My father just stared for a minute unable to

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My father just stared for a minute, unable to comprehend the scene sprawled out before him. Eventually he recovered enough to approach my grandfather; he gently shook him and asked him what had happened. For a long time my grandfather continued to sob uninterrupted, it was as if his sorrow had utterly cut him off from the world. In the end my father had to shake him so badly he nearly fell out of his chair. He was confused, he didn’t understand how we had gotten to his farm, he didn't understand how we had survived the city. My father told him he would explain later, he demanded to know what had happened here. My grandfather mumbled something incomprehensible, he kept repeating that it was just rumors, that they had nothing to be afraid of that this couldn’t be happening. After my father shook him a little more he managed to compose himself and began his story. My grandfather told us that he and his wife had been sitting down for dinner two days ago when they heard someone at the door. My grandmother had gotten up to see who it was when their neighbor burst through the door. He was dead of course, and he managed to bite my grandmother on the neck. My grandfather is a strong man, was in the Russian Army, fought the Nazis, and worked on a farm before and after; he beat his neighbor back to death. Unfortunately it was already too late for grandmother, but my grandfather couldn’t accept that. He had heard that people were gathering to weather the storm of the undead that he and my grandmother had ignored until it was too late. Doctors, policemen, carpenters, hunters, anyone with useful skills were getting together, to pool their knowledge and increase their chances of survival. If my grandfather was to find help, it would be there, but they
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saw the bite and told my grandfather that if he came another step closer to the compound he would be shot. So he carried my grandmother home, who by this point was dead and beginning to stir. Out of some perverse sense of love he tied her to the bed, so that he could be with her at the end. It was about then that we noticed the blood running down his forearm, he confessed that in tying up my grandmother she had managed to bite him. He opened his dresser drawer and showed us his old pistol from the war. He was going to kill himself before we got there, but he couldn’t work up the courage. He looked up at my father the way a sick animal looks at the man brining the euthanasia. My father nodded grimly and ushered us out of the room. A few minutes later we heard two shots. I felt very strange hearing them, to be completely honest I think I was envious of my father then. When my father finally left the room he told us that we had to leave, that he couldn't stay in the house so full of memories and death. No one objected. He said that before he had done it he had gotten grandfather to tell him where the compound was, we could make it there by morning if we left now. As we walked to the compound it began to snow and I hugged my sister close to keep her warm.
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  • Spring '11
  • Benavides
  • long time, sister

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Christopher Reinemann
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