Date Published: April 30th 2020
In a freshly lawless New England in the dead of winter
A bloodied and barefoot 17-year-old, grieving the loss of her father,
trudges around a smoldering pileup on the road out of town. She’s
endeavoring the 120 mile trek to her only living family member through
A once kind-hearted lumberjack splits a teenager’s nose in half with
the rim of a metal gas can. Since the day his family was slaughtered before
his eyes, he’s been consumed with an undying fury that can only be
quelled through acts of violence…
A two-time college-dropout, trying to do good, howls in agony as her face
is slashed with a razor-blade. The crackhead who did the deed is taking back
her five-year-old child who the drop-out was trying to protect after finding
him abandoned in a dumpster…
Anyone wishing to live must harden and adapt to the new rules of a world
post-fall of polite. This dangerous new world will make you into a
survivor… or a corpse.
That reminded Maria to check in on Stacey. Their calls had to be quick since her dad didn’t like her using her cellphone, but they had stayed in contact anyway. Maria was dismayed by the panic and urgency in her voice.
‘Hey, Maria, I can’t talk.’
‘Are you all right?’
‘I, uh- I don’t know.’
The pastor’s voice boomed behind Stacey, ‘I said no phone calls! They’re listening!’
‘Maria, I gotta go-’ Stacey’s dad yanked the phone from her hand and slammed it off the living room floor. He stomped on it until his heel cracked the screen and the display went dead.
Stacey ran to her mom and sister on the other side of the room. The pounding at the front door had developed from one fist to a half-dozen. Shadows of men and weapons moved about on the other side of the frosted glass window set in the door.
The pastor looked to the silhouettes, then to his wife. ‘Bring them upstairs.’
‘Honey, I don’t thi-’
‘Do it! All of you! Get up there and pray!’
As the rest of the family hurried upstairs, pastor Prendergast went for his gun. The shadows outside his door howled as he yanked open the closet and put the combination into his lockbox.
‘Open up, pastor Aaron!’
‘Let us in!’
‘We know you’re in there!’
The pastor pulled his snub-nosed revolver out of the box and loaded it just like the guy in the store taught him. He aimed the gun toward the frosted glass with a shaky hand.
‘Unlock the door, pastor Aaron!’
‘We know you’ve got three ripe pussies locked up in there!’
‘It ain’t fair, man!’
‘Yeah! You’ve gotta share, pastor Aaron!’
The pastor lowered his gun, knowing what he truly needed to do, and knowing exactly how hard it would be.
The frosted glass shattered and the sweaty, white-trash men outside jostled for position, all trying to reach through the small aperture at once.
The pastor made his way upstairs. He joined his family in the master bedroom and was relieved to find them on their knees praying as he had instructed. There was a distant rumble and the house shook underneath them. The lights flickered on and off in the overheard lamp, the fan spun wildly, and the whole chandelier began to sway on its hanging chain.
Stacey rose to her feet. ‘Dad, what are you doing?’
The lights pulsated like lightning, rising and falling in intensity. The brutes downstairs burst through the front door, hollering excitedly.
‘Keep praying.’ The pastor said, preparing for the act to come. He did the sign of the cross twice in a row.
‘This is not our world anymore.’
And as the words left the pastor’s lips he raised the gun to the back of his wife’s head. ‘You’ll see each other in heaven.’ He knew he wouldn’t be able to join them but for this mercy. ‘Goodbye.’
He pulled the trigger and the gun let out a deafening blast. He watched as blood coated the bedroom wallpaper an instant before his wife’s head smashed through it. He forced his eyes to the swinging, pulsing chandelier above the bed as his children screamed. He pivoted his arm and fired again. The tandem screams became a solo performance as Stacey hit the floor, silenced. Letting the tears flow, pastor Prendergast pivoted once more and punctuated poor little Polly’s screams with another gunshot.
The intruders made it to the bedroom doorway just in time to see the pastor bring the revolver to the underside of his chin and the squeeze the trigger one final time. The ceiling fan spread his displaced brains across the room.
About the Author
Sam Kench is a 23-year-old writer and independent filmmaker. His
screenplays and short films have been awarded by festivals and competitions
around the world. In 2014 he was named one of the top defenders of free
speech by the National Coalition Against Censorship. He grew up in New
England and spent years exploring many of the locations that found their way
into the novel. He now resides in Los Angeles. ‘The Fall of
Polite’ is his debut novel.
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