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.”