Dead Storm

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
This was an idea I had since I was younger. I have always been terrified of tornados, and thought it would be an intereating spin (pun intended) to throw in the undead.

Submitted: December 30, 2015

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Submitted: December 30, 2015

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Dead Storm

 

Fear manifests itself in numerous forms, for some it's snakes, for others it might be demons or just the darkness itself. It just so happened my fear was tornadoes, Lilapsophobia, the doctor called it. I had been visiting Dr. Herbert for over 5 years now for chronic anxiety, yeah, I have a number of issues with anxiety, but tornadoes are that dreaded centerpiece on my table of panic. “Eric, tornadoes happen, you can't sit and focus on the worst every time a storm comes, have you never looked at the sky during a storm and saw the beauty that comes with the patterns of lightning?” Dr. Herbert asked in his gravelly but somehow comforting voice. “Most of the storms are bad around here, yes, but tornadoes don't happen with every storm, i'm starting to sound more like a meteorologist than a doctor with you” the doctor laughed, but I could sense some agitation, he was most likely getting frustrated with the fact that he could not help me, no matter the methods he used. “Just keep practicing your deep breathing techniques to keep that blood pressure under control, I really don't plan on putting you on any more medications until it's really necessary, Eric, you're an intelligent man, you'll find a way to overcome this phobia”. This was the same turnout that always happens when I leave the doctor, he was a caring man, but like everyone else, couldn't understand what I was dealing with. If only he had more empathy and less ink for the prescriptions.

As I walked to my car I saw someone bent over near one of the other parked cars, he looked a bit faint, I walked over to see if he needed any assistance to the nearby doctors office, but as soon as I stepped near him, I could see him heaving fiercely, and immediately vomited onto the scalding pavement, this poor man, had just expelled a few pints of blood within seconds. I sprinted back to the office to let the staff know what had just happened. “there's a man out here who looks like he just came out of a horror movie, he's going to need help fast.” The nurses ran out to the collapsed and pale man, i've seen some sick people in my life, but this guy was knocking on death's door. I finally got to my car and decided it would be a good idea to head to the nearest bar for a beer to calm the nerves down a bit. Once I reached the bar, it was 3:00 in the evening, so it was dead. This was a small little bar called “The Jail Cell”, a very fitting name for the building. There was one window in the whole bar, the walls were chipped away concrete, it wasn't anything special, it had your typical pool table so you could pass the time as you spent your money on the watered down beer. Once I walked in the stench of cheap cigars and house scotch hit my nose, a few of the locals were in here playing pool. I walked up to Linda, the bartender, who I had recently became quite close with, maybe it was the frequent visits, or she wanted a good tip, either way it was nice to have interaction with a person that didn't pass judgement. “What's on tap today?” I asked, pulling a cigarette out of my pocket. “You already have enough worries, do you really want cancer to be another one?” Linda asked jokingly. I laughed, “You're right, but it's a necessity after the day i've been having so far.” I said with a smile. “Now, what's to drink here, doll?” Linda poured me a pitcher of Miller Highlife, “here, I know you're good for it, but I got this one for you” she said mixing a drink of her own. I thanked her, and immediately drank it.

I left the bar feeling a little relaxed and headed home, the clouds were gathering overhead, so I got home as quick as possible to beat the rain. I opened the door to be greeted by my Laborador, Jake, he seemed a bit nervous, it was probably from the approaching rain, as they say, most animals take on certain trains of their owners. I sat down in my recliner, if that's what it is still classified as, it barely even has a cushion to on it these days. I turned on the television to see a warning go across the current program. “Dangerous storm conditions expected later on tonight, tune in at 5:30 for the full forecast, if any updates are provided, we will be interrupting routine programming, stay tuned...” the warning banner read. My heart sank, “fucking perfect” I exclaimed. I went outside to observe the clouds, and as I walked outside I could hear muffled yells coming from inside the neighbor's home. Thinking, it was just another one of his drunken fights,with his girlfriend I walked back in after noticing not much has changed with the weather. An hour passes by and I hear sirens coming down the road, they are getting closer and closer, eventually they pull up to my neighbors house, I watch them take the neighbors girlfriend and place her onto a gurney, the sheet is covered in blood, and she is trying her best to get out from the straps, she's obviously in a panic. They eventually get her loaded onto the ambulance after several minutes of her throwing violent tantrums and spitting up blood. I walked over to John, the neighbors' to see what had happened, the door was still ajar, and he was no where to be seen. There was a terrible stench coming from the place, it smelt of bile and iron, it was so overwhelming I turned back to head home, and I hear footsteps approach me. I turn around to see John covered in blood, none which appeared to be his own. “she lost so much blood man, it was a fucking nightmare, she just kept throwing it up, I told her to quit drinking so damn much!” Thinking earlier, of the man at the doctor's office with the same ailment I didn't want to put him in anymore of a burden I kept that detail to myself, and just offered to drive him to the hospital, confused at why he didn't go with his girlfriend, I asked him “why are you still here, shouldn't you be with her right now” John got really quiet and finally says “man, I will be honest, i'm a little scared to see her that way” Still confused by it all, but not wanting to hang around that God awful smell any longer I said “I understand, if you need anything, you know where im at” I left, and John shut the door to hopefully go clean himself of his girlfriends blood.

Walking back home, I kept thinking to myself about the man at the doctor, and now this. Something wasn't right, maybe the news will have some coverage of this. It was 5:30, so I anxiously awaited the weather report, the news comes on and immediately gets on to the main topics, that being the severe storms on the way. “We've got the perfect conditions for a severe weather outbreak, it will be affecting mostly the Southern and Midwestern states. A massive low pressure system will be moving towards the area and with the heat of the day any storm systems will only be made stronger.” I've heard this all before and most of the time it never affects the area I live in, but it doesn't make things any easier with the next bit of information that is broadcast. “Severe storms will be moving in around 8:00 PM tonight, there is going to be an immediate danger of tornadoes with these cells, so if a storm is nearing make sure to prepare for shelter, if you do not have a storm shelter, there will be shelters opening up tonight, if you're in a mobile home do not, I repeat, do not stay there get to one of these shelters and stay there.”

I was in a full blown panic at this point, living in Alabama, put us at one of the worst locations for the storms. The nervous meteorologist finished off his forecast and the news immediately went to the story that would explain the very ill man outside the office and the neighbors wife. “A very lethal strain of the Rabies virus has seen to be spreading through the air and has sprung up almost over night, very little is known about the virus except that it seems to have mutated with Encephalitis Lethargica, or sleeping sickness, the disease spreads through the nervous system slowing down the body, while destroying numerous blood vessels through, massive hemorrhaging and violent tantrums occur in the early stages, brain damage, and death eventually follow afterwards.”

I had to turn off the television, or I was going to have a panic attack again. This day went from bad to worse and is only going to spiral more into disarray as time goes by. I walked outside for a smoke, and a breath of fresh air, as contradictory as it was. The wind was picking up bad and the clouds were becoming darker and darker, I saw that John's truck was gone when I looked towards his house. He was either heading to the hospital or a storm shelter since he lived in a mobile home. I don't live in a mobile home, but it still was not equipped with a storm shelter, unfortunately I was going to have to head to one of the local shelters as well. Off in the distance I could hear what sounded like something dragging, followed by a thud, the closer the sound got the more detail I could hear. I looked down the street to see John, still covered in a crimson mess, and limping. “Hey man, are you alright?!” I yelled, thinking he had been in a wreck. John didn't answer. “What the hell happened to you?” I yelled once more, this time John stopped, he was about a quarter of a mile away, and he immediately starts running towards a jogger that was coming down the sidewalk. As he ran I could see that his leg was clearly broken, with each step his leg twisting in a horrible angle, I could almost hear the bones popping. Before I could yell to warn the woman exercising, John had already gotten to the woman. At first I thought maybe he was running to get to her for help with his injuries, but why would he make it worse by running on his broken leg? Then my confusion was shattered and formed into fear, as he grabs the woman, and bites into her neck, John was covered in even more blood that wasn't already his, he tore away at her face next, and then John raises up, as if he hears something in the distance, he runs off towards the noise, unheard by me. I was lost, I had no idea what to do, so I went inside for a moment to catch my bearings, then ran back out to help the attacked woman. I had to be careful, as the rabid neighbor could be anywhere, once I arrived to the, what appeared to be, lifeless body, I could see how bad the injuries had been. He tore most of her face off, leaving exposed nasal cavities, her jaw at an unnatural angle, dripping with blood, most of her teeth had been broken down into pieces. I nearly fainted at the sight, but somehow managed to pull myself together, but in my panic, I had forgotten my cell phone in the house. “Fuck” I muttered under my rapid breathing.”I will be back, just try to hang in there” I told the lifeless body, I wasn't sure why I did this, maybe it was just me telling myself that to feel better about the fucked up situation going on. I ran back towards the house and grabbed the phone, once I got back outside, the mutilated body was nowhere to be seen. How could this be? She was near death, and lost way too much blood to be conscious. Whether it was adrenaline or stupidity I have no clue what made me do what I did next. I went looking for the woman, I didn't plan on straying too far from my house, but was curious at what could have happened. I sneaked around Martin's house, my other neighbor, to see if he was outside, but he was no where to be seen. As I inched around his property, I could hear a faint noise coming from his garage, it was a smacking sound, almost like a horse chewing. The garage door was closed, but the walk-in door was open. I peaked my head in to see what was going on, but could see nothing, the sound was coming from behind his car. I walked in as quietly as possible, trying not to hit any of the strewn about kerosene cans and empty beer bottles lying on the floor. What I saw next, nearly sent me to my knees. The mutilated jogger, and my neighbor John were both in here, eating away at Martin's corpse. He was nothing but a pile of tendons and ligaments when I reached him, knowing that I had to get out of there unheard, I slowly backed away, and out of the door, keeping my eye towards the bloodied mess, hoping they wouldn't make their way towards me. I finally got out of the building, after what seemed like a mile of walking backwards, I stealthily made my way back home.

At this point it had started to rain, I nearly forgot all about the severe storms that were approaching. I got the phone and dialed 911, but the lines were down, at that moment the power started to flicker, and I grabbed my keys to start out towards the nearest shelter, Jake followed along with me.
As I drove, I could see constant flashes of lightning, it looked like World War 3 was happening int the sky. The wind was blowing so hard I could barely keep the car on the road, the rain came brushing against the window in torrents. Going down the highway, I could see paramedics, cops, and firetrucks highlighting the road with their flashing lights. There must have been a bad wreck, but where were the cars? Nearing the ambulance I could see a truck in the median, this was definitely John's truck, I didn't bother to tell them that the lost driver, was chowing down on a corpse at the moment. I just wanted to make my way to the shelter. I finally arrived, it was a small, but sturdy Church. It was made of brick, and the foundation appeared to be concrete. I parked my car and walked in, the preacher greeted me at the door, a very kind-eyed man, who handed me a bottle of water. “There are open cots all around, take your pick” I walked in and sat down on one furthest from the window, in case any storms did pop up I would be away from the glass. The preacher approached holding a teddy bear he had grabbed from one of the children's donation bins. “Here, your dog looks just as scared as us, maybe this will calm him down” Jake, sniffing the bear, grabbed a hold of it and laid it down next to him, i've never seen him so scared in my life. “Thank's man, I appreciate that, im sure he does too” I said patting Jake's back. This was the first time all night my pulse wasn't pounding in my head. I was physically and mentally exhausted, there was no reason to tell anyone what I had seen tonight, it would just send everyone into a panic, the same panic I had happen a few moments ago. My cell phone was going off almost every 20 minutes with tornado watches and warnings from distant counties, the radar on my weather app showed the system slowly approaching our area, and this thing was a monster. After watching the weather, and reading about meteorology, you start to learn what is bad and what isn't on the radars. Thunder rattled the only two windows in the building with each boom, it was some of the loudest I had ever heard. With each one, I hunkered down into my cot, my body sweating worse with each time, and that pulse slowly starting to pick up in my head. By this time about 25 people had made their way into the church, it was a small town so we all knew each other. Having people nearby to ride out the storms made things go a lot smoother, for all of us. Jake had even had a bit of energy flow back into him as he would chew on the teddy bear. As things seemed to be going good, the power started to flicker, then eventually went out. It was off for about 5 seconds and then powered back on. A sense of relief filled the air as this happened. Then again the power went off, but we all knew it wasn't coming back on anytime soon. I walked around the small church room using my cell phone as a flash light, talking with people as I passed by to calm their nerves as well as my own. Out of nowhere the front door opens, and it's Linda, the bartender. I walked over to her to get any updates on what was going on outside these walls. “It's complete chaos out there, Eric” a huge bolt of lightning strikes close to the church, Linda jumps inside and I shut the door. “Jesus, I almost became a lightning rod” Linda said with a nervous laugh, “easy with the blasphemy in here” the room let out a small laugh. The preacher walks out of the backroom and asks for some help with carrying a few battery powered utilities. I walked to the back with Linda and Mark, I didn't really know Mark all that well, he was quiet every time I would meet him through mutual friends, but he seemed like a nice guy. He owned a local lumber company nearby the church, trying to spark up some more relief, I jokingly said “you guys are going to have some serious business when these storms roll by” I laughed. Mark looked at me confused and just smiled, in the light of my phone I could see that he was sweating profusely, it was hot in here, but nowhere near the heat for that much sweat. Shining my light around, I saw some useful items, I grabbed a lamp, one of the battery powered radios, and a battery powered fan. We got back to the main-room, and I immediately turned on the radio, trying to find a good angle so the fan could cool off as many people as possible, the radio broadcast something that made me stop in my tracks, and have to sit down. Everyone got quiet, and the dim lit lamp showed off the fear in the helpless audience. “The virus is much worse than expected, once someone is infected, they start to hemorrhage, and eventually lose all bodily functions with in minutes or hours depending on the person's immune system, once the body shuts down, the body, for unknown reasons continues to walk, even without an active pulse, the virus is extremely contagious, it appears to be transmitted through blood or other fluids, if anyone you know is sick, do not get near them without proper protection, with the amount of injuries sustained from the nearby tornadoes, and more to come, infection count is rising at an incalculable rate, please stay safe tonight, and keep your eyes to the...” the broadcast went offline at this moment. I looked back at Mark, who had an expression of pure fear on his face. “Is everything ok” I asked him. He looked back at me, then dropped his head. “I don't feel right, is there any water in this damn place?” I got up and handed him a bottle, he thanked me, then sat down on his bed “I think i'm really sick man, I got into a fight earlier with some guy who attacked me outside work, he spit blood in my face, and when I threw a punch at him, his tooth cut my damn knuckle” I looked at the wound on his hand, it looked like some of the images i've seen of Brown Recluse bites online.
I was scared for this man and the others in here, i've seen what this thing can do to people. I tried to call 911 again, but got no response. I asked the preacher if we had any bandages nearby, he went back to the room we were previously in and grabbed some for me, along with peroxide. “Here Mark, put this on the wound, and hopefully when this is all over you can get that looked at, it looks painful as Hell.” Mark poured peroxide on the wound wincing in pain, then bandaged the wound. “Did you see the foam that came out of the cut? That was nasty shit man” He laughed, concerned. I nodded in disgust. The lightning was so bad out now we barely even needed the lamps, I had shut my phone off to save power when we set up the utilities, I turned it back on to see 8 notifications from the weather app, the most recent being a tornado warning for Jefferson county Alabama, the county were in. I shut the phone off in an instant panic, and warned everyone about the approaching storm. For the next few minutes we all peered out the two windows, not knowing what to expect, after about 10 minutes we calmed down and I thought maybe the storm had blown over to the next county, in my process of thought, I noticed my ears had popped. The windows blew out immediately and struck the nearby citizens, we all got down as low as possible and held on to each other, I could feel warm and cold liquid splattering onto my face, I kept my mouth closed as tight as possible hoping that none of the blood from the sliced faces of the nearby injuries would reach my tongue. The storm was so powerful I could barely breathe, and as I looked up I noticed the roof was slowly peeling away from the top of the walls, like peeling the lid off of a sardine can, and within an instant the roof was gone, I could feel my body becoming weightless as I grabbed on to Linda's hand, she had found a pew to grab onto, that was luckily bolted to the floor. The walls began to break away, and we covered our heads from the oncoming projected bricks, as I held my head with my other hand, I saw bodies flying out from the top of the building, and immediately into the monstrous storm, this storm was the size of a four-lane highway, I could barely think as I saw the storm swallow up the victims of its cyclonic wrath. Just as soon as the roaring monstrosity had arrived, I could see it progressively making distance from the collapsed church. My body dropping to the floor from the dying winds, I lie on the ground covered in rain and blood, Linda was in shock, but appeared to be fine, I didn't see Jake anywhere nearby but didn't see him whisked away from the tornado. As I got up to walk around I saw that the glass had done some serious damage to the faces of the survivors, Janice, the local florist, who was a beautiful lady, had shards of glass sticking out from her forehead, and the whites of her eyes covered in crimson. She was able to stand, but immediately dropped down into a pool of blood and water. As I looked around for survivors, Jake came running from the back having to leap over the collapsed wall, he looked like he was ok, aside from being covered in mud and sediment. Mark, was lying on the ground with his eyes open, the floor behind his head was covered in blood, I immediately tried to life him up, but when I did, I saw a sight that nearly made me faint, the back of his head had been caved in from one of the falling bricks, his skull looked like a broken egg shell, and as I almost dropped him, a gust of wind came through the building splashing the water and blood directly into my mouth. I dropped Mark's body down, spitting and coughing what I could out, but there was no mistaking that some of it had went down my throat. I got sick to my stomach thinking about what was going to happen, if he had been infected, My heart pounded so hard I could barely catch my breath, Linda, seeing the distress upon my face asked “are you ok, did you get hurt in the storm?” I looked at her, in some way hoping, that was the issue, nodded and said “no, I think I was just infected with that Lucio Fulci shit that has been going around.” She looked at me confused, “Mark's head is smashed in and some of his blood was blown in to my mouth” I told her. “You don't even know if he was infected” she said trying to comfort me. “Maybe, but the guy he described was spitting blood, and im not a doctor, but that doesn't sound normal to me” I said in a sarcastic voice, Linda looked at me understanding my anxiety, and said “well either way, we can't stay here, i'll grab some water for us and the one's who are able to follow us to another shelter” Luckily, everyone was able to walk, even Janice, who looked like she could collapse at any moment, seeing the glass protruding from her face, made my legs feel weak. We stepped over the collapsed wall, as my mind started to clear, I saw that we had lost about 15 people, including the preacher, looking over towards the city I could see the tornado that had destroyed so many of the homes and buildings, making it's way towards another helpless, I was only able to see it through the sporadic flashes of lightning in the sky.

We walked on to another shelter, hopefully one that was still standing, as we walked down the road, I noticed that my stomach started making a terrible noise, it didn't hurt it just kind of rumbled, I hadn't eaten in over 9 hours so I chalked it up to that. I heard sirens coming down the road and we all looked at each other as a wave of relief and joy rushed over us. An ambulance must have been sent out to this location to help, the driver pulls over to the side, and assesses everyone. They load Janice onto a gurney and into an ambulance, there isn't enough room to take us all to the hospital on one ambulance so 7 of us wait on another one to come pick us up, the driver told us that the next one should be coming by in about 2 minutes along with the rest of the first-responders. Eventually they show up to our location and the paramedic shines a light into my eye, and proceeds to check my blood pressure, I see the monitor, 235/128, it reads. He looks at the other paramedic in a state of disbelief “this guy is about to have a stroke, why wasn't he loaded on to the last dispatched vehicle?” The paramedics nod, and lay me down on the gurney. I'm horrified at this moment, “I think I've been infected with that virus going around, some guys blood got into my mouth” as I was finishing my sentence I could taste blood, and a pain the likes I have never experienced before in my life arose, it was like being stabbed in the stomach with a running chainsaw. I immediately vomited blood onto the paramedic. “OH GOD!” he screams, wiping away the bile and blood from his face, “there's no cure for this, he says in a panic” the other survivors standing outside in disbelief, I could hear another person gagging at the sight. I undo the restraints with my hand in a terrible panic, “please, I feel fine, I just need to let it pass” I say in a terrified voice. The paramedics gather Linda and the others onto the ambulance, they try to get me back on the gurney again, the one paramedic still drenched in blood, maintaining an amazing amount of professionalism. I felt an an unusual amount of rage when they continued to get me back into the restraints and I punched the blood-soaked paramedic in his nose, shattering it, more blood splashed down his face on to me. “He broke my fucking nose, we have to go, if this guy wants to walk he can until the police get him to safety before more storms come” The paramedic said angrily shutting the doors to the ambulance. “More storms?” I thought to myself. I walked down the road as the ambulance sped off to the nearest hospital that had not been destroyed in the storm, I had no idea how much damage had been done to the county, all I knew is that I was dying. I could barely walk without feeling my muscles cramp up, I felt that horrible pain in my stomach getting worse, my fever was giving me uncontrollable shivers. As I neared a house on the side of the road, that had been damaged, but not entirely destroyed, I sat down in the darkness, trying to control my shivering, the wind was picking up again, and a cold rain was starting to saturate the debris-covered land once more. As I sat there and let the cold water wash off the caked blood from my face, I thought to myself “my first tornado, and it isn't what killed me” The lightning streaks across the sky, in a fantastic pattern of spider-legs. I was too weak to move, I looked again at the sky, as another flash of lightning happened, and saw a funnel-cloud spinning vigorously overhead, with each flash of lightning it grew more and more towards the ground, just as this happened I could hear footsteps running towards me, and growls of what sounded like animals, but these were no animals, these were infected. As they ran closer I could see about 30 of them, a few of the closer ones looked as if they had survived the last tornado, one had a 2X4 impaled through his torso, he tripped on another nearby runner, falling on the ground, shoving the piece of wood further into his stomach, he rises from the ground continuing his pursuit for me. As I brace for the attack, the tornado picks up enough wind to lift me into the air, slowly higher and higher I rise above the dead land, to see the damage dealt upon us. Buildings that have been here longer than I have been on this Earth were nothing but pieces of wood and brick strewn about like leaves on an Autumn day. As I am being lifted higher and higher into the sky, the view of the land begins to fade as cars, pieces of houses, and mud blur the walls of the tornado. I can see countless bodies being throw around the wind as well, I see the infected trying to gnaw at the bodies being blown about with me. Pieces of metal were flying all around me, I had been hit several times, and was bleeding from several wounds, but I could feel no pain, one of the heads of an infected man hit me and knocked me into an uncontrollable spin, as I spin about, I see the lightning all around me, or possible transformers blowing, flashing and strobing, the lights undulating past the haze of gray and black, and in this moment I think “this is beautiful.”


© Copyright 2019 Troy Jones. All rights reserved.

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