Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Part VI

          Orlando had just been to an underground Zombie fight club. Not only had he just been to an underground Zombie fight club but he had been a participant. There had been three Zombies. Ruben and Orlando wasted no time destroying them. After it was finished Ruben took off.  He said he had to be somewhere but he didn’t say where.
          Orlando drove home on his Sportster. He had not enjoyed the killing. He pulled up to the house; it was too early in the day for his parents to be home from work but his grandfather would be home. ‘What questions would his grandfather have for him?’ Orlando thought as he sat on the Sportster looking up at the house.
          He heard the TV on as he entered the house; he found his grandfather watching TV. Upon hearing Orlando, his grandfather turned it off.
          “How did your day go?” he asked.
          Orlando sat down on the sofa across from his grandfather.  He didn’t answer. He just sat there staring at nothing in particular.
          “That bad, huh?” his grandfather asked, a chuckle in his voice.
          Orlando raised his head. He looked at his grandfather directly as he said, “Maxwell came by my school, wanted to know what I was doing there.”
          “Thought he might be by,” clearing his throat, his grandfather then added, “He has always been impatient. How did your training go?”
          Orlando gave a half smile as he thought it over before saying, “It was hands on training.”
          “What was Maxwell thinking? It’s far too early for you to be having direct contact with Zombies.” His grandfather seemed a bit upset at hearing this.
          “It wasn’t Maxwell; he turned my training over to some guy called Ruben.”
          “It’s too early.”
          The training didn’t bother Orlando nearly as much as the questions he had for his grandfather. “How did you become a Zombie hunter? Who decided that this would be my thing?”
          His grandfather coughed to clear out his throat; he was not quite sure what he should say. He sat forward in his chair, resting his elbows on his knees and clasping his hands, his fingers touching each other he finally said to his grandson, “I met Maxwell when I was young, about your age. I was coming home late from a friend’s party. I heard screaming like I had never heard before. At first I thought I would ignore it; it had nothing to do with me but for some reason I stopped and didn’t walk inside my parent’s house. There was an alley way that ran alongside of it. I started to hear groaning so I went around and saw a young man about my age. He was leaning up against the trash bins clutching his sides.
“What happened to you?” Orlando’s grandfather asked the young man.
“Get away! It’s coming back!” the young man shouted in warning. There was blood dripping down the side of his head and his clothes were badly torn. “It’s coming back.” He limped forward towards him.
“It’s okay. My name is Ethan. I’ll call the police for you,” he said as he stepped forward so that he could help the young man.
“No!” A look of fear crept on the young mans face as a shadow dropped down over Ethan.
Swinging out from the young man’s side was a sword, it scraped through the air. Upon seeing the sword swoop out from the young man, Ethan dropped to the ground to avoid it. He heard as it sliced into something thick behind him. Blood splattered onto Ethan.
The sword that the young man held fell to the floor clanging. His eyes closed as he took several steps backwards to lean against the trash bins once more. He said to Ethan, “It was hunting.”
Looking it over Ethan asked, “What was that?”
“Zombie,” he said. He was out of breath.
Ethan doubted that. How could there be a Zombie lying dead at his feet?  “No, it can’t be a Zombie,” he said.
“Take a look. See for yourself.”  He watched as Ethan did just that. He went on to say, “Check out the skin. It’s grey, flaking off, and then there’s the smell.”
“Did you say it was hunting?”
“How did you not even smell it when it came up behind you?” the young man asked perplexed.
“We’re in an alley. I didn’t think much of it.” Ethan said, squinting his eyes at him. He then asked, “What’s your name?”
“Maxwell, and for saving your life you now owe me.”
“Don’t think so,” Ethan said. His eyes were back on the Zombie.
“There are more of them, not just that one.”
“Where did it come from?”
“I don’t know.” Moving away from the trash bins towards Ethan, he said, “I can show you how to kill them.”
“I don’t want to know,” Ethan began to back away from Maxwell.
“Going home to your safe little house? Leave me half dead out here to fight the rest of them off, is that your plan?”
“How long have you been hunting Zombies?”
He voice was flat as he answered, “Since my father became one.”

Orlando watched as his grandfather reached behind his back for his wallet. He pulled out a picture. Handing it to Orlando, he said, “This was us years and years ago.” He laughed as he remembered the training Maxwell put him through.
“Why did you agree?” Orlando asked as he handed the picture back to his grandfather.
“I’m not quiet sure why. It just seemed like the right thing to do.”

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