it’s not a cuddle puddle

Posted: April 25, 2013 in Dark Silo Event

Ben H. is a student at Polaris Expeditionary School in Fort Collins, Colorado. What follows here is an excerpt from his zombie story (untitled). Ben’s work is the second of three student efforts from “Zombie Week” at Polaris. You will notice a macabre sense of humorin Ben’s narrative, in the grand tradition of legends like Dan O’Bannon. Great work, Ben!

We were heading to the main UNM campus to find a biological research center that Gayle was talking about. It was our best bet of finding a formula for some kind of cure or anything that can potentially help us. As we were going down the road, I noticed that the truck’s fuel gauge was empty. I looked at Zack and said, “Hey man, we should stop for gas, you’re running on empty.”

Ben H.

Ben H.

He looked at me and said, “Quit your whinin’, this thing’ll run for a good ten miles before it runs out of fuel. We’ve got plenty of time, we can just refill when we get closer to UNM”.

As soon as he finished that sentence, the car stopped dead, and Gayle and I burst out laughing because of the irony. “You shut your god damned faces,” said Zack with an incredibly irritated look on his face.

“Don’t be such a sour puss, Zack,” I said. “So we just gonna walk down Tramway with a gas container until we get to a gas station, fill up, and head back to the truck?”

“Hell no,” Zack said. “Walking down this open road, out in plain sight would be suicide. By now, we’ve probably attracted dozens of them from the noise of the truck. Our best bet would be to cut through one of the residential areas here and get to the gas station that way. It’ll take longer, sure; but it’ll almost certainly be safer. By the time we’ve gone there and back again, they’ll have wandered away from the car following some other noise.”

“Alright, that makes sense. Since it’s getting late, we can stop by one of these houses and make camp there for the night after getting the fuel,” I said.

“Alright, it’s a plan. Gayle, anything you’d like to add?” asked Zack.

Gayle said, “Let’s do it. Just be quiet, these houses may be home to some people who didn’t escape and became infected, or just crazies. There’s no way to know, so we have to be cautious”. Zack and I nodded in agreement, and so we set off. As we were walking off, Zack looked behind at the truck and the road beyond it. He stopped us and pointed over at the truck. We looked over and saw a huge horde shuffling towards the truck, moaning the haunting moans they made.

We darted nimbly into the suburban area, dashing around tumbleweeds and hopping over fences. When we decided that the coast was clear, we started moving down the streets past the houses, paying attention for any sort of alternate route to the gas station. As we were walking, we came across a house that had a pile of headless corpses lying on the driveway, the stench intoxicating us as we walked by. Gayle said, “I’m assuming those bodies aren’t just in a giant cuddle puddle taking a cat nap. Someone in that house has to have dispatched them all. Let’s go see if they have any supplies.”

Zack got a grim look on his face, and said “We might as well.” I’ll keep my shotgun out in case I need to use it.” We all nodded in understanding, and headed into the house.

We found an elderly lady crouched on the ground in a pool of blood, holding a little girl in her arms. Gayle calmly asked, “Excuse me? Are you friendly?” The lady turned around sobbing hysterically and said “Please, take whatever you want! Don’t kill my baby; kill me but not my baby!”

“Ma’am, calm down,” said Zack in the most consoling voice I’d heard him use since we met. “What is the situation here? Maybe we can help somehow”.

“It’s my baby, my little Amanda. I was trying to hold off those… things with my husband’s old shotgun, and one of them got past me and bit my Amanda! Please, just save her!”

I looked over the woman’s shoulder, and sure enough, Amanda had a huge chunk of her arm missing. She had passed out from the pain. “Jesus Christ…” I said under my breath. We won’t be able to save her. She’s bitten; she’s going to turn into a rager in just a matter of time… damn it. I looked at Zack and Gayle, confounded, wondering what we should do.

Zack said, “Lady, your girl… Amanda… she’s infected. In a few minutes, she’s going to become one of those things.”

“NO! Don’t say that! She’ll survive! She’s a strong little girl!” the lady replied.

“That may be true, but her strong will won’t save her. Nothing can save her now.”

“You’re lying! You’re wrong! I know she’ll be okay!”

Zack turned to us and whispered “What the hell are we supposed to do?”

Gayle said, “Well we can’t just kill it. It’s the woman’s child.”

“Correction. It was her child,” I interjected. “I say we put it down before it becomes a threat to us.”

“I agree with Asher,” said Zack. “It’ll be hard, but we’ve got to-“

At that moment, he was interrupted by a blood curling scream. We turned around and saw that Amanda had latched onto her mother’s head and was gnawing and thrashing it. The mother began running around, bumping into things and knocking stuff off of the counters. Zack picked up his shotgun and shot at her head, instantly decapitating her and knocking off Amanda. . .

  1. Ben H – well done! You drop hints of a past between the three characters without bogging down the story, and you keep the narrative moving forward. Nicely done and a hearty good job.

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