Title: Flash Fiction #25
Fandom: The Walking Dead
Word Count: 451
Warnings: None as long as you’ve seen TS-19
Disclaimer: I don’t own Jacqui or any other character associated with The Walking Dead – I just like to take them out and play from time to time. This is unbeta’d and unedited – all errors are mine. If you see anything that needs correction, please let me know! Concrit is always welcome!
The doors to the lab closed around them, sealing their fate. As Jenner explained what facility decontamination entailed, Jacqui watched the reactions of the others. Daryl hacked relentlessly at the doors; Rick begged for a chance, for some compassion; Shane ranted and railed against their fate; Lori and Carol just hugged their children close and wept.
Jacqui felt a strange sense of peace, of acceptance. After losing their friends Jim and Amy, after watching the video that Jenner showed them about what happens when one is infected, Jacqui had no desire to leave the CDC, to face the outside world again. Jenner promised that it would be quick, painless. Just a quick flash and it was over.
No more struggle. No more fighting to survive. No more wondering if today was the day she’d be bitten, infected.
Jenner granted the others their chance; he unlocked the doors for them. Topside was their problem but they were no longer locked beneath. As T-Dog grabbed her hand to pull her out the door, she felt a moment of panic. Could she really stay behind? Was she strong enough to refuse to leave?
“Uh uh, sweetie, I’m staying,” she said. She saw the shock and dismay pass over T-Dog’s face, mirrored in the faces of the others. She knew they hated to lose a member of their group but she was grateful when T-Dog finally squeezed her hand and turned to leave. She watched the others run out the door. All, save Dale. He refused to leave without Andrea.
As she listened to Dale try to convince Andrea to leave, Jacqui thought of her life before the walkers came. She’d had a good life, a fulfilling life. She’d been married, had borne two beautiful sons. She’d lost her husband to cancer but they’d had many wonderful years together. She’d seen their sons, Ty and James, grow to be strong, decent young men. They were off on their own now, living in New York and Philadelphia. Her heart ached at the thought that she’d never see them again; she just had to hold out hope that they were safe.
She watched as Andrea and Dale ran from the room, the doors sealing shut behind them. She and Jenner watched as they made it outside through the broken glass. He turned to her and said, “They made it.”
Jacqui smiled and held out her hand to Jenner. Strangers though they may be, everyone deserved to hold someone’s hand in the end. They stood together, before the monitors, as the clock ticked down.
A fiery explosion ripped through the facility, the very air itself catching fire. Jacqui closed her eyes and knew no more.