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Dirty Dan

Not with a bang but a whimper.

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It's been a long time since I've written a story of any kind, so this is me trying to get back into it. Any and all feedback is appreciated. I apologize in advance for the dark nature of this writing.

A little something for you to listen to while reading, just some


Not suitable for sensitive readers.



A match is lit, briefly illuminating a harrowed face attached to a darkened figure amidst a copse of trees beyond a dead cities border in the middle of the night.

Not with a bang, but a whimper. Those were the words that were burned into Dan's mind with an invisible brand by a long dead man. Elliot was right, more right than he knew when he wrote those words a good ninety years ago.

He exhales, letting a cloud of smoke drift upwards and outwards from him. The sickly thin looking cigarette in his mouth doesn't look like it will last long.

There were no large scale military offensives, no bombs dropped, no major resurgence of mankind's hope, it's almost as though those who survived thus far had adapted too well and too quickly to this new situation they found themselves in.

The man smokes the cigarette right down to the butt then crouches and buries it in the dirt below him. He remains sat upon his haunches looking down at the dim city.

Large city, this one, not the largest but doubtless thousands of people lived here. He'd seen other people come and go, scavenging and looting like vultures at a corpse. Can't blame them, he's just as guilty; probably more so. Besides the knife in his boot and the magnum strapped to his thigh, nothing on his person belonged to him.

The darkened figure stands and takes a few paces back into the tree line, stopping at a prone body. Upon closer inspection, the person is asleep rather than dead.

She is pretty, nice eyes and a better arse. Said her name was Jenny, she lied, but it doesn't really matter. Her cheek is warm against the back of his hand, skin still smooth and soft, a shame. Quite the sense of humor too, for a yank, not too dry but dry enough. Around her neck hangs a golden chain with a small cross nestled just above her breastbone; the only piece of jewelry besides her wedding ring. None of these things were of any interest to the man standing over her, beauty of face or value of gold, both worthless now.

The figure lowers himself down to his haunches once more, now leering over the sleeping woman as they are both cast in darkness. She sleeps soundly, too soundly.

Such is the benefit of an untroubled mind, she couldn't bring herself to pull the trigger on one of the infected, let alone a living person. Weakness is the greatest sin, at least in his eyes, and she was rife with it. He felt anger boil up inside him, his left hand clenched into a fist. Though he sat and waited for the feeling to pass, anger should not dictate his actions.

The male reaches forward to press his palm over the female's mouth, his thumb and index finger trap her nose shut while his spare hand steadies her body to the floor, a stillness descends over the pair briefly.

Strange how the body takes a bit of time to understand that it is dying, these moments seemed like hours to the man suffocating the sleeping woman. But as those moments came to a close her body jerked, one of her hands came shooting up to grab at his wrist and her eyes flickered open. Perfect pools of crystal blue staring up at him, first in confusion then, soon enough, in horror.

There was struggling but very little sound, the woman kicked and flailed but it was all in vain, this would have been obvious to an onlooker.

He did not speak to her in the final moments, not as she tried to speak through the pressure of his hand, not as she clawed at his arm and stared at him with her big, pleading eyes.

Her eyelids begin to flutter, her limbs grow weak.

People are right when they say you can feel the life slip out of someone, but it is not a euphoric feeling, the man did not get any pleasure out of this, but nor did it cause him any pain.

The struggling stops and it is over. Not with a bang but a whimper.

He does not notice her arm fall to the floor or her head drop to the side, instead he sits with his hand over her mouth for ten, fifteen minutes of dead silence. Steady hands rifle through her pockets, her possessions, he finds nothing. The wedding ring on her finger is removed and stuffed into his pocket hurriedly, then without a word he is gone.

Her eyes are still open, staring up at the black sky through a haze of trees. She does not look scared, sad, or even peaceful, but hollow, as hollow as the man walking away from her lifeless body.

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Well done. The choice of music was masterful. I'm not sure if I synced it up properly but it felt like I did and it definitely added to the story. The story was a bit bleak but it captured the grittiness/despair of an apocalypse. I actually thoroughly enjoy a bleaker, more realistic story than a "happy" apocalypse story where the protagonist is a "good guy". Looking forward to reading more of your stories.

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