Pushing Up Gravestones – Chapter 9

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Igor Kovalczyk– thirty-years of age, and a mere four-hour-old zombie– smelled the delectable aroma of human flesh flitting about the air. Better yet, he believed he smelled the flesh of a child, too. Either a girl or an effeminate boy, he couldn’t be sure.He was hungry, too hungry.

His belly felt like it had been emptied of all food, sucked dry with a vacuum hose– yet he distinctly remembered eating a turkey sandwich before… blackness. He couldn’t seem to recall anything beyond that turkey sandwich.

No matter. Food were all Igor cared for now, and eating them.He looked around stupidly, as he had forgotten where he was and why he was there.Oh yes– flesh!

It was night, though everything took on a blue hue in his eyes, and it seemed he was in the middle of a suburb. It was just your basic run-of-the-mill neighborhood; once full of family BBQs and neighborly get-togethers. Now it was mostly abandoned, with the odd house still holding those who fancied themselves ‘survivalists’. More like the future undead.

Igor laughed and though it sounded like his regular laugh inside his mind, what came out of his mouth was more of a warbling whinny sure to disturb any normal child. As would his appearance, with his loose-fitting grey skin, barely hanging onto his face; dead black gums, teeth ready to falling out; bloodshot eyes; and a rather voluminous head-wound, leaking a deep black ichors.

Meeehuhmmmh…

There was a house on this very street, and he had no way of knowing which street he was on, emitting the appealing stench that Igor, and his zombified brethren and sisters, sought out with a ravenous enthusiasm.

Therefore, Igor shambled forward at turtle-speed, cursing his new form for being so ineffective. It would take him minutes to reach the home, when before it would have only been a ten-second sprint. Oh yes, he’d been speedy. Prided himself on it, as a matter of fact. Not anymore, though.

Once he had arrived, it became a matter of breaking in. The front door was the obvious option, so an alternative was needed. He made his way, slowly but surely, around to the garage which he saw was connected to the house, and hammered his undead fists on the door. Nothing happened, so he did it again.

He forgot what he was doing, and so tried to lift the garage door, but failed, falling back. He stumbled around, falling a few more times, before finally picking himself up and properly righting himself.Igor grew tired of the garage door and the taste of brains was touching his tongue now, making his mouth water. Food was closer, not in the garage maybe, elsewhere.

He walked like a constipated geriatric, like he was marching over to the side-door. The smell was stronger there, seeping out from the cracks where the door didn’t quite meet the frame. The door wouldn’t open, although it didn’t seem to be locked either.

Nevermind, Igor had just forgotten how to open a door. The virus had the curious effect of rotting the brain to liquid mush, which meant that a lot of the higher brain functions were no longer there. Gone. Liquid mush. A few fiddles with the doorknob, and Igor got it working properly. He limped inside the darkened home, moaning and salivating, rubbing his swollen belly.

He found the unlit kitchen, and began checking the fridge and freezer for food. Nope, nothing there. He clumsily opened the oven, pulling too hard on the door, sending a loud *CRASH* out throughout the house when the door hit the floor. Igor never once considered that he might be making too much noise; he was too busy searching for food, his appetite driving him.

The oven was empty, yet he could smell the sweet fatty organs; it was so close. Igor was growing petulant, tossing chairs around, flipping the table, tearing the calendar from the wall and the family photos from the front of the fridge.

Igor was too busy being enraged to notice the two teenage girls creeping down the nearby staircase, stealthy and catlike. They’d been awoken by the disturbance, and now that they saw that it was a zombie that had broken in and made all that noise, as opposed to a small kitten, and it was time for them to get out. They’d just have to move on, and find some other place to squat.

The girls were almost out the front door, hands clasping the doorknob turning it, but they hadn’t anticipated the screech of the hinges that were much in need of a good lubing.

The harsh sound stung Igor’s highly-sensitive ears. The zombification-process had fundamentally changed some aspects of his body. His ears, once specialists in regards to sounds and music, now mutated and warped knobs of flesh– their ability to discern one sound from another had been considerably hampered.

Igor howled out gibberish, angry that he’d never again enjoy his Led Zeppelin records the way he used to. He was trying to tell the girls that life wasn’t fair. He hated being this way. He just wanted something to eat, that was it. Not all of them even, only a handful of flesh from each to take the edge off, so he could head elsewhere without his gut growling at him.

The bigger girl yelled something to the shorter one, Igor couldn’t understand what, and before he could even moan his dissatisfaction both girls bolted from the house, not even having the manners to close the door.

It took him more time than he’d wished, but eventually he’d reached the doorway. Watching the pair flee down the street, at what might as well have been light-speed, Igor couldn’t help but cry sticky black tears which he had to wipe away quickly, or they would cling to his eyeballs. He had no hope of catching even one of the girls, not with his newfound condition.

Nevertheless, that wasn’t why he chose not to follow, which wasn’t even really a choice. His nostrils still perked, flaring, at the most-alluring odor. There was someone else in the house. He supposed the girls fled to try to lure him away from the other one. They hadn’t realized how good his nose was. He didn’t believe other zombies had a nose like his. It was special.

Igor did an about-face and saw the little girl, who, upon seeing his silhouette, clapped her hands to her face and screamed. “AAAAAAAH!”

He mumbled something she found incoherent. Although to him he was just asking for some flesh. Sweat was pouring from the little girl’s forehead. In a state of frantic impulsivity, she did the only thing that came to mind. She turned the lights on.

Now, it was the zombie doing the screaming. The sudden bright light had done a number on the creature’s eyesight, sending it lurching about, arms groping every which way. As Igor staggered blindly, screaming his incomprehensible din, the little girl took her opportunity to escape. She ran down the hallway, finding herself at an impasse. There were two doors: one on the left, and one on the right. The left door would have taken her outside. She, unfortunately, chose the right door.

*****

Tina was in the garage now. She locked the door, and then set her eyes on a proper weapon, which there didn’t seem to be. Not unless she wanted to learn how to use a weed-whacker, but her dad had always told her they were quite dangerous. They could take off your fingers.

Then her eyes saw something even better than a weapon– a bicycle.

She went over to the left side of the garage door, reached up on her tippy-toes, and just managed to push the button that raised the garage door. She was ‘home-free’ now (well, not really)!

*****

What was that? Some sort of noise outside?

Igor made the long walk back to, and through, the side-door, and was astounded at what he saw. The garage door was opening. But how? It never paid heed to his flurry of fists, but someone else had managed to breach the barrier, somehow. He took a few more painful steps into the driveway. Then bent low, trying to see who was inside. His appetite was hoping for flesh, and his nostrils said his appetite was correct.

The door opened ever wider, and Igor was able to peer within. Amazing! It was the little girl, with her precious body, straddling some sort of vehicle. Igor’s eyesight was still seeking normalcy, after that nasty blinding session in the kitchen, so he was unable to discern what particular device it was, whether it be a horse, dragon, unicorn, or table-top drag racer.

*****

Tina kicked back the kickstand and set her left foot on the zenithal foot-pedal, the other on the ground to balance her and the bike. That stupid, stupid zombie was just standing there, all stupid, looking at her so stupidly. It was funny, actually. She wanted to just run him down.

The door was open enough so she wouldn’t hit her head, so she had decided the time was right for her to blow this cake-stand and take off into the night. She’d have to find Ferrah and Denise later.

Tina kicked off with her right foot, and not a second passed before she had set that same foot on the foot-pedal. She pumped her legs and away as she went, narrowly avoiding the dumb zombie within slapping distance, which she stopped herself from doing. The poor guy had already been zombified and blinded, she didn’t need to add insult to injury.

*****

Igor screamed for the girl to put on a helmet, but she acted as though she hadn’t heard, or perhaps she thought she was too ‘cool’. He flailed his arms up, down, and around, howling obscenities that know no translation. Alas, it seemed a hot steamy meal of brains wasn’t to meet his cold dead stomach tonight.

The little girl rode down the driveway, gaining more and more speed, with every complete rotation of the foot-pedals’ circular-cycle. Suddenly, she stopped, turning the bike with a screech and looking back at the zombie. Igor grinned, maybe the girl changed her mind, would let him feast a little. Just an arm is all he really wanted. She could keep the rest.

Then he realized that she wasn’t looking directly at him. He was becoming distracted. He could smell something else, more flesh, and it was much closer to him than the little girl. He turned his head to his side, and saw a tall girl with curly red hair. He vaguely recalled seeing her before. Was she the girl inside the house? He really just didn’t remember, his brain really was a bunch of mush.

“I’m don’t know how much you can remember. I’m sorry, but we need to survive.” The girl hefted a bloody baseball bat.

Igor snarled at her. He was trying to say it was okay, he had no hard feelings, but he didn’t think she got that. The baseball bat descended on his head, and then there was nothing but darkness.

Director’s Notes: Had to rewrite the ending because it was a major continuity error. Also, these are the flesh loving zombies, not the brain loving kind, so I tried to fix it to match.

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