Coming soon: "Zombie Jr. High"
Looking at the corpse lying face downward at his feet, black-grey hair tattered and stringy, thinning and patchy gave away the being’s previous life status, “…or lack thereof.” Gil thought to Himself as he gathered data with his eyes. “You were happily ever dead at one time my friend…” He crinkled his nose and pressed the back of one hand to it, attempting to squish his nostrils closed while the stench rippling across his senses created a foul flood. “…And in death, I would hope you had better hygiene.”
His untied sneaker laces tangled with twigs, burrs, and leaves from the underbrush where he had run hunting this creature. The debris on the laces formed small mace-like extensions touching the ground at the animal’s edge. He bent and pulled an arrow from the beast’s skull with a cracking pop of bone snapping. “I guess I should think of you as human again.” He placed the projectile back across his bow and snapped the nock into place on the string. “The organisms that took your body hostage no longer have control.” Gil pondered the man for a moment, trying to find some sort of sympathy for what the spirit of the man had gone through. “Did the man’s soul hover, remain close, watching this body forced to kill, taking hostage other persons, mostly alive.” His mind pondered.
“That’s the trick isn’t it?” He spoke to the corpse. “You don’t go around biting dead people…” Gil paused and ground his teeth together thinking back to biters he had put down. The biters whose bodies had been in great shape, new shape, and most importantly, alive. “…you infect the living; you take human life to promote your own.” His arms relaxed from their previous heightened state of emergency and rested to his side; his bow still firmly clutched naturally in one hand. The bow had become an extension of him, a piece of his anatomy over the past weeks. “Well, take over life I guess.”
The mind of a thirteen-year-old boy swims with possibilities, ideas, and great inventions. Gil was no exception. In fact, he more than most had the capacity to put the possibilities into action, he was a motivated and determined young man. Lost in his mind now was the search for an acceptable solution to this ignominy of human failure. Acceptable had long passed; an end was now what remained. For a young man such as Gil, it would need to be finished on his terms. A sound in the distance caught his attention.
He looked up and over the small town from atop this field on the hill; it looked almost natural now, almost peaceful. He could see the Ice Cream Shoppe, where he had enjoyed many a tasty frozen treat. “Wait…” he thought to himself, “that was after the problem started.” He remembered the Shoppe keeper had tried to eat him. “A bit of a steep price for an ice cream” he mumbled to himself. Before the accident, the town was quiet, before the dead became disturbed he was a normal teenager, wrestling with his big brother, insulting his big brother, being pummeled by his big brother.
Gil cracked a grin and wondered where Gigantor might be at this moment. His brother always seemed so mature; it was hard for Gil to remember Lewis was just a senior in high school, a teen not but a few years older than he was. He listened carefully, approaching delicately. The sound he searched for was not there. Lewis’ four-wheeler had not screamed through the silence for a long time now; it was a sound he missed. A sound that at one time announced the coming of an impending attack, ending when mom or dad asked them to stop for fear of destroying the house and its various articles. The sound had migrated into much more; Gigantor had become the pied piper, had led the beasts to the fence where the government employed storm troopers took them down. It sounded like a beautifully symbiotic relationship at first, until the troopers tried taking down the boys, then eliminating them.
“Amy…” he thought. “Had she made it out?” It had been a day since he had seen her; she had run when the fireball ignited the horde of zombies marching on them. It was a sight he won’t soon forget, the mass of beasts walking slowly and with singular mindset. Amy had seen her little sister Angie on the opposite side of the horde; Angie was her only reason for being in this little town. That was when it all went wrong, not that Gil could judge her too harshly. Amy left her post, and with it, the next stage of an attempt to rid the town of Zombies and more than likely the last chance they had to save themselves.
Gil eyed the hillside, wondering if he would see her again, wondering if she found Angie. He could almost hear his family’s japes as he thought, “look who’s gotta crush…” his dad would jest with an elbow to Gil’s shoulder. Gil’s mother would just smile as she always did, understanding everything, and having to say nothing. Gigantor and his posse would be a lot less forgiving and torture him with quip and prank. Gil wouldn’t mind; he liked Amy.
Gil’s main concern now, and the outcome he would mind very much if his brother or Amy had fallen in the hands of the government underlings. Amy’s aunt was technically one of them, though a scientist, Sharee was still part of the toadie brigade. Gil met Sharee. Indeed, it was she that sent Gil into the containment area looking for Angie, to begin with and a chore he had not yet given up on. Sharee seemed on the up and up. Although she lost all credibility with Gil when the sycophants had caught up with his group and darted Gigantor's girlfriend Kady multiple times before carrying her off to who knows where. That was the day Sharee’s assistant had warned them the government handlers had a new agenda, and it wasn’t to be a rescue.