Dirt and Grime

Jacob woke up first, half buried in dirt and with his brother’s feet in his face. His face felt as if someone has superglued half of it together with rocks and other crap. He looked up at the bottom of the house. The jagged escape hole was covered in debris. Jacob could hear movement above the debris.

“Wake up, Michael.” Jacob said as he shoved his brother.

Michael woke up then winced as the pain from the tear in his side screamed. He looked himself over and found himself and the wound caked in mud.

“The zombies! In the house can they get us?”

“No, apparently the closet collapsed covering our escape.”

“Well, that was easy enough,” Michael said with a weak smile. “The escape that is. What do we do now Jacob. This was your idea.”

“Crawl to the back of the house. There is a way out under the back porch.”

“Sounds easy. Is it?”

“Yea, how’s your side? That nail tore you up.”

“Got some dirt in it. Can’t be bad, right. At least it stopped bleeding. Let’s go.”

Michael started the crawl through the dirt toward the rear of the house.

“So that has been here since we were kids?” Michael asked after a moment.

“Since before dad left.” Jacob replied.

Michael growled. “Ass.”

“Tell me about it. You left it got worse. He beat me, locked me in the closet and forgot about me. I would show up two days later through the front door and he never questioned how. Never was so happy to be beaten and locked up.”

The two men crawled under the kitchen floor listening to the footsteps of the undead searching for a hint of life to chow upon. Michael winced as his dirt covered bandaid fell away and the wound bled.

Michael headed to the left corner and grabbed an aluminum sheet. He attempted to remove it but it resisted. Jacob came up from behind him.

“It’s not the exit. There is a loose piece near the center.” Jacob said and began toward the exit when a loud ripping noise stopped him and he turned.

“What the hell, Michael!”

Light from outside snuck under the house revealing blood on Michael’s hands and upon the ground near his side.

“Dude, you’re losing a lot of blood. We need to get that wrapped up and stopped.”

“I’m not staying under this house to be treated by Doc Brown,” Michael snapped.

“Look, you attracted attention so now we are stuck.”

Outside the covered porch the two men could see them roaming.

“Can they leave us alone for a damn hour. They are always around. I just want a moment to breath without death trolling me from outside a freakin porch.”

The creatures outside the enclosure stopped. They stood for a moment then began to rip the wooden slats from the back porch.

Both men stood and watched. Jacob crawled backward and tapped Michael to do the same. A second then a third slat disappeared revealing a pair of jeans working hard to make a hole. A second set of hands grasp the wooden slats and tore them from the porch. The jeans knelt and revealed a pale, dark-skinned face and a wide unnatural smile.

“Thank the Lord… we have survivors,” said the man.

“I knew I heard something a few days ago but it was in the garage over there,” said a second voice.

“We have a horde on the way. We have minutes,” said a third.

The man with the huge smile reached forward, “We are here to rescue you. Hurry time is short.”

Jacob began forward but Michael hesitated.

Michael and Jacob – The escape- part two

Imagine this… standing in the dark is the safest place in a world corrupted by the unimaginable.

Narrator

The closet smelled of mold. Horrible creatures amassed outside the fragile doors. Michael stood at the left door. He held onto a thin aluminum handle that was screwed into the faux wood with two small screws. He took in long breaths and waited for their unavoidable fate.

“We are screwed.” Michael said after a long while. Jacob did not reply. Michael knew Jacob was on the right side of the closet, but he couldn’t see anything. He could only hear him working on something. An occasional grunt then a crash that shook the entire closet.

“What the hell,” Michael shouted as light crept through the bottom of the closet.  Everything within the fragile shelter shuddered.

“I found it!”  Jacob shouted.

“You found what, you’re dolly?  Your teddy bear… you always break under pressure Jacob always.  Remember that morning we went hunting with dad and you had a perfect shot.  It was right there… you choked.  Remember Joann your first girlfriend…”

Something grabbed Micheal by the throat and he gasp.  Seconds ticked by as the darkness took in deep breaths.  “Shut up Michael and listen to me,” Jacob said.  “Your an adult and I’m an adult.  I know you are under stress and you lash out but personally I have had too much death and complaining.  Listen.  I have a way out.  I built a trap door in this closet when we were younger.. ie.. why I would hide in the closet for hours.  I wasn’t here.  I was with Joann.  Do you get it?”

Michael shook himself from Jacob’s grip.  “Dude, calm yourself.  Fine.”  He took a breath and continued.  “You’ve had this hole in the floor here all this time.  We’ve been adults for 15 years, parents died, you bought the house and you never filled in the hole in the closet?”

“Michael are you coming or what?”

“Yes, dude… get over yourself with this new sense of self… hell.  How am I supposed to see anything?”

“Just head this way…” Jacob said followed by a curse.  “The hole is too small.”

“Right, size of a twelve year old?”  Michael snapped.

“Bend down here and pull up these planks,” Jacob instructed as both men tried to widen the hole within the floor of the closet.

Michael pulled up the first plank with significant effort tossed it to the side then a second.  The closet door opened and the smell of death stole away any sort of hope that the two men would make their escape without any trouble.

“Jacob, you are going to have to squeeze that married tub of a body through that hole,” Micheal told him as he jerked on a closet rod. The clothes on the end of the metal rod tumbled into the darkness. The creature appeared within moments. It’s shaded, murderous jaws chomped at the air. Micheal pushed the rod into the zombie’s face collapsing its thin, skeletal face and pushing the rest of it’s body against the closet door. A second stepped into the darkness to reveal a perfect human face. It wasn’t gored or rotten. The only tell would be the blindness that cursed the creatures… if that was even a curse.

Michael stuck the creature in the face, right under the eye and it fell over the other.

“Micheal, I’m in let’s go,” Jacob shouted.

Michael dropped the curtain rod. Using the light from the door he found Jacob’s hand and arm waving from below the closet floor. The hole was just wide enough to fit his thinning waistline but not without some huge difficulties. He sat, with his back to the zombies. Michael leap to the dirt floor then stopped. A sharp pain erupted under his right breast. He looked down but couldn’t see a thing.

“Jacob, something just stabbed me,” he grunted.

Jacob crawled on his hands and looked up. There was barely enough light to make out the shape of a thin nail stretching outward and into Michael’s chest.

“It’s a nail Michael,” Jacob told him.

“Pull it out.”

“I can’t it’s pointed up. You will have to lift yourself back up,” Jacob reply.

Michael growled and cursed and struggled to stand. The distance to the ground was barely as long as he was tall and the effort felt herculean. He pushed his palms into the floor of the closet and pushed. Inch by painful inch he had risen till he could go no further.

“You got to go higher,” Jacob said.

Michael grunted and pushed till he realized that their undead pursuers were close behind him. “Damnit… do something Jacob,” Michael shouted.

“Do what Michael! You need to push up!”

“They are coming and I have my back to them.”

“Push, Michael! Push!”

“I can’t. I got nothing.”

“Damn it,” Jacob cursed and crawled under Michael’s feet.

“Stand on my chest, damnit!” He ordered.

Michael struggled to find Jacob’s chest but stood upon his ribs once he did. Jacob grabbed Michael’s feet and pushed up. He waited till Michael cleared the nail then instructed Michael to hold while Jacob pushed the nail downward.

Jacob barely finished when Michael fell. It was more of a crash as feet and legs tumbled over Jacob’s chest and head.

Jacob and Michael – The escape – part one

“Your closet is great and all.  Who knows what you did in there… you spent a lot of time in there growing up but I ain’t getting eaten hiding in a closet,” Michael spat.

Jacob smiled, “dude, if you only knew.”

“I do not want to know what you did in the closet, by yourself when you were alone. Change of subject.”

The two zombies, that had tumbled over the bedding blockade, began to stir. They stood upon the mattress. Attempted to move and fell. Three more stepped forward into the bedroom and approached the blockade. The lead zombie paused causing the second to stop suddenly and step to the left. The third slowed then stood and seemed to be listening.

“IQ test,” Michael said while watching the trio attempt to navigate the obstacle.

“Idiot zombies,” Jacob added. The closest zombie snapped at Jacob. Lunging from its prone position.

“F-U Teeth mother–”

“Let’s hide in the closet,” Michael interrupted.

Both men skirted past the fallen zombies and the mess on the floor. Jacob opened the faux walnut closet door. Inside, an arms length of women’s clothing.

“It’s her clothes,” Jacob said. The color in his face disappeared.

“We have to move them,” Michael began to pull handfuls of the clothing from the closet and toss them behind him while Jacob watched.

“No! Not the dresses! You’ll get them all dirty. They will!” Jacob screamed and attempted to stop Michael.

“Jacob stop!” Michael replied. Zombies crawled over the mattress and approached the two men. They were a foot from Jacob when Michael grabbed his brother and threw him into the closet. Jacob inhaled Sharon’s scent as the material overwhelmed him. He fought back and more of the clothing tumbled in all directions. Michael joined his brother inside the cramped, dark room. He attempted to close the closet door but realized that the door was blocked by all the clothing. Michael listened as the closet door behind them rattled. The prone zombies used the closet door to help them stand. Michael tried to close the door a second time with the same results.

“Jacob, can you pause your psychotic break and clear the floor so WE DON’T DIE!” Michael screamed. The zombie’s outside the closet clawed at the closed door and began toward the open door. Jacob recovered and shoved the clothing on out of the way. The door, free of debris, was jerked from Jacob’s hands. The zombie stepped forward and screamed. A guttural noise full of anger. Jacob felt hopeless as the creature lunged forward. It’s hands raised, became trapped within the metal hangers that remained on the curtain rod. The zombie attempted to rip its hands from the trap but became more tangled. Jacob shoved the clothing he stood behind into the zombie. He pushed the creature off its feet and it tumbled backward. Jacob grabbed the closet door and closed it.

Jacob and Michael – Fist-d-Cuff

Your not going to win an Oscar for best Action scene punching a zombie. In fact it’s the most uncomfortable feeling as solid mass meets gelatin.

Narrator

Michael swung first. He struck the zombie in the temple. The zombie stared forward, as the right side of its head collapsed. The bone under the rotten flesh stopped Michael’s blow. The pain of the impact forcing Michael’s hand open and he finished the blow with a slap.

The zombie stumbled to the right, opposite direction of Michael’s blow. It crashed into the bedroom wall. Hitting it hard with it’s fragile face. The profile of the creature’s face collapsed. Leaving a soft, gooey center and blood spread upon the wall as it slid down.

Jacob swung next and missed. His fist skated over the zombie’s nose, breaking it easily. Jacob’s elbow followed and struck the zombie in the right eye. The zombie’s head fell backward. The rest of it’s body forward. It’s rubbery arms flailed. The bones shattered from the first attempt with the bat. Jacob and the zombie collided. The zombie’s head snapped forward. It’s right eye hid behind its boney socket. It’s long grimy teeth struck Jacob in the shoulder. Jacob fell on his back. The zombie fell upon him but struck the hardwood floor with its forehead. The noise from the impact echoed through Jacob’s right ear drum. The zombie skull cracked with the first blow. It shattered with the second. Blood sprayed the floor and covered half of Jacob’s face. Jacob wanted to move but his body didn’t. His arms and legs wanted to lay under the creature and think about this a moment. Jacob screamed at Michael as warm, retched smelling liquid dripped upon his T-shirt and jeans. He tried to shove the zombie upward and right but the body didn’t move.

Michael slowly lifted the body and moved it. “Jacob! Shut the hell up.” Michael said in a forced whisper. “There are more and your going to bring them all in.”

“I’m done Michael!” Jacob replied a little more carefully. “I can’t do this shit anymore. My wife died twice everyone else wants to eat me. I’m going to just stop fighting.”

Michael grabbed his brother and lifted him from the ground. “Stand up, boy. We do not have time for this.”

Jacob shoved Michael’s hands away but his knees sank. Michael grabbed Jacob before he fell. “Jacob, now stand on your feet!”

“I’m trying dude.”

Footsteps approached the bedroom door and the blockade. A zombie fell forward the moment it attempted to step through it. A second appeared, paused and fell. A third set of footsteps.

“The closet…”

You shot me?

The .45 went off. The sound stuck to the walls and shook the building. Jean Claude spun, fell and disappeared.

“You have gone to far,” Sean shouted and attempted to advance.

“Don’t move!”

“What? Are you going to shoot me too?”

“I don’t know, did you hit me. Did you do this!” Erik pointed at his head wound with the weapon.

“Shoot yourself.”

Erik stepped from the counter and toward the two remaining men. The .45 pointed in their direction.

“You’re going to listen to me. Pack your crap and leave.”

“Ok, fine!” Andrew and Sean said in unison.

“Move!” Erik shouted when both men stood motionless.

Both men began to collect what they could, taking time to pick up as many items as they could.

Andrew stood first pointing a pistol then Sean.

“What now!” Sean shouted.

“I can still fire,” Erik replied then stepped forward.

“Back away you suicidal bastard,” Andrew countered and stepped foward.

“Do you know how many we’ve killed? I can put you down easily.”

“And why am I still walking!” Erik took another step.

“I don’t want to kill your dumb ass. Stop moving.”

“Shoot me! Do it!” Erik shouted then repeated it.

Erik positioned the weapon forward. He growled as he began to measure the likelyhood of hitting one of the men.

“The other would likely kill me moments later,” he thought. “I can make this happen.”

He stepped forward and tuned out the shouting. He dropped any hope of life after this encounter. He placed his finger on the trigger when the door in the back of the store exploded open.

Born in Cleveland

Erik shook himself awake after the shove and slowly sat up. He looked around and quickly noticed the large glass window at the front of the store had been boarded up.

“What did you do?” Erik spat. “You are taking away all the light.”

“Old man,” Sean began. “I don’t know how you made it this long. This building has a huge glass window and the back door was wide open. The zombies could of walked right in.”

Erik ignored him and stared at the three new survivors. The Baker brothers were dark skinned and muscular. They stood a foot shorter then Erik at 6’2. The third man was 7 foot tall. His skin was black as coal with a yellow, toothy smile.

“Haitian? Why are you so far North?” Erik asked.

“I was an American, born in Cleveland.” Jean Claude responded. “Before the country broke apart.”

“Yeah, that was crazy…” Erik said then quickly added. “So how many did they add this time?”

“Fifty prisoners this time. It wasn’t a pleasant trip here so we would appreciate you drop the crazy loner act and help finish securing this building. There may be more survivors,” Andrew added.

Erik swallowed hard. He didn’t respond.

“I have a bottle of warm Vodka and a couple other bottles behind the service counter, if you want a drink,” Erik offered.

After several drinks and a couple hours the four men were happy with the security of the small grocery store. They settled in to sleep for the night when the banging started.

Out of Nowhere

The aluminum sheet sliced into the soft tissue just above the zombie’s rotten shoulder. It fell forward forcing the sheet of aluminum through its rotten arteries, severing any life the zombie had in it. The creature fell forward into Erik. Its black putrid blood drenched Erik’s twice washed shirt. Erik screams.

“God, please don’t let me touch the blood… dont… no… please God.”

The zombie grabs Erik’s shirt. Erik twists and turns to free himself. The creature bleeds a thick putrid liquid. Erik shoved the creature forward. It lost its footing and fell. The sheet of aluminum slips from the wound and thunders to the ground.

Erik stumbles backward. He removes his shirt and pants. He skirts back and hides within the darkness. He stares at the motionless creature till his eyes become heavy and he falls asleep.

The sound of hammers, multiple hammers wakes Erik from his sleep. Voices echo.

“This is a stupid place to hide. Have you seen the large picture windows. Dude, find some large sheets of wood or something.”

“Shut up yo.. This is the only thing close we could find. Don’t criticize.”

“Get out!” Erik shouted from the darkness.

“What the hell was that,” said one of the voices.

“There is someone in here, you idiot.” Replied the other.

“Settle it down,” commanded another. The voice is foreign with a heavy French accent.

“It’s likely a survivor.”

“Get out!” Erik repeated forcefully.

“We are not here to harm you, brother. We are here for shelter. We were captured and tossed into the walls of the city. This is the closest safe shelter, replied the French man.

“You’ll see how safe it is when you fall into my traps,” Erik replied.

“What traps,” replied one of others. “Those stupid-ass wires we cut with the weights?”

Erik shoved a sheet of plywood forward. It slipped under the metal shelves, then slid into his ankles. He swore and found himself trapped against the back wall.

Short, quick paragraph 1

The cold air blew through the hidden cracks in the room.  If Sam wanted to become a psychopath he could search the room for each individual chilly escape of air but this was only a hotel room.  A cheap one at that but he would have to deal with it. “Well at least I won’t need to sleep tonight,” he said to himself.