The Flailing Madman

He crouched behind the broken down wall, rubble strewn at his feet. The sun beat down from above, baking the scorched earth beneath his feet. The whole world had gone to hell; all that was left was survival. He took a swig from his rapidly emptying water bottle; he had to find a new source of fresh water soon else he’d be done for.

He quickly checked his semi-automatic machine gun. The clip was pretty much full, and he had a couple of spares tucked into his belt. Should be enough to last him for a while if he made every shot count. Again, though, he needed to resupply. He’d spent too long in the wilderness where it was relatively safe. Staying away from formerly inhabited areas was the best way to avoid other survivors, and to avoid infection, but he’d left it too long to return to the remains of civilisation and stock up on the essential items that kept him alive. Fresh water, uncontaminated food and bullets.

The shuffling was growing louder now, and he had to hope there was only one of them. He quickly stepped from his hiding place and was almost cleaved in two by a rusty axe. He tucked and rolled, taking him out of reach of the flailing madman intent on tearing him in two. He paused for just a moment as he found his feet, and regained his bearing, taking in his attacker. The short, hairy man seemed deranged, whether through loneliness and desperation or infection he could not tell. He couldn’t take the risk that his assailant was infected with the ferocious, brain eating disease which left its victims as little more than mindless savages. If he were to pause and offer this sad specimen of humanity aid then it would more than likely result in contracting the virus himself. Then all of his efforts to remain alive would have been worthless, and the hope that he clung to that somewhere in this devastation she was still alive, and still hoping that he’d find her, would be empty and meaningless. If she was still alive, he couldn’t fail her, he had to stay alive.

He squeezed the trigger on his gun, set to single fire, and one solitary bullet sped from the muzzle towards the madman’s forehead. A simple red hole appeared between his eyes and a split second later the back of his head exploded, spraying the remains of his disease ridden brain across the street behind him. He fell to his knees, the axe still flailing in hands that refused to accept death, and eventually collapsed into a twitching, bloodied mass.

He moved on into the remains of the settlement. He’d find water, food and ammunition and then he’d be gone again. He’d already been here too long.

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Ian Sharman
Ian is a freelance writer and artist. He founded Orang Utan Comics Studio with Peter Rogers in 2006, writes for their Eagle Award Nominated anthology Eleventh Hour and regularly inks for Panini’s Marvel Heroes comic.
Ian Sharman

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