Amy had managed to pull herself away from the zombies grip and she stumbled backwards. I had to step into the house in order to get a clear shot at the other zombie.
One shot with hollow point and what was left of his ignorant brains was oozing on the floor as he crumpled to the floor. Amy had retreated into a corner of her living room and was shaking. Her daughters continued their screaming. I could hear the sound of my own daughter’s voice.
“Dad…Dad…DAD!!” My daughter Jessica’s urgent words came from the street.
“Get out here….now”
Leaving the house I entered the street to see both of my daughters and Shane staring wide eyed down the road towards the rest of the village. All amongst the houses, in the road and on the porches, were more of the zombies. Maybe a dozen of the foul undead creatures ambled about looking for something, or someone to bite. My neighbors were coming out of their houses and I could see by the look on their faces that they all thought the zombies were Halloween costumes, just like I had originally thought. I started to warn them, but it was too late.
All holy hell broke loose as the zombies lunged, bit and clawed at the unsuspecting residents of Beebe River. Screams mixed with undead moans as teeth tore into flesh. The zombies were beginning their feast; blood flowed into the street of our little village. Two of the monsters were eating Jimmy Peters from three houses down. Jimmy was a family man with two sons and a daughter. I liked Jimmy, I really did. He was the kind of guy you could depend on to help if you were doing a project around the house that was too big to do alone. You never had to ask him either, he just always offered his assistance. He was screaming in pain and horror. Ignoring his pleas they continuing to eat. I would have offered him my assistance right then but I could tell it was too late. The only help I could have given him was a bullet to the brain. Considering I only had three bullets left, and there were about a dozen of the creatures, with their numbers were growing….fuck Jimmy.
As I watched the scene of horror unfold before me, I tried to make sense out of what was going on. How could this be happening, where did they come from? My thoughts were interrupted by Jimmy’s wife Delia. She had come out to help him and been caught by one of them. Idiot I thought to myself. Did she really think she was going to be able to help against those things unarmed? It wasn’t long before her screams were silenced by death. I saw a couple of my neighbor’s doors slam shut. Good, at least some people were thinking straight. I couldn’t tell exactly how many people had been eaten by those things, but it seemed like plenty of the neighbors were dead in the street or on their porches.
Screams continued to fill the neighborhood air, some of them coming from the other street near the pond. They were all over the damn place. I knew I should be getting away myself, but it was like looking at a train wreck, morbid fascination took over as I watched the events unfolding in front of me. It was like everything was moving in slow motion and seconds seemed like a lifetime on that grim afternoon. Like I was in a nightmare. All this was happening right in front of me, but I felt a strange detachment to what was going on. Only when the screams began to die down, did I realize that three of those things were heading our way, their red eyes locked on us in an angry hungry gaze. Red bloody drool oozed from their mouths. I could see the chunks of flesh that had gotten stuck between their teeth.
This was not good.
They wanted our flesh to feed their unquenchable hunger. I snapped out of my reverie and sprang to action.
“Get into the house” I whispered the words at first. Then I repeated them, nearly yelling the words time.
“Get into the house!”
I grabbed my youngest daughter by the arm and headed for our house.
Survival mode was kicking in and I wanted us to put some distance between us and them. I hadn’t truly processed all that had gone on there on that usually quiet little street, but I knew we had to get out of the open and protect ourselves. Shane grabbed Courtney and nearly pushed her in front of him to get her to move quicker. Just as I was reaching the bottom step of our porch, a series of horn blasts to my right grabbed my attention. Coming down the access road to the village, was my wife driving our Explorer. Something was wrong with the rig. The front end was nearly caved in and steam was spewing from under the hood. The urgency with which she drove, that and the damage to it, made me realize she had encountered troubles over her own. I spun around to watch as the Explorer came to a sliding halt in front of the small garage next to the house, slamming into two of the creatures and flinging them backwards as it did. Before the rig came to a complete stop, my wife and oldest son Jason jumped out and bolted for the house. As Lori and Jason were reaching me, a flurry of movement to my left drew gaze. Running at full speed, out of the door of the now dead Larry’s house, was his ten year old daughter. Only it wasn’t really her anymore. Her eyes were blood red and frothy saliva flew from her mouth as she growled at me. The cute little blonde haired girl from next door was no more. Her face was ashen and I could see that she had turned into one of those things.
She was coming fast.
Too damn fast for me to get a good shot off with the gun in my hand. Instinctively I raised my right foot to the level of her chest. When a moving object A, meets a stationary object B, the energy has to go somewhere. In this case the energy tossed the zombie runt back about four feet, but it didn’t completely stop her. Kid zombie scrambled to all fours and started to rise, that was just enough time to get a fix on her with the pistol.
Another zombie hit the ground.
There was no time to breathe as the shot got the attention of the surrounding zombies. Turning back around, I ran into the house where everyone else was and slammed the front door behind me. We all looked at each other and one word came from all of our mouths.
The first few moments of any emergency are the most critical. Panic and things fall apart. Keep your head and maybe you get through the emergency unscathed. There was no time to discuss what was going on, things had to be done to protect us and they had to be done quickly. I started giving orders to my family.
“Get the doors off the bedrooms, and bring them to the living room…” My intent was to use the old wooden doors to cover the windows. “I will get my screw gun and screws.” As I spoke the words, I realized that that wasn’t going to be easy. The screw gun was in the garage and I had to go back outside to get to it.
“Shit, Jason, I need a distraction. Go on the porch roof and get their attention. Keep it on you.” Jason headed to the second floor bedroom that had a window which opened onto the roof.
My wife looked at me with concern in her eyes.
“He’ll be alright, I need him to keep them busy while go out to the garage….”
“You’re not going out there….” My wife began.
“Look no time to argue, if I don’t go out there, we can’t secure this place. We need the screw gun from the garage. I’ll be alright I’ll go out the side door.” All of the houses had side doors that lead to a narrow alley like area between the houses and garages.
With a little luck, I figured I could sneak out the side door, get in the garage, grab the screw gun, and get back into the house before any of them knew I was out there. Trouble is, aside from the day I got married, I’ve never been known to have luck on my side. It’s always been the hard way for me.
“How about a break today, huh?” I asked looking up at the sky, talking to a God that I wasn’t sure liked me to begin with.
On that particular day, God did not choose to change his mind. I opened the side door stepped out onto the side porch and ran smack into….Jimmy Peters. The one time friend and neighbor, was now not so friendly, and he wanted my flesh.
Fuck me. I should have shot him when I had the chance.
It was most of Jimmy anyway. He was missing the pieces that had been eaten from his shoulder and arm and he really looked bad. His face was the same ashen color as Larry’s daughter’s had been and his eyes were blood red, like the rest of them. It was clearly obvious that this thing that almost resembled Jimmy, was anything but. Now I am not the kind of guy who you would ever accuse of being quick. I’m six foot tall two hundred and fifty pounds and anytime I was ever in a fight, I didn’t bother to dodge and duck. I just took the blows and kept on coming like an unstoppable wall of flesh. When whoever I was fighting with thought he was done hurting me, then it was my turn.
On that day however, at that particular moment, I was a goddamned ninja. Zombie Jimmy did what zombies do and lunged to eat me. I crouched down quick like and took his legs out from under him with a leg sweep like you see in the movies. Pretty proud of myself I got up and raised my pistol to shoot Jimmy. Only Jimmy wasn’t slow like a movie zombie, that bastard was quick and before I could fire, he was on his feet and charging me. As he reached out for me, he knocked the gun to the ground. Now I was weaponless against a fast zombie.
“What the hell” I muttered and did the only thing I could think to do.
I clothes lined Jimmy, sending him flying backwards off the porch. I tell you I moved faster than I have ever moved before and stepped on Jimmy as I jumped in the garage through its side door. All I could think was I needed something to hit Jimmy with and fast. He was getting up and he sure seemed determined to make me his dinner. Then I saw something I could use hanging on the wall of the garage. On its hook where it belonged, which was surprising in my garage, was a pitchfork. Grabbing the pronged weapon off of the wall I spun just in time for Jimmy to impale himself on the forks. With all my might, I heaved upwards and tossed Jimmy over my head and into the pile of garbage bags that were waiting for me to take them to the dump. I knew I couldn’t waste any more time on Jimmy so I grabbed my screw gun and a box of deck screw off of the workbench and prayed that the tool had enough juice in the battery left to do what we needed to do. I made sure to grab my .38 off of the ground and in the house I scooted, locking the door behind me. Once I was in the house, I headed to the living room with the tool and called up to the second floor.
“Jason, keep them ugly mothers distracted for a few more. Shane, give me a hand with the doors.”
Shane and I worked as fast as we could to get the wooden doors that he had taken off of the bedrooms and bathroom screwed in place over the windows. My daughters and wife helped by holding the doors up for us to screw, and in fifteen minutes, we had all of them in place. After securing all of the windows that any undead could reach from the ground or porch, I hollered to Jason that we were all set and I sat down at the dining room table. Everyone was looking at me and I could see that none of us could believe what we were going through. Somehow, we were stuck in one of those b rated horror movies we loved to watch so often.
And nothing… could ever be the same.