Looking around the house and with his heart still racing for his recent encounter with the woman outside, Kyle rushed upstairs. Anna wouldn’t stand a chance against one of those things. His feet clop up the steps and the nagging pain hits his legs like a Charlie horse. At the top of the steps, he brushed his hand across the light switch. Nothing, but blood oozed through his fingers. A shudder ran through him as he turned toward the sound of banging behind him.
Instinct almost got the best of him as he wanted to call out to her, but he gritted his teeth instead. A low growl filled the hall and Kyle’s heart faltered. He knew he wasn’t alone and the mere sliver of hope he had that it was someone to help him vanished.
A loud crack erupted from the direction of the growl a whimper followed it. Anna was trapped in her room. Forgetting the danger for a moment, he darted down the hall and stumbled over something in the hall halfway toward Anna’s room. Hitting the ground hard, sparkles filled his vision for a moment and he struggled getting to his feet again. A shadow passed over him, filling him with terror. He glanced at what he tripped over and found Anna’s mother, Dorothy, her face gnawed off like a large rodent tore into her.
He knew that couldn’t be right, but saw the remains of her lips twitch. Pulling himself up the railing, he slipped against the puddle of blood which had pooled around her. He remembered her taking pictures of him and Anna on Winter Formal last year. Her chubby cheeks were nothing more than shreds. He stepped toward the oncoming sound and found one of those creatures trying to push himself in through the growing crack in Anna’s door.
Watching the slightly overweight man shove his body through the jagged crack without any pause caused Kyle a bit of concern. He looked at his shaking bare hands and thought about going back down for a weapon. He couldn’t take a man that outweighed him down, especially when he didn’t feel pain. The man pulled his arm back through the crack and pieces of his flesh peeled away from the arm as he turned. No blood dropped to the ground as it congealed around the remaining flesh on his arm.
The man turned toward Kyle, his blank stare meeting Kyle’s terrified gaze. He scanned for an escape and the only option was jumping over the railing to the first floor again and he knew that wouldn’t work. He recognized the man as Anna’s father, Tim. A large chunk of his neck had been pulled free, and pieces of flesh stuck to his lips. Kyle figured it came from his wife on the floor behind him.
The now familiar guttural growl began in Tim’s remaining throat.
Feeling the fatigue race through him again, Kyle had to grab the banister to keep from succumbing. “Mr. Fredricks? It’s me Kyle. What are you doing?”
Tim’s lips lifted in a bloody snarl for a moment before he lunged toward Kyle.
Not thinking, and relying on his reaction, he lowered his stance, taking Tim’s weight onto his legs and tried his best to throw him over the railing. His chest tightened and his legs almost buckled from the weight. Tim tried to grab Kyle’s arm to bring to his snapping teeth, but Kyle used Tim’s momentum and moved.
Tim stumbled and Kyle made it past him. It only lasted a moment as Tim spun on him.
“Anna! Are you there? I’m here. Don’t worry.” Kyle said the first things that raced through his mind. In the back of his mind he didn’t expect Anna to be alive. Just look at her parents before him.
Tim came forward, slowly, like he was trying to scare Kyle into making a move and Kyle didn’t disappoint. He stepped back toward the window at the end of the hall. The moonlight cascaded across Tim’s pale, bloodied face giving him a hideous beast-like look. Before Kyle could take it all in, Tim rushed. His teeth snapping and his arms grasping.
Screaming, preparing for the worst, Kyle did all he could think of doing and tried to stop Tim. His momentum carried Tim over him as Kyle’s gave out.
With a loud crash and screech, Tim tripped over Kyle and flew out the window behind him. He collapsed to the grass below letting out a scream as he pulled himself back up.
Kyle looked out on the street and saw the large group converging on the house, thanks to Tim’s howl. Time was wasting and Kyle turned back to Anna’s room. He came here for a reason and raced to the door.
“Anna! Answer me please.” Kyle knocked on the door.
Somewhere behind the door someone moved around.
“Anna, he’s gone. I threw your down out of the window, but we have to hurry. More are coming.” Kyle shoved his shoulder against the door. Just as he impacted, he thought he saw Dorothy move again. Thinking it must have been a trick of the light, he tried the doorknob. It didn’t budge.
“Anna, come on. Don’t be dead.”
“Kyle?” Anna’s raspy voice came from behind the door. She sounded like this when she had been screaming at the high school football game a few weeks ago. She lost her voice as they won the State Finals.
“Yes. It’s me. Let me in.” Kyle looked through the bloody crack.
Beyond the door, Anna stood by her computer desk. The laptop screensaver flickered behind her. Pictures of their various dates scrolled past. She moved something out of the way.
“Thank God you made it.” She pulled open the door and nearly jumped into his arms. He would have caught her, but his body still balanced on the edge of exhaustion. Her scent made his pulse quicken and he followed her into her room. She shut the door and shoved her dresser in front of it again.
Over her shoulder, in the very faint light of the laptop, he saw her younger brother. He was lying on the bed, underneath some covers. “Is Grady okay?” Kyle asked.
Anna turned to her brother and said, “My dad bit his hand. I think he’s okay. He’s sleeping now.”
Her voice cracked and she gripped Kyle’s hand tighter. “What happened here?”
Before she could answer a hand shot through the crack in her door and tugged on Kyle’s shirt. With Anna’s help, they were able to pull it free. Anna must have recognized it immediately as the hand had a wedding ring on it.
“Mom?” She stayed behind Kyle. He could tell she was shaken up by the situation and did his best to keep her close and feeling safe.
“She must have become one of them. Maybe when your dad bit her?” Kyle said that and saw a shiver under the blanket on her bed.
“Grady? Kyle’s here to save us.” Anna said and started toward her brother.
Kyle took hold of her arm and kept her away from the stirring lump. “Anna. I don’t know if that’s still your brother.” It made sense. If this was anything like the movies, than the bites is what turns them. He just hoped that Anna wasn’t bitten. “Anna, have you been bitten?”
She shook her head, she was able to block out the growling from behind her door as she stared at the blankets shifting on her bed.
Kyle didn’t know how to comfort her at the moment; he was trying to think of what to do now that they were trapped between her undead mother and her possibly undead brother. Just as that thought ran through his head, her brother’s pale bitten, and rotten hand rose out from the blankets. A low growl followed.
Anna tensed and he felt for her. The sadness he could never console her from. This was definitely going to change their relationship. It all depends on how he handles the next situation.
What should Kyle Do?
1.) Take his chances by fighting off Dorothy and get Anna out of there before her brother sees them?
2.) Kill her brother with the laptop computer before he becomes too much of a threat?
3.) Use Anna’s window as a possible escape before her brother notices them?
4.) Hide in the closet and hope it all goes away?
5.) Leave Anna behind and wish her the best as he uses the window to escape while her family eats Anna?