Monday, October 15, 2012

The Night of the Living Dead - Chapter One


It was January the 1st of 1969 and it was the day the world ended; Ben Jones was a mechanic in Boyers, Pennsylvania; at his 42 years he never imagined that the world was going to end after a strange light covered the horizon around the little town of 6.000 people. Living was normal for a few days until strange reports from victims who ran away from people with un-heavenly force and a smell of dead started to circulate around town and local communities.

Ben though that the reports were from people with over actively imagination, some drunk college frat men and kids who were trying to execute a prank but the situation became nasty after one kid named Morgan Grimes was mauled to dead by an unidentified man that had a stench and a strength that almost killed two of the four cops who tried to put him down until one of them gave the shot of grace on the killer's head.

People around town were paranoiac because the reports kept surfacing and even grotesque beyond the murder of the young Grimes; the mechanic became increasingly scared as isolated reports around the country regarding grizzly crimes and how some of the victims who died on the spot came back to life a few hours later.

On the television there were no specific reports about what was causing the epidemic with the exception that a space probe that was returning from Venus with soil samples exploded on the stratosphere over Pennsylvania releasing a pink gas around every major town and cities. According to CBS radio over Philadelphia people were having flu related symptoms but nothing lethal, but yet reports about people emerging from their graves and attacking street walkers were becoming common.

But the night of January the 10th at 8pm, life turned strange on the little town after a snow storm passed through the town bringing a horde of undead and later agents from an unspecified branch of the government that shut the entire town and killed any possible survivors; Ben escaped barely on time grabbing a few of his possessions and leaving down to Atlanta where reports of the epidemic where scarce, leaving Ben to believe that the problem was around the Northern States.

On his way down trying to find a safe heaven, he found out that the problem with the strangers was turning worse; he realized that the world was coming to a social collapse and the government was trying to hold the secret on why the undead were returning to life because armies of soldiers were everywhere around Butler, Pennsylvania. He knew he wasn't going to be able to escape to Atlanta by car and when he saw that he was close to Evans City, opted to make a detour and see if the airport was open but when he realized that military seized the control of the airport and only military planes where flying and landing, he knew that he was trapped inside the limits of Butler County. People didn't seem to realize what was happening around them, except that the word on the street was " that the government was protecting the civilians from a terrorist threat from Vietnam." Days passed with relative tranquility around Evans City, people kept commenting about the strange things happening around the United States but nobody really cared because they thought it was a publicity of stunt or something else.

Ben remembered there was a Bakery around N. Jackson Street and Main Street named Moreno's where they sold really good Cuban-coffee and he used to visit it many years ago when his grandmother was alive but stop going after her grandmother passed away on 1965. He was happy when he saw the place was still there so as he did he ordered a coffee and a strawberry filled donut, and sat outside the street to contemplate the surreal scenario he was living in.

It was maybe the collapse of civilization but people seemed to be oblivious of that because of their trust on the White House specially after Kennedy's assassination in Texas and Richard Nixon affirming that the country was going to head in a new prosperity era after the fiascos of Lyndon Johnson. "Bullshit." thought Ben. "Everything that is happening is bullshit, it's the fault of the government that every people here is in fear because something went wrong to stop the Vietcong."

He remembered that there was an old colonial house not far away of Evans City, around 15 miles away from the Evans City Cemetery. The house was still intact and no presence of the undead was near the city or the vicinity, the house was bought by a couple named Helen and Harry Cooper and renamed the farm and the area Cooper's House where they were raising their ten years old daughter Karen who was going to turn eleven at the end of January.

The Coopers were aware of the national situation and they had food supplies that could last up to 1981. He asked if he could stay there as he was fearful of going around the city or any place with a cemetery near as the undead where awakeningup quickly and a branch of the military was killing survivors where the dead attacked.

They say they weren't sure about the military presence because nothing appeared on the media about military presences but only about killers who couldn't die. They let Ben to stay with them after he convince them up after the Boyers incident with the military. The news kept saying the same, blaming on the Venus probe and President Nixon stating to the nation to not worry about any menace of the Vietcong as they were trying to destroy the democracy as people knew it.

Ben was growing uneasy because the brutal murders kept rising as well the walking dead but yet much of the world was completely absent from what was really happening specially because the menace was at home and not coming from Asia.

Days passed and little Karen seemed to be happy to have a new playmate in Ben and him also relaxed a little bit after all the drama that was happening outside. Watching Karen play made him wonder if he was going to start a family of his own one day because of the undead menace. Suddenly he heard Helen calling both to come back inside for dinner as she made lasagna from scratch. Days were happy to him and the Coopers; he found a little safe heaven around the chaos that was developing in Pennsylvania.