Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Why I love my SUV

Cray and I sped through the streets of our neighborhood like never before. It was already midday Monday. The sun was bright and the air chilled. The buzz of life normally associated with this hour seemed to be low, but I chalked it up to it being New Year’s Eve, eve. Many houses we passed by seemed vacant, or had their owners in their driveways loading vehicles. Again, I just correlated what I was witnessing to holiday travel. The silence in the car started to bug Cray, so she turned on the radio. I have come to hate the radio - always the same playlist and way too many commercials. The radio jockey came on for a brief news update, and of course Cray took this opportunity to start talking. “So, that was really weird! When I spoke with Edie she said that those”, she swallowed hard, “people we just encountered may have to do with the recent rabies outbreak in the city”. In the past two weeks, the news was littered with random “rabies” attacks. At first, the reports were only animals getting savagely attacked; and then slowly reports started to come in that people were attacking people, biting people, to be more specific, at an alarming rate. “Cray, last time I checked, rabies didn’t do what we just saw. For God’s sake, her head was backwards!" Cray sat further down in the passenger’s seat, “Yea, true… hope Edie has some good news…” The rest of the ride was pretty silent. Heading toward Columbia University Medical Center seemed normal enough, but as we parked and approached the entrance, madness seemed to be draped around the building. Ambulances were racing in and out, people seemed to be flooding out from the ER and pouring into other departments. Cray and I tried to keep composed and bee-lined to find our friend Edie, who worked in the Neuro center.
“Guys! Over here!” Edie waved us over to where she was standing amid the typical office chaos. “Hi!” she squealed. Edie had been working a double shift and it showed. Tired eyes, but wired with whatever she was hopped up on this time around. That seemed to be Edie all the time though - constant energy. “Hey!” I responded warmly. We hugged briefly, and as I pulled away, she gasped and yanked me into a free room, leaving Cray nervously shifting against the wall as she tried to avoid all personal contact with those filling the hallways. Edie locked the door. “Why do you have a blood speck on your chin?” She said this while getting closer to my face, inspecting every inch. “Well, I thought Cray brought you up to speed…” I felt a finger on my mouth and she unzipped my coat. "Take off that shirt, now. I will need to run labs ASAP. This is, I am assuming, the dead guy's blood?” “Ugh, yeah, with mix parts of Charlie, I guess?” She was engrossed with the stains on my shirt. “Well, hand over the shirt.”
Two hours later, I was in the same room in fresh clothing that Cray had packed. Edie had left us in here as she went off to test the shirt, as well as residue from under my fingernails. I shuddered to think of what the test would yield. As my thoughts started turning over what her findings might be, she burst through the door. "We've got to go!" As soon as she had popped in, she popped out… Cray and I just looked at each other, grabbed our belongings, and quickly caught up to Edie. She was walking with a purpose, and given the situation, that really scared the crap out of me. We followed her into an empty OR - well almost empty; there was a cadaver on the table with a sheet over it; just the feet and toe-tag visible. Not what I wanted to see after what I had just been through. She caught my eye and gave a nervous smile. "It’s OK; dead, see.” She tapped it’s forehead to backup her words. With no response from the dead body, she laid a folder on its abdomen, as if it were the cold steel table. “Alright, so I got some of the test results back.” She took some film and placed them on the film illuminator. We quietly gathered around as she started pointing out anomalies. “These scans are actually of this specimen...guy right here”. She pointed to the body, and then back to the screen. “The tissue I was able to salvage from your shirt was definitely dead tissue, and very closely resembled the tissue samples I took from him" - again, she pointed back to the body behind us - “before he was 'dead'" - she made the bunny ears with her fingers. This made me even more uneasy, being in the room with this guy. She continued on, as if she had said nothing out of the ordinary. “ The blood results, well… I’m still waiting on some..." Her sentence was cut short, as the electricity went out. In the seconds that the lights went out, so did the hope that what we were encountering was going to be easily explained. We heard the folder hit the floor, yet none of us had moved since the lights went out. Before I even heard the hum of the backup generator, I bolted for the door. All I could hear were our footfalls as we ran out of the OR. Well, I thought it was all of our feet... fucking Edie.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The End is Just the Beginning 2/2

What the hell was I supposed to do? I know he was her father. But I had to protect her, right? I mean, he was standing right between us and our only way out. Well she surely didn't enjoy watching me take him by the throat and ram his head through the wall. Rather, I smashed the wall through his head. I didn't enjoy it too much either. I had nothing but love and respect for the man.

"Be strong baby. I had no choice and you know that. He was one of those things. A zombie," I said sofly. " That's not the fucking point! He was my father goddamnit, have some sympathy!" She was right, I could have been more sensitive. But, there was no time to be sympathetic. It was "zombie apocalypse" for Christ's sake.
We headed back to my house. I didn't want to leave my mother alone for much longer. It seemed that in the 5 minutes we were at Shelah's house, things had already gotten a lot worse. There were bodies everywhere, sprawled across the streets. And some of them were getting up. Scratch that, all of them were getting up!!!
This time, I drove carelessly. Everyone seemed to be infected and I didn't want to take my chances. I have to admit that I was afraid. I was especially afraid for my mother and Shelah. I didn't know if I was capable of keeping them safe. But, I was going to do everything in my power. I was going to fight!!!
We arrived back at my place. I figured we can defend ourselves from there. We have strong doors and large dogs. When we sprinted into the house from the car, I yelled for my mother. No answer. What the hell could she be doing? I told her not to move until I came back for her. I ran upstairs to look for her, but she was nowhere to be found. I heard a loud, painful yelp from downstairs. It was Bandit's cry! Bandit was my dog and my best friend. "Shit!! One of those things is here in the goddamn house. What am I gonna do baby?" She freaked out just as much as I did, but somehow came to her senses once she noticed the axe that was mounted on my wall. I got that axe about two years ago from the Renaissance Faire and haven't touched it since it was nailed to my wall. "Take it, baby," She said without a stutter, "I know that you'll get us out of this. I trust you with my life. You're Isaac. You can do anything, baby." Encouraging words. Actually made me feel invincible. A feeling that lasted about ten seconds, because when I came downstairs, I saw what made Bandit cry so loud. It was my mother. She was on her knees, ripping his stomach out while Smokey, my other dog, watched in fear.
"Fuck, Fuck, Fuck, Fuck, Fuck!!!!" I started freaking out and crying at the same time. That was my mother!! She raised me, supported me, loved me for more than 24 years. What was I supposed to do now? I looked at Shelah and saw that she was just as scared as I was. She asked me if I needed her to do it. But I couldn't let her. What if my mother got a hold of her? Then I would have lost them both, ya know. So I did what I had to do. I'm not going into details now because I'm already on the verge of crying hysterically.

After I handled the situation, I took a few moments to myself to reflect on what I had just done. Shelah didn't say a word, she just held me while I sat there. If anyone understood my pain, it was her. It hurt. I felt like I lost a part of my heart that moment. I lost a part of me.

After I came to, I grabbed my axe and headed straight to the basement. The house was locked up, so the only way my mother could have been bitten was from the inside. The only one home was my tenant. He was about to get it the worst of all. I slammed the door open and looked straight into the bastard's lifeless eyes. If these things could show fear, he would have been showing plenty of it. Joe was a big guy, and in pretty good shape. He ought to be, being a fireman and all. But he was no match for my axe. I didn't want to just kill him. I wanted to make him suffer, if that was at all possible.

The first thing I did was yell up to Shelah, "whatever you do baby, don't come down here. You don't wanna see this." Then I shut the door behind me. My first swing was aimed directly for his right knee. Then the left one. The axe was blunt, so it took a few swings before I could remove each leg. Now that his legs were gone I took off each arm, individually. This was a little easier because the meat on his arms were thinner as well as his bones. There had to be little to no blood left in him. But, somehow he was still alive and still chomping his teeth at me. I knew these things had to die somehow. I remembered my previous two killings were both blows to the head, so that must have been the answer. So, I stayed away from his head as long as possible. I swung away, and each bash was harder than the next. Each new sound of his bones breaking and organs squishing brought more of an unfamiliar satisfaction to me. At that moment, I lost even more of the man that I once was. After about 7 or 8 minutes, all that remained, of the creature that was once Joe, was his head. Eyes still open and mouth still moving, I decided not to finish the job. I grabbed his head from behind and tossed it in the freezer along with the rest of his body parts. I didn't know where else to put it all. A job well done.

Covered in blood, I ran upstairs to change. Before I could make it to the top floor of my house, Shelah and I heard a loud banging on the door. It was the mail man. Remembering what I saw on Shelah's steps, I figured this was the reason for Shelah's parents' demise. I guess my job wasn't finished yet. Again, I sent Shelah upstairs and told her to lock herself in my room. Mr. mail man was about to suffer just as much as Joe. I let him in and took a few steps back. Upon entering, he looked at me for a moment. He just stared through me as though I wasn't even there. "It's the blood!!" I said to myself. With all of the "Zombie Joe" blood on me, he must not be able to recognize me as being among the living. All the same, I made him suffer the exact same fate as my previous victim. I wouldn't let Shelah come downstairs until I cleaned up everything. I didn't want her to have to see all of it. She had enough to deal with that day. I tossed all of the body parts into my backyard and attempted to mop up the remains.

After all was done, I went up to comfort Shelah. "All of the doors are locked. Tomorrow I will get some chains and wood to lock up the doors and board up all of the windows. I guess for now we are safe, baby. I'm sorry about everything that has happened to you. Just know that I'm going to protect you from here on out. I promise...." She began to shiver and just wanted me to hold her. After we laid there for a few minutes, I remembered the wound on her shoulder. I got the first aid kit from Joe's apartment and patched her up. "There you go baby, good as new." At that moment, I was just so happy that she wasn't bitten. I couldn't imagine losing the love of my life.....

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Homecoming 3/3

Before I could even process the situation, Chris is jumping across the bed and coming after me. This moment was the closest I’ve ever been to being a 5 year old little girl. I screamed at the top of my lungs as he lunged towards me, and I did the only thing I could think of; I threw the phone at him. This, of course, did nothing as I watched the plastic house phone bounce off the top of his head and flop helplessly to the floor. Chris tackles me backwards against my mothers’ dresser. The mirror shatters as the weight of both our bodies slams against it. He’s a lot stronger than he looked. I don’t know if this whole rage induced frenzy has given him super human strength or something, but the situation was quickly turning pretty damn bad for me. He lunges at me with his mouth open trying to take a bite out of my neck, but I side step him and push him away just in time for him to miss my neck by inches and send his head crashing into the wall.

I quickly get behind him, wrap my arms around his waist and spin him around, tossing him over the bed and onto the floor on the other side of the room. I managed to get him away from me but now he’s on the side of the room with the only door. “Think Ant think, how the hell can I get out of here?” As soon as he stands up, I knew I had to make a quick move. I bend down, grab the bottom of the bed and flip the mattress upright. I push it towards him, and keep pushing until he’s trapped between the mattress and the wall. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but seeing as how my mother has a Queen sized mattress, I had now managed to block the door as well. This really sucks. In a moment of complete panic, and probably even more complete stupidity, I do the only thing I can think of; I rush straight at the window and jump. I was only on the second floor and I knew we had an awning for me to roll on, but it was still pretty damn stupid. But what can I say, I had no other choice, and I had to get out of there. I roll across the top of the awning making as much noise as one man could possibly make, fall off the awning and begin to topple down towards my driveway. At a minimum I expected to walk away from this fall with at least a broken leg, which was a guaranteed death sentence right now. As I roll off the awning and fall, I manage to grab hold of the railing on our patio, which was only about six feet below the awning itself. I’ve never been able to do a single pull-up a day in my life, yet somehow today I managed to dive through a glass window, roll off an awning and then catch myself in mid-air with one hand on our patio railing. I don’t question why or how things happened, I’m just damn grateful they did. I hang there for a second in sheer disbelief that I had stopped falling, and then I see my neighbor come bursting through our front door.

I let go of the railing and drop the last 8 feet straight down to our driveway. I managed to land on my feet and simply stumble back a bit. I can’t help but think to myself “Nice catch Ant.” Chris is already running down our front stairs heading after me. I don’t know who else is around to have heard all the noise I just made, but honestly I don’t care to find out. I make a mad dash for my car, jump in and fire up the engine. My neighbor jumps on my hood, and punches my windshield. With one giant shot of force he cracks my windshield. I scream out “OH SHIT!” and I speed out of my driveway in reverse. I whip the car around and watch this possessed former neighbor of mine get flung off my hood and go flying over a parked car. Smoke from my tires fills the street, and I speed out of there faster than any safety regulations would recommend. “What the hell just happened?!” I look in my rear view mirror, and not only do I see my neighbor giving chase, but a huge crowd of at least forty people behind him as well. They were all running after me as fast as they possibly could, but let’s face it I’m in my car now and if you didn’t kill me while I was trapped in a bedroom with only a phone to defend myself, you sure as hell weren’t catching me now. I speed down Crosby Avenue with no general destination in mind. All I knew was I had to get the hell away from my house and figure out what in the hell was going on! But who could I turn to? Where could I go? Who had information? I plug my phone into the charger, and let the battery get some life back into it. Maybe my friends were having some better luck right now than I was. Then again, I’m assuming my friends weren’t all messed up like my neighbor was. All I knew was I just escaped the clutches of certain death, and I was grateful.