The Infection (Multi-Chapter Short Story)Mature

Can teenager Tyler Goades convince the police that an infection swept over his high school? Death, some romance, hope, tragedy, and pure bad luck are present as the survivors persist through the ruthless zombie onslaught.

I was running.

Why, you ask? Your guess is as good as mine. The events that
had unfolded this morning must have short-circuited my brain. All of those
people, dead… how did it happen, I still didn’t know, and did it really happen,
I still didn’t know. Was this all just a twisted nightmare? A figment of my
imagination which is equally twisted?

When the bullet hit me, that’s when I grasped the reality of
what happened…

---

I woke up in a dark room. I tried to move my arms to try and
get a bearing of my surroundings, but they wouldn’t budge: something cold and
metallic held them together. I tried moving my legs, which were also held
firmly in place.

Suddenly, a light turned on, revealing the environment I was
in. The interrogation room of a jail. My hands and legs were handcuffed, which
caused my lack of movement. I felt as though my sanity was going away from me.
The school, the explosion, the chase, now stuck in this dark prison.

I looked over on my right. There was a glass panel there. I
couldn’t see through it, but I knew there were people on the other side of it
watching me.

“I want my phone call”.

I don’t know why I said that. I knew that a phone call would
be one of the many things the police wouldn’t grant me. I guess this was
another sign of my sanity slipping through my fingers.

“I want my phone call!”

I continued to shout at the people hiding behind the glass.

“I want my phone call, I want my phone call, I want my phone
call…”

There was the sound of a door opening, then footsteps which
sounded as though they were coming towards me. I heard a conversation between
two officers who were outside of the entrance to the room I was in.

“Did you learn much from the girl?”

“No… just crazy talk. Something about a virus, zombies…it’s
a load of crap if you ask me”.

“She might just be crazy. Go in there and interrogate the
boy, see if he has anything to say”.

The door opened and a big officer came in. Big might have
been an understatement for this giant. He looked to be about 6 foot 9, with a
strong build. His face had a pair of blazing blue eyes that seemed to cut into
my soul, various scars, and jet-black hair. The nametag on his uniform read,
“Officer Hardy”. I didn’t have the energy to laugh at the name.

He pushed the chair opposite me aside and stood instead. He
slammed a folder on the table with such force that it made the table vibrate.
The large officer then began talking.

“Tyler Goades” he began, “The perfect example of a normal
teenage boy”. He opened up the folder, skimmed through some papers, then
continued talking. “You’re a straight-A student, no records of any misbehaving
in classes. You play soccer on the varsity team, one of the best players. Other
than that, your life is pretty basic”.

He walked over to my side. “Yet someone so normal is tied to
something so… abnormal”. He began pacing around the table. “There was a large
explosion at Rueger High School. All but seven students were killed.
Coincidentally, you were ‘friends’ with these survivors”.

“Let me explain, there was this kid named Chase, and he-“

Officer Hardy held up a hand. “You’re in no position to
talk”. After he was sure I was to remain silent, the officer went on:

“One of these survivors was a girl. Hannah Stoffer. She is
in an interrogation room in here”.

I breathed a sigh of relief. Hannah was ok.

“We questioned her earlier. She had many interesting things
to say. Some story about a zombie infection”.

He raised an eyebrow. “Do you have anything to say to this?”
I remained silent. Officer Hardy waved his hand and nodded, motioning that he
wanted me to start talking.

I looked up at the officer. “There is no way that you’d
believe me. But I guess I have to talk. Let me say before I begin, that no
matter what you think, this story is completely true. It may seem completely
far-fetched, but it is nothing but the truth”.

The officer dragged the chair he pushed aside earlier to his
side and sat down in it. “Go ahead” he said. He leaned forward. “I like a good
story”.

I took a deep breath. “So, it started out as what I thought
would be just a normal day going to school…”

(Ch. 1)

As every typical morning, I woke up to the sound of my alarm
at 5:55. I wasn’t the type of person who had a major problem with getting up
early. I dressed in a sports T-shirt and my long soccer shorts. I walked down
the stairs and was greeted by my babysitter, Carrie. My parents were on a
business trip somewhere in Europe for their job at Frontmen Lawyers. Since they
were going to be gone for a week and didn’t trust me and my sister to look
after ourselves, my mother hired Carrie to watch us.

She was only slightly taller than me and only slightly
older. She had dirty blond hair, turquoise eyes, and a smile that seemed all
too fake. Almost every day she had a shirt with her favorite band on it, Green
Day. Sometimes it was the same shirt.

She looked up at me and gave me that fake smile of hers.

“I hope you’re hungry” she said, “I made my special pancakes
this morning!”

“Oh goodie” I said with mock happiness. Carrie made pancakes
almost every other day.

“Good to know, because I made three, just for you!”

It was hard, but I managed to put on a smile. “Oh joy”.

I brushed past her and took off at a brisk pace down the
hallway to the kitchen. It was pretty small, with only just enough room for a
little square table and four chairs. The refrigerator had to go into the living
room. The kitchen’s color scheme wasn’t what we had wanted: it was a very light
blue with gray stripes. The staff at the Home Depot down on Greenington Street
appeared to have been colorblind.

My sister Stacy was already slowing chewing on her share of
pancakes. She looked like she might be getting sick.

“Too many pancakes” she sighed.

I nodded. “I used to love ‘em, now I hate ‘em”.

I took one bite of one of my pancakes, then immediately felt
nauseous. Way too many pancakes… my body starved for something different.

After drinking some milk and cleverly dumping my pancakes
under some trash in the trash bin, I headed upstairs to brush my teeth and get
ready to school. Carrie insisted that she brush my teeth, but I kindly refused.
After she insisted to apply my deodorant, I quickly said “I have to head for
the bus” and moved even more quickly out the door, grabbing my Green Bay
Packers sweatshirt on the way and slipping it on.

She shouted after me, “It’s only six thirty-three!” but I
was already halfway down to my stop.

My friend Trent was there too, tossing a rock. He usually
got to the bus stop early because his parents were constantly bickering, and he
was worried they would get a divorce.

He stood up when he saw me and threw the rock at me. I
caught it and passed it back.

“Nice catch” he said grinning. Trent was the same height as
me with a pretty good build, better than mine at least. He has blue eyes that
look like they desperately wanted to be green, a mouth that couldn’t help but
twitch into a smile every moment of the day. He always wore a T-shirt unless it
was extremely cold. Today’s high temperature was twenty degrees, but he just
didn’t feel the same as usual I guess.

“Why’d you come down so early?” he asked me, tossing the
rock back.

“Babysitter” I said. Trent mouthed an “oh” and said no more
on the subject.

“Parents get in another fight?” I asked. Most people don’t
ask him about his home situation, but Trent and I have been friends since
preschool. We shared a bunch of stuff with each other.

I could tell by the frown on his face it wasn’t good. “Worst
fight they’ve had in a while. They’re even mentioning me now, saying things
like, ‘Are you the best parent for Trent’!? It’s making me nervous”.

We didn’t say anything after that statement. For about two
minutes there was just silence. I felt as though the temperature had dropped a
few more degrees.

Of course, who should come to brighten things up but Harry?

“Helloooo guys!” he said. Even though he was about two
houses down the street, we could hear him fine.

Harry was the shortest of us: barely five feet tall with
short black hair and dark skin. His face was roundish, with brown eyes and a
mouth that was open a lot of the time, spewing jokes and whatnot.

“Sup, Harry” Trent said, tossing the rock at him. Harry, who
wasn’t the best at catching, dropped it. This earned a sigh from Trent.

Harry held up his hands. “Don’t get upset: I’m getting
better”.

He noticed Trent seemed a little down. “I won’t ask, for
your sake” Harry said.

Trent nodded. “Thanks”.

I heard the crunching of gravel. I turned to see Hannah
Stoffer walking down to the bus stop. She looked as gorgeous as she usually is,
her light-reddish hair swaying in the light breeze, a colorful shirt on as
always, and a face I could never stop staring at. She looked over at me,
smiled, then started chatting with her friend Tinna, who was a ‘popular kid’,
or so people say. She always had some jewelry on wherever she could put it.
Personally she comes off to me as annoying.

Harry followed my gaze and couldn’t help but make a comment.

“Do I need to grab a mop for your drool?” he laughed.

I punched him on the shoulder, releasing an “ouch” from
Harry.

Trent was looking at me, laughing as well. Was it really
that obvious?

The roaring sound of the bus’s engine interrupted my
thoughts. Slowly the big yellow car came to a stop. Tinna got on the bus first:
she was, apparently, so much more important than us, and therefore deserved to
enter the bus first. The rest of followed up behind her.

On the first day of school, I had been able to snag a seat
at the back of the bus, which is basically the VIP section. Trent and Harry sit
in front of my seat, and Hannah sits next to theirs.

Harry lightly slapped me, seeing that I was looking at
Hannah. “Caught you staring, boy” he said in mock anger. I could hear Trent
laughing.

I couldn’t help but ask, “Is it really that obvious?”

I probably never should have asked, especially when Harry’s
around. “NASA can spot you as easy as a star” he snickered.

Sighing, I leaned back in the surprisingly comfy seats and
waited to arrive at Rueger High School. I almost fell asleep at one point, but
I caught myself and shook my head a few times to get more focused.

Later, after getting off of the bus, I headed off towards my
locker. I bumped into someone on the way: Harry. He was gazing at Rachel Yong,
a girl he had the hots for.  Instead of
staring at her face, he was staring at her from behind, looking down at her
midsection.

I must have interrupted his staring session. He snapped his
head towards me, his face reddening.

“Sorry to butt in” I laughed. He quickly walked down to his
locker without saying a word. It was a rarity to shut up Harry.

After I gathered up all of my stuff, I went to my homeroom
and took a seat beside Trent, who was also in my homeroom. He was looking over
at a kid named Chase Davids. He looked really pale, his eyes wide. Some of his
skin was peeling off. Curious, I walked over to Chase.

“You okay, man?” I asked him. He didn’t seem to hear me.
Suddenly, he gasped and snapped his head towards me so fast it made me jump
back a bit.

“I’m doing alright” he said. His voice was deep and raspy.

I quickly went back to my seat. Trent looked over at me. I
shrugged, and then started reading my silent reading book, Ender’s Game. I’ve
wanted to read it for a while, but other people kept getting their hands on it
before me. I can tell why: It was pretty cool so far.

The homeroom teacher, Mr. Groffe, came in a few minutes
later.

“Hello everyone” he said, with a half-smile on his face. Mr.
Groffe was a pretty laid-back kind of guy, and wasn’t the stereotypical
school-happy teacher. That’s what made him my favorite teacher. That, and
because he didn’t give out that much homework.

Most of the time there is nothing to do during homeroom
time, so Mr. Groffe just talked about some news stories that had been reported
yesterday on the news. I zoned in and out during this, preferring to read my
book, but also trying to hear what was happening in the world.

After reading a chapter, I looked over at Hannah, who was
sitting in the front row. As usual, I began playing my fantasy story through my
head: a crazed murderer comes in and lunges towards her. Moving quickly, I push
the killer, knocking him off balance, then I throw him out the window. Hannah
runs over and hugs me, saying “My hero!” Everyone cheers for me, and I become
really popular.

As usual, Carson Douglas shatters my daydreaming by walking
over and giving her a hug, then shooting a dirty look at me. Carson was six
foot two with the body of a football player. Of course, that’s what he was: a
big, smelly, football player. I prefer calling him a jock. He had a handful of
pimples on his face, a face which always had a dumb expression on it. His nose
was slightly bent because he had got in a fight earlier in the school year. It
was rumored that drugs were involved.

Carson and I hated each other, and he knew I liked Hannah.
He loved how hurt I was about the two of them going out, which is actually one
of the reasons the two of them are going out in the first place.

Trent saw I was shooting glares at Carson. “His head’s full
of gas” he said,” the only thing he’s got over you is that he’s a football
player with big muscles”. I smiled at his comment. Trent almost always backed
me up on things, especially when Carson and Hannah were involved.

I looked over at Chase again. I couldn’t help but stare: he
looked like he was dying. His skin was peeling even more, his fingernails were
growing rapidly, and his eyes were darting back and forth. Occasionally he
would lick his teeth, which looked to have become sharper.

I think Mr. Groffe noticed how bad Chase was, because he
walked over and said something to him in a low voice. Chase nodded and replied
to whatever the teacher had said. Mr. Groffe nodded back and went back to his
desk.

A few minutes later, homeroom ended, and I picked up my
belongings and started leaving to go to my first class. I looked back and
noticed that Chase was still in his seat, looking even worse than before. His
eyes had become bloodshot, darting ever faster back and forth, more skin
peeling off of him. Slowly, he rose from his seat and limped towards the door.

Mr. Groffe blocked his path. “Chase, you don’t look good.
You need to go see the nurse”. He handed Chase a pass to the nurse.

Chase made a gurgling sound, then continued to his first
class. Suddenly, he stopped, then went towards the nurse’s office. I turned to
Mr. Groffe.

“You should have sent him home” I said.

He shrugged. “I’ve never seen anything like his condition. I
wasn’t sure what to do”.

I continued to my first class, Science. Our teacher, Mrs.
Hought, tried her best to bore us to death. She passed out blank periodic
tables and told us to fill in each slot using our book for help. She even
stated that we had to finish this today in class.

My mind wanted to focus on the hard work ahead of me, but I
kept thinking about Chase. Mr. Groffe said he never saw anything like his
condition. In middle school, I studied a lot of diseases that didn’t have these
side-effects. Something was wrong with Chase, and for some reason I couldn’t
help but feel nervous, as though something bad would happen.

Trent seemed to notice that I was nervous. He mouthed the
word “what?”

I shrugged. Trent just shook his head and went back to his work.
Maybe if I had told him why I was feeling so nervous, we wouldn’t have been so
unprepared for what lied ahead…

---

Officer Hardy leaned back in his chair. “That’s some story
so far”. He got up, then started pacing around the table once more, “but that
kid, Chase, could not have been like that”.

I shrugged. “It’s all true”. The officer stared hard at me.
“I’m not lying!”

Hardy sighed. “I’ve heard a story much like this already” he
said. “I’d rather not sit through a sequel”. I opened my mouth to protest, but
he held up a hand. “No disease in existence leads to these sort of
side-effects. You said it yourself. So, already I’m finding it hard to believe
your story. And you just got started”.

The officer went on. “You haven’t explained the explosion,
the deaths, the chase…there’s a lot of holes that need filling here”.

“I’m just getting started. I figured you wanted to get the
details. So I’m giving them to you”.

Officer Hardy frowned. “Don’t act smart with me”. He
gestured to a long scar that ran from his right eye all the way down to his
mouth. “Got this from a drug bust” he said. “One of the henchmen came at me
with a knife. I didn’t flinch. I shot him right then and there”.

“So what makes you think I won’t shoot down your little
fairytale?” he finished.

I tried to stand up; I feel more in control of a debate when
I get up on my feet and make my points. But the handcuffs weren’t helping me.
Hardy must have thought I was trying to escape, because he laughed as I
attempted to stand.

“I already told you whatever I say is true” I said.

Officer Hardy shook his head. “Right there is a lie”.

“I’m not lying, I’m not lying!” I shouted. I tried
desperately to get out of the handcuffs, but nothing worked. The officer ran
over to me and slapped me.

He looked me over. “You’re mad” he said.

There was no way I would stand for this. Both physically and
mentally.

“How about I get to the good details? When Chase spreads the
infection, and the deaths toll up”. I tried to make my offer as tempting as I
could.

“Now, just wait a minute: no more of this zombie crap” Hardy
said.

“If you want the truth, you’ll have to listen to ‘zombie
crap’”.

The officer looked over at the glass panel as though asking
the people behind it for options. Since he didn’t receive any, he sighed, then
sat back down.

“I’m listening” he muttered.

The End

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