The Love Song (7)

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It was almost 2 o'clock in the morning by the time I finished scanning over the rules listed in the journal. My head was cram packed with do’s and don’ts. And besides the rules, there were lists of advice and strategies. I had no idea how I was going to memorize it all by Monday.

Bennett and I had already gone over the first rule, and he had made it very clear: trust no one. The way he had glance at me felt like a warning, and there was no way I would be forgetting that rule.

So I moved onto number two:

2. Always have your Nerf gun loaded and with you, always.

Bennett’s father had started each rule off with a serious instruction, followed by a stupid comment.

Even if you’re going into the crapper, take your gun. Zombies will always attack when you’re at your most vulnerable.

Moving on…

3. Keep extra bullets everywhere. In your pocket. In your car. At work. Under the kitchen sink. In your lunchbox. Under your pillow. In your sister’s dollhouse. In dirty pairs of socks. Between the couch cushions.

I was half expecting a dirty hiding spot to follow, but it just ended with a bit of advice: Remember, a hidden stash could save your life.

4. Stay on the down low. From this point on, you have no social life. The more you venture out into the Zombie Apocalypse, the more opportunities they have to eat you alive.

Holding back a snort, I thought of Bennett. I was willing to bet that he didn’t have to worry about this rule. Then again, I probably didn’t have to worry much either...

The next rule had been added in blue pen, in what I assumed was Bennett’s scribble.

4.5. If you must venture out into the dangers of society, remember to bring your zombie emergency kit with you.

“Emergency kit?” I yawned out loud. I couldn’t help but picture myself running away from a pack of my classmates with a Red Cross bag slung across my shoulder. Little good that would do….

My tired eyes were unable to read the rest of his messy scrawl, so I made myself a mental reminder to ask him what exactly a “Zombie Emergency Kit” was in the morning.

5. When in doubt, know your way out. This type of thinking ahead will keep you calm in stressful situations. It’s the best way to avoid panicking like an idiot and running right into a zombie.

6. Tennis shoes, only. They’re your foot’s new best friend, and the best type of footwear for escaping zombies. Sandals are an evil that should never have been invented.

I groaned out loud, thinking of the two new pairs of cute flip flops I had purchased from Target. As I read on, the more frustrated I became; this summer was going to suck with all these rules holding me back.

Another rule added in from Bennett read: Wear easily removable clothes. If a zombie traps you, your best chance to avoid being tagged is to be untaggable in your underwear. Belts and buttons are a no-no.

13. Cars are dangerous! Always check the backseat before entering a vehicle. Think of the consequences caused by a zombie popping out while you’re driving. You could be scared into a deadly crash. Or worse, you could be eliminated from the game.

I rolled my eyes. Yes,  I thought, because losing the game was much worse than dying. Bennett's dad was crazy.

17. Never arrive late, it makes you rush. Rushing leads to not paying attention, which leads to a perfect opportunity for a Zombie to rip your head off. Arrive early. It’s better to wait, than to meet your fate.

Cringing at the horrible rhyme, I continued to scan the rules.

22. Locked doors make you unobtainable, but can turn you into a prisoner. Use them wisely.

I could barely keep my eyes open, so I decided to go to bed, but there was one thing I had to do first.

Clicking my flashlight off, I emerged from under my covers to grab my cell phone. Feeling around on my nightstand, I found everything except for what I was looking for: the retainers I was suppose to be wearing, a half empty water glass that I almost knocked over, and a bubblegum chap stick that was way too sweet for my taste.

Finally, “Ah ha!” I exclaimed when my fingertips brushed against its smooth plastic. I just needed to stretch a little further; it was tittering right on the edge of the nightstand, but I was much too lazy to get up.

Reaching out one more inch, my fingers wrapped around my phone, but suddenly I was in a heap on the floor with a crash. “Flapjacks!” I swore loudly, and then clamped a hand to my mouth.

Lena stirred in her sleep, and I held my breath waiting to see if my younger sister would wake up. I glanced in her direction, hair in my face and the blanket still half over my head.

Normally, Lena was a heavy sleeper. I could get away with reading late into the night with a flashlight, but my fall was about as loud as an elephant playing jump rope. The house remained silent and I finally let out my breath, untangled myself from the blanket, and climbed back into bed.

As soon as I got comfortable, I realized my phone was still on the floor and I reached over the side of the bed with a groan to snatch it up. Snuggling into my pillow, I hit my first speed dial.

“Sup gangster?” Emma answered, unusually cheerful for 2 o’clock in the morning.

“Um, what did you just call me?” I asked in confusion.

“Sorry Mikey,” Emma said, the slight sound of gunfire in the background. “My little brother got me addicted to Grand Theft Auto. I’m feeling fly!”

“Rightttt.... So, are you up? I mean, I didn’t wake you, did I?”

“Well of course I'm up! I still need to steal another car before I call it a night. Hold on a sec, Mikey.”

I heard another round of fire, and Emma yelling, “Die bitch!”

“Emma!” I complained into the phone. “That’s such a horrible game! I can’t believe-” but I didn’t get a chance to finish because she started to cheer into the phone.

“Yes, take that! Okay, what were you saying?”

“Oh never mind,” I grumbled as I switched the phone from my left ear to my right. “I was calling to tell you that I’m gonna need your help tomorrow. Are you busy?”

“Well, I don’t know. I really want to beat my brother’s score on this game…” she said trailing off.

I could tell she was still playing by her lack of interest in the conversation. “Please Emma?” I begged. “I have to go shopping with Bennett tomorrow for quote “the supplies of success”. He’s really kind of weird and I don’t want to be alone with him. Pretty please?”

“I’m sure he’s not that weird,” she tried to convince me. "Most of the male species are a little off. I bet he's perfectly normal, you know, for a guy."

“Emma, he sleeps in his closet,” I replied.

“Like on the floor?” she asked curious.

“No, he pushed his whole bed in. There’s a bookshelf in front of the closet door so you can’t see it.”

“Whoa,” Emma whispered, suddenly interested. “I gotta meet this kid. He does sound like a freak. How 'bout I meet you at your house in the morning.”

The breath that I had been holding hissed out in relief. “Thanks a bunch Emma. If Abby isn’t working, drag her along too.”

“Will do, but I should probably go to bed now, huh?”

“Yeah, probably,” I laughed. Picking up the journal off my extra pillow, I slopped in on my nightstand, my retainers underneath.

“Alright, night Mikey. You’ll have to tell me about your meeting over breakfast tomorrow.”

“Sounds like a plan. Night Emma.” I responded and then clicked off my phone, the end button flashing red.

Closing my eyes, I let all the stress that had built up in my body over the day escape. My mind was stuck on Decklan. I still couldn’t believe that he had wanted me to play the game.

My phone beeped. Peeking open an eye, I grabbed it and looked at the new text from a not so friendly number: Get one last good night of sleep, Mikey. All hell’s about to break loose and there will be plenty of things that go bump in the night.

I scowled down at CC’s text. She was trying to scare me, and it was possibly working.

He may have been weird, but at least I had Bennett on my side.

But there was one huge question swimming through my head. Would Bennett’s help be enough to win the game?

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Hey everyone! Hope you enjoyed the chapter and please remember to vote if you did.

Question #8: What is your favorite TV show? This is a hard question for me because I watch way too much television and my list could go on and on, but I think I will have to go with The Big Bang Theory. Sheldon Cooper is my hero... not actually, but he's funny as hell.


Peace and Cheers,

Ali

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