Day 23

“When the masks be stridin’,
there’s no use in hidin’,
for the white-coats will find you today.”

“If they’re here it’s your turn,
resist and you’ll burn,
face it; you’re dead either way.”

“Shhhhhhh,” breathed Sally. “This is no time for your little songs. They’re here!”

There was a quiver in my big sister’s voice; a chink in the armour donned after our parents had been taken—it startled me into silence. I followed her lead, as she pulled me through the ramshackle house.

We darted through the hole in the back of the house—the fighting in this part of the city had been intense. Sally tugged at me, urging me to run faster as we scurried over piles of rubble littering the streets. We skidded through an open door and Sally pushed me against the wall, her hand clenched over my mouth. She pressed a finger to her lips and mouthed, “be quiet.”

I nodded, and she removed her hand. “Why are you so afraid? I thought the white-coats burn the infected?”

Sally shot me a glare, an accusation that I was being too loud. I began to protest, but her face softened and she waved away my arguments. “I’ll tell you everything later, but right now all you need to know is that they are not friends. They fight the infected. doesn’t mean they’re on our side. I’ve seen them… change people.”

“What you mea—” I screamed as the figure adorned in white appeared in the doorway, mask firmly attached and flame-thrower lowered.

“Take the young one.” The voice was familiar.

As two other white-coats dragged me away, I heard Sally’s incoherent screaming. “No: please! Dad, don’t do this! Da…” The nonsensical words faded into black as a needle sank into my arm.


Written for Aussie Speculative Fiction’s – Make-it-up Monday.

Each week a photo prompt is posted for the group to write a flash piece (under 300 words) inspired by the image. One flash is published on their website – check out the winning entry here.


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