I jumped back, still screaming, and almost tripped over the white leather couch. Her eyes held no recognition in them, just the impression of a feral hunger. Her mouth opened, and uttered the familiar moan of the damned things that were somehow walking around.
I knew then my mother was dead. There was now no chance for her and I to patch up our relationship. We’d never again laugh together, or cry together. Hell, right about now I wouldn’t mind if she screamed at me and called me names. Anything but that awful undead sound.
“Oh my god!” Miles Thomas gasped. He was in shock of the situation, as were we all. Lucas was still staring at her with wide eyes. I shook myself out of it just as her fingers grasped roughly at my sholder, near the collarbone. I stepped to the side, avoiding the couch, and looked around for the nearest weapon. I’d left the bat in the car.
I grabbed an expensive looking lamp from one of the end tables beside the couch. I swung it, using all my strength and propelled myself forward, hitting her with the most force I could muster. The lamp shattered in my hand, giving me a few minor cuts from the jagged porceline, and her body slumped to the floor.
The silence that followed was deafening. I’d killed my own mother. In my mind I knew that the thing I’d just smashed a lamp over was dead, but I still blamed myself. If I hadn’t been such a coward when I woke up I would’ve been downstairs first and she wouldn’t have been bitten. If only my body wasn’t such a slave to the terror that overwhelms me. When it happens, I can’t move, I can hardly even breathe.
With my left hand, I wiped away the tears I’d barely been aware of. My right hand, the one that had delivered the killing blow, trembled slightly. It was still bleeding a little, dripping down onto the pink bunny slippers I wore. The effect was actually quite disturbing, blood matted down their “fur” as if they were ferocious little beasts.
I let out a little yelp of surprise and jumped nearly a foot in the air when Mr. Thomas’ hand came down on my shoulder.
“Are you alright?” he asked with concern. His voice was slightly shaky.
“I…I killed…” I choked back a sob. Lucas rushed forward, skirting the expanding pool of blood, and enveloped me into a tight hug as my vision started to blur. It was becoming harder and harder to breathe, and a full-blown panic attack was seconds away. My knees gave out, and I was only slightly aware of Lucas struggling to keep me upright. Then the world went dark.
When I woke up, I was alone in Lucas’ room. His scent was still on his pillow, and I just lay there for a moment, breathing it in. All too soon, reality reared its ugly head and I remembered why I was in Lucas’ room. The grief I felt for my mother had settled into a ball of cold, hard anger in the pit of my stomach. Things were starting to snap together, now that I had time to rationally think about them. The flu, the cannibals, the rumors of how deadly the flu was…it made sense. This virus, or whatever it is, kills its victims and turns them into undead walking cannibals. As ridiculous as it sounds, it was the truth.
I got up, and went out into the hall. I heard the sound of static and voices, but the sounds were too low to make out. I went downstairs into the living room where I found Lucas listening to a radio. His dad was in the bathroom.
Lucas’ eyes met mine. “Hey. How you feelin’?” he asked me.
“I’ve definitely been better,” I said truthfully. “But at least now I can function properly.” I glanced at the clock and found I had been asleep for about an hour. “Any news on the whole…situation?”
“The official word is to stay in our homes and wait this thing out,” Lucas began. “But the independent stations are saying you’ll be better off getting to a safe location.”
“Safe location?” I asked.
“Somewhere large and public, where more survivors might group together,” he said. “Dad and I were thinking of trying the school. There’s an old bomb shelter beneath the auditorium, so we figured if it gets too bad we’d barricade ourselves in.”
“Sounds good to me, but the road to the school is pretty much infested. There were about a hundred, if not more,” I told him. The school was just down the street from the hospital.
Lucas’ dad joined us in the living room. “I know another way to get there. We have to pass through the neighborhoods to get there, and run the risk of there being an infestation there too,” he said.
“This is so fucking nuts!” I said. “Things like this aren’t supposed to actually happen.” Lucas kept looking at me, with a worried expression on his face. I guess my breakdown earlier has worried. I pulled myself together before I lost it again.
“We’re going to need to get moving,” Lucas’ dad said. “The sooner we get there, the better.”
Lucas and I went to his room, and he got me a shirt from his closet. He basically just grabbed one without looking and handed it to me. It was a simple blue t-shirt with “2QT2BSTR8” on it. I almost didn’t believe it. I kinda looked at him in disbelief, then showed him what shirt he handed to me. His face got so red I thought he might pass out.
“Well…I uhh…”he stuttered. I laughed at him and put it on. It was a bit tight.
“It’s true, you know,” I said with a smirk. “You’re way too cute to be straight.”
Somehow his body found a way to blush even more.
We headed back downstairs and found his dad in the front room, the room where my mom died. He was leaning a hunting rifle against the wall. He looked up as we entered the room, read what was on my shirt, and smirked. What he did next surprised me.
He pulled a 9mm handgun out of the back of his pants and handed it to me. I’d never even seen a real gun up close before, much less shot one! I don’t even like fake guns!
“Whoa! I don’t even know how to use this!” I said, a little shocked. He stepped up next to me, and raised my arms up into a “shooting” pose, facing the wall.
“It’s very simple. Just line up the site on the front of the gun with the site on the back, point it at what you want to hit, and squeeze the trigger,” he explained while my hands shook. “Just remember to realign your shot after each time, the recoil will throw it off.”
“Recoil?” I asked. Like I said, I know nothing about guns.
“When you fire, the gun will ‘kick’ in your hand,” he said. “If you don’t have a good grip it can jump out of your hand.”
I looked at the weapon skeptically, but nodded. He showed me how to unload it, or “eject the magazine”, and how to turn the safety on and off. He handed me a plastic holster, which he’d never used. Said he thought it looked cool. I cliped it to my belt and put the weapon inside after making sure the safety was off. I’m naturally a bit clumsy, so I couldn’t be too careful.
I noticed Lucas had the rifle slung over his shoulder like a soldier in a war movie. He had a nearly empty box of bullets in one hand, and an extra handgun clip in the other. He handed me the clip. I raised my eyebrow at him.
“Dad took me hunting once, and before we left he wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing. We went to the range a few times, so I basically know how to handle these things,” he said. I just simply couldn’t imagine Lucas at the shooting range. Although…it was kind of sexy…
“When we finally went hunting, I cryed like a baby the first time he shot a deer and we went home. Never took me hunting again,” he said with a smirk. I laughed.
“You boys ready? This isn’t that much ammo, we should stop at Kendo’s,” Lucas’ dad said. He was carrying an even larger gun than the rifle Lucas had.
“Yep,” Lucas said. Then he leaned over to me and whispered, “It’s a shotgun.”
“I knew that!” I said, a little too forcefully. It was apparent by the grin on his face that he was right, I indeed didn’t know that. Lucas shook his head and pulled on a pair of shoes.
And so, we were off. The most ridiculous looking band of people with guns…ever. Lucas’ dad was the only one of us that looked somewhat normal, wearing a pair of jeans and a polo shirt. Lucas was still dressed in his “Sponge Bob” and “Hello Kitty” pajamas, and I had on the “2QT2BSTR8” shirt with blue pajama pants. And bloody ferocious bunny slippers.
Lucas’ dad opened the garage using the number panel at the side, and went inside. We’d decided to take their SUV, figuring it would be more reliable than my mom’s car. And the fact that it’s built like a tank. Lucas got into the passenger seat, and as I was about to get into the back, I saw an old typewriter, covered in a layer of dust, sitting on an old trunk a few feet away. The sight of it struck me as odd, as if I wanted to go over to it and type out the craziness that’s happened since this day began.
I shook the thought from my mind and got inside the SUV. Lucas’ dad turned on the radio, and after a few moments of searching through channels that were still playing music, he found the station we’d heard earlier. They were playing the same thing as before. I guess it was a recording, set on repeat.
Finally we were on the road. There was a small group of zombies at the end of the road, some of them were on their hands and knees devouring someone who’d been unlucky enough to get too close. The SUV dodged around them easily, clipping one of the standing zombies in the side. It spun and fell to the ground, where it started eating the dead man on the ground.
Once we got onto the main street, the road was relatively clear. There were a few zombies, but nowhere near the masses I’d been expecting. There were a few abandoned cars on the side of the road, and most of the stores we passed looked as if they’d been looted. We pulled into the lot at “Kendo’s Gun Shop.”
“I’ve known Robert Kendo for years,” Mr. Thomas said. “He’d never let anyone break into his place. Knowing him, he’ll be standing at the front counter with his shotgun drawn.”
“You sure he’s here?,” I asked. “Wouldn’t he be at home?”
“Impossible,” he replied. “He’d protect this little gun shop with his life. Kind of a ‘captain goes down with his ship’ mentality.”
We got out of the car and headed for the front door. Mr. Thomas knocked on the glass, and the blinds parted from the other side as Robert Kendo looked out. I heard him unlock the door, and it opened.
“Hurry up and get in here!” he said in a harsh tone. “What the hell’re you doing, Miles? It’s madness out there!”
“We’re heading for the school. The radio said we should try to group together. Safety in numbers, and all that,” Mr. Thomas said. “You should come with us.”
“Oh no. I’m not going to leave this shop. There’s no way any of those…things can get in here!” he exclaimed. I looked warily at the huge picture window facing the street. It just didn’t look safe to me, but he probably knows better. Its his shop after all.
“In any case, we need some more ammo. Can you help us out?” Kendo looked over at Lucas and I. It was as if he just noticed us standing there. His eyes widened a bit. I imagine he figured out we were gay. I mean, we are kinda obvious. Then the look he gave me creeped me out to no end. He had a look of…hunger in his eyes. Not all that different than in the zombies’ eyes.
His eyes ran up and down my body, as if he were completely oblivious to the outside world. I was squirming a bit now. I mean, come on, that’s just creepy. He’s like fifty! Gross!
I looked over to Mr. Thomas, and saw that he noticed it too. He cleared his throat, to get Kendo’s attention. He didn’t even seem to notice, and then he licked his lips. Oh. My. God. I shuddered and gave another, more desperate look over to Mr. Thomas.
“The ammo?” Mr. Thomas said in a very sharp tone.
“Oh...Yes. This way,” Kendo said, shaking himself out of his...really creepy daze. Then he started walking towards me, and I tensed up. He brushed past, way too close for comfort, and started looking through the boxes of ammo. I made a point to stand as far from him as possible.
Lucas was having trouble containing his giggles. He had a hand over his mouth, acting like he was nonchalantly scratching his nose. Of course, I knew better, and shot him a death glare. He nearly lost it at that point.
“Here we are,” he said, pulling out a few boxes. “One shotgun and one rifle ammo box.”
“We need some 9mm too,” Mr. Thomas said.
“Oh, ok. Those are over there,” he said. Pointing once again in my direction. God, I wanted to strangle this guy. Maybe I should just moon him or something. No...on second thought I don’t even want to think about what he’d do with that information. I moved away before he got within five feet, and I could’ve sworn he looked disappointed. He handed Mr. Thomas the box.
Lucas was outright laughing this time, and Kendo gave him a strange look. Then he kind of shrugged, and turned back to Mr. Thomas. Apparently, in Kendo’s little fantasy world, I was cuter than Lucas. Of course he’d perv on me. That’s just how awesome my luck is.
“You need to be careful out there,” Kendo said, stating the obvious. As if we hadn’t figured that out yet.
“Ok, thanks Bob,” Mr. Thomas said. “We need to get going.”
“So soon?” Kendo said, glancing at me from the corner of his eye. Christ.
“Yeah. Good luck, man,” he said.
Finally, we were leaving. As I was walking out the door, I could almost literally feel his eyes on me. I’d never felt so...dirty before. I glanced back over my shoulder, and sure enough, he was staring at me. Not just at me, but at my ass. He was staring at my ass.
I was so glad to be out of there. Felt like I could actually breathe when I stepped outside. I sincerely hoped I would never run into him again.