Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Zombie Story Part XIII

          Elodie watched unable to move as Fernie began changing into a Zombie. She desperately tried to make eye contact with Orlando. After a moment of willing him to look in her direction, their eyes locked. Taking a hair pin from the folds of her hair, she used the distraction to unlock the collar around her neck. She did not remove it, leaving it on to create the illusion that she was still under Maxwell’s hold.
          Orlando didn’t know what to do about Fernie. He could see that Fernie was fighting the change. There had to be something that he could do to help him. He felt compelled to look in Elodie’s direction. He watched as she undid the lock on the collar. He hoped she had a plan, for he certainly didn’t.
          “Maxwell,” she called out to him so that she could be heard over Fernies agonized shouts. “You’ve lost your mind.”
          Maxwell turned to look down at her, a smile upon his lips. As he did so, Elodie flung the hair pin up into his eyes. It glowed a bright gold. Blinding him, she flicked the collar off of her neck and wrapped it around his own.
          Maxwell was unable to release the collar. It was clamped on tightly. He shouted at them all.
          A Zombie burst out of the small building. He had a long steel bar clutched in his hand. As the Zombie approached, he let out a horrific scream before running into their circle.
          Orlando who already had his sword charged for the Zombie, swung it against the steel bar. Both adversaries were held off. The zombie, in one fluid motion, threw his shoulder into Orlando, knocking him off his feet.
          As Orlando began to fall, he held up a hand to ward the Zombie back and away. The center of his chest tightened and the feeling coursed down his arm and out of his fingertips. A purple haze then erupted from the tips of his fingers, which surprised Orlando. He had no idea what was taking place. He felt himself being pulled back into a standing position. As he regained his feet, he took a swing at the Zombie with his sword, removing its head from its shoulders.
          Orlando turned back to where Fernie and the others were. Elodie knelt above Fernie. An orange glow radiated from her hands as she held them above his chest. Fernie seemed to be calmer. He was no longer shouting in pain.
          Maxwell was hunched down in a corner. He was still working on trying to remove the collar from his neck.
          “Give us what we need to cure him!” Ruben shouted down at Maxwell.
          “What for?  You ruined everything. I had buyers for the ‘fix’ I had created coming tonight, but all this racket more than likely scared them off.”
          “Do you want to die?” Ruben asked, a crack in his voice.
          “Maybe,” he replied, untouched by the question.
          Ruben raised his sword. Orlando called out for him to stop. “He’s playing you, Ruben.”
          Ruben did not turn, but he looked over his shoulder. “He is not cooperating!” he said with an edge in his voice.
          “He will.” Orlando’s eyes conveyed to Ruben a subtle message to leave Maxwell alone for now. He next bent down by Elodie. “How is he?” he said, asking about Fernie.
          Elodie was about to speak, but Fernie answered for her instead. “I am dying. There is nothing that can be done. I have known for a long time that this was going to happen.” 
          “I’m sure we can make Maxwell give us a cure.” There had to be a cure. Surely his own grandfather, who had also been injected with Zombie blood, was not going to end this way as well, was he?
          Fernie seemed to read Orlando’s mind because he next said, “There is one thing that can be done for your grandfather.”
          “What is it?”
          Fernie struggled to sit up. “I will show you. Help me get up.” Both Elodie and Orlando helped Fernie stand. Once he was standing, he then asked Orlando for his sword. Orlando gave it to him with no question. “There are more Zombies coming.”
          Fernie was right. There were three more that were quickly closing in on them. Somehow Fernie found the courage to push away from Elodie and Orlando in order to run out into the pack of Zombies. Ruben followed him in.
          “No, no, no,” Maxwell began to mumble. “Get me out of here!”
          “Why? You said you were ready to die,” Orlando reminded him.
          “Those are not mindless Zombies!” he shouted, quickly standing. “They are pumped up on a ‘fix’, yet they are aware of everything they are doing. They can think on their own!”
          Elodie moved and got directly into Maxwell’s face. “Then hand over the cure. Do it now before they get any closer.”
          “Inside my office,” he said, “Second refrigerator on the right.”
          “Go get it, Elodie. Try it on my grandfather.” Elodie rushed inside. Orlando pushed Maxwell up against the wall. “If it’s not what you say it is, then I will throw you to the Zombies.”
          “It is; It is,” he assured him.
          Orlando could do nothing but watch as Ruben and Fernie battled the Zombies. He could not leave Maxwell in case he ran off. Elodie ran back outside.
          “It’s doing something. Your grandfather is awake.”  She held another vial in her hand. “For Fernie,” she said.
          There was a rumble.   The ground began to shake and break apart. Orlando could hear Fernie’s voice.  As the rumbling began to settle, he could not make out the words, but he clearly heard one of the Zombies talking.
          “Give us Maxwell, and we will leave.”
          “No,” Orlando stepped forward. “Maxwell gave us the cure. Fernie, I told him that if he helped us we would keep him safe from the Zombies.”
          “Fine, I’ll give him to them then. I didn’t promise anything,” Ruben quickly said. “He turned hunters into Zombies. Let’s hand him over.”
          “What do they want him for?” Orlando questioned. “To make something worse, look at them!” He pointed to the Zombies. “They have evolved!”
          “Just makes them harder to kill.”
          Orlando could see that Ruben didn’t care. That he wanted vengeance for the deaths of his friends.
          They didn’t have any more time to argue about it. One of the Zombies took his sword and ran it through Fernie, who stood the closest to them. Seeing Fernie fall, Orlando reached out for him.  Fernie solemnly placed his sword into Orlando’s hand.
          Ruben swung at the Zombie who had attacked Fernie. The other two Zombies ran past him to Maxwell. Elodie used her orange light to ward them off. The glare worked for a moment. Maxwell, who suddenly decided he didn’t want to die there, tried to flee from the orange surroundings. That was his mistake. One of the pumped up Zombies picked him up with on hand and tossed him to the other one, who caught him and put him over his shoulder. They both ran off.
          It took the efforts of both Ruben and Orlando to kill the remaining Zombie. When he was dead, they tried to help Fernie, but it was too late for the old man. His time had ended.
          “What just happened?” Elodie asked.
          Orlando looked away from Fernie’s body up at her. “Evolved zombies?” he said, not quite sure himself.
          The End for now….

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Part XII

          Ruben silently stared at Orlando who, after revealing what had happened with Elodie, knelt back down to his grandfather’s side to check on him. His grandfather had been injected with Zombie blood. It meant it was only a matter of time before his grandfather died.
          “Is he going to be okay? What can we do for him?” Orlando asked Fernie.
          Looking directly at Orlando, Fernie said, “There is nothing I can do for him.”
Orlando did not like hearing that. He would not take that as the final word. “Maybe if we get a hold on Maxwell, we can make him give us a cure. He must have one!”
“Dude, I don’t care about your grandfather. My sister is gone! We should be focusing on getting her back. Who knows what Maxwell will do to her?”
Orlando rose back to his feet, “My grandfather is dying.”
Fernie’s gaze traveled between Orlando and Ruben. “How did Maxwell take her out of this room? We did not see them on our way in.”
“There was orange smoke, and then they were gone.” Orlando eyed Ruben cautiously, watching for a reaction. “I thought Maxwell wasn’t a wizard. Ruben, did you know he could move with the smoke?”
Fernie stepped forward. “It’s not Maxwell. He is unable of such magick. It was Elodie.”
“Elodie?” Orlando was surprised by this.
Ruben was quiet. His eyes moved back and forth between Fernie and Orlando. He did not speak.
“Why didn’t you say anything? Why keep it a secret?” Orlando asked.
Fernie had his own question. “Where would Elodie take Maxwell?”
“I’m not sure.”
That was not what Orlando wanted to hear, “We need to find Maxwell. We need to make him give us a cure.”
“I’m not sure where she would take him.”
“You must have a way of contacting each other, so call her.” Orlando took a few aggressive steps forward.
Orlando,” his grandfather called up to him. He tried to sit up but found that he was unable to.
Orlando quickly went to his grandfather’s side and helped him sit up.
“I came over with Elodie,” his grandfather said very quietly.
“What was that grandpa?” Orlando did not quite hear.
“I came over with Elodie. She brought me here with the smoke. She told me that she comes over often, that she has friends here.”
“She told you this?” Orlando questioned. He did not see the guarded look cross Ruben’s face.
Ruben ran from the room. Orlando hurried after him, his sword in his hand, calling back over his shoulder to Fernie, “Stay here with my grandpa!”
 “Go with him,” his grandfather said to Fernie.
          Orlando caught up with Ruben, who had suddenly come to a halt.
          Maxwell stood before him, Elodie at his side. She had a collar around her neck, the type that was used on the Zombies to keep them under control.
          “Elodie,” Ruben said as he saw her fall to her knees, her hands clasping at the collar.
          Maxwell’s voice revealed his excitement as he spoke. “Things have a way of changing to my favor.” He took a step back from Ruben and Orlando. “I didn’t know, Ruben, that your own sister is a wizard.”
          “Give me the cure for my grandfather,” Orlando demanded.
          “He is full of surprises, Ruben,” Elodie said. Her voice cracked.
          “That’s not all he’s full of,” Ruben said quietly.
          Orlando raised his sword, “Let Elodie go and give me the cure for my grandfather.”
           “What makes you think there is a cure?”
          Orlando did not like hearing that. “There is always a cure!” he shouted in frustration.
          “I finally have myself a wizard. It took me some time, but it finally happened.” Maxwell was very pleased with himself. He seemed to be looking at something over Orlando’s shoulder.
          Orlando heard a movement. He did not turn to look; he didn’t want to turn his gaze from Maxwell.
          There was a grunt that came from behind Orlando, followed by moaning. He looked over his shoulder, “Fernie, what’s wrong?”
          Maxwell answered for him, "The Zombie blood that he has been fighting for so long has finally gotten hold of his system.  He is turning. This is wonderful! A Zombie wizard and you, Orlando, will have the first shot at him. As for you Ruben, you can either continue on as you have, and by that I mean continue hunting down Zombies, or I will have Elodie fight you.”
          “I will not fight her, and I will not hunt for you.” Ruben said.
          “You will not have a choice. As you can see, she wears a collar. There is nothing that I cannot make her do.”
          “Why are you creating Zombies?” Orlando did not understand Maxwell’s true intentions. What his end game was endgame?
          “I am not the only one creating Zombies. There are networks that you do not even know about. We are all competing with one another. If you live past tonight, I just might tell you.”

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Part XI

          The shooting lights were turning people into Zombies. Orlando didn’t think such a thing was possible. It couldn’t be.
          Fernie remained quiet as they tracked the two remaining Zombies. Most of the Zombies had fled the scene looking for prey elsewhere. Orlando, Ruben and Fernie had tracked and killed all but two. They were easy to locate. Just listen for the screams of their victims.
          Orlando looked back at Ruben who was bringing up the rear. He looked troubled.
          “What’s wrong?” Orlando asked coming to a stop.
          “Keep quiet,” Fernie answered. He looked irritated. “Keep moving. We have a lot to do tonight.”
          Fernie took the lead, Orlando held back waiting for Ruben. “What’s wrong?”
          Keeping his voice low he answered, “Fernie’s injured. He’s favoring his right side.”
          Orlando looked over to where Fernie was waiting for them to catch up. He stood there tall and straight. It didn’t look like Fernie was suffering from any ill effects.
          “It’s subtle but it's there.” Ruben said before looking back over his shoulder in the direction they had come. Something caught and held his gaze.
          “He’s dying; Maxwell injected him with Zombie blood.” Orlando noticed the look on Ruben’s face. His eyes followed to see what had created the change.
          There was something very small coming up along the street. It was rolling. It came to a sudden halt.
          To Orlando, it looked like an old fashioned cannon ball. It began to move again. It rolled out towards the left of them and came around as if it were creating a circle. It began to move faster and faster. The size of the circle was growing wider.
          “What is that?” Orlando asked.
          The cannon ball suddenly halted. It now lay at Orlando’s feet.
          “MOVE!” Fernie shouted from behind them.
          Orlando could hear Fernie running towards him, but he could not move. The cannon ball held him transfixed.
          It shot up at Orlando, hitting the center of his chest and knocking him backwards. He began to fall, although he did not touch the ground beneath him. Darkness overtook him drawing him in until there was nothing more.
            When Orlando woke, he found himself in some sort of lab. There was strange equipment and even stranger noises. It took him several moments to clear his head from the darkness.
          He was strapped to a wall. The bindings were tight and he could not move an inch. His eyes darted, trying to look for some sort of escape. The room was very dark. The only source of light emerged from the machines. He did not want to find out what they were for.
          Orlando caught sight of his sword lying on the floor several feet away. Above it rested several knives of different lengths affixed to the wall.
          The door to the lab slowly creaked open. Orlando’s grandfather entered the room. “Why would you come here?” he carefully asked his grandson.
          “Grandpa! Get me down.”
          The door pushed open further and Elodie came rushing into the room. “We have to hurry! I hear them coming!”
          “Elodie!” Orlando nearly growled her name. ‘What where they both doing here?’
          She stopped as she saw Orlando strapped to the wall. She pushed past Orlando’s grandfather and began to release the buckles.
          Orlando watched as his grandfather went back to the door. He was looking out, waiting. Orlando didn’t know what to make of it. He was confused.  “How did you find me here?” He asked the question yet he was afraid of the answer.
          Elodie was quick to answer, “I didn’t trust you guys to come out here on your own. I told your grandfather what I knew and he agreed to help me track you guys.”
          There was noise coming from the other side of the door. Orlando was freed from the restraints.
          His grandfather backed away from the door, waiting.
          The door began to vibrate shooting open and slamming up against the wall.
          “Maxwell!” Orlando’s grandfather shouted.
          Maxwell entered the room. He did not look afraid, instead he looked smug. His hands were concealed in his pockets. A wide smile began to form across his face. Looking at his old friend he said, “You sneak into my home like criminals, Ethan?”
          “What have you done here?” Orlando’s grandfather looked about the room. His eyes filled with such sadness the more they took in. Settling firmly on Maxwell he asked, “What did you have planed for my grandson?”
          Maxwell removed his hands from his pockets, yet Orlando could see he kept something concealed in his right hand.
          Orlando moved closer to his grandfather. He wasn’t sure what Maxwell was going to do.
          “How did you know how to find me?” Maxwell asked Ethan.
          “I know about your old haunts…I know what this place means to you…what your father did here.”
          “Your father turned into a Zombie,” Orlando said his hands at his sides, waiting for Maxwell to play his cards. “You’ve been turning hunters into Zombies.”
          “My father was a scientist. He was a pioneer. He started with an idea and I took his ideas and made them greater.”
          “The shooting lights in the streets were your ideas?” Orlando asked.
          “The lights are one of my creations.”  He moved further into the room. “There is much that I wanted to show you, Orlando. You and Ruben were going to help me achieve so much more.”
          Orlando noticed that Elodie had moved and that she now stood to Maxwell’s side. She was moving in.
          He had to keep Maxwell distracted from her.
          “How could you involve my grandson?” Ethan charged at Maxwell grabbing him by the shoulders.
          Maxwell revealed what he had kept hidden in his right hand. It was a syringe which he stabbed into Ethan’s chest and injected the fluids into his body.
          Ethan fell to the ground and began to convulse. Orlando dropped down beside him and Elodie jumped onto Maxwell’s back.
          Maxwell tried to toss her off, but she clung on. There was a flash of light. It created orange smoke. As it cleared, Orlando could see that both Maxwell and Elodie were gone.
          Orlando could hear footsteps from the outer chamber. Ruben and Fernie rushed into the room. Orlando rose with his fist clenched. Looking at Fernie he said, “I think my grandfather was injected with Zombie blood.”
          Fernie knelt down to check him. “You’re right. He has been.”
          “How did he get here? Was he working with Maxwell?” Ruben asked furiously.
          “Elodie brought him.”
          “Elodie?” A look of fear in his eyes as he asked, “Where is she then?”
          “Maxwell took her.”

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Part X

            They traveled down the 5 FWY, it was late Orlando wasn’t sure if he was doing the right thing. Nothing seemed to be right any more. The last few days were one surprise after the next. No one was who they claimed to be. Orlando was not even sure if he could trust Ruben. He had just met the guy. He said he got those bruises from a Zombie but he could be lying to him about it. Ruben was working for Maxwell.
          Orlando was not going to worry about it. He would see how things played out once they reached Tijuana. But first he had to make a quick stop. He had to meet Fernie in San Diego; the map that had appeared on the back of Orlando’s bedroom door had an address in the Gaslamp Quarter.
          They rode up to a hotel, the Horton Grand Hotel.
          Ruben looked up at the old building, “Why are we stopping here?”
          Orlando simply said, “We are meeting a friend of mine.”
          “I thought you were in a hurry to get to Tijuana.” Ruben watched as Orlando headed inside the building.
          The lobby had vaulted ceilings, decorated mostly in white with columns along side the lobby’s walls.
          Orlando stopped at the entrance; he spotted Fernie seated in a white wicker chair. Fernie eyes had settled on them, the look in them were unreadable. Fernie rose from his chair and carefully walked over to Orlando and Ruben.
          “You’re one of Maxwell’s hunters,” he held out his hand for him.
          Without hesitation Ruben took his hand to shake, instantly he felt the sensation of sharp pins injected into his hand. He cried out in pain, his knees buckled nearly falling to the floor.
          Fernie ended the connection by pulling his hand away. “Can’t trust just anybody, had to make sure you were clean.”
          “What did you do to him?” Orlando asked mystified.
          Ruben clutched his hand, the sensations were slowly ebbing. “You’re a wizard.” He said accusingly.
          Fernie chose not to answer the question instead he said, “You know,” looking around the place, “Wyatt Earp lived here.”
          Ruben was not ready to let the attack on him go, “What the Hell! I can’t even make a fist!”
          “What did you do?” Orlando asked again.
          “It was a test. He passed.”
          With his other hand Ruben formed a fist and took a swing at Fernie who ducked. Not happy with that Ruben lunged at him taking him to the ground. Orlando stood there deciding not to interfere; he folded his arms in front of his chest.
          He watched as Fernie deflected most of Rubens assaults, yet he did manage to land one near his kidneys.
          With a gust of wind Fernie pushed Ruben away. He landed on his back with a groan.
          “We should get going,” Orlando had enough of this. He wanted to reach Tijuana and face Maxwell. He had a lot to say to him.
          “Yeah, I’m done here.” Ruben rose and headed for the doors.
          Before he made it to the door the three of them were surrounded by blue light. Orlando knew what this light was. Fernie was a wizard, he traveled in the light. He was taking them to where they needed to be. Tijuana, Mexico.
          Opening his eyes Orlando found that they were on a busy street. There was shouting, the smell of fear in the air. Without giving it another thought Orlando ran towards the sounds.
          There were strange colored lights shooting up from the ground the people that the light struck were crying out in pain. Orlando watched as they transformed into Zombies.
          “Don’t let the light hit you!” he shouted at Ruben and Fernie as they reached him.
          The newly transformed Zombies began attacking what was left of the crowd.
          “Use your light!” Orlando shouted at Fernie. “Get the survivors out of here!”
          Fernie did what he could but the numbers of survivors were dwindling down as the numbers of Zombies were rising.
          Ruben drew his sword and ran into the thick of Zombies shouting his battle cry. Orlando ran in after him and took a swing with his fist at the first Zombie he came into contact with. He had left his sword with his Sportster.
          He gave a kick to another one, it was a good thing he wore his Harley boots. A hand clamped down onto his head pulling him backwards. He fell flat on the ground. As he looked up he saw his sword shooting down from the sky straight for him. It was not a sight he was comfortable with. Dodging the fall of the sword he sat up grabbed the hilt as it pierced the ground and with it in his hand he swung at the Zombie. The head sliced right off.
          He had to be careful that the lights that were still shooting out of the ground did not come into contact with him. He sidestepped a light as it shot through the ground. Orlando used his sword as if it were a baseball bat and swung at the light. He hit it dead on. With its new direction the light shot at a Zombie hitting it in the chest. As the light made connect the Zombie began to shake violently. Amazingly it returned to its human form, it sank to the floor knocked out.
          Orlando shouted at Ruben telling him what to do with the shooting lights. A few of the Zombies ran off in search of prey elsewhere.
          Fernie was knelling down beside a victim of a Zombie attack. He was trying to help the wounded. His blue light surrounded all of the injured in a healing fashion. They next were absorbed into the light.
          “What happened? Where did they all go?” Orlando asked.
          Ruben interrupted with his own question, “Dude, what was with the light show?”

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Part IX

         He didn’t know what to do. Did Orlando share with his grandfather what he had learned about Maxwell? What about Ruben? Did he know what Maxwell had been doing all along? Orlando stood in the center of the camp. His hands rested on his hips. He heard Fernie step out of the tent. He did not look up as Fernie said, “He left things here. His notes and some of the magik fix.”
          “I thought he hated Zombies, why would he make them?” Orlando bent down to look into the dying blue flames of the pit. “His own father became a Zombie.”
          “Didn’t you wonder how he became a Zombie?”
          The ‘how’ didn’t matter to Orlando. “Did he get bit or something?”
          “Getting bit doesn’t turn you into a Zombie. It’s this stuff right here.” Fernie held up a vial of magik fix. “You take enough of these thinking all your getting is a nice high when what you’re really doing is dosing your body with Zombie juice.”
          “That stuff has been making everyone into Zombies?” Orlando rose and stepped over to Fernie. Taking the vial from his hand he examined it closely.
          “It comes in many forms. Liquid, pills, whatever you want.”
          “You said he left notes in the tent?”
          Fernie gave Orlando a big smile before saying, “He did.”
          “Where are they?”
          “Have you agreed to help me then?”
          Orlando nodded his head. He was sure, Maxwell had betrayed him. He had told Orlando that it was his job to hunt Zombies to put an end to them. When all along Maxwell had been the one behind them.
          “Good. Meet me in an hour.”
          A blue light exploded throughout the camp. Orlando had to cover his eyes from the intense light. He felt the light enclose over him and within moments fade away. Opening his eyes he saw that he was back in his room. His mother stood at the door with her hand resting on the door knob. She did not seem to realize that any time had past.
          “Go to bed,” she said closing the door shut.
          A diagram appeared on the bedroom door. It was a map of some sort. He traced it with his fingers. Small swirly lines with numbers…Orlando was going to Tijuana, Mexico.
          He was going to need to take a shower first. After his trek in the park he needed it.
          He showered quickly and returned to his room, the light on his cell phone indicated that he had a text message. It was Ruben. He wanted to meet him.
          Orlando agreed.
          They met at a bowling ally down the street from his house. Ruben looked like he had been in a fight. He had a bruise on the right side of his face and blood on his shirt.
          “What happened to you?” Orlando asked as he sat down next to him at the bar.
          “I was hunting, Zombie was pretty big. Didn’t expect it, but I took it down.”
          “How did you find it?”
          “Maxwell put me on the trail. Said he saw it, so I went. After I killed it I gave him a call. He didn’t answer but I knew where I could find him.”
          The bartender approached them and Orlando ordered a coke. He listened as Ruben continued.
          “He didn’t see me; at first I didn’t think anything by it. Then I saw that he was talking to somebody. So I got closer. He had at least two other Zombies. He had them in cages. They were hooked up to tubes and looked like they were knocked out.”
          “How did you know where to find him?”
          “I learned a while ago that whenever I work with someone its best to know as much as you can about them. So I had followed him around for a while. I thought he seemed legit.”
          “I did to. He’s making them you know, he’s making Zombies.”
          Ruben turned to Orlando, “He’s making them out of us.”
          “What?” Orlando was confused.
          “Some of them are hunters.” He pulled a bracelet out of his pocket. “This belonged to a friend of mine.” He dropped it on the counter. It was a gold chain bracelet.
          “Are you sure?” Orlando didn’t want to touch it. He saw red as he looked at it. They had trusted Maxwell. “What’s in Tijuana?”
          “Yeah,” he said waiting.
          “I know he goes there sometimes.”
          “I’m going there, tonight.”
          “Ruben!” They both turned to see who had called his name. She stood at the door. She looked to be about Orlando’s age. “Ruben?” She stepped forward, “What happened to you?”
          Ruben did not look pleased to see her, “Elodie I sent you a text telling you I was going to be late.”
          “Did you press send because I didn’t get it! Look at you, you’re a mess.” She didn’t notice Orlando at first but when she did she asked, “Who are you? I haven’t seen you around.”
          Ruben answered for him, “Orlando this is my sister Elodie.”
          “Your sister?” He asked.
          “Yeah, she’s why I had to leave early back in China Town. I had to pick her up.”
          Orlando couldn’t look away from Elodie she had an intense look about her. It was almost as if she were trying to decide if he could be trusted. Ruben drew her attention back towards him with his statement.
          “I’m heading down to T.J. I should be back in the morning.”
          “What? why?”
          He simply said, “Hunting.”
          Looking back at Orlando squinting her eyes, “with him?”
          “I’m not new at this.” Orlando said. He didn’t like the scrutiny in her eyes.
          “It’s your gamble.” With that said she left the bar.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


            Orlando found himself in some sort of park. There were old trains lined up sitting on railroad tracks. Balloons were tied to a post near a caboose. There were several benches and tables scattered about the area in a random pattern. A building had a sign affixed above double doors. ‘Travel Town U.S.A.
          “Hey!” Orlando shouted. ‘Where did Fernie go? Why had he even brought him to this place?’
          A dark shadow began to form before Orlando. The shadow bubbled, pushed out towards Orlando who carefully backed away not sure what it was. The shadow shot down towards the ground formed a dark pool and slowly rose to form Fernie.
          “We can talk here. There is no one around for miles,” Fernie said.
          “Why did you bring me here?” Orlando wanted nothing to do with Fernie. The more time he spent with him the more he thought the guy was some psycho.
          “There were too many interruptions at your house, unless you wanted me to kill your mother?” Fernie questioned with a chuckle in his voice. “I wanted you to see who Maxwell really was. I wanted you to see him in action.”
          With a spin on his heel Fernie turned around giving his back to Orlando. Fernie seemed to be looking at something in the distance.
          Orlalndo only saw hills, there was nothing.
          “He’s up there.” Fernie said.
          “There is nothing here. No one is here. Take me home.” Orlando wasn’t even dressed. He was standing in his pajamas and he was barefoot. How was he going to make his way back home? He didn’t even know where he was.
          Fernie turned back around with an irritated look on his face, “Didn’t you hear what I said? He’s up there!” Fenie strode over to where Orlando stood. “Come see for yourself.”
          “No?” A strange look formed on Fernies face as he stared at Orlando. “No? He repeated.
          “Look, I’m not sure what is wrong with you. Maybe you got into someone’s stash of magik fix. But you need help.”
          “What I needs is for you to believe me.”
          “Why do you care if I believe you or not? What’s it to you?”
          “Take a look,” Fernie raised his hand to Orlando’s face. A yellow light emerged from his finger tips.
          “What are you doing?” Orlando asked as a strange sensation overtook him.
          “Just see.”
          Orlando didn’t want to see. He wanted to return home. Get as far away from Fernie as possible. He pushed Fernie away from him and ran towards the hills.
          He heard Fernie laughing behind him. He had not bothered to follow.
          Orlando ran up the hill, there was a light in the distance. He ran towards it. He thought it would lead to someone who might be able to help him, someone who might at least have a cell phone on them.
          He heard voices as he approached the light. It was a camp ground. A blue fire burned in a pit, in the center of the blue fire was a yellow light that dimmed as Orlando approached. He ducked down behind the bushes.
          Maxwell stood at the far end of the camp. A tent near him, Orlando watched as Maxwell entered the tent. He was talking to someone but Orlando could not see who. The light from the fire pit revealed shadows of the ones who were inside the tent. There were two others in the tent with Maxwell.
          Orlando could not understand what they were speaking. He did not recognize the language. A loud shout of pain emerged from the tent.
          “Hold him down!” Someone shouted in English.
          Orlando watched the tent closely. Before he knew it a large man ran from the tent. He stopped as he approached the blue fire. He held his head in his hands as he fell to his knees. The sounds he made were unlike anything Orlando had heard before. The man began to change. His body stretched and grew. The color of his skin became ashy and taunt. He was becoming a Zombie.
          “Get the collar on him before his change is complete!”
          Orlando did not recognize the other man with Maxwell. He watched as that man reached over the Zombie to fix a collar on him.
          “Put him on the streets tonight.” Maxwell said calmly as the collar activated.
          “He’s not for the fights?” The man asked. He looked disappointed.
          “Do as I tell you!”
          Orlando wanted to emerge from his hiding place he wanted to confront Maxwell. ‘Why was he creating Zombies? He saw Maxwell’s eyes fix on the blue fire.
          “We have to clear out of here!” He shouted.
          “Why?” The man asked as he was moving the Zombie out of camp.
          “There is a yellow light in the flames. He’s watching us.”
          “Who is watching us?” He was confused.
          Turning towards the man Maxwell shouted at him, “Don’t worry about it just clear out of here now!”
          Moving towards the fire pit he tried to put the fire out, it would not go out. Maxwell began to shout around the camp. “There is nothing you can do Fernando! No one will help you. You are just a dying Wizard. How many days do you have left now?” Laughing Maxwell fled the camp.
          “They are gone now.” Fernie appeared near Orlando. “Do you believe me now? Do you finally see?”
          “I do.”
          “Good, because we do not have much time.”
          “He said you were dying?”
          “We are all dying.”
          “What is wrong with you?”
          “He injected me with Zombie blood.”
          That was not what Orlando had expected to hear, “Is there no cure?”
          “My cure will be his death.”
          Orlando did not know what to say. He had gone from believing Fernie was some crazy psycho to now knowing that Maxwell was the psycho.
          Orlando turned to find Fernie watching him, the look in his eyes was uncertainty. Fernie slowly began to speak, “We must end this soon.”