Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Horror Movie

Splattered in blood, with the zombies scattered around the car like some kind of macabre art piece, all I could do was stand there and breathe, heart pounding erratically in my chest. My eyes darted from corpse to corpse, looking for any signs of movement. I had to be sure. I mean, I didn't want to be like those stupid girls in horror movies that make you scream 'Don't go in there'.

With the immediate proximity silent, I slid off of the car and carefully landed on the concrete below me with an audible tap. I waited when I heard it and looked around again. Nothing was running for me, and that was good. I cautiously made my way toward the station, ever vigilant of the sounds around me.

The plan was for Lex to watch the supplies while I would get whoever was left in the station. I was smaller than him, and faster. If this guy weighed me down or tried anything stupid, I would leave him.

But I was really hoping he wouldn't.

What felt like a heart-pounding forever (probably just a minute in reality), I found myself at the front of the station, the glass doors shattered and the pieces covered the reception area.

"Hello?" I called cautiously, only to be met with nothing.

Now I really did feel like I was in a horror movie, waiting for something to jump out of the shadows at me. Any of the zombies I had run into so far had been pretty loud, but in not ending up like random dead chick #3, I stayed on my guard, gun pointed forward.

To calm my nerves, I spoke, "My name is Amy. I'm going to get you out of here, okay? I heard your message on the radio and you wanted someone to meet you down here, so here I am."

Again, nothing.

I spoke a little louder than before, "Listen, if you're here then I really suggest we get the fuck out, like, right now because there's no telling how long we have. We could totally become zombie food, and I'm totally okay NOT going out that way, I don't know about you."

I was finally met with a horrible, non-human screech, similar to the one I heard back home when the glass doors shattered. I looked around quickly, trying to figure out where it came from, but before I could react, I could hear them approaching on all sides, quickly.

Shit. I really was going out this way, like a bad actress doomed to sequels and mini series. Ew. The remaining glass around me began to shatter as they made their way forward, rotting eyes focused on me.

I swallowed thickly and fired, taking one out immediately, but there were at least five more of them.

Firing from atop a truck at least gave me a vantage point because these things aren't very good at climbing, but now that there was no barrier between us, they could easily get to me and I didn't have enough time to take all of them down myself without getting overwhelmed.

That is, until a metallic thunk took one of them down. My eyes darted to the source to find a tall, athletic-bodied man with gorgeous ebony skin, his dark hair in twists that extended a couple inches around his head. He looked like a warrior. I mean, compared to me, you know? His clothes and the side of his face were splattered in blood, and he held a metallic baseball bat stained red with blood. I couldn't help watch him for a moment. His muscles rippled as he raised the bat and brought it down solidly, taking another zombie swiftly to the ground. He didn't stop swinging but he yelled, "I don't want to go out that way neither!"

A slow smile came to my face as I pointed my gun toward a screeching zombie in a business suit and fired.

Monday, October 14, 2013

No One Left Behind

The details of what happened after that are fuzzy. We took all of the essential things that we had and loaded them into the back of Lex's truck, but once I let my bag go, I plopped into the passenger seat and sat in shock. I remember him asking if I was going to be okay, and I nodded numbly, hearing the engine roar as we took off.

The town looked like it was generally in one piece towards the beginning. There were no zombies around from what I could tell. The houses in my neighborhood looked as they always did. As we drove outward, there were only a couple of things out of place: A freshly broken window here, a fallen mailbox there, but it wasn't bad. It looked like a group of punks gathered in one place and decided to get into trouble, but nothing that couldn't be fixed or replaced in a couple day's time.

As we kept on driving, however, it got progressively worse. Broken windows in houses, storefronts, and a few cars, the glass glistening in the streets under the setting sun lighting the pavement up like diamonds underneath us. I watched them sparkle and I was immediately reminded of a pair of earrings that my mom used to wear. She had two piercings in each ear and kept the tiniest diamond in the hole that was further up. It was so subtle I often forgot it was there until the light caught it just right. When I thought of it, I could feel my eyes become hot and wet, and I didn't know if I should look in my lap, or keep staring forward.

Lex must have noticed because he said in the gentlest way possible, "Don't cry, Amy. We can't let this keep us down. We have to get out first."

I pressed my lips together and just nodded as the tears streamed down my cheeks. The further we drove out, the more foreign everything looked from the damage. There were cars that looked abandoned and I could see a bright, white police cruiser that had bloody hand prints that smeared away to the side as if someone had been dragged from it.

I swallowed thickly and said, "Looks like someone wanted their pork extra rare."

Lex glanced over at me and laughed. A slow smile came to my face and I couldn't help but laugh with him, even though my face was still moist and flushed from my own grief. I felt a little fucked up for laughing, but at the same time I really needed it, you know? That kind of laughter that causes you to hold your sides and cry a little. I needed it because it made me feel sane, despite what was going on around us. More than likely, I would never see this town again, and even if I came back, what would become of it? What home would I have to go back to? I may not have had anything tangible anymore, but I had my wit and I definitely had my humors, and if I was going to get through this thing, I would need every ounce of it I could manage.

When our laughter died down, Lex attempted to click on the radio, but most of the stations were out - big surprise - and every station crackled eerily or was unsettlingly silent. I shifted uncomfortably in my seat and Lex spoke, "You can pick out a CD if you want. They're in my console."

Yeah, I definitely needed a distraction, even if I didn't agree with Lex's tastes in music. I grabbed the folder he kept wedged there, packed to the brim with CDs and flipped through it aimlessly, taking in the colors and looking at the art, tilting the folder this way and that so the rainbow reflected in the mirror-like surface would shine.

As I flipped, our silent station began to crackle and then a voice came through, "Hello?" A deep male voice by the sound of it. My eyes went wide and I immediately turned it up.

"I don't know if anyone will get this," It went on, "But the outbreak happened so fast that this was the only place I thought to go. Please, if anyone can hear this, I'm down at the station on Main Street."

I looked from the radio to Lex and urgently grabbed his arm, "We have to go get him."

Lex gave me a sideways glance and I could see a stubborn glint in his eye, "We don't know him. This guy could only hold us back."

"But we could find our strength in numbers! Please," I begged, "We can't just let him die if we could have done something about it? Are you that cold?" I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes as I argued which, by the way, I completely hate about myself. Every time I argue something I believe in, I cry. Way to totally prove a point, right?

To my surprise though, Lex huffed out a deep sigh and turned his truck in the direction of Main Street. Thankfully, the road was ahead and we weren't moving backwards by our detour.

After driving for a mile, I knew the station was coming up. I'd seen it a few times, even though I wasn't on this side of town very much. It was a modestly sized building, a boring, default beige in color, with random graffiti tags that had to be painted over once or twice a month. Really, you think they would just break down and paint the thing.

Not that it really matters now.

What I hadn't anticipated, however, was the boring, beige building was now flanked by zombies surrounding the perimeter. It was like all of them decided to conglomerate there. Maybe they smelled fresh meat, or maybe they were upset because their favorite song wasn't played during rush hour traffic. That's a joke, of course. Though, I think the zombies would love 'Thriller' for obvious reasons.

Anyway, I pressed my lips together and glared forward at the horde.

"This isn't a good idea," Lex insisted.

I was too busy reaching in the back to grab a gun, "It's the best idea. On my watch, we're not leaving anyone behind."

"You're being foolish!"

"I already left someone behind and I swear to God, I won't let it happen again!" I practically yelled as I pushed open the door, aimed, and fired.

The zombie, who looked to be thinner in frame immediately fell, which caused the others to turn around and stare in our direction.

"Shit," I whispered as I clamored to the hood of the truck as the zombies began to move towards us. Lex was quick on my heels with a gun of his own.

As I stood on that hood, firing away at the hissing, gurgling, screeching horde below me, I briefly thought of a picture I saw on Facebook that circulated for a while. It was a picture of a guy standing on top of a truck, surrounded by an endless horde. It pointed an arrow to him and said something along the lines of 'how you think you'll be', followed by the same picture pointing to the horde saying 'where you'll actually be'.

Who would have thought a girl in a tank top and yoga pants would be standing on the hood, effectively laying the horde to waste at her feet?

Definitely not me.

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.