by Lisa McCourt Hollar
Gina blushed, hearing the silverware tap against the side of the champagne glasses. Painfully aware of the eyes turned towards her and Robert, the young bride leaned in, kissing her husband.
“Where do these traditions come from,” Gina sighed’
“I’m not sure,” Robert said, “but I think I like it. You look so beautiful when you’re blushing.
“Stop it,” Gina giggled, blushing some more. “You know I hate being watched.”
“That’s too bad,” her husband answered, “since I intend to spend the next fifty years or so doing nothing but watching you.”
“How sweet,” Karen, Gina’s sister said. “I hope when Will and I marry, he feels the same way about me.”
“Please,” Will groaned from across the table, “I’m already tired of looking at you.”
Karen shot him a withering look, then sticking her tongue out, she tossed her napkin at him. The two of them were always joking around like that. Will’s sense of humor was something she loved about him, but every now and then she was jealous of Gina and how romantic Robert could be. Little did she know that Gina was just as jealous of her.
“Not again,” Gina groaned, hearing the tinkling of glass again. This time though, the sound wasn’t coming from any of the guests tapping their silverware, it came from the ballroom next door, where they were going to adjourn after the meal.
“What was that,” Tracy asked, craning her neck towards the door. There was more sound of glass breaking and Gina’s mother looked panicked. “Please don’t tell me that was the chandelier falling. They promised me it was secure! I knew it wasn’t, but they promised me!”
“Calm down mom,” Karen said, chuckling. Their mother was always a mess, panicking over one thing or another. “I’m sure it’s nothing. Probably one of the wait staff dropped a tray of glasses.”
As though trying to prove Karen wrong while giving Tracy more reason to panic, a scream sounded from the next room.
“What the hell was that,” Steve, Robert’s brother asked as the scream suddenly stopped.
“Heck if I know,” Robert answered, “but I’m going to find out.”
Pushing his chair back from the table, Robert headed towards the ballroom, followed by Steve and Will. The rest of the guests were quiet as they waited for word that everything was alright.
From the next room there were sounds of crashing. Gina flinched, hearing Robert curse, then more crashing and the sound of fighting. Then feet running.
“Barricade the door,” Steve said, running back into the room, followed closely by Will and Robert.
“What’s going on,” Gina asked, rushing towards her husband, who was bleeding from a huge gash in his face.
“It tried to eat me,” Robert gasped. “It bit me. THE DAMN THING BIT ME!”
“What are you talking about?” Gina looked back and forth from her husband to the other two, then back to her husband.
Gina looked at her husband as though he’d gone crazy. “Creepers? Have you lost your mind?”
“What are Creepers,” Tracy asked.
“Calm down,” Karen said, patting her mother on the arm, “I’m sure this is just some joke Will and Robert are playing on all of us. Everyone knows that ZOMBIES do not exist.”
“Karen, this is no joke,” Will said, pulling on the two adjoining doors, holding them together, while Steve tried to find something to hold the doors securely in place.
“Karen, I don’t think this is a joke,” Gina said, touching her husband’s face. Pulling her hand away, she showed her blood stained fingers to her sister.
Using an extension cord, Will and Steve tied it to the doors. Outside something was banging on the door, screaming.
“What is going on?” The voice came from one of the cook who had come in to see what the commotion was about.
“The kitchen,” Robert shouted. “Can they get in through the kitchen?”
“Can who get in from the kitchen,” the cook asked, looking confused. As if to answer him, screams began to echo from the adjoining room.
“Close the door,” Will yelled, shoving the cook out of the way and slamming the door shut. He and Robert grabbed a heavy table and shoved it in front of the door as something slammed against it from the other side.
“What are we going to do,” one of the guests asked, her voice shaking. Gina thought it was one of Robert’s aunts. “We can’t stay here forever.”
“I don’t know,” Robert said, leaning back against a wall and closing his eyes. “I don’t know.”
Gina leaned against her husband and held onto him. She stayed like that for what seemed like hours, not moving, even after the pounding on the doors had stopped. Finally, hours later, sirens were heard. Daring to open the door, someone stuck their head outside. Police cars were everywhere. The street was littered with bodies. Whatever these creatures were, Creepers, Zombies, the Waking Dead, whatever you chose to call them, they were now dead. Many had bullets in the middle of their foreheads.
Later that night, Gina woke in the hospital bed next to her husband. Robert’s hands were stroking her head and he was sniffing her hair.
“Stop it,” Gina said, playfully pushing his hands away. Grabbing her hair, Robert pulled, yanking so hard she thought he was going to scalp her. “Ow, Robert stop! It’s not funny!” Gina turned her head to look at her husband and screamed. His face, no longer human, was leaning towards her, his teeth gnashing together as he tried to take a bite out of her head. Falling backwards, Gina landed on the floor, knocking a tray off the stand as she did so. Her fingers closed around a needle that a nurse had carelessly left behind. Lifting it, Gina slammed it as hard as she could into Robert’s forehead, plunging the syringe as she did. Robert fell backwards, his eyes glazing over, dying for the last time.
Copyright© 2011 Lisa McCourt Hollar. All rights reserved.