im still not too happy with my stories. i feel that although they sound really good in my head, actually implemanting them into a decent, cohesive and legible tale is still very tricky for me. bear this in mind when you read this story :D
personally, i think its pretty mangled and would need a lot of re-editing so im looking for a fair bit of input/construtive critisism (lol, but be nice!)
i dont have a proper title for it, but fo rhte sake of finding it easily in my files, i have just called it "break In"..... hope you enjoy!
As he stared out of the top floor window, the Caretaker felt pensive. Ever since the start of the collapse of what he loosely thought of as civilisation, he had been sure that this was the brave new start... Humanity could finally learn from its mistakes and start afresh. He had a sinking feeling that these thoughts were far too idealistic. He realised that humanity may initially have to fight to survive, but it also made sense for everyone to co-operate and share thoughts and skills.
With a sigh, the Caretaker
knew this wasn’t so. The reality was that there is always someone who would just take. If they were not careful, all the hard
work at the school would go to waste. It was depressing to think that he had to
spend time and vital resources bolstering the security of the school.
As the Caretakers
cynical eyes scanned the grounds he realised that the roving gangs were getting
bigger and more confident. As word got out that there were not many people at
the school, the occasional theft of their meagre stores was becoming more of a
possibility. He grudgingly admitted that his defences will have to be more
aggressive – possibly lethal. It was an idea he didn’t like but he was forced
to consider it. There would be no problem in constructing weapons – mankind has
had plenty of experience in this department and has a knack of being able to
incapacitate in so many imaginative, and usually painful, ways. As it was, the
kids had already made catapults and were competing at knocking down old tin
cans. They did not realise how powerful a weapon the catapult is in trained
Sighing inwardly, the Caretaker decided that he would have to call a meeting and discuss the schools security issues with the others. Even when locked, the school had too many doors and windows where a really determined person could smash in.
A flicker of movement
outside derailed the Caretakers train of thought.
Peering closely, he noticed a pair of hands scrabbling at the top of the perimeter wall by the locked main gate. A head closely followed and the Caretaker watched as a scruffy looking man heaved himself over the wall. He judged the man to be in his mid twenties and although he looked reasonably fit, his sallow cheeks belied the fact that the man was not eating well. As he watched the man make his way to the long main drive to the school entrance, the Caretaker noticed that he was armed with what looked like a wooden baseball bat. Although slightly alarmed at this, the Caretaker understood that a lone man trying to survive out there would need some form of protection.
His heartbeat quickened as he clattered down the stairs. It was time to give him the “meet and greet” patter.
The Caretaker caught up with the man as he was halfway down the main gravel drive. The man saw the Caretaker and stopped waiting for him to approach. It gave the Caretaker time to study the man in more detail. Close up the man was around six foot tall and still had a lot of muscle tone to him. It seemed that he was not the kind of man who used to sit behind a desk. Standing quite still, his posture was tense but not threatening, and the baseball bat was being held loosely by his side.Stopping six foot away, the Caretaker smiled pleasantly.
“Hi there, I am the Caretaker. May I ask your name and your business here? He politely enquired.
“Err... my name is...” the man seemed to pause for a fraction of a second as if making up his mind about something.
“…Bill… Bill Smith. That’s my name” the man eyeballed the Caretaker as if daring him to disagree.
“Yeah right”, thought the Caretaker, “course
it is” . “Pleased to meet you,
Bill” he said with a straight face. “Tell me, do you have any news
about what’s going on out there?”
Grimacing, Bill looked around him “not much to say, really. Seems that the world has gone tits-up”
Disappointed with the lack of pertinent information, the Caretaker decided to launch into his prepared speech
“Well, Bill, you are more than welcome to join us. There aren’t many of us yet, but we are trying to make a go of things” Spreading his hands placatingly, he continued “Of course, if you don’t want to join us, we are more than willing to share what little we have and at the least see you on your way with a full stomach”.
Taking a step forward, Bill looked at the Caretaker squarely in the eye, rubbed the stubble on his jaw and said speculatively “well, Mister Caretaker, it’s like this…. We don’t want to stay, thanks all the same, but we will take your food though”.
“We?” the Caretaker thought, bill just said “we”….Oh shit... where are the others then?” It was then that he noticed the subtle posture change of the man who called himself Bill. It wasn’t much but the Caretaker instinctively started to suspect impending violence.
Keeping an even tone as possible and trying to prepare himself, the Caretaker asked casually “so, how many of your friends are out there? We are willing to give a bit of food, but like I said, we don’t have much”.
“Hmmm... I see” was Bills thoughtful reply.
The Caretaker was watching for it, and there it was… for a split second, Bill looked away. The Caretaker knew that psychologically, a person will automatically break eye contact before trying a surprise attack. Sadly, he was not wrong this time. In a heartbeat Bill had closed the gap between himself and the Caretaker, and in a double-handed grip raised the baseball bat high over his right shoulder and swung it in an arc, aiming for the Caretakers head.
Surprising himself, the Caretaker did not put his arms up to ward the blow, nor did he step back. Instead he stepped inside the killing arc of the bat, twisted his body to the left and grabbed Bills hands. Still twisting, the Caretaker hunched his shoulder, pulled at Bills arms and using bill momentum against him, executed something similar to a judo throw. Bill lost his bat as he hit the ground hard and slid several feet. Both men were stunned, bill because he had the wind knocked out of him, and the Caretaker because of his unexpected and instinctive response. “Bugger me”, he thought “those years of tai-chi and the occasional karate lesson were actually useful”.
As the Caretaker cautiously approached, bill started to recover slightly. He tried to prop himself up but fell down again with a scream. With a sickening feeling the Caretaker realised that he had really hurt this guy. Bills arm was sticking out at an unnatural angle. It was dislocated at best, broken at worse. Feeling bad about what he had just done, the Caretaker bent down to see if he could help.
…when a high pitched yell came from within the school. Realisation hit the Caretaker as he remembered Bills words; “we will take your food”. Fear for the others in the school knotted the Caretakers guts. “I have been deceived”, he thought, “bill was a decoy so his friends could sneak in!”
Another scream shook him out of his shock. The kids, the librarian, the grey lady. All in danger. Leaving bill clutching his am and groaning, the Caretaker spun on the gravel and raced back to the school, fearing that he was too late.