When the growling subsided we thought whatever it was went away. Soon afterwards though, the growling started again, but this time it came from the door and the window. There was more of whatever was growling out there, and we didn’t know what they were. I sat up and crawled slowly over to the window. It was quite loud sitting under the window, and I started raising myself up to look out. As soon as my head hit the bottom of the window sill the growling started faded away. I quickly looked out the window and saw someone walking away from our window.
I motioned for the others to come take a look and they both started crawling towards me. Susan bumped her head against the wall and she loudly said “OUCH” while rubbing her head. The growling at the door started up again and something was hitting at the door. We all became scared, and ran to the back of the apartment. We heard stomping upstairs and a door open.
“WILL YOU CUT IT OUT DOWN THERE? DON’T THINK I WON’T KICK YOU OUT OF HERE, AND I’LL KEEP YOUR 2 MONTHS RENT!” the landlord yelled down the outside staircase.
The pounding on the door stopped and the growling was quieted as if it was walking away. I heard pounding on a door somewhere upstairs and the stomping of our landlord’s feet towards the pounding. The door could be heard swinging open angrily.
“WHAT IN THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DO…who the hell are you? Get the fuck out of here and take your loud ass friend with you too. I DIDN’T SAY YOU COULD COME IN! HEY BUDDY, GET THE FUCK OUT!” he said.
There was a loud THUMP on the floor and the only thing you could hear next is the landlord’s bloodcurdling screaming. It only lasted a few seconds before all that was heard was another set of footsteps coming into the room and a smaller thump. I could imagine what was going on up there. The two zombies that was outside of our door went upstairs when the man started screaming, and the first one attacked him. Once on the floor, and the smell of blood hit the air, the 2nd zombie was aroused by the scent and followed through the door, dropping on his knees and began to dine.
Another set of screams sounded at the top of the stairs. One of the zombies growled again and the footsteps was heading towards the door. I got up as fast I as I could and went to the front door. I swung it open and ran up the stairs.
“GET IN YOUR APARTMENT, THESE GUYS ARE DANGEROUS!” I said shoving the woman away from the door way.
The zombie stopped when the woman disappeared and looked at me. He turned around seemingly uninterested in me, and walked back to his dinner.
“Interesting” I noted. I quickly went back downstairs and went back into our apartment and shared the little bit of information I acquired.
“Maybe it’s because we already carry the virus?” Susan said.
“Yeah maybe” I replied.
We all sat on our cots to talk about what we should do.
“We should probably call the cops, it’d look less suspicious on us if we were the first or second people to call for help. I mean the cops will probably want to know why we didn’t call if we heard something upstairs.” Jasmine said.
“You’re probably right, but they’ll want to know information about us” Susan said and continued “Plus what happens if those guys that came around yesterday morning is part of the police force? They may already know what we look like.”
I nodded thinking. “What we need to do is make one of us unrecognizable, and since the woman upstairs will probably mention me, I should be the one who changes their appearance. You guys should go ahead to San Francisco, it’ll take you about 9 hours to get there and probably longer waiting on that guy, then 9 hours on the way back. You should probably stay in the motel while you’re there, and I’ll tell the cops you guys are at a party in San Francisco or something.” I said.
“That’s all fine and dandy, and it makes sense when the woman upstairs could tell the cops you helped her. But what can we do to make you look different?” Jasmine said.
“OH I KNOW I KNOW!” Susan said jumping up and down out of excitement, “But we’ll need to hurry!”
The next thing that I knew she was shaving my head, and Jasmine was drawing on my face with some kind of marker that Susan had in her bag. When Susan was finished with my hair, she grabbed some another bag from her duffle bag.
“What are you doing now?” I asked flinching away from Jasmine as she drew beside my eye.
“Jasmine is making you a facial tattoo, and I’m about to put a scar over over your top lip. If anyone asks, you fell when you were a kid and face planted into a corner of the stairs. This is the only scar I know how to make, and with the tattoo, no one should be able to recognize you.” Susan said.
“How did you learn how to do all of this anyway?” I asked.
“Oh, I guess we never really talked about our past much, did we? Jasmine and I were special effects for a small group of thespians. We only got the position because no one else wanted it, but we loved it! I guess it comes in handy now huh?” Susan said.
I started to nod, but Jasmine placed her hand on my head preventing me to do so. As soon as they finished, they took me to the bathroom to look at myself in the mirror, and I could hardly believe what I saw. I looked nothing like my old self; I looked like a hardened criminal. The tattoo that was drawn on my face was a tribal, and the scar on my lip looked like years of sun had darkened around it, but left it white.
“This is perfect guys, I don’t even recognize myself! But we don’t have time to celebrate, we need to get you guys to San Francisco and get me on a pay phone calling this in. I wonder how long we’re going to be able to stay here before they close it up….no time to wonder that, get out of here girls. Jasmine, you okay food wise? I know you have to eat a little sooner than me and Susan, will you be okay for a couple of days?” I asked
“I’ll eat a small snack on the way out, and if I have to I’ll hunt something down while I’m there.” she said.
My jaw dropped, “You Can’t!” I said with a squeaky voice.
“No no no, not hunting humans! I’ll be hunting animals; right outside of San Francisco is a nice size forest where hunting is prohibited. So there are plenty of animals there, my dad used to take us there when we were kids. He taught me how to set traps and stuff when we were there. He would only eat what we caught and nothing else. So I’m pretty sure I could snatch us up a few snacks while we’re out.” she said.
We all walked out of the apartment and towards the car. I waved to them as they got in the car, and I walked to the payphone. I dialed 911 and told the operator what I heard. She asked where I was at when the incident occurred and if the intruders were still there. I told her our apartment number, and told her that I ran upstairs to help a woman when I heard her screaming, but ran back into my apartment, so I wasn’t sure. She told me units were already on the way from another report earlier, and the police would need my full co-operation.
I hung up the phone and went back into the apartment. I turned off the lights, and opened the freezer. I shut it back after confirming how much we still had left, and locked it tight. I put the key under the freezer in case the cops asked to look in it, I could play stupid and look for the keys unsuccessfully and deduce that my roommates must have taken off with them.
When the sirens could be heard, I locked the front door, and worked myself into a near anxiety driven nervous shake. When the cops arrived a lot of footsteps were heard going up the stairs; while a there were also sounds of pounding on different people’s doors. When I heard them pound on my door, I screamed and said “GO AWAY!” in a squeaky voice.
“Sir this is the San Diego Police Department, we need to ask you a few questions.” a woman’s voice said.
I cracked open the door and looked through the slit. “Can I see some ID please?” I squeaked quietly.
The female officer raised her badge and I memorized the badge number in case I’d ever need it in the future. I shut the door, unlocked the chain lock, and opened it back wide.
“Are they gone?” I asked.
“There are several officers upstairs, so you won’t need to worry about them. We need to ask you a few questions.” she said looking around the bare apartment.
“Okay, I’d offer you a place to sit, but we just moved in a couple of days ago, our stuff hasn’t gotten here yet.” I said feigning embarrassment.
“That’s okay sir, we’re okay standing. Now sir, let’s start with your name, and we’ll go from there okay?” she said.
I nodded but instead of telling her my name, I started with the story of the woman screaming and me rushing up to help her. When I finished the story I followed up with, “and that’s when I called 911 from the pay phone across the street.”
She nodded taking notes, “so you said after you told the woman to get back to her apartment, you came called 911?” she asked.
“No…I told you that I came back to the apartment, then realized how stupid it was not to call the police.” I corrected her. I had a feeling she was testing my story to see if I would slip up, but I was able to keep to the outlined story I had rehearsed about a thousand times before the cops came.
“Right, sorry. What about your roommate? Where is he at?” she asked.
“THEY are in San Francisco, they left this morning to visit with some of their girlfriends. THEY are both women.” I corrected her again. I noticed that she wasn’t very observant at the apartment, otherwise she would have noticed the bra in the corner of the main living space. That also means she may not really take note of no furniture, but a big freezer in the room.
“One more question Mr…wait we never got your name…” she was interrupted by screaming upstairs and gun shots. She pulled out her gun, along with the other officer that hadn’t said anything and rushed upstairs. A couple more gunshots went off before a sobbing scream was only heard.
I looked outside my door and yelled upstairs, “WHAT HAPPENED UP THERE?!”
The female officer came down with blood splattered on her cheek. “Sir, how well do you know your landlord?”
“Like I said, we just moved in. By the way my name is Kyle Sanders, we only thought it was strange that he wanted cash only, but other than that he left us a lone. Why?” I said to her.
“Because believe it or not, he must have some how survived the gruesome attack and came after our men. they released an entire clip into him and he still came after them. The shit of it is, he was missing half of his chest and an arm. His stomach had his innards falling out of it, but he fucking attacked us. The rumor is that if you get bit by whatever attacked him in the first place, you become one of them. People at the precinct calls them zombies. Before we could put him down indefinitely he bit my partner. He’s being treated right now, but I don’t think he’s going to make it. Another officer that arrived with us is dead. I was too late when I finally was able to pop the fucker in the head.” she said shaking her head.
“Oh shit…” I said and pulled her into the apartment and shut the door behind her.
“I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE FUCK YOU THINK YOUR DOING, BUT I’M AN OFFICER OF THE LAW, AND IF YOU PLACE ONE MORE HAND ON ME I’LL” but was interrupted again by a scream again. I locked the door and told her to stay quiet.
“Listen, I know what the fuck these things are capable of, that’s why I ran upstairs to begin with. I thought the woman was safe when I told her to go back to her to her apartment, but apparently she got infected before I could save her. I pulled you in here when I seen her stumbling out of her apartment with the look of anger on her face. That’s how you can tell they just turned from a bite. The original virus holders never got aggressive unless they were hungry. But it’s like the virus mutates when going through a bite, making them instantly angry and crazy. Your fellow officers are sitting ducks up there. They’re now outnumbered between the woman and your partner, and the original guy that was bit, unless he died before the virus could take hold of his system.” as I finished saying it, another set of screams came through the door. She pushed me away and called for backup. She opened the door with her gun in her right hand and ran outside. She was grabbed as soon as she turned around by one of the bitten and started screaming. I ran outside and slammed into her before he could bite her. Her gun dropped to the ground when she hit the wall on the other side of the isle. Without hesitation the zombie bit me and instantly let go of me stumbling backwards. I bent down and grabbed the gun and shot him twice in the head.
I heard growling coming from up the stairs, and I ran up them as fast as I could. As soon as I turned the corner, I could smell the blood and fresh meat. Three bitten zombies were eating a uniformed officer, clearly already dead. I pointed the gun at woman’s head and shot her nearly point blank. The other two turned to look at me with blank expressions still chewing on innards, and I shot them in the head too. I looked around, and shot each of the downed people in the head just in case they tried to come back too, and I ran back down the stairs. I put the safety back on the gun, put it on the ground and kicked it towards her. She picked it up and pointed it at me.
“Wait wait! I’m not infected I promise!” I pleaded, my arms out.
“You were bitten, I saw him bite you when you knocked me out of the way!” she said, while she turned off the safety.
“I can’t be infected because I already have the virus! I contracted it when it came from the meat! If I was a bitten I’d already be going after you!” I said.
“How will I know if you’re lying?” she said.
“I’ll make you a deal, I’ll lock myself in my apartment, and you can stand there while back up arrives. Once they arrive, go ahead and be as loud as you can. If you hear me trying to break the door down, feel free fire every bullet you have through the door!” I quickly said
“Okay…” she said slowly pointing the gun towards the ground.
I backed away from her slowly and reached behind me for the doorknob. Turning it and opening the door I said, “If I’m quiet when you’re being loud, that means I’m fine, but I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t tell the officers I was here. I can hide if you want me to, or you can take them upstairs to explain what happened. I’ll stay in here until tomorrow, and I’ll pack up and leave. I’ll need to leave a note for my friends though. So I’ll keep it stuck out the door. Just PLEASE don’t tell anyone I’m here. I’m trying to live peacefully without hurting anyone.”
“I WILL take you out if you do anything stupid, do you understand that?” she said.
I nodded, closed the door and locked myself in. I went into the bathroom and sat down across from the bath tub leaning against the door, and ran everything that happened through my head again.
Since when did I become a zombie killer…especially since I’m a zombie myself…