Here’s part two of Jeff’s first steps into the Zombie wonderland.
Again sorry for the late post. Should be back on track for Wed / Fri soon.
Game of Life Side Story: Jeff — Part 2
Thanks to his burly neighbor, Jeff made short work of the window. He squeezed out onto the fire escape, finding it wonderfully sturdy. The damn thing shook less than the main stairwell.
An uneasy calm spread across the neighborhood. The only noise came from a busted fire hydrant, pouring water onto the street and into the sewer drain. Jeff freed the escape ladder on the third tug, sending it careening to the sidewalk below.
He flinched at the thunk of steel against concrete. It echoed down through the neighborhood, until surrendering to the droning hiss of water.
Jeff let out a sigh of relief. No angry swarms of Zombies, no repercussions.
He climbed down the ladder and considered trying to put it back up. It’d be a waste of time. I should get out while the getting’s good.
Jeff turned, coming face to face with a tall figure, easily a foot taller.
His face was blank, devoid of eye or nose holes. He only had a small slit of an expressionless mouth. Jeff backpedaled readying his trusty cricket bat, but the creature didn’t move.
“Back away nice and slow,” Jeff said.
The creature tilted his head to one side, and took a single step backwards.
The man thing was impeccably dressed, wearing an expensive looking suit complete with polished shoes. ‘Slender Man’ came to mind, the creepy faceless guy who shows up in pictures. If it didn’t cause problems, Jeff wrote it off as an hallucination.
Jeff walked away, keeping a wary eye on it before breaking into a full run. He tore down the street and took the first turn. He trotted to a stop and doubled over to catch his breath. Cripes, I’m really out of shape.
The city was deserted. Putting distance from home— and the broken hydrant— plunged the city into eerie silence. He took in the quiet row houses around him, the open and empty convenience store and the empty cars lining the streets.
What the hell happened?
Tuning back the way he came, the tall men stared at him, inches from his face. Jeff lashed out at him with the cricket bat. The man swayed back, effortlessly dodging the swing. Jeff retreated back, clenching his hands around the bat.
The man leaned back unnaturally, moving his body like his feet were glued to the cement. He swayed forward, back to perpendicular to the ground and tilted his head to the side.
“Stop following me,” Jeff said. “I don’t know what you are and I don’t want to know. Piss off.”
The creature smiled, baring pointed teeth, stained with blood.
A shooting pain pierced Jeff’s shoulder. Clawing hands grabbed him at arm and neck. He spun around, catching a glimpse of his attacker, a young woman gnawing at his arm. He shoved her away, raised his cricket bat and slammed it against her head. It took three swings to smash it to bits.
He turned back to take out the tall man— but he was gone.
Jeff flinched at the pain in his arm. Blood poured from the gash. She got him good.
Fuck, I’m a zombie.
He clenched his hand over the wound, pushing back the dull burning throb of pain. The bite was on his upper arm, cutting it off would be impossible, and that never worked in the damn movies. He dropped the cricket bat and pulled the sword from his back, putting serious consideration to stabbing himself through the head.
The idea scared him. Dying on purpose seemed incredibly stupid. Chances were good he’d just come back as one of those messed up zombies with a mauled face. The passing idea brought a smile. I should at least be an intact zombie— mostly intact anyway.
He put away the sword. Either he’d find a drugstore or a gun shop. From there he’d decide between being a corpse or an extra in the zombie flick he called his life. He felt overwhelmingly positive about the whole thing. Each step convinced him he felt pretty good, ignoring the blood loss at least.
Jeff tugged on a few locked doors until he came across an unlocked shop: Rosco’s Guns, Liquor and Baby Needs.
He stepped in, finding the place cleaned out, ammo littered the floor and the cabinets lay open and empty. The corner of the shop had diapers and wipes though, so he settled for some make shift first aid.
Jeff busted open some wipes scooping out as much of the festering blood as he could. Next, he used a diaper as a makeshift bandage. He rolled his shoulder, finding it stiff but mostly functional. Hey, this way whoever kills me will get a laugh.
He dug behind the counter finding a fifth of whiskey and some beer nuts— breakfast of champions. The whiskey helped him forget the pain and the salty snack got his mind off munching brains.
A few doors down he found a drugstore with the window smashed open. He found some (real) bandages in the ransacked piles and some intact gummi snacks. Fate had a sense of humor, left over gummi brains from Halloween.
He scored three bottles of lime Gatorade— you know, the flavor no one likes— and just like that he was ready to rock. He holed up on the roof of the store, after setting up length of string with some cans.
He sat back and relaxed, waiting for the change. After a few hours of Mario Kart, he realized he didn’t feel any different– he even beat his best time by one and a half seconds. Every passing hour empowered him with the memory of the Zombie movies he grew up with. The wound dried out, looked ragged as hell, but he felt good.
I’m not gonna change. I’m gonna beat this.
He drifted off to sleep, a voice in the back of his head cried out, reminding him he was forgetting something. The Slender Man.
His eyes shot open and he sat up, seeing not the creepy tall man looming over him, but a beautiful woman. Her long blonde hair tickled the front of his shirt, framing a face he would only expect to see on T.V. Sculpted cheekbones, full lips and a winning smile.”
“Oh, shit. I did die,” Jeff said, “orrr I’m dreaming.”
She shook her head and sat up, smiling down at him. “No, you’re alive alright and you survived your bite. I took care of you.”
He tried to sit up, but she pushed him back down.
“Not yet. You need something to eat. You’ve been asleep for three days, at least.”
“Three?” He glanced around, spotting his backpack piled neatly, alongside his clothes folded into tidy little piles. He was wearing spare set of clothes. “Whoa, hold on, you changed my clothes.”
His gaze drifted to her upper arm. Like him, she had a conspicuous bloodied bandage. “Please tell me that isn’t a bite.”
“Oh, it is. I got it shortly after I found you. But… like you I was chosen.”
He sat up, rubbing his own wound, it felt much better and a quick peek under the diaper– a fresh one nonetheless– he found it with a nice layer of scar tissue. Wait, she redressed it with a diaper?
“I assumed you had a specific reason.” She said, snatching the thought from his head. “Good luck maybe? Or… perhaps a command from your patron god.”
“Riiiight,” Jeff said. “Look thanks… Miss…”
“Holly. My name’s Holly. I’m so glad to finally meet you Jeff.”
“And you know my name. That’s not creepy at all.”
“I saw it on your driver’s license.” She pulled a lock of hair behind her ear. “And you’re Mii is named that too. I assumed it was that rather than Doctor Awesome.”
“Lucky guess,” he said, snatching up his 3DS. He opened it up to find the an unfamiliar smiling girl avatar topping his favorite track circuit– by four seconds. “This must have taken you a while… you know how precious my battery life is?”
“There’s a generator in the basement. It’s filled up.”
He double-checked, ninety-nine percent. “So it is… sorry I doubted you.”
“Are you hungry? I found food.”
“Please tell me you didn’t eat my snacks.”
“No no. Of course not,” she said. “I found a grocery store a few blocks down. The freezers were locked.”
“Say… uhm… about the bite. You feel OK?”
“Mmm hmm.” She grinned and leaned closer. “When I saw yours I just knew… I just knew I was one of the chosen too. I decided I would only live if I was worthy.”
“OK. YOu’re being a little weird. You got bit… on purpose?”
“You are really lucky. Must be those perfect genes of yours.”
She closed her hands around his. “You were chosen too you know. You should be happy. I’ll go get the food.”
Holly scurried off and down the stairs. His Cricket bat and sword were just where he left them, but both were treated and cleaned. Something was very wrong here.
He tried to stand, but couldn’t. His legs were stone asleeep. He ran a hand over his legs finding them numb, but felt small divots on his hips. Pulling aside the blanket and his pants in one tug her spotted tell tale pin pricks– insect bites perhaps.
Jeff knew better. He had some experience with medicine. They were sores from improperly placed syringes. He heard Holly’s footsteps and shifted the blanket back into place. She came back carrying a hunk of meat– a human leg– perfectly roasted and dressed like a ham.