‹ Prequel: The Regulator

Made to Suffer


It was a hot spring day, the Georgia sun was beating down against the asphalt of the freeway, making the gridlocked traffic even more unbearable. I sat, my old truck in park and my head leaned back, waiting for the car in front of me to pull up. I had my radio down low as sweat rolled down my neck, I'd spent the day working at a site in Macon and without traffic the drive had taken me just under half an hour.

"C'mon, now," I mumbled as a black dodge turned his signal on, letting me know he was moving into my lane. I allowed the newer truck over as an emergency beep played through my speakers, I turned the volume up.

"This is the emergency alert system," The automated voice said. I sat up a little bit when silence followed.

"Testing, testing, are we on air?" A male voice asked, before clearing his throat, "This emergency report is being brought to you as a precautionary measure," he paused, "The rioting happening in Atlanta seems to be spreading throughout the surrounding suburbs. Reports of the riots have been coming from as far from the city as Augusta. Authorities are urging people to stay in their homes in an effort to help them deal with the rioters."

"Shit," I said, glancing at the clock. I watched as people began to drive a little more aggressively, if they had their radios on, they'd heard the message too. Noah would be getting out of kindergarten within the hour. I pulled out my phone and dialed Raleigh. She picked up on the first ring.

"I was just about to call you," She said, her words were hurried, "They keep playing footage of the riots on the news, they're getting closer." The cars ahead of me began moving, I dropped my truck in drive and followed.

"I heard it, honey," I said, trying to be soothing as I watched two cars scrape by each other.

"I need to go get Noah," She said, I heard her car keys, "Where are you?"

"Stuck in damn traffic," I said, trying to merge over to get off the express way. Urgency pricked up within me as I heard her exit the house.

"I'm goin' to get him," She said, "Call me if you get home before I do."

"You call me when you get home," I said, "Don't forget, Leigh."

"I won't," She said, I heard her car door shut, "I love you."

"I love you too, honey," I said, before we hung up. My heart was racing in my chest as a sinking feeling overwhelmed me.


An hour later I pulled into my driveway to see my wife's car missing. I cussed to myself as I jammed my car in reverse, dialing her number for a sixth time since we last spoke. The phone rang and rang before finally going to voice mail, I tossed the phone down into the passenger side floorboard.

"Ga'damn!" I yelled as I sped towards Noah's school. On the main road through town, there were cars left abandoned - I slowed down. On my way home I hadn't seen anything out of the ordinary, but the scene in town upped my level of worry. I heard sirens start from somewhere in front of me and seconds later a lone police car sped around the corner, the tires skidding before the car straightened out and flew past me.

"What the fuck," I murmured as I turned into the school parking lot. Cars sat empty, some with doors open and lights on, an army humvee sat on the lawn of the school - also empty. I turned my tuck off and grabbed my phone from the floor. I ran towards the school, the front doors were locked. I cupped my hands on the glass, peering into the lobby and seeing nothing. I moved down the building to the next window and looked into that one, the sight I saw was enough to make me vomit - which I did. Inside the classroom were the bodies of the teacher and her class, each with a similar gunshot wound. I spit again after puking and dialed my wife's number. I stumbled around to the side of the building, where the playground was and leaned against the brick.

"Raleigh!" I yelled, calling for my wife, "RALEIGH, NOAH!" I felt tears pricking my eyes as I scanned the soccer field, my eyes fell upon a hunched figure, "'Ay!" I called, starting towards the person, "What happ-" I stopped speaking as it turned to look at me, I could see the tiny body it was arched over. Blood was coating it's lips as it growled at me and struggled to its feet. My feet felt like I was wearing concrete shoes as it stumbled closer, it's arms reached out as grabbed a hold of me. I struggled with it, grabbing a handful of its bloody, matted hair and shoving it's face down into the grass. I stood upright and brought back my steel toe boot to deliver a hard kick to its temple. I heard more groans across the open field, and on the other side of the fenced in play ground, I could see more of them.

Two Days Later

"What're they doing?" Lori asked Shane from beside me, the three of us stood on a ridge overlooking Atlanta. Three black hawk helicopters roared overheard towards the city. Lori's question was answered as fire began raining down from the choppers.

"They're droppin' Napalm in the streets," Shane muttered as Lori began to cry. He pulled the woman close to him, comforting her. The situation was made more horrifying because the emergency broadcasters had been instructing people to head for Atlanta for safety. I'd listened to the instructions, hoping that maybe I'd find Raleigh and Noah along the way.

I stood by myself, the crossbow my wife had purchased for my birthday was over my shoulder as I crossed my arms and watched the city burn. I wasn't a prayin' man, but for the second time in my adult life, I said a prayer. I asked whatever God might be there to protect my wife and my little boy and I asked to be able to find them.
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i know, it's been a long time since i've posted. i started school, so i'll be updating as often as i can, sitck with me? ;p i swear it'll be gooood. let me know what you think?