“Can I get one, Mary?” Cindy asked as Mar pulled a smoke from the pack. Cindy smiled as she dropped her backpack onto the ground, so she could adjust her almost illegally short skirt.
“It’s Mar, now,” she corrected, as she pushed her jet black bangs back behind her ear.
“Mar, oh you’re so Goth.”
Ignoring her statement, Mar continued, “And if you wanna smoke, try buying your own pack sometime. These cigs are worth like fifty cents each these days.”
“It’s only because you buy those snob cigarettes,” Jenny said. “Mine don’t cost that much.” She blew out a thin steam on smoke through her trim nostrils and Mar wondered for the three hundredth time if her parents had already started buying Jenny plastic surgery treatments at sixteen, as if being a petite blonde with perfect teeth wasn’t enough.
“And you just smoke menthols, because no one in their right mind wants to bum one of those foul things,” Cindy said.
Mar was just lighting up her smoke when a loud yell cut through her annoying friend’s chatter.
“What the hell was that?” Cindy asked, posing like some fashion model with her smoke dangling. Mar figured she’d be posing even if the end of the world came. When the scream sounded again it wasn’t like a cry for help as much as sounding like someone being torn in half.
“Oh my God,” Jenny said. “Should we call someone?”
“Yeah, do that,” Mar said, as she peeked her head around the dumpster that obscured them. What she saw caused the cigarette to tumble from her mouth.
Just on the other side of the school’s fence, a woman had been walking her dog. What might have been a homeless guy looked like he was tried to kiss her neck, but as Mar watched, his head came away with a big bloody chunk of the woman’s flesh in his mouth. The woman stumbled away as a torrent of viscera streamed from her torn neck. The dog moved in to protect its master and the grimy, and now blood covered man, reached down, picked up the dog, and bit one of its eyeballs out.
“What’s going on over here…?” Cindy started to say until Mar emptied the contents over her stomach all over her Cindy’s new strapless heels. “I my God! You freak of nature.”
Neither of the two other girls had focused enough to really see what had happened yet and Jenny said, “I’m like trying to call nine-one-one, but the lines are busy. Is that even possible?”
“What’s the matter, can’t find eleven on the phone,” Cindy said, before turning to Mar. “And what about my shoes. You’re going to have to—what’s that man doing to her?” was followed by Cindy erupting into the highest pitched scream Mar had ever heard.
Where Mar found the courage to look back at the scene she’d never know, but once she saw what happened there, she would forever wish she hadn’t. The man was on top of the woman, just eating her. His victim’s arms flapped with insane violence, but they had already begun to slow down.
Cindy pushed past her, running toward the school and that was when the fire alarm went off. It could have been the only thing that would have caused Cindy to hold up.
“What now?” Jenny began, but then finally had her eyes leave her cell for long enough to see the man on the street and what he was doing. Her scream sounded girly and cute even at its volume and though her terror, Mar still thought, it figures.
Mar went back to watching the woman. After not moving and looking quite dead, she started to sit up and almost casually pushed the homeless man away. Despite his earlier violent ways and fighting through her frantic struggles, this time he allowed her to move him away and didn’t stop her when she began to struggle to her feet.
Mar felt torn over what to do, but since they were required to enter the courtyard and they were already there, she looked back at the man on the street. And she saw something strange.
Her eyes opened wider and her face clenched with terror. She didn’t even notice that Jenny was screaming again.
Before her eyes, the woman stood up as though having twenty bites taken out of her was just an average day. But what drew in Mar’s gaze was how her bowels and internal organs fell from her torn open stomach. Intestines flopped onto the ground like greasy ropes, but the woman kept walking.
Mar knew she should run, run home and never leave her house again, but something made her watch.
The man joined her as though they had become best friends and both of them lumbered to the fence. The man proved faster, but Mar’s eyes stayed glued to the woman.
Jenny joined Mar in vomiting up her lunch when the woman tripped over her own intestines and fell to the ground. With her right hand, she violently tore away the offending organs and began to open her mouth in the most horrid way. The man had made it to the fence and rattled it while his milky eyes met Mar’s gaze. Then, opening his mouth, he let out a hollow moan.
Soon the woman had joined him as the fence. Jenny tried to shake her and yelled something and that was when Mar heard the first screams come from the courtyard.
Check in next Saturday for the final chapter of Lock Down Bite Down!
Dells’ life became a living horror as he and Becca were forced to move to the back of the cell, next to the groaning Mickey, as more of the walking dead pressed against the outer bars. Dozens of arms gasped for them. Bleeding tore faces disregarded all pain as they pressed against the bars and stared at them with milky vacant eyes.
“That asshole,” Becca cried as tears stormed down her cheeks. “Is he ever coming back? How could he do this to his own sister?”
“I hate to say this to you, kid,” Mickey said, as he wiped a hand across his feverish brow, “but your brother is either insane or evil and probably both.”
She tried in vain to wipe back the tears. “The sad thing is, I can’t even argue with you.”
“Let’s not give up hope here,” Dells said, although the words sounded hollow to his own ears. Forcing himself to go on, he said, “I still have a gun and ammo. We aren’t helpless.”
Becca looked like she hated herself for her words, but said, “But will that matter if we’re locked in here and my brother has the keys?”
Having the young girl witnessing his disgrace only made things worse and knowing that she and Mickey still counted on him to keep them safe when he felt so helpless was like a dagger in his guts.
Mickey shuddered and rolled over on his side with a moan.
Dells looked the man over. Sweat poured off him in rivers. His flesh felt so hot that Dells sensed the heat five inched before he placed his hand on the injured man’s forehead. With a motion of his hand he drew Becca to the side of the cell away from Mickey.
“I’m worried about Mickey. What if what your brother says if true and he will become a zombie?”
“But my brother doesn’t seem to be about to become one.”
“He might end up as bad off as Mickey… who knows. Maybe the bites affect people differently.”
She looked doubtful. “Even if he does or the zombies start to notice him. It won’t help us any. We’ll still be locked up in here.”
“Maybe I could shoot the lock off.”
“Let’s wait to see what our future holds before we waste any of the bullets you still have, please. Maybe my brother will somehow come through in some way.”
Again Dells wondered why he was taking advice from a teenager, but regardless of her age, the advice seemed sound and he sat down on another bed and became a bit surprised when she joined him. He smiled her way, but that was the best he could do.
* * *
Several hours passed and despite the constant horrid moans, Dells had begun to nod off. Becca had curled up next to him and he had placed his arm around her shoulders. He tried to tell himself it was just to keep her warm.
He leaned back against the wall. Again he tried to fight it, but sleep began to cling to him again. He had just entered the stage where you think you are awake, but you were actually unconscious when he heard Becca screaming.
“No, no! Get off!”
He awoke with a start. Mickey was tugging on Becca’s arm. Blood stained teeth were only inches away from biting her.
Without thinking, he grabbed his pistol. Mickey had become mad with a sick bloodlust and Dells knew he was gone. His law enforcement training kicked it and he took aim.
The shoot sounded impossibly loud within the close confines of the cell. Mickey fell back in a bloody mess. Becca looked at him for a moment and then rushed into his arms and wept. He held her for a very long time.
* * *
“Oh isn’t that special,” Henry’s snide voice called out to them.
Only when Dells had regained consciousness, did he notice the distant screams. The screams registered first, but the pleading weren’t far behind.
Looking up, Dells saw that Henry had two hostages positioned in front of him. The station had been cleared of zombies and the screams gave him a good guess to how this was done.
So the kid’s become a murderer, was the first thought to pass though his mind.
“Sheriff, can you hear me?”
“Yes.” Even though Becca was his sister, Dells stood in front of her. Despite the distance, he could tell he had a rifle pointed at him from between the two prisoners. He recognized both of them. One was the high school teacher, Fosters. The other was this year’s high school homecoming queen, Anna. Both were tied and held close to Henry.
“Okay good. Throw your guns through the bars and no one will get hurt. If you don’t, I’ll shot these two, then Becca.”
“You sick puke. You’d shoot your own sister?”
“Or maybe I‘ll just shoot into the cell and see what happens. I could just wait for four days and starve your ass and them come in there and kick the gun out of your hand, but I’m more of a get things done now kinda guy.”
The girl was whimpering and the teacher was wide eyed with terror.
Sweat poured down the sheriff’s face. He considered many things, but most of them were too risky.
“Come on Sheriff. The zombies still ignore me. You need me. I can help you, but since they ignore me, that means I’m in charge. Throw me your fucking gun.”
The gun made a loud rattle as it skidded across the tiles.
“Good, now we can really have some fun.”
To be Continued…
Thank you for reading Lock Down, Bite Down
Check in next Saturday for a new adventure in the Eternal Aftermath!
Uncertainty owned Sheriff Dells after Henry asked for his only set of keys. He couldn’t even be sure why the zombies weren’t attracted to Henry or if they would stay uninterested once the half insane teenager was clear of his cell. Then, even if he remained unnoticed by these walking dead, could the youth be trusted to free them?
“I’m waiting,” Henry said, adding being annoying to his already long lists of faults.
Becca snapped him out of his indecision. “Maybe we should trust him. If my brother can make it through, it could be our only hope of breaking free, and if they tear him apart, he was already bitten, and may be becoming one anyway.”
“Such sisterly love,” Henry sneered. “But she’s right. If these bites do kill you, this could be my last chance to be a hero and do something right before I die.”
Mickey groaned behind him as he laid his bleeding face on the stiff jail cell cot. “You okay Mick?” Dells asked.
“Yeah just great. I love having a chuck of my face bitten out.”
“Well sheriff,” Henry said with an inappropriate smile. “You’re either going to have to let me go or shoot Mickey in the head right now.”
“Screw you, turdball,” Mickey snarled, but Dells could she the man was already breaking into cold sweats and shaking.
Dells looked at Becca and at once felt stupid checking in with a girl still in high school. As if reading his mind, she said, “I don’t think we have a choice.”
Dells let loose a low growl which could barely be heard over the throng of undead clinging to the bars along the edge of the cell. “Alright, I had better be able to trust you.”
Henry only nodded.
He shook his head, but then handed the keys through the bars into the next cell.
Henry grabbed them with a chuckle and said, “I’ll be right back.”
Despite what he had seen, Dells still more than half suspected that Henry would be torn apart once he exited his cell, but the zombies continued to ignore him. He walked through them easily. An elbow here and push there and he had already neared the gun cabinet.
“It is like they think he’s one of their own,” his sister whispered.
“As long as this works, I don’t care if they think he’s the pope.” Dells muttered.
Henry made it to the guns and started throwing rifles over his shoulder and stuffing pistols in his pockets.
Maybe this punk isn’t going to let us down, Dells thought.
A minute later the youth was once again, inexplicitly, walking through the gathering masses of undead. Henry had quite a time pushing through the twenty that had gathered outside of their jail cell, but after thirty seconds of effort he made it to the cell door.
“Okay hand me that pistol,” Dells started to say.
But instead of handing over guns or ammunition, Henry filled his hand with the cell key and stuffed it into the lock.
“Wait, what are you…?”
But it was too late. Even over the loud moans, Dells heard the ominous click of the cell lock being activated.
Drawing his pistol, Dells yelled, “What the hell are you doing?” But Henry had already dashed back through the growing horde. He ducked down as he rushed toward the front door. When he reached it, he called back. “I’m not sure what’s going on, but these zombies seem to love me which makes me king of this fucking shithole. Be good and maybe I’ll come back with a TV dinner for you,” he laughed.
Dells took a few shots at the retreating figure, but only hit the zombies congregated before them.
Becca looked over at him, and said, “I’m so so sorry.”
“Yeah, and we’re so so screwed.”
Check in next Saturday for the final chapter of Lock Down Bite Down!
Dells barely had time to snatch up his shotgun before the first zombie that had toppled through the broken window got to his feet. A second after that, its head was spread over the wall in a red fan of gore.
Henry clutched the bars of his cell and yelled, “Hot damn. Now that’s more like it!”
Dells eyed him while he felt his anger rising. “No one should be enjoying this nightmare,” he muttered loud enough for Henry’s sister to hear, but then everyone was forced to focus on the zombies forcing their way into the building.
More windows shattered and when Mickey drew away from the door two more tumbled in through the shattered window there. Becca and Dells opened fire on the already gory figures. Walking dead with shards of glass protruding from their faces, necks, and hands lumbered toward them, just to be blown apart or receive rounds to the head. Mickey regained his senses and joined them in cutting down the zombies.
All the while Henry laughed, but as the undead began to get a foot hold within the building, he yelled, “Give me gun!”
“Fat chance, you lunatic,” Mickey shouted back at him.
Then Becca’s pistol went dry right when Dells’ shotgun had required a reloading.
With a roar, Mickey stepped up and shot zombie after zombie in the head. “How can there be so many?” he gasped right before a tattered and filthy zombie emerged from a side room and latched her hands down upon Mickey’s shoulder. Mickey tried to move away, but the fiend bent forward and bit into his cheek. With a wild scream, Mickey pulled away leaving a mouthful of himself in the dead woman’s wet jaws. With one hand, Dells pushed Becca behind him, while his right hand drew his pistol. Five well placed shots brought him to Mickey’s side. The man had killed the biter, but had emptied his gun as well.
Becca screamed. “I need bullets!”
“No, there’s too many. Get to the cell next to your brother, it’s the only chance.” Dells emptied his pistol, but was able to grab his shotgun before he rushed the others back to the empty cell. Frantic seconds were wasted while his bloody fingers fumbled for the keys.
“Hurry, they’re coming!” Becca yelled and from the sounds of things, fear was finally taking hold of the brave girl.
“I’m going as fast… Got it. Hurry, get inside.”
He slammed the cell door shut just as the first of the zombies arrived. Within seconds a dozen of them flailed and thrust their arms through the bars at them.
“Holy shit,” Mickey muttered, while continuing to apply direct pressure to his cheek. Blood flowed through his fingers and dripped onto the floor in a steady rhythm.
“How are we on bullets?” Becca asked while they watched even more of their former friends and neighbors enter the sheriff station.
“I have about fifty rounds for the pistol on my belt and maybe ten shotgun shells in my pockets.”
“And for us?” Mickey asked.
Dells just shook his head.
“How about this pistol?” Becca asked.
“No, wrong caliber.”
“At least I have a knife,” she said while drawing a blade out of her back pocket.
“Well, crap,” Mickey said while he sat on a bed as far away from the zombies as he could manage. He looked up and the zombies and wrinkled his brow. “Hey, why are all the zombies outside of our cell. Why aren’t any of them bothering numb nuts over here,” As he spoke he jerked his thumb toward Henry’s cell.”
Dells thought for a moment, “Maybe they aren’t as attracted to people that have been bit. Try walking toward them, Mick. If they ignore you, you might be able to grab us some rounds.”
With a protesting groan, Mick got up and neared the cell bars. The zombies went mad trying to reach him.
Dells looked over at Henry. “Get a little closer to the bars.”
After making an annoying face, Henry stumped up to the bars. The zombies ignored him—acting like he was one of their own.”
“That’s strange,” Dells said.
“Maybe it was because he was bitten longer ago,” Becca suggested.
Dells also noticed that already Mickey had broken out in a sweat and his face looked flushed, but Henry showed no signs of sickness.
Henry saw him staring and said, “It’s not just strange, sheriff, it means you have to toss me the keys, because I’m your only chance of getting out of here.”
Check in next Saturday for the next Chapter of Eternal Aftermath!