Survivors of the Z’s- Graham Jackson, Nottingham, UK
The rest I had was soothing.
Bad at first
Hard to get to sleep with all the visions coming in and out. Every time I closed my eyes I saw those fucking monsters. Those grotesque creatures walking towards us in the night with the high flames. At the end the exhaustion was just too much to bear and I had nodded off moments later.
I needed the sleep, but it still didn’t stop the nightmares from flowing through. The nightmares that would pierce anyones mind into a craze.
A mind full of screams
And shattering glass…
I woke up and the glearing sun swooped in. I moved my hands inwards toward the light to block it from getting to my awakening eyes.
“I needed that”
I didn’t know what time it was, but hearing the noises coming from below.
I assumed it wasn’t the early hours in the morning. Everybody seemed wide awake because I heard everybody
Accept for me. I breathed heavily and stretched out my body as much as I could whilst still laying down. I slowly got up. Rolled over to the side of the bed and sat there.
“I feel a little better,” I said to myself
I tiredly walked over and looked out of the window and studied the outside. A busy road in front of me. It was still normal. Still heaving with people. Cars drove passed whilst people jumped into their cars, rode on their bikes or just walked. Just another day it looked Iike.
Which I didn’t mind
This place looked like it had avoided the disease or what ever it is
“Least this place kept it’s head”
The door opened and Evelyn walked in.
“I thought I heard you,” she said
“Yeah, I’m up, what time is it?”
“Wow, I slept like a baby”
“You needed your rest, try not to do a lot today, I’ve told the kids to go easy on you”
“You shouldn’t have Eva, I don’t mind”
“But I do”
I put my hands up, “ok, you’re the boss”
“Please, I don’t want you putting pressure on yourself”
“I just said ok didn’t I, I will follow your orders”
“Just a worried daughter looking after an old man”
“Hey, watch yourself,” I smiled
It went quiet for some time. She looked upset all of a sudden. The mood had changed dramatically and I wanted to know why. I walked over to her and looked into her eyes. She wasn’t even focused, it was like she was thinking too hard. Something was bothering her. Then I knew I had to jump in and be a dad.
“I haven’t even told her and the kids about David”
She burst into tears. After everything that had happened
All the loud noises
All the violence
And shocking moments
We hadn’t even had time to think and now we had time. It was all tumbling upon us.
It had beckoned
The tears came fast
“We have too, we can’t not tell them Eveyln”
“I know,” she sobbed, “Theresa has already lost her husband, the next thing she needs is to lose a son and the kids… to lose their dad, it’s going to destroy them”
“You’re strong, you’re their mum and you’ll get them on their feet again, but the last thing we can’t do is to let them find out on their own, we can’t drag this out…” I grasped her shoulders, “look at me,” she looked, “we have to tell them know”
I rethought and retraced my steps. Erasing the words that I had laid out.
“We will tell them later, first, I want to see my grand- kids with a smile”
Maybe saying that was selfish. Yes it was
I just wanted to see smiles instead of sadness. With all that’s been happening
People predicting on TV that it’s the end. I just wanted a little happiness for a short time and a break from the gloom.
Does that make sense?
She gulped, “when? My hearts broken, dad, I don’t think I can wait any longer”
“Please,” I begged, “I just want to see my grandkids with a smile… please”
Her eyes closed and she clenched them. More tears and each one had a message. This was my doing and I began to feel the guilt.
Footsteps suddenly ran up the stairs and two beautiful kids, my granddaughters, ran in with all smiles. Suddenly we had to act. We had to wipe away the tears and gloom.
Suddenly we had to hide our emotions from the world.
The next to walk through the door was Theresa. It was all there. Everybody was there. Outside the pleasure and love of seeing my granddaughters showed.
I feared that my daughter would halt the happiness forever that had arrived in my head by telling the untold. I looked her way and I could tell she was desperate.
With no voice
I begged she’d hold it together.
“So, how’s my boy doing?” Theresa asked
She was a beautiful woman. Her mind, her humour and how wise she was. She was always a pleasure to talk to when I saw her. Her presence was a ten ton metal box lifting over our heads. The next words that were going to be spoken would either crush us
Make it hang a little longer.
“He’s…” Evelyn began