Some inspirational writing in warmup for a possible project....
©2103, Bradley K. McDevitt
My third game of solitaire, and I think I am gonna win this hand. Then I think I am gonna blow my brains out. I normally hate solitaire... I prefer poker; the whole social aspect of card playing. But there is no one around, at least not alive, so here I am playing solitaire.
And i can't even play with a normal deck of cards... all I could find in this room where i am barricaded in was, of all things, an old Tarot deck, so i am having to improvise. All I have is my gun, a kerosene lamp, the deck, and this tape recorder, which I can barely hold, my hand hurts so much.
Not that it is gonna matter. I can hear from the rising level of noise outside the room, more and more of them are arriving every minute. That door isn't going to hold much longer, and I only have one bullet left.
The card I just drew was "The Lovers," and it reminds me of the one good aspect of this situation: at least my wife Anna won't be among them. We had been together eighteen years when she got bit: all it took was for both of us to see how bad the bite was, a meeting of the eyes, and a nod.
"Save the last bullet, hun… I love you" she whispered, then I shot her between the eyes.
She and I had been the last survivors in our little band, now Anna was gone. For all I knew, I was the last living person, period.
It had been months since we had seen anyone, at least anyone still alive. We had started out from Charleston, about twenty of us, trying to get far enough north that maybe the cold would slow them down enough to give us a chance.
It was a nice idea, it just didn't work. We kept getting picked off, one or two at a time. A few were still in good enough shape to come after us, afterwards. I had to shoot what had been my brother in law, right in front of my wife. The only way I could recognize him was his red hair: his face and most of the flesh off his upper torso had been gnawed off, not that it seemed to bother him, and it didn't stop him from ripping out my friend Joe's throat.
It didn't get better from there. A few of us just ate their bullets, overcome with despair… not sure I could blame them. Through all of New jersey and New York, we had not seen anyone alive, just hordes and hordes of them, all trying to get to at our rapidly dwindling little crew.
By the time we crossed into Canada, there were only six of us left, and we lost Tina, Bill, and Ahmed when the van broke down in Hamilton. Before we could find another usable vehicle… well, I try not to think about it too much.
Another card pulled: "The Fool." Which is what I probably was not to just eat a bullet and be done with after I shot Anna. The next day as just a blur of tears and avoiding the dead until I ended up here, in this little room, talking into this tape recorder. The picture on the card shows a guy walking down the road, I guess that will not be me. I won't be leaving this room alive: I can see the hinges on the door deforming and starting to rip loose of the frame, so it won't be long now.
Time to finish this game, I am almost at the end of the deck, and my hand is really hurting. No wonder… I can see the blackness spreading from around the bite I got about an hour after Anna.
The hinges just gave way. The dead are flooding into the room, stalking towards me, time for me to go now.
The last card is "Death." Didn't win this hand after all, I guess.