Monday, July 27, 2009
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!
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Keith fought to suck air back into his lungs; the fall from the tree literally knocked the wind out of him. He only slightly twisted his ankle, grunting, he stood up. He could hear Kayla screaming something but he couldn’t make it out. His head was spinning and his eyes locked onto Henry, who was almost to the tree. Keith took off in a sprint and headed for the front door of his home. Connor hung out the window with a shocked expression.
“What are you doing down there?” Connor asked his brother.
“Fell. Get the door! Hurry,” Keith yelled up to him.
“There’s more,” Kayla screamed.
Connor ran down the stairs to the front door. He tried desperately to move the couch that he and his brother only days ago moved there. He pushed and pushed and managed to barely budge the couch an inch. Keith banged furiously at the door.
“C’mon! Open the door,” he yelled.
Connor pushed again and again. Another inch and another step closer Henry was. Keith continued to smash his small fist into the door. Connor gave up on the couch and ran to the window a few feet away. He climbed up the small bookshelf and unlocked it. He put all his strength into pulling the window up and he nearly fell back as a result.
“Keith! Over here,” Connor called out to him.
Henry stood between the boy and the window. Keith ran straight at him and dodged his slow lumbering hands as they swooped down for him. By the time Henry turned around Connor was pulling his brother’s arm inside the window as Keith kicked his feet up and eventually in. Henry’s dead fingers clawed at the window as Connor locked it. The two boys ran back to the safety of their headquarter. Munk-Munk remained vigilant in his duty of guarding the stairway.
They looked out the window and waived at Kayla. She waived back and looked as relieved as a scared little girl could. Down below on the neatly mowed lawn gathered a small contingency of the local neighborhood dead. Their moans filled the evening air.
“You have to be really quiet and they’ll go away,” Kayla yelled.
“We know that already,” replied Connor.
“When they go away I’ll shine my flashlight at your window,” said Keith.
Kayla nodded. She sat below the window staring at the door her mother still scraped at. She wept silently and pulled her knees into her chest. Keith and Connor sat under their makeshift tent silently thumb-wrestling. The creatures gathered around the home scratching and clawing at the siding, the windows, and the doors. They carried on till early morning when the chirping of birds broke their focus. Dead eyes looked into the sky as the birds created a cacophony. They littered the trees and rooftops and a select few adorned the electrical wires. The dead things stumbled in different directions, each trying to find a noisemaker to take apart.
The kids had all fallen asleep hours ago and the chirping birds served to stir them to wake. Kayla refused to fall back to sleep but the boys had no trouble shaking off the early morning intrusion and returning to their dreams. Kayla sat by the window staring out waiting for one of them to wake. She rummaged through the bag Keith was so kind to get to her and grabbed a cereal bar. She nibbled at it slowly, trying not to make any noise. Her mother had wandered off in search of noisier prey.
Now awake, the boys wiped the crust from their eyes and stumbled to the window. They didn’t see any creatures around but when they turned to Kayla’s window she was smiling and waving at them. The boys waved back.
…to be continued in Stay Dead: Kings of the Castle Part 4!
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Here's the official press release that Bryan was nice enough to send me...
The horror podcast Drunken Zombie will be hosting a horror film festival this November. That means we’re looking for some of the best independent horror films we can find to screen. So if you have a horror masterpiece you’d love to screen or know someone who does have them stop by the website and click on the DZFF09 page to find out how to submit your film. We’ll be screening at the Peoria Theater in Peoria, IL. The Peoria Theater offers a great alternative screening atmosphere with a full bar along with your usual theater concessions.
This is the second annual Drunken Zombie screening but is actually the first year it was been a full blown film festival. Last year we screened the great indie horror films IT’S MY PARTY AND I’LL DIE IF I WANT TO and had the world premiere of ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE. We had a great turn out and everyone enjoyed themselves. Now we have a full weekend full of horror greatness. So mark your calendars and make sure you are ready to see some of the great indie horror films we will be presenting.
For more info head to www.drunkenzombie.com and any questions email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. For info about the Peoria Theater check out www.peoriatheater.com.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
I don't know how to live, but I hope I'm in the right.
This show was a lot of fun and hot as fuck.
Monday, July 13, 2009
I forgot to post this up awhile back, this is an illustration I did for a tshirt for the always funny Cadaver Lab Podcast. You can check them out here (or click the title link): http://www.cadaverlab.com/cdl/init.action …and you should pick up one of these shirts too!
Keith continued to pace back and forth tapping himself in the forehead with his flashlight. After a dozen or so taps to his head he left the room in a hurry and headed to the basement. He quickly returned with a spindle of twine and a roll of duct tape. Connor looked at him quizzically and then returned to staring out the window at Kayla who looked sad, sick, and excited all at the same time. Keith ran back out of the room and returned with a bunch of food and an old plastic shopping bag. He filled the bag with the food and threaded the rope through the handles on the bag. He moved the bag, tape and rope close to the window and reclaimed his spot at the windowsill. Connor looked at all the stuff.
“What are you gonna do with that,” he asked.
“Kayla needs it, you read the sign… and we have to help her,” Keith said as he puffed out his little chest.
“Okay,” Connor replied.
“I have to get on the roof, and you have to help me,” Keith said.
“Okay,” Connor said again.
Keith opened the window just enough to poke his head out. He looked around for the monsters and didn’t see any. He pushed the window all the way up and Connor poked his head out as well. They both looked around for a minute and decided that the coast was clear. Keith now hung out the window reaching for the gutter. His hand grasped the edge of the gutter as he wedged his foot in the corner that the drainage pipe and wall created. He then shoved off the windowsill and was able to pull himself onto the roof. He did so with relative ease though the gutter made a number of squeaks. Connor then tossed the bag up to him, followed by the tape and rest of the rope.
Connor looked up at the edge of the roof and couldn’t see his brother any more. He became nervous but kept himself quiet. Keith quietly made his way to the edge of the roof. Between the two homes was a tree, a younger tree with thin branches, branches just thick enough to hold Keith’s weight. He slung the rope around his shoulder and stuck the tape in the bag. He took a running start and jumped into the tree. He climbed down a few branches and was now level with Kayla who hung out of her window in amazement. Her mouth watered as Keith tossed her the bag of food. He was too far out to hand it to her, so luckily she was able to catch it. She tore the bag open and began eating like no one he’d ever seen. She slugged two juice boxes in under as many minutes. A smile covered her face and crumbs decorated her chin. Keith tossed roll of tape to Kayla and she caught it.
“Tape the rope down… it’ll be easier to get you more stuff,” Keith instructed her.
“Okay, cool!” Kayla exclaimed.
Keith could hear moaning coming from inside Kayla’s home. Kayla turned to look at the door. She could hear her mother’s dead fingers clawing at it. Her fingernails¬—broken and ripped—peeled, and chipped paint off the door’s surface. Kayla cringed at the sound and immediately looked saddened.
“I don’t want to stay here,” she whispered.
“The tree is too far for you to jump,” Keith whispered back.
“Please…” she begged.
“How?” he asked.
“I don’t know,” she said as she began to cry.
The scraping at the door had gotten louder. Her mother was now gnawing at the door with her teeth. She had splinters in her gums but the grip of death was too tight for her to feel any earthly pain. Kayla continued to cry by the window and Keith could do nothing but join her.
Across the street stumbling from behind another home was another dead thing. Keith heard the creature moan and he turned to see were it was coming from. He recognized the thing as his father’s friend, Henry. Most of Henry’s face was missing. He had severe wounds across much of his upper body. His clothes were torn and frayed. He staggered across the street with a foot so badly mangled he was practically moving on his ankle.
“Monster,” he whispered, pointing his little finger at the thing.
Keith shuffled his position and lost his footing. He slipped off the branch and clung by one arm, dangling from the tree. He kicked his feet searching for another branch and found nothing. His hand slid off the branch and he fell to the ground. Kayla screamed. Henry, the dead man from next-door, staggered ever closer.
…to be continued in Stay Dead: Kings of the Castle Part 3!
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
The power had gone out a few days ago. Keith and Connor had adjusted quickly to it, but were scared regardless. Their parents had yet to come home from work, it had been days, so many in fact, that the kids forgot how long of an absence it was and assumed they were never coming home. Keith, the older of the two, suggested that they had become monsters like the ones outside. Keith went so far as to say, “maybe space slugs had taken over their brains!” Connor laughed at the idea at first and then cried. They both cried, and eventually their tears ran out and their bellies ached.
The last few days had been a crash course on what not to do. They had feasted on sugary goods, candies, snacks, and had suffered the consequences of such poor choices. They also neglected to brush their teeth and shower, at least at first, then, gradually Keith began to remember the many lessons taught to them by their parents and teachers. Health and hygiene began slowly making appearances the past two days and they were close to becoming responsible kids once again.
The young warriors worked together to push various pieces of furniture around to barricade the doors. They locked the windows and drew the blinds shut. The two kids basically turned the entire house into a fort strong enough to withstand the space-slug driven monsters that sometimes wanted to get in. There were a few instances where the monsters tried to get in, and one almost did. Keith had found flashlights and Connor knew where their mother hid the lighters so they could light candles when they needed to. The power had gone out before and that’s what they always did. Their father would get the flashlights and their mother would light candles. They always thought it was cool when it happened, but they didn’t think it was cool anymore.
They turned their bedroom and bunk bed into a headquarters where a spare sheet and blanket draped overhead to form a makeshift tent from the top of the bunk to the closet door. Connor kept a toy gun in the waistline of his camouflage pajamas and he held one of his walkie-talkie’s from their Spy-Child set that Keith had originally gotten as a present but decided he was too old to have fun with, so he handed it down to his brother. Keith now had the other half of the set clipped onto the waistline of his pants. Connor also left his stuffed animals in various parts of the home to act as guards, Munk-Munk (a bright pink creature that looked like a cross between a dinosaur and a spider), for instance stood guard at the top of the stairs.
The two of them sat in the center of their headquarters, with two flashlights positioned on the ground in an attempt to illuminate the comics they tried to read. It was much easier during the day but neither one of them could sleep. Keith gripped the pages of a well-worn issue of Green Lantern and Connor was stumbling his way through an issue of Action Comics. As Keith was hoping his hero would shine his emerald light upon him, a light came through the window. It wasn’t an emerald light, but it was a light all the same, and a blinking one at that. After a few more blinks Keith put down his comic and walked over to the window. Connor paid him no attention as he furiously followed the mayhem on the page, bouncing from word balloon to word balloon.
As his little eyes peeked through the blinds he noticed the light blink again and again. Just past the trees and beyond his neighbor’s window was Kayla thumbing the light to her flashlight. Their homes were right next to each other, a distance not more than ten feet with a row of thin trees between them. Keith pulled the blinds up and began waving like a lunatic on a sugar rush. Connor couldn’t help but toss his comic to the side and see what the big fuss was all about. When he saw what his brother had seen, he acted the same way. Kayla waved back and shook her flashlight triumphantly. Keith and Kayla had been classmates since they began schooling and occasionally they would all hang out together. Keith wondered if her parents were taken over as well. Kayla disappeared from the window for a few minutes and the two young boys clung to the windowsill waiting for her to reappear. When she did, she had a large piece of yellow construction paper with the words ‘trapped in my room, sooo hungry’ written in red marker. Keith’s eyebrows furrowed as the gravity of Kayla’s situation hit him. Though he was still too young to fully grasp the situation he knew she needed food and he had to figure out a way of getting it to her or getting her to it. Connor continued waving.
…to be continued in Stay Dead: Kings of the Castle Part 2!
Monday, July 6, 2009
Another case of someone stupid doing something stupid. One more reason to hate people.