The second part and conclusion to the newly titled Flash: 02: Outrun the Flames. Enjoy!
A pistol shot rang out in the air, but its report was muffled somehow. Every sound was muffled, fighting to radiate through the thick, dead air. Dale kept his eyes and the sight of his gun fixed on the figures in the field. He had hit one, but it did not seem to slow it any. They progressed toward him as if nothing had happened. He fired another shot, missing this time. His legs had other plans and he was off in a dead sprint across the porch. He vaulted over the railing and pushed himself as hard as he could. His knees were filled with gravel, but his wiry legs still had some speed in them.
He realized that he was still clutching the radio with his other hand and thought to drop it, but he remembered that it had been the only thing that seemed to give any warning of what was to come. As he opened the distance between himself and the intruders, the radio buzzed back to life. The triplet tones of before returned and the space between the sets grew as he ran. It seemed that they weren’t chasing him. He checked over his shoulder and was startled to find that he could no longer see his house nor the intruders.
The lights in the sky continued their advance. He had no hope of outrunning them, but his legs refused to stop. He soon found himself at the canal at the edge of his property. It was dry. A moment’s pause there and he was aware of his knees again. The familiar ache had escalated to a white hot pain. Deep breaths dulled the pain some, but he knew that it would halt him eventually. He turned around again to see if they were still gone. The lights continued unabated.
The horizon glowed as if the sun waking, but a light from the south was no sunrise. He watched for a moment as the glow intensified and soon realized that a carpet of flames had spread across the entire horizon. It grew taller by the second. Dale turned back to the canal. He scanned along its length for as far as his eyes could see and found no bridge. Gritting his teeth, he stepped back some ways and dashed toward the bank. He felt his knees creak their protest as he pushed himself across the canal. He landed with a clumsy roll on the opposite side. The pain in was now radiating throughout the entirety of each leg.
The radio chirped its warnings again. Figures lined the entire bank of the canal. Their outline was human, but they were mere shades. Perversions of a disguise. They remained, motionless as he struggled to get to his feet again. The smell of decay and metal wafted over him from the south again. Yet there was no odor from the flames that rolled toward him. No smoke, no burning smell at all. The radio screeched a near steady tone now. Dale fired several shots at the nearest figure, but it was unfazed. The others stood motionless.
The lights in the sky were nearly overhead now and the flames were mere yards from the opposite edge of the bank. Dale finally made it to his feet, but his legs had gone numb beneath him. He pondered the gun in his hand for a moment. Impulse battled impulse. The world froze around him as he fought the urge to lift the gun to his own head. A soft, familiar voice broke through the stillness sending a rush of cool air over his body.
“Dale. You don’t have to fight them anymore. You don’t have to fight yourself anymore. We won…we survived.”
A point of blue appeared in the face of the figure directly in front of him. A stream of sweet, fresh air flowed out from it and Dale felt relief. He dropped the gun and fell to his now painless knees. The point grew and soon he found himself in a green field, under a blue sky. The shades had vanished, replaced with familiar faces. A woman he recognized from somewhere walked toward him. She placed a soft hand on his cheek. The air around them was crisp and the sky bright again.
The poison memories of the past had grabbed him again, but he survived one more battle.