Author: Jules Jensen
“The wolves are always at the door. Remember that.”
His voice was cold and dark, like an unlit cellar. The intensity in his manic eyes made me wonder if he honestly thought there were real wolves literally scratching at the door, their hungry maws waiting for us to make one little mistake so they could gobble us up.
“Everyone’s gone, so it’s all up to us.”
These four walls held up a solid roof, but they also held up a lie. A lie that he didn’t know I had ascended beyond. We couldn’t be the last. Anyone without a real heart would have survived.
“You can never set foot out there.”
His words sounded like a warning, and this is when the watching started. Eyes followed my every movement. He sat by the door, locked and barred for so long that I couldn’t remember if it squeaked when it opened or not. Four and half years is a long time to be stuck in a windowless hut below the crust of the world.
“No one is to be trusted.”
The hairs on my neck stood up when those words seemed to be directed at me. He started keeping a knife at his side. I told time by the disturbing changes in his behaviour.
“There is no hope for us.”
“No hope for you, maybe.” I retorted before I could stop myself.
In a furious rage, he’d flung himself at me. I fought him off. He fell to the ground, suddenly terrified and whimpering.
“You’re evil!” He accused me, eyes wide, dropping his knife. “You want to go out there and betray me!”
“Is it a betrayal to want to live?” His words hurt me, but not as much as the hate that I felt for him.
“The wolves aren’t at the door, they‘ve been inside this whole time!” He pointed at me as he said this. Fury joined my hate; how was I the wolf, when he was the one that kept me locked up here? And then he tapped a code on his arm, and I knew this was it. I bolted for the door, punching in the override code so fast it was almost like I’d practiced it.
The door did not open. He’d changed the code. I glared at him. He had the gall to smile.
“I’ve been planning this for so long. There’s no reason for me to live anymore.”
“So you’re going to take me down with you? What if I haven’t given up?”
The circuitry that ran beneath the skin on his left arm started to glow. I knew what was going to happen. The electro-magnetic-pulse from his heart would likely short out mine unless I could get away from it.
My fake heart pounded, filled my body with the chemical that was supposed to help me run for my life, but all it did was make my fingers shake and hit the wrong keys as I tried to escape. The quiet, calm part of my mind informed me that this was irony, that the mechanical organs that saved me from the epidemic that killed all the fully-biological humans was now what was going to end me.
The door beeped and then whooshed open so fast I fell down the rusty steps, bloodying my hands and knees.
His incomprehensible scream gnawed like a wolf on my ears, and I ran, forcing myself to get away from the EMP blast that erupted from his chest.
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