Joe: Who am I?Mature

Word Count: 920

‘Do it, I fucking dare you.’

My finger was still on the trigger, the gun pointed straight between Cancer’s eyes. I felt nothing as his blade cut deeper into the skin on my throat. It wasn’t enough to do any serious damage but I felt a warm trickle of blood run down my collarbone. I didn’t say anything, I just stared at him. The tension in the room was palpable and I could hear the small quiet sobs of the girl in the next room over. I couldn’t feel any remorse for her though; the anger was running through my veins like a fire and I had no way to quench it.

I could tell Cancer wanted me to shoot; his eyes were begging for it. He even managed to lower the blade slightly but he looked like he could flip out any second. He looked dangerous, desperate and suicidal all at the same time. Did I really want to kill him? The answer was no, but not for the reason that he was supposed to be my friend, it was because that would be providing him with mercy.

I lowered my gun. ‘I’m not giving you an easy way out.’

‘What the fuck are you doing?’ he demanded, obviously frustrated that I hadn’t reacted in the way he wanted me to.

‘I’m going to let you suffer.’

Why should he get to end it all? He was the one who got himself into this mess and he was the one who needed to get him out of it. Suicide was an easy, selfish option and when life was so valuable nowadays I wanted nothing more than to make him live his for as long as he could.

Cancer’s arms slumped by his side and he once again looked defeated.

‘Look at yourself, you’re a mess,’ I said, acid dripping from my tone.

He scowled at me but I could tell he knew it as well. It wasn’t enough to make him know it, I needed him to know how I felt when he called me pathetic and useless all those days ago. It felt like a century had passed and during that time the Joe I was used to had died, along with his parents. In his place was a cold, angry boy who didn’t bat an eyelid at death.  

‘An ungrateful, fucked up person,’ I continued.

He stared at me, more shocked than anything else. I noticed David move slightly out of my peripheral vision, as though he expected another fight to break out. I’d give them all something to witness.

‘You’re unbelievably selfish and self-centred, not giving a damn about anyone else but yourself.’ The next words that fell from my lips were proof that Joe Hartness was an entirely different person. The Joe before all of this would never have dreamed of saying such a thing: ‘The only other person you cared about was Rayn and look how that turned out.’

In that split second you could have heard a pin drop. The moaning from the creatures that roamed the hallways seemed to cease temporarily, everyone froze and I watched Cancer’s features change into an inexplicable rage. It seemed to happen in slow motion: it started with his eyes widening into shock and incredulity and then the anger came. It wasn’t even normal anger; it was the wrath of a heroin addict going cold turkey, who had just lost his best friend of twenty years or so. It was almost animalistic. He lunged for me, vehemence contorting him into someone unrecognisable.

‘You take that back!’

Strangely enough though, as suddenly as it had come on, it disappeared once again as I pushed him backwards into David, who restrained him.

‘No!’ I shouted.

Cancer stopped being angry and started grieving instead. For once, I could fully tell that he was hurt. He wasn’t bothering to hide it like he normally did. It looked like he was going to cry but I couldn’t think about the regret or the fact that I wished I could take back what I had said.

‘I can’t stay here!’ I started pulling the table out of the way of the door, not caring that I was being extremely hypocritical. When Cancer had wanted to leave I would have taken on hell itself to prevent that from happening. Now I was running out into a death trap. I turned back round to face him. ‘Not while you’re here.’

‘Wait!’ David called after me.

‘No, I’m sorry you had to witness that and I’m sorry you were the victim of his vile attitude, but I’ve got to leave.’ I left the room, pulling the door shut behind me.

I started taking my anger out on the creatures in the hallway. I shot the ones who were too far away, thankful for the silencer I had kept and drove a blade through the heads of those nearby. I was running on adrenaline, grief and fury fuelled me on. I couldn’t stop thinking about how selfish Cancer was, how pathetic he was being.

There were a handful of zombies in the section we were in and I was appreciative that we had cleared a floor out before we settled down. It certainly helped a lot now. I was being reckless and stupid; I could die at any second. A horde could come out of nowhere and I’d disappear beneath a sea of blood and teeth.  

I didn’t stop though; I carried on killing everything in sight.

The End

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