Karma

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It started and ended so fast that I can barely comprehend it. I lay on the ground, confused on how or when I even fell. But I can see Captains body laying right next to mine, face down and motionless.

No one moves, no one talks. We just process our surroundings in silence and shock. Everything that happened today was more than unexpected, more than a nightmare. It's a day I'll never forget. It's a day that'll teach me new things about the murderers in this world. The murderers aren't just the infected that roam the streets, it's also the actual people who still have souls that kill.

My eyes focus on my group that stands in front of me. They all look around in worry and fear. Someone is screaming. Another person is moaning.

When I come back to reality I look behind me where I hear the cries of agony. Johnny lays on the ground, his feet kicking around. He holds pressure to his lower arm where blood seeps through his fingers. Two other men lay on the ground with bullet holes through their heads. I can hear one of the men screaming from his position in the roof.

And then comes a scream that I would never forget.

It was high pitched. I've heard it before, I know that. That's a scream you don't forget. A scream of pain mixed with fear. A bloodcurdling scream that pierces the silent and floods it with a mix of emotion.

The scream of a little girl who's been shot.

I turn back to my group to see Dawn plop down on the ground, her eyes wide and face pale. The moon illuminate her face in just the right angle that she reminds me of an angel.

She holds her hand to her stomach, just like Johnny. Blood is seeping through her small fingers, just like Johnny. Her face is covered in fear and pain, just like Johnny. But unlike Johnny, she's dying.

I can see the light begin to die in her eyes. They get droopier the longer I look at them. Anne and Brenda lean down next to her, screaming her name and telling her to "Hold on".

To what? Hold on to what? What is left for her to hold? She has no family. She's too small, too vulnerable for this cruel world. Just like Todd said. She's too sweet and vulnerable.

But then I remember that day when she was with me in the house. I had to watch her but when I came back down stairs she was gone. That panic, that instant rush of worry, comes back to me. And then I found her hiding behind the couch, just trying to have fun. And I yelled at her. I scolded her for it. For just wanting to have fun.

I start to crawl to Dawn on my hands and knees, ignoring the pain I feel all over my body. "Dawn," I whisper, my voice shaking as I approach closer. "Dawn, baby."

She lets out another scream, but this time it's smaller. Tears run down her face and she begins to cough. She coughs and blood sprays from her mouth, splattering my face. But that's the least of my worries.

Anne supports her head while Brenda takes off her sweater to press against the wound. We all know that's not going to help her.

"It hurts," Dawn says through clenched teeth.

"No it doesn't," I whisper, grabbing her hand. Anne lets go of her so I can hold her close to me. I cradle her in my arms as if she's a baby. As if she's my little sister.

When I look down I see her. I see my sister, remember her. Soft face, sweet smile. But that's all gone now, and her eyes close.

"Dawn, open your eyes sweetheart," I say quietly. They don't open. "Dawn, open your eyes."

I hug her close to my chest, trying I hear her breathing. The soft sound of life. But I hear nothing.

"Dawn, baby," I sob into her bloodied shirt. "Please."

"Alice." Anne reaches for me but I smack her hand away.

"Dawn, wake up," I plead. "Come on. Wake up! I can make you tougher. I can help you fight. I can make you strong. Please, I can protect you."

"She's not breathing, Alice," Jose says. Brenda lets out a son and stands up, hurrying away. Anne follows her, but everyone else stands around and watches.

"We can bring her back!" I scream. I set her down softly and part open her mouth, ready for CPR.

Someone grabs my arms and pulls me back. I scream and claw at them. They let go, allowing me to crawl back to her limp body.

But this time when I look at her, something's different. She's completely still, her chest not rising nor falling. Her eyes are closed and her face is soft and peaceful.

She's no longer in pain.

I sit down and hold her again, rocking her slowly. I sing a soft lullaby, just like I would my sister. She reminds me a lot of my sister. I think I'd sing her songs sometimes, but I sill can't picture her.

So sweet, so vulnerable, so lifeless.

I realize now her soul is gone. It's floated away to a peaceful land of joy. A land with her family.

All I can think about is that she's no longer in pain. No longer in danger. But not longer with us.

I turn to Captain, the man who started this all. And all I can think when I see his lifeless body is the words he said to me just hours ago in a darkening room.

The word slips through my parted lips as I look at his limp body. The blood around him. The red hair shining with blood in the moonlight as he lays face down, arms and legs sprawled out in a weird and contorted manner.

"Karma."

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