Halloween was tomorrow night but would be cancelled. Why? A mandatory curfew because word on the street there is a virus that could raise the dead.
Cara had spent the night at Sara's house. Sara was babysitting her little brother because her folks were out of town.
‘I mean have you even seen anyone that's sick, undead, whatever!’
Cara punched the pillow in her lap. Then jumping up, she began to pace. Her hair dyed black in contrast with her pale skin and ice blue eyes. Kohl make-up outlined her lashes and dark red lipstick stained her lips. At 15 she made a statement all her own with her style. Sara looked at her friend.
'Well what can we do? What do you want to do?'
Sara's wide green eyes looked over at Cara as she paced back and forth. Then Cara stood stock-still.
‘Where's my phone?’
Cara stalked over to her pile of clothes, pillows and blankets in the corner of Sara's room. She dug her bag out and rifled through it. Sara was busy biting the skin from around her ragged nails. She had a terrible nail biting habit. Cara found her phone and quickly dialed a number. It was on speaker.
'Hey sexy.’ Cara said with a grin.
A male voice answered.
Cara said stomping her foot. There was a chuckle on the other end of the phone.
'Just kidding, babe. Whatcha need?'
'I am sitting here with Sara and was thinking about what we could do since they put out that stupid curfew. You know because of the sickos out there.’
Cara heard Karl tapping away on the keyboard.
‘Are you listening?'
‘Yeah, yeah. Jacob is here and we are looking up scary movies so we can loop a marathon on the DVR. Did you know they taped a horror movie in Wick House?’
The fact that the undead roamed the city had now been big news for several weeks. Everyone that made it through the first wave reinforced their dwelling, strengthened defensive weaponry and tactics and knew that they all had to follow the rules. Like don't go outside at night. But missing Halloween! The teenagers knew it was a risk, but it was worth taking. They would all be together and knew how to take care of each other.
Cara paused then said,
‘Hey you guys we should go there. We could get the machetes and our good stuff and spend the night. I need to have fun Halloween!' Cara whined. 'I got a costume and everything.'
'Oh yeah babe, what is it?' Karl murmured.
'A surprise. You'll see. Meet us at Wick House tomorrow and we'll have our own Halloween party.'
'But Saarrraa. I don't want to go outside. I don't want to leave the hooouuusee.'
Zack whined and moaned. Tears shimmered in his eyes. The sickos [who really wants to call them zombies right?] had attacked him but he managed to get away. He has since not left the house and had to be home schooled or have someone home with him at all times. His agoraphobia was valid but Sara wanted to party.
'Look. I know its scary for you but we'll have candy and costumes and you won't even be outside, ok?'
Sara hugged Zack. He sniffled and shuddered. Wiping his nose across her shirt he nodded and hopped into the backseat of their parents SUV. The windows had been reinforced with racing wire. There was always a set of weapons [that never needed reloading] at the ready. Cara texted Karl and let him know to bring his laptop and flashlights. She knew there wouldn't be lights but they had a portable generator. The flashlights were for emergencies.
'The address is 13666 Wick Street. I wonder why they filmed a horror movie there?
Driving to the outskirts of town then down a dirt road, through the woods and up an incline, almost like a hill. They approach Wick House.
Cara murmured. The house had a definite creep factor and it wasn't even night time. Shadows seemed to sink into the house and light seemed to shrink away. The old iron gate wasn't locked so Cara gently nudged it open with the front bumper, and drove forward. Gravel kicked up under the SUV and pinged off the undercarriage. The shrubbery had long since dried up but still wrapped around the house like a scab. The vines crept up and covered the entire house, almost.
'I don't like it here, Sara.' Zack sounded like he was on the verge of crying again.
'Hey, hey. You can wait in the car. You'll be safe here while we check it out OK'
Zack immediately shook his head no, but then thought about it. The windows were reinforced and he had weapons. He'd be safe. Shaking his head yes Sara smiled at him and turned to Cara, who now sported an orange streak in her bangs.
'Let's go.' They exited the vehicle and both made their way to the house. Cara grabbed Sara's arm.
'You hear that?' Sara listened.
'Umm, no. What?'
'Oh. Nothing, let's go.' They walked up to the front door and peered in the windows. 'They must have just filmed here not to long ago. It looks pretty clean.' Cara tried the knob.
'And its open.' With a wide grin Cara raised her machete and entered Wick House.
Cara stepped into the darkened entry way. Sunlight did not even make it into the house. The master stair way could be seen from the door. Leading upstairs and disappearing into the shadows.
'It's so dark in here.'
BUZZZZ! Cara's phone rang and she unclipped it from her hip and answered it.
'Lo? Uh-huh. No. When? Ok. See you.'
'What's up?' Sara asked.
'That was Jacob. Seems Karl came out here to check out the house earlier but has not called to check in and Jacob can't reach him on his phone.'
'Karl came here alone? Geez what an idiot. He knows better than to travel alone day OR night.'
Cara slid her phone open , scrolled contacts, and punched the ON button. She had the phone on speaker. It rang 1, 2, 3, 4 times before clicking on. Ragged breathing filled the speaker.
'Karl? Karl! Hello? Hello!'
Kara held the phone to her ear. She heard a whisper.
Then the phone went dead. Cara and Sara looked at each other and decided they had to get more help. They got their stuff and had Zack helping stay on look-out. He seemed to gain confidence knowing he was their protector. At 10 and scrawny as a baby bird he felt like a weakling but when he fought off those sickos with just a bit of pipe and his wits he felt like Super-Man. Then suddenly he got to where he could not leave the house. Until today.
Once everything was inside Cara went to find the fuse box to hook up the portable generator. It worked by completing the circuit that was cut in houses without power. In just a few minutes Cara had the power on. BUZZZZ! Sara's phone rang.
'Hey babe. I am at the gate coming up the driveway. Just letting you know it's me.'
Jacob hung up as he pulled his truck up behind the SUV and grabbed his weapons and party gear. He saw a figure in the window next to the doorway and figured it was Sara peering out. He waved and the figure moved away from the window. Jacob headed for the house and walked up to the door. He heard a rustling and looked to the left, then the right. The bushes were not moving but he was sure he heard something. Shrugging his bag higher on his shoulder he went inside and expected to see Sara right at the door. She was not.
'Sara! Hey guys!'
He saw his friends in the kitchen. The lights were on and they stood there talking, he headed towards them Sara hugged her middle tightly, her blond hair was pulled in a ponytail. Her jean shorts and paisley shirt harkened to an era past. It was her style and Jacob thought it was cute. He walked over to her and planted a sweet kiss on her lips. She released a soft moan and hugged Jacob close to her.
She said, her forehead against his.
Jacob grinned. He was nearly knocked over when Zack bum rushed him, hugging him around his waist.
'Hey, whoa there Zack. What's up guy?'
Jacob ruffled his hair. Jacob played as though he was boxing with Zack.
'Bathroom. She's changing. W-we called Karl. He sounded like he was having trouble. When he picked up the phone all he said was help me.'
Sara chewed her nail.
'Oh babe. Geez. What is up with that guy. Dude!'
Jacob marched over to the front door. Reception was almost dead in the kitchen. He dialed Karl's number and the other line rang. Immediatley he faintly heard 'The Killing Hour'. Karl's ring tone. He began to walk towards the sound and he heard it again.
'Hey Sara! I can hear his ring tone!'
Jacob continued to walk towards a door with light shining from around bottom. The ring tone was coming from inside the bathroom. Cara was in the bathroom. Then the phone went to voicemail and the ring tone stopped. Jacob pulled the door open and was about to shout at Karl, why he was not answering his phone.
Karl had his hand wrapped around Cara's painted throat. Fake blood mixed with her own as his fingers pressed into her skin as if it were rubber. Karl fingers pierced her neck. His sharp, talon-like nails severed her jugular, and blood squirted the walls , mirrors and Karl. His fingers embedded deeply in her throat before he yanked and the white tube of Cara's esophagus was in his hand. He looked at it and then threw it on the floor. Karl twisted her head until the bones in her neck crunched and he twisted her head from her neck. He let her dead body fall to the bathroom floor. Blood and gore dripped from Cara's severed head, her face frozen in a mask of pain and horror. Jacob was frozen in terror. His legs were locked in place. He could not move. Karl had transformed. His teeth like a shark, hands hooked with claws. They were not just killing and eating people. They were monsters. Karl seemed to want to destroy the very thing he once was. The human being that lay at his feet. Ripping out her throat with his bare hands. Karl dropped Cara's head with a sickening thud and turned towards Jacob. Jacob let out an ear splitting scream.
The scream snapped Sara's head in the direction it came from. Her hand grasped the machete within milliseconds of hearing the terror stricken sound. She glanced back and saw Zack had his weapon of choice. A handmade mace. A bat with nails hammered into one end. Sara tilted her head and quickly made her way to the living room.
She had to take a flashlight because though it was still daylight, the gloom inside was stew thick and hung like drapes throughout the house. When there was no more sound Sara chanced calling out.
'Jacob! Where are you!'
Reaching back she and handed the flashlight to Zack. They stood still and listened. There was a slick and slimy noise coming from the hallway next to the front door. Sara felt the icy rush of adreneline flood her system but she did not panic. She did not know the layout of the house and her only exit was next to a sound she could not see or identify.
Sara uttered. She saw his face pierce the darkness. Pale and features slack. Then she saw that it was only his face gripped like a mask from a set of claws. A hand then arm and monstrous body followed the horror Sara was witness to.
'Run. Zack. RUN!'
No longer worrying about the way out she only needed to make sure Zack was safe. Only a moments hesitation before Zack took off.
The biological nightmare only took two steps and grabbed ahold Sara. Claws sinking into her flesh like a knife through hot butter. Bones cracked like dry twigs. Sara screamed and wished the pain would end. She knew she was about to die. She waited for the monster to rip her throat out and end her suffering. Instead the monster pulled, and pulled. The dislocation of her right shoulder caused her to lose control of her bowels and she felt bile rise and spew from her throat. Tendons and muscles stretched until they were snapped. She was witness to her own dismemberment. Sara could see the raw, ragged edges where her arm was just attached to her shoulder. Blood gushed and puddled on the floor. The monster half carried half dragged her to the stairs and raised her by her one arm above it's head. The decorative handrail doubled in her blurred vision as Sara lost blood and began to lose her grip on conscienous. The monster swung her like she was nothing more than a rag doll and she landed face down on the spiked end of the handrail. Numbed from the loss of blood she barely felt the spike puncture her skull, burst through her eye socket and into her brain.
Zack took off the second he saw this was his only chance to run. He knew Sara was already dead, even before the sicko ran to her. He heard her screams and cried for her but kept running until he made it outside and down the stairs. He planned to circle the house and make it safely to the car.
Night was falling and so Zack barely had enough light to see where to go. He followed the house until he made it to the corner and rounded it. He followed the side and knew he only had to round it to be back to the front. When he made it to the corner he stopped and took a few deep breaths. He tucked the flashlight into his deep front pocket. Then stepped around the corner.
The sicko stood in the front yard. Just one. He was just waiting. The moment Zack stepped forward the sicko turned his head and he bolted towards Zack. No slow lagging steps. No rotting flesh and craving for brains. Just a pure hatred for humankind and a murderous rage. Zack just ran. He did not want to fight. He was scared. He outran them before. The sicko was right on his heels.This one was faster than the sickos he fought before
Zack was tackled. He fell but made sure to throw he arm out so not to land on his mace. The sicko had him pinned. The sicko was bigger and stronger but Zack was smarter. Zack grasped the mace in both hands and stabbed backward, curling upward as far as his upper body would go. Goo gushed over his head and back and the sicko moaned and fell off him. Pushing the sicko off him completely Zack turned and pulled the mace out of the sicko's face. Bits of skull and skin were embedded in the spikes. Zack did not care he ran for the car. He reached for the car door and pulled the handle. It was locked.
He slapped his hand over his mouth. Zack could just hear his mother chiding him for using such gutter mouth language. Sara said they were out of town. Who does that anymore? With sickos owning the night and ravaging people on sight, who goes sightseeing anymore?
Clutching the bat under his armpit he grabbed the flashlight. It was getting dark enough outside he needed it to make his way without falling. The bright beam was strong enough that Zack was able to see a good distance ahead before having to decide what to do. He huddled against the side of the SUV. His sister drove and therefore should have the keys. He would have to go in and search her and her stuff. Simple. Easy. Her screams replayed in his head, filling his ears. She sounded like an actor in a horror movie being tortured and killed. But this was real life. Zack swallowed and breathed deeply.
Then he heard it. Tires crunching on gravel. Then headlights sliced the across the lawn, car, and house. Someone was coming!
'So Karl totally flaked and you STILL wanna go to this party he's throwing?'
Mystic was dressed in her usual torn black fishnets, chunky boots, short shorts, white tee and heavy coat. Pale foundation under blood red lips and black shadow eyes. Zero had asked her if it was a good idea even going to Wick House let alone going at night, all night. But she convinced him she'd make it worth his while.
She answered abruptly. They had a love/hate relationship. She hated she loved him so much. Once they reached the top of the hill and saw the gates wide open and cars parked out front they knew someone was here. Zero parked the car and shut of the lights. Mystic opened her door and grabbed her weapon.
'Leave the stuff. Until we check it out.'
Zero stood well over 6 foot and was dressed in black. He wore make up similar to Mystic. Not for fashion it just set them apart from everyone else and kept people from wanting get too close. Mystic held the flashlight out in front of her and approached the house. There were lights shining from inside that could be seen from the side window. Mystic tried the knob and it turned. She slowly pushed open the door and entered the house.
The smell of blood and bowels were overwhelming but only made Mystic and Zero more cautious.
'We'll do a general sweep then bounce.'
Even if Karl was here, death hung thick in the air and they did not want to be next. Something clanked against the counter in the other room. Mystic put her finger to her lips. Before she could bring the flashlight forward and take a step something was swung at her and embedded in her arm. Zero saw Mystic drop the flashlight. The arc of light painted wildly over a bloodied little child.
The kid had tied the flashlight to the homemade mace, so he could use both hands to weld it. He was breathing heavily trying to yank the bat out of the girl's arm.
'Owww! You little bastard!'
Zero knew Mystic would hate him for what he was about to do but he did not care. They had to get moving. He grasped the bat and twisted down and yanked. Mystic screamed and tried aiming her weapon but was to weak with pain.
Zero scanned the room. He saw a bag with clothes and grabbed a t-shirt. Shredding it into strips then tying the bloody wound on Mystic's arm.
Zero looked over at the kid shaking like a leaf.
'Ok kid. Hey. What's your name?'
Zack's eyes were big as saucers and he was trembling. He reminded Zero of his little brother before the sickos got him.
'What are you doing up here by yourself?'
'Not alone. Came with sister and friends. All dead.'
Mystic and Zero glanced at each other.That meant a clean-up. Sickos were people contaminated with a virus. When they died they had to be chopped up and burned to ashes to completely destroy the virus. If you did not contract the virus first hand then you were safe. In the last few months the virus had been mutating.
'That reinforced SUV. You know where the keys are?'
Zack stared blankly ahead.
'Hey kid. Zack. Do you know?'
Zack's lip quivered and tears burned his eyes. He had to man up. He had to.
'My sister has them, I think.'
Zero liked the fact that the windows were reinforced on the SUV. He could siphon [if needed] the gas from his car to the SUV and get the hell out of dodge. He couldn't worry about cleaning-up. It was dark and he didn't have the proper tools. They could worry about that later.
'Where's your sister?'
Holding back tears Zack just pointed into the darkened living room. Zero had an idea.
Ok. Here's the plan. Mystic you take Zack back to the car and wait there. Ill get the keys and do a quick sweep. We might have to deal with a situation here in a bit.'
Mystic was already standing. Testing the strength in her arm.
'Zack you stay close. Follow Mystic's lead.'
'Zero. Be careful.' Mystic told her boyfriend as they entered the living room. Zero was ahead of Mystic and Zack, then they split up. Zero's flashlight beam immediately found the gore and violence that had taken place. A dismembered arm lay in a puddle of congealing blood. The body was hanging from the handrail of the stairs, impaled through the eye. Zero had to tuck the flashlight in his pocket and feel in the jeans of the body. The blood had almost pasted the clothes stiff and Zero had to yank at the pockets to get his hands inside. He felt both fronts pockets and the back pockets as well. No keys.
Zero grabbed the flashlight and turned the beam back on. He noticed there was another light on. Coming from a doorway a few feet from him. He walked towards it while listening for any strange noises. He had to hurry.
The stench of death hit him again and Zero did not need the flashlight to see the mess at his feet. He leaned over and retched adding to the entrails, bits of body parts and splashes of blood. He could almost understand if the sickos killed to eat but they just killed for fun. The absolute gleeful nature in their violence sickened him. Not just killing but torturing and feeding off the fear. Zero gagged again but he knew he had to do it.
Moving the jellied remains with his bare hands, he found the pants. He found a set of keys and stood up breathing through his mouth. He turned and looked in the bathroom. A rubber tube was what he saw first. When he stood up he realized with the throat missing from the female victim, the tube had to be the missing throat. God he had to get this over with. Straddling the body he turned it over and checked the back pockets. The coppery smell of blood was beginning to turn his stomach. The instant he felt the cold metal and sharp teeth of the keys he was relieved. He could leave. He didn't see any more bodies and he didn't want to waste anymore time. The crash and splitting of old wood made Zero regret waiting. He wiped the blood from the face of his digital watch. Midnight. It was Halloween.
'He's taking too long.'
Zack knew he was whining but he was getting scared. He wanted to leave. He didn't have to listen to these people, but he felt bad for whacking the girl.
She had her head against the window. A light snore buzzed from her nose.
Zack slumped back and crossed his arms across his chest. He looked towards the house. The full moon caused everything to be cast in negative. Gray, black and white. A shadow lengthened and stretched. Then pulled away from the side of the house. Zack sat up and squinted. The shadow took the shape of a man. It was a man!
'Oh no. Oh no. Oh no.'
Zack unhooked his seat belt and leaned over to the front seat. He honked the horn. He kept honking. He wouldn' bt stop until he saw Zero or the shadow got close enough to kill.
After the crash something stampeding through the house shook the floor. Something was coming and Zero took off. He didn''t even use his flashlight the front door wasn't that far. He felt his foot slide on something that felt spongy like a piece of meat, even through his shoe he felt the texture. Pin wheeling his arms he was able to get his balance. The front door stood open and he heard the horn honking. He armed himself. Whatever was happening, he was ready for it.
When he got into the yard he saw the sicko heading for his car.
'Stop honking the horn!'
Ok, so Zero was a little frazzled. He knew better than to yell. He ran towards the car and caught the sicko from behind. Brains, blood and skull coated the window. The horn stopped. He opened the door.
'I need to try the key and start the car. Then. Were dust.'
Zero closed the door and turned to head to the nearest car. The SUV with racing wire windows. Like a black wave of death and horror shadows oozed from around the house. They swarmed and Zero knew they might not make it. He took out the first set of keys, sweat stung his eyes, he blinked and saw and by the light of the moon they did not have the SUV logo on them. The next set did have the famous wings on a shield logo. Suddenly something stood up that was much closer than the rest of the sickos.
Wearing the concert tee he'd last seen his friend wearing .Zero almost lost his grip on the keys.
Zero didn't wait for a reply. The Killing Hour chimed in the background in a macabre soundtrack of terror. Zero engaged the lock and the alarm alerted the doors were unlocked. He had time to close the door and engage the locks again. Remote ignition. Cool. Zero revved the engine put the SUV in drive and wheeled the steering around. He drove in a tight circle around his car and made another sweep. The bodies of the sickos crunched and crumbled under the wheels. Zero bucked in the driver seat but managed not to wreck. Parking he threw open the door and waved Zack over. He saw that Mystic was passed out in the front seat. He had to grab her and lay her across the backseat.
Once back inside the cab of the SUV he checked the lights. They had almost a full tank. He had not damaged the car running over the sickos. Letâ
'Let's get out of here kid.' Zero put the SUV in drive and sped away from their nightmare.
One year later
I think they were doing sacrifices their sacrifices came back to life and killed them!'
The children yelled and shrieked at the gory tale. The Wick House murders reinvigorated an otherwise dead media outlet. The sickos were old news but these new immortal sickos were legendary. Zero smiled as he heard Zack recounting the stories to the group of kids around him. He embellished but who's going to discount the orphan that survived the Wick House massacre. Mystic hugged him around the waist and Zero was glad she healed up OK. They took Zack in without having very much legal red tape to fight through.
'Hey. It's a year later. We should celebrate.'
Zero looked down as Mystic.
'I'm just glad I still got you babe.'
He gathered his girlfriend into his arms. Holding her tightly and brought his lips down to cover hers. That night had past but something fierce and deadly was unleashed. Wick House held a secret deep in the basement that should have stayed buried.