A man with a slightly orange handlebar mustache walked inside the room. His uniform was dark blue, unlike most of the officers who had light-ish blue uniforms. This must mean he held a high position at the station. I appeared to be right, as his nametag read “Harley Darrell, Chief of Police”.
The man introduced himself by rereading what it said on his nametag. Another officer walked inside the room and placed a chair next to Officer Hardy’s. The Chief walked over and took a seat, not bothering to read through my files which still laid on the desk.
For a time he sat, observing me. Though he wasn’t as tall as Hardy, he certainly had the same strong build. His face had sharp features, including his eyes, which were a dark shade of brown. It felt like an hour before those brown eyes looked away.
“I have been listening to your story so far” he started off, implying he had been watched from behind the glass. Which made me wonder: was he present from the beginning? Could my tale already be as ridiculous to him as Hardy?
He crossed his arms. “I gotta say… it’s a bunch of crap to me”. Of course the Chief of Police would believe my story to be crap. Of course.
That was conceivably the last selection left in my inventory. I desperately required the support of the Chief, but if he followed suit with Hardy… things could become disastrous very fast.
“However, Hannah Stoffer had said many things similar to your story. There must be some truth in this”.
My head raised, hope returning to my body. I had found my opening. I just needed to wait for the correct opportunity.
Officer Hardy protested. “Sir, there is nothing truthful about this. There’s no such thing as-“
“The stories are very similar. They must go by something” the Chief said, cutting Hardy off.
“Rueger High School was bombed, leaving it in ruins. That is a fact. The entire student body, teachers and staff included, was decimated. Truth. These are undeniable”.
The Chief stared at me hard. “Now, tell me the truth, no more zombies. Get rid of this sci-fi nonsense and pull the plug on your façade”.
I shook my head, staying firm in my resolve. “Then it wouldn’t be the truth” I responded plainly. The Chief gazed at me in disbelief as though he was caught completely off-guard by my loyalty to my story.
“Damnit, there is no such thing as zombies!” he shouted, banging his fist on the table. “Every disease in the world has been seen, researched, and recorded. There is no such thing as a ‘zombie virus’. Give it up”.
“Yes, there is!” I protested. “The only reason it hasn’t been seen, researched, and recorded, is because we destroyed it in the explosion! If we hadn’t, those things would be rampaging around the community!”
“Now there is some truth” Harley said. “There was an explosion at the high school. Only seven people survived. But you have yet to explain that! We know that it happened, we need to know why”.
“There were only seven people left inside the school. Everyone else was a zombie. We had an escape route ready, but we decided that the zombies couldn’t be left alive. So we created a makeshift bomb to destroy them”.
“Or this was a terrorist attack on the school” Officer Hardy chimed in.
The Chief nodded. “That’s what I was thinking”. He looked at me, hate in his eyes. “You killed all those people in the school. You and your friends planned it all out I’m guessing. You made the bomb so well that not much evidence was left. But” he continued, “enough was left to arrest you”.
Oh my God… they’re arresting me! If they think I’m a terrorist and I killed all those people, I’ll be executed for sure. I needed to find a way out of this situation, but I couldn’t convince them enough. I felt as though I was pinned against a wall without anywhere to turn to.
Hardy and the Chief both had short fuses, and if I played around with these bombs for too long they’d explode and eliminate all of my chances.
“Please, listen” I pleaded with the officers, “My story is completely true. You said Hannah said a lot of the things I said. Our stories are similar”.
“She was a partner in your bomb plot, wasn’t she” the Chief said. “She’ll face the same charges at you”.
“Oh what the hell?!” I had finally exploded. “Ask my other alleged partners. They’ll have the same story!”
“Because you told them that if they were interrogated, they would say that story” Hardy said.
I finally figured out how to sway them to listening to my story some more. “I’m not stupid” I said, “and I’m not some video-gaming nerd that would tell this story as an excuse. You said it, Officer Hardy; I’m a straight-A student. I wouldn’t make up this tale to get out of anything because no one would believe it. I would only tell a story like this if it was completely true”.
I looked at the two officers. The Chief opened his mouth, then closed it as though he lost what he was going to say. Officer Hardy had a look of anger on his face, as though he was sick of me making good points that kept him through my story.
I didn’t waste time driving my point home. “All of the survivors were normal. Just like me. Typical students earning their grades, playing their sports… we had no motive to decimate the school, let alone have the opportunity to do such a thing in broad daylight will all of the building’s staff and student body in attendance!”
It seemed as though my recent onslaught had detoured the officers’ efforts to detain me. Yet, I still lacked the real, concrete evidence… for some reason, nothing came to mind. Chalk it up to utter exhaustion I assume.
They would be able to turn this back on me quickly, and in a matter of months I would be lying dead in a ditch with an executioner’s bullet wedged in my skull.
“Fair point for now, Mr. Goades. I’m allowing you to proceed” Harley finally spoke up, waving his hand. “But understand that you are on the end of your tether”.
“Alright, let me continue” I said. “I’ll try to get to the point fast”.
“I’d like to remind you of all the facts you have yet to explain” Hardy added. “We’re aware of all the events that occurred and all the facts. If you don’t explain to us how those facts came to be, then your excuses will not work”.
I sighed, closing my eyes. After the most traumatizing event of my life, my greatest foe turned out not to be a deranged zombie, but rather a gargantuan in a blue law enforcement uniform.
Surviving this interrogation would be like climbing Mt. Everest with a paper clip. At this point, it seemed highly unlikely. But now was not the time to falter. I had to give them everything I got.