Jake woke to the sound of screaming and instantly he knew. The CCK had taken yet another victim. He was curious yet hesitant to see what the commotion was about. He knew better.
Slowly, he crept to the front door and looked through the peep hole. Nothing. He pulled the door handle as slowly as possible opening the door slightly a jar and caught a glimpse of what was happening.
A woman on her knees pleading, ‘’Please, no, don’t take him, he’s my son!’’
A loud bang.
It was the loudest noise Jake had ever heard. A deathly silence hit. He closed the door quickly and waited for them to leave. When it was safe he opened the door again and lifeless body of a woman who had just lost her son lay there in the grimy, rat infested hallway of the tower block.
He closed the door again and walked over to the window. The skies were the darkest shade of grey, a tremendous storm about to hit. The only things to be seen were the derelict tower blocks that cast a shadow of depression over the city.
‘’What are you looking at?’’ came a voice from behind. It was Jakes brother, Sam.
‘’Nothing’’ Jake replied.
‘’ Come on, we need to go’’ said Sam impatiently.
It was cold outside. The kind of cold that bites at your fingers. Nobody was outside. Only the rats that now roamed the streets freely and carelessly as if they had somewhere to be.
‘’Where are we going?’’ Jake asked his brother. No reply.
‘’Where are we going?!’’ he repeated, this time with worry in his voice.
‘’I don’t know’’ his brother replied. ‘’We just need to leave’’.
‘’Why, wh-What did you do?’’ he asked.
‘’Please, What. Did. You. Do?’’.
‘’Nothing, juts come’’ his brother barked at him.
Sam was constantly looking around as if he thought there was someone was coming. Every corner he turned he would poke his head around to make sure the coast was clear. Eventually they came across an abandoned building. What looked like a school. It was their old school.
Memories came flooding back, like when Jake and his friends would sit in the canteen and talk about nothing. He missed that. A tear was collecting in his eye. He snapped out of it. There was no room for emotions. Not in this world.
Jake felt oddly safe in the school, as if the teachers were still there, looking after him. School was a place of happiness for him; he was glad to be back.
They took refuge in an old maths room. The posters half hung off the wall. Jake remembered when the school had just been built. The rooms smelled of new carpet and fresh paint; everything was clean and in place. But now the walls were crumbling, some stained with blood. The floors were covered in debris and dust from parts of the roof falling through. It smelled of damp and had an air of neglect but still, it felt populated, like the teachers and the students were still here somewhere.
‘’So what now?’’ he asked.
‘’We wait’’ Sam replied.
‘’ were you good at maths?’’ Jake asked. His brother looked at him blankly and looked away again.
‘’No’’ he replied. His brother was the strong but silent one. The type to talk only when he had something of worth or wise to say.
They looked at each other and laughed hysterically, this was the first time they had laughed in a long time.
It went quiet again.
‘’I’m hungry’’ he said.
‘’Me too’’ Sam replied.
Sam searched his bag in hopes of finding something. Nothing. His face dropped. He was reluctant to move. He knew the dangers of going outside when the CCK are looking for you. Nevertheless, he rose and turned to Jake.
‘’I love you’’ Sam said. Sam knew that there was a strong possibility that he would not return. Jake was stunned at his brother’s words. He wasn’t one for emotion.
Sam stood up and walked out. Jake was by himself outside for the first time since the CCK took over.
Three hours had gone by and still no sign of Sam. Jake was getting worried.
When the sky was pitch black, Jake had had enough waiting. He slowly and cautiously crept out of the room, checking the hallway just in case. He remembered what his brother had taught him.
‘’ Always make sure you know your surroundings’’ he quietly said to himself. He could barely see. The moonlight poking through the holes in the roof was his only torch.
Out of nowhere there was a loud crash, and Jake froze. His heart was racing. Muffled voices came from down the hall, then the flicker of a torch scanning the floor. It was them. Jake was still frozen. They turned the corner.
‘’HEY, DON’T MOVE’’, one of them shouted.
Jake ran faster than he had ever run before. He had never been face to face with them before. He was terrified. They fired a shot hitting the wall. Tears were running down his face. This only made it harder to see in the dark. They fired another shot, this time pinging off a pipe above.
When he found a window he knew he had to do it. He didn’t care about the fall.
He could still hear the CCK firing shots for the window after he had cleared it.
Jake collapsed onto the ground in an alleyway and broke down into tears. He was lost without his brother. Without him, he would be dead..
Anger took over him; he was seeing red and it guided him all the way home.
Jake walked in to the estate car park. Under the flickering light, he caught a glimpse of what looked like a leg bent around the corner.
Jake slowly approached the body, terrified. The body was faced down in a pool of blood, but he cautiously turned it over. Tears came flooding down like rain in a storm. Sam had attempted to go back to their flat to get food.
He propped Sam’s body up and tried to clean the blood away from his face, and stayed there all night thinking.
For the first time in what seemed like ages, Jake was woken by the sun. There were even birds chirping in the trees.
Jake had just lost the one thing he cared about. He took his jacket off and placed it over his brother’s body. It seemed like the most respectful thing to do. Nobody was buried anymore. They were just left there until the body picker came to collect them.
When he returned to his home, it had been turned over, like a bomb had exploded in there. His brother was right to leave. If they hadn’t then they both would have both been dead.
The black markets were spread throughout the city. They sold food, if you want to call it that, weapons and all sorts of other things. Jake went straight to his local, an old warehouse in Hackney. He walked in with his hands shaking.
The stalls were spread around with people browsing, just like any market. Only this one had a sinister tone to it. All the weirdos were here. People that you would go out of your way to avoid in public. They stared at him, like he wasn’t meant to be there. He caught the eye of one man who blew him a kiss. Jake wanted to leave; he didn’t belong here. Then he remembered his brother.
‘’You hungry mate, how about some KFP?’’ asked one man.
KFP was Kentucky Fried Pigeon.
‘’No thanks’’ Jake replied.
Jake picked out the weapons dealer. He took him into a room at the back, filled with guns, Jake picked up the first one he saw. It was a pistol. This was the first time Jake had held a gun. The cold metal felt good on his skin. He felt power from holding it. It was done.
He had new found confidence. For the first time Jake felt he didn’t need his brother, he felt untouchable.
The whole way home Jake was hoping he would run into a CCK officer on patrol, to get his revenge. He didn’t.
Jake reached his flat; he sat down and pulled the gun out of his jacket pocket. The handle was warm and wet with sweat from jakes hand where he had been gripping it tightly on the way home. He held it in his hand and aimed it at his reflection in the mirror, trying to imagine the fear of staring down the barrel, knowing that with one twitch of a finger it was all over.
He stood up and stared in the mirror. Thoughts were whizzing through his head. He through his hood up, put the gun in his pocket and gripped it tightly. He walked out of his door and into the stairwell and stopped dead in his tracks, a CCK officer walked past him. Jake stared into the soulless eyes of the officer. Jakes finger slowly moved onto the trigger of the gun, still hidden in his pockets.
‘’what you doin’ son?’’ said the officer.
Jake didn’t reply
‘’I said, what are you doi-‘’.
Without any warning, Jake pulled the gun out from his pocket and fired a single shot into the officer’s head. The blood sprayed onto the wall behind like he had just thrown a water balloon filled with red paint against the wall. The officers head flew back slammed to the floor dragging the rest of the body down with it. Jakes hand was still raised, shaking uncontrollably. He looked down at the body; the officer’s eyes were wide open. His blood was slowly spreading across the stairwell floor. The gunshot was still ringing in jakes ears. He felt somewhat relieved.
‘’HEY! Everything all right down there?!’’ came a voice from a few floors above. The officer Jake had just killed was not alone.