Cheerleaders are Actually Very Scary

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

Shaw, Ty, Hadlie, and Mackenzie (aka Brain) are four teenagers who just happen to hunt down some good old zombies. This is just one of their many adventures.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Hadlie said in disbelief. To be honest, I was just as shocked as she was. We were sitting in the school’s courtyard, the four of us posing as students at Henrietta High School for the past week, with limited success, and had just found who we’d been looking for.

And she was certainly not what we expected.

Right now, we were all staring stunned at the monitor, then looking back up at the person it was furiously beeping at. Ty had his eyebrow raised, which meant he was completely floored, and Brain was rubbing his hands together excitedly.

“What are you so happy about?” I demanded.

“Now I get an excuse to wrestle a total hottie to the ground,” he replied eagerly.

“Mackenzie!” Hadlie cried, scolding her brother.

“Sorry, Hadlie,” Brain apologized but waggled his eyebrows at Ty, who gave him the “thumbs up” sign. I groaned and I smacked Brain in the back of the head. Could he be anymore obsessed with his new-found adoration for girls? No, probably not. I’ve never seen anyone hit puberty quite as hard as Brain has.

“You, buddy, will not be the one wrestling, I can assure you of that. I want a girl fight. That would be interesting. I nominate Shaw,” Ty said, ignoring the look I gave him and letting the corners of his mouth pull up. Hadlie choked back a laugh and Brain chortled, his mind reeling with the possibilities.

“Shaw in a catfight. Yeah, brilliant!” he exclaimed and he and Ty bumped fists.

“How about I just zap her with the stun-gun so her already-decaying muscles don’t work for a while, then I kill her again and we just get out of here. I’m sick of looking somewhat presentable,” I told them, gesturing to the “cute” shirt and skirt Hadlie had loaned me. She frowned.

“You don’t like looking girly for once?” she teased.

“Oh so funny. I just want to get back in my trusty Nikes, jeans and t-shirt and find more zombies to kill. Or, re-kill, rather,” I responded.

Yeah, you saw right. Zombies. The four of us, Ty, Brain, Hadlie, and I. Well, we sort of hunt them down. To, you know, rid the world of the living dead. You’d be amazed at the lengths they go through to save themselves from dying again. And the lengths they go through to avenge themselves. Normally, when a ghost finds their body, they launch back into the life they once had but with an extra few twists. They want revenge for dying, whether or not it was someone else’s fault. So was the case for Ashley Ray.

“This is a total bummer story,” Brain informed us after pulling up her info. Where Brain gets all his information about our dead friends, I have no idea. Anyway, we all gathered around his top-of-the-line PC to see the story for ourselves. Turns out, this Ashley chick was a cheerleader at Bowie High School and was killed in a car accident during her junior year. She’d been buried in the cemetery of a neighboring town, Henrietta, and once she figured out she could do it, bam! Body, meet soul. Again.

Thus we had Ashley, the demon cheerleader from Bowie. Who was now wreaking havoc on Henrietta’s cheer squad. She’d tried out and made it, amazingly, and was now “dropping” girls right and left. Heavy makeup covered her face and she always wore long sleeves. She claimed she had a skin condition and she was right. It was the decaying flesh of a body that should not be in use anymore.

“So, how are we going to lure this girl into the cemetery?” Brain asked. Hadlie was already formulating a plan and Ty watched Ashley with a steady gaze. A girl was right next to Ashley, seemingly doting on her.

“Oh, that’s Holly Layne. She’s in my chemistry class. She and Ashley are, like, BFF, you know? But I’m pretty sure that Holly has, like, no idea that her best friend is a zombie. When most people find out about, like, a zombie in their midst, they kind of, you know, freak,” Hadlie explained, seeing me looking at Holly.

 “Yeah, they, like, freak,” Ty said, mocking Hadlie. She scowled at him.

“Okay, Had, then you should get all buddy-buddy with Holly and Ashley, okay? We’ll get her to trust us and then our job is practically over,” I told her.

“Yeah, except for the killing-her-again part,” Ty noted. We ignored him.

“Okay, sounds good,” she said agreeably. The bell rang, signaling us to our next class and Brain tagged behind me.

“Um, Shaw? So, when can I do something other than know everything about the zombies? I kind of want to kick decaying butt,” he asked.

“Buddy, right now, without you, we’d be in huge trouble. Stick with what you know and maybe you’ll get to kill a zombie someday. Maybe,” I said. He grinned and I was seriously beginning to worry about our sanity. What kid looks forward to killing a zombie outside of video games? Jeez.

Lost in thought, I slammed into a guy who was stopped in front of me. I vaguely recognized him; he was in my history class. I don’t know his name and don’t really plan to find out. It’s not like I’m going to keep permanent roots in this little Texas town anyway.

“Sorry,” I muttered.

“No, it’s cool. I’m Tanner,” he said and held out his hand. I shook it reluctantly.

“Shaw,” I responded.

“Yeah, I know,” Tanner said and grinned before going into the class.

Gosh, even the living people here are a little creepy.

That night, after we’d all taken showers in the motel room we’d rented for the week, I asked Hadlie how things went in chemistry. She said that Holly was all for hanging out with her and asked if Ashley could join. Of course, Hadlie said yes. So, tomorrow would tell if our stay at the Mom and Pop Motel would be shorter than we expected it to be.

But the next day was when things got a little bit crazy. I woke up to Ty and Brain arguing about the last muffin. They’d stupidly put it on the table next to them, so, while they were still immersed in the fight, I walked over, picked it up, and ate it. They didn’t even notice for a full five minutes, after I’d brushed my teeth and changed in the bathroom and everything. They were none too happy with me either. Then, after second period, I’d seen Hadlie and Ashley talking in the halls. It seemed to be going well until I saw Hadlie say the word “cemetery”. Her lie that she was spinning was that she was going to drop flowers by her grandfather’s grave and would love to hang out with Ashley after. But the word “cemetery” gave us all the clues we needed to know we had the right girl, should Brain’s technology have failed us earlier. Hadlie asked what was wrong and Ashley had numbly said “nothing” and walked away. Hadlie raised her eyebrows at me and I nodded.

When I turned to go to my math class, the class I had before lunch, I saw Tanner talking to some of his friends. He looked up and made eye contact and began to walk toward me. And I started to panic. What could he possibly want? We didn’t have history homework, we’ve only known each other for a few days, the only conversation we’ve had was us telling each other our names. It’s not as if he could…

“Shaw, hey,” Tanner said, interrupting my rapid-fire thoughts.

“Hi Tanner,” I said back, my voice sounding weird.

“So, I’m not normally this forward, but I was wondering if you’d want to go get a burger with me sometime this weekend?” he asked, his brown eyes big and round.

Oh gosh, oh gosh, oh gosh. “Uh, sure,” I squeaked out. His face broke into a huge smile.

“Great! I’ll, um, talk to you more about it later. Awesome. Uh, thanks Shaw!” he exclaimed.

I went through math in a daze, not believing that I’d said yes to Tanner. Hadlie would be thrilled that I was going on a date. Brain would no doubt make fun of me. Ty…he may not share Hadlie’s enthusiasm, I assume.

And I was right.

“He asked you what?!” Ty demanded at lunch, nearly choking on his pizza. Hadlie smiled and nodded her approval. I wasn’t so sure. Ty and I…well, we both know we “like” each other but it’s never been completely addressed. So we’re both awkward around each other but still are best friends. It’s super confusing and weird but that’s how it is. Talk about romantic tension, yeesh.

“Dang. Shaw on a date. I never thought I’d see the day,” Brain said, shaking his head. I groaned. Not only was zombie hunting fun, it also brought along a bunch of drama. Ugh.

Of course, Hadlie had to know all the little details I knew about Tanner and Ty’s face proved that he was hating every minute of this fine Wednesday afternoon. Part of me wanted Hadlie to shut up and put Ty out of his misery. The other part of me was elated that he was so jealous of Tanner. Don’t you just love internal conflicts? They’re just the greatest. Not.

“Oh, I gotta idea,” Brain said. Brain is really smart, hence his name, with academics and stuff. He’s basically a genius. But when it comes to things like common sense or practical ideas, for example, he kind of lacks. So most of the time when he says “I have an idea”, we either ignore him or tell him to focus on the computer. Rude but effective. Anyway, we were all just ignoring him, knowing he won’t act without an audience.

Turns out, he’s starting to outgrow the need for a pep squad thing, because he just went ahead and flung some cafeteria mashed potatoes via spork at Ashley who was sitting a few tables over.  And you know that went over real well with the rest of the room. It kind of makes you wonder what these small town kids to for fun, because the next thing I knew, food was flying everywhere, accompanied by hysterical laughter that resonated off the walls. I was joyfully thinking of every curse word and directing them at my favorite pubescent computer geek, who was grinning like a madman.

I was about to wring his neck when I realized what he’d done. Ashley’s makeup was getting smeared from the food that had hit her face and you could just barely see a bit of rotting flesh beneath the layers of blush and cover up. But it wasn’t enough for the masses to realize that something was seriously off with this new cheerleader. Ashley ran to the bathroom and I could already see the powder being pulled from her bag. I wondered where Holly was and realized that she had gone to the principal’s office and I clenched my teeth. So Brain did get us in trouble after all. And his plan hadn’t even worked.

I’ll refrain from going into major detail, but basically we all got chewed out. Well, not all of us, just Ty and Brain, who were the only ones that threw food. Hadlie and I had hid under a table, which was pretty brilliant, actually. But she and I did have to sit in front of the office, listening to the boys get yelled at. Principal Barner does not appreciate the “unnecessary and violent throwing of edibles”. Brain got a good laugh out of that.

“So, now what?” Ty asked later that night. I shrugged.

“I could try to befriend her,” I offered half-heartedly. Ty snorted.

“Yeah, you and your incredible people skills,” he scoffed. I rolled my eyes.

“I can be an angel when I want to,” I objected.

“I guess you’ve never wanted to then.”

“You’re impossible.”

“You’re bossy.”

I laughed. “So I shouldn’t try to be her friend?”

“No, you’d probably end up saying something stupid that would let on that we know about her. You’re a great fighter and leader, just not so great at being a bubbly teenager, which is what Ashley is going to relate to,” acknowledged Ty realistically. I nodded and was mad at myself for not having any more ideas.

Ty ran his hand through his short, almost black hair. He is really attractive, I noted and hoped my face wasn’t as red as it felt. I watched the way he folded his clothes back into his suitcase, his arms tanned and relatively muscular. Why have I never noticed how handsome he was until now?

Then I got it.

“Ask her on a date,” I told him. Ty looked at me, dumbstruck, his left eyebrow raised. I had to look up to see his face properly; the guy is eighteen years old and a little over six feet tall. And then there was me, five and a half feet tall and still seventeen. Isn’t it illegal for an adult to date a minor? So much for he and I having a relationship. But my personal woes aren’t the problem at hand.

“Ask who on a date? You’re already taken, apparently,” Ty said, the bitterness in his voice obvious. Okay, so maybe we can just break a few more laws.

“Ashley! Ask her on a date. She’ll say yes, I know it,” I said, hiding how happy I was over his jealousy.

“You want me to go on a date with a zombie?” Ty asked bluntly.

“Uh, yeah, I guess. But we could double! You and Ashley and me and Tanner! Excellent. And then I’d ditch Tanner and you lure Ashley to the cemetery where Brain, Hadlie, and I are waiting and bam! We’ve got her!” I exclaimed, really proud of my plan.

“I’ve got a date with a zombie,” Ty said again.

“Wasn’t that, like, a Disney Channel movie a long time ago or something?” Hadlie asked, coming out of the bathroom, her hair wet from the shower.

“I think that was ‘Mom’s got a date with a Vampire’ but close enough,” I corrected. Hadlie nodded.

“Hey, can I start driver’s ed soon? I’ve been fifteen for, like, three months,” she asked.

“And the random question of the day goes to Hadlie,” I announced. “Now everyone go to bed. We’ve got a zombie to capture this weekend.”

Thursday was just majorly boring. I felt like a normal kid; it was terrible. I’m so used to doing my own thing and not having homework or adults correcting me or whatever. I’ve been on my own since I was twelve, thank you very much. I can clearly take care of myself. The only minor excitement was that Ty asked Ashley on a date (when she said “yes”, it was a little too enthusiastic for my liking) and Tanner was cool with the double date thing.

During my last class of the day, English, I really started to zone out. I always keep my little wallet of pictures in a pocket or tucked into my waistband or wherever it will fit, so I quietly looked through them. There was Hadlie and Brain when we’d all first met, two years ago. A picture of the four of us after our first joint zombie kill. A picture of Ty smiling. A picture of Ty ready to fight, looking murderous.

We met when we were all tracking the same living dead guy, Brett Hampton. He’d been this murderer that no one really knew much about because he only killed, like, two people and it was pretty obvious he did it. So, he got the death penalty. My dad was the foreman for that jury. When Hampton figured out that he could come back, about six months after his death, his first thought was to kill my dad. Which he accomplished. Along with killing my mom too. I had been upstairs and heard the commotion, so I called 9-1-1. Needless to say, I was more than a little angry. And upset. And confused. But more on that later. For my parents, the cops pinned it on Hampton’s girlfriend, who is serving a life sentence in jail. Not my fault that she picked the wrong guy to date.

Anyway, this Hampton punk made his way east, causing a ruckus all the way from Stillwater (where I lived in Oklahoma), to Chicago (where Hadlie and Brain lived), to Manhattan (where Ty lived). Hadlie and Brain had been hunting zombies with their parents for a while before they disappeared out of nowhere. Hadlie was determined to live up to their expectations of her. It helped that Brain, who was only 11 at the time, knew everything about zombie-tracking technology. And Ty had just come across Hampton in Central Park. In Ty’s words “he smelled and looked weird”. I don’t know how a New Yorker defines weird (jeez, have you ever been to the city? Their “normal” is so not my definition) but apparently Hampton was even more off than the people who lived there. So Ty just followed Hampton around and soon enough, he ran into Hadlie and Brain who then all ran into me right as I was cornering the murderer. Ty had demanded to know what the deal with the guy was, so we told him and I got the full explanation of what exactly Hampton was from Hadlie and Brain.

Thus the Zombie Nightmare Squad was born, or ZNS. And we’ve been together ever since. A pretty neat story, if I do say so myself. And, bonus, we even have t-shirts with “ZNS” on the front.

“Uh, Shaw?” I heard and looked up, startled out of my recollections. It was my teacher.

“Yeah?” I asked.

“The bell rang.”

I looked around and everyone was leaving. Feeling like an idiot, I quickly gathered my stuff and shot out of the classroom. School was out and I had to make some final plans for tomorrow’s excitement.

The rest of the day went without anything noteworthy, but Friday was a completely different story. Firstly, it was my first real date and I prayed that Tanner wouldn’t try to kiss me. Seventeen years old and I’ve never been kissed because I’m holding out for a certain zombie hunter…should he ever realize that my stubbornness and sarcasm is actually me screaming “Kiss me, you fool!”. Boys can be so incredibly stupid.  

Anyway, the school day ended and I was glad. If everything went as planned, I’d never have to attend Mrs. Jenkin’s pre-cal class ever again. And before I knew it, Tanner and I were sliding into a booth at Cal’s Burger Land and Ty and Ashley got in across from us.

I felt really bad about Tanner. He was genuinely trying to make conversation with me and get to know his date but I was totally distracted, just wanting the date to be over so my night could really begin.

“So, Shaw, what’s your biggest fear?” Tanner asked. Ty was making stilted conversation with Ashley but I could see him straining to hear my answer. But it wasn’t like I could tell either of them my actual biggest fear. It’s so embarrassing.

“Spiders. I hate spiders,” I lied. Tanner nodded empathetically.

“Yeah, they’re pretty sick. I’m afraid of, this is going to sound stupid, but I’m scared of zombies. I know they aren’t real but I saw this movie once and, man, I can’t watch zombie movies anymore,” he confessed. It was all I could do to not bust out laughing. If only he knew that he was sitting across from one.

After I’d finished my amazingly greasy burger and fries, I faked a stomachache and sent Ty a meaningful glance. He barely nodded but I knew he understood what I was telling him.

“Hey, Ashley, let’s go for a walk,” he suggested and his eyes darted to me on the word “for”. The gang and I, well, we’re pretty smart, so we try to incorporate double meanings in our sentences to tell each other things that normal people won’t catch. So when Ty said “for” he was telling me “forty” because it wasn’t going to take just four minutes to get rid of Tanner and lure Ashley to the cemetery.

“Shaw, are you okay?” Tanner asked. I shook my head.

“I think I ate too much or something. I don’t feel well at all,” I moaned. Tanner nodded.

“Okay, should I just take you home?”

“Do you mind?”

“Not at all. Nice to meet you, Ty,” Tanner said and shook Ty’s hand. Ty looked at Tanner coldly.

“A pleasure,” Ty said. Tanner forced a smile and nodded to Ashley before “helping” me to his truck and taking me back to the motel.

When we pulled up, Tanner looked like he wanted to kiss me and put his hand on mine. So I decided desperate times called for desperate measures and threw the door open and made barfing noises. I felt horrible about lying to Tanner because he seemed like a great guy and any girl would be lucky to have him. Just not this girl.

“Oh gosh, Shaw, I’m so sorry,” he said.

“No, it’s cool. Thanks for dinner. I’ll see you around,” I said weakly as he walked me to the door, one arm around my shoulders. I waved goodbye as he left and turned around to Brain and Hadlie.

“Butt kicking time,” I said, rubbing my hands together. They both cheered and we donned our gear of black clothes, boots, flashlights, and knives. See, that’s the only way to kill a zombie: you kind of have to butcher them. But it isn’t as gross as it sounds because they don’t have blood, so you’re just hacking off limbs and heads (you have to cut everything apart because zombies don’t technically need a head to live). It’s like putting a banana into a blender set on “chop”. You can’t leave anything untouched.

Turns out, forty minutes was the primo amount of time to get everyone to the cemetery. Ty had told Ashley that he was visiting Hadlie’s grandfather’s grave because the man was the only real father-like figure in his life. And, amazingly, Ashley was so wrapped up in Ty’s attention that she hadn’t objected. That was her biggest mistake. The rest of the ZNS had arrived just before Ty and Ashley had.

“What’s his name?” Ashley asked Ty. Ty stalled for a minute and saw a random headstone.

“Don Lyles.”

“Oh, that’s cool. Here he is,” Ashley said and pointed.

“Yeah, good find,” Ty said. And that was when we attacked.

On the upside, we had the element of surprise and numbers. On the downside, girls apparently don’t like it when their date throws them to the ground. Okay, so maybe some do but they need serious help. Ashley did not appreciate it when her head smacked against a neighboring headstone and she was momentarily dazed. Hadlie hauled her up and then pushed her face down and tied her hands together. It’s easier to kill someone while they’re incapacitated.

But I guess cheer really gives your muscles that extra boost, even when they’re rotting, because Ashley the cheerleader leapt up and spun around, smacking Hadlie across the face and causing her to stumble and crash into the dirt. She moaned and I saw that she had landed badly on her arm. Crap.

Brain and Ty ran at Ashley full force, but Ashley kicked out, catching Brain in the stomach and his breath went out with a whoosh. Brain wanted to fight so badly but one more look at Ashley’s murderous face told him that he should catch his breath and stay out of this particular battle. He ran to his sister’s side, helping her up and beginning to look at her arm.

And I stood there, next to Don Lyle’s headstone, as Ty and Ashley engaged in a full on fight. Ty had managed to dislocate Ashley’s shoulder, so her left arm was practically useless, but she was still a pretty good fighter with her right arm and legs. It looked like Ty was winning, getting in better hits and kicks than Ashley could. Ty would never, ever hit a living girl. He, however, had no problems with female zombies. And thank goodness; he was the best street fighter I’d ever seen. Anyway, right as Ty was about to knock her out so we could start chopping her up, Ashley pulled a dirty trick.

She was on her stomach on the ground, moaning, and Ty was about to kick her head in (he always does this part because zombies have brains and it’s disgusting when they go outside of the cranium and I get squeamish) when her right arm shot out and yanked his foot out from under him. He didn’t have time to catch himself and I was too far away to do anything to help him. Ty fell backwards and cracked the back of his head on another gravestone and slammed his shoulder on it. His eyelids fluttered and closed. The cemetery was silent for the longest second in history before I launched myself forward, screaming, watching my worst fear play out in front of my eyes. Ty getting hurt. Ty dying.

I actually don’t remember fighting and dismembering her. All I could think was “not Ty, not Ty, not Ty” and my hands and the knife in them did all the work. When I sat up, blowing my hair out of my face, there were just a bunch of chopped pieces of body left. Disgusted, I turned away and dropped the knife by its case. I was amazingly calm as I grabbed the first aid kit and walked over to Ty, who was half-conscience now.

“Shaw?” he mumbled.

“Yeah, I’m here,” I replied.

“You okay?”

I smiled. “Eh, I’ll need a few stitches and I think I may have fractured my wrist in the fight.”

“I’ll take care of myself. You go set your wrist.”

“No, I can do that in a minute. You need stitches, too, and my immediate attention. We’ll go to the hospital and just say we were in a car crash or something.”

“Shaw?” he asked again.


He sat up and before I could ask him what the heck he was doing, he’d leaned in and kissed me. Planted a big one right on my lips, his head slightly slanted, his hand on my neck, and I let go. It was amazing, letting Ty kiss me. And me kissing Ty back. When my head started feeling like a deflating balloon, I just figured it was because I loved how I was feeling. Then he broke back, panting.

“I have to breathe,” he whispered. I swallowed gulps of air and was glad that he had some sense in him or else I probably would have passed out for lack of oxygen.

Yes, I would rather faint than not kiss Ty. Sad fact of life.

I heard Hadlie and Brain picking up the pieces of body and putting them into a decomposable (we at the ZNS try to go green every now and again) bag. A few minutes later, I saw Hadlie launch the bag over the fence so some animal would find it. Her curly blond hair glowed in the darkness and I could just see Brain’s similar-looking head gathering our stuff. Had’s arm was in a makeshift sling. We’d get that fixed later.

The hospital was a blur. I don’t remember our excuse, but we paid the small medical staff for their services. Hadlie and I had casts, me for my wrist and her for her lower arm, whatever that bone is. I also got a few stitches on my chin and Ty got some for the back of his noggin. Brain started to complain about his stomach where he claimed to have “sensitive skin”. I raised my eyebrow and pointed to Ty, who had a black eye, stitches, and would have a horrible bruise on his right shoulder courtesy of the large headstone. Brain didn’t really say much after that.

We all crashed into bed, too exhausted to shower or anything. The next morning, we looked like death had paid us a visit (which it sort of had…) and resigned ourselves to watch reruns of “The Price Is Right” and sleep. We took our pain meds and none of us were awake after nine that night. 

On Sunday, we were a bit more mobile. I called school and said in my best adult voice that Hadlie and Mac Calvin, Shaw James, and Ty would no longer be attending Henrietta High School. Principal Fred Barner sounded relieved and to call him if we needed transcripts or anything. Yeah, right. That day was generally lazy, too, with the exception of me going to the grocery store to buy a few things we could take on the road.

“So,” Ty said when we were packing that night. I looked at him, his face still sunken after the cemetery rendezvous. He moved stiffly, like everything hurt. But I guess fighting a demonic cheerleader will do that to a person.

“So,” I replied back.

“Friday night was nice.”

I barked a laugh. “What part?”

“Oh, you know, the part where my shoulder slammed into the hunk of granite that had some dead person’s name inscribed in it,” he said sarcastically. I blushed a little (or a lot) and let my straight-as-a-board brown hair fall in front of my face. Only for it to be pushed away by Ty’s hand.

“Yeah, it was nice,” I said quietly and looked sheepishly into his eyes, afraid of what I might see in the dark irises.

“Shaw…” he began. Then, of course, Brain bursts in.

“Hey, guys, I—,” he exclaimed but Hadlie’s groan from behind him cut off his sentence.

“Brain, they were totally having a moment. Get your butt back here,” she hissed and yanked his t-shirt back and out the door.

Ty and I laughed awkwardly before quieting and looking at each other again.

“You’re eyes kind of look like emeralds when you’re happy,” he said. And, I’m sorry, but I cracked up all over again.

“Ty, romantic lines do not suit you,” I told him and he hung his head but I saw his shoulders shaking with his typical silent laughter.

“Dang it,” he grumbled. But the boy likes surprise kisses, so he just kind of grabbed me again and kissed me. Not that I objected or anything…

“Shaw, I think I love you,” he murmured.

“Great, now that we have your feelings narrowed down.”

I would’ve gladly kissed Ty until the end of the century, but Brain banged on the door about six seconds after my last comment, announcing that he had to go to the bathroom. Hadlie grinned at me before laying down on our bed and flipping through a magazine she’d picked up from the lobby.

A knock on the door brought us out of our recollections from Friday night and I was surprised to see Tanner standing there, rocking on his heels.

“Hey, I was just wondering if you were okay…” he said, trailing off when he saw my cast.

“Yeah, let’s go outside,” I told him and closed the door behind me, refusing to look at Ty.

“So, what’s up?” Tanner asked me as we stood awkwardly by the door.

“Um, I’m leaving. Forever. We both know that I’m not exactly normal and it would just be better for both of us if we forgot this whole past week.” I watched Tanner’s face as emotions flickered through it. Shock, confusion, sadness. I felt bad that I’d sort of dropped this bomb on him like that but I don’t want him pining for me.

“So, you’ll never come back?” he asked after a minute.

I shook my head. “Probably not. I’m sorry.”

“It’s, uh, it’s okay. And I like that you aren’t the normal girl; the world needs more people like you,” he told me. If only he knew how true his statement was.

“So, see ya. Thanks again for Friday night; it was a lot of fun,” I said honestly.

“Yeah, you’re welcome. Stay safe,” Tanner replied and got in his truck and drove off.

I felt sort of drained after saying bye to Tanner. I obviously didn’t like him. But I do hope that he finds some lucky girl who will stick with him and has a fear of zombies like he does.

“We’re headed out in the morning, guys,” I announced to them before we went to bed.

“Where we going?” Brain, of course, asked.

“I don’t know yet. We’ll find out eventually,” I said with my usual planning skills, and then we all dropped off to sleep.

Monday morning was interesting. Ty “acquired” a Toyota Camry, I paid the motel people for a week’s stay, and the four of us piled into the car. We’d barely hit the highway, headed north to Oklahoma, when my cell phone (I just pay every month at any AT&T store nationwide; it’s wonderful) rang. The caller ID made me groan.

“Hey, failures,” I said when I hit the little green phone button.

“Wow, thanks, Shaw. We’ve got another mission for you,” Mason Carter told me.

Mason and Jake Carter are Ghostbusters. Yes, they do indeed exist. Basically, their job is to find and send the ghosts back to wherever they came from before they can get to their body. When the GBs fail, the ZNS comes in for the save. Of course, there are more than just four zombie hunters and more than just two GBs but the 24-year-old Carter twins (apparently, age does not bring more responsibility) are the only ones we know of. How we met them is an interesting story, involving balloon animals and Skittles, but that’s for another time.

“Fantastic. Where?” I asked.

“San Antonio, Texas.”

“Which is where?”

“South of Henrietta.”

“Great. What’s going on down there?”

“Well, some Alamo victims are none too happy about the Mexican heritage that is such a part of San Antonio…” Mason said, trailing off.

“We’ll be down there ASAP. Thanks, Mason,” I told him and hung up.
“Where to?” Ty asked me.

“San Antonio. We need a map,” I answered.

“And southbound we go,” Ty said, making a U-turn at the next chance. The car was quiet, Hadlie and Brain asleep in the backseat, me thinking, Ty focusing on finding a gas station to get a map.

I wish time could just freeze right here and now, with everyone safe and relatively uninjured. This is how a girl was supposed to live: with the ones she loved.

And then Brain ripped one in his sleep, Hadlie woke up long enough to smack him, Ty busted out laughing and almost caused us to swerve into another lane where a lady was driving in her Lexus, and I screamed because I thought I was going to die due to a certain someone’s methane emissions or because of Ty’s driving ability, or lack thereof. And should I survive the ride, I’d have to fight more zombies who were actually trained in the art of war.

But the funny thing is that if I was going to endure the drive and fight, I wouldn’t want anyone else besides my little crew next to me. That’s just the way it is.

Submitted: November 19, 2009

© Copyright 2022 Lynlee Rae McCord. All rights reserved.

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Mistress of Word Play

I love zombies and this was really neat. You had some great characters a good story line and one really nice story. You told it really well. I give it an I like it.
Susan :)

Wed, November 25th, 2009 3:30am


I think I might make a novel/series thing with these. Have a collection of the adventures of the ZNS...what do you think? Thanks for the comment/reading!

Wed, November 25th, 2009 5:17pm

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