Zombies Part 4: The Night Is Darkest Just Before Dinner
October 15, 2012
8:57 p.m. – "Brrrraaaiiinsss" the zombie hissed between rotting teeth, "Brrraiiiiinnnssssss!" It’s appetite growing sharper by the minute. It needed to eat.
"Everyone be quiet and don’t make a sound," Ethan whispered, inaudibly.
"What?" Caitlin whispered back.
Ethan put his finger to his lips. They crouched behind the last shelf of picture books, peeking over it to watch the apocalypse entering the house of knowledge. The zombie, not completely sure of himself, stumbled into a display of horror books and movies for Halloween. It picked up the rubber rat and tried to nom it, and while the rubbery resistance was satisfying, there was no satisfying crunch. It threw the rat aside with contempt.
Gary looked at the clock worriedly, "We only have three minutes! We must escort this gentleman out of the Library when 9:00 p.m. rolls around. As librarians, we always keep the books straight and in place, displays neat, and make sure the Library stays quiet. This sir is not doing any of those things, and I cannot stand for this!"
Gary stood up and quickly walked out to approach the zombie. Brian just barely missed his hand to pull him back down. "Gary, come back!" He tried to whisper loudly.
"Oh, man. He’s a goner!" Caitlin exasperated. "What do we do, now?"
"Whatever is the cause of this man’s condition," Ethan half-whispered, and he motioned towards the walking dead thing—it just becoms aware of Gary’s approaching steps. "We have to save Gary. We can’t let him get eaten if this guy or thing really wants brains." Ethan stood up and started running towards the zombie, getting ready to tackle and wrangle with it.
"Hey, zombie dude! Over here! Come and get me!" Brian shouted, standing up from behind the picture books, and it looked at his waving arms. Not noticing Gary or Ethan now, it shifted direction towards Brian, a moving and squirming meal.
Before it could take three steps to Brian, Ethan slammed into it. The zombie had no idea what hit him—really it didn’t know what Ethan was nor did it care. It just wanted brains. Ethan, on the other hand, knew what he was running into, though it felt more like running into a brick wall. He found himself lying on top of the confused zombie. He waited a few seconds for the flesh ripping, burning bite...
But it never came.
"Hey, man! Get off me!" The zombie shouted. "What’d you do that for? I’m only here to get my holds. Jeez!" The very keenly costumed teenager pushed Ethan off of him. "Man, if I wasn’t cool, I’d sue you guys for being stupid and believing I was a real zombie!"
The four of them stood stupefied for a moment. "Wait..." Brain’s brain started to slowly process what was happening. "It’s Halloween, isn’t it?"
The zombie teenager nodded his head. They all looked at their feet. "Well, that explains why no one else was worried when we tried to get them to go back to the nonfiction section for safety. Good costume, by the way."
"Thanks...err...I guess? Look I just want to get the horror movies I had on hold and go." The zombie got up, grabbed his holds, and checked out. As he left, he asked, "Oh, and did you guys see your front door is busted?"
"Wasn’t that you in your so-called-acting?" Brain asked. “And by the way, you’re a very poor zombie!”
"Sure, whatever guys. You were all crying for your mammas." The zombie kid left.
"Well, you all see? I knew it was nothing, just Halloween night." Gary said as he grabbed the key to lock up. "Now, make sure everyone is out of the library while I lock up, will you guys? And, do try to keep your zombie nonsense to a minimum. I played along for a bit because I thought you all were kidding."
"Sure, he thought we were kidding. He was sweating bullets just like the rest of us," Caitlin sneered.
"Come on, guys. Let’s just get home for the night. I’m up for just watching a zombie flick and hitting the sack. How about you all?" Brian picked up a copy of Dawn of the Dead as he swept past the DVD section. "This one is the best. It’s the older version by George A. Romero. Whenever you can, go with the classics."
While Brian, Caitlin, and Ethan were sweeping the Library for customers, Gary locked the front doors. He noticed someone shambling up to the front door. He opened it. "I’m terribly sorry, sir, but the Library is now closed. We’ll open tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. Please feel free to come back then." He started to let the door close, silently.
"Brains, Brains..." The person shuffled closer with a hurried unbalanced gait.
"Sir, I’m not falling for that. My co-workers just did, but I am not as gullible as their young minds are. Now, please step off the premise."
It shambled into the light, mouth dripping red, and decaying. Gary closed the door and let the man hit the glass. This guy was over doing things. He went to lock the other door and noticed another "zombie" person pressed against the glass. "Brains...Brains..." Her eyes were milky white, her mouth dripping of drool and some red substance.
"Go away ma’am or I’ll be forced to call the cops." He walked to the middle of the foyer, looked back, and saw shambling under the blinding outside parking lot lights, an endless sea of people—bent in odd places, mouths gapping open, covered in a muddy redness. He hurriedly walked back inside, and saw his three employees staring gaping with mouths open.
"See, it’s real!" Brian said. They could all feel the pressure of the zombies closing in—death closing in.
9:00 p.m.—Somewhere in the Library, a window broke. The lights dimmed and went dark. The dawn had a long ways yet to come.