I reached the door of my house, shaking. Reaching into my pocket for the keys, I couldn't stop thinking about what happened earlier this morning.
I had woken up, as per usual, took a shower, brushed my teeth, got dressed. Walked out of the house, yelled a cheerful "Later, Uncle Bill!" as I walked out the door.
If he felt one iota of responsibility about me, I think he might have bought it. I left him as he was snoring on the couch, the T.V. turned on, empty beer cans surrounding him.
I was still shaking, and it took me a few tries to get the key in. I made it the third time, slowly turning it. Click. The door unlocked. I walked in. Uncle Bill was eating a pizza straight from the box, watching E.R.
I walked to school, my bag in hand. I saw Jim Katz there, a pretty rare sight for the boy who's had more absences than that kid with the fatal illness early this year.
"Hey, Jimmy, decided to show up for once?" I joked, punching him on the shoulder.
He clutched his arm in mock pain and said, "Yeah, I heard you were coming, and I had to see this."
"Got a box of pizza for ya, it's on the table," Uncle Bill said, without taking his eyes off the T.V.
"Thanks," I muttered quietly, not really listening to him.
Class. Probably the most boring part of the morning. By second period, Jim and Brian were already walking out the moment the teacher left the room. Brian looked at me.
"You coming with us, Saul?"
"No thanks, Brian.” I was smiling.
“Why not?" he asked. I always joined them in their little excursions.
"I've got a leg cramp," I replied. "Tell you what, you go first, I'll join you later." The other students didn't seem to care about this exchange. They were far too busy talking to each other, or using their cell phones or something.
"What was that, boy?" He turned to face me this time, that smug smile on his face. He did have a reason to be smug. I’ve hardly said ‘Thanks’ to him.
"I said thanks, Uncle, don't need to get excited about the first time someone's said that to you."
The smile was replaced by his usual annoyed look. "Don't you give me lip, boy, remember, was out of the goodness of my own heart that I decided to adopt you after your folks died."
Of course, you never tire of reminding me. The goodness of your own heart, and the fortune you were supposed to inherit if you did.
"And remember," he added. "I gave you your name, didn't I?"
Sure, Saul, great name. My parents' last words from a car crash is to 'Give our son a good biblical name, Bill' and he chooses Saul.
"And what are we doing here? Where are your passes, you two?" a muffled voice from behind the door said.
Idiots. You never leave at second period. You put in a little time first, wait until the hall's empty.
By fourth period our class ended, and we were taking our things into the next class. I took the chance then. Collecting my bag, I stuffed the books into it. Sneaking around the hallways was easy. I'd done it a million times, and in five minutes I was out of there.
I wasn’t hungry. The anxiety was tying a knot in my stomach, but I still took the box and sat on an armchair facing the T.V. I would have sat on the couch, had my dear uncle not been sprawled over it. I ate the entire medium sized pizza anyway.
Half an hour after school. I was twenty minutes from the hospital, walking to the nearest Pizza Hut. I was maybe twenty yards behind a man in a suit carrying a briefcase. He must have been a lawyer or something. Three people were walking towards us, they were wearing hospital gowns, torn and stained with blood.. The man didn’t notice them, he was too busy checking his briefcase.
I had to do it. I had to tell my uncle. He was, unfortunately, the only person who could help me at this time. But I couldn’t bring myself to start up that conversation. I just couldn’t. He’d laugh. He’d insult me. Or maybe, just maybe, he would listen…
The man with the briefcase looked up, and one of them grabbed him and pulled him towards the group. I realized they weren’t people. Then the smell hit me. They stank of hospital disinfectant and rotting flesh. I saw them sink their teeth into the man’s arms, his face. He dropped the briefcase, it popped open and the papers came spilling out. His suit, already black, was darkened even further by the blood spilling out of him. Then, the things started eating him. One of them took a chunk out of his arm, and the man screamed. I was almost paralyzed with fear. Almost. I turned around, and ran as far as my legs could carry me.
“Uncle?” I asked, cautiously, trying not to look at him. No answer. Then, he made a sound that sounded like a pig trying to clear something from it’s nostrils. I looked at him sharply. He was snoring. I pushed at his arm. He stirred, looked at me, and shook his head, annoyed.
“What is it now?” he grunted.
“You know that thing that happened in Allina Clinic?”
“Some people got killed, yeah, why?”
“I think it’s serious.”
“Serious? You aren't afraid of the killer knocking on your bedroom window, are you?” He let out a small laugh.
“Uncle, I saw three,” I paused and took a breath, “Three things maul some guy. I saw them eat him.”
“Saul, what are you trying to con me into doing this time?”
“I’m telling the truth,” I said desperately “We’ve got to do something about-“
“Enough! Nothing is going to happen!”
No amount of arguing could change his mind at that point. I simply nodded, and walked upstairs. He went back to watching T.V.
I reached my room. Suddenly, I felt tired. Fatigued, more like. My bones felt like they were made of lead. I stumbled over to the bed, and then my head started pounding. The pressure was just too much, and I collapsed on the bed, the last thoughts I had echoing in my head.
“I have to leave,” I whispered as my eyes closed.