Affliction and Crumbling Punishment
Charlotte Deanna Harper
Affliction and Crumbling Punishment
By Charlotte Deanna Harper
Copyright 2016 Charlotte Deanna Harper
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Affliction for Affinity
Blood poured from the gunshot wound in Ray McConnor’s head. Echoes from the shot still sound in Audrey’s mind. She sat on the motel bed in stunned silence with the gun hanging limp in her hand.
“Oh my god. This shit is so gross,” she said as she wiped blood from her hands. “Why would anyone want to kill people for a living?” She recollected herself and moved the bed spread to the floor.
“Sorry Ray, I think we are going to have to do this the very unoriginal way.” She grimaced. “I had no intention of killing you, but Noelle says that you ratted us out to a few of your friends.”
Audrey rolled Ray’s body onto the white bedspread until it covered his body like a cocoon. She struggled against the weight of the heavier set older man as she pulled the body out of her motel room and toward the back out the motel. It had a semi-empty parking lot and two old dumpsters covered in slime.
“At least here in this town, gun shots don’t bring the police around. I’m literally dragging a dead body and not a soul is blinking an eye.”
Two gentlemen walked past her as she heaved the body into the furthest dumpster. She pulled the gun from her holster hidden under her shirt. The two fled without a word or a second glance back.
She sighed. Not forming a habit of this.
Her phone rings. Noelle.
“Dre, meet me at the Greyhound bus stop in the morning at 6. I have our tickets already. Did you take care of everything you needed to?”
“Yeah, I did. I really don’t want to live like this Noelle, but I’ll see you there.”
Audrey hung up, tossed the phone on the bed, and packed her things. She had a bus to catch and a new state to explore.
The bunker roof was slowly crumbling causing little pieces to fall onto the floor. A bomb had gone off near the entrance for the fifth time today.
“So, are we not supposed to be worried about all of this?” Meg said.
“Can it, Meg. It’s just a few rocks. The whole buildings not going to fall down. They’ve been bombing for two weeks. I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner.” Zac said.
Meg rolled her eyes and went back to her room.
“Zac, are we going to die in here?” I said.
“Of course not, Cait,” he said. “We just are having a few problems and running low on food. Meg is going to make a food run a town over. You have nothing to worry about. I promise.” He ruffled the hair on my head.
“I don’t believe you. You look scared.”
“Alright, I’ve got everything ready to go. Zac, where did you say the little store was?” Meg came back into the room slinging a bag over her shoulder and tucking a gun in her pants.
“It’s next to the arcade over on Smith Rd. It was boarded up after the military destroyed the town. I think it’s the only place in that area still standing, so get in and get out fast.”
“Okay, if I’m not back in an hour. Well, this was fun.” She salutes me and Zac as she climbs silently out of the somewhat broken entrance.
Zac paced the room at a nauseating pace for over forty minutes. The bunker door opened and Meg fell through empty handed.
“I found something even better than food. I found an unused, fully stocked bunker under the store. There is plenty of space in it to fit all of us and there is even a make shift bathroom. That’s what took me so long.”
“That’s incredible! We’re actually going to survive.”
“Oh did you think we weren’t?” Meg said with a smirk on her face.
“When can we go to this new bunker? If we wait until morning well the doorway is going to collapse from the blasts and we’ll be stuck.” The two looked at me as if they had forgotten I was even there.
“I think we can all make it in the next hour, if we all just go now. We don’t have time to pack. We just need to go or Cait’s going to be right. We’ll be stuck here and starve to death or get crumbled to death.”
“Well let’s go!”
The building was dark as night engulfed the area. Rats and other unwanted creatures scurried across the floor in hope of crumbs and dead bodies.
“How are we going to get out of here?” said Ryan, my brother. We’d already had the conversation multiple times and it was just sad at this point.
“Well if you had kept your head down and kept moving, we wouldn’t be in here in the first place.”
The cell door just right of mine shook as Ryan pulled at it desperately trying to escape.
“There is no point of getting angry, Ryan.” I said as I leaned against the joint wall of our cells. I drew a line in the dirt covered floor with my index finger. Six lines were already drawn in the sand. This new one made seven.
“Mack, what else am I supposed to do?” Ryan said, “Get back here you bastards and let us out!”
I rolled my eyes, “For a professional thief, you sure don’t handle yourself very well. How have you managed to stay out of jail and alive this far? Oh… that’s right. You’re still alive because of me. We’re in jail because of you. Your baby sister is still having to teach you the ways of being a thief.”
“Oh, like you could have gotten that bag of jewels without being caught. There were over 20 people around us. It was a suicide mission and you knew that.”
“Well, I thought you were a better thief, you idiot.” Standing up reaching in my pocket, I pulled out a key. “At least I was smart enough to steal the keys to the cells from the guards.”
My brother shuffled around in his cell and I could hear him drop his head into the wall.
“Mack, how long have you had the keys?” the suspicion seeped through my brother’s voice.
“I’ve had them since they put us in here. While they were putting you in, I bumped the guard and took them.” The keys swung from my fingers in a rhythmic motion.
“We’ve been in here a whole damn week. Why are we still here if you have those?”
“You needed to be punished for losing us the mission. That bag meant food for a week. We lost food for a week because of you, so it’s only right that we make up for it by sitting in here and not starving to death.”
I unlocked my cell and stood in front of his. “Maybe I should leave you in here,” I said as I put the key in the lock.
“You little shit. Don’t you dare leave me in here.” His eyes narrowed at me. He was filthy and covered in dirt.
“Remember your surroundings on the next mission or I might just leave you in here next time.”I tossed the keys to a man a few cells down. “Today is your lucky day. Ryan, let’s go.”
About the Author:
Charlotte Deanna Harper is a LGBT fiction and science fiction author. Her works have been published in DownInTheDirt and Coastal Courier. Harper is a student at Full Sail University in the Creative Writing for Entertainment program. Harper will be moving to Los Angeles, California in 2016 to tackle the lack of diversity in mainstream in the Television and Film Industries. Visit for more information.
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AFFLICTION AND CRUMBLING PUNISHMENT is a whirlwind of flash fiction pieces about post apocalyptic survival and the realities of family life. This collection hosts a wide variety of characters that are sure to capture your heart and mind. Family is a wonderful thing until it becomes corrupt and you're trying to survive one day at a time. Audrey and her girlfriend, Noelle, are running away from a killer in a fight for their lives in "Affliction for Affinity." To live, they have to become the killers themselves. Bombs and war are nothing new for a group of rebel teens hidden underground. Zac and Meg are looking for a new place to house their small group after the rations run out and the bunker being to crumble. "Crumbling" shows that family doesn't always have to be blood, but it's the people who you surround yourself with and depend on. In "Worthy Punishment," sibling thieves, Ryan and Mack, are in trouble yet again when a deal goes wrong. This deal means money and money means food for the family. Fed up with her brother's lack of abilities, Mack decides to teach him a lesson.