The young couple sat beneath the ancient oak at the edge of their land. They watched their son playing the family dog, a mutt of such mixed heritage that its ancestry would never be known, and they smiled. Their work was finished, and the mid-afternoon meal in the shade was a well-deserved treat. Leftover pheasant, fresh picked vegetables and homemade brandy made for a perfect lunch that day.
Times had been hard since the end of the war, but they had survived the war, disease and famine, and their fortunes had finally turned around. The crops were growing and there was almost no sign of the blight, only one of the piglets died before it was weaned and spring had come in March instead of May. They were all signs that the world was beginning to shake off the nuclear holocaust, at least in the places that were not radioactive wastelands. Continue reading
This is a repost of my original Apocalypse Runner story (which has become my regular appearance in InMon). It was originally called God's Wrath and was done as part of a challenge I hosted over a year ago. Since then, Bernard the assassin has taken on a life of his own, so I thought I would share this once more.
God's Wrath Is A Joke
"You should just kill every last one of them Bernard. You know this would all be a lot easier if you did." The dark cloud of pain and hatred hung around Felix, anyone looking closely could see it there, but most chose not to pay attention lest they become involved in something that might disrupt their peaceful little lives.
"Easier for who? You? I want no more blood on my hands Felix." Bernard looked in the mirror, trying to see past the dark black bags beneath his eyes to the soul hidden within them. Every once in a while he thought he saw it there, a faint glimmer of who he used to be, long before the darkness consumed his life.
"Little late for that don't you think? There's enough blood on those hands to fill a handful of blood banks Bernard. Why stop now? Shit, you and I both know that you'll be killing more people soon enough. They won't just let you go just because you want to." Felix's voice was sharp, filled with contempt for Bernard, who admittedly deserved every ounce of that derision. There were few men left on the planet who were as dangerous and deadly as Bernard, but he was broken and afraid, fearing an end that was sure to come, pricking the remnants of a conscience that he had thought destroyed when he was still a child. Continue reading
There was a lot of space between the buildings, but Bernard could make the leap with a running head start. From building to building he leapt, each time it brought him closer and closer to the gymnasium, and his prey. Occasionally he had to stop and wait as men with lanterns and torches walked between buildings, but he was patient, and not getting caught was more important than getting to the target quickly.
Felix had not joined him on the roof, but that hardly surprised Bernard. Felix was never one for too much physical exertion. It always amazed Bernard that Felix remained as thin as he was, and never managed to get caught, or hurt, despite choosing the easy way out of every situation. Of course, Felix never chose the easy path for Bernard. He encouraged Bernard to kill when running or stealth was the wiser choice. His friend had a decidedly psychotic streak that often caused Bernard to shake his head in wonder. Continue reading