Help Is on the Way
“I’ve got movement off the east gate. Two figures, health status unknown.” said the watchman into his radio. “Keep an eye on them and check in with developments. If you see a threat, take care of it. ” crackled the reply. The figures stumbled toward the main gate of the compound. The guard leveled his scope on the man in the lead. “Don’t shoot! Please, don’t shoot!” shouted the first stranger. “We aren’t infected!” The watchman radioed the news in. “You’re going to want to come check this out Ben.”
Ben, the leader of the compound, came to confront the strangers through the gate. The two newcomers stared back at him. One, a man of about 70, looked to be feverish and rheumy eyed. The other, his son of about 35, looked fine other than the expected cuts and bruises of a traveler these days. “Your father looks sick. I can’t allow him in.” said Ben. “It’s either you leave him out or you’re both out.” The younger man beckoned Ben closer. “My dad doesn’t have much time.” he whispered. “He doesn’t realize the trouble he’s in. Please just let us stay here a few days, so he has an easy passing. I swore to my mother I would give him that, as she was overrun by the bastards.” “Alright.” said Ben. “You can stay here for a few days. Come see the compound’s doctor.”
The trio walked towards the church in the center of the compound. The compound itself consisted of a few buildings on the edge of what used to be the town. Ben and the 19 other survivors had blocked off a perimeter when the outbreak started to keep the horde at bay. It had held up so far but there was no way to tell how long they could hold out. “Kate!” Ben called into the church. “Come look these travelers over.” Ben turned to the two men. “This is my wife and the doctor around here.” As she came closer, Ben said under his breath, “Keep an eye on the old man. He isn’t much for this world anymore. We’re going to let him stay here until his time is up.” Kate introduced herself to the men and took them inside the church, which served as a meeting place as well as the medical center for the compound.
She proceeded to check the health of the young man and decided he wasn’t a threat to the community. As she started to look at the old man, his eyes rolled back in his head and he started convulsing. “He’s having a seizure!” Kate yelled as she struggled to control him. Suddenly he focused on her, and his faced changed into a mask of hatred. “He’s turning!” shouted Ben. “Get back!” It was too late. The man bit Kate’s arm as she was trying to fight him off. Bang! Ben shot him between the eyes. “No!” yelled the other man. “Fuck you! He had already turned, and he bit my wife!” said Ben. “Get out of my sight before I kill you too!” As the man left, Kate turned to Ben. “Shoot me.” she said. “Shoot me before I can cause anyone harm.” “I can’t do that!” said Ben. “What about our daughter?” “You’ll have to be strong for her.” said Kate. “I love you. So much.” said Ben as he pulled the trigger.
After he buried his wife, Ben went to check the radio to see if they had gotten any transmissions. He heard a burst of static, and then a prerecorded message started playing. “Stay where you are. Help is on the way. Stay where you are. Help is on the way.” it kept repeating. Ben turned the radio off in disgust. He had heard the same thing for the past month. The military had been saying they would send help for a while, but it never came. He headed back to his house to pack up Kate’s belongings.
Jill, Ben’s daughter, came out of the house to meet him. She hugged him and asked, “Daddy, where’s mommy?” “She’s at work sweetie.” he said with a smile. She suddenly looked up to the sky. “Look daddy the army is coming to save us!” she said. Ben spotted 2 F-4 Phantoms coming in low over the horizon in attack formation. “That’s right sweetie. Go pack your toys.” he said with tears in his eyes. He watched her go inside then turned towards the church. He closed his eyes and whispered “God help us all.” as the first bomb fell.