Saturday, October 4, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - The Zombie 5,000 (First Installment) By R.T. Ewell

The Zombie 5,000 is a short story that is exactly 5,000 words with the undead as the subject matter. The story is ten chapters so each one has five hundred words (minus the chapter titles) in it. This story is only available to read on Needless Things! Every Saturday in the month of October, a new installment will be released with the conclusion happening right here on the last Saturday of the month!

Zombie Day At The Ball Park

Raymond Conner was having the game of his life. He was a 37 year old pitcher for the Tennessee Tanks, a minor league baseball team. It was the sixth inning and he was on his way to a perfect game. His wife, Betty and teenage son Jason, were in the stands watching. He felt tired but knew he could continue as he wiped the sweat from his brow. Ray found the right signal from the catcher as he nodded his head. 

The aging pitcher's arm went forward releasing the ball as some odd reactions came to his attention. The batter was holding his bat more like a cane than a baseball bat. The catcher was looking in the stands when the ball hit him right between the eyes. Even though the mask protected him, the force knocked him to the ground. Ray looked into the stands not believing what his eyes were seeing.
At first, there was a hush over the crowd, then panic started to set in. The entrances at the top of the stadium were filled with people pouring out of them. Not moving quickly though. They were walking slowly.

The closer Ray looked, the more he noticed they were dead. People were trying to escape, but all the exits were blocked by the newly crowned zombies. He saw a group of five attack a woman and son, chewing the flesh straight off their bone. Another zombie gripped an elderly man’s throat ripping the insides out. People were trying to run but the small crowd was outnumbered by the zombies.
People jumped the outfield wall and ran across the field.

Raymond turned to run towards the dugout but they had already infested it. Ray’s coach was being pulled apart by about fifteen zombies. The undead creatures began falling from the bleachers over the wall. Unharmed, they would get up immediately, marching across the field. Ray was frozen as people ran past him, his wife and son found him, hugging briefly.

Suddenly, Ray’s team surrounded him, all with baseball bats along with his son who had a bucket of baseballs. Ray knew what he had to do. With a ball gripped tightly in his hand, he aimed quickly at an undead head and released. The ball found the eye socket, bursting through the back of the dead softened head. The rest of the team ran swinging the bats splattering heads like they were watermelons. They all began climbing the wall while helping as many people as they could.
A zombie attempted to eat the leg of a girl but thanks to Jason all he got was a bat to the head.

Everybody ran down the hallway as fast as they could towards an emergency exit. Ray took the lead kicking the metal door as hard as he could. The sunlight once again hit their skin so they took a breather now that everyone was safe. Except they weren't. In front of them were thousands of zombies mumbling about brains.


An exhausted Ray Conner felt defeated. Sure, he was an athlete that had seen many comeback victories but this wasn't a game. A swarm of zombies had now surrounded them. Several of his players had just been ripped apart in front of his eyes. The only thing that mattered right now was his wife and son.

“We have to run, fighting does us no good right now,” Ray said. Betty nodded her head and grabbed a hold of Jason's hand.

Luckily, for them the zombies were slow and didn't seem all that powerful, just relentless. The undead just never gave up. With a bat clenched in both hands, he held it horizontally in front of his face and began to push forward. One by one the undead things were dropping by the force they were being hit with. It was an effective move creating a path for them to get to a better clearing.
Finally, they got themselves out of the most congested part of the city, running a few blocks up through downtown.

Betty and Jason were safely with him as were some of his teammates, who had helped protect them as well. One of his teammates, Donnie Wilks, came up to him as they all stood next to a building trying to hide for a moment.

“What the hell are we gonna do man, is all this for real?”

Donnie was a big man and he wasn't the type to scare easily but he looked as though he had just crapped his pants. Ray didn't know how to respond to him. One minute he was on his way to the game of his life and the next he's not only fighting for his, but his family too. It seemed as though he was the leader of this rag tag bunch so he thought he better take charge of the situation.

“Listen everyone, we need to just stick together and we will make it through whatever is happening now. I'm sure the government has a plan for something like this.” He didn't believe this last line he had said but it sounded like something that would calm everyone.

“Ray, do you really believe that?”

This line wouldn't have made much impact except it came from Betty. He had never lied to her before and he didn't want to start now but he was left with no choice.

“Yes,” he lied. Even though it killed him inside.

It seemed as though they were the only living people that were in the area. Then came a noise. In the distance, a horn was honking and was getting louder as it came over the hill of downtown. A school bus came blowing past the group. Without warning, the large vehicle slammed on the brakes to a stop. The group ran towards it as the doors burst open.
The driver spoke.

“Holy shit, you're Ray Conner, Y'all get on in here so we can skedaddle. Oh, the names Mustard, hang the fuck on!”

To Be Continued
Come Back Next Saturday For Another Exciting Installment!

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