Pushing Up Gravestones – Chapter 33

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Thump. Thump. Thump….. Denise’s breath caught in her throat. Terror struck through her veins as she met eyes with Ferrah’s big, terrified blue ones. Tina’s tiny hand grasped hers as they all stared out the auto-shop’s cracked window. Outside, a monstrous creature limped across the desolated street.

They could all tell it had been human at one point. The monster was about nine feet tall, his limbs all too long for him.  Elongated arms dangled to the ground, the fingers nearly gone from dragging across hard concrete. Bubbled up muscles covered the body, giant pustules and tumors making the monster seem even bigger. His legs were bent at odd angles; one foot twisted completely off, only a bloody nub supporting the things massive weight.

The head was the most revolting thing Denise had ever seen, and she heard Rory gasp in disgust behind her. No facial features were present, as they had all been taken over by the disease. A purple tongue lolled out from what could only have been its mouth, and flies buzzed in and out of its mutilated lacerations. The only thing she was able to clearly depict was one elephantine eye on the left side of the creatures head. Appalling as it was, the eye seeped grey and yellow fluids and appeared to have multiple bullets lodged in its side. The beast very obviously could smell them as it hunched over onto all fours, sniffing the ground. The massive creature brought its arms up and slammed them down in belligerent anger, an inhuman roar escaping its filthy mouth as it ran off into the distance.

Denise did not even realize she was holding her breath until she heard the others let out their own. Tina’s already widened eyes became larger as she stared out the broken window. Her shoulders shook as she stuttered.

“w…. w-what…?” They all sat silently for a moment until Ferrah cracked out an answer. She spoke more to Rory and Denise, as she knew Tina was already terrified.

“I’m not sure. The disease must be getting worse. At least, that is if it could spew out monsters like that thing.” A small tear dripped down Tina’s cheek, Denise wiping it away as Rory’s quiet voice poked in.

“…Did you see its eye?” There was silence for a moment more.

Ferrah wondered how the heck they were supposed to get around the thing.

Denise took the lead and stood up, still holding Tina’s hand. “Whatever it was it’s gone now, let’s just look for a car and get out of here”

Even though she was stoic on the outside, fear silently pounded through her. Uncle Bob’s place could protect them from most things; there were some things she knew it could not. A creature like they had just seen made her have her doubts. What if the thing followed them to her uncle’s? What if it found them? What there were more of them out there? …what it decided they made a good lunch?

Still, Denise knew they had to get a move on and get to safety soon, or if they were made lunch wouldn’t matter, because they’d already be dead.

The auto shop was void of cars, and no one seemed to know what to do. For a few minutes, they all just stood there silently, Ferrah’s eyes begging Denise’s to fix this problem. But no matter how hard she tried, No plan swept through her brain.

Dammit. She was the athlete, the one who had always been the leader back at her school. Yet fear was making her inept, and she did not know what to do.

But Rory did, “There.”

As he pointed out the cracked window of their previous hiding spot. A van sat across the street, looking brand spanking new. They were saved for the moment.

Denise looked up at the sky, judging they had three hours to drive till night set in when they had either be already locked up in Uncle Bob’s fortress or hiding somewhere safer than a metal car. Even though it was still technically summer, and you could practically see the heat rising up in waves, the sun seemed to be dying out on them earlier and earlier every night.  It now got dark around seven.

Ferrah met eyes with Denise, and together they decided they should make a break for it. Rory picked up on their intent, and worry glinted in his eyes.

“What if it’s locked?”

Denise did not quite know how to answer that.

They clasped hands, Rory, on one end, his strong hand gripping Denise’s, and Ferrah on the other, with frightened Tina in between them. Together, they stepped through the broken window.

They ran as fast as they could, Ferrah ending up picking up Tina as they ran, to prevent her from slowing them down. Rory got there first and flung open the door. Tina was then tossed in, followed by Ferrah and Denise and finally Rory as he slammed the van door closed just in the nick of time. A loud bang followed, as a crack in the window glass announced the arrival of a zombie’s head to the car door.

They all stared at each other for a moment.

“Rory!” Denise shouted, snapping out of her haze.

“Sorry!” He apologized, rushing up and into to front seat of the car. Underneath the dashboard he went, pulling out wires and things of the like.

“uh, Denise…” Rory’s uneasy voice made Denise’s stomacher twist in anxiety, “What’s this?”

Ferrah screamed as Rory pulled a snake out from under the dash, alerting a nearby dormant zombie. Denise quickly reached over and hit the window button, chucking the snake out the side. Denise screamed as the snake’s teeth dug into her arm, holding off for a moment before it was attacked by the zombie. The zombie quickly lost interest in the snake and then decided to lurch towards the window, throwing his arms inside and reaching for Rory’s throat. Tina screamed all the louder as Denise quickly rolled up the window, the Zombies fingers getting stuck in the top as Rory recovered from his attack.

Denise spoke quietly to Rory as Ferrah hyperventilated in the back seat.

“You okay?”

Rory would not meet her eyes as he went back to hot-wiring the car. “Yeah….you?”

Ferrah’s terrified voice spoke up from the back seat. “Uh, Denise?”

“What Ferrah?”

“Denise….”

“What, Ferrah?”

“Denise!”

“What, Ferrah?!” Denise’s head snapped around to see Ferrah and Tina staring out the back seat window, fear evident in the way Ferrah’s white-knuckled hands clutched at the seat. Denise’s eyes traveled up and out the window… to see the hulking nightmare spawn from earlier appearing down the road. Denise turned and stared at Rory, panic making her whisper. She already had a bleeding snake bite to deal with, she did not need this too.

“Rory, hurry….”

Rory turned and looked out the back window, his eyes widening in shock as he tried to start the car. Denise’s voice became more urgent.

“Rory…?’

Rory reached below the dash and tugged the wires, all the while the creature stumbling closer and closer.

“Rory!”

“I know Denise! will you calm down?”

Thump. Thump. Thump! The car started to shake from the weight of the creature’s legs pounding the concrete, now not twenty feet behind them.

The car burst to life, Rory sighing in relief. The engine rumbled, and off they took, Denise, praying to god that they left the monster in the dust. Ferrah held Tina in her lap, a look of unease smeared across her face. her voice shook as she spoke.

“Denise, your arm,” Denise glanced down, her arm already starting to swell.

“It’s nothing,” She said, ripping cloth from her already ragged t-shirt and wrapping it around her bleeding arm.

A barrage of crashing noises interrupted her thoughts as a massive hand slammed down on the top of their car. Screams erupted from the back seat, and Rory swerved to the side. Denise’s scream came later, as blood splattered across the windshield. The mammoth creature was directly on top of them.

“Ferrah!” Denise’s scream grew louder, urging her friend into the front seat with them. The back seat was in bad condition, and a couple of more seconds under that weight and it would be crushed. Ferrah tossed Tina into Denise’s lap, following a short time later.

The mammoth creature’s weight pushed the whole ceiling down, sinking lower and lower by the minute. Denise reached across the group and grabbed the wheel of the car, swerving madly as she tried to throw the thing from up top. The creature’s hand came through the windshield, shattering glass and debris everywhere. Tina screamed as Rory angrily rammed a shard of glass into the monsters meaty hand. A devilish cry of grief came from the creature’s mouth as his blood-spattered across Denise’s face. In a last-minute attempt to escape, Denise swerved the car. They flew right off the road, and into the nearest tree. A gruesome sound filled the air as the mammoth monster’s head was smashed between the tree and the front bumper of the car, his body sliding forward, smooching him up against the trunk.

Silence. No one moved, nothing happened as they sat there for a moment. Rory’s whisper floated across the empty space.

“Get out,” He shoved Ferrah and Denise, his words not seeming to reach them. “Ferrah, Denise, Get out of the car.” Upfront, on the windshield, a finger twitched.

“Denise. Ferrah. Tina. Move.”

The eye of the thing was sitting on the hood of the car, its tail end still attached, hidden by the buckled hood. Denise gasped as it moved to stare at her. She was unsure if it was real or not.

Rory shoved them again.

“GET OUT!” Rory reached over them all and opened their door, shoving them as hard as he could. “RUN!” But nobody moved.

On the hood of the car, the creature drew itself up. Tina screeched in horror at the sight.

The monster was even more mutilated than before. Its head was completely smashed, its eye hanging by the muscle down its destroyed face. Half of which was missing. Blood and brains dripped down the creatures head as it stared at them. Its jaw hanging open to expose deteriorated muscle, bone, and a gory pile of squirming maggots.

Off the group ran, Tina swept up into Rory’s arms.

The monster charged after them, running on all fours like some wild deranged gorilla. Though its vocal cords were exposed, the thing still somehow managed a form of sound, Its screeches alerting all the zombies around. They tore off into the nearby woods, the monster tearing through behind them. Denise screamed as she tripped on a root, Ferrah grabbing her by the arm and dragging her behind. Rory shouted expletives in front of them.

Tina cried out in happiness when they burst onto a road, a little red car sitting not twenty feet in front of them. The passenger side door was open, and Rory could see a 6mm revolver sitting on the floor. Denise was just happy to see the keys still in the ignition. But would it start?

“In in in!”  Denise screamed, shoving them all inside as she leaped into the driver’s seat.

“Comeoncomecomeon!” The key twisted, but the engine only revved, her foot slamming on the gas pedal seemingly doing nothing. Denise’s hands beat the dash in frustration as the monster came bolting from the forest, trees falling beneath him.

Ferrah, thinking fast, picked up the gun from the floor as Denise struggled with the car.

“Rory, how the hell do I work this thing?!” She screamed, her voice high pitched.

“Just pull the fricking trigger!”

Ferrah did as she was told.

One bullet made its way into the creature’s chest, though it did not faze him. Denise shouted in anger the cars stupidity, and Rory at Ferrah’s ineptness.

Rory yanked the gun from Ferrah’s hands. Five times it was cocked, and each time it met its mark, the bullets embedding themselves into the creatures exposed brains. With each shot the creature grew slower and slower, screaming in agony as a look of human emotion crossed its face. Until, with the final shot, the engine took fire. Off the car sped, relief filling everyone as they watched the dead thing slump to the ground behind them. Rory’s hand sat lightly on Denise’s shoulder as she kept her eyes strictly on the road, her only thought that of getting to her uncle’s farm.

Tina’s tiny voice spoke up from the back seat, tears clearly running down her face, “The poor thing…”

Behind them, the creature’s eye twitched.

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