You wake up on the damp, wooden floor of a run-down old cabin and you can’t remember how you got there. Your head hurts. Your ribs are sore. You slowly prop yourself up and put your hands to your temple where the pain is strongest and start picking at whatever’s caked to the side of your face. You scrape a few flakes from your skin before you notice the pool of blood on the floor where your head was resting.
…Fuck…is that…my blood?
You check the fingers that were touching your face and see the dark burgundy color of dried blood under your nails. The pain stabs back into into your mind at the sight of it with a flash of a memory; people panicking…you running up a dirt road…someone screaming… You…you fell…while you were running… But running from what or why is still a blur.
You look around you only to find you’re alone. …But you were with somebody, you’re sure of it. You remember…you…remember….
Somebody was running with you…up from the lake… A friend?? …A lover!!
You’re starting to remember now. He was right next to you…right behind you… Your boyfriend…he helped you to your feet when you fell and…and hit your head.
"Get up!! Get up!! They’re coming!!! Fuck, Maddie, GET UP!"
You were trying to but your feet wouldn’t do what they were told. You couldn’t tell which way was up or down and you didn’t have any strength. You were blacking out…trying to stay awake…trying to run from those…those…things…that came out of the lake… He was dragging you with him; you could see your feet bellow you scraping across the dirt road. He tripped over your limp legs. Your useless fucking limp legs… Why wouldn’t they do what you told them to do!!??
He tripped over you and you fell further forward just at the base of the porch by the stairs outside. You could barley see straight, but…but the sounds…the screaming… He was screaming something… Something like; "They’re eating meee!!! They’re fucking eating meeee!!!!" Jesus, they…they were eating him alive!!!
You scurry to your feet at the loud thud of something banging against the door, but your head is still in a daze and you fall back to the ground. The second big thump against the door is quickly followed by several more and you scurry backwards on your ass as far as you can get. When you hit the wall on the other side you start to remember what these things looked like. Their decaying flesh falling from their faces; their eyes rotting inside their skulls… They…they were dead…. But that’s not the worse part. …You…recognized some of them… People who you’d grown up with….people who had mysteriously gone missing when you were a kid.
The savage, blood-drooling face of the Bait Shop guy looked back at you in your recent memories with a mouth full of your boyfriends intestines. The missing hiker who’d made the front page when you were 12 was right next to him, digging into Bobby’s stomach face first like he was competing in a pie eating contest. Anna, the 17 year old town slut who went missing when you were 15. Mrs. Robinson, your 3rd grade teacher. Dennis, the town drunk who your dad would have to kick off of your property every other week… They were all there…decomposing at the bottom of the lake…your lake…as though it were a massive, unmarked grave for all the people in your town that had ever disappeared. Dozens of them were rising from the water when you first started to run…and now all those angry fists attached to their vengeful corpses were pounding on your front door.
You knew shouldn’t have come back here… You left for a reason. All the sideways looks you get. People whispering behind your back, talking about your “crazy brother” like he was some sort of monster from an alien world. Just because he couldn’t speak they assumed he was a freak. But you knew better. …Didn’t you??
The pounding on the door and front walls was so loud and hard now you could feel the vibrations all the way across the room. The sounds of wood spitting and bolts being pried from hinges was like nails on a chalkboard. Was any of this even real? Why…why were the bodies of missing people buried at the bottom of the lake? And why the fuck were they coming after you??!!
By the time the first decomposing fist broke through the wood another was right behind it, clawing into your dad’s summer cabin, snarling and grunting…drooling and sniffing at the air.
This…this was it… This is where you were going to die. Torn apart while you were still alive by…by…(you could hardly bring yourself to think it…) by your brother’s innocent victims?? Could he really have been the monster everyone said he was? The psychotic madman responsible for dozens of unsolved murders??
By the time the first undead thing stepped through the door you’d started to accept your fate. Maybe it’s what you deserved for being so blind to what was really going on. Your penance for harboring a crazed, murderous villain…
The creatures started pouring into the cabin one after another, stumbling through the broken door and shuffling towards you.
You close your eyes.
A tear falls for the victims of whatever atrocity took place here. You feel the weight of their lost lives pushing down on your heart like someone parked a car on your chest.
A few seconds go by and you realize you’re still alive. …Why the hell are you still alive??
You hear footsteps coming from beside you. Slow, calculated, steady foot steps. Not the erratic shuffling of rotting corpses you’d expect to be coming from the crowd of dead around you. You think about opening your eyes but can’t bring yourself to do it.
The footstep are getting closer.
They stop right in front of you and you can hardly contain the angst bubbling in your blood. You tell yourself you need to open your eyes…
Open your fucking eyes!!!
So you do…
It was him. Your brother. Aurthur. But…he’d gone missing too… What the hell was he…
He can talk?
"What…?" You couldn’t form the words, but your expression asked the question for you.
"Yeah, Maddie… I can talk." He had a soft and delicate smile. A gentle grin from a giant man. "I see you’ve met my friends."
Jesus…what the hell was he talking about??
“You remember some of them, I’m sure.”
Does this mean…?
"Artie…did you… Did you kill these people?" The words sound so strange coming from you lips. You hardly even recognize them as your own voice.
"Of course not, sis."
Oh, thank god…
"He’s here too, Maddie."
No… Please god, no…
"Artie… Dad’s…Dad’s dead…”
The crowd of revenants behind him suddenly started to stir and growl at your words and Aurthur frowned.
"We don’t use the "D" word around here, sis. It makes the locals a bit……irritable.”
He smiled and extended his hand to help you up. You hesitate…but somehow you still trust him. You haven’t seen him in over seven years, but his smile’s still the same.
"See for yourself."
He turned to the crowd and waved his arm out to present them. A few of the undead parted themselves in the middle to reveal your dead…or not so dead…father standing lifeless in the center of the horde; his head hanging to the side in the suit he’d been buried in. You put your hand over your mouth and turned your eyes away.
"Now, now, Maddie, don’t be rude." Aurthur put his finger on your chin and guided your eyes back to look. "He’s here for us, Maddie. They all are. They’re going to help us.”
"H-help us what…?”
He moved his finger to the other side of your face and guided your stare back toward him.
"Save the world, Maddie. …They’re here to help us save the world.”
Well, that ended up being a little longer than I expected. lol. Just a little late-night freestyle write for you guys. Hope you liked. =]