The cold, metal tip of the gun pressed gently against my forehead as I held the large scar dripping with blood on my ankle. I could see the sweat rolling down between my dad’s unblinking eyes as his gun-holding hand trembled. He stared straight at my face and soon his eyes started to water. The tears that slid down his face seemed to combine with his sweat. This was the first time I had ever seen him cry. I looked to the corner of the garage and saw my mom on her knees with her hands held together. It seemed as if she was praying.
“Paul, it has to be done. You’ve seen what happens to those who get bitten by an infected.” My uncle Ray placed his hand on my father’s shoulder while avoiding eye contact with me. “Do you want me to do it?”
“No. He’s my son. If anyone has to do it, it’ll be me.” My dad’s voice sounded shaken. He put his hand on my head and softly patted it like he use to when I was younger. “Son, you know your mother and I love you right?” He tried to hide his fear from me but it was hard to miss.
“Dad, I know.” I was afraid as well. Back before all of this had happened I thought my biggest fear would always remain as heights but I would have easily traded places with a bungee jumper at this point. I never would have thought all those video games and movies about the dead coming back to life would end up as a reality.
“Wait! There has to be another way.” My mom stood up and looked over at the three of us. “He’s sixteen. He’s only a child.” I had never seen her look so frightened before. I always had an image of my mom being a strong, calm woman but her face, in that moment, looked so fragile.
“I know how old he is Rachel! But there is no other way. You’ve seen how fast people turn when they’re bitten.” My dad began to lose his grip on the gun. Every added second of our situation seemed to break his confidence bit by bit.
“Please Paul. He’s our son.”
“What do you want me to do?” His answer came as a whisper as his eyes looked to the floor.
I could feel my heartbeat slow down a great amount as my head became light and my vision blurred. Then, the situation became terrifying. My body was becoming numb and I was losing consciousness. I did not want to become a monster and hurt my family. I realized that the fear I felt was not for my own life but the lives of those I loved. It was easy to see that my dad was struggling with what he had to do. I knew he would not be able to kill his only son so I pushed all the strength and feeling I had left into my hand. Reaching up, I grabbed the base of the gun.
“Son, what are you doing!” I pulled the gun’s tip to my forehead and pushed his trigger finger. The last sound was the gunshot.