Authors: Jacqueline Druga
Tags: #Zombie Apocalypse
ZOMBIE BATTLE: TRINITY
Zombie Battle: Trinity
By Jacqueline Druga
Copyright 2011 by Jacqueline Druga.
Cover model: Vincent J. Brown
Cover images provided by:
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any person or persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
Carancus, Puno, Peru
It streaked across the heavens. Green and bright, as if God Himself used a fluorescent marker and created a colorful slash mark against the star sparkled clear night sky. It didn’t make a sound, not at first.
Carlos Linderas was a simple man. He lived a modest life with only the focus of raising his young son. But on that night he focused on something else. Whatever it was that fell from the sky. He saw it. He was sitting by the window of his two room home, sewing, when he caught glimpse. He wasn’t quite sure what it was, a shooting star, meteor, anything, but he was certain it landed with an impact. First the thunderous sound, then the vibration. It rocked his stance and then his inner being when he heard the rain of debris against his tin roof.
His six year old son, Juan sat on the floor and looked up.
Carlos bolted to the door. “Stay put,” he said with a point.
“But Papa…” Juan stood.
“Stay. I’ll be back.”
Even though it was only he and his son, Carlos didn’t think much about leaving his small child alone. Not in their village, everyone watched out for everyone.
Apparently, everyone also watched the thing fall from the sky. Carlos and a few dozen others hurried to the landing site.
They had no clue how far away it was, it had to be close.
Some left on foot, others by truck. Not many drove there, not many owned vehicles.
A man named Ben led the way and a pack of others on foot. Ben was strong, fit and fast. He also owned one of the vehicles, so it was no surprise he was first to leave.
Carlos partnered up with Mr. Lund for the discovery journey, an old man who lived a few houses down. The conversation was nil in their quick pace to where the object had landed. The pace slowed down the closer they drew, Carlos attributed that Mr. Lund’s age. He wheezed heavily, catching his breath often.
The taillights of Ben’s truck glowed in a weird fog, they trudged only a half of a mile to the impact. There was a weird smell the closer they got, not pungent or strong, just odd. It tickled Carlos’ nose. He couldn’t tell if it was the odor or dust.
Ben was calling out for people to hurry.
Carlos looked at Mr. Lund who waved him to ‘go on’. He left the old man, half bent over, holding on to his knees, catching his physical bearings.
Ben stood on a huge mound of dirt several yards head of his truck.
“Hurry,” Ben said. “Look before it goes.”
Carlos did. An object, rock like, had fallen into the earth creating a crater 100 feet around and at least twenty feet deep. At first, Carlos thought Ben was insane. Go where? Where would the object go? Then he saw the reason for Ben’s concern. The rock, cracked and distorted, leaked a clear fluid. Water like, boiling, rapidly it filled the crater, burying the rock beneath the flowing liquid.
“Maybe it hit a well,” Carlos suggested.
“No, it’s coming from the rock,” Ben retorted.
As if the rock would do something magical, the forty some people watched, watched the crater slowly fill up.
Another villager commented that someone had to call for help, and she ran back down toward the village to contact authorities.
But Carlos remained.
It wasn’t long, though, that he started to feel badly. His head hurt, eyes, watered, nose burned and stomach turned.
He didn’t want to come across as weak and refrained from saying anything until Ben turned his head and squeezed his eyes.
“Are you OK?” Carlos asked.
Ben shook his head. “No, my head hurts.”
“Mine, too.” Carlos whispered as if he were telling a secret.
His voice carried in the darkness, and a few others responded with their same symptoms.
‘This is crazy,’ Carlos thought. ‘One person’s illness is becoming another’s. It has to be all in our minds.’
Perhaps for the others it was, but Carlos knew his illness certainly wasn’t mental. His stomach bubbled with nausea and to save himself from embarrassment, Carlos excused himself, claimed he wanted to find help as well, and walked from the mound of dirt. He knew he was getting sicker by the second.
He hadn’t made it twenty feet and his body heaved outward, projecting a huge eruption of vomit. He bent over, holding his stomach, wanting for the heaves to cease. When they finally did, when the contents had completed their course from his stomach, he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and lifted his head.
He had to put aside his own illness. For it was then he noticed Mr. Lund had collapsed, and Carlos ran to aid him.
Lund didn’t respond, he lay still, breathing labored breaths as his face rested in a huge pool of his own regurgitation.
It took two hours for authorities to arrive at the scene, and that included the skeptical Jorge Lopez, a lead official. He had seen it all, heard it all from the villagers who not one year earlier claimed a United States Satellite fell into their area contaminating them all.
So, when he arrived, he arrived with attitude.
Two local policemen were on the scene, one was already complaining of the same symptoms.
“I don’t know how much longer I’ll be here, I’m ill,” said the one.
Jorge nodded, wanted to say ‘yeah, yeah’. He listened to the policeman rattle off about his headache, vomiting, and dizzy spells. “How about you?” Jorge turned to the other officer.
“Same. Not well. Everyone is sick.”
“Everyone?” Jorge asked with sarcasm. “That’s 500 people. 500 people are ill right now?”
Both police officers looked at each other. “Almost everyone. Those who were inside are not ill. Not yet.”
With another passive, ‘A-hmm’, Jorge requested that the officer take him to the site where the supposed rock from the sky landed.
His first thought was that mass hysteria was contagious. Trails of vomit were seen everywhere at the circumference of the impact site.
The hole was filled with water.
Jorge was certain if it wasn’t a satellite; surely, someone hit a well.
A twinge hit his stomach.
Readying to admit defeat to the psychosomatic illness, in the midst of repeating that it was nonsense in his mind, he heard his urgent summoning.
He turned to his right and saw the waving flashlight. The voice calling from a distance of two hundred yards.
“Let’s go,” Jorge instructed the police officer next to him.
But that fell on deaf ears.
At least for the time being.
The police officer was vomiting.
Leaving him be, Jorge followed the directions of the call, making it there at a trotter’s pace.
The official that called had on a face mask. “Look!” he told Jorge.
Beyond his shoulder was the grazing field, and the official used the beam of the flashlight as a pointer.
“Look,’ he repeated.
Jorge stepped forward and his eyes widened with horror.
There was no movement, but a weird sound did emanate. Almost moans, but they weren’t. They were sickly cries out from animals that were too ill to pick themselves up from the grass.
Animals didn’t suffer or fall victim to mass hysteria.
Jorge knew something was up.
“Shut down the town. Get authorities in here,” Jorge instructed. “Let no one in or out.” He pulled his phone from his pocket. “Damn it. No signal.” He began to move in a different direction.
“Where are you going?” The official asked.
“This is bigger than us. We need bigger help.”
Jorge walked off.
His father had resorted to keeping a bucket nearby. How many times did he vomit? Juan lost count. All he knew was that his father wouldn’t let him near the windows or doors and he muttered over and over to a neighbor that something wasn’t right.
His father slumped in a chair, eyes dark, face pale. Juan played with his only truck.
A commotion started outside and Carlos with as much energy as he could, stopped and looked out the windows.
Juan was confused. What was all the shouting, screaming?
The voice of a man from outside carried, “Check the house over there.”
His father dropped the curtain and backed away when Mrs. Lund from next door cried out, ‘I’m not sick.”
Panic? Was that the look on his father’s face? Panic?
“Hide,” his father instructed. “Hide, my son.”
A knock came at the door,
His father jolted a look at the door then raced to the storage closet. He drew back the curtain style door. “In here, my son. Now. And be quite. Say nothing.”
“Papa,” Juan backed in with his father’s shove.
“Nothing. Quiet it is for your own good.”
He pulled the curtain closed and Juan huddled against the wall. The knocking was stronger, louder, and in the dark shadows of that closet, Juan could see what was happening.
“Yes?” his father answered the door.
“Take him,” The man in the mask and clipboard said. “He is obviously ill. Detain him.”
Two other men in what looked like space suits grabbed hold of Carlos.
“Anyone else in the house?” the one man asked.
“No, I live alone. I am a widower,” his father replied.
Juan watched his father with dignity walk with the suited men. He wanted to scream, protect his father, but he obeyed his father’s wishes.
The leader man with a clipboard walked in and looked around. Just as he turned, he stopped.
Crouching down, he lifted the toy truck and shifted his eyes around.
Juan curled his body as best as he could when he saw the clipboard man start to search. Grabbing his father’s coat, Juan wrapped his small frame underneath and prayed he wouldn’t be discovered.
The curtain to the closet whipped open.
Juan didn’t know what would happen. He expected the coat to be lifted from him.
He didn’t move, breathe, or shudder. He just hid and stayed that way even when he heard the man leave the home.
How long though? How long did he hunch in the closet. He didn’t know. He had fallen asleep and dawn approached, the sky was slightly lit and the village was dead quiet.
He crawled from the closet, the door was open.
Juan was scared, too scared to even call out, make a noise or be seen.
As best he could, he snuck to the door and peaked out.
Nothing. No one. Just emptiness.
Where had they taken his father?
Where was everyone else?
Juan didn’t know, but he had to find out. At the very least, he had to get help.
Even though it was a good distance away, Juan ran. He ran as fast as he could to make it to the next small town.
Irma Klein was a strong woman both in body and spirit. She covered her thickness with flattering garments. A thickness she attributed to age. Often telling people she wanted to gain weight as she grew older, it lessoned the wrinkles and was cheaper than Botox. She walked up behind her husband as he sat at his desk chair and ran her fingers through his hair. Almost as if she were conveying some sort of compassion for his having to work. Her fingers grazed through, taking in the silk feeling of his curls. Twenty-seven years earlier, when they were first married, the curls were dark. Now they were gray. Saul often joked that she caused his gray hair, but Irma dismissed that, stating how could he get gray when she was the one who worried all the time.
And she did. She worried at that moment about Saul. He had been at the home desk since two in the morning. Computer to phone to files to computer. Now it was pushing nine am.
He didn’t acknowledge her presence, but Irma felt he wanted her there.
The sun from the window reflected off the picture of Jeremy that sat on Saul’s desk. Their first and only grandson. The one year old boy looked bubbly and happy in the photo.
One hand on Saul’s back, Irma reached around for the picture frame and lifted it. “You know, precious, you keep working these hours you aren’t gonna be around to see little Jerry’s Bar Mitzvah.”