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.


  1. I love the story, and the suspense is great. I need to go back and read the rest!