Survivors of the Z’s- Graham Jackson, Edinburgh, Scotland, THE DOG WALKER
I was rescued
And after a few nights at the hospital I was brought
back to the comfort of my own home
But I wasn’t the same
My house felt different
The ground I walked on felt different
What I had witnessed destroyed my mind in some ways. It was all over the place. Usually I was a man that knew where he was going.
On his path
It had changed me. Shuck the foundations of my world and caused it to crack. Questions such as.
What was happening?
Is it going to get any worse?
Were not leaving me alone. I laid there on my sofa with the room half dark and half lit by the lamp.
Just pure silence I relished in. I didn’t even have my book with me. It was just me and my thoughts. The replays in my head.
I must have fell asleep. I woke up. Looked at the clock and my eyes widened.
“Ten,” I said
I looked around. Bruno, Elvis and Jesse were still asleep. Bruno was on the couch with me. Elvis was sprayed out on the floor. Jesse, being the queen, had the other couch all to herself.
I grinned and picked my phone up off the floor, “shit,” I said
Evelyn had rang me. I began to ring her back.
It rang for awhile, but she picked up in the end.
“Hey angel, you ok?” I asked
“Yeah, have you checked the news?”
“Turn it on”
I quickly fetched the remote and turned on the TV. I immediately switched over to the news channel. The reporter explained everything. From start to finish.
My whole body
Fell witness to the facts.
“It’s spreading,” she said, “not just in America, but here as well, it’s getting worse dad”
“I know,” I said, “I saw one of them”
“What?” She said, shocked, “Why didn’t you say anything, are you alright?”
“I didn’t want to make you feel worse”
“Dad, what happened?”
Too remember everything was easy. But the voices that were going through me were holding me back. Voices that were making my words unfoundable.
“If you tell her it will only make things worse, do you want that to happen, do you?” One voice said
“What kind of a dad will you be if you did that to her, she isn’t your shoulder to cry on, you’re hers,” the other said
Both were stopping me from talking. All I heard on the other side of the phone was her asking for a response.
“Dad… dad are you ok? Answer me, are you there?”
I delve deep and heard another voice that was much lighter than the others. It made me see sense.
I zoned back in, “I’m here”
I stared at the screen. Trying to get my head around it. Too much to say as I juggled for words, but it had to be done. It had to be said.
I took a deep breath and began “remember the news about the car crash a few nights ago?”
“That was me, I was giving Pete, my neighbour a lift to the hospital because his daughter wasn’t feeling too good, she was really sick, she had that virus that’s been going round, turns out she’d just come back from California, whilst driving her there she started to go crazy and turned on Pete”
“Holy shit,” she said
“I lost focus and crashed into another car, I woke up later on dazed, tried to get my head straight, I looked behind me and saw her…” I was nearly sick in my mouth, “eating Pete”
“Oh my god”
“I had to get out of the car because she came after me, as I got out I went to check on the other car but they were dead, there was a whole family in there, dead, she came after me, punched a hole through the window and crawled through and cut herself open, blood was everywhere, I saw lights coming toward me and I hoped to god it would get there on time, thankfully it did and the guy was nice enough to get me the hell out of there”
I chose not to tell her about the family coming back. I left it at that and the rest of the conversation followed.
Maybe a bad move.
But it was too late now.
The conversation carried on for a short time. Then I heard commotion in the background.
“What’s up?” I asked
“Somebodies banging on the door, one second dad”
I heard her husband, “Honey!”
The phone ruffled. I heard something that any dad would never in a million years want to here. His daughter crying out.
“Evelyn!” I shouted, “Evelyn!”
She came back
“Daddy, somebodies trying to get in the house, they’re going crazy dad, we’ve locked the door but they’re still there”
Instinct kicked in. I had to do it. I had to.
“I’m on my way, don’t worry, it’s going to be ok, stay calm Evelyn”
I heard a smash in the back.
The same bellow and then the phone went dead. The last words I heard were.
“They’ve got in dad, please…”
I had no car. I had to think. Think hard. Dig deep into my mind.