift off to sleep as if nothing had happened, not sure if it was Martin or someone else that lay beside her at that moment.
“We regret to inform you that your husband, Martin Allen Chisholm, Jr. is dead.”
“What?!? Wait!!” Kate called to the sharply dressed Marines that had delivered the news.
“We are very sorry for your loss, ma’am.” The reply was simple as they handed her a white slip of paper. A quick glance told her it was his death certificate.
“This makes no sense! Do you know how he died? It was only a camping trip!”
“No, ma’am. We are only the deliverymen.”
The shorter of the two watched her for a moment, a look of concern on his face over her lack of emotion. As he turned to leave, a heavy breeze blew down the sidewalk and up the front porch. The simple piece of paper she held was lifted from her fingers. She didn’t even notice its absence as she stared blankly into the distance, a mere shell of the Kate that she had once been.
For the Indie Ink Writing Challenge this week, Supermaren challenged me with "It’s toxic." and I challenged Bewildered Bug with "There is blood on the walls, but it’s been there for years. Or so they say.”
This is actually a longer (and unfinished) piece. This challenge has laid the foundation for my NaNoWriMo story (so huge thanks to Supermaren for the brilliant idea!), and I’m keeping the longer version as a blueprint.
I always welcome concrit, so let’s hear it.