“HALLOWEEN NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, PART 2: QUARANTINED” by Scott Donnelly #MicroTerrors
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“Micro Terrors: Scary Stories for Kids”™ 2023
Welcome to Micro Terrors: Scary Stories for Kids, where it’s always the spooky season – full of chills, thrills, and spine-tingling spooks! Micro Terrors are family-friendly frights for those ages 8 and up. And while our stories are for younger ears, we are still talking about things that go bump in the night, and some children may not be able to handle what others can. Parental consent is recommended. Now… for tonight’s MICRO TERROR!!!!
HALLOWEEN NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD – PART 2, QUARANTINED
Peter had tried his phone several more times, all to no avail. Whatever had lit up the sky (and most concerningly the cemetery) had clearly killed their electronic devices, cut their power and sent Holman, Ohio back into the stone age.
“I don’t see your father,” Barbara said, squinting out her son’s bedroom window. She only saw Jim and Selena standing in the yard, as well as a few others congregating in the street a couple of houses down. “He crossed the road to the cemetery, but now I don’t see him.”
Peter could tell his mom was becoming more anxious by the second. Peter leaned over her shoulder and saw exactly what she did. He took note, however, of the misty fog that seemed to grow out of the cemetery; it had become thicker and was slowly drifting its way down to the street. He could barely see the iron bars anymore, not to mention the people who his dad saw wandering around behind them.
As Barbara continued to try and see through the darkness and ever-expanding foggy landscape, Peter left his room, using the moon’s glow, beaming through the windows of his house to make his way to the back bedroom, a spare room that the Dixon’s rarely used. On the far wall was another window. Peter pulled the dusty curtains apart and looked out at his friend Shaun’s house.
Shaun sat on the window sill of his upstairs bedroom with his legs dangling down the side of the house, a vivid, LED camping lantern beside him. “Took ya long enough!” Shaun, a boy of Peter’s same age, yelled across the yards.
“Are you and your dad okay over there?” Peter called back.
“Yeah. My dad went down the street to try and get some answers from Sheriff Eros,” Shaun said.
“Why do dads feel the need to launch their own investigations so quickly?” Peter laughed. “Mine went to the cemetery.”
“The cemetery?” Shaun seemed surprised. “Why would he go there?”
“He saw some people walking around in there after that lighting strike. He thought they might have been trying to see what happened.”
“People walking around the cemetery after a mysterious lightning strike? On Halloween?” Shaun questioned. “Your dad better pray they aren’t zombies.”
Peter knew his friend was clearly joking. Zombies were a thing of fiction. There was no way on earth that the dead could rise. Sure it was common in the grainy black and white movies they watched, but not in real life. However, even still with that mindset, Peter couldn’t help but shake the familiar formula. A mysterious power from space. A power outage. Strange figures lurking behind the gates of an old cemetery where the most violent criminals had been buried…sure seemed like a convenient and convoluted set-up for a zombie invasion story.
And just then, almost on cue, a woman’s blood-curdling scream ripped through the silence of the night. The scream was sharp enough to chill both Peter and Shaun. They could just look at each other, each of them praying Shaun’s joke hadn’t turned out to be real.
Below them, between the yards, a woman ran for her life. It was Selena. “He’s dead! Jim’s dead! Someone help me!” she screamed.
“Hey! Ms. Selena!” Peter yelled down to her. She came to a quick stop between the yards and looked up, seeing Peter in one window and Shaun in another behind her. “What happened?!” Peter asked.
“Jim’s dead! Your dad killed him!” she screamed.
“My dad!?” Peter must have heard that wrong. His dad wouldn’t have — no, he couldn’t have — done something so horrible. “What are you talking about?!” Peter aggressively questioned her, ready to defend his dad at any cost.
“Your dad came back from the cemetery,” Selena sobbed. “Jim went to see if he was okay and then your dad bit him on the arm and the neck. It was overkill! Jim died right there and now your dad is coming after me!”
Peter and Shaun immediately looked at each other. No…they both thought individually. This can’t be real. This has to be a prank.
A painful groan off to Peter’s left made him turn his attention to a shadowy someone staggering between the yards. Selena gasped at the sight of the man. Peter squinted and saw it was his dad. But…he looked sick. He was walking like he didn’t know how to walk. There was some kind of red…liquid…smeared on his face and clothing; one of his arms too.
“Dad?” Peter called out. His dad stopped moving, buying Selena enough time to run away. Hearing Peter’s voice, George stopped where he was, jerking his head back and forth like a confused bird, looking for where the voice had come from. “Up here!”
George finally snapped his head in the right direction, staring at his son in an upstairs window of their home. He opened his mouth, groaning loudly until something in his throat gurgled. In the vivid light of Shaun’s lantern, Peter noticed his dad’s eyes didn’t look right. They were yellow with red in the center. His skin had lost most of its color, now making it look gray, or dead.
George hissed; his brow dipped and his nose twitched like a snarling dog’s. “He’s a zombie!” Shaun yelled.
Peter couldn’t deny it now. All signs were pointing to it. The cosmic storm that struck Holman West Cemetery had reanimated the dead. And now, it was spreading.
Peter urged his mom downstairs, explaining what he thought was happening. She laughed at first, but her panic in the situation generally made it difficult to keep up her own denial. He grabbed the extra flashlight from the junk drawer and told his mom to stay put.
Barbara had succumbed to her fear and sat down at the kitchen table in a mostly catatonic state. Her lips trembled, her teeth chattered.
“I’m just going to get Shaun and bring him over here until his dad gets back with the sheriff,” Peter said, boldly rising to the occasion.
Barbara nodded, although she was still lost in her own mind. “Be careful,” she barely got out.
Peter rushed to the back door and peered through its small glass window. He didn’t see his dad out there anymore, but did see the light of Shaun’s lantern at his back door. Peter unlocked the door and slowly opened it. He felt the brisk temperatures of the night rush in against his face and body. The air had a strange scent on it; musty, old. It didn’t smell right to him. Not like it had earlier in the day when burning cedar, dry leaves and pumpkin spice were more prominent.
Peter crept outside and closed the door behind him. The wind blew between the yards. The dead trees scraped against the houses. A feeling of uneasiness crept into the back of Peter’s mind. He looked both ways, like he was crossing a busy street, and determined the coast was clear. He jogged across the grass and to Shaun’s back door. Shaun opened it and the two friends finally stood before each other.
Still in shock, neither of them knew exactly what to say first. “Zombies…” Shaun simply stated.
In his head, Peter agreed. But also, that zombie happened to be his own dad! Which meant, his dad was…no longer alive. Peter tried to push past thoughts of grief and deal with the problem at hand. There would be time to grieve, but he needed to make sure he stayed alive long enough to do so.
“How wide-spread do you think it is?” Shaun asked. Peter didn’t know how to respond. He assumed though, that if the corpses in Holman West had risen, that meant there would be dozens. And if the infection had already spread to his dad — and with the potential of Jim as well — then it was going to continue to spread like wildfire.
“I don’t know,” Peter said. “But if this is like any movie we’ve seen, it’s going to get much worse.”
Shaun felt a knot in stomach. “What if this is the start of the zombie apocalypse?”
The thought had already crossed Peter’s mind. The closest city or town to Holman was at least twenty miles away, so there was always the possibility of somehow getting the situation contained or under control. But that’s only if the citizens of Holman banded together and quickly came up with a plan of action. But, it had all just begun.
“We need your dad to come back with Sheriff Eros,” Peter said. “We have to figure out a way to stop this from getting—”
A sudden snarl discharged behind Peter and he was grabbed by two, cold, dead hands. He screamed, wriggling himself away from his attacker. “Zombie!” Shaun screamed. Peter stumbled into Shaun’s house and turned around to see Jim — Selena’s husband — lumbering in the doorway with his arms outstretched. His skin was gray, his eyes were yellow and red, and he moaned dreadfully.
“Give me that,” Peter said, tearing the lantern from his friend’s hand and smashing it over the zombie’s head. With a single, loud grunt, the monster crumbled to the ground.
The fog rolled in, snaking its way between the two homes. Within it, Peter and Shaun saw more shadowy figures. They were all slow-moving and moaning in sync with one another; a harmonic song of the dead. One of them sprung from the fog and directly at the boys. They both screamed. Peter tried to shut the door but the zombie had crammed its body inside just enough to prevent it from shutting. Shaun joined his friend; both of them trying to force the monster back.
Two more zombies pounded against the outside of the door, making Pete and Shaun’s job even harder. The decomposing corpses were stronger than they looked.
Peter swung the lantern again, blasting one of the monsters in the side of the head. A second swing struck it directly in the face, and that was enough for it to cower. Peter and Shaun forced the door shut and locked the dead bolt.
“I need a weapon too!” Shaun shouted. He scanned the kitchen, immediately spotting a pizza cutter sitting next to the empty Fazzini’s box. He snatched it off the counter and held it up like he was accepting an Oscar. The lantern light reflected off its stainless steel, circular blade, giving it the appearance of an epic, legendary weapon, instead of just an average kitchen utensil.
Peter nodded, agreeing that Shaun’s weapon of choice somehow seemed right. Lantern’s and pizza cutters were going to have to do the trick. Through the house, the boys heard the front door open, although rather loudly.
“Dad!” Shaun called out, running from the kitchen to the adjoining living room. But he stopped dead in his tracks when he saw what had really entered the house. And it shouldn’t have been that much of a surprise.
Zombies. Four of them flooded in, their ghastly wails and harrowing groans chilling the boys to their bones.
Peter wasted no time. He lunged at the closest zombie, smacking it against one side of its head and then the other. He finished it off by coming straight down on the top of its head. The zombie collapsed, but the problem was far from over. There were still three more! Shaun stiffened up in fear, unable to bring himself to assist in the undead onslaught; his pizza cutter remained idly raised over his head. Peter smashed another one until it was incapacitated on the floor and then went straight for a third. Peter was filled with berserker-style aggression, smashing zombies left and right with the lantern. And as soon as the fourth and final one was down, Peter dashed out the front door to make sure the coast was clear, if only for a few minutes to regroup.
What happened next in Holman happened fast. Beneath the reanimated, walking corpses and screams of the citizens, the sky erupted in a blue glow, giving the illusion of daytime for only a brief moment. But within that moment, spirling lights shot down all around the outskirts of Holman, like squiggling bolts of lightning and connected like a chain. Then, like magic, a blanket of translucent light flooded back up into the sky, to the original point of origin, and created what could only be described as a force field.
Holman had been cut off, quarantined. It wasn’t for a few more surreal moments that Peter saw something else.
Something in the sky — within the mystical enclosure — was suspended silently in the air directly above Holman. And it didn’t take a genius to recognize what it was.
A zombie invasion was already an unbelievable event on its own. So why not add a flying saucer from outer space to the mix…
Tune in next week for Part III of our Four-Week Micro Terrors Halloween Event… Halloween Night of the Living Dead!
Thank you for listening to Micro Terrors!!! Join us each Saturday for another scary story! For more fun, visit our website at MicroTerrors.com where we also have spooky games you can print out and play — like wicked word searches, mysterious mazes, and more! MicroTerrors.com is also where you can find us on your favorite social media and even send in your own scary story for us to tell! Plus, you’ll learn more about our author, Scott Donnelly, who has other horrors for both young and old! I hope you’ll join me again soon for Micro Terrors: Scary Stories for Kids!