Image by Martin in Germany, Bunkerbewahrer.com
Part 35 - A new dawn for the children
His mouth still tasted like maple syrup and pancakes. He had fallen asleep in a really cute kids room with flowers on the walls. His mom was in the bed next to his. At least that was the reality he fell asleep in. He tried to roll over in the direction where his mother should have been peacefully sleeping. Instead he found his hands were restrained and his ankles were strapped down too. His eyes slowly fluttered open and there were no longer flowers on the walls around him.
A series of chains and handcuffs lined the wall to his right. On the left different gardening tools, cooking utensils and strange makeshift things hung from metal hooks. The air smelled stale and putrid. It smelled like decaying garbage and despair. It smelled like THEM. Those things that people started becoming.
He remembered how he used to play video games at his best friend's house. They would sneak into the older brother's room and play all the games that "weren't meant for kids". A bunch of those games had THEM as targets. You would shoot and they would disappear from the screen. In the video game world it was so easy and the best part was that you couldn't smell anything. In the real world they didn't go down so easy and there wasn't a pause button to hit when you got tired.
He was eleven but small for his age. Some of the kids at school would tease him. It wasn't easy being one of the youngest in middle school but to add his small stature to the equation made school almost unbearable. Little had anybody realized that his small frame is what saved his life and helped him escape the undead at his school.
Right now though, he was strapped down to a hard wooden table, almost like a huge chopping block. He heard footsteps outside the door. He hoped it was his mom, Grace, coming to get him. To save him. Instead Frank walked in the door wearing a heavy rubber butchers apron and holding a hot cup of coffee. The combinations of smells, coffee and death, made little Thomas throw up over the side of the table.
"I want my mom." He gagged on the little pieces of food lodged in his throat and nose.
"Oh, boo hoo, you want your mommy? YOU WANT YOUR MOMMY??" Frank slammed down the coffee mug on the table and screamed at Thomas. A few drops of hot coffee splashed onto Thomas's arm and he flinched in pain.
"Where's my mom?" Thomas asked again.
"Shut up you little brat. I know your type. You seem all innocent as a child, then puberty hits and then you're just looking to hurt and damage someone else's daughter! SHUT UP YOU LITTLE BRAT!" Frank's face was so close to Thomas's that he could feel little drops of saliva hitting his face and his breath was hot and rancid. He looked like he had never brushed his teeth in his life.
Thomas held his tongue and just stared at Frank, holding back tears. His mom would have never left him. This crazy old guy must have her hidden somewhere in the house. But was he even still in the same house he had fallen asleep in? He couldn't tell. He was a smart kid and he had to get out of here, somehow.
Frank stood up and took a sip of his coffee. A huge grin came over his face. All of the sternness disappeared. If he had a big white beard on he could have been Santa Clause preparing to hand out gifts. This new expression was more terrifying than when he had been yelling.
"I'll be right back little Thomas. I have a friend I want you to meet. I think the two of you will get along famously. Plus I want to see if you have the same genetics as your beloved little mommy." Frank left the room.
Thomas pulled and pulled at his restraints. He couldn't quite figure out how they were attached. It felt like rope and leather or vinyl or....he just couldn't tell. But he knew they weren't metal at least. Maybe he could loosen them enough...if he just kept wiggling... The door opened again and Frank walked in with a woman on a leash. She looked really sick and her skin was a weird grey, blue tint. It looked like someone had clawed down the left side of her face. Her eyes already started to have that milky white tint of the undead. It was his aunt.
"Auntie Liliane!" Thomas yelled out.
She flinched at the sound, looked at him and moved her head side to side in a very slow "NO" motion. Frank yanked on the leash and she fell to the ground out of sight.
"Liliane, of course, that's your name. I was so interested in Grace that I didn't even bother remembering your name. How rude of me. Get up Liliane, your nephew wants to see you." Frank pulled her up by her throat. He stuck her face next to Thomas's. They were eye to eye. She winked at Thomas and crossed her eyes. A little gesture that always made Thomas laugh. This time he held his laughter and winked back.
"Your Auntie here doesn't seem to have the same immunity trait your lovely mama does. I had her bitten a couple hours ago and you can already see she's starting to change." Frank dragged Liliane over to the wall on the right and chained her up with her arms behind her. One of her arms dislocated in the process and she didn't even notice. It wouldn't be long before his aunt was dead and her body would re-animate into one of THEM.
"Now Liliane, be a good girl and bite your nephew." Frank drew up Thomas's pant leg exposing his skin. Liliane began to drool a little and turned her head away. Frank punched Thomas in the face. Liliane tried to say something but couldn't. She had lost the control of her vocal cords already.
"Every time you tell me no Liliane I'm going to torture little Thomas here...until you either bite him or I kill him. It's up to you. Either way I will find out if he's immune." Frank raised his hand to hit Thomas again and Liliane leaned forward with her mouth open, her eyes stared to swell with tears. She bent her head and bit her nephew's leg. He yelled out in pain and Frank laughed. Liliane fell back against the wall. A solid bite mark laid outline on Thomas's leg, a small trail of blood started to form.
Frank pulled Liliane's chains taunt against the wall, still not realizing that her arm was dislocated. He put a bandage around the bite wound and tole Thomas he would be back in a few hours to see how he was managing. He could take that time to say good bye to his aunt. She would be a zombie before he came back...