He bit me. He bit me and I shot him. I shot him, my brother. I shot my own brother.
A warm ache spreads through my leg to the rhythm of my pulse, but I shake to a different beat. I can feel tears forming in my eyes before dripping slowly down my cheeks. I vomit.
Blood streams down from the hole in his head, over his jaundiced, papery skin. Blood—my blood—lines his mouth, and denim from my jeans sticks between his teeth. My brother tried to eat me, and I shot him. I shot my brother—no, not my brother. He’s not my brother anymore. I had no choice. I had to survive. It was him or me, and I have to survive. I have to survive. My leg—what the hell am I going to do about my leg? I can’t turn. I won’t turn. There has to be a way.
I can feel it spreading through my leg. I need to act fast.
I pull off my shirt and tear a strip off of the bottom, then make a tourniquet just above my knee. I tighten it as much as I can, but I’m still not convinced it’s tight enough. I look around the room, quick but careful. It seems even after my brother turned he was neat; no dirty dishes or food left out on the counter, everything organized behind his glass cabinet doors. Apart from me and his corpse laying on the floor his whole kitchen is spic and span.
My eyes rest on the knife block—I could amputate it. A wave of nausea sweeps through me, but it doesn’t carry away the idea. Better to lose a leg than turn. I can cauterize it so I won’t bleed out. I can make it. I grab the counter and pull myself to my feet, then hobble towards the knives. I wince every time my bitten leg touches the ground, but I suppose that won’t be a lasting problem. I wrap my fingers around the handle of a big butcher knife and pull it slowly out of the block. The blade shines with malevolence, but the poison in my leg is the greater of two evils. I lower the blade to my leg, just below the tourniquet, and close my eyes. I try to clear my mind, but a thought keeps coming to me: How can I stay alive with only...