I Been to Meat City

by Lauryn Deann

Copyright© 2009 by Lauryn Deann

Horror Story: A short story about survival.

Tags: Science Fiction   Horror   Zombies  

They won't stop!

Nathanial O'Malley forced his daughter's head tightly to his chest, covering her ears. The steady pounding of fists on the heavy metal door would not stop. He could feel his lab coat had become stained with her warm tears.

He had played a part in creating those things that were now destroying the building. They had tampered with nature. They played God. They rolled the dice one too many times ... and lost.

Thud. Thud. Thud.

The monotonous pounding continued. He could feel the girl's frail body quiver more and more violently with each moment. They would have to come out of this storage closet eventually.

Nathan's thoughts went to the glass vial in his pocket. He fiercely shook his head, his own tears welling up in his eyes. No ... he would never resort to that. Not yet.

"Bryce, sweetie, we have to get out of here ... and try to get somewhere safe."

"Leave? LEAVE!? Are you out of your mind!?" Bryce shrieked as she jerked away from him. "I am not leaving! We're safe in here. Someone has to find us!"

She was right. They could stay here, but for how long? "We can't stay in here for long. They'll get through that door soon." Nathan's voice had an edge to it.

Nathan looked around at the contents of the storage closet. He picked up a mop and unscrewed the handle for a makeshift weapon.

"What the... ? You so can not be serious," she hissed.

Ignoring his daughter's protests, Nathan was forging a plan to get out of the building and warn the authorities. There was no way she was stopping him. Crossing to the door, Nathan placed a hand on its cold handle when he suddenly stopped. Jerking his head back in his daughter's direction his eyes widened as a voice came over the radio...

"Hand me that test tube will you Nathan?"

Pushing the brim of his bottle cap glasses up from the bottom of his nose, Nathan absentmindedly glanced at his co-worker, Paul. Lost so completely in his own work, Nathan was not paying any attention to what was happening around him.

"H-here, sorry about that..." Nathan said apologetically, his glasses slipping down the bridge of his nose again as he handed Paul the test tube and returned to the words he was typing into his laptop...

The last virus introduced to patient 18-249 failed, causing rapid increase to the disintegration of brain cells and inevitably death. My colleague, Dr. Paul Washburne has just injected Patient 18-250 with our latest trial. Vitals seem stable enough, and brain activity appears normal. But then, that was how 18-249 reacted as well. However, only moments into the treatments he started to bleed from the ears.

"He?" Nathan refused to call his patients simply by number. No, Nathan wasn't like the rest of the scientists at Hartman's Laboratory of Scientific Research. They all thought of these patients as less than people, like med-school cadavers. There was no emotional attachment, no sympathy when a patient dies, and they needn't stay up hours at night thinking about what life they were taking away.

Nathan couldn't be that way. He knew they were people, he treated them like a close friend, and he cried when they passed away, even if they weren't really human at all (not any more at least). And this was the reason why Nathan was so against his current project.Im.Patie.N.T., the little pet name the office heads had for the project. Immediate Patient Nullification Technology; the more scientific name for the project. Years ago, scientists at this facility were attempting to create a cure for brain cancer. The cure worked, but unfortunately, every patient subjected to the treatment inexplicably died within days. Worse yet, every one of those patients ... came back.

It was Nathan's job to find out what went wrong. At best, he could perfect the cure. At worst, he could at least stop the patients from reanimating after death. In any case, Nathan was not happy with the work they were doing here, but at least he was trying to be a part of the solution and not the problem.

A woman's scream echoed throughout the lab.

Scrambling to his feet, Nathan looked over to see patient 18-250 had not only begun bleeding from his eyes and ears, but he had actually sat up on the table.

"Nathan! Look at this!" Paul exclaimed, wide-eyed with wonder. "Can you believe it? Angela, hand me that stethoscope." Paul started to check the patient for a heartbeat. It was at that moment that Patient 18-250 lunged at Paul without warning. With one swift bite, he ripped Paul's jugular from his neck, spraying Angela with blood.

Nathan stumbled backwards in disbelief, falling over his chair. He landed hard on the cold marble floor, his glasses sliding completely off his face. He could hear the sound of the creature tearing Paul's flesh from his neck ... Angela continuing to scream.

Get up! Get up! Nathan's mind raced, but he couldn't. His legs wouldn't listen to his brain, as if something inside him had just froze ... the image of that thing attacking Paul was the last image he saw clearly.

The snapping of bone reverberated through Nathan's ears, as if two children were pulling on a Thanksgiving turkey wishbone. Angela's screams were now silenced, and all Nathan could hear was the shuffling of feet accompanied by a low, monotone moan.

Nathan scrambled to find his glasses. Picking them up off the floor he was relieved to find they had not broken. Looking up, he saw Patient 18-250 squatting over Angela's lifeless corpse, feasting on her chest.

Nathan slowly rose to his feet. He picked up a vial containing the antivirus they had been working on and slid it into his pocket. The antivirus was the only known agent that would stop the reanimation process. How it reacted with living tissue was yet to be discovered.

Now, he would have to pass the nearby carnage to reach the door and get out of the lab. He inched towards the exit as quietly as he could so as not to disturb the hungry patient. As Nathan reached out for the doorknob, he carelessly slipped on the wet, sticky floor ... landing face-first in a pool of blood.

Patient 18-250 jerked its head up violently in Nathan's direction. Nathan could see its pupils were void of all color. All he could think of was getting out of there. Slipping on the crimson liquid again, Nathan scrambled to his feet. 18-250 cast aside its half-eaten victim and turned its attention to its new meal.

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