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Meet Larry: a socially awkward bum who lives with his parents. When he wakes up to find out that the zombie apocalypse has reached his small slice of suburban heaven, he suddenly is forced to wage ...
For all the B-horror flick-fans out there
. . . This is for you
We Only Come Out In the Daylight
The first thing that Larry Bender noticed upon waking up was the foul smell of something that had just taken its last breath. At first, when the tiniest drifting of the scent assaulted his nose, he'd assumed that the garbage he'd neglected to take out earlier was the source of it. Yet as he dragged pallid tapered fingers across the three-day-old stubble on his cheeks, he noticed that the scent smelled more like death--no, it was death.
"Probably a raccoon or something," he mumbled, squinting through the film of detritus that had stuck to his glasses. He cleaned it on his shirt-tail wearily before shuffling into the tiny bathroom. It was a typical bathroom: white tiles, a standard porcelain toilet, a shower stall, and a small porcelain washing basin. The soft glow of the light overhead burned into his eyes once he'd removed his glasses and placed it on the surface of the basin.
It was then that Larry picked up the scent again--realized how intense it had gotten, and then he panicked.
His fingers were tremulous as he reached to grasp the cool metal of the faucet. He didn't look into the reflective glass of the overhead mirror, opting instead to train his eyes on the pristine whiteness of the porcelain basin. Then he counted to ten, by the time he'd gotten to five, a soft growl emitted nearby--something--like an animal or whatever was in his house. Again, it was probably just a raccoon. He could always call up Animal Control and have them deal with the pest.
As the minutes ticked by Larry grasped the faucet, pulled the lever up and watched the steady trickle of colorless water flow into the sink. It was refreshingly cool on his skin and he stood there, toes curled, letting the rivulets of liquid run down his cheeks and his chin, only to dribble into the sink and swirl into the drain.
He stood there, ignoring the increasingly irritable growls that sounded less and less primordial and more human.
He decided to distract himself with reflecting back on the depressing monotony that was his life--on the facts that contributed to it. He was unemployed and he lived with his parents. He was socially awkward, opting to interject into conversations at the most inconvenient of times much to the chagrin of the other participants. He liked to alphabetize his massive CD collection and then listen to the albums one by one in that order. He was hyper sensitive to touch, flinching whenever someone so much as brushed a finger down the length of his arm. His last girlfriend of three years had dumped him because according to her he could "never understand" her feelings or "where" she was coming from.
Larry shook his head and focused on the sound again. Within that small window of time he'd managed to shave (though he'd nicked himself with the sharpest edge of the razor's blades a few times) and ponder on those things all at once. As the growls grew more persistent, Larry's heartbeat pulsated. He could literally feel his heart beating almost painfully in his chest. He felt the thin coating of sweat on his hands as he turned the brass knob of the bathroom door. Mere seconds ticked by before he heard the sound of scraping. At first it was small, almost akin to a rat scrabbling around on the floor with its clawed feet, but then it gradually became more audible.
Oh no . . .
The fear was starting to show itself on Larry's face. His mud-brown eyes lost its vivacity, dimmed to a dullness that only the fearful have, as he ventured into his bedroom. His room was in a state of disarray: the blankets on his bed were piled unto the bed with the pillows still bearing the softened indentation of where his head had lain, and there were clothes assorted into unceremonious heaps on his adjacent armchairs. It took him a while to regain his eyesight as the blurred edges of his visions became clearer--gained more acuity as the seconds went by.
The sound was sharper and closer, as in the source of it was a few feet away from him now. Larry looked up, muddy brown eyes glancing around the room in an unnerved way. He bit his lower lip fretfully and clenched his hands into fists until he'd pressed half-moon marks into his palms. A screech sounded from across the room and the young man wasted no time in locating a metallic blunt object as he toed it with his foot. The object in question was a metal bat that he used to use back in the day when his father had tried to instill the importance of physical activity in him.
Though Larry was rusty with the bat, he could still knock a few baseballs a good distance outward or so. He steeled himself, relaxed his erratic breathing, and crossed the threshold. A pair of clouded eyes, misted over with a stormy whiteness, regarded him curiously before the emaciated figure snarled viciously. Blood smeared its mouth like paint and the smell was unfurled as it (Larry couldn't tell if the humanoid creature was a male or a female) opened its mouth. An ear-splitting screech sounded out as it flexed its six-inch long claws. Clicking the elongated nails, dirtied by dried blood and (was that flesh?!) what looked like pieces of meat (or what he hoped to be animal meat), the figure began to arch its powerful legs. Muscles rippled as it paused for a minute before lunging and baring its sharpened veneers, ready to tear his brains out.
Widening his eyes in horror, Larry instinctively bludgeoned the creature in the head. The metal bat made a thumping sound as it made forceful contact with the softest part of the creature's head. The thing really, cried out hoarsely, clumsily falling over its too-long legs, and scrambling up to regain its footing. Larry battered it repeatedly, paying no heed to the blood that pooled beneath his manicured toenails. Another forced howl emitted from the creature before he took the blunt end of the bat and jabbed it as far into the flesh as he could. A satisfyingly sickening squelching sound was heard as the metal object plunged into layers of dermis and fractured solid darkened bone.
A few minutes later the creature gave its last rasped breath and lolled its head to one side as it dropped lifelessly to the now blood-soaked carpeting.
"What the hell was that!? It looked like something out of a video game . . .," Larry paused to eye the mountainous pile of games he'd acquired over the years. Half of them were second-hands, half of them were for consoles like the X-Box 360 and the PC, and half of them were either zombie-survival games or Japanese role playing games.
". . . it looked like something out of Left 4 Dead or Resident Evil, like a-a zombie or something." He finished breathing out breathlessly. All of his pent up energy was expired. He took a quick moment to rest and muse over the odd happenings of the morning. He tried to pinch himself to see if he was dreaming only to find that his nail had clipped his skin and he'd earned a nick on his arm. Wonderful, he wasn't dreaming.
The next thing he did was to try and make sense of how a zombie apocalypse (because the more he stared at that thing, the more it started to resemble a zombie) could have possibly become a reality. First of all, he lived in a pretty big and yet secured suburban town. Regardless of the moderately large population, everyone took the time to memorize everyone's names, occupations, and reputations. If a zombie had somehow aimlessly wandered into the peaceful area and had infected someone then everyone would've evacuated the area by now.
Though now that Larry thought about it--weren't his parents supposed to . . . be . . . up . . .?
His eyes widened as the harsh possible realities flashed before his eyes in quick distorted images: blood, the marring of flesh, the terrified looks of his parents' faces, their bodies effectively disemboweled and decomposing right before his eyes . . . all of this sickened him. Tightening his grip on the bat, Larry tried to reassure himself and come up with a few positive alternatives to the situation.
Maybe his parents knew about this sooner than he did, since he could only assume that the zombie had probably woken them up what with all the commotion its movements had caused. Maybe they were huddled safely in the basement armed with flashlights and hammers, ready to kill the living dead. Maybe the zombies had already found their way to their cozy little dwelling, assuming there were more, in which case his parents probably weren't (he forced the rising of bile down his throat again here) . . .
He couldn't think about that. He couldn't let his mind wander down such a pessimistic route, he had to stay positive. Yet as he walked cautiously towards the double doors that led to his parents' bedroom, his hope started to gradually diminish.
Author's Notes: So first of all when I had this concept in my head (it literally just came to me today, like as soon as I woke up--I blame it on all the Left 4 Dead artwork and stuff that I was looking up from the day before), it was originally going to be humorous and it was supposed to be a parody of Survival Zombie video-games. So in that sense it was like a Shaun of the Dead sort of concept just in the written form. But as I got further along I started to realize that making it a tad darker would allow it to be that much more believable. Making it suspenseful, dark, and purposefully accessible became more ideal for me.
So yeah, enjoy it. I know that Larry doesn't seem like a nerd, like I'm not showing his nerdy tendencies but in the later chapters it'll become more apparent. By the next chapter you'll find out what happens to his parents, dun dun dun!
Reviews would be greatly appreciated. I did tweak it and whatnot after a while and I spent a good part of the day wrestling between a dark zombie apocalypse story and a humorous one. So input would be wonderful.
I hope you enjoy reading it and I'll just shut up now. :)
- xo xo sneakerpimp441