I'm trying to get back into writing, something I haven't done in about 15 years. Let me know what you think.
Curiosity just might have killed this fucking cat.
If you’ve never driven from Atlanta to basically anywhere in Florida, you don’t know the definition of boredom. One road with nothing much to see after Macon. Every now and then there’s an exit with a McD’s, Arby’s, Zaxby’s, and if you’re really lucky (and straight), a Chick-Fil-A. The drive’s so uneventful, you actually count your lucky stars if a MAGA-stickered asshole in a truck clearly compensating for something decides to coal-roll you. You just tip your hat and thank him for the wake-up. Racist inbred motherfucker might have just saved your life.
Shit, sorry, didn’t mean to get political there. It’s hard to resist, even when you’re running out of time like me. It’s got nothing to do with my story, but there I went, doing it anyway. Maybe it’s impossible not to get political these days. Or maybe I just don’t give a fuck. I’ve got bigger fish to fry.
Anyway, that all aside, you’re driving down I-75. Nothing but farmland, exit, farmland, exit. At some point you see a solar farm, which compared to the farmland, is one hell of an eyesore. Vital, but ugly as sin. You keep going. Then it happens. The first billboard.
“I’ll be back…Jesus” The standard picture of Jesus. A website below. It’s a dot org. Obviously.
Sure, no big deal. We’re in Baptist country. I was baptized, I know a lot of churchgoers, I get it.
Then there’s another one. This one’s a little different. Up top it’s a pretty white couple, the man giving the woman a piggy-back ride. Apparently that’s how healthy couples show affection. Down bottom? Different story. It’s a couple of zombies. Yeah, that’s right. Fucking zombies.
Please don’t leave, this isn’t a zombie story.
The text on this one? “You decide…Jesus.” Then the same website.
You keep going, and so do the signs. Jesus in front of tanks saying “I’m still in control…Jesus” Fuck me if I know what that one means. A couple more standard crucifix signs, one saying “I love you this much…Jesus.” Then, finally, a straight up zombie family. At this point I don’t even know what they’re trying to say, but I do know that once I stop, I’m looking up this site. Shit should be Twitter gold.
I got a late start on my trip, and while I was aiming for Tampa, I decided to call it a night while passing through Gainesville. After a bit of deliberation, I decided to stick with my rewards program and stay at the Courtyard. The check-in process itself should have given me pause. The girl working the counter was in her late teens, early twenties at most. Jet black hair, make-up that makes her look about 10 shades whiter than she really is. She took one look at me and said “fuck off.”
No ”Welcome to the Courtyard, thank you for being a member.” No “welcome” at all. Just “fuck off.” Problem is, I don’t like confrontation. So while my brain was spouting off stuff like “no, you fuck off you stupid asshole,” my mouth was saying “no thank you, I’d just like my room.”
I’ll be real honest folks, to this day, I’m still not sure if she knew something or if she was just a dick. Long story short, I got a room, it sucked, but I didn’t get murdered by an emo teenager.
So here’s the big question: what could she have known? Basically, I pulled the classic horror movie mistake. I visited the goddamn website. You know what happened? Nothing. Just a link to one of those “no longer in service” sites that now directs you to some very questionable material. So I went to sleep.
The next day, the sky was cloudy, in that threatening way that only those of us born in the south can describe. The clouds looked flat, like snow coming in, but the problem was, it was 80 degrees in February. That only means one thing down here: meteorologists overselling the shit out of possible tornadoes.
Anyway, while pulling out of…
Wait, hold up, I forgot to share something. Blame it on instinct. I might as well share it now while I’m bleeding out.
I wasn’t going down to Florida for a vacation. I prefer the Hamptons. No, I was going down there for a specific reason. I was going to dump a couple bodies. That’s my job. There are entrepreneurs throughout the north Georgia area growing or mixing their own shit, and every now and then, someone has to get got. I’ve never pulled the trigger, but I’ve sure as shit fed a few gators. In this case, it was one asshole who wouldn’t pay, so the boss’ man beat him a little too hard. The other? I don’t know, and the 10 grand in my pocket tells me I don’t care.
So, back to the story. As I backed out of my spot, ready for the last trip down to the glades, where I could drop the two bodies, the car came to a sudden stop. Now my car’s not new off the line, so my first thought was that the transmission was shot to shit. Then I looked in the mirror. And there, staring back at me, was a shadow black as night in the early morning sunshine. It grinned at me, it’s teeth somehow dark and bright at the same time. Its form rippled between muscular and fat, and it seemed to grow and shrink at height at will.
That’s the point where some folks would get out of their car to figure out just what the hell was going on. Not me. I noped right the fuck out of there. I hightailed it through the parking lot and towards the highway, refusing to look back as I heard the trunk pop and an absolutely ungodly scream come from within. I kept running, even when I heard footsteps behind me. I didn’t stop running until they were on top of me, and that’s when I went down. I closed my eyes, expecting the worst. I knew my throat was about to be torn open by whatever the fuck was chasing me. I anticipated the blood pouring down my neck and chest, the flesh torn from my body like a toddler eating a cake for the first time.
That didn’t happen. Instead, as the weight bore down on me, I heard a chuckle. I knew at once it was the shadow. It said my name. “Jesus.”
Oh fuck, what did I do? “Thank you for deciding. I’ll be back.”
I’ve been in hiding now for about 3 weeks. At first, the news was covering what happened next. The dead crawling out of their graves, the military striking back, the dead from those skirmishes rising. The last I heard, two weeks ago, New York, Atlanta, Boston, DC, basically every major city on the eastern seaboard has fallen.
Now I sit here, alone, waiting for it to return. It promised. I decided to visit the site. I brought this on all of us. I’ve been looking for a way to end this. I think I found it. I’ve got a pitchfork braced against several bales of hay, pointed upwards. I just have to run fast enough at it to make it clean. Maybe I’m the link. If I started it, I can end it. Even if that’s not how it works, I won’t have to see it again. Here we go. Wish me luck, and I’ll do the same for you. Good luck, everyone. I’m so fucking sorry.