Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The zombies of Sargent Beach

 My buddy who lives in Sargent radio'd me the other night. Sargent is out by the beach. About 2 hours south west from my location. His name is Tommy.

Sargent is an odd place. One of those places you would think people just go to die. Most of the time, when people live close enough to the water, they eventually go crazy. Its a fact, just remember that next time you make it out to the beach. Look at the locals. And if your beach locals aren't crazy, the ones in Sargent are.

Zombies have been there just as long as they've been creeping around here. Tommy says around 6 to 8 months as far as he knows. And they are just as pesty...if that's a word. There is a restaurant that he runs called Pier 57 right off the water. There's also a draw bridge that lifts when barges and tug boats come through at night. Anyway, his house is just next to the restaurant.. up on stilts in case the water gets too high. He's been there his whole life. So as you can guess, he's crazy as a Prozac pill wrapped in a straight jacket.

He was talking funny on the radio. I hadn't heard him sound that way since we were in high school. And not to poke fun at him, especially during a zombie apocalypse.. but he sounded scared. Real scared.

It was raining hard in Sargent that night. The draw bridge usually lifts around midnight for the barges to come through. Big long barges. Their horns are as loud as a locomotive, but they usually blow those a mile or so from the draw bridge just for warning. Tommy said there was so much noise from the rain and lightning, he just decided to get up and make some coffee. His tin roof makes for an unforgettable experience in the rain, and this night was no exception.

Under layers of sound, he heard the horn. He told me it was almost midnight on the nose when he heard the barge blow three good times. His house is so close to the draw bridge that you get reflections of light blinking throughout his living room, which is elevated on high because of the stilted structure of the beach home.

He grabbed his coffee, black, and with the lights off, he made his way over to the window. The bridge was completely vertical on each side. Then he heard gunshots. He ran over to the east side of his house and went into the bathroom where there was a window that faced the beach. Through the rain, he could see headlights. There was a car out there. Vaguely, he could see a woman staggering around her car. POP POP!! She shot a pistol twice into the darkness. Tommy said he heard her screaming, but things were hard to hear over the rain pounding on his tin roof.

He saw the lady get into the car, then immediately heard two more gun shots. The light revealed a split second of the horror that was going on inside that poor woman's car. He saw arms reaching from the back seat. Bloody arms. He said there was more than one set, but again.... really hard to see through the rain. Then, it was quiet.

The draw bridge bell rang out, but muffled through the storm. This let him know that the barge was either very close, or passing through. Then the car lurched forward and stopped. Tommy said he thought the girl was a goner for sure. He thought there were zombs attacking from the back seat and that she was going to be fish bait in no time. But the car lurched forward again, and quickly zig-zagged its way toward the exit road from the beach. Lights were veering left and right violently through the black rain as the driver plowed through whatever wet sand was in the way toward pavement.

Then he realized the danger.The draw bridge was still up. Tommy said he spilled his coffee as he left the bathroom window. He wanted to run outside and yell to the driver to stop. Stop because the bridge was up. In the darkness and the storm there's no way she could have seen it. Especially the way she was driving.

He was too late. The car rounded the bend leaving the beach and as soon as she hit pavement, she shot up to a rate of speed that revealed how frightened she really was. Her car picked up so much speed, that when she finally realized the bride was up, Tommy barely heard any screech of the tires. He said it was more like what zombies sound like when they yell. Just a wet slip of friction passing through the throat.

The impact of the car sent a vibration through the road and Tommy said he felt it on his front patio. With the draw bridge still up, and the barge slowly passing through, the horn was locked on. Blaring through the storm. All the windows were completely shattered instantly. Tommy said he didn't move because there's no way anyone could have survived that wreck. Then, her door opened. She poured out onto the road. Dirty, wet, bloody, and scared to death, this woman crawled rapidly across the street toward his beach home. Constantly looking behind her, letting out short screams every 3 or 4 feet.

Tommy said he knew she was infected so he ran inside, grabbed his shotgun from behind the fridge and turned off what remaining lights were on. He felt sorry for the poor gal but a zombie is a zombie, and he didn't want the drama.

Then he heard her. Screaming again. At the bottom of the stairs she was screeching out in those short bursts again. His heart started pounding as he sat nervous on his bed. Then he heard the thuds. She was making her way up the stairs.

Tommy jumped up and locked his bedroom door. He crouched down and tried to keep his breathing to a minimum. But the fear kept coming. One more thud, then another and another. Her screams were changing. And so was she. The voice turned deeper and hollow. Then... quiet.

Tommy told me over the radio that it had been a good 5 minutes from the time she slammed that car into the bridge till the time the screaming stopped and he thought she was dead. Bled out or fell off the stair well to the patio. So, when his heart stopped beating through his throat, he stood up to sit back on his bed. When he did, he tripped over some clothes on the floor and made a loud thud of his own.

He stood there as quiet as he could be to see if it triggered anything dead on his stairs. Then he told me the scariest thing I think Ive ever heard in my life. She started sprinting up the stairs when she heard food moving around in the house. BAM BAM BAM BAM up the stairs to the front door. Tommy sat on the floor on the far side of his bed in absolute terror. The front door was being pummeled. And then again, just as fast.... nothing.

Tommy got up and checked his weapon. He unlocked his door and slowly cracked it open to see out. There was nothing. The storm was still raging and he thought the threat was gone, temporarily at least. With all the lights off, he crouched down and scooted through his home toward a big sliding glass door that looked down to the car that was half crushed into the bridge, which was now, slowly coming down.

Lightning struck and Tommy could see her. She was slowly moving around on his patio from one side of the house to the other. Almost waiting for him to come out for her. He said that earlier he couldn't see how bad her body was damaged. But in the purity of the lightning, he could see her deformities and breaks all over her body and face. As a zombie she was a horrifying sight. Clawing at anything that had texture, she left her fingernails behind in the wooden railing, the only thing that was keeping her up there. This gave him an idea.

He waited patiently for her to make her way back around the far side of the house. His plan was to quietly open the sliding door and wait for her to come back around. He would then push that terrible zombie over the edge to its fateful, second death and be done with it.

The lightning was his only advantage. He saw her growling and sniffing at the rain. Wiping her bloody body all over his one year old siding. Then she was gone. Out of sight. Tommy leaned forward and unlocked the door.

Before he could even stand up strait the flesh hungry zombie noticed the slightest in sound and high kneed it back towards his. He told me the lightning struck just as she rounded the corner of the deck and he saw what he explained to be the face of the end of the world. He said her eyes were a pale white but green from the bruising of the car wreck. Her body was contorted and misshaped and she stomped towards him. Her fingers reached out with no nails and her gassy wet vocal chords boomed out a deep, hungry moan.

But, at close range, nothing beats a shotgun. She was a much better looking zombie before being shot with a 10 gage. He's a duck hunter.. Did I forget to mention that?

He said her body flew off his deck like a wet sheet. Then she landed in a zombie heap on his driveway.

He could hear the sirens coming. Somebody else heard her gunshots on the beach. At the end of it, he told me she was on the beach drinking with several friends. One of the was attacked and the infection spread. She was the only survivor, but that was by shooting all of her friends in the car. She got bit somewhere between the time she put that car into drive, and when she plowed face first into the bridge. Kinda feel sorry for her, but I feel more for Tommy. He was so shaken up over the whole thing, he's planning on moving.

He says living on the beach is too unpredictable. He'd rather deal with the fears of city zombs he says. I hope he has plenty of shells, cause things ain't no different around here.


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