I dared to peer around the corner, and swore aloud as I saw they were moving towards me. There was nothing else for it- I was gonna have to kill my parents. I raised the fork, and lunged, forcing it into my mother’s blonde haired skull. She collapsed and began to twitch, things thicker than blood beginning to seep out of the wounds. My father advanced faster, letting out a moan of hunger? Anger? Whatever, I raised the pitchfork, now stained red and slippery with blood, and swung the heavy metal into his face. I felt the metal connect with bone, felt the bone give way into soft flesh. I did all this with an odd sense of detachment- these were not my parents, after all, just moving sacks of meat with their faces.
I watched their bodies until they stopped moving, and began to walk. As I got further away from their corpses, a thought occurred to me. I could go and get my bike. I touched my pocket in an automatic gesture, feeling the keys there. After a moment’s deliberation, I decided to wait to get my bike. I could go back for it when this was all over, but until then, it was not a priority. I began to head towards town, making slow progress on foot, but good progress all the same. It wasn’t long ‘til I found myself in the center of town, and wondering where to go next. I consulted my mental shopping list. Bike jackets. Right. I made my way towards the closest bike shop I knew of, and found it virtually untouched. I snorted in disgust. Clearly people hadn’t been watching enough horror movies. Surely people knew that they had to protect themselves?
I slung two jackets that looked as though they would cover the most skin over my shoulder, and made my way out. I wondered what next. The place seemed fairly deserted, I should make the most of it. I wandered into the convenience store straight ahead, stepping through the broken window. Glass crunched under my Docs, and I was grateful for the thick boots. One glance around the shop showed that anything valuable- TVs, DVD players, mobile phones- that aisle looked as though it had been hit by a plague of locusts, whereas everything else was virtually untouched.
I began to search the aisles for non perishable, packaged food. I turned a corner and slammed straight into a body. “Shit!” I yelled, and raised my fork, about to drive it home when I realised that my yell was echoed by the other body. I staggered backwards rapidly, fork still raised. The other person raised what looked to my freaked out mind looked like a guitar, and yelled “Gerard!” Another person came running, raising a large scary knife. “Whoa, there!” I cried, raising my hands. “I’m not a zombie!”
They stopped, lowering their weapons, and stepped into the narrow band of sunlight that fell across the blood smeared shop floor. One was a tall skinny boy with floppy, honey coloured hair and thick rimmed glasses that he pushed up his nose in a practiced, habitual movement. The other was a shorter boy with black tangly hair and a suspicious expression, coated in eyeliner. The taller boy was carrying a guitar, which made me smile. He slung the gore incrusted instrument back over his shoulder. They stood and stared. It was starting to get quite creepy.
“So, this place is deserted?” I asked, more for the sake of conversation than anything else. Anything to break the silence. “You have intestine in your hair.” The taller boy pointed out. I pulled the slimy chunk out with barely a shudder, whereas the other two turned shades of green. I dropped the piece of organ on the floor with an unpleasant splat.
“Well, if that doesn’t turn me vegetarian, nothing will.” I said aloud. They laughed unexpectedly, which made them seem a lot more human, and a lot less threatening. I smiled, and the shorter boy said “Sorry about nearly stabbing you in the face. I’m Gerard, and this is my little brother Mikey.” I smiled, a little half heartedly. “I’m Will. Where you guys from?” The guy with the knife, Gerard, gestured vaguely with the knife.
“Its not really anywhere anymore. Some guys burned it down. FYI, zombies will keep on coming no matter how many fires you start.” I nodded, and shivered slightly. “Thanks for the tip.” I could imagine it all too well. The moment of silence that had fallen was quite dramatically broken by a thumping from inside the nearby caretakers cupboard. We all whipped round to stare at the rattling door. “Not entirely deserted then?” I said, and we all gulped in synchronisation. It would have been funny in any situation but this one.
“That lock looks like it’s gonna-” Gerard started to say, before the door flew open and crashed against the wall with a resounding bang. “Can’t I have a fucking break!?” I shouted at the ceiling, hoping that god might hear and know that when I died, I was going to have a serious bone to pick about all the bullshit he was putting me through. That bastard.
I raised my fork and impaled the armless zombie. By some miracle, or maybe just a lucky stab, I managed to pin the zombie, still wearing his overalls, into the thin wall. He stuck there, and I held the jerking corpse in position while Mikey began to slam his guitar repeatedly into its face. It began to go pulpy, but still wouldn’t quite die. He made one last huge effort, bringing the solid instrument down on the top of its head. The force of the impact made liquidised brain shoot out of the eye sockets, taking the eyeballs out on its way past.
The corpse sagged against my fork, and I tried to wrench it out, growling in frustration when it got caught on the ribs. I began to yank, and the accompanying snaps and cracks and scraping sounds made Gerard and Mikey wince. They still seemed a little queasy about brain matter, I noticed, as Mikey leaned over to vomit into the frozen peas. I realised with a kind of dull surprise that not even chunks of human body in my hair fazed me anymore. I could watch as what used to be people were bludgeoned to death, without even bad dreams. I shook my head. I could obsess over my potential jadedness later, right now, we had to get the fuck out of here.
I turned back to Gerard and Mikey. Gerard had a protective arm around his younger siblings shoulder, who seemed unable to tear his eyes away from the mangled body and seeping pool of gunk. I nudged it with my toe, causing the remains of the skull to collapse into an unrecognisable mess, sending the gunk shooting out of the mouth. Mikey turned green again, and I thought that perhaps it was time to leave. I did a quick sweep of the store, stuffing everything I thought could possibly be useful into a huge bag swiped from under the counter. “Come on, guys, lets get some air.” I said, ushering them towards the shattered window. They stood, waiting for me as if shell-shocked.
I patted my pocket. “Cigarettes!” I remembered. I’d grab some for Frankie and Mandy too. I had just finished sweeping pretty much the whole lot into my bag, when I heard a shout. I dropped the bag and race outside, just in time to see a zombie kid, about six years old, launching himself at Gerard. “NOOOOO!” Mikey yelled, reaching for his guitar, but it was useless. The kid sank his teeth into Gerard’s shoulder, tearing it away with surprising speed, sending geysers of blood shooting skywards. Mikey began to scream, the sound high and piteous as he struggled to tear the creature off of his brother. All I could hear was fleshy crunching and chewing sounds.
I ran a hand through my hair in helpless bewilderment. There was nothing I could do- either way, he was gone. In the end I settled for trying to yank Mikey back- a task easier said than done, the guy was deceptively strong despite looking like an underfed ballerina. I ripped the knife out of Gerard’s convulsing hand, shoved Mikey to the side, and ripped the kid’s head back. I began to cut, sawing through bone with an hideous, ear-splitting screeching noise. Abruptly the kid stopped struggling in a bid to get back to Gerard’s still warm body, as I twisted his head off with a grotesque squelch. I threw it as hard as I could, letting it roll and come to rest in the gutter.
I decided to let Mikey have the last of his moments with his brother in privacy. I tried not to listen, but couldn’t help hearing as Mikey cried over his brother, begging him to be okay. Tears welled up in my throat and threatened to choke me as I heard Mikey plead in his broken voice, and spilled over when I heard Gerard say his last words to his brother- “You were…the best….brother….I could have...ever asked for….Mikey….” I tried to swallow past the lump in my throat. I gave it a few more seconds before I turned around, pulling Mikey off of his brother’s rapidly cooling shell. Gerard’s blank eyes stared at the clouds, the hazel reflecting the blue perfectly. I swallowed, and reached over to close them, so aside from his fearful wounds, he could be sleeping, at peace. I grabbed Mikey’s hand, pulling him gently to his feet. He didn’t resist, instead turning to sob into my shoulder with the unashamed tears of the broken hearted.
After a few moment’s I knew that we really had to go, because Gerard wasn’t going to stay dead forever. As I thought that, I looked over. His eyes were open. “Mikey-” I started, but he turned of his own accord. Gerard sat up, one arm dangling limply by a few shreds of muscle. I tasted acid as I watched the meaty way it flapped around. “Mikey, lets go.” I said firmly, but he didn’t seem to hear. “Mikey-” I was cut off by Mikey’s voice, the dreamlike quality scaring the fuck out of me more than his words.
“He’s back! Will, Gerard’s back.” He took a step. I grabbed for him, and missed. “Mikey!” He took another step. How did he not see the emptiness in his brothers eyes? Gerard didn’t move- all new zombies need a moment to adjust. “See, Will? He’s fine, he came back to me.” I shuddered. “Not in the way you want, Mikey- That’s not your brother, there is nothing left of him in there! MIKEY THAT’S A ZOMBIE MIKEY NO NO NO NO!” I began to scream helplessly as Mikey closed the distance to his brother. I tried to pull him back, but Mikey was determined that nothing would stop him. I kept screaming, kept pleading, kept crying but to no avail. “It’s okay, Gee, we’ll get you some bandages for that shoulder.” Mikey said in that scary dream-voice. “That was quite an accident you had…” I gripped my hair in useless, but nevertheless violent frustration. I watched, helpless, as Mikey wrapped his arms around the shorter zombie, a his face filled with bliss. He seemed to have lost all grip on reality, and I was powerless to help. I was forced to admit painful defeat when Gerard bit into his brother’s skull, cracking it like an egg and exposing Mikey‘s brain through the hole.
He was dead, and messily so, I knew he was dead but that didn’t stop me from trying to yank his body away. I pulled with all my strength, and with a sickening wet pop, I jerked backwards, leaving Gerard with Mikey’s dislocated arm. His body smacked into the ground, the force of the impact causing his brain to splatter across the concrete. His eyes, as dead as any I’d ever seen, seemed to stare accusingly into mine. “I tried to save you.” I whispered, fresh tears cutting tracks into the blood on my face. I stood up.
Gerard was distracted, chewing on his brother’s arm. I got up, grabbed the bag, jackets and my fork, and ran. As I ran, I cried. I had tried to save them both, tried so damn hard, and for what? Suddenly all I wanted was a hug from Mandy, the one who stopped me falling into the trap, the one who stopped me giving up and letting myself be taken by the infectious undead. I slowed to a walk as I approached the church, breathless from all the extra stuff, and to be honest, my smoking habit. I quickly checked all around the outside, and seeing that the coast was clear, hauled myself and the bag and my weapon in through the window. The door felt too exposed right now. I dropped in, and was greeted by the beautiful sight of Mandy smiling at me, her hair damp and spiky and soft.
I felt a smile creep over my face. “You washed your hair in holy water?” I asked, amused. She nodded. “Felt a bit sinful, to tell the truth, but you know what? I love having clean hair so much, I just don’t give a fuck.” I laughed, and dropped to sit beside her. I let out a yawn. “Where’s Frank?” I asked. “Over here.” A voice called, as I dumped all the stuff. I looked over, his tattooed back to me as he rinsed his shirt. “I got tired of smelling like death.” He shouted over, and hooked it over the back of a pew to dry. I smiled. Odd, how things felt so normal, despite what had happened… I should tell them what happened.
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