Fading
rating: +12+x

Needle… needle in my neck… Weird clear stuff pumping through it… Who are you people… What are you doing… Where is my son…

Rubble all around me. Where am I? The mall? I think that's where we were, but I can't be sure. Corpses all around, my son among them, blood everywhere, smoke… choking me… I have to move, I have to find some way of getting out of here. If the building collapses, then nobody can help…

What's that sound? Sounds like footsteps…

Oh thank God, police! Police! You've got to help me, officers. It killed everyone, officers, everyone here. Tore through them like they weren't even there. There's blood all over me and I think my family is dead and you've got to help me please you've got to help me I don't know what to do what was that thing why was it killing everybody why didn't it kill… what are you doing with that…

Oh God, oh God, James, no! What did that thing do to you, kid, what'd it do? Where's your arms, where's your legs, where's your head, oh God, what did it do with your head? I can see it there out of the corner of my eye, through the hole it left in the wall, just over the horizon, but I dont' want to look directly at it because everyone else looked at it and look what it did to them and my son, oh God, James, why'd it do this, what'd it do to you? I can't… I… what's happening? Why are they all dead?

I've gotta get help, there has to be someone here. A doctor? Doctor's can't help people without heads I need someone who can get me out of here before that thing comes back. Police, police, I need the police, where can I find the police where can I find the police…

Stay the hell away from my son!

James, get behind me, I'm not letting this thing near you! Where's your Mom? We have to find her before this thing can get to her!

Oh God, this thing is killing everyone, just tearing them apart with its bare hands. It ripped off that old man's arms like they weren't even there, and crushed that woman's head and… Don't look at it, James, look away, try and see if you can find Mom! It's killing everyone who looks at it. Oh God, what am I gonna do, I can't have my son in the middle of this, we're just out shopping at the mall and we were going to find something for his birthday and it's knocking out the roof supports and…

Lucy! No, no, not Lucy, stay away from her, stay away from my wife you fucking thing, stay away, don't you touch her…!

James, come back here! Stay away from it, James! Don't look at it, Ja… JAMES!

I've always liked the music here in the mall. It's corny, but kinda entertaining. Friendly enough for the family without getting too annoying. Couple that with the clear layout and good prices, and you've got one hell of a good mall.

Do you hear that, Lucy? Sounds like something screaming outside. Go on, James, just keep thinking about what you want for your birthday.. What is that sound, though? Lucy doesn't seem too concerned by it, but it's just so… odd. I can't stop thinking about it. There it is again. Sounds even closer now. But we're just here to do some shopping. Shouldn't let myself be concerned with stuff like that. What was it we needed next? Think it was some milk, eggs, apples…

There's that sound again. Sounds awfully close. Everyone else seems a bit disturbed by it too. Wonder if there's a fight going on out…

Oh Jesus, the wall's bursting open…

On my knees, panting. They're dabbing my neck with a pad stemming the blood from the needle and they're talking to each other and oh Christ, it hurts. That should do it says one man and the other says that its time for the replacement thing I don't understand that word he's using but the other says no, he had a family and we need to get rid of that first and the other says it'll take weeks to track down any others who knew us and the first one just sighs and says a bunch of things and oh god what's happened why am I in the middle of a bunch of dead bodies, I'd just come to the mall alone to do some shopping, oh God, oh God…

They're still arguing and one of them's objecting heavily to something but the other's already taking action and the first one's pulling him away, but the other's already doing it. There's another needle in my neck. I don't want another…

I have a wife named Lucy. She's the most brilliant woman you've ever met. Long chestnut hair, beautiful green eyes, dazzling smile. Smart as hell, too. I couldn't be more lucky to have met her eleven years ago and to have started dating her ten years ago and to have married her on December 26th eight years ago. She's got the best damned laugh I've ever heard. She always wears green and absolutely hates purple. She's not too computer savvy but she can handle her way around them well enough. She works as a realtor in a company whose name I always forget. She loves the sight of morning dew and the smell of rain and the sound of birds in the trees. She is the absolute best woman in the world, the perfect partner for me, and I'd just die if I were to ever lose her. She is my wife Lucy…

My son, James. He's six, almost seven years old. Bright little kid. Not genius level but pretty damned smart to me. He's got my chin, my eyes, my laugh. I don't know where he gets his smile and hair from, but whoever it was, I still need to thank them. He's so alive and full of energy, always running around and trying to find something to do. He occasionally gets in trouble for it, but for the most part, he's a well behaved kid. Not an angel, but still. He wants to be a paleontologist when he grows up, even if he can't pronounce the word properly yet. He's got a ton of friends, and they're all good kids too. I love my son more than anything in the world. My brilliant, brilliant, lovely, irreplaceable child James…

On my knees. Everybody dead. Outside the mall. The mall's on fire. What…

There's a man in a uniform talking to me. He says there was a terrorist attack. On the mall? Yes, he says. We're living in dangerous times, he says. I was far enough way from the blast to not get hit, but my head and neck got pretty messed up, he says. I check my neck, and sure enough it's bleeding. Feels more like needle marks, but I don't question it. He says that he's going to take me to a hospital, and get me patched up. I say fine. I need to get away from here. I can't be around these dead bodies. I need to talk to my parents, my friends, anyone who can help me make sense of this.

I should just go…

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