Sequel: Static Screams
Status: bloody

White Noise


“Where the fuck are you, Ryan…” I muttered, wiping my hands on my pants. Lila still stood, wide eyed, staring at the monster-mush and blood on the floor.

“It…just doesn’t make sense,” she began. “Normally, they just hit something and move on…”

“Yeah, I know,” I pushed hair out of my eyes, sighing. “It was so damn aggressive.”

Lila slowly backed to her seat on the couch, breathing heavily and shaking. She rested her head in her hands and sighed audibly.

I stared at the decaying stink bag on the floor, grimacing. It didn’t make sense; in the year we’d been hiding in this house, never once had this happened. “They’re evolving?”

Ryan decided that was the perfect time to show up, throwing open the door and – “What the hell?” – stepping right into slimy brains.

“It attacked,” I answered, watching him carefully step over the rest of the Zom’s body. “It’s like it knew we were in here.”

Ryan raised his eyebrow, beating his boot against the wall to get the zombie gore off of it. “Did you throw something at it, or what?”

“No,” Lila piped up. “We were just in here talking, and it hit the trashcan, then started scratching at the door.”

“That just…doesn’t make sense,” Ryan scratched his head, his blond hair falling against his shoulders.

“I think they’re evolving.”

Lila nodded, “that makes sense, but why now? It’s been over a year. What’s changed?”

I bit my lip. “Maybe it’s environmental. It’s been a lot warmer this year. Could that have triggered it?”

Ryan took a seat on the couch next to Lila, lying back until his head rested against the beige wall. “Maybe. Or maybe they have to be more aggressive now, because there’s not as many people for them to feed on.”

“That wouldn’t explain how it knew we were in here.”

I nodded, “Lila’s right. Unless they’ve developed super senses or something, there’s no way they’d know we were here.”

The sun was starting to set, shining in through the windows and illuminating off of Lila’s red hair.

“Whatever, we’re in a dangerous place,” Ryan said, taking a drink of water. “We need to probably leave.”

In my head I started making mental lists. Things we could take with us, and things we would have to leave. “Where would we even go? And how would we get there?”

“Um…I don’t know. We could move closer to town.”

Lila laughed bitterly. “Closer?! We’d be surrounded by those things!”

I reached for the notepad carelessly dropped on the table, along with the pen. “Point, but maybe we can run into other survivors? Someone who knows something?”

“Do you think Marine Tim had any suitcases or storage boxes?” Lila asked. “And survivors? Do you think there are any?”

Ryan laughed. “Surely if we can survive, there are other, smarter people who can survive too.”

“Yeah, Lila, they’re in his bedroom. I think there are three boxes. I don’t know about suitcases.” I moved to the pantry to count the food. “Ryan’s right, too. If we, as certified dumbasses, can get through this, I’m sure someone else here can, too.”

Lila moved back to the bedroom, her socks providing a soft padding sound on the floor. I scribbled on the pad and moved to the kitchen counter, taking stock of water. “While you’re back there, check and see if there’s a first aid kit in the bathroom!”

“Okay, boss,” I heard Lila grumbled.

Ryan sauntered in, looking over my shoulder. “We’re starting to run low…”

I nodded. “If we’re relocating, we have enough to find more.”

“What if there’s nothing to find?”

I shrugged. I’d been thinking about that for months. I turned to face him, “We just have to divide and conquer.”

“Isn’t that dangerous?”

I smirked. “What isn’t, these days?”

“I have an idea.”

It was close to our bedtime, and from her place on the couch, Lila was double-checking my math. She looked up at Ryan, who had his feet propped on the coffee table. “What, babe?”

“Well, we drove up here…I mean, that Jeep is shit now. But there’s a pretty sweet ride in that shed out back.”

I snorted, “Yeah, if a kidnapper van is considered ‘sweet’.”

“Shut up, Holl. Listen, it’s got a full tank, the engine still runs, and Marine Tim has like five million gas cans out there. We could head somewhere else.”

“And where would we go?” Lila questioned, letting the pen fall from her hands. “Even if we have enough gas, we don’t have enough food or water.”

“That’s true,” I concurred. “But we can find more. All of these houses were abandoned when the first strain hit. There’s a chance that a lot of people left without taking what they had. We can’t stay here though.”

“Because of one of those things happening to find us here?” Lila stood up, the notepad falling to the floor. “That is so stupid! That’s like saying that just because there was an asteroid that wiped out dinosaurs means it’ll be happen again.”

“It could,” Ryan countered. “But that’s not the point.”

No, of course it wasn’t. If there’s anything that Ryan loved to talk about, it’s how nothing was ever the point. “Guys, we need to go to sleep. We can talk about this in the morning.”

I didn’t give them a chance to respond. I stood up, walking back to the bedroom. Ryan followed, jumping up on the queen sized bed. He shared it with Lila, while I slept on the futon under the window. The wool blanket was scratchy against my arms, but it was warm and reminded me of life before all of this.

It was so much easier back then, when Ryan and I would stay up late playing video games, smoking weed and cigarettes, blowing class off to watch Steven Spielberg movies. I never would have believed that actual, real life zombies would overtake us.

After Lila woke me up that day, we packed the Jeep and left within an hour. It was a good thing we had doors on it, because God knows what would have happened to us. It was a dangerous situation, driving through cannibalistic dead people and people who’d been too injured to do anything other than lay in the road and cry.

Now, as somebody who was pretty apathetic, it moved me more than anything ever had. Maybe it was the stress of the situation; maybe it was the thought of my parents and sister not being able to get in touch with me. It’s funny, really, how the things that you ignore when life is normal are the things you miss most when shit hits the fan.
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