Siren Song

The siren wailed in the distance. It was an overwhelming pulse that bellowed throughout the entire building and vibrated the structure. Shaking the doors, rattling the windows and jarring my bones. It lasted a solid five minutes this time and then ceased. I knew it would begin again, but it lacked a reliable predictability I might have preferred. The gaps between each deafening blare varied greatly, making any rest near impossible. I had realized I was holding my breath since the siren had surrendered a moment ago. I exhaled into the dingy atmosphere and inhaled once more, shaking myself out and loosening up. I knew the opposite would be required of me very shortly. I was leaning against an old water boiler in the basement of an old hotel. It was a tall structure, with almost 25 floors three of which were underground, I was as low as I could have gone. I was cityside, or at least I believed I was. It was dark almost all the time now and I had spent the last several months in this building. I would spend my days in the upper levels, scavenging the rooms as best as I could, even after this much time I still had over half the building left to explore. I would spend my nights in the basement, behind lock, key and the fifty pound barrel I rolled in front of the door every night.
The siren only sounded at night, it was the only way to tell the difference anymore. I never saw the sun rise, even though I figured it still must, an illusion or not I never really spent much time on the thought. All of my attention and focus was geared towards survival. My clothing was bloodstained, and the majority wasn’t my own. I had combat boots, thick jeans, a plain long sleeve and a heavy jacket, all of which I’d scavenged. I had very few things left of my own, just the socks on my feet and a necklace my daughter had made me. I looked like a survivor I suppose. I was in decent health, save for my left hand which was bandaged. I had sliced it open after breaking into a hotel room on the fifth floor a week ago. The door had been barred from the inside, though the people who had barred it were gone. I figured they must have taken the window. My hand had started healing but was still very tender and weak. It was at least functional but still a hindrance.
I felt incredibly dirty, despite being cleaner than I had been before finding the hotel. There was no power left in the building at all yet the cold water still ran and the soap was still real. The food was still good and I could cook using matches and candles that the hotel had in stockpile. I had even found a generator in one of the three sub-basements of the hotel but it ran on fuel, which there was none of in the building. I had yet to venture outside or down out to the parkade, but I was considering it rather deeply. I would most often read by candlelight, or write in my journal, I was documenting everything I’d gone through, for what purpose though I wasn’t too clear. Whatever life I had lead before this was almost a distant memory, but I knew it was there.
One day I was living a normal existence, an average life with a family and friends. Then the first siren sounded. It was deafening and consuming. It turned the world into a bloodbath. Friends, family, strangers and the like all turned against one another. Not everyone was affected, but everyone had to participate. You either killed, or were killed by someone else. I’ve killed so many now. The sirens were very infrequent at first. Once a month or so, then it was every week, and now it’s every single night. I had been a part of a group at one point, all of us survivors. Then the siren tore us apart. The worst part of it is, that no one seems to stay dead anymore. It doesn’t matter who you’ve killed, the siren sounds, and they’ll find you. The ones that you’ve killed, and the ones that you haven’t yet. It’s as if they can smell your blood, or sense your dread.
So I locked myself in this hotel. Hoping to God for at least a safe place for a while. I’m not even sure who else is left alive out there. The city gets flooded with the dead. Occasionally I hear them outside my door. Sometimes they say my name. I keep a gun in my right hand at all times. I had lifted it off of a dead cop almost a year ago. Been managing to stockpile some ammo and keep a full clip with a spare in my pocket at easy access. I tried to keep its use as infrequent as I could, also carrying a large hunting blade. Guns are so violent, I avoid killing whenever I truly can.
I was beginning to get quite tired and my candlelight was dwindling. Did I forget to check the perimeter? I don’t think so. I’m just, so tired. The siren wails again, this time for a full ten minutes and it brings me back to my senses. The longer the sirens, the worse it would be, I had come to learn. The siren stopped and I waited. After what felt like eternity had passed, a sound started me from across the room. There was a knock at the door. I said nothing. More knocking proceeded and as I ignored it, a little voice pierced through the locked and barricaded door.
“Daddy? Are you in there?”
Closing my eyes one single tear rolled down my cheek as I lifted my gun and cocked it. I stood up and tightened my fist around the guns handle. I was getting really tired of this.


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