“HALLOWEEN NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, PART 4: DECIMATION OF THE DEAD” 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 4: DECIMATION OF THE DEAD
It was official:
Holman, Ohio had become ground zero for events that should have only existed in the bad science fiction and horror films of the 1950s and 60s — the ones that Peter Dixon and Shaun Rhodes, two twelve-year-olds mind you, watched devotedly. Space lighting had reanimated the dead from the Holman West Cemetery. Then, a forcefield had cut Holman off from the rest of the world. And as the unexpected cherry on top of this nightmarish cobbler, a UFO landed, bringing with it a large, hulking entity from another world.
Peter and Shaun trembled in the presence of the armor-suited alien. That was, until it vaporized a horde of zombies who were about to secure their grim fates as hollow shells of their former selves to help pad the numbers of the walking dead.
“This is all one giant misunderstanding,” the alien had said. “I am going to be in so much trouble…”
Peter and Shaun gawked at the interstellar visitor. Any fear they once had for it was now gone. Honestly, to them, the alien sounded like a teenager who had screwed up royally. And as it turned out, that’s exactly what had happened.
“I am Aphros Izsar,” the alien said next. “I am from the Orlit Quadrant, a far away region in one of the darkest corners of space.”
Peter was the first to speak back, although cautiously. “I’m Peter. This is Shaun. Wha…what is going on here?”
Aphros Izsar exhaled defeatedly, through his speaker. “I had snuck into my patriarch’s repository when I wasn’t supposed to; I’d been warned several times, but just can’t stay away. He stores so many interesting devices there. I was messing around with the CEU, and I accidentally activated it. I bumped the machine trying to turn it off, but it was too late. It sent a pulse through space, ending here at these exact coordinates. I am going to be in so much trouble when my patriarch finds out about this.”
Peter and Shaun wanted to smile; they wanted to laugh in relief. After all of the horror they’d been through, the cause of it all was an adolescent alien from a distant world who had just simply not listened to his parents. Who hadn’t been in that situation?
There was one question, though, that was on the boys’ minds. And Shaun was the one who spoke up for the both of them. “What’s a CEU?”
Aprhos Izsar responded promptly, “Cadaverine Extraction Unit.”
“What’s that?” Peter asked.
“Dead bodies give off a toxin called cadaverine. Our species extracts cadaverine from across the universe to help with cell regeneration procedures,” Aphros said. He looked around and scratched his head — well, scratched the glass dome over his head — and said, “I guess there was a glitch or something. This has never happened before.”
“I’d certainly say so, Aphros!” Peter shouted, now just annoyed rather than scared. “Our families are dead, man! They’ve become walking corpses, craving skin and brains.”
“I can fix this,” Aphros said, nervously looking around. Zombies lurked in the night around them, beginning to close in again. Peter and Shaun weren’t so sure that he could fix this; how could he? People had died. Then died again.
“I can fix this!” Aphros said again, but this time much more confidently. It actually seemed like he had a plan. He grabbed a small device off his armor and tossed it down in front of the boys. A transparent force field shot up around them, encasing them in what was basically a shimmering bubble; a much smaller scale version of what unnaturally sheltered Holman.
“Hey!” Peter screamed. “Let us out! Now!”
Aphros placed a hand on the shimmering encasement. “I will fix this,” he said one more time. Something about it seemed genuine. Peter nodded, slightly hesitant, but what other choice did they have? He relaxed his body and stepped back, sidling up against Shaun.
Aphros lifted his laser canon, the swirling colors around the barrel picking up speed and becoming a hueful blur. He turned and rushed off into the night. In the street, he was stopped by a half dozen snarling, rotting corpses. He lifted his canon and fired three quick thumping shots. All six of the undead blew up in puffs of ashes. The action caught the attention of several other zombies from a nearby yard. They staggered out into the street where Aphros aimed and took them out one by one.
Thump! Thump! Thump!
Three more sizzled and popped into ash. Something latched onto Aphros’ leg. He looked down and saw a zombie crawling around him, trying to grip and grasp his leg. Aphros aimed his weapon down and fired. Thump! The crawling ghoul exploded.
All around him, Aphros could hear the groans of the dead. But the night made it difficult to see. He extracted another device from his armor and tossed it straight up into the air. Acting like a flare, the device exploded nearly thirty feet up, creating a blue glow across Holman. Now the dead were visible. There were dozens, in all directions, moving in.
Aphros was a one-alien killing machine, enacting such a surreal decimation of the dead that both Peter and Shaun assumed they’d wake up from a severe, candy-infused nightmare at any moment.
Lasers blasted throughout the night and the walking dead became nothing but smoldering dust; Holman was covered in a fine, ashen powder by the time morning came. Once Aphros made his rounds to be sure the town was secure of the zombie menace, he came back to the shimmering bubble the boys were in, and retracted it.
Peter and Shaun couldn’t believe their eyes. Holman was a wasteland. Smoke billowed up from every corner, houses were charred (some still burning) and bones and dust decorated the landscape like a macabre filter had been placed over it. It was certainly the clean-up job of a child.
“The threat is gone,” Aphros proudly stated.
“Yeah, but…” Peter began, “so is everyone else. And everything is destroyed.”
Aphros stood with his hands on his hips, scanning the devastating landscape around them. Shaun buried his face in the palms of his hands. “The government’s going to come for us now, aren’t they?”
He was right, Peter thought. Surely the encasement Holman was put in would catch the eye of someone, some satellite or radar system. Over the summer, Peter had heard on the news that the government had secret programs that dealt with this kind of phenomena. It was only a matter of time before they showed up. There would be questions, investigations.
“You need to fix this,” Peter said to Aphros.
Aphros clammed up. He’d made a mistake and then acted in the moment to try and remedy it. He wasn’t thinking about the aftermath or what it would mean to the unassuming occupants of planet earth.
“Cadaverine,” Aphros said, as if a bulb sprung to life in his mind. “That’s what this whole thing was all about, after all. I can take all the remains,” he said, looking around at the billowing land. “I can use our systems, our technology — that’s their purpose after all; cell regeneration. I can bring back everyone. I promise!”
Peter and Shaun were obviously skeptical. Not because of what Aphros claimed their technology could do with the cadaverine, but because Aphros had already proven himself to be a major screw-up.
The boys turned away from the teenage alien and conversed quietly between themselves.
“If we leave it all like this, everyone is dead and everything is gone. Permanently,” Peter said. “If we put a little bit of trust into Aphros, there’s a chance they can all be brought back.”
Certainty, or chance. That’s what the fates of Holman’s residents came down to. And Shaun quickly agreed with his friend. “Okay,” he said with a surrendering sigh.
Aphros was thrilled that the boys trusted him to make everything right. He rushed to his ship in the cemetery and brought back with him a device that acted as a vacuum. Over the next hour, Aphros sucked up all the dust, bones and remains of the zombies and their former selves. The vacuum device was stored on the ship in a cooling chamber and a few flips of switches on a control panel lifted the shimmering, blue encasement that had cupped over Holman.
“I will return with all of your people,” Aphros promised.
Shaun looked at the devastation that surrounded them. “What are we supposed to do? Where are we supposed to go?”
In the distance, an air raid siren began to whir. A radar, a satellite — something had detected the anomalous event.
“They’re going to take us away,” Shaun cried out; his wide eyes filled with panic.
Peter looked around, waiting to see helicopters and drones flooding the airspace. The boy’s uncertain fate was clear to Aphros as well.
“Come with me,” Aphros said.
Peter and Shaun were stunned.
“My ships not big, but it’s cozy. I can teach you about our species, our worlds.”
“Worlds?” Peter emphasized the plural-ness of Aphros’ word.
Aphros grinned beneath his helmet. “Deep space is filled with wonders and places you can’t imagine. Time means nothing, planes of different existences can criss-cross — there are sights that need to be seen, felt and experienced to even believe. Come with me.”
The boys thought about it. They listened to the blaring sirens — the cavalry would arrive soon enough. And rather than be subjected to whatever the secret government factions would ultimately put forth, they thought: ‘What would Aphros do?’
He’d make a snap decision. He’d disobey authority. He’d get on the ship and go to places and worlds unknown to him for the pure thrill of it. And that’s exactly what Peter and Shaun did. They followed Aphros up the ramp and in through the underbelly of the saucer-shaped ship. All three of them settled into the cockpit area where Aphros brought to life millions of tiny glowing lights on all sides of them. A small, oval-shaped screen off to Shaun’s right caught his eye. There was a green line that kept shooting across a grid, accompanied by a sharp pinging sound.
“What’s that?” Shaun asked, pointing to the screen.
Aphros leaned in and took a closer look as the ship’s engine activated.
“It’s flagging a signal from a separate astral level than we’re in,” was Aphros’ response.
“A what?” the boys both asked in unison.
“Like I said, space is filled with different planes of existence. This is a signal coming from a different reality, an interdimensional one parallel to where we are.”
“What kind of signal?” Peter asked.
“By the looks of it, I’d say it’s an S.O.S of some kind; a distress call.” Aphros smirked and looked at the boys. “Anyone up for a side quest?”
Zombies, aliens, the imminent arrival of secret government officials with unknown intentions — Peter and Shaun had nothing to lose. They were in so over their heads that their adolescent minds insisted, “Keep going! What would Aphros do?”
They agreed and Ahpros tapped the screen to let the source of the distress call know that they were on their way. The ship lifted up off the cemetery grounds, sliced through the clouds, and propelled itself to the stars.
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!