The Echoes of the Dead

Post » Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:05 pm

Hey guys, just a very quick short story I threw together, feedback is more than welcome. Enjoy ??

The Echoes of the Dead.

Marshall pelted down the labyrinth of corridors, all he could hear was the intruder alarm as it blared overhead. The dull greys of the old metro station were illuminated by the caution flashing lights as they lit the way for ragged man. One hand struggled to hold up his beltless pants as the other removed his thick jacket in a bid to move even quicker. The man’s heart pounded away, his veins pulsed as blood raced throughout his system, finally taking the last left. He was homebound, on the final stretch; there was time, only seconds but time enough to warn his neighbour.

“Get up you old bastard! The Ghouls, they’re coming again!”

Marshall yelled through the steel door, his fist hammering away as if the alarm wasn’t enough. The old man’s bones didn’t rise the way they used to.

His precious few moments were up, he had to keep moving while the adrenaline blocked out any and all other feelings. The screams of Ghouls were something that did not leave a person’s mind, the shrill shrieks of the brain rotten half dead creatures were all that remained of their humanity, wicked beasts ate the living right down to their very skeletons.

Marshall burst in the room, the lock for the door had been broken for some time and he hadn’t got around to fixing it. It was only a small place, once an old maintenance quarter, he and his wife had tried their best to turn it into a home. Everything could be seen from the entrance; a remote kitchen, one bedroom, a living room and of course a large steel doored cupboard, useable in emergencies such as these.

“[censored],” he said, looking around the room.

The door was closed; Beth had done the right thing by locking herself and their son in the cupboard. Marshall felt a tear of emotion as he looked at the fortified beast, his gut dropped as his heart leapt to his mouth.

“No time…” his speech was beginning to slur, the adrenaline was subsiding and the alcohol was once again beginning to thrive in his system.

Maybe it’s a false alarm.

The voice of his former friend Jimmy haunted his mind. Sure there were a lot of false alarms during their time on guard, that’s the way the system was built, the world above ground had become a cruel and unforgiving wasteland; there was never room for second guessing.

But the screams, they played over and over in his mind.

No, no! Shut up! I must warn them, I must protect my family.

Marshall had recently stashed a large plank of wood behind their old TV to help bar the door, ready for such an occasion.

“Don’t worry!”

Wedging the bit of timber between the floor and the handle he blocked anyone or anything from entering. It wouldn’t be long now before the creatures would find their way to his home, viciously pounding away at it, trying to break their way in. Nervously the haggard man backed away from the self-made barricade, his unsure footing finding one of his son’s old toys, tripping him up. Falling back, he crushed their small wooden coffee table, smashing a bottle of whisky in the process.

“Ah [censored],” he quickly felt the ground around the shattered glass.

“Empty anyway.”

“You’re a drunken imbecile!”

Marshall looked up and there before him stood his wife, his beautiful glowing woman of ten years. Her hair, golden, flowed past her shoulder like a river while her porcelain pale face met his. Though the comment reeked of fury, the woman’s face was calm, unblemished with the wrinkles of hate.

“Honey, what are you doing out of the closet? The Ghouls, they’re back, get inside.”

Her sky blue dress fell gracefully around her, pristine and pressed she was everything he had ever wanted her to be. Rolling like a tortoise on its back, the shaggy mess picked himself up off the floor.

“I always knew you were a coward Marshall Peters. How could you? How could you do this to us?”

“What are you talking about? Just get back inside the closet with Harry, where it’s safe,”

He walked back into the kitchen with his eyes glued to the floor; understandably the husband didn’t want to aggravate the situation any further. Desperate to keep the evil at bay Marshall’s hand searched the bench for the knife.

“The Ghouls darling, they’re on their way,”

“I’m sorry Marshall, it’s this place, this world. I need to know I’m safe, I need to know Harry is safe.”

“I know, that’s why I’m here baby.”

“I’ve told you, you drink too much. I’ve watched as time and time again you’ve not only let us down but the whole station.”

Marshall lost his focus, her words cut deeper than any blade ever could. He began pacing back and forth around the room struggling to contain his raw emotion.

“Well it was your fault! You were always at me to get something better but this is it! You’ve seen what’s out there, there’s nothing, it’s a wasteland, a [censored] cesspool!”

Doubling back he found a sharpened kitchen knife, pointing it at his spouse.

“But it wasn’t your fault, I don’t blame you… I don’t… I’m sorry; I just love you so much.”

Tears flowed as in the background Marshall could hear the soul chilling screams of the Ghouls, trying to contest with the constant alarm.

“It was him! That bastard, it was him! He did this to us!”

“I slept with Jimmy, Marshall… I’m so sorry.”

The man’s knuckles tightened around the knife, anger burned away its fire eating his heart from the base up.

“I know! I know you [censored] did! How many times do we have to go over this?! [censored] [censored] was supposed to be my friend, my partner and you, my wife!”

The large knife flickered back and forth like the devils tongue. All he could hear were the shrieks of the horde as they now drowned out the alarm.

“Just get back in,” he pleaded but Beth’s calm and mannered stance remained the same.

“Please baby, just get back in, I can save you, I can save all of us.”

The man approached the reinforced door; his free hand running over the shredded bits of steel before cradling the closet’s broken lock in his hand.

“Please… just come back,” tears streamed down his face as he dropped the knife. It clanged, battering away as he slowly opened the cupboard.

Marshall fell to his knees, sobbing uncontrollably into his hands. In the cupboard lay the skeletons of Beth and Harry, their bones picked clean by the near un-dead vultures.

“I’m sorry, they were only meant to kill Jimmy. I didn’t think they’d be able to find their way back here. I only wanted things to return to how they were.”

The screams were deafening, continuously playing on a loop. Broken, the man managed to pick himself up and shuffle back across to the entrance.

“I want them to take me too,” He looked up.


Marshall kicked the plank away from the door, holding out his arms it flung open as he poised, ready to embrace the gnarling mass of jagged teeth. Only there was nothing, no ghouls, no alarms, nothing but the echoes of bones rattling as the wind gently rolled through the old metro station.
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Laurenn Doylee
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