TrappedNatalia Marx / Horror / Science Fiction
By Natalia Marx
Copyright 2013 Natalia Marx
Disclaimer: The persons, places, things, and otherwise animate or inanimate objects mentioned in this novel are figments of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to anything or anyone living (or dead) is unintentional.
Jordan squatted low behind the over-priced “piece” his wife Molly had insisted was a social statement about conformity. Jordan thought it looked like the “artiste” had taken a blind shot at the canvas with a paintball gun. Trying to ignore the clashing colors, he gripped the fireplace poker in a horizontal golf swing; elbows locked, pinkie and forefinger crossed, thumbs aligned along the shaft like he had seen the well-toned golf pro at the club do...whenever he could drag his eyes away from her backside long enough. In any other circumstance Jordan would laugh at the sight of him and send a detailed ROFL text to his buddies at work about it. But tonight, it wasn’t funny. Not even a little.
His quads burning, he glanced up at the metal and glass wall clock. He had been crouching for over five minutes in silence. Ready to swing at the slightest disturbance, Jordan made his way to the front door doing his best, serious impression of a ninja. He peered through the vertical blinds of the front windows and could barely distinguish what seemed to be a mob of his neighbors at the end of the block. Relieved, Jordan was sure they must have gathered because of some esoteric news they received about what the hell was going on. They had come to tell him that a rare Amazonian disease transported by mosquitos, which is absolutely curable, had affected their children and Molly, too, and all would be well in a few hours. Jordan burst through the heavy oak door and awaited his rescue from this nightmare.
The respite he sought, however, was further away than he so hopefully imagined. As the mob of his once lively and predictable neighbors turned towards this new presence, the revived color drained from his face. Something was wrong. Their movement was mechanical, stiff, and eerily silent for a concerned mob of citizens. Even across the distance, he could sense the hunger lurking behind the dozens of hollow eyes that were now trained on him. He suddenly recalled the scene in Hannibal where the flesh hungry pigs converged on the human dinner like rabid robots. Turning abruptly, Jordan ran.
With squeals and screams still reverberating in terrifying harmony in his mind, Jordan fled to the closest haven he could think of: the public library. Now before you get carried away with grand notions of philosophical meaning in his metaphoric choice of intellect as his savior, let me stop you. While Jordan did read the newspaper daily, he had long forgotten even the definition of a metaphor since his college literature course. His last memory holding a novel was of Sound and Fury, covered in the gray-haired professor’s spittle that launched across the classroom like missiles. You see, Jordan had watched his share of horror flicks and concluded that fire and beheading were the two fail-safe methods of killing the majority of monsters, creepers, and critters.
He sprinted down Booth Avenue like a madman and, for once tonight, seriously thanked his white-collar salary for buying him a personal trainer. Heaving in front of the library building, he picked up a bearded garden gnome and hurled it at a window in the reading room. The glass fissured into long, jagged pieces and fell in slow motion backwards into the room and shattered. Jordan leapt through as he heard the zombies approach, still two blocks away and emitting mumbled growls. Sliding into the entrance hall in a frenzy, Jordan looked around trying to devise a strategy. He pushed down images of zombie torn flesh and hungry fingers tearing him apart. Jordan closed his eyes and forced himself to inhale deeply. Think. Molly’s smile flashed before him and his breath caught. Think.
“I’m outnumbered,” he thought. “By the time I attack, they’ll swarm me like hornets...” His eyes snapped open.