Mom and Dad are taking longer than usual. I hope nothing happened.
Today is my seventeenth birthday. Mom and Dad went into town to get me a present. It's a dangerous mission, and while I am filled with worry, I can't help but wonder what they'll bring back. Maybe a camera full of pictures of life before the zombies; maybe a movie; maybe a new gun!
The garage door squeaked open, and I eagerly rushed out. For a moment, I was too happy for them to be home to see their wounds. Along the skin exposed from their ripped clothes, thick blood dripped from deep gashes in the shape of teeth. My breath caught in my throat as a numbness spread throughout my body.
They were infected.
“Mom... Dad?” A voice barely recognizable as my own whispered. My eyes burned with tears. They exited the car and slowly limped towards me, smiling sadly. This isn’t happening. I chanted. Not happening... not happening...
“No. NO. Your NOT going to turn into zombies! We can take the poison out--” Mom rested a weak hand on my shoulder, her eyes welling up with tears.
“It’s too late. We’re already well into the first stage." Her voice shook as tears spilled down her cheeks.
“NO! Dad! Tell her we can--” He shook his head.
“Sweetheart. It’s too late.” He tried to wipe away one of my tears, but I shook my head. “I’m so sorry.”
They hugged me. Their arms were cold, a tragic reminder that they were turning. Still, I never wanted to leave. I wanted to stay with them forever. These were my parents! I had to shoot my parents!
“I can’t kill you...” I mumbled into my father’s chest. He kissed my forehead.
“We know.” He whispered. “That’s why we want you to lock us in the lab.”
My numb mind jolted. “What?”
“Test on us." My mom said. "You know how we’ve been trying to find a cure. Testing on us will give you the extra motivation you need.”
“You... you want me to experiment on you?” Solemnly, they nodded their heads. The choice was obvious. Either shoot my parents, or lock them up in the lab and test on them. Killing them would eradicate any dreams of ever having my parents back, whilst testing on them has the hope of finding a cure and saving them.
"Okay, I’ll t-test on y-you.” I choked out.
My dad kissed the top of my head, eyes glassy. We held hands as we walked to the basement. I made sure the holding cells were as comfortable as possible for them, before I hugging them one last time, kissing each of their cheeks, and bolting the door shut.
I sat against the locked door and talked to them for hours. They told me stories about a world without zombies, about how I’ll be a hero when I find a cure. I tried to trap any thoughts about the change in the darkest depths of my mind. When they began breathing heavily, we knew it was time.
“We love you so much Winter.” Mom cried.
“You make us proud every day.” Dad whispers. “And, even though we won’t be able to talk like this for a while, we’ll see each other again. Whether in this world, or the next. We love you.”
I hiccuped. “I love you too, guys. I promise I’ll find a cure. I promise...”
Then the screaming started.
Blood-curling, heart-wrenching screams of pure agony. I sat there, my head in my hands, sobbing-- “I love you, I love you, I’m so sorry...”
The stage lasted for about an hour, but it felt like years. When they were finally full-fledged zombies, they banged on the walls, growling and bearing their teeth. Their health had been stolen from them and replaced with a diseased mind and body, turning them into bloodthirsty..... animals.
The thought washed the sadness away and a blinding rage burned in my heart. My hands itched with vendetta. I'll kill them. Every last one.
My thirst for blood had been satiated after nearly two days of killing. The streets were bathed in crimson. The way their rotting vocal cords screamed only added fuel to the fire. The rampage ended when my body felt like it would collapse from exhaustion. Even then, I still wanted more. I wanted to destroy them all. Yet I restrained myself and somehow managed to stay conscious long enough to get back to the protection of the safe house. The result was implausible: the zombies recognized my power. The beasts acknowledged me as alpha and kept to the shadows. Every now and then, I would go hunting to remind them who was in charge.
|Chace Crawford||as Derek|
|Matt Dallas||as John|
|Kellan Lutz||as Mikey|
|Chris Zylka||as Seth|