Fiction by Patrick King, inspired by our recent ideas for a post-apocalyptic RPG setting.
Andy is still not back from the latest foraging trip. I’m concerned, usually he’s only gone for a few hours but night passed and there’s still no sign.
I heard some of them last night, the unmistakeable sound they make when they move; it was right near the bunker door. I hope they didn’t discover the entrance. I suppose if they did they’d try and get inside, unless they’re going to come back in greater numbers, they’re smarter than we first thought.
Wow, I just realised, three hundred and forty eight days. That’s nearly a year. Jesus; seems like only yesterday this whole thing started.
It seems strange now, mad even that any of us ever found them appealing. They’d always been here, a sort of background element to life, something few people really noticed. Occasionally you’d hear of one of them attacking people, going crazy and killing whole groups of people but it was always stories, always the friend of a friend who’d seen firsthand the horror they could wreak. Most passed it off as fear mongering, stories. Even those who believed called the attacks isolated incidents. They were benign; some people even thought they were funny.
They are not funny.
I remember, god really, a year ago? It seems like this horror has been going on for decades, for all time, but a year ago it must have been, my count confirms it. I was sitting in a café, a coffee shop. I forget the name, it’s funny how things like that just go when you’re preoccupied with survival. I remember coffee shops though. I miss coffee filtered though those percolator machines. Andy found some instant in a foraging raid in mid July but it’s gone now. We didn’t have any hot water anyway.
Where was I? Oh yes, the beginning. I was watching the rolling news, something we used to do back before the world went to hell, watch news but not really take anything in. It’s weird to think we ever had the luxury on inattention. People were running and screaming on the news channel but no one really paid attention, people were always running and screaming on the news. When the first of the things appeared though, people started paying attention.
It was standing in the street, stock still. Some kids were gathering around it, I remember the sick false smile on its face. I remember the weird way it was standing, the weird way they always stood, sort of bow-legged and sad but the stillness struck me even then. The few kids turned into a crowd, some adults were joining in. Gathering around, that’s right, we used to gather around them, why the hell did we ever do that?
When it moved, well that was the moment we knew something had gone fundamentally wrong. As the thing tore into the assembled crowd, blood and viscera spraying all around people ran in all directions, crushing over each other to escape the carnage. We did not realise at that moment the full implications of what we were seeing.
Across the country, across, presumably, the entire world, they had risen up to destroy humankind. We put our faith in the military and government but they were unprepared, after all who could prepare for such a sudden and unanticipated assault, within a week London had fallen, within a month every potential centre of government in the country. I was part of the survivor group that tried to take refuge in Edinburgh, the group who discovered that devastation. I still remember that second frantic flight, the hysterical laughter of our oppressors the blood splashing on faces that were near-human but never quite right, fixed smiles that were never real.
Life now is a constant nightmare, running from safe-house to safe-house, listening for the telltale squeaking of those oversized shoes, the false, forced laughter. They outnumber us now, those that are left and they seek us out voraciously, killing in the cruellest manner. I haven’t seen anyone but Andy for months, and now he seems to have disappeared. It looks like I am finally alone.
I will leave this bunker and head for the mountains, perhaps there are still normal humans there. If there are not then there is no hope. If this log is not filled again know that I have succumbed, that my death was probably bloody and violent, filled with the stench of greasepaint and the sound of comical honking.
Just another victim of the clownpocalypse.