David Haynes story 'The Truth' was the second place story in July 2014's Short Fiction Contest.
The Truth by David Haynes
They said it was out there somewhere. They said it tip toed through the wasted ruin that was once called earth and whistled a merry tune. And when The Truth winked with its one good eye, you better get the hell out of the way.
The Truth, that's what they called it.
I call it something else.
Five of us set out. The Sons of Men they called us, for the fate of all mankind rested on our over-burdened and weary shoulders.
'Go find The Truth and bring it back to us,' they whispered. 'Find it and set us free.'
But how do you find something if you don't know what it is you're looking for? How do you find something that doesn't want to be found?
And should never be found.
We searched. We followed our brief and we looked. We got down on our god-dam hands and knees and looked under every stinking corpse until we could taste their rotting flesh on our tongues.
And then The Truth found us.
Like I said, when The Truth tips you a wink you better run because it won't wink twice. But we didn't run, not the first time anyway, we just stared. What else were we supposed to do?
What Jonesy was thinking I'll never know but he didn't even scream when the windows on his mask filled with blood. His own beautiful blood.
He never made a sound when his body betrayed him and The Truth ripped his guts apart, inch by bloody inch.
We ran then. We ran and we didn't stop until our lungs burned with the festering air we gulped down with each choking breath.
But when you go looking for something that should never be found, it has a nasty habit of finding you.
One by one we fell. One by eviscerated one.
Now only I am left. The last of the so called Sons of Men.
And the ones who sought The Truth no longer know why they desired it so.
And I no longer care.
I shall run until my last breath. I shall run until my legs can no longer bear my weight. But it will not be forever. I know this.
When The Truth is so terrible, so unbearable, that you cant think straight, you can either wink right back at it and pucker up for a big old kiss, or you can run. You can run.
But it will find you and when it does...