The man at the window

This one's a bit older, I'm not sure how old. It was written at the height of my obsession with the undead, before the genre had seen the metaphorical horse beaten to death, risen to undeath, then beat down once more.

The soft breeze caressed his face, the only tenderness he'd felt in months. It carried the smell of rot, suffering and death. It brought an odd duality: comfort and the reality of what he was facing. The cold steel of a trigger against the tip of his finger served a harsher reminder of his state. The firearm rammed into his shoulder methodically, like the ticks of a clock that no longer worked, a sound his mind still heard to prevent its own descent into despair. The crack of gunshots tore at his ears, threatening to deafen him with every bullet he sent at the things below. His hand moved to the bolt of the firearm before his mind sent the signal, muscle memory regularly ingrained since the madness started.

A casing ejected, performing a graceful flip through the air, an acrobat performing where no one would see, before it clattered to the floor. It rolled away slowly, embarking on its own journey along an uneven floor. It passed many of its fallen brothers, each having served their duty and now lying cold and lifeless amongst dried blood flecked against a grey film of dust. The casing left a trail as it rolled, dust latching onto its smooth metallic surface, abandoning its deathly stillness for a brief jolt of life. This voyage came to an end, the cartridge throwing itself against a monumental iron tower and causing an echoing clatter that reverbrated throughout the cramped apartment. the methodical sound of gunshots ceased, if but for an instant. The man at the window turned, throwing his tired gaze over a bony, drooping shoulder, the pupils of his eyes passing over the room, miniature radars seeking targets to avoid. They settled on the tiny cartridge, rolled against a toppled CD rack. An odd grumble came from behind a field of grey, flecked with the black of forgotten youth. The man's stare returned to the window and the firearm nestled against his shoulder. His eye pierced through the steel scope. 

His hand rose once more, reaching for the bolt of the firearm, stopping before a single finger can wrap around it. Hairs stood at attention, first on his wrist, then sweeping up his arm and to te back of his neck. It is another sound that's disturbed him, a sound nothing like the small metallic clang of before. This time, it was organic, distant. He knew from its anguished apathy it could only originate from one thing, the strangest and cruelest beast to walk the face of the earth. The thought dipped only a toe into his mind, sending cramped, wooden muscles straining to lift the entirety of his body into something barely qualifying as an upright position. The abandoned firearm rested on its two metallic legs, securely nestled on the edge of the window. The man lifted his hand with an unfamiliar, strange new motion. It trembled with uncertainty for a few precious seconds. Another sound echoed to him, similar to the first, yet not exactly from the same source. The man's weary gaze sharpened, darting towards this new sound, a twinkle of panic shining deep within the thick blackness of his pupils. His hand trembled again somewhat before climbing to his waist. Long, bony fingers wrapped around the unfamiliar end of an unused weapon. Tension ran through the man's flat, withered muscles as he pulled, revealing a blade lacking shine and polish. Instead, specks of dry, almost ancient blood and puddles of rust rand along its dulled, rough edge. Blade held at his side, the man dropped to one knee, then both. The blade was placed in front of him as the sources of the noise multiplied. He then pressed his open palms together, cracked lips whispering nearly-forgetten words to a barely-remembered God. The sounds grew closer, accompanied now by the smell of rot, suffering and death. They were almost at his door when the man stood, straight and strong, blade held securely in his hand as he whispered.