Zombie High, p.1Roger Laird
Copyright 2011 Roger Laird
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Table of Contents
A Great Idea Gone Wrong
Ending the Ordeal
Read More From Roger Laird
Legacy: A Father’s Tale
Poetry From Roger Laird
Most stories about a zombie apocalypse use a stereotypical scenario of a zombie outbreak. The outbreak usually starts with some negative actions that go horribly wrong, like a corporation trying to create super soldiers, or perhaps no explanation of the source is identified. However one thing is common, the outbreak spreads fast and devastates nearly the entire population of the world in a short amount of time.
Then a group of heroes come along and start killing the zombies. Removing heads or causing massive head trauma are generally accepted ways to kill zombies. Survival mode kicks in and characters turn on their loved ones without apparent remorse. I doubt that very many of us would do that. We would be so overcome by grief that I doubt we could do much of anything. A person would have to be pretty cold hearted to kill their loved ones with no reservations. We might as well face it, if a zombie apocalypse were to occur the people we care about most would be the most likely candidate for first zombie you meet.
The zombies in these stories usually shuffle around with impaired movement. There are a few ways that people get caught by these types of zombies. First, there is the surprise factor. It seems unlikely to me that anyone who has been able to survive a total zombie apocalypse in their area would ever allow a situation in which they could be surprised. Second, there is the sudden and inexplicable disappearance of the hindered movement of the zombies. Inconceivably, they are all running, and wow they are fast. Did they run on the Olympic track team or what? There is always a door to go through at the last second, usually glass so that the character can get an up close look at what almost ate them. Forget that a horde of mindless zombies moving that fast with no concern for pain would probably bust through the door or knock it right off the hinges. Finally there is the mysterious “Super Zombie Slide” that occurs. This method is usually seen in older films. The zombies slide along dragging their feet in the first shot. Then in the next shot it shows the victim running for their life. It goes back and forth, the zombies never moving any faster but always gaining ground.
This story is not a stereotypical zombie story.
A Great Idea Gone Wrong
Breanne Murphy was an average high school student in almost every way. She attended St. Peters Private High School, she played a few sports throughout the year, but was nowhere near the best player on the team. Some seasons, in fact, she would be cut from a team or very close to it depending on how many lower class students tried out for a JV or Varsity position. She was not popular and she was not an outcast. She stood out so little outside of class, that many of her remarks would go unanswered or unnoticed in a conversation.
Breanne Murphy was average in almost every way with one very important exception. Breanne was extremely bright. In fact her intelligence level was not fully disclosed to her teachers. Over the years she had learned not to answer questions too frequently so her teachers wouldn’t exclude her from discussions. The truth was that her intelligence rivaled some of the great minds of the century and in later years she would make great discoveries in science and mathematics. In high school; however, she appeared to her friends and teachers as someone who merely had to work less than others to maintain her high grades. Her intelligence was augmented by the fact that, unlike some of the other great minds, she had a vast amount of common sense. It was this combination of intelligence and common sense that allowed her to survive what would later be referred to as The Zombie High Epidemic.
Breanne loved all subjects and liked all her classes. Her favorite class; however, was Advanced Placement Science. It was not the just subject matter that she loved so much. She was in her junior year and the school had had problems finding good science teachers. As a result, for the third year in a row, she had Mr. Stewart as her AP Science teacher. He had previously worked for a large university before coming to work at St. Peters, but he refused to give up his work testing the positive effects that natural ingredients had on increasing brain performance. The school board had allowed Mr. Stewart to test his drinks on the students because the ingredients were all approved by the FDA and generally used in food products.
Mr. Stewart and Breanne usually spent time after school in the lab working with all sorts of vitamins and plants with positive properties. They created concoctions and tested the effects on lab mice. Breanne had taken a few of the drinks herself when they had started, but they had a hard time evaluating whether her intellect increased or not. Recently they had had some particular success with a mixture and wanted to test the drink on students.
As it happened, one of Mr. Stewart’s regular science classes had a test the following day. Breanne and Mr. Stewart made arrangements to come in early and mix up the amount of the formula they would need to administer to half the class for the experiment. They split the class into two even groups with a similar range of test scores in each group.
In the morning, after spending several hours in the lab, Breanne and Mr. Stewart finished their preparations just in time for the morning bell. Breanne had received permission to skip her first few classes that day in order to assist Mr. Stewart with the experiment. After working for so long, Breanne needed to use the restroom. She asked to be excused and told Mr. Stewart that she didn’t mind missing the start of the experiment.
As Breanne left to use the restroom, Mr. Stewart stood on the raised platform in the front of the room. He pulled out the list and separated the class into the two different groups. He had them sit on opposite sides of the classroom and then asked, “Would someone be willing to come up and help me distribute the drinks to the students that will be receiving them?” Once all the test group students had their portions, he poured the remaining juice into his mug and took a drink. He was glad that the taste of the concoction was pleasant. Otherwise, the students might not have been willing to drink.
After seeing that Mr. Stewart had drank his portion of the juice, the students drank their portions and set to work on the test. Breanne had developed a test that would require far more complex thinking to really test the power of the concoction. The extra effort that was needed to figure out the problems would have normally been far beyond the capacity of any of the students. The control group was expected to fail miserably, while the test group was expected to excel.
As the effects of the juice began to kick in, the students in the test group set to work. None of them had a hard time answering the questions on the exam. In fact, every one of them ended up getting all of the answers correct, but as it turned out, their performances would not be discovered, nor would it matter. The test group students’ brains were in a hyper state of activity. When the sudden end of the test came, something in their minds broke.
Miranda was in the test group. Being the smartest student in the class, she finished the test first, as usual. She finished several minutes ahead of the rest of the students. She got up from her seat and took the test to Mr. Stewart’s podium. After delivering her test she just stood there staring at Mr. Stewart. Miranda had always been a respectful student. So when she continued to simply stand and stare at Mr. Stewart, he assumed she wanted to hear her grade. He put his head down and started checking her solutions. He ignored several other students as they turned in their tests. Several of the students from the con
Mr. Stewart called for silence as he turned the page to start checking the proof on Miranda’s final problem. As he turned the page he cut his finger on the edge of the paper. As the blood ran down his finger, the smell acted like a catalyst. Miranda and the other students frantically scrambled over the podium. Miranda reached Mr. Stewart first. Grabbing his arm, she sunk her teeth into his flesh. She ripped away with a piece of his arm in her mouth and blood splattered everywhere. A scream from one of the control group students distracted the other zombie students and they turned to attack the rest of the class. Miranda stood in front of Mr. Stewart grinning, with blood all over her face as she chewed the morsel of his arm that she had claimed.
To Mr. Stewart’s dismay the students who were being attacked seemed to instantly become blood thirsty like their attackers. When this happened the other zombified students would cease attacking them. As it was, many of the control group students were seriously injured, but their injuries ceased to bother them after the change had taken place. Mr. Stewart watched in horror as the students he loved and adored ravaged each other. Knowing that he would soon become the target again, and noting that he had not been infected by the attack like the students, he made his way to the door.
He burst out into the hallway screaming and holding his still bleeding wound. He tripped over Breanne as she was returning from the bathroom. Other teachers came out into the hall to check what the scream had been about. Their students poked their heads out into the hall to see the commotion. Seeing Mr. Stewart’s blood, several of the teachers ran to help him. Breanne stood while Mr. Stewart dragged himself to his feet and yelled for everyone to run.
Breanne ran with Mr. Stewart, but his colleagues stood frozen in confusion. As Breanne and Mr. Stewart reached the far end of the hallway, a wave of zombified students rushed out of his classroom and attacked the teachers. One of the teachers, Mrs. Canterbury, who taught troubled students, was able to fight her way free with minor injuries and hurry to join Breanne and Mr. Stewart at the end of the hall.
They stood and watched as the zombies attacked and killed the other adults. When they finished they turned on the nearest classroom. It was then that Breanne noticed that they were working together to attack successfully. They had also taken the time to dress the wounds of their companions and staunch the bleeding. They made quick work of the door to the first classroom. After several minutes filled with terrified screaming, the zombies returned to the hall in greater numbers. This time they split into two groups and attacked two classrooms at once.
That was enough for Breanne. “These aren’t mindless zombies like in the movies. They’re thinking logically and strategically. How can we stop them? We can’t just kill our friends.”
It was Mrs. Canterbury that supplied the answer to her question. “This school used to be a military base. I think there was some sort of lockdown mechanism that prevented anyone from getting in or out. If we activate it we can prevent the rest of the town from being attacked, but we won’t be able to get out ourselves either.” All three of them agreed that this was the best course of action. They set out towards the principal’s office. If they had any luck, Mr. Jenkins would still be there, safely away from attacking students.
Zombie High by Roger Laird / Horror have rating 2.6 out of 5 / Based on34 votes