Monday, August 25, 2008

Night of the Living Hipsters, Part VII

“Do you think Reed will come back here?” Dr. Porter asked with a shiver. “He’s around here somewhere.”

Dr. Porter, Kyle, and I were gathering up the food for our journey out of the city. Dawn was nearly upon us and the undead hipsters were loitering around outside the mall, gazing inside with sullen, dead eyes and smoking cigarettes by the curb of the parking lot.

“I don’t know,” I shook my head. “He – or it – hasn’t shown up since he transformed into that creature. I just don’t understand what’s driving their minds. Clearly, they’re trying to infect others to be like them but he’s not relentlessly attacking us like you think he would. Why do they behave like this?”

“I don’t know.” I saw a hint of a tear well up in her eye. “He was a good man, he didn’t deserve a fate like that. Whatever he was is gone now.”

“You guys forgot one thing,” Kyle piped up. “Even if we don’t see him in here, how are we going to get out with all of them outside like that?”

“Don’t worry, I’ll get you out, suckers,” a voice called out. I quickly reached for my pistol, but when I saw who it was, I relaxed.

“Daniels, what are you doing here?” I asked.

“I snuck in the back way.” He jammed his thumb towards a door marked employees only.

“Yeah but won’t those things come through that door as well?” Dr. Porter asked.

“Naw, I rolled a dumpster in front of ‘em,” he laughed. “They won’t get through that.”

“What about Eve?” I asked.

“Eve’s in the car in the tire shop waiting for us,” he replied. “The car’s ready to go.”

“You shouldn’t have left her alone in there,” Dr. Porter said.

“Don’t worry,” he laughed. “Those things are staying far away from that place.”

“She still shouldn’t be alone,” Dr. Porter insisted. “Poor girl.”

“I think I have an idea,” I said. “It’s risky, but it may be our only chance.”

Jim followed me down the escalator and I pointed out the undead congregating outside.

“It’s like they’re waiting or something,” he said.

“Yeah, I don’t know what for,” I shrugged. “But this is my idea. We can’t outfight them, they’re too many, but we can draw them back up this escalator here and electrocute them while they’re on it.”

“Think we can do it?” he asked.

“I think so, if I can get an extension cord or some cable, I can wire the whole thing,” I replied. “We can run the cord to one of these outlets.”

The four of us quickly went to work and rigged the metal stairway. Our work was soon done and we sat down for a quick break.

“I’ve been here a long time,” Daniels blew out his breath. “I grew up here in the city, you know. It was rough, it was a ghetto. I got that football scholarship and I ran away. I kept on running for four years, too. I was the best running back in college and I sure as hell was ready to do the same in the pros. I was gonna be big. My first big game and someone tackles me low… takes out my knee.”

Daniels let out a short laugh.

“That was it. Three surgeries later and I still can barely run on it. Nothing much else to do, so I moved back home and opened up that youth center. Lot of kids needed help, but then the neighborhood started to change. First all those artists and the musicians came in, then the developers. The area was gentrified and the people who needed my help the most got pushed further away. Maybe what’s going on out there is the city pushing back.”

Dr. Porter let out a short laugh as well. “Maybe you’re right. I opened that clinic to help people and the people who needed the help the most soon couldn’t afford to live here. Think about all those people who lost their homes when this mall was built.”

“Happy Valley, indeed,” I snorted.

“I was all in favor of this mall when it was being built,” Kyle stated flatly. “Big new shopping center, get rid of the lower income housing, bring money back to the area. I thought we needed it. I guess those politicians and land developers weren’t thinking of the little people when they were thinking of the big bucks. Makes you think, doesn’t it.”

Jim looked at Dr. Porter. “Our date may have been ruined last night, but I promise you that as soon as we get out of here, I’m taking you out for the night of your life.”

“You got it,” she smiled back at him. “Only no horror movies, I can’t stand watching them.”

We all started to laugh until we heard glass crashing.

“What was that?” Kyle asked.

“What do you think?” Jim answered.

“Here they come!” I yelled. One of the undead hipsters threw a garbage can through the glass doors and the whole group was awkwardly shuffling into the mall.


Jean-Luc Picard said...

Sounds like any day at any mall.

Mirai Trunks said...

Actually the zombies are smarter than most mall goers.

Blockade Boy said...

Careful, Jon! I hear they can spew latte from the venom sacs in their throats.