The IT Guy – Chapter 09

There is a handful of kids in here with us. There’s Peter, Steven, Roger, Ben, Barbara, Sarah, and Helen. It turns out that they’re the graduating class of their school, or what’s left of it actually. The building that we’re all sitting in is a bank that their class took a field trip to, only a week before all of this shit. When the first infected person started attacking at the school, this handful of kids had come from all over town, desperate to get away from the carnage that they’d seen.

Peter tells us that he had been so impressed during the field trip with the security at the bank that it was the first place he had thought of after he saw what was happening. He and Ben had been the first to get in and they had attempted to secure this bank. They eventually saw some of their other classmates from their vantage point and convinced them to hole up in here for awhile, until everything passed. At this point, I was pretty damn sure that nothing was going to pass. This hell-on-earth was here to stay and there wasn’t much point to being optimistic. The kids seemed to realize that too though but it made it easier to function from day-to-day if you ignored what was happening as long as possible.

This group of kids has grown up quicker than they expected to, as unfortunate as it may seem. Peter grabbed a chair and motioned for Steve and me to grab one as well. He told us how they had ended up in this bank.

Peter said that some of his classmates had been missing on the day everything went to shit. There were a lot of kids missing from his first class and he thought it odd that so many would be missing but just chalked it up to a bunch of slackers playing hooky.

Peter, as it turned out, had never played hooky. Being the result of two well-to-do parents, becoming a delinquent was never a possibility to them. Peter wasn’t a nerdy kid, but it was obvious that he was no bad-ass either. From what I’d seen up to this point, you really needed to have a bit of a badass streak to survive this. Peter surviving this long was probably just dumb luck, honestly. As he told us about his parents, his voice cracked several times. He seemed to have had a great relationship with his parents. Tell you what, man. It’s too bad most kids don’t have better relationships with their parents; it might fix the kids of today. Bunch of fucking degenerate punks.

Anyway, Peter told us that his classmates had all been sitting in class and then one of the kids who was playing hooky came stumbling into the classroom and, without any warning, attacked a girl in the front row. Blood sprayed everywhere and the girl clutched at her arm, where the attacker had bitten. The girls around her starting screaming bloody murder but one of the football players jumped out of his desk and began beating the student mercilessly. What freaked all the kids out was that this attacker didn’t seem to be slowing down. His teeth were still chomping and he kept attempting to reach the girl he had bitten. As Peter and his horrified classmates stared in awe, the girl who had been grabbing at her arm fell out of her desk, hitting her head on the floor with a grotesquely ominous smack. Peter sat timidly at his desk and watched the chaos around him unfold. The football player had grown tired and the wind-milling of his arms was slowing to a crawl and his punches were landing weakly on the hooky-playing classmate. He turned his head to yell for help and his “victim” sat back up and bit him through the neck, stifling his yells. It was about this time that Peter had enough and jumped from his desk and raced out the door. He found himself in the hallway and face-to-face with his English teacher. He stared in horror at the gory spectacle. The teacher was missing her nose and there was only a gaping, bloody hole where it used to be. The blood had run down her face and stained her shirt, leaving a nice bloody trail of fluid. The teacher grabbed for Peter and he ducked to the side and darted down the hall to the stairway. He flew down three flights of stairs and through the parking lot, until he came to an unlocked bicycle. He grabbed the bicycle and tore off down the road. He had gone to his house first and found both parents torn to pieces. He sat down in his kitchen and cried. Cried for his parents, cried for his classmates, and for the unspeakable horrors that he knew were coming his way.

After he dried his tears, he stood up, picked up his dad’s car keys and headed for the safest place he could think of. The bank.

Ben sat in the corner and cracked what could have been funny in another situation but was grimly true for this new existence. “My guidance counselor said that I could be anything I wanted and then the next day tried to eat me. Was that my dream? To be a meal? I’ll grow up and become a fucking happy meal?”

Ben, on the other hand, looked like one of those kids that you’d probably want to keep an eye on. He had that perpetually-pissed look about him. Trust me, I know that look because I usually had it on my face as well. Some of the idiocy you run into while working in IT can grate your last nerve, so I understood the look. Thinking back to high
school, I remember there being plenty more of that same idiocy so I can’t fault the kid for being pissed off. And oh yeah, the walking corpses too. Those are enough to piss ya off too.

Ben came over and began to tell us his story of how he had come to arrive. He said that he HAD been playing hooky that day with his girlfriend. After hanging out at the Wal-Mart until his parents left for the day, his girlfriend and he had gone back to his house. Doing what teenagers do, they started goofing around and before they knew it, they were naked and ready to get wild. The knocking on the door was a definite buzz kill and things only got worse when they saw that it was his girlfriend’s father at the door. The girl’s father was smart enough to know that if his daughter wasn’t in classes, she would be hanging out with that loser boyfriend of hers. He’d received a call from one of her teachers proclaiming that his daughter was truant AGAIN so he left work and drove to Ben’s house. As he drove, he began to see red and by the time he arrived, he was irrational. Ben told us that his girlfriend had gone to answer the door and apologized to her father but he wasn’t having it. He was pissed and kept hollering for Ben, as Ben cowered in the bedroom. He kept yelling and yelling until Ben heard both his girlfriend and her father start screaming. In between the screams, he heard some sort of grunting and gnashing. His curiosity got the better of him and he came into the main hallway to see his neighbor from several houses down biting off huge chunks of flesh from the father’s neck. He stood there in horror, not sure what exactly to do. His girlfriend was the only one screaming now, because her father was on the ground now, lifeless, with the neighbor chomping away. The girl beat on the neighbor, fist falls landing all over the neighbor’s back but no response. The neighbor continued to eat the flesh that flew from the father. Ben raced back into his room, grabbed his aluminum bat, and came racing towards the carnage. Before he could reach the front, however, his girlfriend was grabbed by his neighbor and pulled to the ground. He watched as she was bitten as well and her screaming eventually stopped.

Ben, finally unfrozen, ran yelling towards the neighbor. With one swing of his bat, he hit the neighbor in the back. The neighbor unleashed an unnatural howl of pain and Ben jumped back surprised. The man didn’t go down. As a matter of fact, he turned towards Ben and reached out his arms. Ben swung wildly and ended up nailing his neighbor in the head. This time the man dropped. Ben cradled his girlfriend’s lifeless body in his arms and cried. Ben never cried, he told Steve and me, so if he was crying something was seriously fucked.

After sitting there on the grass of his front yard for what could have been an hour, he stood up, wiped his tears and got in his car. As he fired up the engine, his girlfriend and her father both got up as well and walked towards his car. Ben couldn’t believe his eyes. Both of these people had just been lying in his front yard, bleeding profusely. How in the fuck are they standing, he thought to himself. They were dead, he told himself. They were dead, they were dead, they were dead. His tires squealed as he tore out of his driveway, still gaping at the two walking corpses in his yard, staring at him with their glazed-over eyes.

He had gone to the school to find absolute mayhem. The first person he saw was his guidance counselor and, like he cracked in his funny, the man tried to eat him.

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