This Little Demon
This little piggy went to market
This little piggy stayed home
This little piggy had roast beef
This little piggy had none
And this little piggy went
“Wee wee wee” all the way home.
Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes.
This Little Demon
They do not walk fast but once they get their hands on you… they have you. They are very strong and very vicious. If they get them teeth chomping on you, you are done.
I have been locked down in my house for a little under a month. I have boarded up my windows and doors. The electricity went out about 5 days ago …Actually, only parts of town are out of power…Mine, being one of them. I hate the dark. Well, I actually do not hate it… I just dislike it a lot. Therefore, I had a generator installed.
This is the suburbs, there are not a lot of people…but there are enough. I can see most of them through the bars on the outside of my windows. Yes, I have bars on my windows, even in the suburbs. The crime rate is still pretty high, even in this day and age. If you look out of my house, you will see small picket fences, green grass, SUV’s, station wagons, sedans and mini vans in the driveways.
If you disregard the flipped over cars, smashed out windows, and billowing smoke columns…. It almost looks normal.
Oh yeah…and that is if you don’t see the shambling, bloody, mutilated walking corpses. It seems to me that they are actually the undead. That is, they have injuries that are not compatible with life. Obvious trauma, missing limbs, evisceration’s, detruncation’s, missing jaws, and broken necks.
They are dead, they must be.
They do not bleed anymore, yet they are animate. They shuffle around stalking anything that moves; except each other. They fight with each other over the parts, but they do not eat each other.
I can see Mrs. Downy across the street. She was one of the first to be eaten. Apparently, her dog fluffy the wire haired terrier, changed and decided he was hungry. Most of her throat is gone; I can see one side of her face is missing its cheek. She has the whole Two-Face thing from Batman going on. The nightgown she has on is shredded and one of her old tit’s is hanging out.
She’s been crawling around on the ground for the better part of an hour. Digging, and scratching at the bottom of the tree in her yard. She must have seen that ground squirrel scampering around.
You better run and hide little buddy. Momma’s gonna have squirrel for supper. Well hey, look out there now. Good ole’ fluffy has come over to help her.
Pretty soon, they will have dug up the entire root system of the tree. I turn my head at a noise behind me, for a second I panic then remember it’s only Janet.
I can hear Janet digging around behind me in the kitchen cupboard.
“What are you looking for?” I ask the empty air.
“Nothing.” She replies. It is a kind of sultry raspy voice. It drives me crazy and she knows it.
“Well if it is nothing you are looking for, I think you might have found it.”
She pops her head out from around the corner and gives me the look. You can imagine which one.
“Sorry.” I say and raise my hand in apology. So far, we have not gotten on each other’s nerves. You would figure that after a month the personalities are bound to clash. But, it’s been pretty mellow so far.
Well…except for Ryan…that is another story. He is young and impatient. I can hear him moving around upstairs; constantly pacing. He does not like to be cooped up in the house. I can’t really blame him too much. I’m starting to get a little stir crazy myself.
But, at least in here we are safe.
I haven’t heard from Howard in a while. He lives in the basement. I let him move in a while ago. He’s an older man, probably in his fifties. Ex construction worker, retired, keeps to himself.
“Have you seen Howard lately?” I shout out to Janet.
“No, why?” She says poking her head from around the corner. A look of concern crosses her face. I turn and walk over to the basement door.
It gives the proverbial creak upon opening.
“Hey Howard, Are you alive down there?” Probably not the best choice of words.
The silence stretched on to the point it starts to become uncomfortable. I see Janet come out from around the corner. She has a big butcher knife in her right hand.
“Hey Howard…you down there buddy?” My voice has gone up an octave and my heart is beating faster.
I hear a grunt and something shuffled at the bottom of the stairs just out of my view.
Shit. This is not possible. No one could have breached our perimeter. Nothing can get in here.
“God dang it Howard…if you can hear me, answer me.” I hear another grunt and possibly someone passing gas. I grabbed the double-headed axe. The light from outside reflects off the newly sharpened surface.
I saw Howards hand reach out and grasp the banister.
I was scared now. If Howard had been bit, then we were in trouble. My grip tightened on the axe handle.
I heard a deep breath.
“God damn it, can’t an old man get a few minutes of peace and quiet.” He yelled up the stairs with his old man voice. I could hear the ‘Deep South’ coming out of him; it tends to draw out his vowels.
“Well hell man,” I said “If you would answer me once and awhile. I called down to you a couple times. Christ, I thought you were a freaking Zombie.” My grip loosened on the axe and I ran my hand through my hair.
Janet walked back into the kitchen. Upstairs, Ryan had begun pacing. I am way too wound up. I needed to get some sleep. Janet will stand guard. She is one tough bitch.
Hello, my name is Janet I am 37 years old. I have blondish brown hair and blue eyes. I do not half step anything. In this day and age you cannot afford it. I will not become a victim. If you mess with me, I will kill you. Though don’t get me wrong, I do have a sense of humor. How can you not? Look at the world we live in. Jesus came, grabbed his few… and left. How is that not funny? We have been left to die and / or kill each other.
That is just…just… bullshit.
I think Max is right. We need to stay in place, wait it out. We have what we need here. And Ryan…well Ryan is a weasely little twerp. It is not our fault he was locked away in a closet for most of his life. If we have a weak link, it is he. We should have gotten rid of him long ago. He brings nothing to the table. He is such a downer. I cannot stand people like him. He never looks me in the eyes, he is always nervous…spineless is what he is.
They say the meek shall inherit the earth. Not if I have anything to say about it. Forget all that humble crap.
Max is a good guy. He has a spine and he is smart. He’s all right looking if you’re into that kind of guy. He is our pillar. Our anchor. We need him. Probably more than he needs us.
Howard is your typical southern farmer type. You would think he was slow but, he’s not. He takes his time to think about his answer before giving it. He is a bit on the cranky side though. He is set in his ways and not very open to the whole younger generation. I cannot blame him really.
As a generation, we suck. We try to do everything so fast and easy. We have forgotten many of our survivability skills. How many of us can actually start a fire without matches or a lighter. Exactly. We expect to be able to do things without really knowing how to do them. I do not believe in that.
Like right now I do not mind being on watch. I would rather be doing that than sitting around doing nothing.
Well… it looks like Mrs. Downy and fluffy have come to an agreement. Never really liked that woman anyway. People should not treat their pets like children. They are animals.
Simple as that.
I am kind of glad he ripped her throat out. She probably deserved it.
She was fat, probably stunk and was living off her dead husband’s retirement. The only thing she helped with… was the economy. She consumed, but contributed nothing.
The world we live in has changed. There is no more free ride. You either shit or get off the pot. Any day now we are going to see some of the survivalist come through. I’m pretty sure there has to be a few militias out there. Too many guns and ammo stores for there not to be.
I haven’t heard a plane fly overhead in a long time.
Not a good sign.
So, what I’m trying to figure out is…what is next?
There has to be a next. What would be the point if there weren’t? How long does this Zombie thing last? I assume it will have an ending, it has a beginning. If you approach it logically anyway.
So, Jesus came back as he said he would.
Took his righteous 140,000. Then, left…Have I said how shitty I think that is?
What?…Are they just giving up on the world? On humanity? I could understand humanity but the world?
I don’t think so. I think this is a solution to a problem. But, if the problem was humanity then why not just disaster us out.
Flip the world. Something. But the undead? Come on, that is so cliché it hurts my brain. They say that it would be easy to live in a world of slow zombies.
As long as you have someone to watch your back. I have Max and Howard. And maybe even Ryan, not that I think he would help. But I might be able to pick up some movement in his eyes or something. He is like anti-man. Not that he’s queer or anything. He’s just a pussy.
There I said it.
He’s a pussy.
Who the hell cares if your parents locked you in a closet and only fed you every so often? You’re out now, get over it. We all have traumas in our lives and we deal with it.
So… here they are….the rules to live by.
The rules for zombie survival are pretty much what you expect.
Stay away from them. Do not get noticed by them. Do not make loud noises; they are attracted to it. When you fight them, go for the head; it is all about the head.
That’s pretty much it.
Follow those rules and maybe you’ll live.
Here is an idea to think about.
What if this is only the first stage? The first stage of end stage.
How utterly ironic huh?
Wow! Would you listen to me, I’m talking about a million miles an hour, rambling on, jumping from subject to subject. I’m usually not like this. Usually, I am the very picture of control. I guess I am just a little excited about getting this all out in the open.
So, its days like these that make you wonder why you’re still alive. Granted, I wasn’t the greatest girl in the world but I was by far not the worst. I am not a bad person. Okay, okay, enough about me.
I don’t know how long we can stay living in this place. I mean we have everything we need to last a couple months but eventually we are going to have to leave. We’ll go bug shit staying in one place too long.
Not that we are that far away from that now. Ryan is growing very restless upstairs. I don’t know why Max likes the guy so much, but it is only going to be so long before he makes a break for it, and of course Max will chase after him as he always does. Life wasn’t as complicated as this until Ryan came back. We were a nice little harmonious family. But, Max had to let Ryan back into it and now it’s all fucked up.
I can hear him upstairs right now pacing, waiting to get enough energy and spazziness to make a break for it. I wish I could put a bullet in him myself sometimes. No, really, I wish to….I wish to…hmmph….I wish I could make myself do it.
However, that would not go well with Max. And to me… he’s the one that’s important.
Well, it looks like Max is waking up, time for him to take charge again. I’m a good captain but not a very good lieutenant. I am a bit of a control freak. Max is different; he cares about all of us.
With a start, or what they call a nap jerk I rolled off the couch. I had been dreaming about running. Running from what? That was the weird part. Somewhere in the dream I saw the pursuers behind me. They were eight-foot tall bananas, without the peelings. The bad part was the fact that the ground upon which I ran…. was covered with their peelings. As I tried to run, my feet kept slipping and sliding, and as I looked back, I could see they were gaining. Then the peelings started to curl up upon themselves, quickly trapping me within them.
Instantly waking me up.
Of course, as I rolled off the couch Janet glanced at me and laughed. But that’s okay, I like Janet’s laugh, it kinda dry and sultry. Very sexy. I really shouldn’t think like that about Janet. She’s my oldest friend and confidant. She has saved my butt more than once.
The first time I met Janet… I was ten years old.
I was trying to take a short cut through Breckom Woods. For the past four months Richie Marcos and his little group of toadies had been chasing me home. Sometimes they would catch me, sometimes they wouldn’t. The times they didn’t catch me… made it much worse for me when they did. It had never gotten too bad, pushes and shoves into the mud or dirt. Ripping my clothes. Hitting me with mud cakes. Stuff like that.
Jacky Carmichael was Ritchie’s number one toady. He lived to please Richie. When Richie was happy they were all happy. This meant he did not beat on them.
This was one of those times when they caught me. I had a feeling that something was in the air that day, and it told me I needed to be careful.
I tried to listen, I really did.
That’s why I went through Breckom Woods. Hindsight shows me that was not the best idea.
I had been hurrying my way through and down the trail, pushing away branches and leaves while simultaneously being smacked in the face. My heart was pounding so hard it was about to leap out of my chest. I was a bit on the chubby side back then. Bad genetics I guess. It’s not as if we had a lot of food in the house those days. Had lots of beer though. Dad loved his beer.
Anyway, pushing through the blind of leaves blocking the trail I ran straight into Richie Marcos. When I say ran into him, I mean ran straight into the back of him. I was a big kid with a lot of weight. A lot of soft weight. As luck would have it, Richie and his boys were in a circle facing inward, when I ran straight into his back. Nobody saw it coming, so nobody could stop what they were doing. As I ran into the broad back of the thirteen year old, I bounced off and landed on my rather large posterior. He, on the other hand must have been off balance, because he fell straight forward into the ring.
Unfortunately for him, the object of their entertainment had been a dying woodchuck. Quite possibly, it had been hit by a car and maybe wandered in here to die or maybe they found it dying and drug it back to this spot. I don’t know.
What I do know is they were torturing the poor beast.
As I watched Ritchie fly forward, my worst nightmares became a reality. Ritchie fell forward into the circle, therefore, landing on the dying woodchuck. Oh, that’s not the bad part. The really bad part was that apparently, they had thought it might be fun to circle around it and started pissing on it. So, as I rebounded off of Ritchie, he flew forward onto a dying piss covered woodchuck. And of course, the others were so startled they forgot to stop pissing and continued to piss on Ritchie. Only for a brief moment I guarantee you.
The woodchuck seeing his opportunity at a little revenge, timed his attack perfectly. When Ritchie fell onto the piss-covered woodchuck, he fell without catching himself. This put him face to face with the dying animal. If you have ever seen a woodchuck you would know they could actually get pretty big. I say roughly thirty pounds covered with fur and claws, and you cannot ever….forget their giant front teeth. They are kinda like beavers; they need to chew on things to keep their teeth from growing too large. This also helps to sharpen them.
Well as Ritchie, now getting covered with piss, fell missionary style upon the supine openly willing woodchuck, his face smashed down into its snarling maw. Luckily, for Ritchie, his reflexes were fast, because that is when our friend the Woodchuck made his move. It bit down with those enormous teeth right when Ritchie turned his head. It bit into Ritchie’s right ear, masterfully severing it from his head. Ritchie screamed and so did the other boys.
Hand coming up to where his ear had been, he rolled off the dying animal. Blood was beginning to soak the up turned collar of his denim jacket. His hair, plastered to his head, was wet from not only the bloody ear, but also with the combined piss splashing from the other boys.
Ochre colored piss stained his white tee shirt. Blood quickly replaced the piss as his eyes came across and into focus, fatefully finding me.
Here I was, Chubby boy Max sitting there looking across at him. I was so stunned by what had happened I sat there for a moment dumbfounded; watching as recognition came across his blood drenched face. Well, I didn’t need someone to tell me that I needed to get the hell out of there, pronto. So I did.
I rolled over, got my feet under me and took off running blindly through the woods.
Behind me, I heard a blood-curdling scream of rage.
“Get that motherfucker. I want him dead.” Came out from Ritchie’s bloody-piss covered mouth. As I ran in blind panic through the woods, branches and limbs clawed the exposed skin of my hands and face. I had no doubt Ritchie and his crew would kill me if they caught me. Fallen trees reached and snagged my shoes tripping me and efficiently ripping one shoe clean off.
But I got up and kept on running. I had no idea where I was running to or where I was going.
I crested a small ridge of a descending hill, tripped again, and lost my other shoe. My face came down first, my body came over it backwards, and then I began to roll. I rolled all the way to the bottom. The only thing that stopped me was the jagged face of an exposed granite boulder.
With a thud my head cracked against it and I immediately felt the tear in my flesh.
My body, slow to recover, was on its back looking up the hill.
As I lay there watching little birdies fly around my head, I saw the first of Ritchie’s toadies come over the top, followed closely by another. Each of them leapt and ran like deer, surefooted and with ease.
Then I saw Ritchie crest the ridge and knew I was dead meat. In his right hand he carried the now dead woodchuck and in his left hand the severed ear.
Still thirty yards away, I watched them descend. Desperately I shooed the little birdies away and struggled to get to my feet. Instantly, my vision began to swim and go out of focus.
I heard something behind me and turned my head. Standing there was the prettiest girl I had ever seen. Long blondish brown hair, tan skin, a couple freckles on her nose. The sight of her was so utterly out of place I nearly forgot about my pursuers.
Where the heck did she come from? I asked myself. She was roughly my age maybe a year older or younger I couldn’t tell.
“Get behind me.” She said and I watched her walk forward with a giant stick in her hands. Sharp jagged points stuck out from the smaller broken off branches.
I reached out to her, trying to warn her, trying to tell her to run and get help; trying to tell her that they would kill her. At the corner of my eye, I saw the world begin to darken; my vision was slowly becoming a tunnel. I was beginning to pass out, the world tilted and darkness engulfed me but not before I heard a thud or a whack and a scream come from one of my pursuers. With a smile I faded.
When I opened my eyes next, I held a huge stick covered with blood and matting. I looked at my hands and saw caked blood covering my hands, my arms, and my clothes. I wiped my forehead as blood leaked into my eyes.
I turned my head and there was the girl, holding a similar colossal branch. Pieces of hair and clumps of blood clung to it. She looked like a feral animal just come from a feast. Blood covered her entire face; even her teeth. She nonchalantly threw down the branch. It thumped on the ground with a sickly wet thud. Her bloody smile widened and she stepped toward me.
“My names Janet,” She said and looked me straight in the eyes. Blue pools of tranquility stared back at me.
“My names Max.” I responded and stuck out my gore-covered hand. She stuck her similar gore covered hand out and we shook hands.
“Nice to meet you Max,” She said then hesitated, “You looked like you needed some help.”
“Thank you I did, they were going to kill me.” I panted. I leaned down and put my hands on my knees. Until that moment, I hadn’t really acknowledged the fact that we were covered in blood. That is until my eyes looked down to the ground.
I heard Janet’s voice then.
“Don’t freak out Max. They were going to kill you.” She said.
On the ground at my feet, was a mangled bloody something. My first thought was ‘Is that the woodchuck?’ Then I saw that it, the woodchuck, was lying a couple feet away. The bloody chunk I had spied below was the mangled remains of a head; a human head. I bolted backwards, tripping again, and landed on something large and wet. I rolled, sort of slithering like, off and came face to face with a very dead Ritchie Marcos. Lurching backwards my eyes shot up to my new friend Janet. Behind her blood covered face was a look of Knowing. A look of resolve and tainted innocence. I crab clawed backwards, my eyes never leaving hers.
“Oh Max don’t look at me like that. This is not the best way for us to meet.” She said and then continued. “They were going to kill you. So…I helped you kill them…Only three of them actually. The other two got away.” Not a hint of remorse could be found in those eyes. I looked around at the ground again and really began to see the devastation we had enacted.
Ritchie was propped up against the rock I had initially hit my head on. The whole left side of his head was caved in, crushed many times by something very large.
There on the ground, to my surprise, was the football-sized rock I had used to pound in the side of his head.
Rips and tears covered his neck and arms. These were from the sharp stubs broken off of my giant tree club; the one I had discarded earlier.
I felt my stomach churn a bit and I glanced away. My eyes moved across the ground in a kind of stuttering motion back to where Janet stood. At her feet lay a broken, battered and very dead Paulie Marcos, Ritchie’s not so little brother.
I began to stand and then it came. I bent forward and vomit exploded out of my throat. I say my throat because that’s how forceful it was. It came on so hard I think it missed the inside of my mouth altogether. I vomited so much, I would not be surprised to see that long lost toys or baby shoes had been expelled from my throat. Not that I had a problem eating my toys or shoes and stuff, just you know…. every once and awhile.
Anyway, my hands went to my knees and my eyes began watering. I wiped the tears away and saw what I had previously contained in my stomach. On the ground, bite sized chunks of flesh covered with stomach juice littered the ground. Before I could understand what was going on… my eyes focused on Jacky Carmichaels body, and severed head. Jacky’s head was the original chunk of meat I had seen on the ground. Rips and chunks of flesh had been taken from Jacky’s torso and face. Beside it, a dinner plate sized piece of sharp granite was covered with flesh and gore. Apparently, this is what was used to cut off Jacky’s head.
What I had used to cut his head off.
Well, Janet and I that is. I felt a warm hand on my shoulder. I didn’t turn to face her. I stared into the woods and knew my life was never going to be the same.
“We have to go. The police might be here soon.” She said.
I turned to her then and asked. “Go where? We killed these guys. They are going to lock us away forever. We are going to get the electric chair for this.”
She smiled then and I knew everything was going to be all right.
“No their not; besides, who’s going to believe a chubby ten year old boy and a petite little girl like me did this to these older bigger boys…. No one, that’s who.” She said.
She was so sure of herself that I instantly believed her. And she was right. In fact, as we walked away she said something else that made sense.
“I doubt the two boys that got away will say anything at all. What would they say? That they were chasing you down to kill you and you and I began killing them instead. No, they won’t say anything and neither will we.”
Again, she said this with so much confidence that I immediately knew she was right.
We walked through the deepening woods a bit, not saying a whole lot.
What was there to say?
Eventually, she told me she lived across the way. I asked why I didn’t see her in school, and she told me her Dad didn’t trust public schools, and that he was home schooling her. I had never heard of this before, and I wanted to know more about it but she immediately clammed up; obviously finished with the subject.
I told her where I lived and she said she already knew. That she had spied on me before, from the edge of the tree line. This girl was weird and yet so darn cool. She was the coolest person I had ever met.
And a girl too. Wow.
She said she had to get home; I looked around and realized it had somehow gotten dark on us. I also realized I was not sure where I was.
“I don’t know where we are. I think we are lost.”
“Don’t be silly,” she said. “Look over there.” She pointed towards a light in the distance.
I said I could see it.
“That’s Mrs. Holcombe’s house, just head for that, then turn left. Stay to the woods and you should come out at your house.”
I’ll be darned she was right. I turned to her and she was already moving away into the dark.
“How are you going to get home?” I asked.
“Don’t be silly, I know exactly where I am going.” She said and turned away from me.
“Hey wait,” I said. She stopped and in the darkness I could see her turn to me. I mustered my courage and asked her where she lived and if she wanted to hang out sometime. At first, I thought she wasn’t going to answer. Then she did.
“Sure we can hang out if you want.” She said and after a short pause. “But don’t come looking for me. My dad doesn’t like strangers at our house. I’ll come to your house.” And just like that she ran off into the night.
Okay… that was a bit odd. But then, no weirder than bashing three people’s heads in.
But for some reason I wasn’t really worried about that.
After what seemed like forever, and at least an hour’s worth of stealth, I made it to my house.
All the lights in the house were off, and neither of my parents was yet home. Big surprise there.
I went to the spigot at the back of the house. Back porch lights shown from the houses to the left and right of mine, thus creating a nice pocket of darkness.
We didn’t have a back porch light.
I looked around and made sure no one was looking, stripped out of my blood soaked clothes, turned on the nearly ice cold water and began washing my body down. Liberally spraying the grass where I had washed off, I watched with uncanny night vision as the plush grass soaked up the evidence. I sprayed the bloody clots and chunks from my clothes and folded them into a pile.
Still butt naked, I picked up the pile and went up the back steps of the porch. Shivering despite the humid summer air I let myself in.
Went to the washing machine and put my clothes in. I had been doing my own laundry for quite some time now, since neither parent seemed concerned enough to do it for me.
Putting in the measured amount of laundry detergent, I put two caps worth of bleach in behind it, and started the washer. With that done I went upstairs and hopped in the shower; vigorously scrubbing the crimson tinge off my skin.
Brushed my teeth three times.
Went into the kitchen, made myself a ham sandwich and almost choked on my second bite. Looking around I knew something was missing.
My backpack. I had lost it when they had begun chasing me. Panic almost got the best of me. I had to go back and get my backpack. I threw on some clothes and began looking for my shoes.
Oh Dear God!
I had lost my shoes as well. I almost started to cry then. I rummaged in a kitchen drawer, found the flashlight I was searching for and bolted for the back door. I pushed open the screen door and began to step outside.
How the heck was I going to find my shoes and backpack in the middle of the woods in the dark? I wasn’t that’s how. I turned on the flash light and aimed it toward the woods. A circle of luminescence appeared on the tree line. I began to walk out onto the porch, I saw a flicker of movement at the edge of the tree line, and fear filled my soul.
The first thing I thought of was… It’s Ritchie’s ghost come back from the dead. I moved my light again and I saw a small bit of reflection. Keeping a tight rein on my fear I descended the back porch steps. The light beam crossed the grass, highlighted the individual strands, and eventually came to rest on the reflection. Stacked nice and neat were my backpack and sneakers. Shoes stacked on top.
Apparently, she was a lot smarter and quicker than I was. I’m glad she was on my team.
So that was the day I met Janet.