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Night Of The Living Dead: The Cooper Family
(© Matt Hayward)

Page 2

"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.

"Harry, wait!"

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.

"Harry!" Helen shouted. Terror rose inside of her. Was he really planning to leave her here like this? "Help me!"

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.

"Karen!" Pulling 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 crawled.

The trees engulfed her from either side, the country road appearing grey in the moonlight. Ahead, Harry stopped and lowered Karen to the ground.

"Mommy!" Karen 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 arms.

"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 protect Karen."

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 do?"

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.

[ Continue to page 3 ]


Genre:Living Dead
Type:Short story
Rating:7.25 / 10
Rated By:35 users
Comments: 6 users
Total Hits:14689

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