Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Part III

The next morning as Orlando opened his bedroom door to go downstairs, he found the sword that Maxwell had held the night before standing in place before him. The sword was unsheathed; the blade tip rested upon the wooden floor; it did not pierce the floorboards. Orlando closed his bedroom door, waited a moment, and opened it again. Yes, the sword was still there. He hadn’t imagined it. What it was doing there, he did not know. Reaching out for it, he took the green handle into his left hand, examining it closely.
          What was he suppose to do with this? Hunt Zombies? Just how was he supposed to do that? Tossing the sword onto his bed, he headed downstairs for breakfast. His mother was downstairs and about to head out for work. “You start school tomorrow,” she reminded him.
          “Yeah,” he said as he opened the fridge.
          “I know you weren’t looking forward to moving out here, but I think we might be able to change that.”
          His mother had his full attention. He closed the door to the refrigerator. “Yeah,” he responded. “How is that?”
          “Look out the window,” she replied, crossing her arms as she leaned against the counter.
          Outside parked on the broken up driveway was a rustic car. It looked like it had seen better days.
          Orlando put two and two together fairly quickly. Frowning he asked, “Seriously?”
          “I know it’s not much, but you can work on it and make something better out of it.” 
          “Make it into what, an actual car?”
          “A Thank You would have been nice.”
          “Thanks,” he said as he opened the refrigerator.
          “Your grandfather will take you out to the junkyard for some parts later today.”
          “Thanks,” he said again in a tone that clearly did not convey any sort of gratitude.

          The junkyard was more than what Orlando expected. He left his grandfather talking to the guy who ran the place and headed out on his own. With his earphones on, he wandered the aisles, not paying attention to where he was going. Then he noticed something set in the far back corner behind boxes. It was an old motorcycle. Moving the boxes out of the way, Orlando got a better look. It looked like it had been painted black at one time, yet it was definitely a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Based on the fork and blade design and V-twin engines, he identified it as a 2004 Sportster.
          “How’d you end up over here?” his grandfather asked from behind.
          Turning, Orlando saw that the guy who ran the junkyard was with his grandfather. He asked, “How much for this?”
          “What?” his grandfather asked Orlando, surprised at his question.
          The guy gave a crooked smile before saying, “Are you sure you want that?  It didn’t do so well by its last owner.”
          “Are you crazy?” his grandfather asked, not sure he was following
          After a short discussion, Orlando was the proud owner of what he liked to think of as a “pre-owned” Sportster. The guy told him that he could have someone deliver it for him first thing in the morning but Orlando didn’t want to wait. He told them both that he could walk the bike home. They didn’t live too far and he didn’t mind. He wanted to start working on rebuilding it right away. He knew it was illegal to walk it on the sidewalk but it was worth the risk. He was a few miles from his house and the streets were busy. A car full of teenagers drove by him; it slowed down only so that they could laugh at him. Orlando didn’t care. The sidewalk began to narrow as he turned down a side street. He had his headphones on so he didn’t hear the noise behind him but he definitely felt the hand on his shoulder. Its grip was tight as it pulled him back. Orlando dropped the Sportster as his attacker whirled him around like a top.  
          His attacker was a man who looked like a street walker. His hair was long and dirty. He had no shoes and he reeked of urine, sweat, and decay.  His eyes were sunken into his face, looking dull and lifeless.
          “I need a fix, dude.”
          “What?” Orlando asked, not sure he heard him right. He saw blood dripping down the man’s arm.
          “This is the place where I always get it!” he snarled at Orlando.
          “Whatever,” Orlando turned to pick up his Sportster. He wanted to get out of there. He heard a loud growl behind him. The hand clamped back onto his shoulder. He was thrown into wooden slats which formed a wall. He hit it hard. The man was on top of him; his mouth wide opened. Several teeth were missing and his breath smelled of rotting gums. He began to foam at the mouth. Then an even stranger odor emanated from his mouth, nearly knocked Orlando out cold.
          There was a piece of wood from the broken fence lying next to Orlando and he reached for it.
          A Zombie! His grandfather wasn’t crazy. He was right!  The guy on top of him began making strange sounds as his face came closer to Orlando’s head. He was incredibly strong; Orlando could not push him off. With the piece of wood in his left hand, he thought of flames and it immediately burst forth into flames. He rammed it into the Zombies eye. The head lit up in flames as it jumped back. While its hands reached for its head in an attempt to put it out, the rest of its body caught fire.  It gave a cry then dropped to the ground dead.
          Jumping to his feet, Orlando grabbed the Sportster and ran down the narrow sidewalk. He did not look back.
          All the way home, the words his grandfather and Maxwell had told him went through his head. How could there be Zombies? How did people not know about this? He thought about what he had seen in the street in front of his house. Did this mean that the guy with the gun was a Zombie Hunter? Did that guy kill a Zombie in front of his house? Orlando had many questions. The most important question of all; would his sword fit into his backpack at school tomorrow?

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