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Yellow Eyes

Novel By: jonbautz

I'm sorry. This will be the third novel I started on here. Unlike the others, this one will get finished relatively quick. I started a short story for a contest on the 11th of April and it flew by standard short story length and is taking on the shape of a novel. I will resume all other work only when this is done and have been averaging about 4000 words a day on this one. This is rough draft stuff here so bear with me. View table of contents...


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Submitted:Apr 17, 2008    Reads: 229    Comments: 5    Likes: 2   

Here's what happened. I used to work on a road crew back when the world was only insane and not completely bug shit fucked. We were out on route 71 at about six or seven in the morning, laying a bunch of cones on the Northbound side because the paving crew was coming in that day to start tearing up the old surface so they could put down new asphalt. It was already hotter than hell, the heat coming up off the road had me sweating bullets under my Day-Glo helmet and it was nearing the end of the shift and everyone was pissed off and tired and sore.
Well, this car came along and it was going too fast and driving crazy. I saw it first. I was in the back of the cone truck, dropping the cones onto the road as we crawled along at three miles per hour. I heard this engine just gunning for all hell and looked up from dropping the cones and saw this white Ford tearing up the pavement and coming our way too fast. The car veered over and started plowing through the cones, heading right for us. I yelled at Nick in the cab to gun it but he didn't have time. That Ford ran up through the cones and clipped the rear end of the truck before going into the median strip and flipping. I caught a glimpse through the windshield before it went off the road and saw this guy with his hands over his face for a second and that was it.
Nick stopped the truck and popped his door. I jumped over the side of the bed and we reached the car at the same time. Nick didn't waste any motion, he just took one of his steel-toed boots to the driver's side window and it went in. I was on my knees and reached through the window and started hauling the guy out by his shoulders. There was blood everywhere and he was all limp but I pulled him out anyway. When I had him out on the grass, it was clear he was a goner. His chest was caved in and there was a nasty gash at the base of his neck that had finished pumping out the blood by the time we got there. I stood up and turned around to Nick and he had this funny look on his face.
"You alright buddy?" I asked.
He opened his mouth to answer me but the only thing that came out was this nasty looking red and black puke. I jumped back to avoid getting any on me and watched as Nick started shaking. He went to his knees and then fell on his face. I reached for his shoulder and when I touched him he went from shaking to really shaking. I flipped him over and wished I hadn't. His eyes were open but they were rolled back, just showing the whites. Blood was pouring out of his nose and this weird green shit started coming out of his ears. I leaned down and he grabbed my arm and squeezed hard. I was about to ask him if he was okay when he went all stiff for a second before his hand dropped from my arm and his body went limp. His eyes closed and his mouth snapped shut.
I was still standing there, just looking at him, when a few seconds later his eyes snapped open. I jumped back. His eyes were all yellow. When I say his eyes were yellow, I don't mean just the colored part, iris I think it's called, but his whole fucking eye was this sick pale yellow. Without any middle or whites, it was hard to tell where he was looking, but I was sure he was looking at me. I took another step back and then he sat up and turned his head to face me and I knew he was looking at me.
"You okay buddy? You look sick or something." I told him.
He didn't answer so I just kept backing up. By now I could hear some of the other guys from the crew running up to us. Somebody yelled something, but I didn't pay them any mind because Nick's face had this real weird look to it. It was somehow longer than it had been and there were these bulging knobs of muscle where his jaw hooked in. I tried telling myself this wasn't so, but looking at him, looking at the same face I had looked at day in and day out for the last three years of spotting cones, I knew his face had changed. Then he smiled at me and I turned around and ran.
I bumped into the foreman when I turned around and he tried to grab my shoulder but I jerked away. He was saying something to me but I was already past him and headed for the truck. Looking around, I saw a couple of the other guys from the crew shaking, one of them was on the ground already, and I wasn't sticking around to see what was going on. I hopped into the idling cone truck, put it in gear and got out of there as quick as I could, driving through a couple of the guys that had jumped in front to stop me. They scattered and I thanked God they hadn't made me run them down, which I would have.
When Nick smiled at me, he had this mouth full of razors. I mean big sharp teeth and not just a row of them but row after row. I found out later his hands had changed also. The hands got slimmer and the fingers grew longer and they had these god awful thick, long, sharp nails except they weren't really nails anymore. I guess they were claws. Well, I'm no genius, no one ever called me that unless I did something stupid, but I was smart enough to know something was wrong and it wasn't going to do me any good to stand around asking Nick what happened to him. If there's one thing I know it's this. A shark has so many big nasty sharp teeth for one reason. Those teeth are so they can rip shit apart, and that's what Nick's teeth reminded me of.
It had started like that. I found out later, hiding out in a parked car with a pistol on my lap and listening to the radio, that it had happened all around the world at pretty much the same time. People were going about their lives, some were asleep, others at work, hell, I imagine some were even fucking when it happened. All of a sudden, one out of every five people on the planet just ups and starts shaking and puking up this weird shit, then they fall down for a minute and when they get back up, they're this mean ass killing machine.
I don't know whatever happened with Nick and the guys. I imagine that him and the rest of those guys that were flopping all over the place probably tore up the rest of the crew. Maybe some of them got away, maybe they didn't, who knows. Anyways, I headed home and cars were out of control everywhere I drove, going off the road, smashing into each other. It was nerve wracking, and I guess it was the ones that were changing that were losing control of their cars. I hear a lot of planes went down too, I guess it makes sense.
When I got off the highway, I took back roads and every time I saw a car coming towards me, I prayed they wouldn't smash into me. I made it home and as I was getting out of the truck, I paused long enough to get behind the seat and dig out a tire iron. When I made it to the porch I was greeted by the door banging open and my little honey of a wife running at me with her hands out and her mouth open, those sharp teeth reminding me of a shark again. Well, there wasn't anything to think about. Maybe if her eyes wouldn't have been that sick yellow I would have tried to fend her off without hurting her, maybe been fool enough to try to reason with her.
As it was, her eyes looking like they did, she didn't remind me of anything human so I upped with that tire iron and smacked her a good one on top of her head when she got close enough. She shrieked like a fucking banshee and went down. I jumped back because even though she was down, she just kept coming, crawling towards me and that's when I noticed her hands that ended in those killer claws. I brought the iron back up and swung with both hands. This time the back of her skull caved in and blood went spraying everywhere. It got on my face and my clothes. Her skull split and I could see her brain, all gray and dull pink, like some slimy slug inside her head. I felt like I was going to chuck but somehow managed to hold it in. I looked toward the house, thought of our baby and then looked down at the dead thing that used to be my wife and knew, just absolutely knew, it had either killed our infant, or our newborn babe was a tiny little killing machine itself.
Instead of going inside, I went around to the side door of the garage and down into the basement from there and unlocked my gun safe. I had a 12-gauge Mosberg pump, a 30.06 and a few pistols I wanted at. The rifle had a sling so I loaded it and threw it across my shoulders. Next, I loaded the shotgun and leaned it next to safe while I pulled out and unlocked the triggers on my 9mm semi-auto, my .38 revolver and my .357 Desert Eagle. I loaded them all, loaded up my two extra clips for the .99mm and grabbed a couple speed loaders for the .357. After I was done with that, I took the time to pull my belt far enough to slip on the holsters for the 9mm and the .38. I didn't have one for the Desert Eagle. Glancing toward my hunting knife lying on top of the boxes of shells in the ammo cabinet, I snatched it up and belted it on too.
I went upstairs then and rooted around in the hall closet for a backpack and found one. It was largish, with side pockets and a strap that went around the waist and snapped into a buckle to keep the pack from bouncing while you carried it around. Going into the kitchen, I took out a few Gatorades from the fridge, a couple candy bars and some beef jerky. I made myself a few sandwiches and put them in baggies and took my wife's diet pills from the cupboard and dumped them into the front pouch of the backpack. I wanted to take my time and grab some other things, but I kept thinking that the longer I was in the house, the stronger the urge would be to look in the baby's room and I didn't want to do that.
After taking the time to grab a few pairs of socks that I stuffed into the backpack, I went back down to the basement and loaded as much ammo as I had. All told, I had about six hundred rounds between the five guns. I tucked the Desert Eagle into the bag and then I unslung the 30.06, wondered why I had put it on in the first place, and shouldered the backpack, strapping it around my waist. Sliding the sling of the rifle around my shoulders, I snatched the shotgun and headed up the stairs.

I paused in the garage, my hand on the knob to the side door. Outside, I could hear the sounds of the panic and confusion. There was a lot of screaming coming from the house next door and I thought of our neighbors, a retired couple that I chatted with regularly. The wife was screaming bloody murder and I imagine she had woken up next to her husband, thinking he was having a stroke or something and a few minutes later she probably wished he had. The screaming ended abruptly. Brakes squealed out on the street and a car banged into something, probably a trash can. There was a lot of racket, doors were being slammed, people were screaming, I heard a few scattered gunshots. There was no use in staying put, I reasoned. Taking a deep breath, I pulled the door open and, with the shotgun out and ready, I stepped out scanning around me.


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