This serial starts 10/25/13
If anything the roads of Tucson looked worse off than her school. Multiple car pile ups had already occurred or happened right in front of their eyes. Mad man, and the people running from them, sprinted across the street going in every direction.
“This is like a video game from Hell,” Vance yelled as he swerved around a shirtless man with a chest painted with blood.
He cased an older woman and Mar cringed when the older woman’s scream let them all know she had been caught. “Where are we going?” She cried out. “Don’t drive near campus, it might be worse around there.”
But it was too late. Vance had taken Sixth Street, which cuts just south of the University of Arizona. Students were rushing south across the street in droves. In some cases they were a hundred thick. Most sprinted like normal people, but often, in their midst, screams echoed between the tall buildings as a few of the bloody ones would enter their crowds.
“Get out of the way!” Vance yelled and then hit two young female students. They bounced off the hood of the SUV with startled cries.
“Dude!” Phil yelled. “Get on a fucking side road.”
“Screw that, we just need to get through this.”
But after Vance hit three more students, Phil grabbed at the wheel.
“Let go, you moron.”
“I’m not going to let you hit anyone else, you could be killing them!”
“Look out!” Cindy screamed.
Then Mar saw it too. A UPS truck had flipped onto its side and they headed straight for it. She had time to toss on her seatbelt and brace herself and then they collided. Vance had been going at least fifty and they hit hard.
Mar and Cindy had put on their seatbelts, but Jenny had forgotten to and went flying forward. Her head connected with Vance’s with a loud smack and they both went limp. Phil’s head bounced forward, right as the air bag smashed into him. A string of blood from somewhere made a diagonal line across Mar’s face.
A daze claimed her and for an indeterminable moment she watched the stream of yelling college students swarm pass.
Cindy voice grounded her and pulled her back to reality. “Mar are you okay? Jenny and Vance are hurt bad and Phil’s not waking up.”
“I’m okay,” she said, while wiping at her face. Her hand came back in a smear of red. “We need to get out of this car.”
Looking outside, she saw that the college students grew fewer and in their place more of the stumbling bloody figures could be seen. “We need to get out now.” She was surprised when he door opened as easily as it did and she rolled out and dropped onto all fours on the ground, just trying to catch her breath.
Cindy didn’t let her rest long. “Mary, my door won’t open. I’m stuck. Please help me!”
Mar made it to her feet right as a blood covered student in just his underwear stumbled at her. He grabbed a handful of her hair and she screamed when several strands were pulled out. She raced to the other side of the car. Cindy still fought with the door, while the other three high school students still balanced, unmoving, on a jumble of airbags.
Underwear boy growled and he moved for her again. Her eyes dazed left and right. They had crashed close to the front of a Greek Restaurant. Their sidewalk sign was held in place by a cinder block. Without thinking, she grabbed up the block and threw it into the freak chasing her. She wasn’t sure if her fury took over or if blind luck guided her hand, but the cinder block smashed underwear boy in the middle of the face and her went down hard and thankfully didn’t get back up.
Cindy still banged on her window.
Once she was sure underwear boy wasn’t moving. She grabbed up the broken cinder block and rushed back to Cindy’s window. “Get back. Cover your eyes.” Then, without looking to see if her friend had complied, she threw the cinder block at the window.
It shattered on the first try and sent small squares of glass raining down upon Cindy. Her friend didn’t care and rushed out of the window frame like the car was on fire.
Mar helped her best friend to her feet and then asked, “What about the others?”
“None of them are moving.”
She was distracted for a minute by the sight of seven sorority girls running back them. Waves of blonde followed their flight as did two stumbling figures. “Well we can’t just leave them here with the window broken out.” But even as these words left her mouth, Mar saw that the wild press of students was over and on the other side of the road nothing moved except dozens of the lumbering things. A few students fought here and there, but they were being dragged to the ground and torn apart.
“We need to get Jenny,” Mar said and leaned into the car and grabbed both of her friend’s ankles. She wasn’t strong enough. “Grab my waist and pull me.” She looked through the door she had left open and saw the few of them stumble into the street.
Cindy yelped and then pulled with impossible strength They got Jenny into the back seat and then with both of them working they got her to the ground outside of the car.
“How can we escape those while carrying her?” Cindy asked. “We have to go. We have to go now!”
“What about Phil?” Mar asked, but as she did, Vance’s eyes snapped open and be began to thrash against the air bags. He looked over at them and growled. Then, as if noticing Phil for the first time, he leaned sideways and took a huge bite out of Phil’s neck.
Both the girls screamed.
Then two big figures were upon them. Mar went to scream again, until she saw that it was three, no wait, four male college students.
“What are you standing here for?” A tall man with quite a good sized beer belly asked.
“Our friend is hurt,” Mar said, still in shock and cringing as Vance devoured his former best friend.
“This her?” the tallest one said, then without asked permission, he tossed Jenny over his back and yelled, “let’s go.”
“You heard the man,” the curly headed student said and as one the group began to jog to the south.
Check in every Saturday for the next chapter in the Eternal Aftermath!
“Should we really be running in the direction of the screaming,” Mar asked, as she and Jenny hurried to catch up with Cindy.
“But we need to get help,” Jenny said.
“That, I won’t argue with,” Mar said as she saw fighting going on in the courtyard of her high school. Over this was a constant stream of shouts, cries, and horrid growls. To her right, a girl she knew, Nancy, a usually quiet and self absorbed junior, came out of a building and grabbed another girl by the hair. This second girl screamed. A moment later the scream changed into a high pitched cry of uncontrolled terror that cut through the courtyard like a razor blade. Mar could just see a blossom of crimson, before Nancy pulled the other girl back into the school.
Mar eyes scanned the courtyard trying to find a safer place, but as she did, she noticed that more people were gathered in intervals around the outer chain link fence. Loud moans could just be heard as they, like the two freaks they have just fled from, rattled the tall fence.
Jenny appeared to be trying to call her parents, but soon alternated between crying and cursing. Mar almost lost sight of Cindy, but her friend had hesitated when two boys started fighting only twenty feet in front of her.
“You freako, get off me!” the first boy ordered. The second remained unphased by the words and rushed forward grabbing and clawing at the first guy. Mar saw that the attacker’s shirt was a gory mess as was half his face and one of his arms.
Mar had seen enough, rushed forward, and grabbed Cindy by the arm. This caused her to shriek and her yell was quickly followed by a groan.
Mr. Johnson the security officer that guarded the school parking lot had been attracted by Cindy’s shriek and stumbled toward them. His usually starched white shit was red with splatters of fresh blood and by the looks of his neck; most of it was probably his.
No one should be walking around with a wound like that, she thought. No one could be alive with a wound like that.
She grabbed Cindy’s arm and started to half drag her to Jenny who was still so absorbed with her phone that she didn’t see Mr. Johnson coming at them.
Seeing easier prey, Mr. Johnson turned toward Jenny.
“Jenny, watch out!” Mar screamed.
Her friend looked up and uttered a scream of her own. Mr. Johnson took a few steps closer and reached out for Jenny, but that was when a smaller boy, probably a freshman, barreled into Mr. Johnson in his hurry to escape from something else.
The security guard’s hands clamped down on the boy and all three girls screamed when Mr. Johnson took a huge bite out of the top of the boy’s head. They watched in riveted horror as Mr. Johnson set himself to devouring the struggling boy.
A scream from behind her helped Mar push herself back into survivor mode. She didn’t know what was going on, but it was real and she certainly didn’t want to be eaten alive.
Mar pushed Jenny and grabbed Cindy by the hand. “Come on, we need to get out of here. The fence doesn’t cover the entrance to the parking lot. This place could become a death trap.”
Children and teens ran everywhere. Some teachers tried to steam the tide of chaos, but at least half of them proved barely better than the students and ran by them headed to their vehicles.
It became Mar’s turn to scream when fingers closed around her arm. Fearing the worse, she turned expecting a madman, but instead saw Phil. Vance was with him and called out. “Jenny, hey wait. Hold up.” It wasn’t any secret that Vance had a huge thing for Jenny, but then who didn’t? Jenny liked him too, but just tended to make men work for it. Mar had often suspected that Jenny enjoyed the chase more than actually being caught.
All the girls stopped.
“Where are you all going?” Phil asked her.
“Anywhere but here, I think.”
“It doesn’t look that safe out there,” either he said, but then vice principle Anderson let out a watery moan and started hobbling toward them on stiff legs. He was another person who was bitten through the neck. “Damn dude, should’ve taken off the tie.”
“We have to do something,” Cindy squealed. “More of those things are already getting into the parking lot. Jenny, we have to make it to your car.”
“Wait,” Vance said. “I have an SUV. It will fit all of us and be safer.”
Anderson drew closer.
“Alright then,” Mar practically screamed. “Can we just F-in go?”
“Yeah, come on,” Phil said while grabbing her hand and dragging her along. She had strong mixed feeling about letting him lead her, let alone touch her, but figured this wasn’t the time to worry over such things.
On there way to the car, a snarling man, that appeared to have been scalped, blocked their path.
With a yell, Vance ran up to the guy and kicked him in the chest. The blow proved enough to knock the bloody faced man back onto his ass. “Come on,” he yelled. “Keep going!”
They rushed by the scalped man as he struggled to regain his footing. Just as the small group made it to Vance’s SUV, another voice called out to them. It was Tyler the well dressed guy that sat next to her in chem. “Hey wait, let me come too, guys.”
The two men with them slowed, but Cindy yelled, “Just open the damn doors.”
Vance clicked the doors open and Cindy and Jenny rushed inside. Mar hesitated with the guys for a moment.
“Come on,” Tyler called out as he rushed towards them. “This place is going nuts. People are dying. I need to get-” But his sentence ended in a scream as the scalped man grabbed him and bit into his cheek. “Don’t leave me, Help me!”
Phil said, “come on don’t you think we should…” but just then a bloody hand smacked on the window and a person with a fleshless face stumbled around the side of the car.
“Hell no,” Vance said, “He’s on his own. Let’s go.”
The three of them barely made it into the car before the grasped fingers reached them. With a squeal of rubber, Vance raced the car free of the parking lot.
Check in every Saturday for the next chapter in the Eternal Aftermath!