Jed and the Apocalypse

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"I will have you sparkling clean in a jiffy," Jed spoke to his dual axle 18-wheeler and pushed his mop along the dented metal, red water pooling at his feet.
The sound of slowly approaching disjointed steps had him scrubbing quicker; "just a little more..." a sheen of sweat feathered his brow.

His mop prodded thickly drying intestines from the grill before they finally unstuck and plopped to the ground. A bleeding ripped arm made a sticky sound as it came loose and his grill was finally free.
A grin cracked his features, “got it! We will be on the road again soon, don't you worry honey." He hollered up to his wife in the passenger seat.
Her mouth gapped open, flesh slipping off her jaw bone. The open sores on her body oozed puss and leaked red fluid. She numbly thumped her head against the window.
You can only be destroyed and recreated so many times before pieces of you get lost in the transfer.
It started slow. Jed did not even notice at first. She became quieter. She became distant. Forgot to clean herself and feed herself. Stopped caring for their children. Stopped caring about anything. It had snuck up on everyone; like the effects of tobacco, only much more lethal.
It had worked so well on tables and chairs and chimps. Such a quick way to travel. No one saw it coming.

A scuffing sound made Jed snap to attention.

He had waited too long.

A ripped fleshy residue of a man had sidled right next to him, arms reaching, mouth gaping. Jed jumped back and stabbed the mop handle harshly into the wheezing once human face. It crushed through the nose, making a slick sound as it obliterated both halves of the brain and came clean through the other side. The body went limp and fell to the ground.

It did not matter how deserted it appeared, they always found him. He looked up the road to the tens of shuffling bodies making their way closer to him.
"Yeah...It's time to go."

Jed hauled himself into the cab of his truck and looked at his wife. She was tightly secured with the seat belt, a ratchet strap and good old reliable duct tape. The more days passed the harder she began to pull on the restraints. Her hands reaching across the middle, her mouth gapping, drool dripping- and her eyes... her eyes were lifeless glass.

"...come in dad... dad come in over..."
The crackled voice fuzzed over the two-way radio.
Jed hesitated. He knew what his son would say, what he had been saying for months now. And he was not sure he wanted to hear it. But he picked up the mic.

"Yeah, Robbie?" He released the button.
There was relief in the silence. "I wanted to make sure you're still okay. It's dangerous out there -...."
"I know." He cut his son off.
Silence.
"Dad," the crackle of the radio amplified the tension. "Mom is gone, dad. She's...she’s gone."
"I saw a flicker Robbie. It was there. I told you-"
"No dad. There was no flicker. No part of her came back. She teleported too much... she..."
"It was there. I have to try. If it doesn’t work-" Jed was not able to finish the sentence, or the thought.
"But dad, if you go-"
"Over and out."
Jed clicked off the radio.
His wife wheezed.

"Til' death do us part," he whispered, but could not look her in the face, afraid of what he wouldn’t see there.

He turned the key. The roar of the engine soothed him as he shifted into gear. He did not slow down for the bodies standing in the way, barely registered the bump as he drove over them. He had stopped caring long ago, just pulled the truck into another gear and kept driving. He was taking his wife home.

His house looked the same inside as it had when he left months ago.
“Teleportation,” he spat as he passed the metal closet structure near their front door. “I should have never let that hunk-a-junk in my house.”
He laid his double barrel rifle on the table. If this didn’t work...

He grabbed his dog catcher pole- the best way he’d found to escort his wife, and soberly walked back to his 18-wheeler. A loop around her head and a few slashes at her restraints and his darling wife was oozing and shuffling after him.
Her breath rattled.
His heart hung heavy in his chest.
They had just entered the house when he felt a jar on his metal pole. His wife had stopped. He looked at her, and she was looking at him. Directly at him. For the first time in months.

Hope flared in his chest.

"Jeeadd..." The question was awkwardly formed on her disjointed lips.
"Darla?"
He dropped the pole and stepped closer to her, grasping her arms.
"Darla!"
Her scanned his face, unfocused, her lips peeled back into a wretched smile. She jerked- and brought her teeth forcibly to his chest.

He heard the bite before he felt it, the tearing sucking of a starved person trying to devour everything, anything they could.

Jed shoved his wife off his chest and bent to take the control of the dog catcher pole.
He had not imagined it. She had been there. Right as they passed the teleporter. A small piece of her had come back; had been re-collected somehow.
He had been right!
"This damn thing ripped you apart and left little pieces behind. If I have to haul you over hells half acre to pick them up- then I sure will, honey. Just stop," he yanked on the pole, "biting me."

About the Author: 
I am a Canadian, living in small town Alberta. I am an avid traveler, and would like to add 'writing' to my list of hobbies as well.

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Quantum Theories

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O is for ... Objective reality

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T is for ... Tunnelling

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R is for ... Reality

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I is for ... Interferometer

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X is for ... X-ray

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