First Short Story Submission: The 1st Day

Posted: 2011/09/15 in contest, Short story, Zombie fiction
Tags: , , ,

Okay guys, for your reading pleasure, here is the first official short-story submission we received. We have changed it in no way at all.   Short story submitted by Edgardo Granel-Ruiz of Puerto Rico. Way to go Edgardo! We hope this will provide fuel to the rest of you who are writing. Feel free to leave any comments you want about this story. -Eric

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The 1st Day

by Edgardo Granel-Ruiz

“I remember the first day of the “Outbreak”. The sun was shining, puffy white clouds moved slowly on the blue summer sky. Everything was so normal. I was with my son Brian that day, her mother brought the boy over so I could take him to the park. Ever since her mother and I divorced it has been very difficult for me to share some time with him. Brian had waited all week for this trip, he loved going to the park with me. Our relationship wasn’t a father and son kind of thing, we were best friends.

Brian and I played Frisbee for a while. I loved his smile, the way he laughed. I knew that he was having the time of his life. After a while he got tired of it, like must kids his age, and found another thing to do; got to keep up with him. I felt young every time I was with him.

We bought some ice cream, his favorite was vanilla; I found that strange with all the flavors that existed, but that was my son. Each day I spend with him I learned something new.

The night came earlier than expected, that’s what happens when fun is involve. At home I made his favorite dish, lasagna. We talked about everything that we just did hours ago. We laughed for hours, talking about things that we were going to do in his next visit, like, going to the fountains, going fishing and, even, bird watching. He wanted to show me the binoculars that her mother bought for him.

Late that night, I placed him on his bed and kiss him on the forehead. I stood there for almost twenty minutes just looking at him. He kept the same smile that he had the whole day. My son made me so proud, he was a good kid and for sure he was going to be a good man.

It was 3:05 a.m. The sound of a blaring siren broke the silence of the night. I jumped out of bed and look outside. The streets were dark, there was no electricity, no lights at all. I grab my cell phone, my keys and ran directly to Brian’s room. We was awake, who wouldn’t with that sound. I told him not to worry that everything was going to be all right. I quickly dress him and went outside. All the people on the neighborhood were doing the same. Some had fear painted on their faces, others indicate anger. But all of them argued about something, from going to work early, others because they wanted to sleep.

But something was not right.

At a distance, I notice a dim light, a fire perhaps, and a couple of people that came running toward us. They were clad with army clothes.. The man that argued about waking early began to walk straight to them, but when I looked at Brian, my son could notice that something was not right. I saw it in his face.

And them it happened.

The two men that were running towards us pushed the arguing man to the floor. One of them bit out his nose while the other began to rip and eat his gut. People became hysterical, the screams of the women and children made this ‘monsters’ mad and began to run towards them. Brian pulled my shirt with all this strength and pointed to where the light was, I noticed that more of this men came running. I stood there motionless, asking what the hell just happened. I only reacted when my son yelled to me that our neighbor, Mrs. Williams, was getting eaten; she was pregnant at the time.

Me and Brian back inside the house and secure the door. Brian went to his room and grabbed an aluminum bat that I gave to him on his birthday. I went to the kitchen and look for the knives, but I thought that knives gave me no distance and I didn’t want to get bitten or scratch by these monsters. When Brian, me and his mother lived together, we watched horror movies each Friday night. That kind of knowledge was useful at that moment. While I was searching for something, my son came with a hockey stick and a brown box. We both knew that was inside that box. One day I swore that I wasn’t going to use that again, but in order to survive and protect my son I grab the box and get the gun that was inside and start loading it. My son looked at me, he was way more calm than me. He was always that way, that always made me feel good. Sometimes I thought that he was the adult in the house. I looked at his eyes and I knew that we were going to be fine.

We went through the back door; the screams invaded the night, it was unbearable. At that moment I notice the strange pitch on people’s screaming when they have been eaten apart. It was sickening to me, then I heard a scrapping sound on the entrance door. Brian did not waited and began to make his way through the houses backyards. I secured the door and followed my son. He knew, somehow, where to go. I didn’t care to ask, I trusted my son, he knew where he was going.

The day before I parked a couple of blocks far from home. It was summer and the boys from the neighbor had open the water pumps and one of them was right in front of my house. I gave the keys to Brian so he could open and get to the car first. We reached the car as planned and got in safe, but as I turn the switch, the sound of the engine attracted some zombies that were around. Their hunger made them mad, their eyes red were filled with rage and with an uncontrollable hunger.

Shaking because of the nerves, I couldn’t start the car. Brian was screaming and yelling, begging to me to start the car. One of the zombies had partially broken a window, and started to chew it, trying to get in. His head came through the window and at that precise moment I started the car, put the car on drive and drove away. Then I heard my son scream, when I looked at him there he was, holding the head of that fearless creature, still trying to bite my son. With a reflex I grab it by the hair and tossed it to the back of the car.

After a couple of minutes driving without a destination, Brian told me to go where his mother was staying. That slipped my mind, so I turned back to the city to reach his mother. Going back I could see what was really happening to the world we lived on. The police couldn’t do anything, firepower didn’t make any difference against this creatures who still wandered the dark streets looking for food or for something to kill. Many of the corpses had their face devoured, their guts splattered on the floor and walls, dismembered; we could see people that were half eaten on the floor. It looked like those creatures just wanted to do some damage .It didn’t matter how they do it and mixing that rage with an endless hunger made them unstoppable.

Some of this creatures ran after the car, attracted by the sound and the lights. I smashed a couple of them as they came across our way. Brian was calm, but his little hands were shaking too. I feel bad for him, he didn’t deserve to see all this people dying, this massacre. I grab his hand trying to give him some comfort, gave him some kind hope, but my hand shook more than Brian’s. I got to be strong and stay cool for the sake of my child. Brian noticed that I shaking, and seeing that his father feared too, he just put his other hand over mine and squeezed it with all his strength and look at me, straight to my eyes, and smiled. Fear was in his eyes, but, as I was by his side, he let me know that he was going to be by my side all the time.

Then we reached a road block. Apparently, the police and the armed forces blocked the path due to the dangers, and that confirmed what as I saw before, firepower could not stop this evil force. Tanks, patrol cars and motorcycle stood there like frozen in time. They were the only defensive line against this ’monsters’ and they simply failed. How a man and a boy where going to prevent this danger from spreading across the city? We were going to find out one way or another, but one thing was for sure, neither one of us were going to quit.

As I was backing down I came saw ten to twelve creature coming at us. With an already broken window I could not let them come near my son. They began pounding the car with their bare hands; they were a brutal force. One of them shattered the rear window and tried to enter the car. Brian took the gun that was on my side and shoot the creature right between the eyes. My eyes closed as a reaction to the loud noise and I put the pedal to the metal while backing down. I felt the impact from a couple of creatures that I hit. Brian got to the back of the car to prevent the others from entering the ramming car. He swung his bat a few times, hitting the head of one of those zombies until it laid motionless. I grabbed Brian by his pants and  stepped hard on the breaks. The zombie launched directly to five of them that were running toward us.

Brian saw that the head in the back was still moving and threw it out the car. Adrenaline was rushing through my blood, my eyes burned because of the blood that went to my head. I put the car on drive, but it didn’t moved. Their was a pile of about eight to nine creatures that were under the car, preventing our escape.

The scream of Brian alerted me that more zombies were coming, but this time, they were not going to use their fist to crush the window. This time, they rammed, what remained or the window with their heads. I quickly reacted and pulled Brian right to the front.

How are we going escape this situation? The odds were not in our favor. Again, Brian got the solution.

With his bat he broke the front window and got out, but before he was completely out, the hand of those stuck under the car, grab this jacket. I grabbed the gun and like the old days I shoot the head of two of those that rammed their heads through the back and finished blowing off the hand of the one grabbing my son. I almost blew off my son’s hear, but I still got the accuracy to make those kind of shots. Brian got out, but I remain with two creatures still trying to eat me, so I shoot one more time right before going out the window and kicking one of them a few times on the head.

This time we were outside against this army of strange creatures that appeared out of nowhere, armed with a bat, a hockey stick and a half loaded gun. We got to be fast and use the shadows in our advantage. The noise of the gun shots could draw more attention and many others could come and there remained a bunch of them under the car. We ran into an alley that was darker that the infested streets.

Brian’s mother was three blocks away and we were walking through a narrow, pitch black alley and with our hearts pounding hard in our chest. I grabbed Brian, who was in front of me and pulled him by my side, Way back we got dozens of enraged zombies and in front of us the unknown. Somehow, I put my mind on track, I recognized where we were. A block away there was an old armory and maybe, with a bit of luck, Inside we could restock our ammo and find some food. I was hoping that no one had the same idea, but who I was kidding, at least a thousand maybe had the same idea. I hoped I was wrong.

For about a minute, Brian and I ran through the alley, stopped at each sound that we didn’t made, but we reached the armory without any worries. Brian went directly to the door and pulled; it was closed. He looked back at me with a concerned face, seconds away we heard a number of zombies that were munching on some bodies on the street and fighting among them, he didn’t wanted to face them. They were growing desperate, there we no more prey or food for them, only us.

We needed to go inside, first to protect ourselves and second to restock in weaponry and praying that we found food. Also, I got to move fast, with each passing second the odds of finding Brian’s mother alive became less favorable to us.

Finding this obstacle in front of us I got to resort on old tricks. Got my keys out, I was sure I wasn’t going to use them any time soon, and got them out of the wire that maintain them together. I gave the gun to Brian so he can watch over while I tried to open that door, he had showed me that he knows how to used it. I divided the wire in two and began to work. It just took less than three seconds to pick the lock. We went inside, me first holding high the hockey stick, Brian right behind me holding the gun up, his bat on his back.

No one had entered the armory, apparently people were more involved in the chaos that the idea didn’t passed through their minds. Behind the counter with the top of his head blown away by the blast of a saw off shotgun, a man laid there the owner perhaps. He didn’t want to fight those creatures from hell. Brian looked at the corpse and took the shotgun out of his hands, death was not affecting him. I didn’t like what I saw, but how I was going to lecture a boy who was in those circumstances. I closed the heavy door behind us and put on the lock that was going to keep us save. The lock of the cage was more easy to pick, there were the guns and boxes of ammo that we needed. Brian wandered around, curious as always, maybe having a breather, some alone time to compose himself. I went to the back into the office and notice that there was a small refrigerator, inside some beer and Chinese food. As soon as I saw the food my stomach growl, but my boy must have been in a worst position. In any other case I would decline the beer, but my sugar level must be on a low. One thing I didn’t got in mind was my insulin for my diabetes.

The Chinese food was of Brian’s liking, one thing I didn’t knew that he liked sauté vegetables so much. I drank a few beers, one of them with my son, I thought that experience would come later in his life and in a happier time. I had quit alcohol many years ago, but that time it didn’t matter.

The calm time that we had for those minutes was priceless, but we got to go outside in order to save his mother, who remained out there. Brian was driven, in his eyes there was no fear, he wanted to go outside and search for his mother. Nothing would make him second thought that. He loaded the gun like a pro, he had see me do that a lot of times and once I sat with him and tried to teach him. I didn’t thought that he would pick that so quick. He told me that was time to go. That is a way no son should grow up in front of his father.

The back door had a magic eye, I took a peek, but nothing could be seen. Brian checked the front but it was impossible to distinguish anything. There was only way to check that out and was getting out. But we had to wait for the morning sun to make us a clear path. Moving in that darkness was way to dangerous for both of us.

I was five o’clock, the sunlight was dim, but still too dark to move. I gave the cell phone to Brian so he could check if his mother was safe, but no response. At that moment Brian, became a child again and started to cry; he didn’t wanted me to see him that way.. The wanted to show me that he was strong too, but he was a boy still, so I hold him against my chest and after a few minutes he felt asleep.

Sitting there I began to question how we were going to go two blocks without been noticed. I could hear the growling of these monsters outside as they passed along the door and windows. I was afraid to wake him up and re-introduced him into this nightmare; he was so quiet, so serene, and looked so peaceful.

After an hour, Brian woke up and the first thing he told me was that we needed to look for his mother and I simply said yes. I went to the front and check out the window and noticed that the streets were clear, no sight of those evil creatures. I thought for a few how we were going to move then. That time seeing was easier, but being seen was an option.

Outside there was no sign of the zombies. I wave Brian to come out, so we could began our run. Two blocks left to reach our goal. The streets looked so different, we could see the carnage that took place in the night hours. My son was in shock, it was not like the night. Hundreds, maybe thousands of mutilated corpses on the streets. I told him to look straight, to pay attention to what mattered, our goal and our security.

We walked a block without any dangers at all, it was strange that this area was not filled with zombies, but we preferred that more than anything. But then it occurred, something so unexpected; my cell phone rang. Brian looked at the phone and looked at me. I checked out and on the  screen I saw the name of my ex-wife. When I answered nothing came through, nothing could be heard. Brian, excited by the call took the phone out my hands and called her mother, but his eyes and face change from pure joy and hope to a face with pure fright. He let the phone slipped out of his hand and the speaker button was pressed. On the other line, a snarl  was the only thing we could hear. As we listened to the strange call, a loud growl came from behind. Three zombies began to dash in our direction. Brian, still with tears on his face, took out his gun a began shooting the hungry creatures, hitting only one of them. I ordered him to stop, but blinded by anger, nothing could stop him at that moment. I grabbed the bat and rushed towards them. I smacked the head of the one that Brian hit and threw a hay-maker to the other two, breaking the neck of one of them. Brian walked beside me and pulled the trigger until there were no more bullets.

He was not himself, the possibility of losing his mother was not something that he could process, it was hard on him. But that had put us in a great peril. The sound could attract more, and we were not sure how many were around. My heart pounded so hard in my chest that it began to hurt. When I placed my hand on my chest there I saw what I was fearing, more zombies coming our way. I told Brian to run, I had to repeat myself a few times, he didn’t wanted to leave me there, but that wasn’t in my plans to die there and leave him all alone.

I took out my guns and hit a couple of them right between the eyes; the adrenaline made humans do fascinating things when the odds are against you. I looked back and saw my little boy running and hiding behind a car. The pain on my chest was crippling me and my sight was becoming blurry. The creatures were just a few feet back, and at that moment I lose all hope. As guns became useless, the pain on my chest took me to my knees, but I forgot that I had someone by my side. The blurry figure of my son stood in front of me, as a guardian angel and everything went blank.

When I woke up I could only see his face, like the angel that had come from the heavens and save me. I asked him what happened, his response what that he saved me. He told me that I would do the same for him. My sight became a little clearer, and I saw his face all covered in blood. I asked who’s blood was that, he told me not to worry, to lean back and rest. I tried to clean his face from all the blood that covered his face. Brian told me to not worry and that he loved me and rested his head on my chest. I told him that I loved him and kissed his forehead. Then I notice that he wasn’t breathing and that all the blood wasn’t mine.

What happened when I lost conscious? Did he saved me from that attack? Then I heard as an echo what he told me earlier, that I would have done the same for him, but at the end of things I didn’t. I wasn’t capable of saving him.

I looked at his lifeless body and noticed that he had a smile on his face. Somehow, he realized that he had done what he was meant to do. That he had fulfilled his duty as my son and as a human being and I’ll never forget that he did that for me. That day I promise that I would make it for him. That I would get to the bottom of this and that I would honor his name and what he did for me.

This would be the first day of my new life.”

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Comments
  1. Dale says:

    Great story! The lil man kicked some zombie A**

  2. Thanks, Dale.

    Good you like it.

  3. Dale says:

    1 vote! you can really tell that you cared about what you wrote. Glad you shared it.

  4. The chance to win a big ass Machete was great, but I wanted to share this with everyone. There’s more to come.

  5. Kevin Gillihan says:

    1 vote.

    I can see you put your heart into the story. The father and son relationship was well thought out.

  6. Thanks…Really love writing this characters. I hate what happened to the kid.

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