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Shade Webb Shade Webb
Recommendations: 4

Winter


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She had a friend.

Contains graphic content and possible triggers.


The months pass by, as the snows continue through March, the complaints about “Spring is never coming!” seem trite and easily ignored. As the snow continues in April the world starts to pay attention. As May rolls around with no relief the panic sets in. Mass migrations to the south. Looting, abandoned towns, emergency plans enacted.


He watches all this pass by. His roommate starts packing and begs for him to join, move to the warmth, follow everyone else. He refuses.


The internet lasts until midway through June. Cell service becomes spotty and by the end of the month is non existent. He is alone. Completely and absolutely.


As the days pass he wonders where they’ve gone. The woods by his house grow thinner as constant fires for warmth are needed. For now the stolen cars will provide enough gas to provide trips down the road, but eventually even they, and the abandoned gas stations run dry. The sled trips grow longer and longer. By July the windchill and snowbanks are enough to trap him.


He spends the final week with enough booze to drown in, and enough cigarettes to shorten his life by years. Nothing matters. He wakes up at the end of the weak with one glaring thought. One angry idea buzzing around in his head, no matter where he walks through the house. 1 comment


They’re gone. The wood is gone. Hope is gone. Only the snow and wind and the frost covered home remains. He regrets not visiting the pawnshop at least once. A gun would have simplified things substantially.


He passes through the kitchen and absentmindedly settles his hand around the cold shiny steel of the knife that had laid on the counter for months. That metal that had taunted him this whole time. He passes through the living room with the embers of the last and final fire. He paces through the hallway with pictures that are not his. He stops for a moment before the last door.


He pushes it open and walks in slowly, feeling awake for the first time since the bender. He turns the faucets in the tub, and is greeted with silence and nothing. He sighs silently, a slight shiver rippling up his body. This room is still cold, too far to gain heat from the fires he’d burned.


He settles into the tub, the cold porcelain against his skin intensifying the shaking. Barely able to hold the knife, he gives one last deep breath and flexes, forcing his muscles to obey for just a few badly needed seconds. He slams it into his arm. No water requires deep cuts, the cold may slow the blood flow, and the last thing he needs is for this to be slow.


He grits his teeth tightly and drags the steel up through his arm. Hitting the elbow and pulling the steel out draws his mouth into a silent scream. Not that noise would disturb anyone. The shaking begins again and the dripping blood slicks the handle as he switches hands.


Somethings wrong, his hand can’t quite grip. He struggles to fight the refound shakes, the loose grip of his hand. He tries to force his body to just do this one last thing. His vision starts to swim. He draws in one last deep breath and switches back to his good hand. He doesn’t have much time, and at this rate the blood loss won’t be enough to stop him from waking up again. Only one option.


He draws the knife up and slams the blood covered end into his stomach, fire erupts up through his body. This is what true pain feels like he thinks as he tries to slide the blade across to create the cut. His hand isn’t obeying, his eyes drift down and fight blackness to see the hilt sticking out. “Good enough?” he has time to think before his hand drops down, all control lost.


The swimming is replaced by a slow greying, the pain is actually fading as well. Only a dull thudding against the blade with each heartbeat, his arm coated in a slow river of bloody life force exiting him.


The thud from the doorway barely registers at first. It takes a few seconds to realize he’s heard something, and a handful more to work the energy to turn his head. His roommate stands in the doorway, an armful of wood on the floor scattered around his feet. He sees the shock on his roommates face, the movement of his lips as something is said he can no longer hear.


The last sight is of his family rushing down the hallway, his mother running past his old roommate to drop beside the tub. She must be screaming he thinks, it’s too bad there’s no hospitals left.


He fades.


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Next: Ode to a Bumble Bee That Flew Into My Room