Fifteen Minute Warning

We hear the church bells ring out as we played in the street, signalling our fifteen minute warning. I look at the sun that disappears behind the horizon. We pick up our toys and run back to the house.

I sit on the couch, arms wrapped around my legs, rocking back and forth, trying not to hyperventilate again. I watch my mother and father rush around the house, checking all the windows and doors, for another night of lock down. My younger brother plays with a wooden toy train on the carpet, he’s not known anything different.

We hear the bells toll for a second time, the room falls into silence, waiting in anticipation. It’s not long before I hear the low moans and shuffling approaching the house and the scratching on the front door. I squeeze my eyes closed.

“It’s okay David! We’re going down into the basement, we won’t hear them down there,” my dad says, trying to comfort me, before a concerned look draws upon his face, “Where’s the cat?”

That’s when I realise what the scratches are. I get off the couch and my dad grabs my arm, “It’s too late, son.”

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