Legs blocked the walkway of the bottom bleacher. The vacant dark corner across the gymnasium beckoned Allie to come hither and hide in the shadows it provided. No one knew her; she had remained as faceless now as she had on the first day at this school. Coming to this dance was a mistake. Who was she kidding that she would be able to fit in at this school?
No matter what alias she used something always happened to make life miserable for her no matter where they moved. Why couldn’t she be like the rest of them?
What would it be like to be just a human?
The empty corner was not empty after all. Golden yellow eyes of one of the boys from her science class met hers. Had he been waiting for her here all along?
His name – Luke, Larry, Lonny, she faked knowing him as awkward as being near him seemed to be, “Hiya, great dance.”
“Hi to you, it’s just a school dance like any other. You’re Allie, right?” He allowed her a bit of the corner with the shadow blocking the view of the dance floor. “Are you here alone?”
Allie looked beside her to see if anyone was standing next to her. Nope, no one there. “that is a pretty good guess.”
He shifted his weight off the wall. “I don’t normally like to dance, but I like this song. Would you like to dance?” His hand extended in the offer.
Refuse? Any other time Allie would refuse, but his smile enticed her. “This is awful for me to admit, I never caught your name.” Her fingers touched his in reluctant acceptance. “Is it Luke?”
His smile grew. “Yes, I’m Luke.”
The moment he put his hand on her waist and held her hand she knew more about him besides his name. He was just like her. The first one she had ever met. No longer did she feel so alone in a world of humans. Allie didn’t have to be faceless forever. Maybe now she would be able to leave her Aliases in the past.
It might be just a note, but I wonder why it was so important to her. Maybe this could be the beginnings of a future romance. Hmmm….
She swallowed hard before washing down the fried egg she was eating. “You have the note with you? I wrote a list on the back of it. I need it back. I have to go to the store to pick up more dog bones.” Kendra checked her black T-shirt, hoping she didn’t drop any of her breakfast on her shirt or blue jeans. Her brown hair hung just above her eyes. She’d need another hair cut in about a week when it would start poking her in the eyes once again.
“I threw it out,” Randy explained. “I didn’t think it was important. Why would you write your shopping list on the back? People use post-it notes for that.” He’d driven all the way from Plattsburgh to listen to her complaint about a stupid note. Maybe he should get on with it and break up with her. Their relationship wasn’t ever going to go anywhere anyway. Who was he kidding? All she cared about was her dogs. They always seemed to come first in her life.
“You threw it out?” Kendra dove for the trash bucket. She needed that note, not just the list. That note had the password to her account. That’s the last thing she needed a trash picker to get their hands on. What the hell was he thinking? Throw the thing away – gad.
Before Randy could stop her, she had the entire contents on the floor. Nowhere was there a note to be found. “Kendra, listen to me. You’re nuts. Look at you. The note isn’t there.”
“You said you threw it away.”
“I did. But it’s gone.”
“It can’t be. I just saw it this morning.”
“Oh, that note. It’s here.” He held up a little brown paper bag, out of her reach. “Tell me you love me.”
“Randy, give that to me now!”
“Nope, not until you tell me you love me.” He continued to dangle the bag above her head, out of arms reach.
“Randy! I got to have that note!”
“Fine!” He tossed the bag across the room, away from her. “That’s it, we’re done. Don’t bother calling me.” Randy pocketed his car keys from the table, snatched up his jacket from the back of the chair, and let the screen door slam behind him.
Kendra sat on the floor holding the note she pulled from the bag. The slam of the screen door, bringing her to her senses. It was too late. Randy had already driven away.
Jason’s hands shook while he tried to hold the screwdriver steady against the screw. He only had a few more hours to go before the sun would be up. It had been years since he last put a bike together. The darkness made it hard to see as he assembled it by the light of a flashlight.
He had to be quiet or they would hear him. That was the last thing he wanted. If they heard him, it could be the death of him. If only he had a better place to build this thing, like a garage, shed or some type of shelter. Instead he was outside, in the open, hidden only by trees and brush. They’d come too if they saw the light.
This bike was a lucky find for him. He’d been on foot for nearly a week when his car had run out of gas. That was when he and Carrie found themselves going different ways. She was now his dearly departed, yet she still followed him from a distance that he hoped to widen by miles.
All had been going well up until they came across what had been a roadblock on the highway. Unfortunately for the officers, their tactic didn’t work in their favor. The dead had gotten them, eaten them or, just bitten them. So much for keeping the virus contained. Was there no safe haven left? Carrie had told him there had to be somewhere they could go, somewhere safe. But what if she were wrong?
He promised her he would keep looking. She opened the car door, saying how she needed to go pee. Figuring if she remained close to the car, nothing would happen to her. But she never saw the Biter two car lengths away. It grabbed onto her arm and pulled her from the car as she began to climb back inside, sinking its teeth into her arm.
There was nothing Jason could do for her. Of course, he was scared. He was scared of the Biter and now he was afraid of her. He couldn’t keep her in the car with him now that she was bitten. She would be one of them in a few hours. He couldn’t risk it. The Biter ripped her from the car and he stomped on the gas, leaving her behind. He could still hear her screams for help. That was two weeks and states ago. Since then he had to give up the car that ran out of gas and made it on foot.
He rarely slept. When he did, he tended to sleep in a tree, out of their reach.
This was the last screw he needed to tighten. A branch cracked close by. Jason stopped what he was doing, holding his breath, he waited and listened. A rasping sound would come from the Biters. He wasn’t sure if it were breathing or throat gurgles he had heard. But one could hear them coming, most times.
There was that crack of the branch again. Jason didn’t want to take any more chances. He pocketed the screwdriver and grabbed onto an overhead branch, pulling himself up. He didn’t stop there either. He kept climbing until he had some distance between himself and the ground. Here he would stay until daylight. Then he’d be able to see clearly in the distance and know if the Biters were close by.
One more crack, then the sound of a Biter coming close to the base of his tree. Maybe the Biter could smell him, but that was unlikely. Biters were walking rotting flesh. Nothing smelled as bad as them, except for the bear it stumbled across. Jason peered down from his branch and watched the showdown between the bear and the Biter. He wasn’t sure at first, but the bear did win, tearing the Biter to pieces with its claws, never once affected by Biter. Apparently a bear hide was pretty thick and effective armor.
I hope you enjoyed my little story. Writing about zombies is out of my comfort zone. They say that people need to get out of their norm from time to time to widen their horizons. If you can’t tell, I’m a Walking Dead Fan. I also fell in love with Fear the Walking Dead that aired last Sunday night. I love the shows because it’s not all about the zombies. It’s about survival and relationships and the writers have created well rounded characters.
If you did enjoy this story and you’re looking for more to sample before trying one of my many novellas, you can find Time Pieces: A Short Story Collection free on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and Apple. Look under my above tab for books if you need the link to your favorite store.
I haven’t been working much on my work in progress. I’ve been messing with my blog again. And as you can see, playing with a bit of flash fiction. I did hit my word count today of 500 words +, so I guess I’m heading in the right direction and away from my Writers’ Block.
I don’t want to call it Writers’ Block. How about empty head syndrome. Time to fill the well and think up new ideas. My character in my work in progress has been behaving like a stalker. I don’t want that. So, it’s time to stop where she is at and make her take a big swallow and step out into the light. Something big has to happen to make her realize, its now or never and your never going to be able to turn back the clock to the way things once were. Get over it sweet heart and move on with your life. I don’t know what she’s waiting for? Me? Maybe – I like the unexpected. I have to catch this character off guard. It’s the way I act.
I will continue to ponder on how to motivate my character. Until then, I’ll keep on writing some thing. It might not be the work in progress, but it is something.
Short Story – Make sure you look over your items before holding a Garage Sale.
I only wanted to clean the attic. It’d been months since I’d had a chance to take a look up there. I’d been busy doing this and that and never got around to going up there. Now that I had time, here I was. The entire contents came with the house. It didn’t matter to me what was up here, I wasn’t going to keep any of it.
Old mirrors, a wooden trunk, rickety rocking chair, baby bassinet, a high chair, and books, lots of books piled to the ceiling. Well, I could just donate those at the next school fundraiser event. Better yet, I could make some money off this stuff and hold a yard sale.
I dragged it all down and piled it in the garage. Marking everything was too much of a bother. I decided on charging a dollar an item regardless of what it was. It rained that day. So much for a big turnout I’d expected. There were a couple of people who showed up looking for antiques. The rocking chair and the mirror went first. I hoped that the books would go too. I even offered to through a couple of them in for free, but I had no takers.
It wasn’t but for an hour before the next customer appeared. That was when I began looking at the titles of the books. Most were classics that I’d already read. Those ones I put aside closest to where I sat hoping that they would draw the eye of the next person. I wasn’t looking forward to lugging all those books back inside and up to the attic.
Next I noted the books I had heard of and hadn’t read. Those ones I scattered about on different tables. If they didn’t sell, I’d still have a chance to read them. There was only one book among them that got my whole attention. It was a diary. I opened it and started to read it when the next group of people arrived. I had just set the book aside when a customer began ogling it. I thought of slipping it under the table out of sight. I wasn’t done with it yet.
“How much for that book?”
I was surprised by the question. “Which one?”
The man fingered the diary. “This one.”
“I wasn’t going to sell it.”
“No? What would you say if I offered you a hundred dollars for it?”
That raised my eyebrows. Hmm… I was still reading the book. “It’s not for sale.”
“Five hundred bucks for the book.”
His companion turned his attention to our haggling. “Do you know what happened to the owner of this house?”
“I do, they moved far away.”
“Not as far as you think, more like six feet under.”
“Yes and without a will.” His eyes stared at the diary. That longing look, it made me wonder what was so special about the book. “I’ll give you a thousand dollars for the book.”
I thought the dude was joking. “Are you serious?”
The guy pulled out his wallet and began counting out hundreds. How could I not accept that? It was more money than I had anticipated for the entire contents of the garage. I wanted to get rid of the stuff, all of it.
“I’ll tell you what… For the thousand dollars, I will give you the book, but I want you to take the rest of this stuff too.”
“Just the book. That’s all we want.”
“No, you have to take all of it or leave it.”
“How about we just take the book and you keep the stuff.”
The guy was ticking me off. I hadn’t spent all those months in the field to sit here and continue to haggle over a stupid diary and a bunch of junk. I followed my instincts. I drew my weapon and cocked it. The handgun was pointed at the man’s temple. “You give me the money and take all the stuff.”
He didn’t say another word as he handed over the money. Surprisingly his hand didn’t shake as he accepted the book. But now he had all the other stuff too. I stood there watching and waiting for them to begin loading their vehicle. They’d probably have to make a couple of trips.
“Allen, have a look at this.” The guy who’d offered me the hundred bucks first opened one of the classic books. It was hollow, but not empty. He pulled out a bag of white substance.
“Just as we thought.” He pulled out his badge and his gun and pointed it at me. “Your under arrest for distributing. Drop your weapon.”
“You got to be kidding me!” I never once looked inside any of the books. “How was I supposed to know that was there?”
“It doesn’t matter. You sold us the contents of this garage and that was included.”
I did lawyer up. But that’s another story, I’ll tell you some other time. Hopefully when I’m out of this cell that I’ve been sitting in for the past four months. My court date isn’t until next month. I just pray the lawyer I hired will be able to get me out of this mess.
So much for that work in progress. It was a long week at work. I was so tired after being out that long. No matter though, I’m happy to be back to work. The writing will come another day. What better way to get back into the grind than by writing a bit of flash fiction. I’m not much into writing crime and mystery, so if someone would like to collaborate and help me finish this story, that would be fun. I always wanted to try doing a collaboration with someone. http://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=258664
Knowing something that is about to happen can be sort of freaky. But what if you did this all the time? Like when Melvin drove that old truck of his out across the pasture. He didn’t think anything of it. He’d done it time and time again to pick up the hay in the field. On this day, he had to hurry. A storm was brewing, the winds were picking up fast. Last thing he wanted was the hay to get wet.
A crack of thunder sounded off in the distance. He was sure he had enough time. Three more rows of bales and he’d be done. Just when he tossed the last one in the back, another crack sounded. This time it was much closer.
The frogs were out. An odd night for them to litter the field. They squished under the tires of the truck while he drove down the rutted dirt road. A flash of light lit up the dark sky. Black clouds billowed overhead. Melvin had that feeling again. Like he’d been here, done this. He slammed on the breaks for no apparent reason, or so he thought.
Twenty feet in front of him, a bolt of lightning struck a tree, snapping it in two. Had he not stopped when he did, he and his ugly red dented truck would have been flatter than a junk that’s been in a car crusher. He may have lost a day in his life by knowing his future, but did he actually lose a life? Instead, he merely exchanged one day for another.
By the way, the hay did get wet. But that story is for another day.