Chapter Twenty-Seven – Seth
Odd, how time seems to slow when you realise something terrible and completely irreversible is going to happen. She glanced up in time to see the rain of glass and putrid smoke. And her lively green eyes met my dead blue ones.
Odder still, the memories your mind conjures up.
I was fifteen years old, Becky was clinging to my arms tightly, small and helpless in the face of their arguing. By that point I'd grown used to it, expected it even. But on this occasion I was annoyed. After months of her begging, they finally said we could go to the zoo for Becky's eight birthday. And now they were ruining it.
“Wait right here” I told Becky who grabbed the bar in front of the reptile cage tightly with a little nod. I covered the few feet between me and them in seconds, glaring openly at them so they knew I was more than pissed. Dad returned jaw-clenched look I had and mum simply let out a defeated sigh.
“It's her birthday, can't you guys put away your petty issues just once. For her” I muttered. Feeling more like the adult despite being nothing but an angsty teenager.
“Stay out of this Seth, your not old enough to understand what being a grown up is” Dad said before grabbing mum's arms and pulling her further away. I could feel my body shaking and my eyes seething. I acted more grown up than he ever f***ing did! If being a grown up meant scaring your wife every night then I think I'll pass. It'll be better if I just never take a girl seriously so she can't be hurt.
“Seth, can we go see other animals now?” I heard Becky ask from behind me. I sent her a smile and took the offered hand.
“What do you want to see next?” I asked as we left the reptilian building, the sunlight shocking my eyes awake.
“Hmm...” she thought for a few seconds, her forehead scrunching up. Then her eyes were drawn elsewhere and a happy noise escaped her throat as she escaped my hand and raced towards some cages. I followed at a slower pace, laughing inwardly at how childish and cute she was.
“It's so pretty” She said, “I wish we could have one”. I looked up at the animal she was watching. Her eyes wide and completely enraptured by it. Personally I wasn't a big fan of looking at birds. But I had to admit the the giant eagle was impressive. Something about the glint in its small, shining eye demanded respect.
“I doubt we can get one of those sis, sorry” I replied with a small laugh. She let a disappointed sound, her small hands still clutching the mental cage.
The image of that bird ingrained in my mind. And without thought I leapt out the window after her. I'd spent all this time trying to figure out how I felt about this person. But in this moment, I've never been so certain. Years ago in a human life that's long gone, I believed it was impossible to love a person without hurting them. But I know better. Because I love her. Even though there are so many reasons why I shouldn't, can't. I do. Her brilliant green eyes widen as she sees me. I arrow my body, hoping to reach her quickly and...do what? Be her landing pad? I have no qualms with giving my life for hers. But would she be able to live with me making that sacrifice? I pushed all those thoughts aside as I wrapped my arms round her. The sound of my non-existent pulse is all I can hear and muffled by my shirt is Rachel’s screams of panic. She doesn't want me to do this. But its too late. Can't exactly go back. The last thing I remember is the feel of her lips against mine. She doesn't fight anymore but I can feel wet tears flowing down her cheeks.
Eddie swore even louder this time. He'd used a few choice words when his bullet had bounced off the window. He'd attacked the car with his fists when Rachel and Dan came flying out the window and time seemed to slow down. Then Seth joined her. But our attention couldn't stay on them for long because a cold voice I recognised too well spoke.
“How romantic, dying together” Lucinda murmured, watching their fall with a smile. Chris, it seemed, had hit breaking point. Because he didn't even bother waiting around he just aimed, the laser sight of the rifle dancing over her chest. She gave him a disdainful look.
“Think me and Dan are the worst you need to worry about? I guarantee that getting rid of us will just open the floor for someone else – face it, the human race will never recover” Lucinda sounded the sanest I'd ever seen her, even if the subject was insane. Then I noticed the red stain on her side.
“Plus, you'd be doing me a favour” she said, laughing. Then got interrupted by violent coughing.
“Just put her out of her misery” Mary whispered. Chris nodded and the bullet shot echoed around the space. Nearly all the mindless zombies were dead. The left humans quickly have their wounds seen too. If they got them cleaned quickly enough they might not turn. Lucinda looked relieved in death, creepy in every sense I guess. I glanced back towards the window. But only one body lay bloody and battered on the ground. Eddie walked over to it, putting a few dozens gunshots into his head to ensure that this time, he stayed dead. It didn't take long for us to rescue Becky, she was covered in smoke and her breathing was dry and raspy, but they said she would recover. I starred at the broken window again.
“What happened?” I asked, but no one could answer.