Read The Dead Divide Us (Book 1) Online

Authors: Vincent S. Tobia

Tags: #zombies

The Dead Divide Us (Book 1) (8 page)

BOOK: The Dead Divide Us (Book 1)
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“Hey, Paul. Sorry man, I just couldn’t tell you. That poor boy…” Robert trailed off again. “Oh and…and…I had to kill my landlord too! He was all infected and shit. I took the softball bat to his head….”

“Listen, Rob. Forget about that and move on. Get to the farm and make sure Mom and Dad are okay,” Paul said, fighting to keep his voice calm.

“We’re about to jump in the truck and do just that,” Robert replied.

“I know you guys have been through a lot already and that thing with the holes sounds really fucked up, but I still think you’d be better off heading back…” Paul started to say but was cut off by the beeping sound of the call being disconnected.

“Shit!” Paul yelled, exasperated.

“What?” Ruth shrieked, scared and pale.

“The fucking call got disconnected,” Paul said angrily.

“Do you still have reception?” Ruth asked.

“Yeah I do. Robert said he was in the woods; maybe his reception got lost.”

“What was he saying? Who else were you talking to?” Ruth asked, extremely eager to hear exactly what the phone conversation was about.

Suddenly they heard one of their sons screaming at the top of his lungs. Never in the eight years as parents had they ever heard one of their sons scream like that. Paul and Ruth both wildly jumped up and raced for the door, terrified of what they would find.

 

3

 

As Paul turned into the hallway his feet slid out from underneath him. He was wearing a new pair of white cotton socks. They were the fluffy kind; not the cheap dollar store type. Paul had drawn small comfort wearing them all night during the madness, but new socks combined with a clean hardwood floor had sent Paul flying. He hit the right side of his forehead against the sharp corner of an old wooden table that stood outside his and Ruth’s bedroom. The table had been in Ruth’s family, a gift from her mother when she moved out to Green Falls. Paul felt the blood almost immediately begin to trickle down into his right eye.

“Oh my god, Paul! Are you okay?” Ruth screamed down at him.

Paul heard his son's scream again; this time he was able to tell who it was. The screams were Shawn’s, and they were coming from his bedroom.

Ignoring his wife and the pain coming from the open wound in his head, Paul jumped up and was immediately light-headed. In that moment, Paul noticed his own shadow was enveloping the hallway. Moonlight from the window behind him was casting his shadow, which looked to Paul like a large shadow puppet with sticks for legs and arms. Lasting only a moment, Paul’s syncope quickly passed and he regained full consciousness before racing toward Shawn’s room.

Paul spotted Eddie entering the hallway from his bedroom on the left as he
passed
by.

“Dad, Mom?” Eddie said worried.

Ruth raced over to Eddie and wrapped her arms around him.

“What’s wrong with Dad’s face?” Eddie asked his mother in a panic.

Paul didn’t hear his son’s question as Shawn let out another scream, a horrible cry for help. Paul rushed across the hallway and flung open Shawn’s bedroom door.

The room was dark. Moonlight shone in and was cast on the ceiling. Paul looked straight ahead to where Shawn’s bed was. He saw nothing but darkness, a still and disturbing darkness.

Paul reached out for the light switch. Thoughts raced through his mind before his fingers made contact with the switch. Had the news reports been wrong? Was the infectious disease already on the west coast? Was it right here in Green Falls, Washington? Was it right here in his house -in his son’s bedroom? Had it KILLED his SON?!

When the light came on Paul thought Shawn was missing from his bed for a split second. He then saw that Shawn had pulled his bed covers all the way up to his eyes, his crying eyes, as Paul quickly realized.

Shawn focused his gaze on his father and let out another horrible scream.

“Jesus! Shawn what is it?” Paul yelled back, looking around anxiously for reason.

“You’re all bloody!” Shawn yelled and then began to cry out loud.

That fucking table. Why’d I have to fall down?
Paul thought to himself as he reached up a finger and dabbed his bleeding head wound. A significant amount of blood was left on his index finger as he pulled it back down to take a look.

Ruth and Eddie came rushing in behind Paul.

“What is it Shawn? Did you have a bad dream?” Ruth asked, now applying a healthy amount of motherly comfort. She and Eddie went to Shawn’s bedside where Shawn was still holding the sheets up to his eyeballs. Paul noticed the kid looked like he was shaking as he walked closer to the foot of Shawn’s bed. He wiped his bloody wound with a tissue that he had grabbed from Shawn’s dresser. Paul’s foot struck a few toys and knocked them under Shawn’s bed as he walked toward his terrified son.

“What is it Shawn?” Paul asked.

Shawn’s sheets were soaking wet from his sweat and tears. Through sheets held over his mouth Shawn whispered “There's a man in the closet!”

 

4

 

Paul froze instantly hearing the terrified whisper of his son. He felt as though he had left his body momentarily in disbelief before a rush of pure terror ran through him. A man in the closet? Oh shit.

Ruth slowly turned her head and mirrored Paul’s terror. She was completely taken back by Shawn’s comment as she seemed to freeze in place.

“Um, what?” Paul asked. The gesture that had started loud quickly turned into a whisper as he looked toward the closet.

The closet door was slightly cracked open and Paul could see a sliver of the bedroom light had crept into the small opening.

Paul lunged forward and slammed himself into the closet door, closing it with a loud bang. He held the door knob tight and propped his foot at the base of the door.

“Ruth! Get the kids downstairs!” Paul said.

“What?” Ruth questioned, obviously confused and in shock.

“Now! I’m not taking any chances. If you hear me yell, then go to Roy’s for help.”

Ruth had an overwhelming look of disbelief on her face.

“You’re not serious! With everything going on Shawn probably had a terrible dream and…” Ruth was saying but suddenly cut off by a loud
thud
from within the closet.

“Go now!” Paul yelled, startling everyone into action.

Shawn threw his covers to the side and Ruth snatched him off the bed. They bolted from the room with Eddie close on their heels. Paul watched them leave as he propped all of his weight against the closet door. Instead of running right to go downstairs, Eddie made a quick left turn and headed back down the hallway toward his parents’ bedroom.

“Eddie, go downstairs! What are you doing?” Paul yelled angrily.

Paul stood there for a few seconds waiting for a response. The bleeding on his head had stopped but sweat was starting to mix in, hindering his body’s natural ability to clot and causing the blood to start to slowly seep down his head again.

Paul heard his bedroom door closing, followed by the sound of Eddie running down the hallway and back into Shawn’s room.

“Here Dad, take this in case you need it,” Eddie said as he handed his father a fully loaded 9 millimeter handgun.

Paul was shocked. The black handgun his son was holding was a secret he thought was well kept. Three years ago Ruth and Paul had been over at one of Roy Benton’s parties. Roy had opened a very old bottle of Dewar’s Scotch that had to have been aged at least of couple of decades. While sharing more than a few glasses of this fine and surely aged Scotch, Roy began his recurring speech on how Paul needed to buy a gun to protect his family. Roy saw himself as an expert on the subject as he had nearly an arsenal of firearms locked away in a huge gun cabinet in his den.

Paul knew Ruth didn’t like the idea of keeping a gun around the house so much so that he wouldn’t bring the subject up in front of her. At that party however, Paul became very agreeable to the idea of becoming a gun owner; the large amount of Scotch consumed would have seen him agree to just about anything that night. The next day, Roy Benton had come knocking bright and early, ready to take Paul down to Fleche’s Gun Shop at the end of Main Street. Paul hadn’t even remembered making the plan, but he went regardless, and he came back with a new 9mm and a box of ammunition.

Ruth wasn’t very happy with him. In fact, she was so furious with him that Paul had slept on the couch for a few nights. Once tempers had eventually cooled, they came to an agreement: the gun was to be stored at the very top of their closet, behind many old shoe boxes and outdated clothing, and the children were to
never
know of its existence. So Paul did store it away, loaded, and with the safety on. In the case of an event where he would need it quickly, he wanted that sucker loaded, much to Ruth’s chagrin.

But that was nearly three years ago. Paul hadn’t even looked at that gun since.

“Eddie! How the hell did you…?” Paul started to say but then trailed off. The stranger in his son’s closet was a more important issue at the moment. He quickly snatched the gun out of Eddie’s hands and ordered him to leave the room and close the door behind him. Eddie ran from the room slamming the door behind him.

The room was silent, still, and very bright all of a sudden. Paul felt like he had never seen his son’s room in this light. His brain was working overtime for sure as he irrationally thought
‘What the hell time is it?’

Paul held up his gun with his right hand. He slowly shifted his weight off of the door and leaned back a little. He quickly thought to himself, ‘
Everything we’ve heard is true! One of these infected freaks is in my son’s closet!’

Paul was now determined to shoot this bastard and protect his family, just like Roy Benton undoubtedly would do in this situation.

Paul took his foot of the bottom of the door and stood back even further. Reaching out with his left hand, he slowly turned the closet door knob until it clicked. Paul took in a large breath and then flung the door open.

A man came falling out of the closet, stumbling toward Paul, along with a football and some other toys falling out behind him.

Alarmed, but ready to fire his gun, Paul took aim at the man’s head, but as Paul pulled the trigger, nothing happened. The trigger actually wouldn’t move.


The safety! The fucking safety is on!’
Paul thought as the man stumbled into him.


How do I take the safety off?’
Paul thought again as he hit the floor with the infected person now on top of him.

 

5

 

The struggle began instantly. Paul ditched the gun; he didn’t have to the time to figure out or remember how the safety worked on that damn thing.

His first instinct was to hold the man up with his left arm and punch with his right. So that’s what he did. Paul was amazed at his own freakish strength. The man on top of him went flying back toward the closet with the first punch Paul landed.

Confused more than afraid, Paul sat up quickly and looked toward the infected man.

The man could have been John Cena’s twin.
‘John Cena??’
Paul thought
‘What???’
A wave of embarrassment filled him as he realized ‘the man’ was Shawn’s inflatable wrestling doll. A nervous giggle burst from Paul’s lips, Shawn loved the WWE and here Paul had nearly ‘taken out’ his favorite with a 9mm.

Feeling like a complete asshole, Paul stood up and went to the bedroom door. He opened it and yelled down the stairs.

“Hey guys, come on up here. It’s safe.”

From the bottom of the steps Ruth called up, “Jesus, are you okay at least. I think we heard you fall?”

“I’m fine, just come up here,” Paul said, suppressing another embarrassed giggle as he went back into Shawn’s room and retrieved his 9mm handgun.

Ruth entered the room first, holding Shawn’s hand. She followed the nod Paul gave her and saw the well loved culprit that caused the chaos lying on its back halfway in the closet. Shawn was reluctant to enter his room because he was still very frightened.

“It’s okay Shawn, come in. No one is in your room,” Paul reassured.

Ruth sat on the bed, lifted Shawn up, and sat him in her lap.

“See, there was nothing to be afraid of,” Ruth said, kissing her son’s forehead.

“Except that wrestling doll; he got me good,” Paul joked.

Shawn finally cracked a smile and said, “That’s John Cena. I forgot he was in there.”

Paul gave a look toward Ruth. In that moment they shared the same thought, ‘
This crazy business going on around them is already affecting them personally
.’

Eddie slowly walked into the room with a look of guilt hanging on him. Paul walked over to Eddie and bent down to look him directly in the face.

“Daddy, is that a gun in your hand?” Shawn asked from behind him. Ruth noticed it then too and gasped.

“Paul! When did you have to time to grab that thing?” Ruth asked aloud.

BOOK: The Dead Divide Us (Book 1)
8.35Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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