Authors: The Vocabulariast
Tags: #Zombie Apocalypse
lumbered down the street, clutching a dirty bar rag to the ragged wound on his
shoulder. The rag wasn't completely soaked in blood, but it was getting there.
He knew that he probably should have stuck around at The Sleazy Goat, but the
warmth that flooded through his body couldn't be contained. He had to be in the
cool night air. Luckily, he had walked to the bar, and the brief sprinkling of
rain that fell on his head was welcome relief. His head began to steam in the
side to side in his brown corduroy pants and Dr. Marten's boots. His old sports
jacket had pads on the elbows, and the streetlights swam in front of his eyes. His
stomach grumbled, and he started to feel hungry. The void in his stomach felt
as if it were expanding, and he began wondering when he had become such a
toppled over a bush that seemed to pop up out of nowhere. He dropped the towel
that he had been holding over his shoulder and didn't bother picking it up. As
he shoved himself up off the ground, he noticed that the blood from his
shoulder was no longer pouring out of the wound. His stomach grumbled again,
and he clumsily brushed himself off and began walking again. Eggs? Maybe he'd
make himself some eggs.
his toe on the concrete step that led up to the porch of their two-story house.
The lights inside were off. The windows upstairs were open. What was he doing?
Food? Food... food.
snapped open when she heard his footsteps in the hallway. She flinched when his
keys dropped to the ground. She hoped he didn't wake Kevin up. She loved her
husband, but one night a month, he was a monster. Hopefully, he would simply
make himself a snack and crawl into bed without incident. Of course, there was
a twenty-percent chance that he was hungry for something else.
squeezed her eyes shut and tried to will herself back to sleep, but the noises
from the kitchen didn't sound like normal Jason noises. His footsteps were
stumbly and the periodic stomp of him trying to catch his balance kept her from
dozing off again. He must have really tied one on.
bolt upright in the bed when she heard the clatter of pots and pans on the
ground. Who knew being married to a teacher would be so annoying? Great, he
gets three months off and acts like a damn high school kid in the middle of the
night. Meanwhile, she would have to get up at 7 in the morning and make
breakfast for Kevin then take him to his Boy Scout meeting, all with no sleep
because someone needs their hand held in the night because he drank too much.
the covers back and slid her feet into her slippers. The air was cold on her
bare legs, so she put on her bath robe. She walked silently down the hallway,
pausing to listen and see if Kevin was still sleeping or not. She didn't hear
anything, so she walked softly down the steps to the bottom floor.
rounded the corner to the kitchen, she saw Kevin staring into it. He had a
concerned look on his face, and he jumped when she put her hand on his
face, with sleep still in the corners of his eyes, looked up at her, "Mom,
what's wrong with, Dad?"
wrong. Go to sleep." Katie guided Kevin gently back to the stairwell with
her hand, and he took one last concerned look over his shoulder before walking
back up the stairs. When his maroon sweatpants disappeared from sight, she
turned her attention back to her husband, who was noisily rummaging through the
refrigerator, making grunting noises, and generally sounding disgusting.
offered no response. His back was to her, so she couldn't quite see what he was
Jason! What the hell are you doing?" she hissed, her arms folded and her
voice dripping with annoyance.
turned around, chunks of raw steak hanging from his mouth. His wound had
stopped bleeding, and had taken on a blackish hue.
wrong with you? You're going to get e. coli." The meat fell from Jason's
mouth and made a sickening slapping sound on the linoleum. Jason held out his
arms and began advancing on Katie.
cut the shit. I'm not in the mood. I've got to get up in three hours."
Still he did not respond. She backed away from Jason just as he came within
reach of her. He lunged at her and for the first time, she noticed the wound on
his shoulder. His mouth opened incredibly wide, and the part of her that ran on
pure instinct brought her knee up into his groin. The effect was minimal, and
just as Jason was about to take a bite out of her face, she fell backwards. He
toppled over her and onto the ground next to her.
she rolled onto her stomach, and began crawling away. Jason clumsily clawed
after her. She aimed a pink-slippered foot at his face, and kicked as hard as
she could. The force of the kick knocked him backwards, which gave her time to
scramble to her feet. She ran up the stairs, contrary to every instinct in her
body, and ripped open Kevin's door. "C'mon. We have to get out of
get up. C'mon let's go." Kevin popped to his feet and followed after her.
They stopped at the landing to see Jason at the bottom of the stairs slowly
making his way up, tottering back and forth and using the wall for support. He
snarled at them when he saw them.
wrong with Dad?" Kevin whimpered.
don't know," she said as she shoved Kevin into her bedroom. She closed the
door behind her and locked it. "Grab my phone. We need to call the
police." As Kevin pulled her phone from the charging dock, the wood of the
bedroom door shuddered. It wasn't going to last long.
Kevin made as
if to hand her the phone, but she refused it. "Call 911," she huffed
as she began dragging her oak dresser in front of the bedroom door. It
shuddered again as Kevin dialed the numbers.
worried. The ride from the club to the hospital hadn't been much longer than 30
minutes, but Courtney was already babbling and hallucinating. The E.R. waiting
room didn't seem too busy, but as it usually goes with these things, even a
handful of patients seemed to be too much for the hospital to handle at once.
Clara had filled out the paperwork as best as she could, but there's only so
much a person can do for another person. Who the hell knows their boyfriend's
social security number? Psychopaths, and she wasn't one of those. Courtney
wasn't in much of a mood to be helping her answer the questions. Her first
attempt at asking him his social security number had led to an incoherent
string of numbers that ended after the sixth one. When she asked him if he
could repeat that, he merely shook his head no.
her hand against his forehead, and flinched at the warmth radiating from his
brow. How long could it take to get into the E.R.?
she was about to go up to the nurse's station and begin making a scene, they
called Courtney's name.
helped Courtney stand, which was a chore. He had lost all semblance of
coordination, and after they had taken two steps, Courtney toppled forward on
his face. He immediately tried to rise, but it was no use. He seemed like a newborn
horse trying to get to its feet for the first time.
that had called Courtney's name brought a wheelchair over. Together, the nurse
and Clara helped the helpless Courtney into the chair, while Clara apologized
and said, "He didn't even drink that much." Clara followed with a
growing sense of dread as they wheeled him back into the E.R. proper.
They sat in
a room with a sheet around it and machinery seemingly stationed haphazardly. The
nurse began asking questions with all of the interest of a robot, "So you
say your husband was bit?"
yes, but he's not my husb..."
how did he get bit?" the nurse asked as she futzed with a wireless
keyboard and stared at a computer screen.
were at a punk concert, and this guy, he umm, well, he bit him on the
started typing information into the keyboard, so Clara continued speaking,
"He was fine when we left."
he been drinking?" the nurse asked rudely.
somewhat taken aback, answered truthfully, and the nurse just nodded her head,
as if that explained everything.
When we left the club he was fine, just bleeding from his face. He wasn't like
this when we left."
listened punctiliously, but it was clear that she had already decided that
Courtney was just another person who had overdone it. From her days of pink
hair, pierced eyebrows, and fishnet stockings, she knew the look of instant
judgment when she saw it. She also knew it was pointless to explain ignorance
from a perceived position of inferiority. She just hoped that whoever the
doctor was didn't have the same problem, or else she would have to fix the
problem the way she did in the old days... with a fresh set of bony girl
knuckles upside the bridge of a nose.
just take his blood pressure, and then the doctor will be in to see you."
The nurse leaned in close to put the blood pressure cuff on Courtney's arm, and
that's when he came awake. For the first time, his eyes seemed to focus, and as
the nurse went to tighten the blood pressure cuff, he grabbed her hand, pulled
it to his mouth, and took a meaty chunk from between her thumb and index
screams were immediate. She pushed Courtney away, and he and the wheelchair he
was sitting in rolled into the curtain that separated the rooms. His arms began
to flail, and he became entangled in the curtain.
to her feet, concerned for the nurse, for Courtney, and slightly for herself.
"Are you ok?" she asked the nurse.
held her hand away from her body as blood splashed on the white linoleum floor.
"Does it look like I'm ok?" she spat at Clara. "Fuck."
Just then a
male nurse came around the corner. "What the hell is going on in
had finally gotten to his feet and freed himself from the hanging curtain.
Clara went towards him to try and calm him down, but she took a step back when
she saw the complete lack of recognition in his eyes. She didn't know who that
was, but it wasn't Courtney. It wasn't the same guy who used to steal car
stereos from unlocked cars at 2:30 in the morning. It wasn't the same guy who
had held her for days when her mom had died. The man in front of her was a
nurse blocked Courtney just as he was about to attack Clara. The veins in the
nurse's forearms stood out as he wrestled with Curtney. Eventually, the nurse
flipped Courtney around and tripped him to the ground. "Molly, get some
Haldol in this guy."
continued to wrestle with the nurse, his teeth gnashing and clicking together
in bites that would be sure to take off a finger if the nurse wasn't too
careful. Molly opened up drawers feverishly until she found what she was
looking for. She pulled a syringe out of another drawer, stuck it in a vial of
clear liquid and filled it.
are you doing?" Clara asked.
squirting out the air bubbles, she plunged the syringe into Courtney's arm.
"Don't worry, doll. We're just sedating him."
nothing she could do. She just hoped it would take effect quickly so that
Courtney didn't wind up hurting himself. They waited, but Courtney wasn't
becoming any less violent.
is this guy on drugs or something? He should be snoozing by now," the male
nurse said while straining to hold Courtney down.
think I should give him some more?" asked Molly.
that safe?" Courtney asked.
acknowledging her, the male nurse simply said, "Go get Joan. She can make the
walked out of the room, yelling for someone named Joan.
patiently, chewing on her finger nails. "Are you hurting him?"
nurse looked up at her and smiled, "Lady, if anyone is going to do the
hurting around here, it's going to be this guy." The nurse stopped smiling
when she saw the worry on her face. "I'm sorry," he grunted, "is
this your guy?"
nodded her head in the affirmative. She didn't want it to happen, but a tear
came to her eye.
help him out lady." He smiled again. "My name is Miles. I'd shake
your hand, but that might not be a good idea considering the circumstances."
A group of
people entered into the room, led by a tired but attractive lady with a brown
ponytail and an air of exhaustion about her. She was followed by the frazzled
Molly, still clutching her bleeding hand to her chest, and a few burly looking
took one look at the situation, and sighed, "Alright, you guys, let's get
him strapped down."
security guards moved to Courtney and grabbed him by the arms. As Miles rolled
off of him, the guards pulled Courtney to his feet. He dangled in the air, the
toes of his boots scraping against the tile of the floor as they dragged him to
a gurney in the hallway. They dumped him on the gurney, and that's when
Courtney made his move. He sat up quickly and bit the first man on the forearm.
For as big as he was, the security guard's scream was surprisingly
high-pitched. The burly guard's first reaction was to shove Courtney away,
which sent him and his gurney wheeling away down the hall.
have been comical if the gurney hadn't knocked over another doctor who hadn't
been paying attention. Courtney rolled off the gurney, blood smeared all over
his face, and pounced on the back of the doctor who was trying to get to his
feet after being knocked over.
could get to him, Courtney had sunk his teeth into the nape of the doctor's
neck. The two security guards had trouble prying Courtney's teeth apart. One of
them actually began hitting Courtney, and that's when Clara sprung into action.
the security guard who had punched Courtney and kicked him between the legs. He
fell to the ground like a sack of doorknobs. The other security guard with the
bite on his forearm blocked her second kick, which was aimed for the exact same
place. He put his arms on her shoulders and pushed her away. She slid across
the floor, and came to rest at the foot of an oxygen tank. That's when the
from anyone that could be seen. It was from another curtained off room. The
doctor, Joan, said it all for everyone involved... "What now?"