The clock on the kitchen wall stated that it was midnight, my sagging eyelids and continuous yawns confirmed that.
I stared blankly at my history book, not taking in a word that I had just read over the past half an hour.
I had a history exam in the morning, if I managed to pull myself out of bed in time, and I couldn't even remember anything.
Oh kill me.
I sighed stalking over to the fridge like some half awakened zombie and tugged the door open. I stood there for some time rather sluggishly trying to decide which I wanted more, orange juice or milk. I just had milk half a hour ago so I probably should’ve picked milk again to avoid a stomach ache tomorrow but at the moment I was more worried about the headache forming in my right eye.
I pulled the orange juice from the fridge and my cup off the table, I washed the reminisce of milk from my cup. Being very careful not to get water on my left wrist which was sporting a really ugly dog bite currently in the pus-ing stage. I had taken off the bandage to let it air out in the hopes that it would look better tomorrow.
I was half way thorough my orange juice feeling queasier by the second when there was a frantic knock at the back kitchen door.
I looked at my kitchen clock. 12:20. who knocks at this time?
The knocking persisted getting more impatient by the second.
I went to open the door without giving much thought to possible robbers that could be outside--but how often do robbers knock, right?! As it turns out thieves were the least of my problems.
At the door, knocking as if his life depended on it was Lance Nelson, my neighbor, I'd hardly seen him since we started going to different schools.
It was a bit late for catching up, besides I’d never even liked the guy, he was so obnoxious.
“where is the fire?” I asked opening the door enough to fit my head.
He pushed it open the rest, rushing in, closing, locking and chaining the door behind him without even the slightest acknowledgement to who had opened it.
Wow, he hadn’t changed a bit.
“Can I help you?” I asked rather annoyed, I was already regretting letting him in.
“Guns, do you have any guns!” he asked just about as urgently as he’d been knocking.
Geeze! The way this boy acted you think the world would be ending!
“Lance what’s wrong?” I asked trying to catch his attention, which was hard since he was searching every corner of my kitchen, I would've scrubbed the counters better if I knew someone was going to be inspecting them so.
“They're coming.” He said returning his gaze to me.
He looked mad, his eyes were bloodshot, he was shaking so uncontrollably it was effecting his breathing.
"Calm down, have a sit." I said, striding over to him and forcing him into a chair; like my mom did when I was having a bad day.
He sat there shaking silently breathing like my asthmatic cousin after a run. I just sat there looking at him, feeling awkward.
He had brown hair, I remember when we were younger his hair used to be blond but after half a million Ken and Barbie jokes he dyed it brown. however I could see the blond roots. His eyes when, they weren't blood shot, were a light shade of green; in my opinion they didn't match his dyed hair.
When I finally tore my eyes away from his face I noticed his t-shirt, the average white pajama shirt splattered all across the front with red. Please tell me that was a tomato sauce experiment gone wrong!
It was all over his hands too, up to his elbows stained in blood.
I jumped of the table.
He watched me fixedly, like some frightened child as if my actions would save him.
“what’s happened?” I asked.
He didn't answers he just paused in his breathing and took on a very guilty look.
I rushed across the kitchen to the phone.
“I’m calling the cops Lance, so tell me what’s happened, who did this?” I demanded, dialing 911 so fast that it took me four tries to actually get the numbers in the right order.
“I killed my parents.” Lance whispered looking at his blood stained hands.
He was joking right. However I couldn’t see anyway that this was possibly funny--to anyone!
I didn’t move.
He took advantage of my silence and jumped right into justifying his actions, in fast speech. Working in words like ‘zombie’ ‘everywhere’ and ‘self-defense’ 'just kept coming'.
Is this what the collapsing of a someone's psyche looked like? I couldn't deal with this, I could barely handle history.
“You need to leave!” Was all I could manage, backing away from him.
I hardly noticed that I was still holding the kitchen phone in my hand and no one had picked up on the other line.
“I can’t go anywhere, they’re coming !" He looked around the kitchen waiting for something, or someone to appear.
The fact that it was just me and him in the kitchen seemed to disturb him. However I think I had more reason to be disturbed.
"They were right behind me." he mumbled, distractedly.
“Lance, I’m only going to say this once…” I began my voice getting shriller the calmer I tried to make it sound.
“Shush.” He urged jumping forward and pining my arms to my side. For some odd reason I listened to him.
“Do you hear that?” He asked.
I listened, the house sounded pretty quiet. Just your average, ordinary sound of sleeping American families. The only problem being just minute ago Lance and I had been trying to out scream each other; I’d like to think my parents would investigate such a thing.
“Sara where is your gun?” Lance asked with unprecedented calm.
“The basement.” I replied automatically.
Chills crept down my spine. Why was the quiet so eerie?
“Mom, dad?!” I called.
“What is going on?” I demanded whirling around to face Lance.
“I don’t know.” Lance said taking me by the hand.
I pulled my hand away quickly.
"No, you tell me now!" I demanded. We seemed to have switched roles, I was the one hyperventilating now and he was trying to calm me. I knew there was a lot more going on than he was letting off. He was trying to protect me from something.
I had to know what. I had to know why this house was so damn silent!
I turned and raced for the stairs.
“Sara No!” He cried.
I ignored him rushing up the stairs as fast as I could, he didn’t follow me; instead he raced across the living room to the basement door.
“Mom?! Dad?!” I cried as I ran up the stairs and pushed open the door to their room.
My stomach dropped to the floor at what I saw. The window had been opened because of the uncommonly hot October night letting in the warm air and a band of contorted bodies all clamoring thorough the small space, stepping on each other as they went.
Some of the invaders had already entered the room and sprayed blood all across the walls and bed.
I took an involuntary step back. I didn't see my parents--was that good or bad?
The bodies advanced towards me, human in shape but grotesques and mindless in their movements. Limping and staggering they came towards me!
Shock, horror, disbelief all would be very good explanations for why I couldn’t bring my mind to command my feet to move, whatever the reason I found my self glued to the spot. All I could do was watch as the jerking, groaning creatures came at me.
A gunshot rang out, the shoot missed the first two bodies and lodged itself in the wall.
However it woke me from my trance. I spun on the spot to see Lance, dashing across the landing.
“C’mon” he grabbed me by the wrist, his bloody hands pressing into the exposed dog bite on my wrist.
It stung but I didn't complain. I was more worried about the fast moving zombies tripping down the stairs behind us than a little bite being infect.
Quoting my math teacher. "It's the little things that get us."
Lance pulled me through the open door of the basement, quickly slamming the door behind him and beginning to barricade it.
I was glad he took charge, all I could manage to do was sit on a crate of books and start crying.
“Did you see your parents?” he asked, putting another box on the barricade.
“No.” I mumbled.
“lucky.” He said.
I didn’t feel lucky...I felt nauseous.
The door shook from an onslaught of mindless bodies assaulting it.
I gnawed nervously at my nails, my hands were white, clammy and shaking feverously, I was so ashamed.
I turned to face Lance, as another attack shook the door.
His back was to me as he pushed against the force. My one last bit of sanity, the only person in the world I had to depend on was the obnoxious boy two houses down. How things had changed. I knew I would never look at him as an obnoxious brat again.
I expected to look at him as a hero, my savior or protector but never as meat.
Raw meat and pumping blood protected from me only by a pathetic layer of skin.
I had an almost irresistible urge to tear thorough that skin.
No, this was wrong!
I turned away from him and back to my nervous nail chewing, I hardly noticed as my nails gave way to flesh and I tore apart my own skin.
“Sara, come help me.” Lance called turning to me.
“I can’t” I tried to say as the tips of my fingers disappeared to my compulsive chewing but all that came out was a rather sickly moan.
“S-Sara?” Lance asked, pausing in his barricading of the door to look at me.
“Are you alright?”
I’m pretty sure I didn’t look alright, I certainly didn’t feel alright, I felt weak, too weak to fight the animalist urge to tear into Lance. I couldn’t find any way to warn him. Every word I uttered came out a garbled groan dripping with saliva.
However he seemed to understand. he bent and picked up the rifle.
He had the worst aim. The bullet splintered into the wall behind me, not my head.
Lance didn't have time to fire again before I reached him.