Title: Victor McClain's "The Last Of Us"
As sunlight slowly overflows from the precipice of the horizon, it suddenly illuminates the ebony feathers of a black raven cascading gently along the subtle waves of wind that carry its majestic wings. High above the flashing lights and sparkle of gunfire emerging from the metropolis in turmoil, the raven soars. ItâEUTMs dark, pearl like eyes gaze upon the chaotic scene taking place far below. Caring less about, or maybe even totally oblivious to, the immense violence reflecting off its retinas, something suddenly catches its attention. The bird casually dives in a little lower to grasp a closer view of its targetâEU"a juicy maggot. It then promptly shifts into a full tilt in order to close in on its prey. In an ironic contradiction to its speed, the raven lands softly on the infected manâEUTMs shoulder that is in current possession of its next meal. The bird then swiftly plucks the insect from the creatureâEUTMs mangled eye. And before the former human could even form its torn mouth to produce a moanâEU"the raven was off; flying safely high above the war-torn city once again.
A MAN LAY MOTIONLESS IN A DARK ROOM. For hours he lay still, as if he were an inanimate object in a universe without time or instant. Suddenly, a twitch emits from the manâEUTMs lips to show a faint sign of life. For several more minutes the manâEUTMs body remains completely stillâEU¦ Until another twitch on the manâEUTMs unconscious face occurs. Slowly, but surely, the manâEUTMs seemingly lifeless body starts to awaken.
His lids open gradually, and he sees nothing but the immediate darkness that painted every inch of his surroundings. The manâEUTMs eyes, still woozy from the long period of disuse, scan the dark room for clues to his current whereabouts. For the moment, all he could see was a blackness so thick that it almost seemed tangible. âEUoeWhere am I?âEU the man thought to himself.
After a while, the man stiffly pushes his upper body to a full sitting position to gain a better perspective. He sits quietly for a moment, than starts patting the floor with his hands for anything that could tell him where he might be. âEUoeCarpetâEU¦ Wet carpetâEU¦âEU he rubs the liquid substance in between his thumb and pointer finger to gauge what the liquid could possibly be. It feels cool, thick, gritty and slightly sticky. After his brief analysis, he promptly smells the ends of his finger tips. The former liquid, now a smudgy-gritty like substance, had a distinct smell of old copper. âEUoeWhat the hell is this stuff?âEU The man whispered in a dry voice to himself.
He thought about his find for a moment and soon decided that it would be best to get a good source of light, to further investigate the situation. The man carefully stands up in the spot where he was sitting at. With his arms stretched out, he cautiously walks in a straight line.
He makes it about four steps before tripping over a large, bulky object. âEUoeBOOM!âEU he slams into the ground with a loud thudâEU"his face hitting a hard piece of plastic as he lands. âEUoeFucking shâEU"ouuuuuchâEU¦âEUoe Murmurs the man as he rolls over in pain. Biting his lip in discomfort, he peels his face off the ground and grabs the plastic object. To his surpriseâEU"a lighter!
As he noticed his newly found treasure, all the manâEUTMs pain disappeared. âEUoeClickâEU¦ clickâEU¦ click,âEU on the third pull of the lighterâEUTMs trigger a small flame starts to burn. The soft, flickering glow from the lighter is comforting. Even though he had acquired this new source of light, it was still nearly impossible to see anything clearly, he could only see about four feet ahead of himself. But something is better than nothing.
In acquiring this lighter, maybe he could finally start getting some answers to this puzzling enigma. He knew that light was a rare commodity in this curious situation.
The man starts scanning the darkly lit area. But as the low flame slowly burns the cloud of blackness away, he sees a horrific scene. It was a manâEU"with a quarter of his head missing! From the center of the bridge of his nose, to the place where his left ear should have been located was a gaping hole. Around his head was: brain matter, pieces of skull, and dark red blood everywhere. The man gagged, but only managed to spit up a mix of foamy saliva and mucus.
The man said nothing as tears started to slowly distort his vision. He tried his best to look at the mangled corpse without vomiting. Upon further investigation of the body, he noticed the man was wearing a light blue button up shirt with a black tie; he also had on neatly pressed slacks and penny loafers. But there was something else totally wrong with this picture. The guyâEUTMs clothes looked like they had been violently torn apart as if he was jumped by a pack of wild dogs or something. Several bite marks riddled the john-doeâEUTMs body as well, but there was something in his handâEU"a gun.
âEUoeDid he kill himself??? What the hell is going on here!?!âEU the man said quietly to himself. His eyes and mouth twisted as several emotions ran down his face like cold water. After a short, but severely needed, period of self-calming he kneels toward the poor manâEUTMs body with intent on picking up the weapon. With his eyes locked on the destroyed head, he picks up the gun. It was surprisingly light.
Using his own sleeve, he wipes off some dry specks of blood and brain matter from the face of the weapon. Than inspects the gun closely; it was a Glock-22, .40 caliber pistol with only one problemâEU"no ammo. âEUoeDamnâEU¦âEU mumbles the man in disappointment. Even though the pistol had no ammo, it was still a gun.
After making the decision to keep the weapon, he continues his investigation of the room. He slowly pans his lighter around and sees: papers all over the floor, a flipped over desk, one broken chair and a door. The walls are an off-white color with inspirational pictures that say things about productivity. He also notices a large window with the blinds shut tightly and by the window laysâEU"a plastic bottle of water.
He stumbles toward the bottled water as if it were years since he had his last drink. The man didnâEUTMt notice it at first, but he was extremely thirsty. He opens the bottle franticly and pours the water down his neck, accidentally spilling some out the sides of his mouth. As the liquid slides down the back of the manâEUTMs tongue it feels like the water is mixed with sand, but is soon followed by a deep cooling sensation. He downs most of the bottle before involuntarily gasping for air.
As he stands there catching his breath, he sees a bit of light hit the blinds that are covering the window. He puts the lighter down, leans in closer and slightly pulls down a single blind. It is the very crack of dawn. He sees a jumble of buildings with no power. They looked like one big black mass, cut by an outline of intense orange light. The clouds looked like puffs of cotton being lightly singed. He couldnâEUTMt hear anything but small spouts of gunfire far off in the distance; in the sky flew a single black raven. It was beautiful and horrifying at the same time.
Before the man could make any sense of what he was seeingâEU"he hears a loud scream.
I have more chapters, I'll post more after some feed back.