Miranda Kate’s Picture Choice: 2
Title: Final Decimation
Daniels swiped at his face as he hammered in the nails. He couldn’t risk tears blurring his vision and causing him to hammer his fingers. But they wouldn’t stop falling. Big splats dropped onto the thin plywood, all the wood he had left.
Thoughts of felling trees with his son made him pause, his chest hitching. They hadn’t come here to die, they’d come here to live. He relived the moment he’d opened the doors of the old wood shack – all those infected bodies. A fraction of a second he’d stood there and now they were doomed.
Abby had insisted it wasn’t his fault when her youngest had passed, but he couldn’t believe it. Harris had argued that it might have already been among them before they had come up to the cabin. But his words had turned to dust, along with his bones, in the ground just yards from where Daniels stood making his owns son’s coffin.
Coffin. He fell to his knees, his back convulsing with sobs that seemed to come from his heart. He was the one to open the door, why hadn’t he fallen? Why did it have to be his son? Damon had been such a sweet lad; he’d never put a foot wrong; he’d been easy, helpful, respectful, always willing, loyal, his sense of integrity exceeding that of his own fathers. Daniels couldn’t have wished for better, he’d never been so proud of anyone or anything more in his life.
But now he was gone. How was he going to survive this? How, when he didn’t want to? He felt rage burn up his throat, forcing his mouth to open in a roar that tore at his very soul. His fists hit the ground again and again, as though the pounding would release the pain he felt in every inch of his body. It wasn’t fair, it should have been him!
He heard feet near him and felt hands on him; bodies covering his, the sounds of other sobs joining his. He reached out an arm knowing it was Pansy, wanting to give comfort as much as receive it. His other arm found Steve, who had turned to Damon in the wake of Bobby’s death, and looked up to him as a big brother.
He had to stay strong; he had to stay alive. They needed him; his strength, his teachings, his knowledge. And he needed them too. As his arm moved round Pansy to embrace her, he felt the bump, the life growing inside her. He had a grandchild to meet and care for. He had a family to look after. He had Damon’s family to look after. He needed to make him proud.
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