The Shelter

Botond Vass

The year was 2357, and it wasn’t the brightest year the world had ever seen. The sky was dark, almost black; it became harder and harder to breathe every second.  It was 15:46 when George managed to reach the door.

It all started three hours earlier. George was sitting on the couch watching a football match. His wife was upstairs with the children. He had two, an eight-year-old and a ten-year-old. Suddenly, the football match got interrupted. There was a lady on the screen with a text at the top saying “breaking news.” George got scared because this had never happened before. He lowered the sound on the TV to make sure his children wouldn’t hear it and get scared. As the lady started to speak, George saw that she broke a sweat. The lady started with “seek shelter immediately’’ and continued with an explanation. As he was listening to it, he felt his blood pressure rising. George blacked out when he heard what had happened and fell off the couch… about half an hour later, his wife came downstairs and found him on the ground. She successfully roused him, but George wasn’t sure if he wanted to wake up from the blackout. She asked him what had happened. He just told her to get the kids and go to the car, and he would follow. She didn’t want to disobey him, because she had known him for quite a time, and she knew that he wasn’t joking.

As she went upstairs for the kids, George went to the drawer and took out his handgun. No one knew about it except him. They got in the car, he tried to start it, but it didn’t want to work. He wanted to let his thoughts out, shout and swear, but he decided not to, because his kids were in the car. They had to walk, but at least their destination wasn’t that far. George told them that they mustn’t stop, and he went ahead, leading his family. He was followed by his two children and his wife at the rear. George was trying to be cautious, but he also wanted to be as fast as possible. They saw a group of houses. He didn’t remember exactly which house was the one they needed, just a couple of words: “windows… boarded… knock.’’ They still weren’t that close, but at least they saw the houses. They heard a monster-like shout. They turned around and saw three human-like creatures running towards them. George knew what they were; he took out his handgun and told his family to start running. He was shooting backwards without aiming, hoping he would hit the creatures. His first three shots missed, but the next one hit a creature’s; arm, it slowed down for a second, then started running at them even faster. George was the fastest; his family couldn’t keep up. He didn’t want to leave his family, so he turned around to help them. As he turned around, he saw that he couldn’t reach them before the monsters. He knew that if he tried to save them, he would end up dying too. He ran to the house, the door was open and there was a guy standing  on the doorstep… It was 15:46 when George managed to reach the door, but there was a creature  right behind him. The guy who was standing at the door slammed it in in front of him. He didn’t find it safe, because the creature was behind him. George kept beating on the door, but it never opened again. He turned around and saw his family getting eaten by two of the monsters. The third one was facing him. It was swinging its arm while opening its mouth… Its teeth were as sharp as a sword, and there were multiple layers behind the first row of teeth; on its hands the nails turned into claws. He closed his eyes.

The next thing he felt was a hit on his back. He was lying on the ground. He opened his eyes and saw that he was in his own house. He thought he had only dreamed it, but he felt something strange. It was pitch black and his neck hurt. He flipped the light switch and looked out the window. It was dark. He went around the house, but no one was home and he didn’t even find his gun in the drawer. He went into the bathroom to check up on himself. He thought he had turned into a creature and ended up in his house somehow. He hadn’t, but there was a scar on his neck and on his chest too. On his chest, it seemed as if it had been made by claws, maybe a tiger’s. On his neck, it was deep, more like a shark bite with those sharp sets of teeth. He couldn’t handle it. He went to the kitchen, took out a knife and ended it.