The Age of the Dead

(Part One of Four)

The Age of the Dead Begins

It was on the morning of June 17th, 2004 that everything just went straight to hell. Or rather hell went to everything else. No one knew how it started, and it was more than likely that no one ever would.

Francis Hyde was fourteen years old at the time. He was at school when things started, and he was damn lucky he ever made it the fuck out of there. What follows are the chronicles of Francis Hyde.

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The alarm clock brayed its morning call throughout the dimly lit, shaggy, and little house that passes for 8512 Paper Street. Francis gradually faded into reality because of Slipknot singing some rock song on some rock music station that claimed to be the hottest station out there; just like every other station out there. He rolled out of bed and collided with the shag rug that was drawn to the side of his bed—which was pushed into a corner of the room.

He blinked the sleep sand from his eyes and looked at the digital alarm clock that displayed green numbers until his eyes came into focus and he saw that it was 7:18. He stood up and unraveled the blanket that he had rolled around himself upon rolling off of the bed. He was in his boxer shorts with their green and black checkered design and a shirt that said "STREET STYLE" on it. He wasn't into rap, but he appreciated the fire design that made up the letters on the shirt.

The blanket that had been covering him was "Star Wars" themed and had been with him for the past seven years since the special editions had hit theaters. He had been a major fan of those movies for a good four years until he hit puberty and sort of grew out of it. He still liked them, but not quite as much as before.

There was a pair of blue-jeans slung over the back of his antique rocking chair which was about to snap like the twig it was. The blue-jeans were cut off at the knees to make shorts. Francis had done that himself with his mother's sewing shears to all of his jeans. She hadn't liked the fact that he had done that, but she hadn't punished him—not like she could considering she worked a full-time job and was unable to monitor him at all times, and his father was unable to monitor him since he had died in a plane crash five years ago.

Francis threw on the blue-jeans shorts and took off his "STREET STYLE" shirt and changed into a fully black shirt with no noteworthy features about it from the top of his nightstand with the alarm clock on it. He looked around his unkempt room with dirty clothes strewn about searching for his back-pack. He had finished up some homework and had then thrown his back-pack blindly into his room to disappear wherever it chose to. Now he couldn't find it.

"Where are you, you son of a bitch?" Francis asked the air. It didn't sound like a question, it sounded like a statement.

He looked towards his for the most part unused laundry basket and—bingo!—there was the top half of his back-pack sticking out of a clump of dirty, stinking clothing that had been sitting around for two weeks.

"There you are you bugger!" he exclaimed in a rather distasteful imitation of an English accent before snatching the right shoulder-strap and hoisting it up out of the laundry basket. In one swift motion he had swung it around his back and had looped both of his arms through the straps to let the pack hang from his back.

He grabbed a pair of unmatched socks from his book shelf—which was full of works from Thomas Harris, Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft, Stephanie Danielle Perry, Steve Perry, and John Katzenbach—and threw them on faster than you could say "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!" really slowly. He ran out of his room and out into the dark kitchen where his mother stood waiting for her toast to pop out of the toaster. She always made breakfast for the two of them whenever she was up even if he didn't need it.

Francis sat down at the table and wolfed down the two slices of toasted bread set out for him ravenously. He then grabbed a water bottle from the refrigerator that was filled with Diet Pepsi (neither Francis nor his mother could stand the taste of regular Pepsi; it was too sweet) and chugged half of it. He threw the bottle back into the stuffed refrigerator and turned to his mother.

"Off to school Mama," Francis stated hurriedly in the same horrid English accent. His school started at 7:40 which meant that he had fifteen minutes to walk there. He had been late a total of fifty-seven times this year and didn't plan on being late anymore now that school was oh so close to being over. Francis didn't feel like making the record for being the kid to school the most times in a year like that kid over at Jamestown did. Or was it Falconer? Ah, who gives shit; they were less than a centimeter apart in all truth (the village of Falconer was surrounded on all sides by Jamestown—the birthplace of Roger Tory Peterson and Lucille Ball by the way).

"Okay son," Rachelle (not pronounced "Rae-chel", but pronounced "Ra-shell") replied in an almost exact English accent considering she had gone on over to England through a full year of high-school as a foreign exchange student. "Oh poppy-cock!" She had thrown the bread into toaster for too long and it was burnt to a crisp.

"You shouldn't a' done that; he just a boy. Poor lil' fella." Yes, Francis had indeed seen "Sling Blade".

His mother just gave him a "smart-ass" look and then returned to making her own breakfast. She didn't have to go to work until 8:00, but time flies by fast when you don't have much of it. Francis glanced at the clock again and found that one minute had slipped through his fingers.

"Gotta goat!" he shouted as he burst out of the door and headed to school.

Francis wasn't dirty like you probably think he is for not taking a shower; he takes all of his showers at night.

Francis ran more than half of the way to school through the slightly sunny, slightly cloud, and moist morning. When he arrived at school he was miraculously five minutes early.

He opened his locker, threw his back-pack on one of the three hooks, grabbed his books for Earth Science, slammed the locker, and charged through the halls that were now just beginning to fill with people migrating to class. He needed to run to class because he walked slowly and Earth Science was all the way across the school, which would take him a good seven minutes to walk.

He managed to burst into class thirty seconds before the bell rang to signal first period had indeed begun.

If you're wondering why a fourteen year old was in a ninth grade class; his birthday was in the summer, and his parents hadn't wanted to hold him back until he was five because he was only a couple months younger than the others in his kindergarten class.

Francis collapsed in his seat at the very back of the class which also happened to be the closest seat to the door. His teacher had done that on purpose so that he wouldn't disturb the class when he walked in late—which, as I stated before, was quite common.

He put his books in the mesh container under the desk top and placed his Bic pen in the pencil holder.

The announcements came on and they did the Pledge of Allegiance. After that Francis then looked forward with eyes that were reminiscent of a stoner's blood shot, bleary eyes.

These blood shot eyes focused on the back of the head of the girl who sat in front of him. Her name was Katie Fincher and to Francis she was the hottest girl in school.

His admiration for her wasn't one of those little school-boy crushes; you would know that for yourself if you could peer into his little fantasies about her, him, and an erect member that was attached to him.

Katie had a large ass that was always shown off by tight sweat pants or a tight, short skirt (which she was wearing that day) that not only showed off her legs but sometimes slipped down just enough when she leaned forward in her seat for Francis to see her G-string. She had large breasts—probably D-cups he assumed—as well that were almost always let free to roam beneath a tight sweatshirt that would always be either pink or green and usually exposed her slim stomach as well. She also had bleach blonde hair that flowed over her shoulders and down her back. It was so long, in fact, that on Halloween she had dyed it black and flung it all over her face so that she would look like the rather scary Samara from "The Ring".

He had requested a date from her twice to receive a hesitant negative each time. That hesitation was the only thing that kept his hope blazing because those hesitations showed off her uncertain, green eyes that looked deep in thought as if contemplating the answer she should give. He wondered if her friends Jane Marshall, Jamie Summers, Cordelia Summers, and Naomi Carrey were telling her not to accept his offers somehow when he offered her a chance to date him. Jamie and Naomi he knew admired him, which would be their motive for discouraging Katie from going out with him.

Francis constantly considered going out with Naomi, the second hottest chick in the school, because even though she lacked the breasts that Katie had, she had a great ass and had an air about her that suggested the fact that she was easy despite the fact that she was still only fifteen. Not to mention the fact that Naomi is "I moan" spelled backwards. Francis had seen porn video clips on the internet and knew that he liked the moaners quite a lot.

The rest of them just wilted in comparison to Katie, and they had completely unlikable personalities. They were bitchy, whiny, in Jamie's case ugly and fat, and a little too slutty. He didn't like them at all.

Francis let his eyes trail down to Katie's ass and they stayed there for five minutes until she turned around to receive his homework to pass up to the front and caught him red-handed. Francis smiled a little uncomfortably and managed to fight off the blood that threatened to brighten his cheeks. He passed up the homework and then sat day dreaming about Katie and Naomi going at each other for the next forty minutes only to need to think about his teachers for a couple minutes before being able to stand up without embarrassment.

At about this time people were beginning to get killed across the city as a riot was beginning.

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Francis only had two classes with Katie: Earth Science and PE (Physical Education). The latter was the sixth period of an eight period day (not including lunch). For the past week they had been playing trust games like falling off of a table to get caught by your teammates who sometimes let you fall as a cruel joke that was detrimental to your trust in them. That didn't happen much considering there was always one goody-two-shoes in the group who would shout at them not to fall back. Another trust game was standing in the middle of a circle of people and leaning to one side so that they would push you towards someone else who would push you towards someone else and so on until the person in the middle said 'stop'.

Both of those games were memorable to Francis because he was in Katie's team. Katie had been in the middle once and had been pushed towards him with her arms folded around her waist instead of around her chest like they were supposed to be, and he copped a feel with both hands. She hadn't ever come after him about it, but had eyed him with a little "My-aren't-you-a-bad-boy" smirk. Also, when she had fallen off of the table he had been placed conveniently to get a hand full of her ass when she came down. She had known he had done that he supposed, but she hadn't done anything to allow him to know she knew.

Another reason that the tipping game was memorable for him was that once he had been in the middle of the circle. When he had been pushed at Katie she had to fumble with her arms because she had been caught off guard and her left hand had grabbed his crotch. She had appeared to be quite sorry afterwards and had approached him to probably say so a couple minutes later before realizing that he had actually enjoyed the experience.

That day he was back in Phys. Ed. once again with Katie on his team. They were about to do the tipping game when Katie disappeared from the gym to get a drink from the drinking fountain in the room that led to the locker rooms. Francis broke away from the group as well under the guise that he was going to get a drink as well.

He walked into the tall room that had two stair cases leading down, one to the girl's locker room and one to the boy's locker room and one stair case that led to the cafeteria and walked up right behind her as she pulled her hair back and bent over for a drink. He waited patiently for her to finish her drink and then blocked her path out to the gym momentarily to make his presence known.

"Hey Katie," he greeted her pleasantly with a smile.

"Hey Francis," she replied. She appeared a little glad to see him, yet impatient to rejoin the group; she enjoyed the tipping game quite a lot when her tits weren't getting groped. "What's up?"

"Wanted to ask you something."

It dawned on Katie what this was about and she grinned a little, just enough to show off her cute braces. Francis didn't know why, but those small braces turned him on. She then settled her weight on both feet equally to show that she had no intention of leaving at that moment. "And what would that be?"

"Are you doing anything Saturday?" he asked just hopefully enough to make her start laughing and double over from laughing. Once she stopped laughing she looked up at him again from her height, which was four inches shorter than him.

"Sorry about that. I don't know why I did that. But, I do know that you'll be glad about this; I'm not busy on Saturday.

Francis' no longer blood shot and bleary eyes flared with glee. "So. Do you want to do something then?"

"Something like what?"

Her cheeks were beginning to glare red around her freckles. Francis kept his blushing at bay and smiled slightly.

"Go see a movie for example; "Troy" just came into the Cinema Three at the mall."

"I'd like that," Katie stated and nodded her head ever so slightly. "I'd like that a lot."

"How about we meet at the Cinema at eight o'clock?" he suggested. "That's twenty minutes before the last showing of the day."

"Alright."

Then, since both of them were out of things to say, they strolled on back into the gym. Francis spotted Naomi looking at the two of them coldly. Francis hadn't even realized that he had put his arm around her waist until Katie removed it politely to go join the team. Francis watched her run entranced. She was sometimes hot, sometimes cute, sometimes beautiful, and sometimes all three. This was one of the times when it was all three.

Then she was swallowed by the circle of people and they started tipping her while he stood there watching her. He felt at peace suddenly. He couldn't wait until Saturday.

Little did he know that practically none of the students in the gym at the time would live to see Saturday's arrival.

The riot had almost reached the school at that point, and if Francis or anyone had stopped and listened they could've heard the screams of fear, the gun fire, the explosions, and the seemingly inhuman screeches under that all.

Francis rejoined the group and started pushing Katie towards the others and all was good. Katie was smiling greatly at him, and could it be? Yes it could. She was checking him out intently in the stealthy tactic of taking one or two quick glances whenever possible.

This went on for ten whole minutes. Those ten minutes were bliss for Francis Dollar Hyde. Then suddenly that bliss was shattered so completely that he feared it would never be rebuilt along with the world he had grown used to over the years.

Francis could hear screaming coming from somewhere close by along with growls of some sort, but at first he shook the sounds out of his head like a sleeping man would shake away the noises of his alarm clock when dreaming a particularly happy sort of dream. Katie didn't shake it away. She stopped the game and started looking around worried. So had a few other people. The others either didn't hear it or didn't think something was wrong.

Katie walked over to Francis and gripped his arm fiercely in fright. The gym teachers were yelling at people to continue with the games. They shut up after a few seconds and listened as well.

Naomi spotted them together. "You BITCH!" she shouted so fiercely that everyone spun to face her even though the screams were getting closer and the growls intensifying. "I fucking told you that I wanted him!"

Then she too heard the screaming and shut the hell up, her rage most likely forgotten.

Then there were foot steps too. Suddenly a fat kid that Francis had run into on several accounts yet didn't know what his name was came rushing into the gym covered in blood and screaming bloody murder. Then a grown man rushed in after him and leapt onto the fat kid's back, forcing him face first into the floor. The man, too, was caked in blood.

There were screams suddenly inside the gym as the students started panicking and scattering away from this grizzly scene.

The fat kid was reaching out one pudgy arm and crying for help. For someone to please help him for the love of God.

The man was wearing a red and black checkered shirt that you would expect to find on an old-fashioned farmer. He had shorts on that were torn up a bit. His clothes were muddy and torn in numerous areas. Not to mention covered in maroon splotches that Francis assumed was dried blood. The man looked around at them and they all saw his, no its, face. It had no nose. Where the nose had been was now just a red crater in the thing's rotting face. Dried mud clotted its thin hair together on its head and its left ear was missing. It had a cut running from its lower lip to half way down its throat which somehow wasn't bleeding. Its eyes were glazed over like a dead man's, and those glazed eyes were looking all over the panicking students.

Then it opened its mouth in a screeching roar. A glob of drool sprayed out of its mouth to splatter all over the back of the sobbing fat kid's head. It then lowered its mouth, which was full of yellow, chipped teeth, and took a huge bite out of the back of the fat kid's neck. Blood sprayed and the fat kid screamed.

"Oh God! Ah God! Help me! Ah!"

Then the thing turned the fat kid over and bit off his nose. Everyone but Katie, Francis, and Naomi were running around screaming. The three of them were unable to look away from the sight. The screaming of the fat kid stopped when the thing

(a zombie!?)

tore his throat out with a grunt and started eating the meat out of its cupped hands.

"Oh God," Katie choked out.

They just might've stood there for however long it took for one of them to get attacked and killed by that thing, but fortunately, or unfortunately, something happened that persuaded them to run.

At that moment dead and rotting humans came pouring into the gym roaring and screeching. They were running. Running just like the fucking zombies from "28 Days Later" and the remake to "Dawn of the Dead"! Except these zombies were much more graceful and

(zombies don't exist.)

were jumping around high enough that Michael Jordan himself would've been proud.

The three of them took off screaming to join the cornered crowd of students.

Francis kept his grip on Katie's arm without even realizing that he was gripping her so tight that her circulation was being cut off—not that she noticed—and he led her to the weight-lifting room. It was the only exit to the gym besides the one that the zombies were coming through.

They didn't know how lucky they were not to see as the zombies met the students and one of the most gruesome massacres ever took place. Chewed off arms flopped about, blood sprayed on the walls and floor, bodies dropped, intestines spilled out, and other mutilations took place.

Naomi had made it into the weight room ahead of them and was outside far ahead of them. Francis ran right into a stack of weights and went tumbling to the floor. Katie landed sitting on top of him. Even in his panicked state he couldn't help but feel his pants tighten considerably. He wondered if Katie could feel the bulge and even wished that she did and would free him to ride him. It wasn't until she had crawled off of him and started running again that he remembered the zombies.

(ZOMBIES DON'T FUCKING EXIST!)

He followed Katie as fast as he could, but had to limp unfortunately because he had dealt himself a good blow to the hip with the stack of weights. He tried to call to her but could only mutter some-what drunkenly: "Katie…"

Then a zombie burst into the weight room after them. The others didn't come because there were still four students running from them. Just so you know that the zombies weren't invincible, about fifteen of the zombies had been killed by the stronger students. However, for each zombie killed another two or three took its place because each person killed by a zombie got up and became one as well.

The zombie rushed Francis and he turned around just in time to grab its neck and keep its mouth away from him. They rolled about on the floor with Francis just barely keeping the zombie from biting into him. It did grab him with its dead hands. Its rotting hands.

Francis felt like he was going to throw up.

"Help!" he shouted shakily. Katie, who was only then just getting out of the door, stopped and turned back to him. She saw him struggling and felt compelled to do something. She couldn't figure out anything though.

She ran back into the weight room (and thus back into the school since the weight room led to an exit) and ran up to the zombie which was now on top. She didn't even realize what she was doing until her foot had connected with its jaw.

It rolled off of Francis screaming in surprise or pain or whatever the fuck it was screaming about for five seconds before trying to bite him again.

Francis managed to twist himself out of the zombie's grip and grabbed one of the twenty-pound weights he had tripped over. He was no weight-lifter, so it was difficult for him to do what he did, but he did it.

He threw the weight like a Frisbee and it connected with the zombie's head with such force that it smashed its skull in and killed the zombie quite successfully.

Francis stood there for a moment, stupefied at how powerful adrenaline can make you, and then looked Katie in the eyes. She looked like she was about to piss her pants. He didn't fool himself believing he looked much different.

They reached a silent agreement to get the fuck out of there and ran hand in hand through the school back yards as the zombies inside the gym finished their massacre and began running about frantically for live human flesh to feed upon.

Francis and Katie headed out of the city, not knowing that a helicopter's view of the city would reveal zombies rampaging through it in such a tight crowd that it seemed like dirty water was rushing through the city rather than zombies.

The Age of the Dead had begun.

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Hey, Morbidman here. Please review this. It is part one of a four part series in this compilation and I hope you enjoyed it. Obviously it was inspired by other zombie movies like "Night of the Living Dead", "Dawn of the Dead", "28 Days Later", and "Resident Evil", so I don't think I need to tell you that.

Names:

Francis Dollar Hyde: The first name of Francis is the first name of the character Francis Dolarhyde (Dollar and Hyde make up his last name) from "Red Dragon".

Characters:

Katie Fincher: She is inspired by someone from my school. Despite some subtle differences Katie and… the girl from my school (I know her name, I'm just not telling you) are fundamentally the same person. No I haven't asked her out since she's two years, maybe three years, older than I am. Anyone who has been to school would know that the age difference can't surpass a year.

Oh, and remember him talking about the record holder for being late to school the most times? That's me. I'm not joking it honest to God is me.

And hang in there with me on this one; I know this first part was rushed and poorly written, but the other parts I'm full to the brim with ideas for. They'll be much longer than this one I believe, too. And hopefully not rushed and much better.

Anyway, that's it for this first part of the short. Now I'll start writing the next so that I can get it posted up soon.

"It gets up and kills. The people it kills get up and kill!" – man being interviewed "Dawn of the Dead" (original)