Halloween Special: Head Count

Hello Halloweeners! Ah, what a wonderful time of the year, when we celebrate the dark, the dirty, the shadowy, and the downright scary. Any other time of the year, we would look down our nose at those who get their thrills from low grade movies such as those that seek only to tickle our spine for the base emotion of fright. On any other occasion, if a man or woman is to go to work dressed as a decaying zombie, they would be accused of bad taste. However, during this time, the tenth month of the long year, we call it getting into the ‘spirit of the season.’

Not to be outdone, I, BW (Best Writer), the wordsmith, have crafted for you, a special tale: a story of chills, of mistaken faces, and of candy corn. As you might guess, I am not gifted in the horror genre (seriously, I write a story about a boy who tries his hardest to annoy the smartest man on the planet. There’s not a lot of room for chills and suspense there), but I have made a genuine effort to help you enjoy this time of the year. I give to you: HEAD COUNT

Warning, this story has no place in the timeline of our regular story. It’s only for Halloween fun. Next time we will continue the story like usual. Until then, scream a little. -BW

The city of San Francisco, for all is derogatory television representations, is a peaceful town, with streets as calm and safe as that of any other major city. However at this time, two things specifically competed for the title of most dangerous thing to traverse the asphalt: one being the extraordinary speeds that Quin’s VW van was achieving, and the other was the host of pedestrians who strayed far from the confines of the crosswalks. For tonight was the night to be remembered by all who lived, or forgotten by all who died; the night when the dead hungrily paced the streets.

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Quin, don’t use your blinker.” Tannenbaum insisted.

But I’m turning.”

If you use your blinker, I won’t let you live.” Tannenbaum threatened.

Quin, behind the wheel of his van, set his teeth with the frustration every driver feels when accompanied by a backseat driver. When that backseat driver is the self professed smartest man in the world, the frustration is no less aggravating.

Consistently using your turn signal even when there is no one behind you is simply good practice. It makes you used to doing the correct thing at all times, regardless of how inconvenient it may be.” Quin said, doing his best to sneak in a mocking tone of Tannenbaum’s lilt of voice.

David Marcus, trembling in the back seat and peering through the rear window, piped into the discussion.

You do have someone behind you.” he said. “So pick up speed, please.”

See? Lt. David agrees with me.” said Quin.

Tannenbaum was in no mood for this.

We are the only three people alive in this city!” he shouted.

Quin used his turn signal anyway and screamed his van into a haphazard placement in front of Tannenbaum’s townhouse.

They threw themselves out of the van to dash quickly up the steps to the safety of Tannenbaum’s house.

I’m stuck.” Marcus cried in fear. He struggled with his seat belt which had jammed in his fright to get into the van.

Why did you put on your seat belt?” Tannenbaum screamed, unable to believe the incompetence of his comrades.

The dead walked towards them. They hadn’t long. A single zombie parted the crowd of the dead and ran staggeringly in their direction.

We’ve got runners!” Marcus cried.

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Quin flipped open his pocket knife and cut the belt as quickly as he could, while Tannenbaum watched his back. The zombie came near, only to disappear in a cloud of red as Tannenbaum fired his shotgun.

Where did that come from?” Marcus asked.

I’m the smartest man in the world.” Tannenbaum said. “I know where to hide a shotgun.”

They ran into the house, threw a hasty barricade at the front door, and ran to Tannenbaum’s basement panic room. Quin quickly grabbed a few of the weapons that Tannenbaum left lying around and joined the others behind the bolted steel door of the panic room. The men gasped for breath.

We’ll wait here for news that the military has stabilized the outbreak. We have supplies and a ham radio down here.” Tannenbaum said.

Here.” Quin said, handing around the guns. “Protect yourselves.”

After they had each armed themselves, Quin had a gun left over.

Quin.” Tannenbaum asked slowly. “Why did you take four guns?”

Because I counted four of us.” Quin answered.

They did a quick headcount to find that a fourth member had followed along.

He was not of the living.

Come again on Tuesdays and Saturdays!

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