Zombie Dive

Reads: 370  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
When you jump in the water on a routine dive everything is normal, however what happens if your support crew mysteriously becomes incapacitated...or worse? Can you fight your way through friends to survive?

Submitted: April 12, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: April 12, 2016

A A A

A A A


 

Zombie Dive

 

 

As this page fills up, I watch the waves roll up over the deck, rolling high on the back to break and then retreat. They have stopped somewhere abaft midship, holding there for the last several hours. The patch must be holding. The jagged hole in the side of the ship that originally spelled out our doom, now is no longer even relevant considering the events of the last 23 hours.  One disaster following another so closely on the heels that the adrenaline rush from the first never receded, only tilted back for a second to catch its breath and slammed even harder into my veins, turning my vision blurry and dark at the edges…

 I had been on deck standing by when the first disaster struck. The shrimp boat that had veered to close at first seemed nothing more than the usual shrimper, drunk at the helm, maybe in the john or possibly unequipped with a radio. He popped out of the mist to our starboard and advanced quickly. Flares fired over the bow did nothing and by the time we realized he was going to hit us, it was too late to do much more than hang on.

 We had a diver in the water. The Sea Lady was a dive boat equipped with a commercial dive spread and an aft crane used for recovering salvage and launching new construction.  The dive crew consisted of eight divers and six tenders. Two supervisors, a superintendant, Captain, first mate, engineer, ABS, surveyor, cook and company man brought the count to twenty-four.

 24. Put a number on a face and maybe it makes it easier.

The truth? It doesn’t. 

Every face has a name. Every face has a conversation linked to it that sticks in your mind at the strangest times. The Engineer, even as he wallowed in his own blood, hands trying to hold the wound closed, I still hear his scoff in my mind.  A distinct sound, which was specific to him.

 “Hey, Scott, how’s life this morning? You get any coffee yet?”

The scoff was precursor to the rambling, “No, I was going to drink some but I need to sleep, been up all night helping the tenders get the backup jet pump running.”

 Our eyes had met as I inched my way over to him. “Hey Scott-“  echoed in my mind as he shook violently, his blood running across the floor mixing with the saltwater splashing across the oil and grease caked floor of the engine room.

The man had died lucky. He never knew the horror to come. If there is a God, the part of Scott that made the scoff unique, never came back alive.

The sun is setting. The clock is still ticking. Where I sit, watching the waves, I can feel the wind blowing through my hair, hunkered in the wreckage of the wheelhouse. I’m amazed this laptop made it….

 The aftermath of the shrimp boat collision should have been mayhem. At least that’s how it is in the movies, right? People running and screaming, alarms going off, voices on bullhorns and loudspeakers. The reality was far different. We definitely quickened our pace, but the situation never seemed to get out of control, at first.

After the initial impact I ran up the short set of steps to the dive shack.  Jason, the night supervisor, was talking to the diver, Spencer, on the dive radio. The superintendant, Paul was on the radio with the captain, both talking fast.

 

They looked at me when I pulled the door open.

 “Everyone on deck is fine. Is Spencer ok?”  I asked.

The boat had struck us on the diver side. Spencer had been 30 feet down on his last water stop for in water decompression when the boat hit.

 “He’s fine,” Jason snapped. “Get him in the chamber and get dressed in; we need to see what happened.”

 I turned and was headed down to where we hung our dive gear when I heard the captain over the radio, “You guys see Scott?! He was on the starboard side looking for that oil filter.”

 Josh, the lead tender was already disappearing down the hatch to the engine room by the time I made it across the deck. Out of the corner of my eye I registered the other tenders Ryan and Mike getting Spencer out of the water as I barreled down the steps to the where I could now hear Josh yelling for help.

 Scott was already dead, his brain just hadn’t found out yet. The shrimp boat had struck the side sending a work bench flying. The top had caught him at waist level and severed him. His legs were still pinned against the bulkhead by the workbench and the rest of him lay on the deck feebly holding his wound and trying to sit up. I could hear water rushing in somewhere in the darkness below the grating, but couldn’t see it.

 “Jesus-” Josh was kneeling next to Scott looking lost. He glanced up at me and I dropped to the other side of the dying engineer and grabbed his hand. 

 “Scott-“Hey Scott, how’s life? “You’re gonna be alright man.” Josh looked at me and I shook my head.

 Scott grabbed my hand and turned his eyes on me.  For some reason the words rose to my lips unbidden, “The Lord bless thee and keep thee, The Lord cause his face to shine upon thee-“ 

Scotts face went slack as he died, his eyes still looking at me, but now they looked at me the way bad taxidermy follows you around the room. I stopped talking; I didn’t know the rest of the benediction anyways.

Josh had a radio clipped to his shirt collar and I pointed at it, “Tell Paul, I gotta get dressed and see what’s leaking. “

 Josh grabbed his mic, “Paul, Scott is-“ he faltered. “Scott’s dead.”

I climbed the steps quickly forcing my mind onward as it tried to repeat conversations in my mind.

 Hey Scott-

I cut myself off. Mike was running the decompression chamber when I got back on deck.  Ryan was taking Spencer’s dive helmet off the main hose as I hurried by. 

 Jason came over the bullhorn, “Leave the hats, David can dive Spencer’s and Jarrod can stand by with David’s. Get him in the water!”

 I shucked my standby dive harness, donned a shorty 5mm wetsuit over my clothes, and hurried back to the dive station. The other divers and tenders were on deck by then, some headed down to help with Scott and others helping the first mate as he kicked on the bilge pumps and worked to control the leak. The Sea Lady was already starting to list to starboard. Two tenders were on the back deck pulling someone or something out of the water, I absentmindedly assumed it was crew from the shrimp boat.

 “We ready to dive?” Jason’s voice echoed over the bullhorn. We had not lost power so the dive compressors were still running and the lights were on.

“Yeah, ready to dive.” Josh keyed his mic to respond.

 Mike hoisted my bailout bottle and I shrugged into it, buckling the strap as my standby diver, Jarrod, showed up, wide eyed and bleary looking from just waking up.

 “You taking anything with you?” Jarrod asked.

“No, they just want to see what the damage is…but get something ready if we need a patch.”

 “How about that sheet of quarter inch we just got for the new welding table?” Mike asked as he handed me my neck dam for the dive helmet.

 “That’s gonna be heavy. Get Tanner to weld a pad eye on one side and rig it to the crane in case we need it.“ Jarrod said.

 “That’ll work.” I stepped into the circle of dive hose Mike held out, connected my quick disconnect to the hose and plugged in my bailout whip.  “Rig the welder for underwater, if you still remember how, and grab a handful of 7018 rods, they always worked the best for me.”

 I pulled my neck dam over my head. A steel circle sandwiching a piece of neoprene that snugged up tight around my neck. The neoprene sealed out the water while the steel ring had a groove with a rubber O’ring  that fit inside the bottom of the hat and was held in place with locking cams to keep it on your head.

 I lifted the Kirby Morgan Superlight series dive helmet from the tenders hand and pushed my head into it. As I twisted my face into the oral nasal that fit around my mouth and nose, I cammed up the neck dam and sealed it by spinning the locks into place. My first breath whistled into the mic, “Comm check, you got me Jason?”

“One, two, three, gotcha loud and clear!” Jason’s voice crackled back to me over the speakers in my helmet.

 The familiar taste of the compressed air settled into my lungs and I donned my gloves the tenders held out to me.

As Jason’s voice continued, I made my way to the side of the boat and paused as the tenders put a loop into the water in preparation for me jumping.

 “Alright, Dave, we don’t know what we got, but we are gonna jump you and record it via the video cam on your hat. Josh told me Jarrod and Tanner are getting that sheet of quarter inch ready, I hope we don’t need it, but we’ll see.” He paused, “Jump when you are ready.”

 “Roger.”  I cranked my free flow valve open and jumped, the cold water slapping up around my wetsuit and seeping into my boots.  “Diver’s in the water.”

 “Roger. Ok, now I don’t want you getting too close, don’t want it sucking you in, alright?”

“Roger that.”  My hat light flicked on and I dropped down a few feet.  “Tell them not to slack me anymore, just walk me back to where we got hit.”

 Jason keyed the mic once and I put my feet on the side of the boat and walked my way aft. The surge of the waves slapped me around a little and my exhaust clouded my vision for a second but then I saw it.

 “Topside, we got a hole. “  I reported.  I stopped and tilted my head back to let them have a better look with the camera. “You see it?”

The Sea Lady had taken a hell of a punch and only sustained minimal damage considering. The side of the hull was dented, red and white paint was scuffed all along the dent and right in the middle, the metal had folded and then torn, creating a foot long gash that was sucking water.

“Yeah we see it, don’t go any closer.”

 “Roger that, they got that sheet ready?” I asked. Inexplicably my mind belched up a vision of Scott, holding the bottom of his blood-soaked t-shirt.

Hey Scott, how’s life?

Great Dave I don’t have any legs…

I closed my eyes and shook my head. “What?” I had missed what Jason said.

“Is it gonna seal that? You gotta dent and a flat sheet.” Jason pointed out. “Will that sheet fit the edges close enough to weld?”

 I leaned a little closer sweeping my light across the damage, “I think we can get it. Let me know when they have it ready.”

“Roger, looks like they almost got it.”

“Jason, where is that shrimp boat?”

 “Hang on.” As he keyed the mic to reply I could hear voices in the back ground.  It sounded like Paul and the company rep.

 As I waited I pulled myself up to the surface along my dive hose and peered upwards. I could make out Mike holding my hose looking down at me. He looked back towards the stern. Following his gaze I could see the crane moving, a sheet of steel hanging from bright yellow rigging.

“Alright, it’s coming over.” The radio crackled.

Something splashed in the water at my face and I grabbed it. A welding lead, and taped to it a bundle of welding rod.  I clipped it to my harness and waited until the metal was in the water before dropping back down a few feet so I could see the hole.

“Ok, Jason tell them to keep swinging left until they are right next to the boat, I’m gonna grab that tag line on it and keep it facing flat until it’s up against the dent.”

 The mic keyed once.

 The sheet of quarter inch swung until it was bumping against the side of the boat.

 “Have them boom down and hold the load about two feet.”  I instructed. “Boom! You got it! Alright, I got the tag line; y’all come straight down with it.”

 The sheet inched down slowly and then as the force of the water rushing into the boat caught it, it stuck to the side of the boat and quit moving about three feet above where I needed it.

 “See that?” I asked Jason.

“Yeah, we are gonna pull it up and then try getting it at the right height and swinging in.”

“Sounds good.” I replied.

The crane pulled the sheet up like a gate valve and swung it away from the boat, this time I guided them until it was the right height and them had them swing it into the boat while I held the tag line keeping it facing the right way.

 It took us two tries to get it lined up perfectly before the force of the water rushing into the ship bowed the metal in giving us a better seal. I dropped in on top of it and struck an arc, running a bead along the

top to secure it in place. The bottom seam wasn’t as close so I had the tenders lower a hammer to me and I beat the edge until it was close enough to weld. I was just finishing up with the bottom weld when
I heard a splash… and there was a body in the water next to me.

 My first thought was oddly enough of an instance three years earlier when I had jumped into the water to help a diver who was working on surface. But I didn’t need help. It was Josh, or was Josh. I couldn’t see his face, but he was wearing a green t-shirt that said SPECIAL in white letters on the front. 

“Jason what the hell?!”

I got no reply.  Josh started to float away and I grabbed for him, dropping the welding electrode and the bundle of rods.

“Topside! What the hell is going on?” Silence. Icy dread started to filter into my brain and I felt the tightness in between your shoulder blades that comes from thinking about monsters when you are in the dark or giant sharks when working in no visibility water. I held onto Josh and fought my way back along the side of the boat, hollering into the comms the whole time and getting no reply. Halfway back to the ladder the dive hose suddenly went slack, dropping me deeper into the water. Josh’s body was trying to sink and I could get no handhold on the side of the boat.

 Struggling to hold onto him and the boat, I pulled on my dive hose frantically, as I dropped deeper into the water. I could feel the pressure building in my ears and finally had to let go of the dive hose to reach my nosepiece and clear. My ears popped and I again grabbed my hose continuing to pull slack trying to keep from dropping any deeper.  I cleared once more.  By the time I finally felt the hose snag I must have dropped sixty feet or so below the surface. And had at least a hundred feet of hose hanging below me.  Looking up I could see the silhouette of the boat lit by the work lights on deck. What was

going on up there? Sudden movement in my hand jerked me back. Josh had started to thrash next to me in the water.

 I almost freaked out, but years of keeping my calm in the water when things got hairy helped me swallow and assess the situation. I grabbed my pnuemo which was bubbling and grasping Josh by the back of his shirt collar I yanked him around to face me. His eyes were wide and his face expressionless. I shoved the pnuemo into his hands but he didn’t recognize it. I tried to shove it into this face but I then his hands went around my shoulders and then he leaned forward and tried to bite me.

The only thing that saved me was my helmet. His teeth bounced off the regulator and I saw one of them break off and go spinning into the dark water below me.  He turned frenzied biting and clawing at my helmet.  He was making some noise or trying to say something but below the water it made a gurgling ‘Urghh!’ sound. His teeth snapped off and his fingernails peeled back as I fought to keep him from my neck.  The blood from his mouth and fingers streaked my faceplate; as he began punching my faceplate, survival instinct kicked in. My dive knife was in my hand and I wrapped my legs around him to give me leverage as I forced his face back with one hand and stabbed him in the chest with the 6 inch blade. It had no effect! Blood surged from the hole in his chest but his attacks did not lessen.  He got a finger hooked into the rubber of my neckdamn and was twisting it allowing water to flood into my helmet.  I had let go of the dive hose as I had pulled my knife and now I could feel the pressure building in my ears and sinuses again. The deeper we got the more frenzied his attacks became until suddenly his face seemed to crumple and he went still. I suddenly ran out of slack and jerked to a halt, the dive hose holding me at whatever depth we had reached. I pulled his hand loose from my neckdamn and kicked him away from me; he sank into the dark water trailing a dark swirl of blood, his arms stretched out to

me almost pleading. As he sank I noticed streaks of green on his forearms and back of his hands mixed with the blood from his fingers.

 Blood! My brain kicked into gear once more and I remembered the barracuda and white tip shark that we had been watching on our water stops.

 A dark shape flashed by and I saw the shark hit Josh’s body once and then turn away, the white tip circled and hit the body again and then the gloom swallowed them.

“Jason?” My voice cracked and I realized my throat was dry. Still no response on the radio. Every nightmare I had ever had seemed to come rushing to my mind all at once.  I was almost hyperventilating and I cracked my free flow to let the compressed air cool my face as I slowed my breathing. A million different thoughts bombarded my mind but I forced them all back and focused on what I had to deal with right then.

 Depth. Unknown,

 Time. I glanced at my watch, I had been in the water for almost two hours, but most of it had been at the five to ten feet level. I had only been at my current depth for a minute or two, however long it had taken me to fight off the…My mind lurched. Zombie?!

Zombie Dive/Page 12

No, Josh had just been panicked and had been trying to get air. The rational part of my mind took over and made everything make sense while the part of my mind that remembered look on his face and the way he had bit my regulator, retreated to a dark corner to cower.

 I slowly began to climb my hose, 30 feet per minute. A conversation with Josh reverberated through my methodical counting as bubbles swirled past my faceplate and I felt my ears pop.

“-since it already had all the things on it that I was going to do to it anyways I figured I might as well buy it.  “He grinned at his own wisdom.

“I guess if you like Toyotas.”

 “Plus it has a bench seat and my girl likes that, she can ride right next to me while I’m driving, if you know what I mean!” He laughed and elbowed Mike who spilled his coffee and cursed.

I got to the bottom of the boat and found the ladder on the side was no longer there, so I made my way to the stern, passing my incomplete patch on the way. The stern of the boat was sitting a little lower in the water than usual and I was able to clamber up on the cow catcher that held the anchor before taking my hat off.

 I un-cammed and the noise level increased as I took the hat off my head and set it down on a pallet of sandbags that sat just to the port side of the starboard anchor. I left my neck dam on.

 The sounds were terrifying. The unearthly noises made by the creatures were not anything I knew human vocal chords could manage.  They were guttural and high-pitched at the same time.  I sat where I was at first unable to believe this was really happening. As my eyes adjusted to the glare from the boats work lights, I began to see.

Zombie Dive/Page 13

 I was not the only survivor. Someone had managed to make it to the dive shack and lock themselves in. The creatures that had at one point been my fellow divers and boat crew were desperately trying to beat their way into the dive shack. Two more creatures were down by the chambers fighting, rolling around on the deck crashing into things and banging each other’s heads into the steel decking. 

I needed to find out who was in the dive shack, and I needed to get to a radio. My plan was to call the Coast Guard and try to save who I could. I had some vague notion of sneaking past the dive station and making it to the wheelhouse, but right as I moved the boat lurched and one of the creatures saw me.

It used to be Pat, one of the new break out divers.  He vaulted over the handrail and dropped to the deck ten feet below, snapping one of his ankles as he did so. But it didn’t stop him. His ankle turned and he continued on, the foot sticking out at a crazy angle. The others didn’t notice him, so I waited until he made his way closer to me. A pry bar was hanging next to the anchor cables but I left it there until the last minute. I wasn’t sure how intelligent these things were, and I didn’t want to give away my only weapon. Instead I remained frozen one hand on the pallet of sandbags, the other at my side poised to snatch the crowbar once the thing that used to be Pat came close enough.

“How was your dive Pat?”

“Great! I made it all the way back to the surface!”

 His face was barely recognizable, twisted up in a distortion of human features that seemed impossible. Facial muscles seemed frozen and bunched beneath the skin, he was grinding his teeth so hard that as I watched one of them snapped loose and popped out with a gush of blood and spit. Pat didn’t notice, however, he just kept shambling toward me, making the eerie sounds I had heard earlier.

“Pat.”  I said his name low, in an attempt to keep the others from hearing.

Zombie Dive/Page 14

He stopped suddenly and cocked his head.

“Pat!” I said it again. “Take it easy man!”

 He looked at me and his mouth moved, “Ur gungun atck!” And he attacked.

As he threw himself at me, his hands reaching out for my neck, my left hand swept his hands aside and my right swung the crowbar point directly into the top of his skull.

Thunk!

“How was your dive Pat?”

“Great! I made it all the way to where Dave killed me with a crowbar!”

His lunge took me back into the water, but he wasn’t moving anymore.  I got one hand on the grating of the cowcatcher and pulled myself back up on the boat. The crowbar was lodged in his head and I had to work to get it loose, finally putting my foot on top of his skull to give me enough leverage to yank it out.  As I pushed his body back into the water, I noticed he had green streaks on his forearms, just like Josh had.

 Something began to click in the back of my head, but I had more worries, my scuffle had attracted the attention of the rest of the zombiefied crew.  I glanced up at the stars, and again the words rose unbidden to my lips, “The Lord bless thee and keep thee, the Lord cause his face to shine upon thee.”

 I spun the crowbar in my hand and counted the creatures lurking toward me.

Mike, Tanner, Jarrod, Paul, the company man Steve and the cook JW.

 

 

Zombie Dive/Page 15

 The conversations got jammed in my head and I backed into a corner where they could only get to me one at a time without crawling over the pallet of sand.

 Twisted features and green streaked forearms, they rushed me in a jumble of grunts and squeals as they died.  I was lying half covered by JW, tangled with Paul on top of the other bodies when I finally

managed to jam my finger far enough into JW’s eye as I held his arms pinned with my legs to make him stop moving. The crowbar was slicked with blood, the  neoprene of the neckdamn that I had wisely left on, was shredded and twisted, blood had soaked my wetsuit sleeves and there was a tooth stuck in o-ring groove of my neck dam. As JW’s body relaxed and fell to the side, I was able to extricate myself.

 I sat on the pallet of sand catching my breath. 

Six.

 I had just killed six men.

Six friends.

Six conversations.

Waves splashed up from the back deck and I absentmindedly bent to wash the blood off my hands.  It was a useless endeavor. So much had soaked into the neoprene of my wetsuit that the more I washed my hands, the more ran out of my cuffs.  I gave up and stood looking toward the dive shack.

 That green stuff on their arms had to be the cause of this. Some kind of chemical the shrimp boat had been carrying. The two tenders on the back when I had jumped had been pulling something out of the

Zombie Dive/Page 16

water on the back deck. Had it been a body or something else? I wasn’t sure, but I was going to find out and be damn careful about it. I glanced at the pile of bodies next to the pallet of sand and heard in my mind the conversations floating up mixed with the benediction.

Bless thee and keep thee, bless thee and keep thee, bless thee and keep-

 I added my own prayer as I turned from my friends, “Help my mind blackout what just happened so it won’t haunt me forever.”

 I swallowed. I had meant it as some wisecrack like they make in the movies after something terrible happens to show they are still ok, but as I had voiced it, it had come out sounding pitiful.

 Whatever, this isn’t a movie.

Hey Scott how’s life?”

Find the green stuff.

 I moved along the deck listening for any more grunts. I could tell there was movement inside the living quarters, but out on deck it was silent.

 I moved to the chamber and looked inside. Spencer was laying still the oxygen mask on his face and reading a book. The scene was so bizarrely normal I had vertigo for a moment and had to grab the side of the chamber. But as I looked again, I saw his hands holding the book were green and-

 Spencer’s face flattened against the porthole glass, gnashing his teeth and clawing at the window. I jerked back and swore. I glanced at his depth and my jaw dropped. 200 feet? My hand went to the valve to bring him up to surface, and stopped.  He wasn’t going anywhere.

 

Zombie Dive/Page 17

I moved on.

Up the stairs to the dive shack. It had been quiet and I wanted to check on whoever had been in there. I reached the top step and glanced toward the wheelhouse. No movement there, either.

 Sweating, I moved slowly and turned the handle to the dive shack. It was locked from the inside.  Figures. I moved around to where I could look in the windows. I peered in and saw Jason sitting on the floor his head between his hands shaking his head back and forth.  I looked closer. There was no green on his arms, but it looked like he was bleeding from his shoulder. I knocked on the Plexiglas.

 He glanced up and I saw relief in his eyes.

 “Open up.”

 He moved to the door and unlocked it.  “Dude! I’m so glad to see you! How did you get out of the water?”

 “What is going on? What happened?”  I moved inside and he locked the door again.

 “I don’t know what this is man! Everyone went crazy all the sudden. I was in here watching you weld and Paul and the company man went to check on Scott and whoever the tenders pulled out of the water and the next-“

“Wait!” I cut him off. “The tenders pulled someone out of the water?”

“Yeah, right when you jumped they pulled body out of the water, and then about an hour later they radioed up to Paul that he needed to come check something out. Next thing I know they all turned into

Zombie Dive/Page 18

zombies and are trying to bash their way into the dive shack. I lost comms when one of them started yanking on the wires and hoses going into the shack.”

“How is your arm?” I asked pointing to his shoulder.

 “I don’t know man, one of them bit me,” He looked at me nervously. “You think I’m gonna turn into one of them now?”

 “Dude, this isn’t a movie, they all have this green stuff on their hands, and you don’t have any green on you so you might be ok.” I used my dive knife to cut his sleeve away, dumped a bottle of water on the wound to wash away the blood, and doused it with the Listerine we used to clean the oxygen masks in the chamber. He winced. I pressed the rolled up sleeve against the wound and bound it in place with duct tape.

 “Now what?” Jason asked.

“Now, we get to the wheelhouse and call the coastguard.” 

“What about the, the-“

 “The rest of the crew?”  I finished for him. “We will deal with them when we get there. Come on.”  I opened the door and led the way out.  “There.”  I pointed to a pinch bar that we used for level winding the anchor winches.  Jason picked it up and hefted it. He nodded and I moved on.

 The way the boat was laid out we had to go through the galley to get to the stairs leading up to the wheelhouse.  I could hear movement. I did the count in my head, 12 left.  I reached for the doorknob to open the door to the galley as Jason flexed his hands on the pinch bar. I yanked it open and all hell broke loose. As the door came open a figure launched from the interior directly into Jason. They went down in

Zombie Dive/Page 19

a pile and as I was turning to help, two more piled out the door. Twisting to face the two new attackers I caught movement from the laundry room door adjacent to the galley.  I slipped halfway through the fight and never made it back to my feet. Jason dispatched the first attacker and managed to swing a vicious steel toed boot into Stan’s head as he sat astride me trying to bite through the neck dam, only to be bowled over by another figure emerging from the laundry room.  I twisted to all fours and made it back to my knees in time to swing the crowbar into the head of one of my attackers only to have it ripped out of my hands as he fell backward. Left with only my dive knife I tackled the creature spouting gibberish into Jason’s face as he held it off with the pinch bar turned sideways and stabbed it in the face until I hit and eye socket and ended the fight for him. Jason surged to his feet and I pushed the body into the path of the last two attackers as they came for us. Jason cracked one of them with the pinch bar to the side of the head and I kicked the feet out from the other one. It fell onto Jason and he staggered backward trying to get a swing at it. I grabbed its feet and pulled it my way but it only unbalanced Jason and sent him crashing to the floor with the creature howling and biting on top.  Grabbing it by the hair I

heaved it up and felt Jason come with it. My dive knife plunged once more into an eye socket and as my blade came away I saw the monsters teeth unfastened from the throat of my long time friend and dive supervisor.

Fresh blood spurted from his neck as I rolled the creature off him and sat him up. He tried to speak but the blood made him gurgle and choke and start coughing. I grabbed a towel from the laundry rack next to us and pressed it to his throat.

“Hang on Jason! Don’t you die man!” I said fiercely. “Dammit don’t you die! Not like this!” I tried to staunch the flow of blood but it just kept pouring out of him. I looked at him helplessly and he knew. He

Zombie Dive/Page 20

grabbed my arm and I took his hand.  “You were supposed to die on bottom, remember? Fighting a shark, or taking off your helmet to make out with a mermaid.”

 He tried to laugh but choked again. “C’mon man…” My voice trailed off and all I could do was watch his eyes and hold his hand as he slowly faded. He jerked once, right at the end and then he was still. My vision blurred and I roughly shoved aside the leg of one of the attackers that lay over Jason’s. The leg belonged to Kenny.

Five more. Five more friends.

 “Plus it’s got a bench seat!”

“How’s life Scott?”

I slowly stood and checked myself.  Aside from a myriad of bruises scrapes and abrasions I had not been harmed. I retrieved my crowbar and because it just felt like the thing to do, I placed the pinch bar in Jason’s lap and put his hands around it.

 “Bless thee and keep thee.” I muttered. “I don’t know what this is, but I’m gonna find out and make whoever is responsible pay.”

 I stepped into the galley and dodged as a creature charged. The attacks were fairly mindless and easily fended off if it was just one at a time. As the figure crashed into the wall behind me I sank the crowbar into its skull and ripped it out as it dropped to the floor twitching.

I paused.

Silence. 

Zombie Dive/Page 21

The sound of movement up the stairs in the living quarters.

Dragging.

Then a bump and silence.

 I advanced on the stairs, trusty crowbar held at the ready. As I climbed I saw the green stuff again, this time streaked on the walls, and on the floor. I reached the first level and peered around the corner. The Captain and the first mate were dragging something down the hall. It was oozing green out of the plastic that was wrapped around it. They disappeared around the corner and I could hear them dragging their burden up the stairs one bump at a time; slowly and methodically, like they had all the time in the world. Like what they were doing wasn’t the creepiest thing I had ever seen. Because as they had turned the corner I had caught a glimpse of their faces. Their eyes were rolled back in their heads and they had chewed their tongues out and were working on their lips.

 As the ship rolled, an unlatched cabin door to my left swung all the way open revealing the last three of the crew sitting on the floor looking confused and rubbing their hands.

Their hands were streaked with green.

 The door swung again and I lost sight of them for brief moment. The nightmare deepened as the door swung wide once more to reveal the crews faces knotted and twisted. Grunts coming from their mouths as they slowly made their way to their feet. 

I dropped the crowbar and lifted the fire axe next to the fire extinguisher.  They never stood a chance.  It was but the work of a few swings as they jammed up in the doorway and three more of my friends were sent on to the next life.

Zombie Dive/Page 22

 Three more conversations that rattled around in my brain mixing hopelessly with the images of Josh’s body dropping down into the murk spinning as the shark hit him and the look in Jason’s eyes as I watched him die.

 “Good bye my friends.” My voice cracked and I let a flood of rage filter in to bolster me.  I made my way to the bottom of the stairs.

 “Let’s finish this!” I made my way resolutely up the stairs toward the wheelhouse.

#

 I sit here staring at a blank screen.

 What do I have to say? What about my life has been worthy of capturing in ink and paper? Even now, the tapping of the keys reminisces of the futile scratching of a trapped rat in a cage. 

 But still…here I sit.

 

It seems so petty when you reach the end. Yet, how many know when it is their time? How many get the chance to watch their lives play out in the final minutes and can hear the chilling tick tock of the clock counting down to the end?

Not many…

  I never thought I would be one of them.

Yet here I am, typing away as the sun drops below the horizon. You would think that after killing everyone on the boat I would have no qualms about taking my own life, but the religious ramifications

Zombie Dive/Page 23

still bother me. I killed everyone in self defense and because they were no longer themselves. Taking my own life even knowing what the future holds might land me somewhere I don’t want to be.

 I guess I will find out.

After all the damage my neck dam had saved me from, it is ironic it was the thing that killed me too. I had dispatched the captain and the first mate as they mindlessly drug the toxic body of the shrimp boat captain around the wheelhouse. Whatever had happened to him had caused all of this. His body was completely covered in the green, to the point that it almost glowed. Somehow in the last few stokes of my ax I had unknowingly splashed some of the green onto the neoprene of my neck dam. As I sat marveling that I was still alive, miraculously unharmed with a functioning radio to contact the Coast Guard, I reached up and pulled the neck dam over my head…smearing that one drop of green along my neck and cheek.

 I knew instantly, the feeling was faint but distinct and no amount of water will get it off.

It burns worse now, and I feel the muscles of my face jump and knot as the sun has finally set.

 I never called the Coast Guard.  I went below decks to the fuel tanks. Fortunately, we were doing a demolition job, removing conductors, and we had explosives on board.  I rigged it the best way I could, and even managed to get the bodies inside one of the fuel tanks. Hopefully,fire will right the wrongs.  If not, this email to the Coast Guard definitely will make sure they treat the explosion and subsequent investigation/cleanup properly.

 So here I sit watching the waves. The clock ticks, as does my life. I will send this when I have mere minutes left to ensure no one arrives on the scene to soon.

Zombie Dive/Page 24

 The green burns! I can feel it pulsing in my veins and in my mind. It drives a wedge in between my sanity and the basic appetites of the body; it makes me want to rage and slaughter! My will to resists wears thin…

 I want-, oh the blood!!!!!ihasdjkvbnj;dskjbnv

Lkds

Djijffffffffflkajesdsaaaagnpe’;kjmfa0peuh fojnf ;KUHEF [O’H

 A;odsuh a’oisdh v;ajbndv jbkadskkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


© Copyright 2019 DavidGrape. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

More Science Fiction Short Stories