The End: Story One - Homecoming By: David K. Montoya


The End:Story One
By: David K. Montoya

I finally made my way into the living room--it appeared to be in slightly better shape than the kitchen. Everything seemed to be in place and it almost looked the way I remembered it, from just about twenty years ago. I crossed through this room and came to Richard's bedroom door. It was closed, but I didn't bother to knock. I opened the door and entered quickly, but couldn't believe what I found inside. The walls of his room were splattered with dried blood. It was obvious there had been some sort of confrontation here and in one corner of the room lay the fairly fresh corpse of an Unlucky. The monster had apparently been killed by several shots to the chest and from the condition of the body, this carnage may have occurred only a few days before.

Feeling somewhat nauseous at the thought of what this find might portend, I went back into the living room and over to what had been a sliding glass door to the outside, but was now a wooden barricade. I tried to kick through the barrier, but it was built well--it would have had to be, in order to keep the Unluckys out--and it would not give way. After considering the consequences for a moment, I raised the shotgun and unloaded a few rounds into the wood. The shot tore through the barrier, leaving several head-sized holes, allowing welcome sunlight to enter the darkened room. A few well placed kicks then opened up a hole large enough for me to exit through, to the outside.

I stood there, in what used to be my front yard. It was a small space, only about fifty square feet and was surrounded by an old, chain link fence, which was accented by what had once been a mature mulberry tree, standing now as a silent, skeletal sentinel in one corner of the yard. I remembered climbing that same tree as a child and spending most of my summer days pretending it was some sort of fortress, which would protect and hide me from all sorts of unspeakable monsters and horrors. Would that it could do so, now. But, like everything else, that tree had become but a looming specter of the past. Everything I saw seemed to be a device to conjure up memories of the old days; nothing could stand on its own merit, now that everything had died away.

Shaking off those sad thoughts of my golden years, I made my way from the front yard, back to the SUV. As I approached the vehicle, I discovered that it had been abandoned! I moved quickly around to the passenger side and found that the door was hanging open, but there were no signs of a struggle, either inside or outside the car. Frantically, I called out for my children, but there was no response. I scanned the area around the SUV, looking for any footprints or other type of clue as to where everyone could have disappeared to.

Finally, there it was. Off to the side of the road, where cracked pavement met the dirt, was what appeared to be a single, fresh footprint. But, what made this print stand out was the fact that it showed a bare foot and there were small pits just above the outline of the toes. The only type of creature that could have made that particular kind of print would be an Unlucky.

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