Read more of Ella at The End Of The World
I didn’t want to, but I had no choice.
Me and Little Mary were in the back garden, while Martin held things down in the front. It was an exciting night, because Little Mary and I had been saving our tobacco rations, and I still had a big supply of caramel digestives, so we decided to have a little break by the river, because it had been quiet.
The bunker has a pretty small back garden, but it leads out onto a river, that goes all the way through the village. We’ve put up fences around the banks, and into the back garden, but we left the river alone. That was our fatal mistake.
We didn’t think they could swim. They never can, in books and films, and well, they can’t now, but they could walk. We didn’t know. I’m typing this now and I feel so stupid, so fucking stupid, because why didn’t we think to close off the river somehow? We never went in there, because it was pretty choppy most of the time, so we didn’t want to get hurt, or caught up in it, and carried off to God knows where.
We were having a cigarette break, when we heard that familiar growl, low somewhere in the distance, so we checked the fences, and found nothing. Again, stupid, because we just assumed they were further away, and got on with our break. Then we heard it again, but closer, so, again, stupidly, we checked the fences, and again, there was nothing there.
It was in the river. it had begun crawling out, but it was so dark that we couldn’t see it. The river was loud, as always, and now that I think about it, being caught off guard, in a place with a noisy river was probably stupid. Everything about this was so stupid.
It grabbed Little Mary. Right around her ankle. She started kicking at it, and managed to shake it off, but it was followed. There were more of them, crawling onto the banks, some of them just standing, tall and terrifying, walking out of the river, like that bloke from the bible. We got as many as we could.
They got her.
We didn’t even notice at first, we were just sat on the floor, full of adrenaline eating biscuits and chatting for ages, until I spotted the blood, seeping through her jeans, from her ankle. I knew what Martin had said I should so (one shot straight to the head, no questions) but I thought he might think differently about his sister, so, I asked. I felt so stupid, so scared, leaving her on the floor, in tears, while I went to the front garden. I could barely speak. He kissed me, and asked what I needed him for, and I couldn’t speak, I just took his hand and pulled him back into the back garden with me.
He ran to her, and he was shouting, but I couldn’t get all the words straight in my head. There was so much crying. Her, me, him. So much noise. Then growling. I thought it was more of them, but it was her. She’d started to turn, or she had turned. I don’t know, it was so quick. Little Mary. My friend. My sister. She was coming at him. They’d taken her. She was gone. I had no other choice.
One shot. Straight to the head. No questions.
I think he understands. I hope he understands. Either way, I’ve never understood him more.