A priest, a Rabbi and Santa Claus walk into a bar...
This thread is for my short story from the Short Story Writing Competition #1 (see link). It is kind of long, so I thought I would make it into a thread.
Author's note: I used the names (or variations of names) of MCB members for all my characters in this story. However, all of my characters in no way represent or are based on the actual people they are named after. I hope those members do not mind me borrowing their names for this. I mean no disrespect in doing this. :thumbup:
I apologize if any descriptions I made in this story about religion, technology or the environment are inaccurate. That would only be because of my ignorance on that particular topic.
The story will now post the following post(s).
Hopefully you enjoy this. If you do not, well then I hope you at least think it is not total crap. :confused:
When a zombie kills a person and begins to eat their brains, it can be time consuming. Foremost, the skull must be opened giving access to the brains to be consumed. In most cases this means that a zombie has find a way to rip the skull open or use a tool to gain access. It still is difficult, sloppy and barbaric.
But before a zombie lusts for the taste of brains, one must become a zombie first and that is where our story begins...
The date was Friday, December twenty-first, 2012. A day that according to ancient Mayan cultures, would be the end of world. Of course I never believed the prophecies to be true. However, I don't think anyone expected the day to end the way that it did.
My name is Rabbi Robert Marvinski, but you can call be Rob for short. Along with being my synagogue's spiritual leader, I also teach ancient Jewish history at our local university.
That friday afternoon, I was sitting in my office preparing the next semester's syllabus. Across my desk sat, Father Carter Brown, a department colleague of mine.
Father Carter Brown was a young priest who taught the Catholicism classes for our university's religion department. He had spent the first several years of his priesthood serving in missionaries around various third world countries. Last year, he claimed that he felt a calling to teach, just as Jesus did. So he returned to the states and joined our faculty. Despite our different spiritual beliefs, we became quick friends, because we shared common ground in our passion for teaching.
We were finishing up our work for the day and preparing to go home. As it would soon be Shabbat, the Jewish weekly day of rest, I was looking forward to spending the next day at home. Since Christmas was coming the next week, my religious counterpart was really in the holiday spirit. All of our university had agreed to finish our work that day and not return to work until the new year.
At four pm, we turned off our computers, unplugged the coffee machine and prepared to lock up the office. Father Carter then surprised me by handing me a small Christmas present.
Father Carter said, "Rob, here is a little something for you. Go ahead and open it, I think you'll like it."
I obliged him, opening the present and said, "Carter, you didn't have to do that. You know of course I didn't get you anything."
Father Carter chuckled and said, "Yeah, that is ok. You shouldn't have to either."
The present was a very nice set of candles. I opened the plastic wrap around the candles and inhaled the waxy aroma. I love that smell. I then returned the candles to the original case and slipped them into my interior pocket on my overcoat.
I said, "Thank you, Carter. I will use these tonight for Shabbat."
What happened next that afternoon, defied all logic and started a wild chain of events. A loud boom was heard outside that momentarily shook our windows, walls and everything else in the office. Then all the lights and power in our building and seemingly everywhere around us suddenly went out.
It was still daylight so I looked out the window and it instantly started raining.
Father Carter said, "That was sudden. I did'nt recall a storm or rain in the weather forecast for today."
I replied back, "Neither did I. That seemed more like a earthquake than thunder."
Then screams from outside filled the courtyards between the various buildings on our university. Father Carter stepped next to me by the window and we both looked outside.
Father Carter then quietly mumbled, "Lord help us."
Down from the sky rained a mist that fell upon everything. As we looked outside the window at dozens of people walking around, it appeared that the air became thick and harder to breathe. The mist seemed to act as an acid on the people outside. We could see the skin on their exposed faces begin to burn and boil as they fell to the ground withering in pain.
I looked at Father Carter and said, "Look at those people. Come on, we must go outside and help them."
We exited our office and the lights in our building began to flicker on and off. Obviously the campus' backup generators were coming back on. As we made our way to the outer exit doors we were stopped by two young colleagues from the science department. One was Professor Paul Titus and the other his intern, Amber.
Professor Titus put his arm out and said, "Wait gentlemen, I do not think it is safe to go out there. There seems to be something toxic in the rain and air which appears to be harming everyone outside."
Amber pulled out her cell phone and attempted to dial out. She then looked up at us and said, "I was going to dial 911, but my cell lost it's service. Could one of you try to use your cell?"
Father Carter and I both immediately checked our cell phones. My cell phone had no service. I looked at Father Carter and saw the expression on his face and knew his was without service as well.
Father Carter then said, "What should we do now? We can't just leave all those people out there?"
No one answered.
We all stood silently for a moment looking out the glass exit doors to the people now scattered along the sidewalks all over the courtyard. The rain continued to fall and an errie silence had now suppressed everything. The people outside were now lying incapacitated all over the sidewalks. However stranger still, there was no other noise outside. No sounds of traffic, machinery or even the occassional birds chirping.
Then suddenly outside, a woman appeared out of nowhere, slamming her hands and face into the glass exit door. She attempted to open the door but then became overcome with exhaustion and slowly began to slide down the outer glass door.
I recognized the woman as secretary from the admissions office. The complexion in her face was grey and her skin covered in blisters. Our eyes locked and she recognized me also. As she slid down she gurgled, "Help me.. Rabbi.. Marrr..."
I lunged for the door to open it and was immediately grabbed by Professor Titus and pulled back. He said,"Rabbi Marvinski I know you want to help her but if we open that door we may contaminate ourselves."
I looked outside at the woman by the glass door now lying unconscious and then nodded. I realized he was probably right.
Father Carter asked a question, "Nobody out there is moving anymore. So do you think the air and rain is now rendering everyone unconscious or do you think that they are all dead?"
Amber answered, "I do not know. Maybe when that storm started, it produced some intense form of acid rain. That might explain the burns and respiratory problems of those people."
Professor Titus then added, "I doubt it. Normally acid rain is too diluted with regular rainwater to cause any damage to humans. Usually it only affect statues, metals on buildings and various plants over a long time, not all at once. I've have never heard of anything this intense. I think this may be something else."
I then interjected, "Whatever it is, can anyone think of a safe way to protect us while getting to those people. A umbrella, a tarp...anything?"
Professor Titus then snapped his fingers and exclaimed, "Follow me! I think I got an idea to rescue them."
Father Carter and I followed Professor Titus and Amber as they ran down the hall towards the stairs. Once at the stairs, we took a flight down to the basement and Professor Titus began to explain his plan.
Professor Titus said, "Our science lab downstairs has PPE suits." Father Carter and I then both looked at each other for an explanation about what the Professor had just said.
Amber apparently saw the confusion on our faces and further explained. "PPE. Personal Protective Equipment. They are bio-hazard suits with respirators. We use them in our quarantined lab during experiments when dealing with dangerous chemicals and airborne pathogens."
Father Carter then said, "Ok, I get it now. We use the suits to protect us while going outside to rescue the people and then bring them inside."
I chimed in saying, "I believe that is the general idea."
We reached the lab doors and entered as the lights in the building continued to flicker. Professor Titus and Amber immediately moved to a closet in the corner of the lab and pulled out two yellow PPE suits and threw them to Father Brown and I.
I removed my Shabbat candles from my inner coat pocket and slid them into my pants pocket. Then Father Carter and I took off our jackets and slipped on the yellow suits. Amber and Professor Titus also suited up and we headed back upstairs. As we walked back down the hallway Amber gave Father Carter and I our respirator masks and quick instructions on how to use them.
As we returned to the exit doors, we put on our masks and prepared to exit the building. Then Professor Titus stood at the door looking outside through his mask and said, "OK, this is weird." Father Carter, Amber and I moved next to the Professor at the door and looked outside at empty sidewalks.
Amber said, "What happened to all the people lying out there?"
Father Carter offered a possible answer, "Maybe some paramedics arrived or someone else came and helped them while we were downstairs putting on the PPE suits."
I responded, "I doubt it. We were not down there that long. There was dozens of people outside on those sidewalks. You could not move that many people that fast."
Professor Titus further expounded, "It is also still raining that same mist and I don't think anyone else would have access to these types of suits that quickly to rescue anyone."
Amber concluded, "So do you think while we were down stairs, they were all able to get up and get inside other buildings?"
Just then from the opposite end of the hallway we heard footsteps and turned to see a crowd of people walking towards us. The lights in the building which had still been flickering, suddenly came back fully on, exposing clearly the faces of the group advancing upon us. I recognized a couple of them as people I had seen earlier lying in the courtyard during the rain. Everyones's faces were ashen grey, covered in burns and their eyes stared blankly forward.
Through the silence Father Carter was the first to speak towards the approaching party, "Hello? Are you all ok?"
Amber then removed her mask and took a stepped towards the closing group and said, "Are you guys ok? Can we help you?" Silence still followed. Amber then began to walk down the hallway to meet the mob.
Professor Titus then said, "Amber wait, I think something maybe wrong here."
As Amber jogged towards the group, she replied, "Come on guys. These people are probably in shock and need our help. We can take them down to the lab and treat them while we figure out what to do next."
The mass of people met Amber halfway down the hallway and I think she then realized she should have took the Professor's advice. When she stopped in front of the band of people, I could see a shiver run over her body and she froze with fear. The mob circled her, obstructing our view of her and we heard her scream. It would be the last time we saw her alive.
The rest of us stood frozen momentarily, not fully believing what was going on. It took a few moments before we ran towards the swarm of people to help Amber. All of us were then tackled by other members in the group as we approached the scene. The fierce people began drooling and clawing all over my body. While being held on the ground, I attempted to push off two of the savages who were holding me down, but they were too strong.
Father Carter and the Professor also seemed to be wrestling off other brutes preventing them from getting to Amber. I heard Father Carter shouting, "Stop! Leave her alone! We are trying to help you!"
During this time I could see another pack of savages begin to stomp all over the body of Amber. The crunching sounds of her bones breaking sent shivers down my neck. The eyes and expressions of those fiends remained blank during this whole time with only an exception of saliva coming from their open mouths.
One of the barbarians in the gang kneeled down over Amber's body and grabbed the back of her head and began repeatedly banging her skull into the floor. Her head eventually became misshaped and a large gash spilled blood over the floor. Two other maniacs then dug their fingers into the gash in Amber's skull and pulled the top of her head apart like a split watermelon, exposing her brain.
Once the brain was exposed, a primitive thirst seemed to fill all these savage's eyes. The brutes, which had been holding us down, suddenly released us and went over to Amber's body. Everyone in the crew then began digging their fingers into her skull and picking out pieces of brains. The monsters then ate them.
The Professor, Father Carter and I laid on our backs stupefied by what we were witnessing. Amber just moments ago had been a live, caring person who attempted to help these people and now the inside of her head was exposed like a candy dish for these cannibals. I heard Father Carter whisper through his mask, "Dear God, save her soul."
Then from the exit doors a man came coming running down the hallway towards us. The man was a unusual sight to say the least. He was tall, muscular and was wearing some sort white hooded suit with a respirator mask like you would use when painting a house or car. But on top of his head, he wore a red Santa Claus socking cap.
The man carried a wood two by four and began using it to swing death blows at the pack devouring Amber. The man quickly made three of those ruffians drop to the ground lifeless. Even as those three hoodlums fell to ground, presumably dead, the others paid little attention to the man and continued to feast on Amber's brains. Then the man yelled to us, "Come on, get up or they will kill you next!"
We rose to our feet and followed the man as he led the way, running back out the exit door. Outside the rain was still falling from the sky and everything was damp and foggy. Our group ran down the sidewalk towards a parking lot. The man pulled out a set of keys. He chirped a keyless remote, which unlocked the doors to an extended cab Ford pickup truck. He yelled, "Get in!" So we all did.
The man got in the driver's seat, started the vehicle and we exited the parking lot in a hurry. Even through the mist I realized we heading towards our cities' downtown.
Once we were several blocks away, Father Carter shouted, "What is going on?"
The man continued driving and explained, "I am not sure, but this rain has done something to people everywhere. They have become some sort of zombies and now are killing everyone."
Professor Titus then asked, "Who are you?"
The man answered, "The name is Harbinger. I work construction and other odd jobs. I was painting some walls in the Student Union building next to yours when that bomb went off and it started raining.
I then interjected, "Bomb? What bomb? Do you mean the thunder which shook everything?"
Harbinger replied, "No, I mean bomb. As in boom! I had the radio on while I was painting and a public safety announcement came across right before the power went out. The announcement said to take shelter immediately, then cut out. I was a Marine and served two tours in Afghanistan. I have been around bombs and explosions before. That was a shockwave which shook everything and it came from a bomb. Probably some from distance away though."
Professor Titus then exclaimed, "Of course it is all starting to make sense now. In the news the past few weeks, relations between the US and Russia has become strained. There was all those rumors about Russia's numerous missing nuclear bombs. So here is my theory. I bet some terrorist attack happened today that we have not heard about yet, which involved one of those bombs. Some nuclear blasts when detonated at high altitudes, cause EMPs, Electomagnetic Pulses, which disable all electrical power. Any nuclear radiation or fallout may have also fallen from the sky, in the form of rain, thus causing the obvious changes in people."
Father Carter responded, "No offense Professor, but nuclear bombs and radiation turning people into zombies. That seems a little far fetched."
I then added, "Well Carter, it may seem improbable, but the Professor's theory does explain all of things that have happened so far.
Harbinger added further, "After it started raining, I saw through a window, everyone outside begin to burn and change. After lying on the ground outside for a while they got up and entered the Student Union. Once they were inside, they began attacking and killing the normal people who were inside. As everything unfolded, I grabbed this two by four and attempted to save everyone." Harbinger paused for a moment and then continued, "But there was too many of them. So I fought my way out of the building, then heard you guys yelling in the building next door and found you in your current situation."
Father Carter said, "Zombies? It sounds more like those people became mutated."
Harbinger further expanded, "They were eating people's brains. I'm calling them zombies, unless you got something better."
I added, "In my faith we would call them, golems."
Father Carter said, "Call them whatever you want. They are very dangerous now. And we still probably should not take off our masks again unless we are in a safe environment."
Professor Titus then asked, "Excuse me Mr. Harbinger, I got to ask...why are you wearing a Santa Claus hat?"
Harbinger began to reply, "Well, that is a funny and unrelated story. You see I..."
I then interupted, "It doesn't matter. So where are we going now? The police? The hospital? We need help."
Harbinger answered, "We are coming up to the police station now."
Ahead in the streets we saw another crowd of zombies with the same expressions from the mob at the campus, looking at our approaching vehicle.
Professor Titus said, "Well I don't think that they are going to help us."
The truck slowed down and was now in the middle of the block so it could not turn around. The group of golems, or zombies, kept approaching our truck and began circling around us.
Harbinger slammed his foot on the accelerator and yelled, "Hold on!"
Our truck slammed into several zombies, sending them across the hood and underneath the vehicle. The truck bounced over the bodies of the ones beneath us causing Harbinger to loose control of the vehicle and turn us head first into a powerpole in the middle of the block. The truck's front end was wrapped around the powerpole and the engine was dead.
I yelled,"Is everybody ok?" Everyone shook their heads and replied yes.
The remaining cluster of zombies now approached our disabled truck from the driver's side. Professor Titus, who was sitting next to me in the back seat behind Harbinger, shouted, "They are coming! We got to get out of here!"
Professor Titus' window broke and several hands reached inside grabbing at him, attempting to pull him out the window. Father Carter opened the front passenger door and exited, followed by Harbinger sliding behind him. I grabbed ahold of Professor Titus's hands determined to not let him be taken away by the zombies.
The back of Harbinger's truck was full of several various tools. Harbinger grabbed a battery powered Dewalt power saw and ran around to the driver's side of the truck to stop the zombies. I heard the sound of the power saw start up and then could see red bloody mists spraying everywhere outside the truck.
While Harbinger dealt with the mob outside, Father Carter opened my passenger door and attempted to help me save Professor Titus. It was no use, the Professor eventually slipped from my grasp and was pulled out the window. Father Carter then immediately pulled me out of the truck and said, "Come on, he is in God's hands now."
I refused to give up and grabbed a crowbar from the truck bed and ran around the side of the vehicle to help Harbinger engage the zombies. Father Carter grabbed Harbinger's two by four from the front seat and followed me saying, "Right behind you Rob.".
I could hear Professor Titus screaming, and then saw him standing between several zombies. Two zombies held him in place, while another zombie twisted the Professor's head sideways, snapping his neck. Professor Titus's knees buckled and he fell straight down. The zombies then surrounded his dead body and removed his mask. They then began smashing his head into the asphalt, like the others had done before to Amber.
I gave my best battle cry as I was attempting to make my way to Professor Titus. I swung the crowbar hitting two zombies in their heads, sending them to the ground and leaving them motionless. Then one zombie snatched the crowbar from my hands and pushed me down on my back. The zombie turned and walked away with the crowbar over to the mob surrounding Professor Titus' body. I saw the zombie insert the end of the crowbar into a gash already formed on the Professor's skull. The zombie then pryed the skull opened, making a cracking sound. The Professor's brains were now exposed.
All of the zombies then simultainously stopped fighting us and went to the Professor's body. I looked over at Harbinger. He had several dead zombies lying on the ground around him.
Then I saw Father Carter swinging the two by four into a zombie's head while saying, "For this is thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." Father Carter's monster then dropped idly to the ground.
Harbinger's red Santa Claus hat had apparently fallen off during his battles with the zombies. He picked it up off the ground and put it back on his head. He then turned off his powersaw and ran over to me. Harbinger helped me to my feet and shouted to Father Carter, "Come on, now is our chance. Let's get out of here."
The three of us took off blindly running down the street away from the distracted mob, which was now feeding on what remained of the Professor. As we ran down the street, we noticed a light on inside a local tavern. The tavern, Forum's Bar & Grill, was a older brick building on the corner of the intersection. Harbinger pointed and shouted, "Come on, we can hide in there."
Father Carter entered first, followed by me and then Harbinger. After we entered, I looked over and saw Father Carter and Harbinger standing by the door, breathing heavily through their suits and masks. I then said, "We should check the phone in this place. Maybe we can call for help."
Harbinger said, "It might be a little hard to communicate over a phone through these masks."
Father Carter asked, "Do you think it is safe to remove our masks in here?"
Harbinger answered, "I don't care. I need fresh air. I'll be the guinea pig and remove mine first. If anything begins to happen to me..." He paused and continued, "kill me and push me back outside." I looked at Father Carter and he looked back at me and nodded.
Harbinger then proceeded to remove his red Santa hat and then his mask. He pulled back his suit's white hood and took a deep breath and exhaled. Father Carter and I exchanged looks at each other and then back at Harbinger. Harbinger finally said, "I feel fine. I think it is safe to remove your masks as well."
Father Carter and I then removed our masks and placed them on the bar. Harbinger picked up the phone from behind the bar and attempted to dial out. He then looked up at us and said, "Its dead. "Ok, so now what do we do?"
Father Carter answered, "Well, lets evaluate our current situation. The air outside is poisonous, unless we wear these masks. We are outnumbered by a bunch of psychotic-mutants that are killing regular people. We have no transportation. We still have no way of communicating with anyone. And now we have entered this building and may die here unless we come up with a plan."
I replied, "You forgot that we have fought them before and killed some of them. So we know that they can die."
Harbinger nodded and said, "You are both right. However, I think we should wait here for the rain to stop. Once it does then we'll move out again and try to find help."
I then said, "If they find us, we may have to make a stand here. So we should prepare for it. Carter, please turn off the lights. Mr. Harbinger we need to barricade the door and that large glass window beside it."
Harbinger immediately pushed a jukebox from the corner to in front of the door. Then we began overturning tables and stacking them in front of the window. I then ran past the bar, through the kitchen to the back door. I looked at the door and ensured it was locked.
Father Carter yelled back to me, "Rob, do you have any idea what is beyond the back door?"
Without thinking, I turned the lock and opened the door and peeked my head outside to see. It was a dock for deliveries which contected to a small alley leading out to the street. The air was tasted stale and was still thick with fog. I then realized that I did not have my mask on, so I immediately stepped back inside and shut the door behind me. I then began coughing and bent over while trying to take a deep breath of cleaner air.
Father Carter again shouted back to me, "Rob! Did you hear me? Are you ok?"
I quickly replied, "Yes Carter, I am fine. I think the door leads to a back alley and then out to the street."
Harbinger then walked back into the kitchen and said, "Good. That will be our escape route, should the zombies enter through the front door." He then looked over at me and could tell I was ill from something. So he asked, "Are you ok? Did you get a wiff of air from outside or something?" I looked him in the eyes and then heard crashes from the main entrance.
Father Carter shouted, "Guys, they have found us!"
Harbinger and I ran out to the bar and saw Father Carter already putting his mask back on. The glass panes from the windows and door had been broken out and zombies were attempting to push their way past our piles of chairs and tables. I then heard noises from the back door. It was open and several zombies were coming through it. Oh no, I had forgotten to lock it when I shut it.
Harbinger grabbed his battery powered Dewalt saw, turned it on and went running to the back door. I then looked back to the front of the bar and watched Father Carter wildly swinging his two by four at zombies as they crawled across our obstacles.
I then heard Harbinger screaming, "NOOO!" So I turned and saw that the zombies had taken his Dewalt powersaw away from him and were holding him down against the floor. A zombie began cutting across Harbinger's forehead with saw. Blood splattered all over the kitchen and even me standing by the door way. It appeared we were about to be overrun.
Then I looked over at an stove in the kitchen and came up with a last ditch idea. I went over to the stove and pulled it away from the wall. Next I grasped the gas line from behind it and yanked it out. The nauseous smell of gas rushed up my nostrils and began to fill the air in the kitchen and bar.
Then I unzipped my yellow PPE suit and pulled it down to my waist. I removed the Shabbat candles from my front pocket and opened the package. Luckily a small package of matches was on shelf near the stove, so grabbed it and pulled a match off the package. I then exited the kitchen and ran out into the bar with Father Carter. I stood back to back with him.
Zombies were now inside the bar and Father Carter was still swinging the two by four at them to keep them away. He leaned towards me and said, "Rabbi, I fear all is lost."
I grinned and replied, "Father, you of all people must know when to keep faith, even in the most dire of situations."
While holding one candle in my left hand, I held the match with my right and struck it against the back of the package to light it. It lit and immediately it went back out. I pulled off another match and struck it again to the package. It stayed lit this time and I carefully lit my candle.
I could hear the powersaw in the kitchen running and see the zombies in the kitchen licking their lips, presumably waiting to get into Harbinger's head. I then took the lit candle in my right hand and threw it through the kitchen door, turned and pulled Father Carter to the ground and laid across him.
A powerful "whoop" was heard, followed by a giant fireball which filled the kitchen and even across the ceiling of the bar. The fireball engulfed the zombies in the bar and turned them into standing fire monsters. Most of them took a couple steps and fell to the floor and continued to burn. The air was smoke filled and I could barely breathe. However, I did not dare get up and become burnt by the flames. After about half a minute, but what seemed like an eternity the flames stopped. Silence filled the bar, nothing appeared to be moving anywhere.
I rose to my feet and put my hands on my face. It felt warm and my hair smelled burnt. Father Carter remained stationary and face down on the floor. Dozens of zombies laid dead, scattered around the bar and outside in the sidewalks and streets.
I staggered into the kitchen looking around at the scene I had created. The smell of burnt flesh filled the air, making me dizzy. My mouth felt so dry and raw. I really needed something to drink or even eat. Perhaps I could find something in here.
Sometime later, I am not sure when, as I seemed to have momentarily blacked out, I found myself sitting on the kitchen floor. I looked up to my left to see Father Carter stumble into the kitchen and look down at me.
Father Carter jolted and gasped through his mask, "Rob? No....Dear God, what have you become?"
Still confused, I looked down at my hand which held a powersaw that was covered in blood. I turned my head to the right and saw Harbinger's body propped up next to the cabinet beside me. His blank burnt face facing forwards. The top of his skull had apparently been cut all the way around his head.
Curiousity seemed to get the best of me. I reached over and grabbed Harbinger's hair on the top of his skull and pulled straight up. The cap of Harbinger's skull removed exposing his brains and I began to feel an overwhelming hunger. I could not help myself as I instantly started drooling from my mouth. So I picked a chunk of his brains away with my forefinger and thumb and brought it to my lips. I then opened my mouth and swallowed the brains.
I looked over and locked eyes with Father Carter. Shock and fear had rendered him still.
I bowed my head and said, "Shalom."
And the award for MCB's longest post goes to...
I have to say:clapping::clapping: and Rabbi Mar LOL
A conservative, a liberal and a moderate walk into a bar, the bartender says "Hi Mitt".
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