Sunday, October 31, 2010

A short story by James and Darrel FarnWorth

    Look into any grade school in America and you will find germs, from colds and flues. Along with old lunches and spoiled milks left in the back of the fridge. So when my son came home sick I wasn’t surprised. He seemed to get sick a lot in the past year. After all if he wasn’t blowing raspberries in the direction of some child, some child was blowing them right back at him. The modern school can be compared to a common petri dish, incubating viruses, modifying them into new strains.
   His mother called my cell phone and left me a message.
   “James, sorry to bother you, Darrel is sick and came home from school early. By the way, he got a refocus. He bit someone. Might want to talk to him about that, this makes three and he will have to go to Academy next week,” the message ended and I closed the phone.
   “Great,” I said aloud.  It was dark and raining. The windshield wipers went back and forth, frankly thoughts of stopping at the local bar were in my head. He got into a lot of trouble at school these days.
    Turning off the freeway, I stopped at the first intersection. I took the time to tune the radio; it seemed every station was off. Thinking nothing of it, I continued on, turning on to the secondary road and speeding passed a man standing in the rain. I noticed the torn shirt, but it didn’t really register as wrong living around here.
    Pulling up in front of my home I listened to the rain storm, which seemed to be worse, I sat in my car looking at my house wondering if dinner was ready deciding if I really wanted to get soaked.
    I live across from a little park, maybe three acres, wooded with play structures and a ball field where my son like to play t-ball. Rain or shine there was always someone playing in that park and tonight was any different.
   “They must be crazy walking around in a night like this,” I said as I jumped from the Kia and ran for the door.  Inside the house it was warm and inviting. The fire lit and the dinner prepared waiting for my presence. I closed the blinds and notice the people milling around the park. “Honey, have you notice the park it seems crowded.”
   “Yeah, they’ve been out all day.  I guess their trying to enjoy one last night out before it get to cold,” she answered, placing the food on the table.
   “Get’s cold, it’s freezing right now,” I said, reaching for an English muffin.
   “You know, some people don’t have very much common sense. They don’t even know when to come out off the rain,” she answered handing me the butter.
   “Where is the boy,” I asked buttering my muffin.
   “Upstairs, he looked pale as a ghost today. Didn’t say much coming home, either,” she answered.
   “Would you expect anything less he got a refocus, bet he is up there pouting,” I answered as I poured gravy over my mash potatoes.
   “You should go up there and talk to him, he is only six years old and needs you,” she said, as she stopped and folding her arms.
   I continued to eat, until I noticed her arms and her expression on her face. “Great, cold food for me tonight,” I said as I walked up the stairs.  There was a funny smell in the house; it got worse as I came to my son bedroom door.
   I opened it without knocking and looked in. He stood in the corner against the desk. He turned and the boy just didn’t look right. He was pale and tired looking. In his hand was his hamster. He had eaten the head right off of the poor thing.
   “What the hell are you doing,” I said at the top of my lungs, I wouldn’t normally talk to my 6 year old like that but come on, he just bit his hamsters head off.
   He slowly crossed the floor toward me. I closed the door and stopped to think. I did what any father would have done at that point. “Jan, can you get yourself up here.” I called his mother.
   She was already part way up the stairs. “What’s going on?”
   “Hmm, I think our son is a zombie,” I answered, looking back at the closed door.
   “What are you talking about? He is just sick.” she said reaching for the door.
   I grabbed for the door knob and told her, “be careful.”
   “He is just sick,” she said pulling my hands away.
   No sound came from the room as the door opened there was no child zombie waiting on the other of the door. My son was no where to be found, either. We moved into the room and the hamster cage was broken and laying on the floor.
   I pointed at the cage and my wife looked puzzled.
   “Where his he?” she asked.
   “I don’t know,” turning around and faced the closet.
   “Oh get out of the way,” she demanded, pushing me to one side as she reached for the door. Inside the closet was our child. He turned and reached out for the love of my life.
    Reaching down as she has done so many times over the years she must have thought nothing of it.
    “Come on, who’s my baby boy,” was the last thing I heard her say. The child zombie reach for her neck and it was over.
    The horror, I witnessed, as I ran from the room. I felt sick to my stomach as I took flight down the stairs. At the bottom of the stairs I stopped and shut the door.  I needed to barricade it before he hurt someone else. No thought of what my wife might become; no thought of putting my own son down. I loved him after all. I pushed the bookcase against the door.
    “That should hold you, don’t worry baby I will find help,” calling through the door. I ran across the living room and grabbed for the front door. As the door opened, a hand came reaching through the door just missing my chest and hitting the door jam. I kicked the zombie from my porch and closed he door. I was started to think that I might be in some sort of trouble.
    I turned the lights out all over the house and remember my copy of “The Zombie Survival Guide. Then I remembered it was upstairs on my end table next to my dead wife and zombie child.
    “Oh come on,” I yelled as I reached up and cupped my own month. “You have to get a hold of yourself.” I thought.  My eyes rolled around taking in the shadows in the room. They seemed be moving. I knelt and went across the room on my hands and knees to the window. Outside on the lawn were people that were no longer of this world. They move around aimlessly in search for something.
    “You know what they want,” I said aloud.
    As I stood, comfortable that they couldn’t see through the blinds, I walked into the pantry passed the barricaded stairs and the cold dinner still on the table. I could hear my son scratching at the door.  I grabbed my hiking pack filling with supplies. Not forgetting a flashlight and glow sticks. My son liked glow sticks; I stared at one as I hatched a plan.
    A short time later I stood there at the bottom of the stairs. “I can’t leave you here, Darrel,” I called through the door holding it with one hand. “I am going to open this door and you got to do what you got to do.” The door pushed out under my weighed, but it remained closed.
    I swung it opened and he lung at me, his father. I stepped sideways and he fell into the sheet that I had strung up across his path. Pulling the make shift net free from the anchors; he fell to the floor. I grabbed his feet and tied his legs together and then wrapped the rope up his body, until he no longer moved. He wiggled as I lifted him to my shoulder and walked out the back door.
   Into the car I placed my dead wife and my zombie child and down the street we went. I could see there was no one uninfected, if so they hide in their homes as I had done. Smoke came from several of my neighbor’s houses and windows darkened from the fires within. “They are the lucky ones.”
   On the bright side it had stopped raining.
   Around the corner it was no better, this town was finished. My only hope was to get my family from his place. There was an airport in the next town and I figured that that would our best change.
   Just inside the city limit I came across the first road block. The man at the blockade directed me to the right. I could see that he was U.S. army.  He wore a hood that covered his head and shoulders with an included gasmask. The rain started and I could see the air field.  It was covered in the military equipment.
   I hit the floor of my bedroom, the lights were on and my wife stood over the top of me. “Honey, get up and comfort your son. He was dreaming about zombies again and wants something to eat.”
   “Great,” I moaned, as I slowly crossed the floor and moved down the stairs to share, yet, another bowl of cereal with my son.

    Happy Halloween, Don't take any candy from strangers.
  The above short story is to be considered copyrighted. I am the author and kept all rights to the above story. Unlike most of the material on my blog it a fabrication of Fiction. I wasn’t told the story. It is not meant to be about anyone in particular and should be considered a product of my imagination. The author doesn’t not smoke or drink in excess. He has also held the same job for 20 years. So if you like fiction and want to read more of my works of fiction you can go to read the posts from the beginning and you should be able to figure out the storyline.  You can also catch me on Facebook, under the name, Letters from the Verse.
 Thank you,
 James Farnworth.

1 comment:

  1. I read this story to my son on the morning of Halloween, He sat riveted to every word. When I was done all he had to say was that he didn't have a hamster, but wanted one. I told him,"I am afraid you would bite the head off of him."
    "Dad, it was a just a story and I am not a zombie."