Kevin Woblick

Ella's Shotgun

Ella unlocked the trunk of her old Volvo and opened the small green bag inside. An emergency kit, bread, two bottles of water, canned food. And a shotgun with a box of ammunition. A small breeze of wind swept through her hair while she was staring at the bag. “What am I doing here?” she asked herself while her hand pulled the shotgun out of trunk. She grabbed a hand full of shells and slammed down the hatchback with her elbow. She turned around. Nobody was there. The road: empty. The sidewalks: silent. The whole village: lonely. Ella really hoped that she was the only human around. She didn’t plan this in detail. It just popped into her mind shortly after this all started. After the news, the government shutdown and so on. Yeah.. and now she was finally here. And afraid of what could happen now. “You can still get in that car and drive away, Ella”, she told herself again and again. But no. No. She won’t let him.. ehr… whatever. She couldn’t accept this thought, it was just too horrifying that he could be… No! Never!

She took a deep breath while holding her tears back. This is not the right time to be scared or sad. Her hand clutched the shotgun tightly and her head turned towards his house. It was entirely dark. Doors and windows closed. Like if nobody was at home. A quick check of the shotgun. Loaded? Yes. Unlocked? Yes. Two shots were enough in the past. The rest of the shells moved into her jacket pockets, and she began to walk slowly towards the house, on the cobbled driveway up to the front door. With a small flashlight she was able to take a look into the first rooms. Empty. The knob of the door turned without any resistance and a second later the door snapped back into the lock. Now Ella stood there in the corridor, the eating room to the right, the living room to the left and the stairs in front of her. The sound of the wind outside mixed up with some small ticking of a clock in the living room. She took a step forward and was frightened as the floor beneath her shoe creaked. The sound echoed trough the whole house and her heart started beating so fast that it felt like it’s gonna rip her chest apart. She pulled up the shotgun and pressed the shaft against her shoulder. The next steps into the living room were silent, so she could hear everything else in the house. But… nothing.

“He’s not at home. Please be not at home. Please god… please let hi…” she told herself as a shuffling sound came from behind her. The eating room? The kitchen? Ella whirled around. But nothing. Fast steps into the corridor, then the eating room. It was empty. The kitchen. Every step felt like she sunk down into the floor like it was wet sand or fresh concrete. Wood of the shotgun’s front grip groaned under the pressure of Ella’s hand. The entire shotgun wobbled into her hands, but she kept pointing the weapon to the kitchen arch while walking towards it. A shallow shine of light came from a street lamp behind the house and shined trough the large windows into the dark kitchen. Ella stood in the arch. Her weak knees almost made her collapse as a silhouette entered the kitchen from the porch. Like a black shadow it took some small and slow steps into the kitchen but stopped moving some meters away from Ella. She couldn’t hold back her tears and had to sob. It was his silhouette. “No! Please! God!” she thought as one of his arms rose against her. “El…” Boom! He couldn’t finish saying her name. Ella’s finger pulled the trigger automatically. Fear had overwhelmed her. All the things she saw in the past few days, the things she already did with friends. She knew it was a salvation for them, not to be… something.

He sunk on his knees, then collapsed, while blood dripped onto the cold linoleum floor, from the spot where his heart was beating a second ago. His hand covered the wound but wouldn’t stop him from bleeding to death in a few moments. He coughed as Ella rushed to him. She dropped the shotgun besides his body and looked at his face that was now visible from the light. It seemed normal. Just a bit pale. But not like the other ones that had turned. What had she done?! “Li… Liam?” she asked him. His wide opened eyes screamed for help as his lungs began to fill with his blood, so he was unable to speak anymore. His lips formed a last sentence: “I love you”. The body twitched a few times before his eyelids closed slowly. Ella’s head lowered. A tear dropped into the puddle of blood on the floor.