Monday, July 27, 2009
STAY DEAD: Kings of the Castle (Part Four)
After making sure there were no monsters in sight Keith climbed back up to the roof. He crawled over to the edge closest to Kayla’s window and lay on his stomach. The tree branches didn’t allow them to make eye contact but they could vaguely see one another through the leaves. Keith searched for his rope and found most of it dangling from the tree, the end Kayla taped still hung from her window—so much for making things easier.
“Do you need something to eat, Kayla?” Keith asked.
“Not yet, I still have some. Not much. I want to get out of here,” she said.
“I know, but how can you?”
“I don’t know,” she replied, “maybe if my mom ever leaves, I can just run outside.”
“Yeah—hey, me and Connor can try to make her come outside,” he said excitedly.
“Alright, it sounds dangerous though,” Kayla said.
“Yup. You ready to run?” Keith asked.
“What? Not right now! Let me put some clothes in my school bag first, and then…”
“Okay, geeeeez, I was just kidding anyway,” Keith said, “yell when you’re ready, I’m going back inside.”
Once back inside Keith explained the plan to Connor. He was more than happy to take part in it. They went downstairs and pushed the couch just enough to open the door and fit through it.
Kayla quietly stepped toward her closet and pulled from it her backpack. She put a number of clothes, and a few keepsakes inside and zipped it up. She put her sneakers on and tied them tight. She sniffed at her underarms and frowned. She’d been trapped inside her bedroom for days. She smelled the worst she could ever remember smelling. She’d had to use her garbage pale as a toilet, emptying it out the window when she felt secure enough to do so and after her shame of the act dissolved. She was nervous about joining the boys—she hoped that she could shower once there and have them not notice her odor. Regardless, she couldn’t stay in her room any longer. Her mother had managed to scrape a large weak-spot on the other side of the door, her fingers surely splinter ridden, and it was only a matter of time before she bore a hole. She pushed the thoughts from her mind and went to the window.
“I’m ready,” she yelled.
Keith and Connor ran to the window and leaned out. Their faces carried excited grins.
“All right! When you hear me yell ‘run’ then you run,” Keith said.
“Okay,” Kayla replied.
The two boys ran down the stairs. Keith grabbed a baseball bat from the foyer closet.
“You stay here and make sure none of those things get in here and when you see us running back open the door,” Keith instructed Connor.
“Uh-huh,” Connor replied.
Keith crept out the front door and ran toward the tree. He looked up at Kayla who was hanging out the window watching him intensely. Keith continued to the backyard of Kayla’s home. He made his way up the back deck and toward the door. All of the excitement Keith had been feeling turned to dread and fear. He was approaching eleven years of age and his youthful carefree existence had never really known fear. Kids are born free, fear is something they learn, and Keith was only beginning to learn. He opened the door anyway and at the other end of the hall he could see Kayla’s mother. She looked grey and her hands were covered in her own dried blood. She stood facing the wall as if lost in thought. Keith banged the baseball bat on the door. She turned to face the noise as Keith banged again. Her swollen feet stepped in his direction. He banged again and she continued to creep forward. Keith stood his ground, shaking in fear. He looked around the yard to see if any other monsters had heard him—nothing. Kayla’s mother was now closer to Keith than she was to her previous position and he felt this was as good a time as any to tell Kayla to run, so he did.
“Kayla! Run to the front door,” he yelled up to her.
She didn’t respond but he heard her running down the stairs. Keith banged the doorframe again as the dead mother was nearly at the door. Keith backed up and was now standing at the far end of the deck. Kayla was now running outside the home toward Keith’s. Once Keith saw her doing so, he ran off the deck and toward her. He caught up to her and they both stopped in their tracks. Approaching them were several dead creatures, many of their faces familiar. Behind them crept Kayla’s mother.
…to be continued in Stay Dead: Kings of the Castle Part 5!