Am I the only one who sees things in the shadows....
Deb could hear the hum of electricity as it pulsed through her window outpost. “There by the trashcan…wait, there’s... two?”
A shadow fell over the trashcan, stretching long limbed up the garage wall. Abruptly, the trashcan fell to its side, a puff of snow cushioned the clatter as what was left of a middle-aged man – grey, tattered, with teeth glinting – lunged towards the shadow’s origin. Snow covered its head and shoulders. Its stumbling gait left brush-like footprints in the drifts. The shadow shortened as it moved away from the source of its illumination. A black form briefly covered the kitchen window.
“God damn it! Its Jake!”
Dave scrambled away from the window and towards the back door. He pushed the door open as he raised the shotgun to his shoulder; the growl of the zombie fell flat on the snowy evening air. Jake huddled close to the house, partially hidden by bare branched shrubs but as the zombie turned to take sight of Dave and the open door, he let go a guttural yell and made a sprint toward the staggering undead figure.
The zombie pivoted unsure which human was most vulnerable. The creature’s uncertainty came at great cost. Jake, shotgun shouldered and aim clear, fired. The boom silenced the outside noises, gone unnoticed until they were absent. The zombie pivoted once again and collapsed in a heap; a macabre snowman oozing grey fluid onto the pristine ground cover. Jake walked closer and fired once more into the creature's head.
Shaking from cold and adrenaline, Dave stood on the back porch, both women behind him. Deb watched, fascinated as the zombie’s lifeblood oozed in a widening pool of grey. Spasms caused its extremities to flutter randomly and she felt a thrill with each movement unsure if it would rise again in some sort of bizarre resurrection. But the creature remained a pile of rotting flesh.
“Anybody we know?” Mary asked her voice thin, the memory of their elderly neighbors the Schwartzes still too fresh.
“Nope. Stray. Dave, we need to bag it. Can’t leave the remains here to bait others.” Jake was by the body's side now. “Deb, get Mary back inside and start some dinner. And open that bottle of Cab. I don't think a nice glass of wine is going to do any of us harm tonight.”
Deb and Mary returned to the kitchen. “Do you think there are more?” Deb blindly filled a large pot with water as she watched the men heft the remains into a trash bag. It would be dumped into the incinerator. She was glad it was winter and the windows were closed. The smell would be unbearable.
“Um, Deb?” Mary grasped the kitchen table, her knuckles and her face as white as the snow. Between her feet, on the kitchen’s tile floor, was a small puddle of fluid, cloudy with a pink tinge.
Come back on Sunday October 20 for another installment! Or, if zombies aren't your thing - check out some of the favorite posts and blogs on the right. Coast of Illinois returns to the ridiculous life of a middle aged beach bum on November 1!
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