MIDNIGHT FIXIN’S AT THE ZOBIE BOWL-O-RAMA
By Melissa L. Webb
The gravel crunched loudly under the tires as the truck made its way down the old road. I swung my flashlight across the side of the road. The beam caught a rusty Harley overturned in the ditch. It sat there, a pathetic reminder of what the world had become.
I shifted in the pickup bed and glanced at Harry, who was sweeping his flashlight over the other side of the road. “This is a waste of time. Everyone knows there hasn’t been a Deader out here in three weeks.”
He turned to look at me. “You know the drill, Tommy. Routine patrols are what keep the area clean.”
I huffed as I turned back to my side of the road. There was nothing to keep it clean from. Zombies only migrated to big cities with lots of survivors. Us few out here in the sticks did not matter much to them at all. Why nibble on a wing, when you could have the whole damn bird? “It just seems pointless, is all. We could be kicking back right now with a beer in one hand and a babe in the other.”
“Just focus on your job, would ya? Richard will have your head if you miss something.”
“Bite me,” I muttered under my breath as I swung the light around the road. Miss something? I wasn’t gonna miss nothing. There wasn’t anything out here but us idiots.
The truck silently entered into downtown Coldgrove. The dark buildings stared back at us in the beams of our lights as we trailed them back and forth. There was nothing out there. It was just another ghost town brought on by the Change.
The pickup crept on. Harry kept up his search, but I could only focus on the growing pressure in my bladder.
The old bowling alley came into view as we turned the corner. That place held fond memories for me. All my free nights had been spent there, chasing girls and getting wasted. This place was the highlight of my life until the Deaders put a stop to it. Damn undead. They sure knew how to put a damper on things.
I banged my fist against the cab as we pulled in front of the bowling alley. “Stop for a moment. I need to take a leak,” I said, vaulting over the side of the truck as it slowed.
Mickey rolled down the passenger window and leaned out. “What are you doing? You know the rules. Get back in the truck.”
“Relax,” I snapped as I hurried away. “We both know there’s nothing out here.” I headed around the side of the building and unzipped, relieving the pressure all over the wall. Take that, Zombies. Who said I couldn’t still enjoy this place?
I was zipping back up when I heard the first death rattle. It came from the darkness behind me. I turned around fast, pulling the flashlight from my back pocket. The light revealed how wrong I was.
The animated corpse stood there, what was left of its jaws was mashing open and closed, as if it was already enjoying the first bite of me.
“No way,” I spoke to it. “No freaking way.” I turned around quickly, desperate to get back to the truck bed and the shotgun I had foolishly left there. As I turned, I stumbled right into the arms of another Zombie. It moaned loudly as its teeth lodged in my neck.
I pushed myself back, feeling the flesh tear from me. I couldn’t care how bad it was at the moment. I had to get that weapon. I ran, emerging from the side of the bowling alley and frantically waved at the truck, hoping Harry would toss me the shotgun. “Hey,” I screamed. “I was wrong. We’ve got Deaders here.”
He looked at me, eyes wide as he shined the light over me. It stopped when it landed on my blood-covered throat. It an instant, he was pounding on the cab. “He’s been infected. Go! Go!”
The truck sped away as I stood there, pressing a hand to my neck. I knew they couldn’t risk me climbing into the truck bed. I would have done the same thing, faster even. But it still stung. They left me out here, alone and weaponless. So, this was how it was going to end. Either the Zombies would rip me apart or I would become one.
I turned back around; facing the place I had wasted so much of my youth. The two Zombies had reached the front, their moans joining the group of them swarming out of the bowling alley. I knew I would never be able to fight all of them. There was my ending, shuffling towards me in a giant parade of rigor mortis.
At least I knew now there was still a party raging at the Bowl-o-Rama. It was just the Deader kind.
© 2011 Melissa L. Webb
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