Night Of The Living Dead: The Cooper Family
(© Matt Hayward)
"What do they want,
Daddy?" Karen screamed. She rattled her door-handle frantically.
"No, Karen, wait!"
Helen spun in her seat and
grabbed her daughter by the shoulders. Karen was trembling.
The car was surrounded. Karen
screamed, her voice raising like a banshee. The smell of gasoline was awful
now. It made Helen lightheaded.
The men slammed themselves
against the car, making it rock. Their hands slapped at the windows, grabbing
at the glass.
"Why don't they say anything?" Helen shouted. Her bladder was threatening to
let go. "What do they want?"
The windshield was burst wide
open from the crash, its empty frame an open invitation to any of the men who
noticed it. But none of them did. Instead, they scratched and clawed at the
glass, their hands flexing. One of them smushed their face against Helen's
window, leaving a long, dirty brown smear. His nose crumpled upwards, the bone
nearly splitting the skin from the force. His mouth gawped open and closed like
a fish out of water trying to gulp oxygen. His teeth were like broken pebbles,
jutting from his gums.
"Out of the window,"
Harry shouted. "We run for it. No questions. Now."
Harry reached around and ripped
Karen from her seat. The young girl yelped as she was pulled forward. He
shifted about in a panic, standing onto his seat and making to crawl out the
window. He kicked Helen's chest in the process.
But he was already gone. Harry
pulled Karen out onto the bonnet behind him. He nearly lost his balance but
managed to steady himself with an awkward half-dance. He stood on the hood, his
head whipping back and forth. His eyes were bright with panic. The men
continued their assault on the car.
shouted. Terror rose inside of her. Was he really planning to leave her here
like this? "Help
Harry leaped from the bonnet,
turning to pull Karen over his shoulder. Karen screamed. "Mommy!"
Harry ran, Karen bobbing on his
shoulder, her dark hair bouncing.
herself out of the windshield, Helen's breathe came in shallow bursts. Her
entire body coursed with adrenaline. The men shuffled about, their eyes trained
on her. They still made no noise. Helen stood on the hood and watched as Harry
sprinted away with her daughter over his shoulder.
"You bastard!" She
shouted. "Come back here!"
Helen leaped from the car, her
ankle nearly twisting from the fall. She regained her balance and charged down
the dirt road after Harry. From behind, some of the men groaned. Helen's skin
The trees engulfed her from
either side, the country road appearing grey in the moonlight. Ahead, Harry
stopped and lowered Karen to the ground.
shouted. She ran back to Helen. Her face was wet with tears and twisted with
fright. Her blue dress, the one she loved, billowed out behind her.
Helen grabbed her daughter and
squeezed her tight. Her eyes stung from crying. The young girl shook in her
"Hush, baby. Mommy's here.
It's all right."
Harry lumbered back to them,
red-faced and sweaty. The bruise on his forehead had turned a purplish-black.
"How dare you," Helen
spat. "Leave me in the car? What is wrong with you?"
"Those animals were trying
to get at us, Helen? What did you want me to do? There was no time. I needed to
There was no time for an
argument, Helen thought. And not in front of Karen. Not now. Instead, she
changed the subject to a matter more pressing. "Our car, Harry. What do we
From behind, a crash echoed
throughout the night. Helen felt the vibration rush up her legs. Some rooks
cawed and took flight from a nearby tree. The men had turned over their car.
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