Saw my first Halloween...um...character on the way home last night. She was dressed in a full length black dress, her face was powdered bright white and she was holding a baby doll as though it were real. Dear Lord, I certainly hope she was dressed for Halloween...
If you are new to Coast of Illinois – the month of October is Serial Story time. Click HERE for part one, and THERE for part two. And, if you aren't really into scary stories please check out the favorite posts at the right for more typical Coastal discussions or page down for some of my favorite bloggers.
"You can’t call other human beings a liability.” Debra stopped in the doorway. Jake’s tough words and hard jaw did nothing to offset the fear in his eyes as he turned from the counter. Outside an early winter wind rattled the now bare lilac branches near the kitchen window.
“You know what I mean Deb. We can’t save everyone.” His jaw softened a little as he spoke and began brushing the broken saucer into the trash can under the sink. Jake had helped burn out Madison. It took two treacherous weeks of prep but he had returned safe and sound. Deb herself had inspected his stripped down body for signs of bites or scratches. He had returned clean.
"Let me do this." She hugged him as she pushed him aside. "You'll just wind up cutting yourself. Now be a good little boy and pour me some coffee."
“What are you doing down here, anyway.” Dave raised his head from the maps and met his wife straight on. “You are supposed to be on Mary duty.”
“I know. She is awake but resting for just a little more. I think the baby will be here by this time tomorrow.” She kissed him on the top of the head and turning to Jake said, “You’re almost a Daddy.”
"Nooooo..." Jake slapped his hands to his face in his best Macaully Caulkin impersonation before pushing the steaming mug of coffee towards Deb.
Dave stood, stretched. "It's almost time for check-in." He walked to the television set and punched the on button. Various wires laced back and forth between the television and a computer whose screen saver depicted a blue bottle of window cleaner with the scrolling phrase 'Put Some Windex On It." Static and grey fuzz filled the screen. Log in would start in about five minutes. The Underground transmitted nightly at six, or as close to six as possible. First each state logged in and then counties and then each individual safe house, depending on the rolling electricity. With the burnout of Chicago and Madison, the local log-in would be first. The surviving zombies tended to take flight so outlying areas were at risk.
Live feed was both reassuring and terrifying. Over the past month the number of log-ins had dropped by about one third. Static on the television, this waiting, bothered Deb and she turned to look outside. Snow was piled high against the garage in wave-like drifts and frost formed a delicate frame. She leaned closer to the window and subconsciously reached out to steady herself on the windowpane.
“Deb!” Jake shouted and Debra jumped. Like the upstairs windows, it too was equipped with a makeshift electric fence. “Shit Deb. Please don't cook yourself. Who would fix us dinner tonight?” Deb gave him a smirk and cautiously rubbed her arms. She would never get used to being held hostage at home. “Speaking of...you get anything out of that humongous freezer? Like, I don't know, hamburger, sausage...a body?”
Deb laughed and shook her fist. At present it was half full with chicken, hamburger and a deer the guys shot. Jake scared the crap out of Mary just yesterday morning by stuffing himself into the empty space. "You know you are the reason she's in labor now."
"I should hope so." He laughed and joined Dave on the couch.
“Sign in folks.” Dave leaned over the web cam which sat on top of the television. Deb perched on the couch arm and Dave absentmindedly rubbed her thigh. The clock over the fireplace struck the first of six tones and instantly the static on the television shimmied into the image of a man in his early thirties. Worn fedora, scruffy beard, Tony’s face; another Survivor.
The three let out one collective sigh of relief.
Come back on Sunday October 13 for part four....