Mrs. Amberg: Lesson #7
ELA – “Doors to Stories”
Domiciles Project: Door #1
Gouverneur High School
All Signs Point to Lauderdale
It was only four days ago when I was living my normal everyday life, sitting in my living room with the best of friends anyone could ask for and my band mates: Josh, Kevin, Neil, and Alex. We were writing songs and letting the sound of music flow throughout the house when all of a sudden, it all changed in an instant. The piercing sound of screaming and pure terror filled the air. The empty street outside the window filled with people in a panic, rushing to get out of here as soon as possible. My first instinct was to run to my niece’s room and get her by my side. After getting her up and in my arms, I ran back out to the window to see what else was going on.
There were humans pinning other humans to the ground, ripping them limb from limb, eating the flesh right off their bones. I stood in shock of what I was witnessing, rubbing my eyes as if I was in a dream, a nightmare that I needed to be awakened from. Neil grabbed my arm and said, “Jeremy! Jeremy! You have to find somewhere safe for her to go and we need to get supplies and weapons, and then get out of here.” The only place I knew was the closet in the studio. The studio had no windows and was completely soundproof. I kissed her on the cheek and told her she had to stay strong and that I’d be back for her soon.
I nailed sheet metal from the garage onto the door just in case. I looked into her eyes one last time and said, “I’ll be back for you. I promise.” The look of fear in her eyes made me feel like the most horrible person in the entire world, but I couldn’t bring her with me into the hordes of zombies. I locked the door and ran outside into the band van where my friends were waiting for me. I had the image of her pale face staring back at me with those cold blue eyes stuck in my head. It was a shot in the dark to move throughout the small town I once knew. Looking out of the window as we went place to place gathering supplies and weapons, I came to the realization that this was a battleground.
While I was still looking out the window daydreaming, Alex shook me and said, “Jeremy! We’re at Tom’s.” We arrived at Tom Deny’s house. He was a crazy redneck covered in tattoos from head to toe. We knew he’d have all the ammo and weapons we would need. As Neil, Alex, Josh, Kevin, and I walked into his small house on the river’s edge, the floor boards creaked and it smelled of limburger cheese and beer. Tom said, “Hey guys! Crazy what’s happening out there isn’t it?” Neil said, “Yeah,dude, do you have any weapons we can use?” Tom replied with, “Yes, shotguns, machetes, crow bars, light machine guns, and explosives. Take your pick, then you better get out of here before the herd starts heading out this way.” Kevin grabbed a shotgun and machete, Neil grabbed a light machine gun and explosives, Alex took everything he could hold, and I took a shotgun, machete, and explosives. We left Tom’s house and wished him good luck. We tried to talk him into coming with us, but he denied the offer. All I could think about was my niece in the closet, scared and alone. Even though I had my friends by my side I have never felt so alone in my whole life. We got into the van and started it up. Then hordes of zombies started to come toward us. As I took a second glance into the dark ahead of us, zombies suddenly started dropping left and right out of nowhere. The blood was being strewn across the walls of buildings and as if something invisible was killing them, but then I saw something weaving its way swiftly and carefully through them. It had a motor - like sound moving within it. As the zombies all dropped, standing before us was a ninja like assassin midget. It was Sky! She had gone on tour with us in 2008 as our body guard.
The motor like sound coming from her presence was a chainsaw. We asked her to come along with us and she said, “Yes of course.” As we were driving through town our van was running out of gas, and we had to stop at a little gas station where there only appeared to be a couple of zombies. We jumped out of the van. Alex pumped the gas and Neil, Josh, Kevin, and I guarded him. When we were done getting gas, we all piled into the van. I couldn’t help but think of my niece again.
All of a sudden the radio came on with an announcement saying that any survivors needed to go to Fort Laderdale. The authorities were going to be taking everyone somewhere safe and they were bombing the rest of Florida and all other places that had been infected. Everyone had 12 hours to evacuate their homes and get to Fort Laderdale. We were five hours away from our home and had to get there fast. My niece counted on me to come back and that’s exactly what I was going to do.
We drove for what seemed like days even though it was only hours. The streets were filled with corpses and the lifeless creatures looking to take more lives. I sat and wondered if my family was alive, my mom, dad, and everyone else, and if they were ok and safe.
As we were coming down the road, we had to slam on the brakes and stop. Something disgusting, creepy, and at least nine feet tall was standing before us. It looked like something you would only see in a video game or on TV. It looked like a flesh eating hulk. It was coming straight for us and we were all in shock and frozen still.
At this point I thought I was going to die and that it would all end. I couldn’t go back for my niece and she might die, and it would be entirely my fault. All that I could think is maybe they have gotten to my poor, helpless, scared - to -death niece. As all these thoughts ran through my mind, everyone else was moving and forming a plan to take down the beast. Instead of sitting here blaming myself for all of this, I needed to move and help my friends. “ I will not let anything be an obstacle in my way.” I thought to myself. I built up enough strength to get out of the van.
We had explosives and gasoline in the back of the van the whole time. I thought, I can throw gas on it and burn it alive. I explained my plan to my friends in the van and they all agreed. I was going to start a small gas trail up to it then dump gas everywhere. Neil was going to throw the match and start the fire once I was in the clear. Sky was going to keep the zombies off with her chainsaw and Kevin, Alex, and Josh were going to distract the gigantic beast by playing their instruments as loud as possible.
I moved swiftly into action pouring the gas on the beast. I had another gas can on my back ready to throw it at him. I told everyone we should name the beast Victory as he was not going to take us down, not without a fight.
As I got inches from Victory, I got the gas can out from behind me, cut the top off, and soaked him in gasoline. Then I screamed, “Neil, light em up!” Neil threw the match then almost instantly Victory caught on fire. The beast made the most eerie, torturous sound I had ever heard in my entire life!! It fell to its knees wailing in pure pain. The smell of burning, rotten flesh filled the air.
We all rushed to the van because we only had two and a half hours to reach Ocala where my niece was. We had to get there in time. We drove as quickly as possible going through hordes of zombies and seeing life as we know it change and even die. As we grew closer to our destination, another broadcast on the radio came on. It said, “Attention all survivors: the bombing schedule has changed and now will begin in one hour. Please get to Fort Lauderdale as soon as possible.” We all looked at each other in sadness and surprise because there was no way that we were going to get back to my house in Ocala in the matter of an hour. We had to leave my niece behind; we had to leave the poor little girl alone to die. The thought made my insides feel like they were caving in and my heart sank. I now wish I would’ve taken her with us and kept her by my side at all times. What was I thinking leaving her alone in the house? I thought I did a good thing by leaving her there, so she didn’t have to see what I saw. She wouldn’t have seen all of the lost, dead, and undead that was ahead of us. But now she was cold and alone in a closest not knowing whether she’ll make it out alive. We decided we had to leave her, though, because we couldn’t make it there and back in time.
As time dragged on, we finally made it to Ft. Lauderdale in time. We spared only five minutes until the bombing was about to begin. I felt like I should be the one to die in the closet, not my little four year old niece who had no clue what was going to happen. Maybe it was for the best so she didn’t have to live among all the destruction and violence that was going to happen. She wouldn’t have to live with the fear of the undead coming and taking over everything we all knew as our home. The bombers took off into the sky as well sat with our heads down. Sky patted my head and told me it was all going to be ok that I tried my best. But I knew that wasn’t good enough because seconds from now shed be dead and gone. I disobeyed my promise and I let her and myself down. I loved that little girl like she was my own, and tonight a piece of me will die with her.
After the bombing occurred, everything was dead and buried. Florida had become a wasteland, fallout that no one could bring back. The military let us go to our homes a day after the bombing with paramedics looking for anyone who maybe survived. I just want to get back to my house and see what happened. I was feeling so homesick, but when I got to my house there was half of it still standing. I had hoped that maybe she did make it. Maybe she didn’t die and everything was going to be alright. There were rescue teams going through the rubbish that was once my house. I yelled out her name over and over again until we heard a noise coming through the pile of boards. It was her; I knew it would’ve had to have been her. I ran as fast as I could to the pile of boards and threw them off her as quickly as possible. I could feel the adrenaline pumping threw my veins. It was her; she was barely breathing. As I got to her, I saw that she had horrible 3rd degree burns; her arm was just dangling by a piece of skin. It had looked like it was cut from the pieces of metal from the roof and other rubbish. I picked her up and ran to the ambulance. I could feel the blood soak my shirt and my heart beat faster. Four paramedics saved her life. Their names were Theresa, Chey-nay-nay, Kirsten, and Ber-ner-ner. Their names were a little odd, but they were cool. I owed them my life, for they saved my niece’s life.
Three years later we moved to Canada and had a unicorn farm with baby narwhals in the pond. We were right back at it again, playing our music as always, and my niece was getting used to her amputated arm by now. Sky, the awesome midget ninja assassin, was a tree logger and cut trees down in the back woods. Alex, Kevin, Neil, Josh, and I played our instruments and went on tour often. Our next tour was called the “House Party Tour” it’ll be the best one yet. Sky watched our niece as we went around the world. We had our biggest fans in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Who would’ve thought? Our band was known everywhere as A Day To Remember. Mark my words we’re taking over the world, starting a new life. We’re giving hope to those who have lost it. As I always say, “Keep your hopes up high and your head down low.” In the end, all signs pointed to Lauderdale.