Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ray is to Blame pt. 3 Finale

Half an hour later we said our goodbyes to Slouch and were soon on our way out of the cemetery and heading over to see Ray.
   Slouch had given us quite a lot of information in the short time we had spent with him and it really got me thinking.
   Ray may have been the catalyst behind the current situation, but who among us should really be casting any stones and saying” shame” to him.
   It wasn’t his fault that he got hit that night with the meteor dust, he was just going about living his life, but unfortunately even though this was case the facts remained the same and the problem was still there, what was to become of Ray, the man who could raise the dead?
   As we drove across the city, making our way to the maximum holding facility were Ray was currently calling home, we got held up while one of the Clean Up Crew’s team dealt with a small group of zombies. It took them a little longer than I would have expected but eventually they wrapped it up and we were once again on our way.
   Ray wasn’t being held at the facility on any criminal charges but was actually being held there on his own advice. Keeping him locked away like this helped keep him far away from people, dead or alive, and prevented him from accidentally creating anymore zombies.
   The problem was it may be already be too late. Zombies were out everywhere biting and eating people and turning more and more daily into zombies. Keeping Ray locked away only solved one part of the problem and the more important one of dealing with the thousands of teaming dead remained.
   All of these things were rattling around inside my head as we passed through the third security gate, unloaded our equipment and made our way inside the facility.
   We were silently lead into the very depths were Ray was currently living.
   The Warden had moved all the prisoners from the lower cell block to the upper ones as a precaution and gave Ray free run of the lower floors and as we passed the final checkpoint I was overcome by what I saw. I thought I had walked into some strange underground concrete penthouse were the cells had been stocked and furnished with every bit of modern day conveniences you could imagine, and a smile played across my lips as I thought to myself that Ray had come along way since the trailer park.
   It took us about twenty minutes to get set up and we had picked one of the cells that was being used as a sitting room. Shortly after we were ready Ray joined us in what was to become a most revealing interview.

Interviewer: Good afternoon Ray.
Ray: Hello
Interviewer: Thank you for allowing us to come into your new home to do this interview. You probably don’t know or realize just how bad things have become and rumors are starting to spread that it’s no longer confined to just our city.
   The city, state and federal government have all spoken out and as with all governments there pointing fingers and that finger is pointing at you. So now we want to give you the opportunity to tell us in your own words your side of the story. Are you prepared to do this?
Ray: Yes, I suppose I am.
Interviewer: Okay and thank you once again. Before we start I want you to know we did interview your Mother and Father so we could get some background information and then we talked at great length with Slouch, who I have to say, after speaking in depth with has revealed himself to be a truly a good friend to you.
   During the time that I spent with your family and Slouch, as well, I did a lot of soul searching. I’ve come to the conclusion that you got shafted and I think a lot of others will as well. You did nothing wrong. All you were doing was living your life and due to an unforeseen occurrence, being scheduled to work overnight, you were at the wrong place at the wrong time and it’s that wrong time were I would like to start.
Ray: Huh!
Interviewer: Can you please, in detail, explain to us and our viewers what happened that night in the graveyard?
Ray: Oh that! Sure thing.
   Well to begin with I was pretty pissed off that I had to work overnight and to top it off they never gave me notice that this was going to happen. As my night shift started on that first night I was pretty tired because I just had worked my normal shift and then had to turn around in five hours and come back and do overnight security, which has longer hours than other shifts.
   So by the time one o’clock in the morning rolls around I was pretty much asleep on my feet so I decided to make my way to the security shack for some coffee and a bite to eat. After about forty five minutes I decided to head back out and walk the plots, hoping the night air would keep me awake.
   So there I was, about fifteen minutes later, freezing my butt off while continuing my rounds when suddenly, I can’t really remember why, I look up and into the night sky.
   I stood there for countless minutes scanning the sky when my eyes came to rest on an object that looked five times larger than any of the stars around it.
   As I continued to watch, it grew increasingly larger and brighter and then the silence of the night was shattered by a whining noise that increased in volume the closer the object became.
   I stood there staring up in amazement when suddenly it felt like all the air around me had been sucked up and I felt an increasing pressure behind my ears when suddenly the object exploded.
   The brilliant flash forced me to turn my head and as I blinked the thousands of tiny lights out of my eyes I saw a blanket of red dust fall on me and all over the cemetery.
   I slow turned around and continued to shake my head to clear my vision when suddenly my whole body seemed to catch fire.
   However before I could bring my hands up to brush of the strange dust I ended up passing out from the intense pain.
   I’m not sure how long I was out for but when I woke up I had a hell of a headache.
   As my memory started to slowly return I sat gingerly up and gently felt the top of my head and almost passed out again when I discovered all the hair on my head had been burnt off and my hand came down covered in a thin layer of skin and blood.
   I rose to my feet and started thinking to myself how lucky I was not to be dead. But then a thought occurred to me, maybe I was dead. As I was thinking these things, I could feel my head start vibrating and hurting like hell all over again. At this point I slowly rose to my feet, decided to hell with the job, and turned around intending to go to the hospital.
   As I turned to go I heard a loud grinding sound followed by a low moan that gradually grew louder.
   I’ve worked in cemeteries for along time and I have never heard anything as creepy as this, so I cautiously turned around, and for the third time in one night almost passed out again.
   There, before me, coming out of the ground like some sort of B rated horror movie was the man we had planted earlier in the day.
   As he climbed out of the ground he turned to face me, and I swear he looked right at me and then slightly bowed in my direction before he looked around, kind of confused like, then wondered of into the night.
Interviewer: Sorry to interrupt, but did you go after him?
Ray: Are you nuts? He was just dead and came back to life and to top it off I just got covered in some strange alien dust. There was no way I was going to chase him down, especially with my head hurting worse than ever. No, I decided instead to continue with my original plan and head down to the emergency room.
   I was too dizzy to drive and the phones weren’t working so I couldn’t even call for a ride so I hitched up my pants and made ready for the long walk I had ahead of me and I barely made it. The good news was I didn’t have to wait long at all like you usually do when you go to an emergency room.
   The doctor’s rushed me in to do x-rays, MRI’s, Cat scans and they did all types of other test that lasted for about two days.
   They discovered that the dust that had blanketed me was some sort of microscopic organism and it appeared to be reproducing at an alarming rate and spreading throughout my skin, eating its way through my skull and into my brain.
   They tried several things to kill it but nothing worked. Eventually my blood test came back showing that they weren’t harmful and in the end the doctors were left scratching there heads in bewilderment.
   They told me that they had to report this to the CDC because of the nature of the organism. It was unknown so I should expect a call within the next few days. The only thing the doctors were sure of is if they tried to remove the organism that had already burrowed into my brain then I would be left a vegetable for the rest of my life. It seemed that even though it was causing irreversible damage to me it also worked as a patch allowing me not to be harmed from the effects of the creatures.
   Well I wasn’t having any of that so we decided to leave it alone and a day later they gave me loads of pain killers, wished me luck and told me to be careful and not to bump my head as they sent me on my way.
  I was confused why they were letting me go, having an unknown organism inside me and one of the nurses told me that there had been a rash of violent attacks and there just wasn’t any more space available at the hospital.
    I left the hospital bewildered and went back home but quickly became bored just sitting around and the next day I went back to work.
   On my first day back Slouch called me over to give him a hand at the site where the zombie had risen from several nights before.
   At first he had no idea that the coffin was empty and I kept hoping he would remain oblivious. As we were shoveling in the dirt he noticed something strange in the hole and then he jumped in and a moment later I stood there listening to him call my name.
   Before he had jumped into the pit, all the memories from the other night came flooding back to me, giving me a headache and sent my head spinning and as he was calling to me I suddenly passed out.
   After Slouch had revived me I confessed everything that had happened to me on that night of the meteor and I even showed him the dust covering the ground and the damage to my head. I think he believed me but I’m not quite sure.
   Shortly after our conversation I got a call on the two way radio telling me that there was a fresh grave that needed to be filled in and they wanted me to do it immediately.
   Reluctantly I made my way over to the site and the closer I got the more my head started to vibrate and grow hot until the pain became too much and I fell to the ground in agony.
   As I knelt upon the ground, cradling my head in my hands, I looked up and over at the gravesite. The whole scene was surreal and a repeat from the other night.
   With the sun rising from behind the coffin, making everything a dark silhouette, I heard the lid of the coffin creek open and saw the silhouette of a female cadaver crawl out of the ground.
   I laid there stunned as I watched her climb out, stand up, then fall back down again.
   This happened several times and through the pain I was feeling I tried to figure out why she would be so uncoordinated.
   When she at last was able to stand she started walking in my direction with these exaggerated footsteps, bringing one foot forward, rising it well above the knee, and then she would repeat with the other leg.
   As she passed by me, she stopped and brushed herself off, then straightened up as much as she could, then after blowing me a kiss she walked away. As she staggered by I noticed the reason for her strange walk, they had buried her with roller skates on her feet; people do some crazy shit to those they love that have passed away.
   As she continued to move further away the pain in my head started to recede and when she had crossed to the far sidewalk and skated away, the pain had stopped completely.
   As soon as I was able to stand, I jumped to my feet and started running in the opposite direction of the zombie. In my frantic flight I was brought down at least four more times and forced to witness a repeat of the past two times, happening again, and again, and again.
   Six, there were six freaking dead people walking around doing God only knows what and I was trapped in one of the largest cemetery in the city, frozen with fear, unable to move, because if I did then I might stumble upon another fresh grave and somehow bring them back to life.
   Gritting my teeth, I stood back up and fled the cemetery by the quickest route I could think of. Luckily there were no other incidents and I exited the grounds heading for home as fast as I could.
Interviewer: And where is that?
Ray: Well do you remember hearing in the news when this all started about the bloody gang war that left untold amounts of people hurt or dead…right there.
Interviewer: Are you telling me you are responsible for that?
Ray: In a way. Let me explain.
   My apartment building is not in the best part of town, in fact you would call it the slums, but it was still better than what I grew up in. The problem wasn’t the place but the neighbors that lived around it.
   There were at least four different gangs in a twelve block radius and they were constantly starting shit with one another.
Interviewer: So is this the day that you had mentioned earlier.
Ray: Yeah! It went down something like this.
   I came out of the cemetery exhausted from all that running and pain and make my way home. I was constantly looking around, my eyes darted back and forth, watching out for trouble because apparently the night before, one of the gangs from a few blocks up decided it was time for a drive by and took out some of the gangs members from my block. Before there car had turned the corner in retreat the local gang had organized and mounted an all out revenge attack.
   So with all this going on, plus now the whole zombie thing I was especially on guard.
   I rounded the corner to get to my apartment a car came speeding around the same corner from behind me and then another one from further up the street.
   I slowed down and watched as the cars rolled down there windows. Several gun barrels came sticking out and then the bullets started to fly. Some came from the cars and some from the surrounding buildings then suddenly, the front tires on both cars blew out, sending them crashing into parked cars and buildings.
   From out of nowhere the street was flooded with the local gang members, all converging on the crashed cars. The people inside the cars tried to get out and were instantly gunned down. As they dropped dead, my head exploded with pain once again and within moments of dying, they rose back up.
   Unlike the zombies that I saw in the cemetery, these ones where completely different, more violent and they charged and attacked the local gang members, or anything that moved.
   It was a slaughter. There was close to ten gang members in the cars who had all now returned as zombies and amid a constant barrage of gunfire, that had no effect on them, they literally tore into anyone that got in there way.
   The fight lasted less than five minutes, but I'm not sure because I was in a fetal position on the ground, watching through blurred, pain filled eyes the entire time.
   As the zombies feed on some of the rival gang members others revived and when it was finished there must have been close to sixty or more zombies who immediately set out to attack anyone they made there way throughout the neighborhood.
   During the fighting someone had alerted the police and as I continued to lie upon the ground several riot units showed up.
   As soon as they tried to get out of their trucks they were immediately besieged by the army of zombies who made short work of them.
   The unbridled furry and destruction that I was witnessing was appalling and it wasn’t long before more police arrived, only this time they were more cautious and not all of them were killed immediately. Several of them had been wounded with bites or scratches and in there retreat they saw me and took me with them back to the station while others stayed and tried to contain the situation.
   Upon arriving back at the station house they rushed there injured partners into one of the back rooms to wait for medical help to arrive while I was told to sit at a desk and wait because a detective wanted to ask me some questions.
   I sat and watched as everyone in the station house rushed around making calls to other stations trying to get backup and at one point I thought I heard someone say they were talking to the Governor so he could alert the guard.
   Eventually a detective sat down heavily in the chair at the desk I was at, let out a deep sigh, and then asked me to explain to him what the hell was going on.
   I sat there for a moment, trying to figure out a way to tell him what was happening without sounding crazy but I couldn’t. Taking a deep breath I told him what I had witnessed; starting with the two cars that had initiated the attack. During the interview I made sure that I stressed the fact that I thought I saw people who had died getting back up without ever coming out and directly saying it, hoping he would draw his own conclusions.
   When I had finished I leaned back in the chair and waited for his response. During my statement to the detective the paramedics had arrived to take care of the wounded officers and had went straight back into the other room.
   The detective slowly got to his feet and started to turn around but then he stopped and said, without turning to face me, “so according to you, not only is there a gang war going on but now zombies are involved as well. I’m going in back to check on the other officers and while I’m back there I suggest that you try and remember what really happened and try not to take me for a fool with another whacked out story!
   I was about to protest but he held his hands up to stop me and without saying another word, walked into the back room and closed the door behind him.
   I sat in the chair and stewed about what the detective had said to me for nearly twenty minutes. Eventually the door to the back room finally opened and the detective came out, looking grim, as he sat back down in his chair. I sat there in silence debating with myself and then I blurted out and asked him what was wrong.
   Slowly and quietly he told me that the officers who had been injured had all succumbed to there wounds. I sat there in stunned silence unable to comprehend what had happened. Some of the officers had only minor scratches, not life threatening injuries, so how were it they all died.
   As I sat there thinking about this the detective had asked me if I had wanted to start over with my accounts of what had happened earlier with the riots and he stressed he was not in the mood for any “fucking” around.
   I pleaded with him, telling him what I had told him was the truth and he needed to accept it in order to stop it from getting any worse. I even went as far as telling him about the night in the cemetery and I was getting up to show him my head when the back room door opened again and the paramedics came out transporting the dead officers out on gurneys.
   I stood there in a trance like state, watching them draw nearer, and then suddenly I was on the ground, clenching my head in agony. Moments later I heard the detective I was speaking with yell out a warning to the paramedics.
   The station was suddenly alive with screams of terror and agony as well as gunshots and the smell of blood.
   Within seconds the station was in complete and utter chaos as first the dead officers attacked the paramedics and when they revived, started attacking the other officers in the station and as quickly as it started it was over.
   As I stood up I saw the last of the zombies making its way out of the door and into the night leaving me alone, the only one left alive
   As I stood there among the blood, guts and gore and the occasional body part, I heard a desperate voice coming out of the radio trying to get an answer from someone on this end.
   I carefully made my way over to the radio, picked up the microphone and answered the call. The officer that came back on had a tremor in his voice as he demanded to know who I was and were someone from the station was that he could talk too.
   I explained to him what had happened and he told me that they were also currently under attack. I told him who I was and explained to him what was going on and my need to talk with someone in high ranking authority because of what I new.
   He said that as soon as the situation was under control on his end he would get somebody to come and pick me up and take me to the command post that had been set up.
   About two hours later two patrolmen came cautiously into the station with weapons drawn. Upon seeing me they swung there guns up and trained them on me while shouting at me to stay still and asking me if I’d been hurt by any of those “things.”
   It took a few minutes to calm them down and assure them that I had not been bit. Once they were finally convinced they led me outside, checking the area over quite thoroughly for any threats, on the way to their patrol car.
   I sat in back as we raced through the city streets and was shocked by what I saw. There were fires burning unchecked in several buildings, numerous car accidents and people fleeing the burning buildings, some on fire or keeled over from the smoke. There were people lying dead on the ground or being mauled and attacked by large groups of people, like those I had seen at the station house, but yet the two officers I was with ignored it all and just speed on.
   Eventually we pulled into the parking lot of one of those large membership warehouses that had been converted into a command post and launching area for the National Guard.
   As we pulled up to the main entrance one officer got out of the car and led me inside and directly back to what was once the manager’s office but was now the command center.
   Without any hesitation, the guard that had been standing outside the office opened the door and I was lead immediately inside to meet with the commander of the operation.
   We stood in front of his desk waiting for him to finish his call and once he was done he dismissed the officer and told me to take a seat.
   I won’t bore you with all the details but I explained to him what was happening and why and he was surprisingly opened minded about it so that when I was finished he simply picked up his phone once more and made a quick call and about five minutes later two scientists from the CDC entered the office.
   I was lead away under guard with the two scientists bringing up the rear. I was their guest for about three weeks as they poked, prodded and performed any and all test that they could think of until finally they were left scratching there heads just like the hospital.
   Then after much discussion and debate they finally decided to put me here for my safety as well as everyone else’s.
   And that, so far, is my story. What happens next I cant say but if they manage to contain and control the zombies, what then are they going to do about me? I simply can’t be let out because the moment I come across a fresh cadaver they would just spring back to life and the whole thing starts again.
Interviewer: That is a tough one. Has anyone discussed options with you?
Ray: The one that’s most favorable is keeping me here, but in the end there worried about the cost on the tax payers. There was also an idea about putting me on some small island, you know completely isolated, but there has been nothing definitively decided as of yet.
Interviewer: Ray is there anything you wish to say before we conclude this interview?
Ray: Well just that I’m really sorry this has happened. If I could have had it any other way, I hope you all realize that I would have.
Interviewer: Well that is quite an extraordinary tale. Now at this point I feel it is imperative that all you viewers out their listen closely because I feel it is rather important. Ray got screwed. He was just a normal man with all the normal fears, worries and woes just like the rest of you and he still is. Let me say that again in case you missed it… he still is.
   You cannot in good conscious condemn him for what is going on because he can no more control this than any of you can control the weather. He got screwed – wrong place, wrong time end of story. Except it’s not is it, the end of the story because there still are zombies and then there still is Ray. What should or will become of him if we are lucky enough to get the bigger problem under control? As of right now, no one knows and so we continue to fight.
   Stay safe America, thanks for tuning in. Good Night.

    As we left to head back to the studio I was still contemplating on visiting Ray’s cousin. Before we left he gave me the address to where he lived so in one of my many rash moments I decided to stop in to interview him so I could tie it in with Ray’s parent’s interview.
   When we got there it was near dusk and there were no lights on in the house. We figured he had probably went out to the hospital because of the attack but I figured as long as we were here we should still attempt to talk with him.
   Me and my camera man approached the house and knocked. As I stood there holding the coffee cake and Mark with the camera we could hear crashing around and things falling inside the house.
   We stood there for a moment or two and then the front door burst open and Ray’s cousin stood there before us in all his undead glory.
(The next few minutes of footage have been deleted because the scenes were considered to graphic to show on television)

   I barley got back to the van and had the door closed before Ray’s cousins hands reached out for me.  It was unfortunate about what had happened to Mark, my camera man, but we have all come to expect it as part of life now.
   We drove back to the station in silence and as we entered the studio we could hear on various radio stations that were still broadcasting that the zombies had broken through the confinement area and were now spreading outwards in every direction.
   I sat heavily down at my desk, disturbed by the news and noticed the light was flashing on my phone. I picked up the receiver to listen to my messages and then with silently trembling hands set it back down.
   Apparently, my crew and I were needed back at the penitentiary for questioning, Ray was dead. It appears that someone had shot him at point blank range in the head.
   I got up stiffly from my chair and walked over to the window to look out at the city and the world below us.
   The chaos that has come to grip our world is barely noticeable to me from this height and if it wasn’t for the few fires burning in the distance or the endless flow of traffic now trying to escape the area’s around the overrun confinement area I could almost believe there was nothing wrong in the world below…almost.
   I stood there at the window a few minutes longer wondering where were all the people going to flee to thinking that there really was no place safe to go. No place was safe any longer not even the inside of a federal penitentiary.
   Join us on our next weeks program, if there is a next week, as we sit down with some of the most famous people today in our city. There out there on the front lines, responsible for disposing the zombies and trying to make your life a little easier, The Clean Up Crew.
   In part of the interview we will be talking with there fearless leader about the easiest way to kill a zombie in case you are ever confronted by one, this is what he says.

Allen: Well what I personally recommend is if it’s just one zombie then just run away or you could try and confuse it. You know jump about a bit, make some weird noise and so forth, it wont know what to do and its at this point you should make your get away.
   If however there are more than one of them you need to find a good stiff board, pipe, or anything solid enough so you can start beating in there skulls. Once there brains are mush, they seem to die relatively quickly. Then once you have done this, to help stop the spread of disease you need to burn those babies up. I don’t recommend hanging around though they get kind of stinky when they really start to burn. Hell burning even works well if you find yourself being attacked in a wide open space. Takes a bit longer but your killing two birds with one stone. Simply put, kill the brain, no more zombie.
    Those are truly inspirational words from one of our cities finest heroes. So please join us next week on IT’ S A NEW WORLD, A ZOMBIES WORLD.

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