The Zombie 5,000 is a short story that is exactly 5,000 words with the undead as the subject matter. The story is ten chapters so each one has five hundred words (minus the chapter titles) in it. This story is only available to read on Needless Things! Every Saturday in the month of October, a new installment will be released with the conclusion happening right here on the last Saturday of the month!
Below is the second installment of The Zombie 5,000. If you missed the previous installment don't fret Just Click HERE to read the first installment!
Before everyone was seated, the blood soaked school bus began roaring up the street. Ray had about fifteen people with him but there was already about thirty people on the bus. Everyone looked in the same condition. Clothes were covered with brains and blood. Emotions ranged from a strange sense of excitement to sadness over the loss of loved ones. There were about as many children on the bus as adults which made Ray wonder exactly where they all came from.
Ray picked the seat right behind Mustard so he could get as much information as possible. What an odd name, Mustard. Maybe it was due to the man driving a school bus but then the man spoke and it became clear why the name was appropriate. His teeth were as yellow as the condiment. He was a scrawny man, whose clothes hung loose around his bones. A cigarette hung from the mans lips which because of the current situation Ray guessed that people just ignored the action. If it was a regular day the man would be fired and his face would be plastered all over the local news as if he murdered someone.
“I can't believe I have the one and only Ray Conner on my bus. Never in a million years did I think I would meet the legend face to face.”
The man was bouncing in his seat as he spoke while ashes fell from the lit stick between his lips. Ray needed answers so he chose to ignore the compliments and get down to the nitty gritty.
“Hey Mustard, what the hell happened, I mean one minute I'm playing the game of my life and the next minute I'm watching people get tore limb from limb. Are these really zombies, they certainly look like zombies but I mean how...”
Ray trailed off not believing the words that were coming out of his mouth. Mustard didn't seem all that fazed as he tossed the cigarette out the window.
“Best I can tell, that's exactly what they are. I was just finishing my route dropping off the school kids. Next thing I know I'm mowing over these damn things like that acid guy in Robocop. All the information I've gotten is from the people I've picked up. It sounds like the entire state of Tennessee is infested with these things. Its spreading faster than an STD at a bachelor party.”
“So what the hell are we supposed to do. Is the government doing anything to help.”
Ray knew the answers to both questions but asked them anyway.
“Man, I fucking doubt it. All I've seen is chaos. These things have just taken over so quickly. That's why I ain’t waiting for the government, we got our own plan. A bunch of us got together and found the perfect place to hide away. We got a commune.”
Ray was excited that he had found Mustard in all this chaos. “Where's that?”
“None other than the city dump.”
“Why the city dump, Mustard?”
With a laugh, the yellow toothed man turned his head paying more attention to Ray then the road in front.
“We figured that the dump was isolated enough and on top of a hill so we would have the advantage of attacking downward. Plus, its far enough away from town so that gave us time to prepare.”
This theory didn't completely make sense to Ray but he didn't have any other suggestions in this highly messed up situation. “That sounds great man, I really appreciate you picking us up,” Ray said.
“Not a problem, we need all the people we can get if we are gonna survive this thing. Hell, at least there is a ton of land so that we can increase if we have too. Worse part might be the stink but after a few days no one will even notice the awful stench.”
“Where the hell is the police? I barely saw anybody in law enforcement aside from the security at the park and most of them got eaten.”
“That's the thing, we don't know. We've got a few hundred people up at the dump now and not a one of us has seen any cops since the zombies have taken over.”
This was extremely odd to Ray. At the ball field there were a ton considering the station isn't far away. So it was baffling to find out there were none to be found. They had to be doing something about this because through the window of the bus were people being attacked left and right. Although, it was much more sparse in this part of town then where they were previously. Ray wasn't quite sure where the dump was but he knew it was outside the city.
Mustard broke his train of thought as he began yelling over the loud engine.
“Don't you worry though, this is going to be the best for all of us until the higher ups figure something out. Once I drop you folks off, I'm gonna try to make another run to get some more people but its getting tougher and tougher each time I head out.”
“How many times you been?”
“Well this round makes three. As soon as this happened we had to be pretty quick on decisions so I just grabbed my bus and started helping as many people as I could.”
Ray was glad that he found this group of people, especially Mustard. Seemed a little bit off but someone that was good to have on his side. As he watched his new friend drive along, he turned back to his family and teammates. Course there were many other people that he didn't know but they were all in this together whether they liked it or not.
“I'm scared,” Betty said.
“I know but we are headed to a safe place.” Ray said. He hoped that was the truth.
Up ahead was the entrance to the dump, littered with zombies.
Splat Goes The Zombie
The entrance to the dump was a winding road that was a dirt and gravel mix. There was a fence with a gate but it had long since been ripped apart. Ray couldn't quite tell how many zombies there were but a few dozen sounded right as they lumbered along. He watched as Mustard sat up straight while gripping the wheel so hard his knuckles turned white. Without taking his eyes off the road, he turned his head to make an announcement to the whole bus.
“Hold on to your ass folks. Its gonna get bumpy and apparently for our new found friends it might get a little messy. But don't worry I got tunes especially for this.”
He fumbled with what looked to be a radio inserting a cassette into the player. As soon as the music started, Ray knew exactly what it was. An oldie but a goodie and probably a fitting choice for the task at hand. Motley Crue's Kick Start My Heart. Badass.
Mustard pushed as hard on the gas pedal as he could causing the engine to lurch forward with a roar. The zombies took notice of this and like flies to a bug zapper stumbled straight towards the yellow beacon. Ray looked out the window and could see the road spiral upwards to the top of the garbage mountain. Up towards the top he could see people lining the roads taking shots at the undead. Some had guns but others oddly enough had axes and shovels. Ray focused back on the road while the music filled the bus through tiny speakers placed throughout. “Whoa, Yeah, kick start my heart hope it never stops,” filled the twinkie as people found themselves bobbing their head.
Mustard was singing along as he bounced up and down from the ride. Even rougher was the fact that zombies were getting plowed by the metal beast. Some were getting caught under the tires making everybody rock violently. The bodies were soft so the ones that did get hit by the front of the bus would splatter causing blood to spray the windshield like a bad horror movie.
A sharp turn was coming up as Ray watched Mustard show off his skills. He leaned towards the window and began spinning the giant wheel to the right. Never hitting the braking but releasing the gas and then hitting it at the right moment.
It was to the part of the song that slowed down but appropriately started back up again as they hit a straight away. One after another the zombies were being slaughtered by the yellow machine as it killed them with no remorse. The bus made its way to the very top, when a group of people came charging down with guns mowing down what few zombies remained in this section.
Amazingly, the song ended as Mustard came to a completely stop, with everybody shifting forward a bit and the sound of the door opening. They suddenly felt like rockstars.
To Be Continued
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