Stretching the definition of “flash fiction” a tad, I present a three-part story.
A story of a city where the worst crime you can commit, is the most natural thing in the world.
The pregnancy test shows positive, and now we run for our lives.
Our world reacts instantaneously, the alarm echoing down the street and behind the house. My wife barely has time to pull her pants back up, the machine’s arm already fighting to hold her in place. I slam into it with my shoulder and knock her out of its grip. Focus shifts to me and the machine hits me with a piss-stained hand, smashing me back into the bathroom floor. The linoleum shatters as the arm swings towards me, out of range by only a few inches. I don’t have time to catch my breath; we can already hear the men racing towards the house.
My wife is having a panic attack on the floor, her eyes widening till it seems to fill up her face. I can almost hear her heartbeat from where I stand. I slap her, hard. There’s no time. There’s not going to be any more time. We need to move. The windows in the house are shattering. The gunshots are already starting. Our children are screaming.
She hears them a second after I do, and realization sparks across her retinas as she breathes even harder. Her eyes are already raw from crying. I pull on her arms. She’s just a ragdoll, an emotional piece of meat and bone. Even with her mind shattered like this, I can’t bear to leave her. Her frame seems light as I pick her up and sling her over my shoulder. She vomits down the side of my back; I don’t have time to care.
The gunshots stop as I make my way to the front door, replaced with the whoops of excited men. The distinct sounds of knives coming out threatens to reduce me to the same state as my wife. They’re already dead, I keep repeating. They’re already dead. They won’t feel it, and when they are mounted on the walls, their eyes won’t behold anything.
My wife gives out a distinct howl as I open the door. I swear, loudly, dismissing any chance we had at a quiet escape. The men file in from my daughter’s room, briefly exposing the pink walls and the softly spinning holographic planets that adorn her ceiling. It’s blocked behind a wall of grizzled, blood-spattered men, and wide, wide barrels.
I’m passed the door frame. As bullets fly, my ears ring. Wood shatters, plaster flies throw the air like snowflakes, and brick melts with the heat. I keep moving forward, making it across my yard, running deep as I can into the city. I hear more whoops of joy, and the crackle of shots. I keep moving further and further into darkness. My wife straightens in my grasp, back stiff with my hands wrapped around her hips. She’s still howling.
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