Dead Cell

There I was, enveloped in darkness. The only things to keep me company were the memories of the past day, the anticipation of what was to come and the faint crackle of tinnitus pinging in my ear.

The day started the same as any other. Woke up. Went to work. Got home. I managed to have one of those days where you can sit down and get on with no distractions. I enjoy those days.

Suddenly, a loud noise stole me from my memory. The sound took the form of an icy dagger, flying through the air and hitting me in the chest. ‘This is it’, I thought. Soon after, another bang followed. Before too long the bangs turned to a constant playback of flesh hitting wood. Nestled between the bangs were subtle but audible moans.

I looked to my left, then to my right. To my left, a battered piece of wood, probably a table leg. It seemed to have a lot of weight to it but it had definitely seen better days. To my right, a rifle, semi-automatic at a guess. I reached for the rifle and checked the magazine. 6 bullets were housed in the mag. The monotonous sound of flesh on wood had shifted pitch somewhat. What was originally a bang was now more akin to a crackling sound. ‘Shit! They’re breaking in. This really is it’.

I was taken aback by how quickly they had managed to break down the barriers on the door. If it wasn’t for the voice in my head shouting “Get up dickhead, sort ‘em out” I’d have been a goner. But no, the voice had perked me up. I reached for the rifle and ran over to the now heavily fractured door. First, I was using the stock of the rifle to dispatch of the horde. One by one they fell but there were far too many. It wasn’t long before the horde overwhelmed me and I took to using what little ammunition I had. In a blind frenzy I fired 3 shots, each missed. “Get the fuck out!” the voice said.

Leaping back, I scurried by the sport where I sat prior, grabbing the wooden leg as I passed. ‘Where now?!’, I thought. Spinning around aimlessly on the spot I eyed up a ladder leading to the ledge above. As I ran toward the ladder an arm extended from a splinter in the wall and grabbed hold of me. In a blind panic, I swung around the wooden leg, detaching the arm from its body. I’d broken free and lept onto the second rung of the ladder. The swarm had now flooded into the barn. Another hand grabbed hold of my leg, pulling me down into the mass. Surrounded by rotten flesh felt like a good time to call it quits. We’d had a good run. But something inside me stirred. ‘Not yet’. Kicking and flailing I managed to break free from their grasp. I brought myself to my feet and scrambled back toward the ladder.

After reaching the top I looked down to the pool off rotted flesh. The bastards could climb! I kicked down the ladder forcing one of them to fall down with it. The ladder seemed to push a path through the swarm, almost like Moses parting the red sea, minus any divinity. Next to the now completely inoperable ladder, I noticed something. The rifle. I’d dropped the fucking rifle! “I think you’re fucked now, mate” said the voice in my head, as reassuring as ever. “Cheers”, I audibly replied.

There I was, sat amongst the rafters, falsely believing I had time to recuperate. A shrill sound flooded the barn, completely drowning out the moaning of the meat swamp below. Then a loud crash. ‘Something is on the roof’, I thought. Before I could react, a panel was torn from above me, filling the barn with muted blue moonlight. A face peered from the makeshift skylight. A face unlike anything I’ve seen before. “Oh, shi-“

“Please reconnect controller”

“Fuuuck!!”

The panic was real, suddenly I was scurrying around the house looking for little tubes of energy to slot into my controller. ‘Where the fuck are they?’ I screamed, internally. After a couple of moments of panic I reached for the TV remote, quickly cracked open the back and dropped the shiny energy cells into my hand. I grabbed the controller, flicked off the back panel and started playing brain tennis with myself. ‘Is positive the bit with the protrusion or the other way around? You’re nearly 30, you should know by now!’. The batteries were in, I looked to the screen, the message disappeared only to reveal the words:

“Game over”

The voice in my head now laughing. “What happened, mate?“
“My fucking controller died!”
“Oh, shit! Want to give it another go?”
“Yeah, alright then.”

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