Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Note

'Don't be too late' usually meant that dinner was going to be somewhat earlier than usual, so I was sure to make it back home by 4:30. I trained harder than I usually would considering I was out as late as 6:00 or sometimes 7:00, but I couldn't complain about cutting my training day short. I wanted to see what mom had put together for the possible oncoming zombies. That and I felt bad about my sudden outburst, even if I had every right in the world to yell and be concerned. I mean, if that's the kick in the ass mom needed to take this seriously then I don't feel bad at all for what I said.

But I did feel bad for yelling.

I unlocked the front door and pushed it open calling out, "Mom?"

The house was relatively dark considering the sun was sinking low on the horizon. But it also meant that mom was still out.

I clicked on a light and looked around. Everything was in its place, so nothing unusual there except the absence of my mother.

"Mom? Are you taking a nap?" I called out again, but still, I didn't hear her.

I could feel my brows crease in concern as I walked to the kitchen. There was a note on the fridge that wasn't there when I left. I flipped on the kitchen light and took it down to read:

"Amy,

Buying supplies. I may be late. Leftovers in the fridge.


I'm proud of you and I love you.

-Mom"

I rubbed the pad of my thumb along her cursive handwriting, feeling the indentations it made on the paper. I smiled at the note and folded it, placing it in my pocket. I don't know why. I wasn't usually the kind to keep quick notes from my mother. Maybe it's because she actually said she was proud of my efforts, or maybe because I was still a little disoriented from working out so hard all day. Who's to say.

I managed to drag myself upstairs for a shower, scrubbing off the dirt and sweat. I washed my hair, savoring the feel of my curls and the way the conditioner made them feel especially soft. Nothing felt quite as good as the shower right after a hard day's work.

Once I turned off the water and dried off, I changed into a pink tank top and black yoga pants. Before I started training, I usually wore a t-shirt to bed, but lately, I took to wearing that because it accentuated the muscles and showed off my arms. When I woke up in the morning, despite my messy hair and lack of make-up, I looked good and it made me feel proud. I smiled to myself every day and ignored the soreness, ready for more.

I picked my sweats off from the bathroom floor to take them to the laundry basket in my room. Carefully, I took the note out of my pocket and placed it on my desk, near my laptop. I flopped on my bed and closed my eyes. I thought about calling mom to see if she was okay, but I shrugged it off and decided to take a small nap before she came back. She would probably need help lugging the supplies inside anyway.

I must have fallen asleep for maybe ten minutes when I heard something downstairs, like a large amount of glass had shattered. Somehow, I immediately knew it was our sliding glass door.

By the way, let's talk about how nothing wakes up the body quite like adrenaline does. I was on my feet instantly and grabbed a gun that I shoved under my bed, per Lex's suggestion, a .22 pistol. I'm so glad he made me. I totally customized it by wrapping the handle of it with pink, glitter tape since by default it was a boring, black color.

Anyway, I felt alert, but I also felt very fearful as I made my way out of the room and pointed my weapon toward the direction of the crash. I stood over the bannister and pointed my gun.

My eyes nearly popped out of my head at what I saw.

There in the living room, surrounded by broken glass was a woman with stringy brown hair, covered in dirt and blood. I thought this was unusual since she was of rather small stature, and it would hurt like hell to throw yourself through glass. Still, I held my gun on her and yelled the obvious, "I don't want to hurt you!"

Really, I didn't. It looked like she already did a number on herself. I was hoping it was just some random, crazy woman, but then she looked at me.

Her eyes were red, and definitely not like she had been crying. No, I mean the whites of her eyes and the irises were completely blood red, so all that was left was the pupil, which was eerily glazed over to a glossy, rotting green like a fish that had flopped out of the water and died. Cuts from the glass had slashed all over her entire body, but she wasn't dripping with blood like I expected she would. In fact, the blood on her was dry, and dulled to a dark, rusty color, so it must have been from before she shattered the door. The cuts she had attained from the glass didn't bleed and she didn't seem to be in pain, but she looked pissed. When she looked at me, she let out a sound I had never heard come from a human before. It was kind of a snarl, kind of a scream, and I jumped at it so hard I nearly dropped the gun.

"I'll shoot you, I swear to God!" I screamed to dissuade her from going any further, but come on. We all know that clearly didn't do anything. She ran towards me. I mean, ran. She was closing the gap between us quickly, despite the fact that I was standing at the top of a staircase. Thank God I pulled the trigger. She probably stopped by the third bullet, but I unloaded an entire clip to be extra sure.

When she collapsed on the stairs and comically slid to the bottom step, I stood in shock for a moment, trembling. How could the Z-disease have made it our way already? Was there just this one by some fluke or would there be more?

I ran to my room to grab my emergency bag. I packed it a week into my training. Lex told me to be ready to run. It contained everything I needed: food, survival gear, clothing, and ammo. As soon as I ran to my room, I grabbed a clip and put it in my gun before I went into my pocket for my phone.

Immediately, I dialed my mother's number, bouncing anxiously as I waited for her to pick up. Voicemail. I did this three more times before I finally resigned, leaving a message after the computerized beep.

Voice shaking I spoke, "Hey mom, um... I... I really hope you're okay. There was a um... Someone with Z-Disease kind of took out the sliding glass door. There's this huge mess b-but don't worry I'm okay I just..." I swallowed and I could feel tears slide down my cheeks, "I really hope you get this. Go to Lex's. We probably shouldn't stay home. I love you so much," my voice choked, "Please mom, please be okay..."

As soon as I hung up the phone, I heard a noise from downstairs. Another crash. I took a deep breath. It wasn't supposed to happen like this. We were supposed to be ready. I was supposed to be ready, not this crying, trembling mess I had become.

I threw the sack on my back, before going under my bed for a knife, deploying the blade with a sharp click. I opened my door and aimed the gun again.

"Who's there?!" I cried out, my voice near hysteria.

"Amy! It's me!" At the base of the stairs stood Lex, breathing heavily and covered in dirt.

"Lex..." I breathed.

"We have to go now," he said sternly.

"Mom isn't back yet, she said she'd be back. We can't go without her," I tearfully said.

"Amy," he started firmly, "There's no time," he said pointedly, "We have to go."

We stared at each other for what felt like an eternity. His look went from stern to pleading the longer he looked. So much so that I felt bad for stalling. I pressed my lips together in an attempt to stop them from quivering. I looked toward my room, then back at Lex when I remembered something.

"Wait..." I told him as I turned around and ran toward it.

I went to my computer desk and grabbed the note my mom wrote. I looked over it one more time, my thumb running over the cursive before I stuffed it in my bag, quickly kicked on a pair of shoes and went downstairs as quickly as I could without looking back.

That was the last time I saw my room.

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