Monday, January 30, 2012

Big Bite Cont

Lucille left her store. Not really hers, just where she worked at the time. It was one of those big chain clothing stores, where all the teenage girls would get there low rise jeans and tank tops. Although business had been good recently today had been very slow, felt like the day would never end. Maybe it had something to do with the fact it was a Wednesday and always the slowest day. It really didn’t matter to Lucille because she was done now and was able to go home and relax.

She was a pretty girl, but also a shy one. She had one of those natural beauties, didn’t have to wear makeup and still she got looks from guys. But with all these looks it never got to her head, others would consider her very sensible. Hardly ever did she go out with her friends, and then she never drank. Some could look at this and think that she was missing out; to her though she was very content with the way things were going and never felt the need to be outrageous at parties or do something stupid. That is why she also went straight home after work.

Driving home was always uneventful; being kind of late at night there was never any real traffic and always a smooth ride. Her car was nothing special, in fact it may have been considered the opposite of special. It was older, like early 90s model car, and ugly shade of red that made it look even worse. It was usually broke down, and she always had to bum rides to work. Right now though it was working, and it was always nice to be able to get where you want to when you want to.

The radio on the way home was doing the news at that moment, so she really didn’t listen too close. Something they said piqued her interest though and she turned up the volume. “The biggest story going on now is the one of the missing officer. Several children from the town say that he was attacked and killed by a monster. They were both shaken pretty bad and are seeing treatment now from a specialist. When the police followed their story to where the incident occurred the only thing that they were able to find was a dark spot on the road. There was no body or any sign of one, or of the attacker. The officer’s sidearm was on the road with several empty casings. They believe that he may have actually been attacked by a bear. The animal being wounded and bleeding attacked the trooper knocking him down. They believe he may have been stunned and is now confused and lost. The story that the children put out has been attributed to shock and trauma, a young child trying to cope with a situation. The police ask if anyone sees this officer or has any information to please call….” She stopped listening as she continued to drive along.

Pulling into her driveway, she noticed that the neighbors were not home. “They were probably out enjoying a date or something, good for them.” She said to no one but herself.  Her place was small, just really big enough for her. She couldn’t have any pets, good thing as she hated cats and though she would like a dog she really couldn’t take care of it so much, too expensive. It was a typical one bedroom apartment, with a small living room and dining room, and a pantry type kitchen. Not much but all that she really needed in her life at this time.

Set all of her stuff on the coffee table and went to the bathroom. Looking into the mirror she couldn’t help but think how ugly she was. Course all females believe they are ugly. With a bright blue color in her eyes and jet black hair she was not anything close to ugly. She wore those dark rimmed glasses like librarians and had a smooth complexion. It was a sort of pale color skin she had, but she did have a slight bit of Irish in her ancestry, even if the hair and eyes gave none of that away. She wasn’t what you would call fit, she never worked out in her life, but she was small. She might reach 5’6” if she was on her tip toes, but she never let her shorter size get in her way.

Lucille went about her normal routine, making herself a dinner and settling on the couch. Her apartment was always kept quite clean, she could never stand to have it messy or cluttered. She turned on the news, hoping to catch the weather. She caught a few moments of a story about some missing people and a word about some murder, but she flipped it right over to the weather channel, a place she could really find the weather. Learning it was going to be a cloudy day tomorrow, she turned it on some movie and sat back and relaxed.  She started to doze and decided it was time for bed. Shutting all the lights off she went to bed, not looking forward the dreary day and work tomorrow. Suppose though there are worse things the day could bring.
The next day brought the clouds just like the men on TV had said it would. She flipped it on and immediately regretted it. All she ever found on TV was how there was a war here or these people were mad about something or theses other people were hungry. Never anything happy ever happened and this morning was not any different. It looked like there was some rioting in the area that the officer had gone missing and they had declared a state of emergency. The National Guard and stuff had been called in but it didn’t look like was going to end anytime soon.

Once she was ready she made her way down to her car and got going. The radio was announcing a lot of the same stuff that the news was, talking about some local unrest. What was going on in the world these days?  She just changed the station until she was able to find some music that she could listen to. The drive was uneventful, though it did seem that there were a few less drivers than normal. She supposed that with things going on a few people would take a sick day or something like that.

The parking lot was mostly empty when she got to work and parked her car. She had to park on the far side of the lot because her boss said that the closer spots were meant for the customers and not the employees. That sucked because when it rained or snowed or just was really cold she couldn’t park any closer to the store. As she pulled into the spot that she was going to take her car made some funny spluttering noises, but it didn’t quit. Lucille whispered a silent prayer hoping her car was going to make it.

Opening the store was totally uneventful, after closing it the night before she knew everything had been done and really didn’t have to do much beyond unlocking the doors and turning on the lights. Lucille didn’t really expect anyone to come in right away, it was still pretty early and not much business was ever done before lunch.

The day turned out to move even slower than the day before had. There were almost no customers and none actually bought anything just came in, looked around and then left. This would have alarmed Lucille if she actually cared. If it was a slow day then all she had to do was read her book that she had brought in. She still got paid by the hour and was not worried that the company would go under on one slow day. Just as she was thinking about how uneventful the day was and how nice it was to have such a slow day a couple of people burst through the front door and closed it quick behind them. One of them was bleeding pretty badly from their arm.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Big Bite Cont

A breath in and out, another and bang, a zombie hits the floor. Both of the people in the car look around frantically, although a zombie dead is good, there are some bad things other than the undead in this world. Walking forward, Tommy beads in on the second one, bang, this one hits the sidewalk. The last one is now pounding on the glass of their car, trying to reach in and pull its meal out through the window. Not looking around, these things have a very one track mind, feed, and so it didn’t see or hear Tommy come up behind it and with a quick movement crushed its head in with the stock of the gun.

“Come on, get out of the car. I am not going to hurt you and unless you want one of those guys to shamble on over and take a large bite out of your ass, fine by me, but I didn’t waste two bullets for nothing now move.” Both of them climb to the backseat and get out the door. At this time a few more of them had made it onto Tommy’s street, but nothing that couldn’t be handled.

“Wait, I need to get some things from the trunk” Said the man.

“We don’t have the time to be getting any shit man”

“We have to, we have food and water and some weapons in here, can’t be leaving any of this behind.”

“Alright” Grumbled Tommy, knowing this guy was right and hating the fact he was wrong about something, but at least he could admit when he was wrong and learn from those mistakes. They gathered everything they could in their arms and made their way back to Tommy’s place. “Put everything in the back of the truck, except the guns, I will be right back out and we will not be staying here long.”

Running inside Tommy grabbed the rest of his ammo, a bag of clothes and some food. He was just about done when he heard a voice from the driveway. “What was that?” Asked Tommy, just then he heard a gunshot, then another. Figuring that his time was up, he ran outdoors. At the end of his driveway laid a body, and right behind that one two more were making their way towards them. Just when he had brought his gun up to shoot, one head exploded and the other fell over with an arrow sticking out of its eye.

Looking around Tommy realized that the woman had fired a crossbow, and with a smile he jumped into the truck. “Everyone get in.” They both jumped into the cab and just then he realized his huge mistake. “Shit, I forgot the key inside!” Kicking himself he went to jump from the cab.

The moment he landed, he knew there was something wrong. Earlier, when the scratching at the door stopped, he did not remember the zombie that was doing it outside in the street. That was when it hit him, and the zombie grabbed him at the same time. The zombie was under the truck, hiding. Though don’t really think that was what it was doing, seeing as how they are brainless, it probably saw a cricket and went to it. Now it had a hold of Tommy’s pant leg. He let out a mild yelp and fell to the ground. Normally he would have been ok in this situation, but the wind got knocked out of him and he was stunned for a second.

It was a putrid thing. Clawing its way forward, pulling with hands that had started to rot away and the fingernails were missing from scratching at the door the whole time. Must have been a business man, because it was wearing a tie and what was left of its white shirt, well what Tommy thought used to be white, was covered in blood and gore. Couldn’t tell you what kind of pants he was wearing when he got attacked, for he had no legs left. He was just pulling himself forward using his hands, trying to get to the meaty part of his meal. Looking up, all Tommy could see were those teeth, and this gaping mouth. Luckily he got a hand up in time to keep it from biting. It was a losing battle though, in a second it would have its meal and there was nothing he could do about it. Looking up into the face of the undead all he could see was his own death. Eye to eye, nothing now could stop it, when he was suddenly splashed with a cold fluid and the eye that was just looking at him now had the head of an arrow looking at him. Rolling the body off him, Tommy actually thanked god and got up.

“Now, I would really like to get out of here, so if you would please, go and get those keys.” The guy said grinning at Tommy and urging him on. He raced indoors and grabbed the key on the hook and was back outside before anymore showed up.  Jumping in the cab he fired the engine up. Yup, a full tank of gas, again thanking god Tommy backed out of the driveway. Hitting the gas, he moved the truck forward and towards the highway.

“Now, the only question I have, do you have any suggestions as to where we can go?”

Friday, January 27, 2012

Big Bite Cont

A blood curdling scream came from outside, just down the street, “What the Fuck was that?” Quickly getting up off the couch and moving his fat ass self to the window, peering through the curtains he couldn’t see a thing. He then went upstairs to the window up there. From this viewpoint he could see all the way up and down the street. But he wasn’t quite ready for what he saw. Another scream came blasting from this woman’s mouth, this time it sounded like it was going to break all the windows from the house.

Just like his coworker, a second scream was bellowed, but hers was cut off in a gurgling sound as the drunken man was biting into her throat. He then looked into the eyes of terror, as the man came up from his meal and to the door. The man's hands started to pound against the glass, leaving bloody prints all over it. He panicked and ran to the other door, flinging it open and making it to his truck. Within moments he was speeding out of the parking lot with now 2 shuffling persons falling behind in the rear view mirror.

“Shit” Tommy exclaimed, “This is not happening.” From his vantage point he could see two people in a car that was stuck to a light pole, apparently the driver felt it would make a good hood ornament. The car was the typical late model sedan, you know the kind that boasts about 25 mpg but only gets that brand new on the highway. Stupid car companies, when are they going to realize Ford had it right to begin with. The Model T got that, and it was 100 years ago.

His truck could never get that much, he would be lucky if he hit 20 mpg. Driving home that night was a wild ride. He could see that there were more of those shambling people walking the streets that night, with other people running from them. In the distance he could see the lights of fires, but nowhere in sight were there any sirens or trucks heading that way. Traffic was not the worse, but then again it wasn’t the best. Every half mile there would be vehicles crashed blocking the road and causing a backup. Each of these places were hectic, people running and screaming, and each time he had to drive around them or else get caught up in the craziness.

The car’s front end is mashed in, the rest is OK. The doors seem to be jammed because the two passengers are not running away, and running away would be the best thing that could possibly be done at this time. Right on cue, here comes one around the corner, shambling along in the ever familiar movement that the undead always seem to make. “Shit” Tommy says yet again, knowing all too well what was about to come, and knowing that deep down he couldn’t let it happen. “So this is why, huh god? Why I didn’t off myself, well you have a funny notion of the big plan, you know?”

He made his way home in record time that night. His neighborhood was quiet at that time, but the sounds of terror were coming from far away and closing in. With a few trips from his truck he closed up his house and hunkered down to wait it out. He grabbed his gun and sat on the couch, waiting and watching his clock.

The clock had only moved a fraction of the time that it felt. Again, time was not moving quite right, but at least this time on his side. Quickly Tommy to where his gun laid, all those times he yearned to put that stock in his mouth going through his mind. It was still sitting there, untouched since he moved it down here from storage in his closet. It was a nice gun, given to him by his grandfather, a 30-30 Marlin, it would sometimes jam and not everyone could shoot it accurately, but Tommy could. Having had enough practice with it to know where to aim for the error in the open sights. Really was a marvel, but given the chance could easily hit a target in the center at 50 yds, and that is all he really needed.

Heading towards the door he did notice one thing though, the scratching was gone, which meant that the one at the door had gone on towards the car, good news for him, bad news for them. His apartment, well really a duplex was blessed with a double set of doors with a porch in between them. This was a huge blessing, being able to block the porch door and then not worry about them getting in. All the windows in the house were close to 6 feet off the ground, Tommy could reach the bottom of the window with his head, and the only way up was the porch steps. Tommy had damaged them so that only one could stand on them at a time, but with no leverage to be able to get to the door, then with a table in front of the door it was easy enough to keep them out.

Now, after all that hard work to keep them out he was having a bitch of a time getting out the door himself. He could still hear the screaming, but it had gotten quieter and less frantic, maybe this woman had come to her senses, but it was too late now. Once one of them knew there was fresh meat, then all of them in the area knew about the fresh meat. Finally he was dancing his way down the steps and into his driveway. There sat his truck, not new but still a lot of kick left to it and a full tank of gas. It has 4 wheel drive and a big V8 engine, tow anything with this baby, course don’t really have to worry about that kind of thing anymore.

Out to the end of his driveway, he turned around the corner and was greeted with something both wonderful and horrifying at the same time. They had not gotten into the car yet, that is where the good news ended. Although there were only 3 on the car, there were many fast approaching. The term fast used loosely here. Stopping at the corner of his place, Tommy leaned up against the house for stability and aimed. Anyone who has ever read or seen a zombie movie knows to hit them in the head; it is the only way to kill them. In real life, it was a little bit different. Yes, a head shot would do it, but also dismantling them or destroying their bodies’ works, but a head shot is the quickest and easiest. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Big Bite Cont.

Scritchity scratch, scratch creak. That is the most terrifying sound that he has ever heard in his life.
Sitting, isolated from the world, that is all he can hear. Every day he ponders about his life and why it is worth living. He hasn’t been to work in weeks it seemed, but was probably closer to 5 days. The way time has been moving, so slowly one could almost see the second hand move backwards at times, it may have been twenty years. Still he ponders taking his own life, he has a gun, and he could do it with no issues. The one thing keeping him going is the human drive to live and hope, even when it doesn’t feel like there is any hope left.

The news is on while he is getting himself ready for work. Each day he likes to keep up on the current events of the world around him. Although he only lives a simple life he would love to one day get himself into politics. One of the stories playing on the television was about a missing officer in some Podunk town. They have search parties in the woods looking for him, but have found nothing but a blood stain and tracks leading into the woods.

The living room is an absolute mess, there are soda cans everywhere. A few empty pizza boxes line the counters in the kitchen, and a sink full of dishes. The trash hasn’t been taken out in days, but I guess with the trash no longer being picked up anymore it didn’t really matter.

Work had been an uneventful time that evening. With the same old customers that come in each and every night, nothing could possibly make this day any more mundane. Finally the shift has ended and he heads home. He turns on the news yet again to see if there was more happening in the world than nothing. Immediately he is hit with an anchor talking about the missing cop. This time though it appears that there are several of the search party missing with some other locals in the area. It is all very strange and they are thinking that it may be terrorists. Plus they are talking about several towns in the area that have seen a sharp rise in crime as there have been many murders in the last day or so. A couple of survivors of attacks talk of crazy people that just wouldn't stop and would bite. These people have been taken to local hospitals to tend to their wounds. All wounded so far are expected to survive.

Lying back on the couch looking at the ceiling fan and light he realized that he still had power, “Wow, that should be out soon, can’t imagine anyone wanting to keep my power on much longer,” whispered to himself. He looked over at his name tag, Tommy with a small 2007 in the bottom right corner. Looks like there won’t be any more paychecks coming his way from that store. What a waste of time that job was, but it did pay the bills. Can’t dwell on those thoughts now though, that job and those people are long since gone. In fact everything at this point in Tommy’s life is gone, hence the gun and the want to kill himself.

Awakening the next morning was quite possibly one of the worst things he could have done in his entire life. If only he knew what was coming he would have gone back to sleep and never awoken again. The news was blaring all kinds of crazy things. The local hospitals had an outbreak of violence so bad that the local police couldn’t contain the situation. Many towns in the area have been overrun with violence as well. It appears that it is still located in the rural areas, but a lot of the injured had been sent to hospitals in the cities and they are reporting outbreaks as well. They are calling in support to contain the situation and anyone in the areas mentioned will need to stay indoors.

Tommy had plenty of food, no need going out into the world for that. The power would get shut off at some point, but not something he could control. He had till the end of the month for rent, not really like that mattered either, but Tommy doubted that he would be here all that much longer. One single bullet to the head would take care of it all, then someday someone would come along and find him, but of course his was not a unique story at this time.

He still went to work, as things in his area were still quite calm. Today though was different as many people were talking about the violence going on. There were so many stories it was impossible to tell what was real. Some were talking about toxic sludge in the water, while others were making stories as far-fetched as zombies. Either way he wasn’t going to be taking any chances if things went downhill in the area. Before the end of that shift though, things would go downhill.

Another five minutes has gone by, that scratching noise was still there and Tommy wasn’t any closer to grabbing that gun to end it all. “There is no one I can talk to. They are all gone. Why am I still here, what is holding me to this plane of existence? I have tried to end it before now, but I can never bring myself to do it. Why won’t god let me end it? Is this a sick joke that he is playing on me?”

Near the end of his shift that night a car screeched its tires and ran into the cement corner at the store. What looked like a drunken man came stumbling from the car and collapsed just outside the door. His coworker ran to check on him, while he called 911. The lines were busy on both phones and his cell. It was at that time he heard something….

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Big Bite

There was a slight breeze that rustled the leaves in the tallest trees. It was a peaceful early summer day with the sun shining down and warming everything it touched. The air was dry, with the sweet smell of blossoms that seemed to just linger out of sight. The breeze moved lower and the tall grass swayed as it moved along the ground, the wild flowers bending then straightening as they leaned back into the sunlight. The breeze reached a couple of kids on an old dirt road that led to a small pond. Although it was warm and the kids wore light jackets open the breeze brought a chill that caused them both to pull in there open fronts.

The younger bounded along with not a care in the world. He had on jeans that were old and most likely were hand me downs, a t-shirt and a light summer jacket. The jacket was faded and used to be a red color, now was more like a dull pink color. He just skipped and kicked rocks, humming a tune that only he knew and could tell you the words to it. He had short hair, but being short did not prevent it from being all a mess. His face had dirt on it, and maybe a little bit of chocolate at the corners of his mouth. With an angular nose and sharp eyes he could almost be mistaken for a hawk or other bird of prey.

“Joshua.” The girl stated. Joshua stopped and turned to look at her. “I want remind you that when we get there don’t go throwing rocks in the pond. I want to actually catch some fish this time.” Joshua just stuck out his tongue at her, and then continued his skipping. With a sigh she continued following him, but couldn’t help but smile at the younger child. Oh to be 8 again, with not a care in the world. Being 16 years old she was just getting into adulthood and missing the easiness of being a child. Although she hasn’t had to work hard yet she knew that she would never have again what her younger brother now had. She would take the time that she had to relax and enjoy every moment that she could. That is why she was going fishing today with her younger brother.

She was tall, but not as tall as most guys just a little taller than the other girls in her class. With long brown hair and dark eyes she was the interest of many boys in her class, also, having been through puberty and having a well-developed body helped with the boy’s attention. She was not a woman yet, she did have a few curves and a bosom that was not exactly small. She wore a pair of jeans that were tight in the way of current fashion. She was wearing an old shirt that had a few stains on it with a small jacket that could stop the wind. Although it was not the best clothes she had it was what would be best for a fishing trip. She also carried the two fishing poles that they would need along with a bag with their worms and a snack for the afternoon before they went home.

“Jamie, how much longer till we get there?” Joshua asked the impatience of a child apparent in his voice.

“It’s only like another 5 minutes. Remember what I said a few minutes ago.” Joshua just rolled his eyes at his older sister then decided to go look at an interesting butterfly he saw landing on a flower. His attention only lasted for a moment though before he was off again to find something else that he could look at or some other small creature that he could catch. After just a few moments they walked around a bend in the road and there stood the pond.

The pond wasn’t very big, just a hundred yards across at the widest point, with most of it much narrower than that. It was an old beaver damn that had been able to withstand years of weather and neglect. The beavers were no longer taking care of the damn, most likely a trapper had caught them and now the pond stood empty. Across the top of the water one could see the ripple of fish catching flies. There was also a fog that lingered atop the surface and swirled in the light breeze.

They settled onto a flat spot that sat about a foot above the water. Jamie broke out the tackle and gave Joshua his pole and then went to set up her own. “Jamie?”

“Yes, Joshua. What is it?” Jamie responded.

“Could you put the worm on my hook?”

“You want me to put the worm on your hook? What are your friends going to think when they hear you had to have your sister put your worm on for you?” Jamie said. She had a mischievous grin on her face.

“Oh, you wouldn’t. Would you? Please don’t tell my friends that.” Joshua looked really worried. His friends would have a field day with that. They wouldn’t let him forget about this for a long time to come.

“I will do it, but only if you promise me something.” Jamie waited for his response. Slowly he nodded his head so she continued, “I want you to catch some fish today, and not do anything to scare them away.” She could see he was thinking hard about this. Finally he responded.

“I think I can do that. But you have to promise.”

“I promise. Now, let me see your pole.” She grabbed a worm from the container and put it on the hook. They settled into a relaxing afternoon of fishing, allowing the warm sun and the sounds of birds to lull them into a dreamlike state, though both were awake. Within only a few minutes they both had caught a fish; it looked to be a good day for fishing. After another half an hour they both had caught several more fish. Jamie just relaxed some more and closed her eyes. If a fish bit then she would feel the jerk in her hand and would wake up.

Sometime later Jamie woke to find that no more fish had taken her bait. She stood to stretch and realized that she had slept for at least an hour, maybe longer. Looking around though she realized that Joshua was not around, even though his pole was propped up and line was in the water. Most likely he had stepped away for a few minutes to relieve himself. Jamie looked around trying to discern what direction he may have gone off.

“Joshua.” She called, there was no response. “Joshua, where did you go?” She tried again. At that time she heard some noise in a clump of bushes off to the side a bit. The leaves were rustling and the branches were shaking. “Joshua, if that is you, let me know will ya. I am going to come over, so if you don’t want me to walk in on you, you better say something.” There was no response to her calls. She sighed and began to move forward.

The bush was a good one for using to go to the bathroom. It was thick and with the green leaves you couldn’t see through to the other side. There was some more rustling, shaking the whole bush. “Seriously, don’t joke around Joshua.” She stepped closer and the rustling stopped. She cautiously walked closer and started to move to the side of the bush in order to get a view of the other side. Just as she stepped to see what was there a hand landed on her shoulder. In that moment her heart leaped into her throat, with her heart the rest of her body launched itself into the air. A scream also left her lips, a high pitched thing that caused the birds in all the trees to flee from the area.

Once her feet landed on the ground she spun to see what had produced the hand. Standing there with an impish grin was Joshua. “God damn it,” She shouted at him, “You almost gave me a heart attack, what were you thinking?”

“I was over on the other side looking at a turtle I had seen. I saw you get up and calling me, so I came back around to see what was up.” Joshua could just barely contain the amusement he felt at scaring his sister so badly. With them both standing there, her heart still racing, him almost laughing the bush started to shake again. They both turned and looked at it.

“So, that is not you behind that bush, is it?” Jamie asked fear working its way into her voice. Joshua just shook his head and they both moved closer together. Slowly they both moved around the bush, trying to see what could make all that noise and put both these children on their highest guard. The bush started to shake again, this time with a new amount of vigor. They turned the backside of the bush and saw nothing. Then from the middle of the bush another rustling, and some other sounds that they could not put their finger on.
Out from the center of the bush a pair of squirrels burst forth. They were wrestling with one another and rolling around on the ground. When they noticed the two children standing there with the look of astonishment on their faces they both ran off, squeaking and making other noises at the kids. It was very obvious that the squirrels were very upset that their play time was interfered with. Jamie and Joshua looked at each other and they both burst into laughter.

With the mood lighter because both had lost their fear, they moved back to their fishing spot and set out to begin enjoying the snack that they had brought with them. The sun was moving across the sky and it was midafternoon when they noticed someone was coming towards them through the bushes. From a distance off the man shouted a greeting then moved forward closer.

The man was dressed in green. It was not camouflage or anything meant to hide him but more of a uniform. He had a belt on that held a gun, something like a 9mm or something close to that. His boots were a bit muddy but well maintained and he walked through the bushes like someone that does it often and was very comfortable with the environment. It was at that moment that Jamie realized that he was a conservation officer, one of those police officers that made sure people didn’t do bad things in the woods to animals or catch too many fish. She also noted that she was thankful that although they had caught some fish they hadn’t caught so many as to be over the limit.

“Good afternoon ser.” Jamie said when he was close enough to hear without shouting through the woods.

“Afternoon to you to, how are things going this day?” The officer inquired.

“Doing alright. We have had some luck with the little trout. Be a good dinner tonight.”

“That’s good. I don’t mean to interrupt but just a few moments ago I heard a scream and I was hoping that you could help me with that.” At that Jamie blushed, thinking that someone had heard that causing her to choke up a bit. Joshua on the other hand had no problems speaking at that moment.

“Ser, that scream you heard was my sister. I came up behind her and boy you should have seen her jump. I don’t think she landed for a solid minute.” As he told the story of what occurred his excitement grew and he became more animated showing just what she looked like, even a slight imitation of her scream. During the recount that her brother was doing Jamie’s blush deepened and she became even more embarrassed. When Joshua was done with his tale the officer just was grinning and shaking his head.

“Well, OK then. As long as everything is fine then I guess I don’t have anything to worry about. I guess I will be on my way.” The officer turned to head out.

“Joshua, it is getting late. I think we oughta head home as well. Let’s get everything together and get going.” Jamie began to real in her line and to put the container and leftovers from their snack back into the bag she carried.

“Well, if you’re leaving I suppose I could walk you two back down the road a bit and if you like I can give you a ride home, my truck is parked down a bit.”

“That would be very nice of you.” Jamie hurried up so that she would not keep the officer waiting for long. With everything packed they worked their way back to the road and to where his truck was parked. Joshua was a constant supply of questions; half of them were about the handgun on the officer’s side. He just answered everything with a calm and steady voice, never letting on that any of the questions were a bother at all. Jamie was looking on and could tell that he was actually enjoying answering all of the questions. Although she thought that a couple of the answers were a little off from the full truth.

Walking along the dirt road Jamie noticed that something was off a bit. When she put her mind to it she realized that what was off was the fact that there was no sound. The birds had stopped chirping and the other animals like squirrels had also stopped making their calls through the woods. This caused a very strange silence to fall across the woods, creating a very eerie feeling inside of her. In just a few short moments Joshua’s questions slacked off and they all could feel the silence pressing against them. Finally someone said something.

“I think we should maybe walk a little bit faster.” The officer spoke, his words feeling out of place in the strange silence. His words falling away fast as if the silence was fighting against any sound that was emitted. The crunching of boots and shoes on the gravel road was the only thing heard, as the steps increased so did the sound. From the left, off in the trees there was a sound that broke through the silence and reached the trio. All froze in their tracks as the sound reached their ears and it removed all the heat from the muscles and bones of their body, their blood was ice flowing through their veins. Fear, the most terrifying fear in the entire world is the only emotion that any of them felt. Even the officer could only feel fear, although he was the first one to snap out of the paralyze that held them still. He moved a step forward, putting himself between the children and the sound.

The low moaning, that was the only thing the officer could think of to describe it, was slowly becoming louder and the source was coming closer. As he watched he could see something making its way through the underbrush that was by the edge of the road. It came into his sight and it took all of his self-control to not allow any bile to come up. It was a man, but he looked to be in some rough shape. He was walking forward with a slow shuffle that kicked up leaves and dirt with each step. The clothes were old, very old and looked to be rotting off the body. Of course that could also have been the body itself. There were wounds and sores all over the place, as if it didn’t care about cuts and scrapes from branches as it was walking through the woods. It had been walking for a while, the skin was bloated and ad a greenish tint. The wounds looked to be pussy and the odor emanating from the man was overpowering, almost like a rotting piece of meat. It let out another low moan and they could see that the mouth would open, but there were more holes than just where the lips were.

“Stop!” The officer yelled, pulling out his sidearm and aiming it at the monster that was moving forward. “Stop or I will fire! State your name and if you need help!” There was no response from it except it started to snap its teeth and swiping its hands at them. Jamie realized that it was missing several fingers as well as an ear.

“I think we should just get out of here.” Jamie said, hoping that the officer heard her and listened. When he just stood there with his gun out she started to question if she had even spoken out loud. There was a scream and she found Joshua crying and coming out of his trance. Wrapping her arms around him she shielded him from view of it. “We need to go.” She practically cried as scared as she was, she still was trying to get the officer’s attention.

“Just stay behind me.” Jamie was relieved that he was starting to do something else, though she still felt that leaving was the best course of action. It was still moving closer and wasn’t even twenty feet away from the man with the gun when he shouted, “Stop, this is your final warning. If you do not I will open fire.” With no response he flipped off the safety, took aim and fired once. The shot hit in the right upper chest of the thing. There was a sickening sound as the bullet hit, it seemed the bullet his something that was a little bit thicker than jello and seemed to have no effect on the forward progress of the monster. He fired again, and again. The bullets hit directly, at this short of range it was hard to miss, but every shot just had a sound of hitting with material flying away from the spot of impact but with no effect on its course. The officer, with desperation written across his face, just started to pull the trigger. Several shots rang out as he finished with the clip that was in the gun, then the sound of clicks as his finger kept pulling the trigger with the chamber being empty.

“Noooooo!” The only sound that Jamie could emit as the monster reached the officer and pounced. The weight of the attacker knocked the man over, he hit the ground hard. The jolt pulled him from his momentary daze and he began to fight off the assailant.

“Get out of here. I will catch up in a moment, just go, and get to safety!” The officer was now wrestling with the monster. For a moment Jamie had a queer thought about the two squirrels fighting, but that passed as quickly as it had come. She grabbed her younger brother and started to move away from the pair on the ground. Looking back it looked like the officer was going to overcome the other and get away, but just as she thought that it bit the man’s hand and removed several fingers from his right hand.

He screamed and tried to remove himself from the creature that was still fighting even after having been shot several times. Its mouth moved lower and was able to take a hold of the man’s throat. With a last strangled cry and a gurgling noise that came from not his mouth but the new hole in his throat, he died. Jamie and Joshua started to move away, Joshua was retching from the copper metal smell of fresh blood. Jamie could hardly contain her tears and her vision became blurry. They didn’t have very long to recover because it started to shuffle its way towards them, snapping and waving its arms the way it had before at the officer.
Jamie grabbed her brother’s hand and pulled him along. At first he resisted, but shortly he was running alongside his sister and putting distance between themselves and the creature. The only thing she could think of was that it was wrong and shouldn’t be. The next thing that went through her mind was that she had to get back to town and tell everyone she saw what happened. Would anyone believe her?

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Restroom Part 4

Todd thought about Jo, and how he had seemed like a regular person not a couple of hours ago. When Todd had first come in through the front door, the clerk was just a regular bored young man. He may have smoked a little too much dope and was a bit spacey, but no one deserved that type of fate. Then Todd's mind had come back to Susan.

Susan was quiet now, more than she had ever been. She would stare at her feet, with a glance at the front door every few seconds, then back to her feet. Todd knew what was going through her mind, it was obvious. Her brother is out there, acting just like this guy did. A monster of some kind. I doubt that he ever deserved it either. And of course those at the front door were not making anything easier. Their hands were pounding on the glass so hard it was shaking now, and it appeared that there were more of them out there at this time. Add to this pounding was the noise that they were making.

The noise was actually the worst part of it all. It was like this low wailing noise, like a banshee in the night. It made the hair on Todd's arms stand up. Every few minutes there would be a louder one that was a bit higher pitched and frantic, these made Todd's blood run cold. He did not think that his nerves could take much more of this let alone days like he thought he would need to endure.

"Do you think that they are still in there?" Susan asked. The words were low, but somehow pierced the wails from outside to reach Todd's ears.

"I don't really think so. Something happened to them and I don’t think they are still in there. Maybe they were replaced, or possessed?"

"So, you think my brother is possessed?" Susan retorted sharply.

"Maybe. I don't know. This is all so new. Who would even know?" Todd replied quickly.

"Well, I think they died. I think that maybe the person dies and that they are taken over by a demon or something."

"Isn't that being possessed?" Todd asked. Curiosity creased his face.

"No. Being possessed means you are still in there, experiencing everything, seeing everything and knowing everything. I hope to God that my brother is still not in there knowing what is going on. I hope to God that he died, and that somehow his dead body is what is being taken over. If there was any God, then that is what would have happened." Todd found himself calming her again, but tears could now be seen in his eyes.

This was the first time that Todd had let his mind wander to Mike. He was most likely at home right now, waiting for Todd to get there and freaking out about him being so late. What if these issues have spread all around? The thought frightened even more now thinking that Mike may be in a situation similar to his own. Although Mike worked out a lot more than Todd and was much more physically fit, he was also not as scrappy. Could he take care of himself?

It was no use thinking about it though. All it did is wear on his nerves even more and there was nothing he could do about it right now. Todd was sure he was safe somewhere though, along with the rest of his family. And as long as he was trapped there, Todd would continue telling himself that.

"Hey Todd. What are we going to do?"

"I don't know. Wanna play hang man?" Susan smiled with that.

"No, I mean what are we going to do to get out of here? What if they get in?" Susan had a look of worry, but not fear. She had the look of survival growing across her face.

"I am still thinking about the escape thing. I don't know about how or when we will be able to do it, but I am sure we will. Now, the other question is a little bit more serious. Do you think there is some place around here that we can go to in case they break in?"

"What about the cooler?" Susan's first idea only took a second to come out. "It would have water and drinks and some food in there, just in case."

"Yes, but what about the cold? And the fact that the front is all glass. Couldn't they break that?"

"Ya, your right. Where else around here can we go back into. I don't really wanna go into the office."

"I doubt the office would do much good as it is. I think it is open around the side there." And with this they both pondered for several minutes as to where they could possibly try and hideout while in the store. Todd looked around the store, trying to draw inspiration from anything that he could find. The ceiling was high, but without the normal paneling, so no attic to climb into.

Todd thought back to when he first came into the store. He tried to think if he saw anything that might provide them with cover. Nothing was coming to mind though. He had been so focused on getting to the restroom that he hadn't really paid attention. The restroom, that was brilliant.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A new post

Yesterday was my wife's birthday. Now that that is past, I can write some more. Most likely I will be able to get the next installment to the story in place within a day or two. During that time, catch up on this one, or maybe revisit one of your earlier favorite ones. Also, please feel free to give me criticism. II am never going to improve as a writer if I do not know when I do something wrong and I fix it. Have a great one and enjoy the next couple of days.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The restroom Part 3

The adrenaline pumped through Todd's body in preparation for the worst. His eyes had not fully adjusted to the light yet, so everything was a strange shade of gray. "Todd. What happened?" Susan's voice quavered, her hand had reached out and was now squeezing Todd's arm so hard it was actually hurting.

"Susan, stay calm." Todd went to take a step forward, but Susan's arm kept him from moving at all. "Susan, I need you to let go, so that I can go check it out." Susan nodded slowly and her fingers let go of his arm. The noise came again from the office again, this time followed by a few shuffling sounds.

Todd stepped around the counter to the door that would lead to the back office. The floor was littered with small bags of chips and candy bars, walking through it was like walking through a minefield. He stepped carefully trying not to make too much noise. A banging noise came from the room again, along with the low sound of a moan. Todd was distracted by this sound and missed his step. A loud popping noise was heard as his foot came down on a bag of chips.

"Shit." Susan hissed under her breath. Todd held his fingers up to quiet her and pointed to the backroom. All the sounds in there had stopped. Todd gripped the door handle and turned it, opening the space into the backroom. It was a terrible mess, with papers and notebooks all over the place. On the floor was a large stain of blood. In the emergency light it looked almost black already with the smears looking like some strange painting in a museum.

Other than the blood on the floor, it looked to be an empty office. The room though was not just a room, it was the entire back area and went around the back side of the store for the deli area and there freezer stuff. Although the office was lit, the rest of the back area was shaded in darkness, and it was from this darkness that the shuffling sound and the moan came from.

Todd's eyes searched around the room for something that he could defend himself with, but nothing came to his eyes that was a real weapon. Something glinted in the corner that caught Todd's eyes, though whatever it was it was completely covered in papers. The moan came again, but this time it was much closer, causing Todd to jump into the air a bit. He spun around and was met with the store clerk that he had seen earlier.

Todd panicked and did what he could to turn back around and flee. His feet though could not follow as fast and slipped in the blood that was smearing the ground. Todd went down fast, with his arms flailing around him he tried to catch himself on anything. The next sound that was heard was that of his head cracking against the ground and the room fell into complete blackness.

Todd did not know what had happened or where he was. The word was fuzzy and dim. Nothing made sense except the pain in his head. Above him he could see a figure approaching him. They were bending down now. Must be someone coming to my aid. I hope they can help my head, it hurts something bad. And who is that shouting at me?
Susan was standing a few feet away, watching as Todd went into the back room. Although she could see what Todd was doing, she could not see what was beyond the small opening the door provided into the office. Susan saw Todd's face as he realized that something was coming towards him, and then she heard the sound of the moan.

It came from around a corner. Susan's eyes strained to see what exactly it was, but the darkness was great and the door only opened to show so much. She watched in absolute fear as Todd looked around frantically and then as he attempted to flee. His feet went out and he fell to the ground. The sound of his head cracking against the ground was as loud as a gunshot in the store. All Susan could do was shout at him to get up.
That shouting was so loud it hurt. Todd's head pounded, and when he opened his eyes he was met with a sharp pain and needles that shot through his eyes. That man that was kneeling above him was now snarling, his jaws snapping open and closed. Why is he snarling at me? I thought this guy was supposed to help me.

Todd came to his senses as the memories of the last few hours came back into his mind. With a final desperate push he made some space between himself and the clerk above him. Todd's hands searched frantically for anything that he could use to defend himself. His hands found a grip on something hard and he brought it around.

Todd hit the clerk square on the chin, spinning his head to the side with a vicious snap. Still, the clerk moved forward and snapped his jaws at Todd. Todd looked at the object in his hands and found he was gripping a fire extinguisher. With a slight adjustment Todd brought it smashing down onto the top of the clerks head. There was an even louder crack as the guy's head caved in and he fell to the ground in a heap.

Todd rolled the man off of him and clumsily got to his feet. Susan was at his side and helped him to his feet. Todd looked down at the now dead man at his feet, the name tag said his name was Jo, and wondered what in the world could possibly cause someone to act so crazy or live through that much damage.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Restroom Part 2

Todd could feel the bile rising in his throat as he looked out the window, and with every nerve in his body, he was able to not upend the last meal he had. Todd's chest could be seen rising and falling, as he took deep breaths in through his nose, out through his mouth. It was an old technique he had learned in anger management to calm himself, but it seemed to be working wonders now.

Susan also could not keep her eyes away from the window. The banging was constant, but it appeared the windows were strong and could withstand many people hitting them. Not that Susan could really see through them anymore, so smeared that any details were impossible. Susan felt something warm on her face, and with a finger touched the spot to find that she had been crying. She did not remember actually crying, but there they were, the tears that had been falling from her eyes and running down the sides of her cheeks. With red eyes, she looked to Todd, "What now?"

"Well." Todd ran his fingers through his hair, moving his mind to Susan finally and realizing that he was not fully alone right now. With a start Todd realized that his hands were still on his head and he forced himself to lower his hands to his sides, but allowed them to enter his pockets to prevent them from shaking anymore. "I don't foresee us able to leave here right now. Maybe they will go away?"

Todd looked hopefull with his last words. As if he was wishing every second that this would all go away and that maybe he had fallen asleep in the bathroom. Todd turned back to the corner where the door to the bathroom was still open and beyond. There was another door that had an exit sign right above it. "There, over in the corner by the bathrooms. Maybe we can get out of here through there and escape. Hopefully that gang out there is only out front."

Todd's feet began moving before he had really thought it through. Within a fraction of a minute, he was standing at the back door, staring at the handle. It was one of those doors that only needed to be pushed, no knob. "Are you going to open it?" Susan's voice directly behind Todd made him jump.

"Yes, but only just a little bit, I want to make sure there is nothing out there." Todd's hands reached forward, each one shaking like a leaf. He pressed down upon the door and eased it open just an inch. Todd put his eye up to the crack and looked outside. What he saw shocked him.

Nothing. It looked completely normal out there. No one could be seen within the sight of the crack. Todd eased it open just an inch further, gaining a greater perspective of the world outside. Still, everything looked normal. He could hear the sounds of commotion from the front of the store, but none of those at the front window had decided to come around the side at all.

"Is it clear?" 

"Looks to be clear over here." Todd whispered it to Susan. "Maybe we could make a break for it. What do you think?"

"Anything to get out from here." Todd looked back at Susan and could see desperation there. Her eyes were darting back and forth, and he could see that sweat was on her brow. Whatever was going to happen, staying trapped in the store was not going to work for her.

"OK. We will have to move fast and quiet. I do not want anyone to notice us getting out of here." Todd felt his hand fall from the door, and he temporarily lost his balance. He went to grab for the door but he found that it had opened more and Todd fell over onto his side. When he looked up, he found that one of the guys from outside had grabbed the door open and was now coming inside.

Todd was frozen in place. His muscles had become rocks that could not be moved, his brain was caught in the moment. Time itself was stopped. This is how I am going to die? Sitting on my own ass? Time began to move forward once more with a loud clang. Susan had picked up a trash can and pegged the guy in the face.

It was what Todd needed to move again. He scrambled to his feet and grabbed the same can that Susan had just used moments before and shoved the man back out the door. Whoever it was fell backward and landed on its back. The whole time the guy had been reaching for Todd, but with him out of the way Todd was able to reach for the door and pull it shut.

The door clicked, and right behind it Todd and Susan could hear the man's fists banging against the door. It only took a minute, but from the sounds a few extra hands were being used to bang against the door.

"It looks as if we are stuck here a while longer. There are more of them out that door, so I doubt we could make any sort of run for it." Todd looked to Susan, who had tears welling in her eyes.

"Maybe there is another exit? Maybe if we just run for it we can get away?" Susan's voice raised several octaves while she was speaking, her hands and body began to shake as the tears began to flow down her face without impediment.

Todd did not hesitate. He wrapped his arms around her in a big hug and held on tight. Susan tried to escape, but Todd was stronger and her efforts waned as she gave into his warm embrace. "It will be OK. I promise you." His words were empty, but still reassuring. Slowly her body relaxed and stopped shaking.

"Thank you." She whispered back to him. She found herself sinking further into this man's arms that she had just met. It was comfortable and familiar and new all at the same time. "I think I am better now." Susan pulled back from Todd.

"That is good. So, what do you think we should do now?"

"I don't know. I guess we just have to wait it out." Todd moved back away from Susan and scanned the store they were in. It was a normal looking convenience store, with the regular pile of junk food and soda. In the cooler was soda and water, even one case was filled with beer. "At least we can eat and drink. Would really not be fun if we didn't have any food."

"Way to look at the bright side of things." Susan walked to one of the counters and opened up a candy bar. "Well, this is good, my stress relief in a bar." Even with the banging on the door and the sounds of  those outside Susan was cheering up just a little bit.

Out from the back of the store, there was a banging noise. "What was that?" Susan asked.

"Something from the backroom? I think maybe it is the person that was working here when I first came in." There was another banging sound, and a moan type sound came from the back office. Todd was shaking again. The store was bathed in an eerie light as the lights went out and the emergency lights kicked on. "Oh, Shit."

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Restroom Part 1

 "Gotta go. Gotta go." Todd's bladder and stomach felt like it was going to explode. His face was pinched as he concentrated on not going just yet. Every step sent pangs through his body and a chill up his spine. He was not quite dancing like a child, but with just one glance one could tell he really needed to go. The light from the convenience store lit his way as he made it into the store.

"Which way to the restroom?" Todd asked the attendant behind the counter. All they did was nod to the corner with a door. Todd quickly found himself inside the bathroom and immediately a look of disappointment came across his face. It smelled of urine an the toilet itself was stained an unnatural gray. The pressure inside Todd's bowels told him that there was no chance of any other option.

After the initial relief of pressure, Todd finally was able to relax his muscles and rest a moment. It had been draining in more ways than one and he wanted to take the time to ensure that everything was done. It was during this daydream session that a smashing sound was heard.

"Hey, you are going to have to pay for that!" Todd could hear the cashier shouting at someone. They must have dropped some merchandise on the floor. "Hey! Stop what your doing!" The voice sounded almost desperate. Maybe the store was going to be robbed while Todd sat his ass on the shitter, the thought of which actually excited him just a bit.

The frustrated sounds from the cashier turned completely frantic as Todd heard the man yelling into the phone for help before he was cut off with a screech. The sounds in the store became unnaturally quiet. Todd heard nothing for several long moments. He cleaned himself up and headed for the door.

Todd's hands were shaking as he reached for the door handle. He turned the knob slowly and pulled, but nothing happened. He tried it again to find the same results. Finally, Todd looked down to find that the door not only opened outward, but that the dead bolt was clicked over.

With the door unlocked he eased it open, peering around the corner to see if the cashier could be seen at all.  The store appeared to be completely empty. Todd stepped out a few more inches and could see a large mess over in the corner. The cashier must be hiding in the office until the police show up.

Todd was feeling confident and took a full step out the door, allowing him to see almost the entire store even the front door. A scream was heard from just beyond the glass of the front store, but no details could be seen. The lights created such a glare that nothing could be seen through them at all.

A woman in her early twenties came running through the doors, closing them shut behind her and using a display to wedge them closed so no one else could open them from the outside. She took a deep breath and sat down on the floor. Todd could see that she was wearing a pair of jeans that fit her snugly and a sweater over another shirt.

Todd looked at her for another long moment before he realized that there really was no one else in the store. "Hello there." Todd spoke loud enough for her to hear, but so as not to scare her. It didn't work. She jumped up like she had see a ghost and grabbed a nearby piece of wood an brandished it like a sword.

"Hi." Todd tried a second time. "Are you ok?"

"Who are you?" Her eyes were wide, and a look of panic could be seen on her face. She kept glancing around, as if expecting someone to come out of the shadows and jump on her.

"My name is Todd. I was using the restroom over there when I thought I heard the store being robbed. That is why your scared, isn't it?" Todd had been pointing behind him to the restroom in the corner, but had turned back to her confused look. "The store was robbed, wasn't it?

Her confused look changed to horror as she thought about his question. "They ate his face." Was all she said, it was so low that Todd wasn't sure if he heard her correctly.

"They did what?"

"They ate his face. We were stopped at a light just down the road there and they came around the car. We thought it was a bunch of homeless men or gang members or something crazy like that, but they weren't. My brother rolled down his window to yell at them to get out of the way, and that is when it happened." She paused for a moment, tears welled in her eyes.

"You do not have to continue." Todd tried to reassure her, but there was no stopping her from continuing.

"When his window opened up, they reached in and grabbed him. He had fought hard for a minute, but then they started to bite his face and neck. They pulled him completely out of the car and onto the ground. All of them gathered around him and began biting him as well. I have never seen anything like it before. I screamed so loud I thought that I was going to lose my voice. They began to stop biting him and stood up to look at me. I ran, as hard as I could and came here."

She finished her story with a large sigh, and new tears began to well in her eyes. "Hey now, what is your name?"

"Susan." she answered with a quick breath.

"Well, Susan. It appears that we are safe in here. I know the police will most likely be here in just a minute or so. We can just wait here until they do." Todd watched as her body loosened up a bit at the thought of the police coming. Todd found that he was looking at quite the attractive young lady. She was fit, with short brown hair that framed a pretty face. In another world, Todd was sure she would have had an easy time finding a boyfriend. Not that that really mattered to Todd, who was gay.

"How long do you think that it will be until the police get here?" Susan looked as if she was going to run again if they did not get here in a few seconds.

"It was a few minutes ago that I heard the cashier yelling at the robber person and yelling into the phone for help. I am actually surprised they are not here yet. Must be something like traffic slowing them down."

"Where is the cashier?" Susan asked.

"I don't know actually. Like I said, I was in the rest--" But the rest of Todd's words were lost in a scream. Susan's mouth was open and her eyes were staring at the door that she had come through. Her finger was raised and pointed at the man at the door.

"Mark?" Susan whispered to no one in particular. Her mouth continued to move, but no sound came from it.

"That is your brother?" Todd asked, but got no response from Susan. She continued to just stare at the doorway. "I can let him in here if you want." Todd headed for the doorway, planning on releasing the door and letting this girls brother into the safety of the store.

"No!" Susan yelled. She finally snapped out of her shock and stopped Todd from opening the door. "Look at that." She pointed past her brother into the night. Todd looked, but had a hard time making out what was going on beyond the glare. Finally several figures appeared through the glass.

"Holy Shit." Todd's mouth hung open at what he was looking at. There must have been ten more people, all of them looked like they had been to hell and back. Several of them were so mangled that it was a wonder that they were still standing.

"That is the group that attacked my brother. I thought he was dead, but now I am not so sure." Susan explained to Todd. The figures reached the glass and began pounding on it. It looked to be that they wanted to break in, there hands were covered in blood and now the glass was smeared as well. Their mouths also kept opening and shutting, with these low moans escaping from them every few seconds. To Todd, it felt like a horror movie.