Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The Temple of Gah

Continued from, No ... Really?

This is chapter 3 in my MG/YA Zombie series, You can read it from the beginning in Death and Zombies.

Steve and Darlene loaded the trunk down with the traditional camping supplies; a tent, sleeping bags, food, pots and pans for cooking, along with a slew of knives, the baseball bat, an axe, several hammers, a crowbar, and their dad’s hunting rifle.
“It looks like we’re gangsters,” Darlene said.
“Zombie Hit Squad,” Steve said.
Outside, the two could hear the sound of groaning, as Mrs. Ayers beat on the garage door. From the sound of it, she wasn’t alone.
“So what now?”
“We head to Camp Little Foot to meet mom and dad.”
“What if they don’t make it?”
Steve snorted. “Really? Those zombies don’t stand a chance against mom, and dad doesn’t dare go zombie—mom would kill him. Remember the paint ball event?”
Darlene laughed, recalling her mom’s pristine appearance at the end of the game, and their dad—each of them as well—covered in blue paint. Their mother had been merciless. Even when Steven had tried to use his powers as her youngest child, she’d shown no sympathy, showering her baby with blue pellets, while screaming, “MERCY IS FOR THE WEAK!” She had a real competitive streak.
The two kids climbed into the car. Darlene started the engine, took a deep breath, and then pushed the button to bring up the garage door.  As soon as there was a wide enough gap between the ground and the door, Mrs. Ayers came crawling into the garage, followed by George, the mailman. As the opening got wider, they saw more of their neighbors.  They all began spilling into the garage, blocking the only way out.
“Steve …”
“Run them over, Darlene.”
“There’s too many …”
“Run. Them. Over.”
Darlene hit the gas pedal and the car lurched forward, plowing into the entire neighborhood watch. Mrs. Ayer’s got caught under the rear tire and Cameron Dixon’s dad landed on the hood, his snarling face plastered across the window, before rolling over the top of the car and off the back. Steve wondered if Cameron knew his dad was a zombie. Cameron’s dad was a bully, so there wasn’t much of a difference between normal Mr. Dixon and zombie Mr. Dixon.  Darlene continued to hold her foot down on the gas pedal, urging the car forward. Finally they broke free and headed for the road. There was just one more obstacle in their way, a man and a woman at the end of the driveway.  They both wore t-shirts identifying them as members of the Divine Temple of Gah, a crackpot group that believed in the existence of aliens. They believed that one day, Gah, the divine ruler of the Universe would descend from a planet called Zar and bring peace and light to the galaxy.  Darlene plowed into them, then turned right at the end of the drive.
"Dar, I don't think they were zombies."
"No ... ooops." Darlene took a look in the rear view mirror. "Well they are now."
Steve sighed, “At the stop sign, take a left.”
“What do you mean, take a left? Camp Little Foot is the other way.”
“We need to go pick up Jason.”
“Jason? Your weird friend? Why would we do that?”
“Because he’s my friend and you just ran over his parents. He can’t survive on his own.”
“Those alien, religious, zombie kooks back there, those were Jason’s parents. Wow. No wonder he’s so weird.”
“They aren’t weird … just differently thinking.”
Darlene snorted. “Differently thinking. I guess that’s one way to put it.” She turned left. “Now where?”
“His house is at the end of the road. You’ll see it.”
“Of course … the one with the landing pad.”
And zombies. Jason’s yard was filled with zombies, most of them wearing Temple of Gah shirts.
“It’s Wednesday.” Steve explained. “That’s their holy day.”
Darlene pulled the car up to the curb and studied the ... zombies? They weren't doing much of anything, just standing around like they were waiting for something. Perhaps the Divine Gah? Then the front door opened and a chubby boy with blond, curly hair stepped out. It was Jason. The Zombies of Gah all turned to face the door.
“That’s strange.” Darlene said. “Is that normal for zombies?”
“No.” Steve said.
“They act like their ... drugged.”
Jason waved to Steve and began to make his way across the yard to their car. None of the zombies tried to stop him, none of the zombies tried to eat him, they didn’t even try to lick an arm to see if he tasted any good. They even stepped out of the way so he could pass. Temple of Gah Zombies were polite. Jason opened the back door and climbed into the car.
“Jason, what’s going on?” Steve asked.
“Zombies,” Jason answered.
“I know that,” Steve said, “but why didn’t they try to eat you?”
Jason shrugged. “I don' know. I don't even think they're zombies. Might be the Gah juice. They all drank it. Then the Z.A. happened. When it wears off, who knows, maybe they’ll become the normal, blood thirsty, brain eating zombies we know and love.”
“What is Gah juice?” Darlene asked.
Jason shrugged again. “I don'know. Some creepy guy came this morning and gave it to my mom. He said he was Gah, but I think he just said that so my parents would give people the juice. It's supposed to help them reach a reach a higher state of mind. It’s probably just kool aid with a roofie in it. You don’t think people really believe this crap if they’re sober do you?”
“Why aren’t you roofied?” Steve asked.
“Not old enough for mind altering drugs. My parents might be off their rocker, but they weren’t completely gone.”
“Um, your parents …they're kind of, well ...”
“Let me guess, zombies. At least this way they don’t have to be disappointed when they find out Gah is a fraud. He was really kooky. Kept asking about you, Steve.”
"Me? Why?"
"Um well, something about you having something that was his. I don't know, like I said, he was kookie. Hey, can we go? They might not be zombies, but those guys sure are."
Jason pointed down the road and sure enough, zombies were coming their way. They were moving in a slow, unorganized pattern, then one of them spotted the car with the three kids inside and began moving toward them, a slow, halting lurch at first, and then they were sprinting, full zombie gallop. It was a race to see who would get to them first. Darlene put the car in gear and they were on the road once again.
“So where are we going?” Jason asked.
"Camp Little Foot."
"Awesome! I've always wanted to go camping."

Continued with chapter 4,  Camp Little Foot.

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