all that matters

Flash FictionNo long intro. I have out-of-town guests on the way, and they’ll be here any moment.

I’ll only say this story was a gift from Vye. I didn’t even think while writing it. I just wrote and it just came.

I love it when that happens.

I also love feedback, so feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

all that matters

“There are worse things than death.”

It was the kind of line that makes me want to slap a baby.

Not that I would slap a baby. I’m not a psycho. Calm the fuck down. I just mean it was a stupid thing for him to say. Of course there are worse things than death. Thank you, Captain Obvious.

(Stay tuned for more witty zingers that haven’t already been overused.)

But I got his point. Given the options, I suppose he was right.

“Fine,” I said. “So we’re going to suicide this?”

He arched one eyebrow. I swear, it was like I was planning to save the world with Spock. That made me want to slap him.

“Sacrifice is noble,” he said.

No shit, Sherlock. (See? There’s another zinger for you, as promised.)

“I really don’t care. Everything I do care about is in that bunker, so if this is how we protect them, I’m in.”

He watched me for a moment. I was waiting for smoke to pour out of his ears. I could tell he was thinking hard.

“Does that cavalier attitude make this easier for you?” he asked.

Fair point, I suppose. And yeah, it kind of does. I’d rather not go all philosophical in the moments leading up to what’s sure to be a gory death. It’s easier to make bad jokes, but I didn’t feel like giving him the satisfaction of being right, even if he was about to die, too. I’m kind of a bitch that way.

“Does acting like you don’t have emotions make it easier on you?” I asked.

“Touché.”

I don’t know all of your life’s experiences, but let me tell you there’s little in the world as maddening as a French quib from a vampire. The bastard even said it with an accent. Like I don’t know he lived in France for decades. What a pompous ass.

“In truth,” he continued, “I’ve always known this day would come. I’m long lived, longer than most, but no one lives forever.”

“You’re just full of cliché wisdom today.”

“Mock me if you wish. It hardly matters now. All that’s left is to do what must be done.”

“I suppose so.”

We finished prepping. It didn’t take long. Most of the explosives were already wired. We’d been planning to use the house as a fallback location. The doors were all rigged. All we had to do was relocate the C-4. When we were done, we had two bonafide suicide bomber jackets. They’re all the rage this fall. Bulky, but boy do they leave an impression.

He put on his and I put on mine. The trigger was in the pocket.

“Despite our differences,” he said, “I admire you. I consider this an honorable death, though I may have hell to pay on the other side.”

“Don’t get all mushy on me, fang face. Just hold it together and let’s go hug some zombies.”

With a dramatic flare, he bowed and extended an arm toward the door.

“After you,” he said.

He was a lot of bad things, but he was also a gentleman, right to the end. I like to think God took it easy on him, spawn of Satan though he was. After all, he helped me save everything in the world that matters to me.

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About Ash Martin
Ash Martin writes dark fantasy and horror, has a thing for classic monster legends, Nordic mythology, coffee, and sarcasm, and is currently working on multiple books.

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