Fiction On Odyssey: Reset (Part Three)

Fiction On Odyssey: Reset (Part Three)

"He’s not dead. That’s ridiculous. He would have told me if he was dead."
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“Look none of the others want to tell you the truth, so I will.”

I stare at her, trying to remember her name and coming up blank; she is one of the two that just appeared recently, and we’ve never really had cause to interact before, so all I can say in response to her statement is an eloquent, “What?”

“Will is dead.”

If she’d punched me in the gut, it would have had less of an impact on me than those three little words, and they swirl around in my head over and over, thrown into a cyclone of tumultuous feelings and unspoken words, but then: “Don’t listen to her, please.”

I look over, and Will is standing right next to me, a heartbroken expression speaking of so much pain on his face, but the feeble attempt at a smile he gives me in response to my relieved beam concerns me, and I don’t want to think about it right now so I turn back to her and respond, “He’s standing right here, so I don’t know what you’re talking about, and that was kind of a jerk thing to say because you gave me a split second heart attack.”

“No, he’s not ‘standing right there,’ because whatever you’re seeing is a delusion!” — What? — “Will has been dead, gone for months,” —no, she’s lying— “and what you’re seeing is nothing but a demented coping mechanism your brain made up to help you hurt less!” — No! — “The others have all been too chicken to tell you” — they’ve gathered, the looks on their faces confirm — “so I have to do it. WILL. IS. DEAD.”

She’s wrong she’s wrong, she’s lying, I WON’T BELIEVE IT, because Will is standing right next to me, tears streaming down his face as he shakes his head and mouths my name and reaches out to me but she grabs me by the shoulders before I can touch him, and she’s not letting me focus on anything else except for her bellows in my face, her yells at me to REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED ON YOUR LAST PATROL.


Only the dead see ghosts.


I run, I run as fast as I can, away from the liars. They’re trying to get between me and Will. Of course that’s what’s happening. He can’t be dead. He’s not dead. That’s ridiculous. He would have told me if he was dead. That’s not something that you just hide. It’s totally a relationship breaker.

But he’s not running with me. He’s disappearing, then reappearing a distance away, almost like how a ghost teleports. But that is only something he’s always been able to do, right? I never questioned it before. It'd just happen. It was one of his quirks.

Normal people don’t teleport on a whim.

But that’s just Will.

WHAT HAPPENED ON YOUR LAST PATROL?

My thoughts whirl as my sneakers crunch against the dead leaves beneath them.

Our last patrol? We went out, just like any other patrol.

We found a building. We snuck inside. We found a mother load of food, and we were so happy, and in the heat of the moment, he kissed me. Then… then zombies found us and I jumped out a window, and Will followed, and we got away and went back to the group. That’s what happened.

That’s what happened, right? Right?!

But then why do I remember coming back dripping with blood and water?

Why didn’t the group ever let us out on patrols after that?

Why do they look at Will and I with so much sadness sometimes?

WHATEVER. That doesn’t matter. That’s what happened. We went out, we kissed, we were almost overrun, but we made it back.

The glimpses of Will I catch out of the corner of my eye as I run are all shaking his head.


That’s not what happened, and you and I both know it.

It's almost time to reset.


Why do I know I’ve traveled this path before?

Why do I feel like I have a destination in mind?

I hear the sounds of water approaching. Before I know it, I’ve found a small creek.

Small enough that the dozens of bodies that litter it are not washed away by the current.

One thing about my bat, my makeshift mace, is that it makes a very distinct pattern of holes whenever I strike a zombie’s body with it.

All of the bodies here, they have that pattern all over them.

And the closest one…

The closest one…

The closest body is the freshest.

Bloated, with the gasses of death, but I would recognize that blonde hair anywhere.

I walk over to Will’s body and collapse onto my knees next to him, not caring in the slightest how the red creek water stains my jeans.

In the water, my distorted reflection grins at my agony.

Will’s ghost flickers into existence beside me. I lift my head to look up at him.

I’m so sorry,” I manage, through choked sobs.

He only smiles wistfully and shakes his head.

“It’s not your fault. It’s his.

I can feel the menacing laughter somewhere in me, and I realize that I am not alone in my own mind.

But then again, this isn’t the first time I’m understanding that, is it?

He always wins.

Will starts to fade.

I try to hug him, to hold on to him, to keep him here and do whatever I can to make up for this awful thing that I have done, but my arms only circle air.

After all, being dead will only get me so far.

“I’m SORRY!” I scream.

His fading visage echoes the numbed melancholy I feel as my memory of him begins to slip away, just like it did with all the others.


I ebb away the last of your memories, taking control of your body and walking you to some remote part of the forest, miles away. The stubborn ghost of my latest victim follows, stupidly using the last of his energy in the same intrepid attempt to “get through” to this body that all the others try.

I select a new spot and lie down on the forest floor. The apparition lies down next to me, trying to stroke this face and failing because he no longer has the energy to touch flesh. I mock him, but he ignores me and stares intently into my vessel’s eyes. Just like always, I relinquish just enough control so that the soul of my prisoner can hear the fruitless words.

“It waS a LoT OF FUN KnOwINg YoU, But NOW I HAVE tO gO, okay? you hAVE to STop DOiNg this. I knOW HE’S MAking you foRGet, And it’S Hard, BuT You Have tO, beFoRE he fINds SomeOnE elsE. YoU Can dO It, OKAy? I L o V E y o u . . . “


Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Cover Image Credit: ClaudiaRae

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To the guy that shot my brother...

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To the guy that shot my brother,

On January 9, 2019 my families entire life changed with one phone call. The phone call that my little brother had been shot in the face, no other details. We didn't need any other details. The woman on the phone who called us in full panic told us where he was so we went, as soon as possible. I don't think it helped that not even 10 min prior I talked to Zach on the phone.. kind of irritated with him, and the ONE TIME I didn't say 'I love you' as we hung up. Could've been the last time we ever spoke.. I remember pulling up to the hospital thinking 'this can't be real' 'it's not our Zach' 'this is just a dream Sarah, WAKE UP' I'd close my eyes really tight just to open them, I was still in the hospital emergency parking lot. I could still hear the ambulance sirens coming. It was all real.

The day our life's changed was definitely a test of faith. A test of how strong we were, as a family. I sat in that waiting room ready to see the damage that has been done to my sweet baby brother. Because at that point we had no idea how lucky he got. That glimpse of seeing Zach will haunt me forever. How helpless I felt in that exact moment frequently wakes me up from these horrific dreams I've been having ever since that day. That is a moment burned into my me and families brain forever.

You always hear about these things in the movies or on the news, a house being shot up, someone shooting another innocent person, not to care if they died on your watch. But we found ourselves on the news.. We have been confined to the hospital since that day. Running on barely any sleep, taking shifts of sleep so we don't make ourselves sick taking care of Zach. Watching him suffer. Undergoing surgeries, to repair the damage you did.

Before I proceed let me tell you a little something about the man you shot.

Zachary Keith Wright. A blonde hair blue eyed boy. Who could potentially be the most annoying human on the planet (possibly coming from his sister). A man who loves his God first, loves his family second. Perfect by no means, but almost perfect to me. A 19 year old who was to graduate high school this month. After graduation he was prepping to leave for Marine boot camp in the summer.. being in the military has been Zach's dream since he could talk. Literally. Running around, playing war with underwear on our heads, and finger guns. Some would say we looked like natural born assassins.. growing up he has been a country boy. Let me tell ya country to the core. He loves this country like he loves his family. He believes in helping people, taking charge in what's right, and never leaving a brother behind. He's lived by that his whole life. Until now....

The day you shot him. The day not only did you change my brothers life, you changed his families life too. The day you almost ripped my brother out of this world... for what? A misunderstanding? Because you've let something take ahold of your life that you can't let go you're willing to kill someone innocent over? Luckily for him, his guardian angels were protecting him in your time of cowardice. There were 3 times that day he should've died, the time you shot him, the time you tried to shoot him again as he stared you directly in the face, (even tho he couldn't talk I know you could read his eyes, and he still intimidated you. That's why you tried to pull the trigger again) and the time he was running out of the house. But he lived. A man who was shot in the face, didn't lay there helpless, didn't scream in agony. That MAN walked to the neighbors to get help. Why? Because he's a MAN, and because he's on this earth for a reason.

It's gonna sound a little strange not only to you, but the audience who is reading this. I must say thank you. Even in this situation, this was the best outcome we could get. He gets to live. He will make a full recovery. He will graduate. And he will go off into the Marines. You united my family together. Closer than ever. Thank you. You tested our faith and brought us closer to our God. Thank you. Because of your moment of weakness, you showed us what prayer could do. Heal anything. Thank you. This was a bump in the road, and a helluva way to kick off our year of 2019. But here we are.. all laying in the hospital. I'm looking around as mom is sleeping in her recliner chair exhasted but still here, Zach his awake playing his xbox all hooked up to machines, fighting to heal and get better. And of course I'm writing this letter to you.

See you in trial,

From the girl whose brother you shot.

'Fight the good fight' - 1 Tim 6:12 🤟🏼💙

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5 Ways You Can Stop Producing so Much Trash

We produce a lot more trash than you think, until you start paying attention to your actions.

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One of my major goals this year is to do more to save the planet as well as animals. I have already been vegetarian for three years. and I'm plan to stay vegetarian, but I want to have a more plant based diet. As well, I want to start reducing the amount of trash I produce. Not only because I realize just how drastically our trash is affecting wildlife, but also because I think having to take out your trash twice a week is way too much trash!

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