When he saw his wife running around the farm, chasing the animals, and eating them, the raw meat, as they dropped to the ground, he couldn’t move or speak. It had been a frantic, sickening hour of bleating, squawking; pained animal cries. It had rained feathers and bloody insides. His feet had refused to budge, all he could do was watch, in pure horror, as his normally timid and demure wife had gone completely mad. When she’d turned on the kids, he’d leaped into action then, desperately attempting to shield them and keep her away, as her newfound lust for violence exploded, and their shrill cries echoed around the farmyard, their eyes wide with a cruel mixture of terror and confusion, fear and a rapidly failing sense of maternal love. She’d been too ferocious, even for him. She’d got to them in the end, all four of them. That’s why he was holding the blood-splattered teddy bear; some kind of shitty memento of his dead family.
He’d fetched the gun, last used on an unfortunate, deformed new-born calf. He’d shot his wife in the head, he’d had to. After that, the silence suffocated him and he couldn’t stand to view the horrific scene any longer, but his hands trembled too much to drive, and his head couldn’t remember where he’d left the keys for the truck. And, so, he waited, by the roadside, hoping for someone to come along and take him away from the massacre and the madness. He’d brought the gun, the radio had blared alarming words at him as he’d left: infection, brain, epidemic, attacks, shoot them in the head, shoot them in the head, shoot them in the head. The broadcasted words fired out and were loaded with panic. They had quickly turned into screams, and then the muffled, choking sounds of death, and then the frenzied sound of a most disturbing hunger; ripping, chewing and swallowing. Finally, the fuzzy off-air sound reigned as the radio show abruptly ended.
But, here came a truck tearing up the sandy path, a blessed familiar red one, belonging to Hank from the next farm up. He felt intense relief as it screeched to a halt beside him.
‘Thank God,’ he whispered as Hank opened the door.
He was about to get in, but there was a definite look of crazy in Hank’s old eyes, and blood dripped from the corner of his emotionless lips. There was part of someone’s leg on his lap, it still had a shoe on the end of it. Slowly, cautiously, with twitching fingers, he reached for his gun.