So Bloody Poetic


The sun rises and I begin to cry.

Of course, my life was always so bloody poetic. How the gods love their irony; the morning of my last day on earth begins with the most stunning sunrise I’ve ever witnessed. Oh,  yeah, sure! Humanity is lost! Everyone will die alone, shit-scared and without dignity; but gosh darn it, isn’t the sky just sweet today? The subtle blend of hues one hundred years ago would’ve inspired Monet to paint! Today’s sunset is predicted to be equally lovely… but luckily for me, I won’t be sat here in this truck weeping over the fucking colour of it.

I thought I was gonna die last night. When the city walls fell, I was so sure of it. But as Zack got closer to the apartment, flocking to the screams like hyenas to carrion, I went primal. Guess it was the ‘fight or flight’, but I don’t remember any of it – just disjointed snapshots, as distant from me as someone else’s holiday photos.

A broken-down door, muddy with footprints. Staircase – too many floors to count. A coiled bullet belt, empty. Glass-stained streets. Rotting carcasses; a dead baby, stomach bloated. A water bottle, empty. The most beautiful rusty old truck.  AK47, empty.

I do remember clambering into the truck. I drove through the night, didn’t stop once. The people by the side of the road were exhausted, desperate, dying. They plead, beg for the lives of their children, pray out in a foreign tongue. But how do you know that they’re people? Don’t trust anyone. Let them in the truck, they could start coughing and before you know it you’ve got Zack riding shotgun. Don’t trust. Humanity died the day they got out the grave.

The stupid fucking sunset blurs before my eyes. What good did it do? Running away bought me extra time, but ultimately I’m just as screwed. By the time the sun sets, I will be dead; whether by dehydration, human hands or Zack bite, it doesn’t matter. None of us matter. I squeeze my eyes shut, feel hot tears on my cheeks. When I look again, the rainbowed sky is so gossamer-clear I can see the morning stars.

A sunset like that is a good final memory.


Valentine’s Day

A quiet knock at the front door sends me stumbling from the living room. As I fumble for the lock, I glance up and am startled by the darkness outside; it’s way later than I thought. A shiver of apprehension prickles up my back as I open the door.
My dark garden is unaffected by nearby streetlights, creating a black and grey world. I blink several times as I wait for my eyes to adjust, feeling like there’s a heart pounding in my throat. In the shadows I finally discern the outline of a body. Motionless, the dark figure stands on the garden path, their hands cupped around something.
“What do you want?” I intend my sentence to be a command, but my voice falters and rises into a squeak at the end. I clasp my shaking hands behind my back.
The figure steps towards me, and for a moment fear crystallises my mind. A million terrible scenarios unfold in my mind, and time slows to a crawl. I watch their body slice through still air, creating ripples and shifts that flow out from them, a tsunami flooding from the epicentre, a scent in the air that slams into me like a wall.
There’s too much saliva in my mouth. I swallow heavily, but the smell is overpowering, impossible to ignore. My feet lead me off the porch and out of safety. The closer I get to the figure, the stronger it becomes until I feel like I’m drowning. Deliciously sweet, metallic, cloying – everything I want. Blood. Fresh blood, and I can’t breathe.
“I got you something,” the figure whispers. At the voice my fear abruptly vanishes and I want to laugh at my paranoia; in my old age, I’m growing foolish.
Grinning wolfishly, I reaching out. My fingers brush her cheek and I kiss her. Her smile brushes against mine, her wicked scent hiding behind the far stronger one. She laughs, a breathy giggle.
“You don’t want it to go cold,” she chides, raising her hands to offer me the treasure cupped between them. I gaze at the flesh in wonder. Whole, warm, perfect. It’s so fresh it was practically still beating.
“You did this? For me?”
Her sticky hand ghosts up my arm, her breath in my ear. “Aren’t you lucky to have a girlfriend that spoils you so?”
I can’t articulate the words, so I press my lips against hers to let her understand what I’m trying to say. Her bloody hand tugs at my hair, pulling me close so we are pressed together. After a moment she yanks me back.
“I didn’t go to all the trouble of killing someone just so you could let my gift congeal.” She reprimands me sharply, cupping the human heart in hands stained the colour of rust. My mouth waters, and I take it from her graciously. As I sink my teeth into the thick muscle, I can’t help the loud moan that issues from my throat. It’s heaven; it tastes like it smells, but so much richer. Its been far too long since I feasted on human flesh. I tear off another mouthful, the warm blood filling my mouth as I bite down.
Her sharp teeth gleam white in the darkness. I chew and swallow, my eyes rolling back in my head.
“Oh, god…” I mumble. She’s there, hot body wrapped around me, lips on my throat. Her voice is an echo within my head.
“Happy Valentine’s Day, my love.”

Memento Mori

Today is a sad day. My watch has died.

WatchI’ve had this watch for four years; my dad bought it for me for my birthday in 2009. We’ve been through a lot together, me and that watch.

I swam four hours a week wearing that watch. I opened exam results wearing that watch. I swam at County Championships with that watch strapped to my wrist.

I’ve been to sleepovers, been to New Zealand, been to school a million times with that watch.

I’ve been in lessons so boring that I’ve checked and checked that watch every five seconds, waiting for the lesson to finally end.

It beeped on the hour, every hour, politely reminding me the time. It had an alarm that went off at 7:55am every morning, reminding me to get my shoes on and go!.

There was a purple metal plate on my watch, and it fell off twice. The first time my dad super-glued it on wrong so it faced the wrong way. The second time he accidentally smeared glue over the screen, making it harder to read the time. I still loved it though.

Do you know what killed it off in the end? It wasn’t swimming; the battery didn’t run out; I didn’t accidentally drop it. Dartmoor killed my watch. It was so cold up there that it froze to death. I survived but my watch didn’t.

I salute you, watch! Memento mori. Thank you for helping me survive through these years.