Laura James’s Picture Choice: 2
Title: Final Moments
Frank couldn't believe that it had all gone so wrong so fast. The plan had been simple, get in grab his daughter then head north till the fuss had died down. He'd got in with no problems, the guards had been lazy and predictable leaving a clear path to the room where they held her.
Opening the door Frank took a breath, his daughter was huddled in a corner. He wasn't surprised at the way she looked, the months she had been locked away in darkness had leached all the vitality from her skin, but he was still shocked at her condition.
He grabbed a tatty blanket from off the floor and carefully wrapped it around his daughter's shoulders all the while whispering that she was safe, that it was all over, he was taking her home. Lifting her in his arms the loss of weight she had suffered was more evident, she was lighter than a feather.
The return journey to the car was uneventful, no guards stopped him. Placing Jennifer gently in the back of his car, Frank pondered his next move. He had wanted to head north straight away but with Jennifer in such condition he would need to find somewhere closer in the short term.
He pulled into the driveway of a house that had a 'For Sale' sign and after breaking in got them both settled. Frank had kept checking in the rear view mirror for signs of bringing followed and the fact that he had got away clean made him feel more vulnerable. He couldn't understand why after the lengths that they had gone to capturing Jennifer they had let her go so easily.
Now that Jennifer was clean and Frank could assess her injuries. Apart from severe weight loss there were a couple of small puncture wounds in her left arm. After he had persuaded her to drink a little soup he watched her as she slept. She had not spoken a single word since he had picked her up and he had no idea what had been injected into her system.
That had been three days ago and now here he was sitting at a kitchen table in a house he didn't own whilst the still warm corpse of his daughter lay in the next room. He still couldn't quite believe what Jennifer had said when she finally spoke. She was carrying a virus designed to manipulate the common cold into a deadly form of flu. The men who took her had worked for a large pharmaceutical company who were haemorrhaging funds and saw the opportunity to make money with a targeted campaign.
Frank had his daughter back but only because they needed her to make money. With a heavy heart he realised he had no choice. Hundreds of thousands of people's lives lay in his hands and he couldn't live knowing he had a chance to stop things.
Picking up the gun he had used to kill his daughter he rested it beneath his chin and pulled the trigger.
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Based in Dunfermline, Scotland, Laura is obsessed with all things horror and spends her time writing flash fiction which she hopes, on occasion, really scares her readers. Feel free to stalk her on twitter, @lejamez