by Nicky Knax
Zombies! Zombies! Zombies!
Small town. Big problem. The dead won't stay dead and one by one the living are beginning to disappear. So it's up to an ex-priest/zombie-slayer partnered with a group of outcast teens to take back their town...before they're all dead...or undead. And just when you thought things couldn't get anymore exciting, it get's better. There is a monster lurking in the woods that even the zombies are afraid of. Simply put, this town's got more than a few skeletons in its closet.
Other stuff you should know:
* Pretty much just don't be gross. You can still be funny without sexual humor.
*I will delete all eff-bombs and curses I don't approve of.
* Other than the priest, the characters are all in the same high school and most are friends. They pretty much cause most of the trouble in town...and are accused of every other kind of trouble even when they don't cause it. There is one girl in particular, a girl named Salem Pierce, whom the towns-people blame for the zombie uprising, particularrly because one of her desendents was a witch who used to live somewhere in the woods that surround their town, preying on lost hikers and young children.
*Okay so originally I had this whole explaination about zombies, but I realized it was unnecessarily complicated. And zombies, as I'm sure you all know, are mindless so what's complicated about that? All you need to know is this: 1) don't get bitten and 2) only chance you might possibly have of not becoming a zombie if you get bitten is if you amputate whatever part of you has been bitten before it reaches your heart 3) can die--fatality spot is the head, so off with the head, and their dead
Peter Blane - (non-playable character)
Pete is the high school's teacher for both U.S. and world history. He's forty something now and though he may appear as your average, book-worm, mild mannered historian...the man has quite a past. At thirty-two he was ordained a priest and immediately began work as a missionary, traveling on missions that took him all over the world. It was while working with the bushman tribes of Africa, that he first discovered that zombies existed...and that he was darn good at killing them. It was also here that he discovered a gift: an ability to see, hear, sense and communicate with the supernatural.
Salem Pierce - Nicky Knax (me)
Salem is considered a peculiar girl by most. Her wardrobe is gothic to the extreme and she appears to have a dark, troubled personality. She's quiet, keeps to herself, while everyone else gladly leaves her alone. Even the town misfits are afraid to touch her with a ten-foot pole. She has the same supernatural ability as Mr. Blane, a characteristic that contributes greatly to her alienation from the rest of society. She's blamed for the zombie outbreak...or, that is, her great, great, great grandmother is...they say she was a witch and that she cursed the land.
Drake Gustovson - Lonewolf
To sum Drake up: he's angry. At everything, and especially his father, for reasons he prefers not to talk about. He is very quiet...in fact you're lucky if you can get more than two words out of him. The truth is, he is terribly insecure and rather defensive. And even though he hangs out with the "bad kids" he has more moral conviction than all of them put together. He's also got the most self-control...though his anger is difficult to harness. He's got a terrible, dark secret, one even more fearful than the secret Salem harbors. Let's just say that the town has more to worry about than zombies. They have Drake Gustovson...mostly ordinary kid by day...werewolf by night. (I know, it's crazy.)
Chandler Trumane - (open)
Chandler is pretty much the leader of the little misfit group. He's best known for being mentally insane, though this theory has never been clinically established...he won't see a shrink. Little is known about him other than the fact that he is adopted. He's a pathalogical liar, after all, so you'll never know what parts of his stories are true or false. He's rather calm and extremely intelligent, good with his hands.
Ashton Waverly - (open)
Ashton is one of the newer members of the "bad kids" group. It's true what the say about him: he is a trouble maker, but a darn charming one. He could talk his way out of anything and convince you to believe anything he tells you. That's how he get's away with his schemes, his thefts, his pranks. He's a class clown who takes nothing seriously and believes that rules were meant to be broken. He's also fearless...up for anything no matter how dangerous or stupid (he's almost as crazy as Chandler). He's one of those kids who simply doesn't care. Oh, and one more thing: he's an alcoholic.
Tabitha Marcus - Wiskers
The only reason Tabs is living in this small quiet town with her grandparents is that her wild, immature, single mother from LA doesn't want to deal with her anymore. A totally punk, tomboy, skater girl, she's tough like nobody's business, but she's got a softer, more artistic side to her as well, one she keeps from everyone else. Hangs out with the town misfits. Ashton's got a humungous crush on her.
OH yeah and write in THIRD PERSON!!!
Welcome to Little Sky
Salem didn’t dare look back as she clumsily struggled to pick herself back up from a hard fall. She hardly noticed the faint sting in her palms and knees as her feet flew swiftly beneath her, carrying her as fast as they could away from the horror that pursued her. She heard it gaining, felt its evil shadow engulfing her. In front of her she saw nothing but black. Her hands were held out in front of her, fumbling blindly through the foliage in hopes to keep from falling again. It was a matter of life or death. If she stopped running it would be a matter of death. She could only pray that if she continued running it would save her life. She felt tree branches graze her skin as she ran past, not caring if she got cut or even had an eye gouged out, she felt rain water pelt her face and sting her eyes, smelled the strong scent of pine and, oddly, the faint smell of death in air that the pine had failed to cover. She saw a little light ahead. She didn’t realize that the light was really moonlight glinting off water until she felt the frigid lake swallow her body. Suddenly life went into fast forward. She was at the bottom of the lake, lungs filled with water.
Salem woke up screaming. Her lungs actually burned and she was spluttering as if she had actually drowned. This dream had felt so much more real than the usual ones.
She didn’t know what to do so she slid on to the floor. Her stomach was sick as she crouched down with her face into the carpet and her hands folded, praying for God to make it go away, praying that he would just take the nightmares away so she could just get some sleep…praying that he would take this gift away, this curse. She prayed that her dead relatives would stop visiting her and lastly she prayed for the one thing that had been occupying her mind for the past year, the one thing that was making it hard for her to eat and sometimes even breathe: she prayed that God would wake her mom up from her coma.
Feeling dizzy when she got to her feet again, Salem was heavily climbing back into her bed, hoping she could fall back to sleep. She glanced at the electric alarm clock on her window sill. 3:24 am. She closed her eyes for a moment and before she knew it the alarm she’d set for 6:00 am was going off. She got out feeling like she hadn’t slept all night.
* * * * *
It was assumed that in small towns such as Little Sky, the people there were all model citizens. This was certainly wrong. True, it was full of farming families whose kids were brought up with strong work ethics and character. But then, there was another side, a wilder side to Little Sky, Oregon. The town was fortunate enough to have its very own gang of trouble makers all attending Little Sky high school. Some had lived here all their life and never learned from the farming kids about how to stay out of trouble, be polite and work hard. Others were spoiled-rotten rich kids shipped here to learn a lesson.
Everyone knew who they were and they had formed their own little click at the high school. The other students all had there other clicks.
It was good thing, too, Salem’s dad had said, that those rowdy good-for-nothings stuck to themselves. He didn’t want her hanging with the likes of them. Salem, however, in spite of her father’s warnings, would have been happy to have found a place among those rowdy, good-for-nothings. Because it would have been better to have those kinds of friends than no friends at all.
She told herself for a long time that a life of isolation was just a part of her curse…she was weird…just too different from all the normal people. But now she wondered if she really just didn’t have social aptitude of any kind. She wished she could ask her mom. Her mother had known what it was like. She too had the same the curse.
Little Sky high school had narrow halls with high ceilings, so the sounds of hurrying students at passing period was so loud it drowned out your thoughts. Salem kind of liked this. No one could stare at her here like people tended to do in class rooms. She hated that. The staring. There was really nothing she could do to stop it now. All her life she had been having episodes. Moments where, forgetting that there were people around watching her, she would talk to invisible people who, to everyone else, were not there, and other times she would scream because her visions were so real, so troublesome…it was those many moment that everyone had witness and that they didn’t forget…so that they were constantly tempted to stare at her like she was some kind of freak show. The all seemed to be waiting. Waiting for the crazy girl to have another breakdown.
Salem’s hair was dark brown and very straight, and it tended to grow very fast. Since she was a very anxious girl, she had developed a few nervous habits over the years. One of these was excessive hair cutting. Whenever she was really stressed out, troubled by something she had seen or dreamt, she would cut a few inches off. Sometimes she could pull off a decent looking bob or pixie cut. A week ago she’d cut it into a messy A-line bob with crooked bangs that were a little bit high above high above one of her eyebrows. It was pretty much a disaster. This time she swore to wait a little longer than usual before she cut it again…to let it grow long so that any traces of the terrible hair cut would be non-existent and she could start afresh.
She was striding hurriedly to her locker, when a bright yellow flyer on the bulletin board caught her attention and stopped her dead in her tracks. She had some unspeakable feeling come over her that caused a shiver to run down her back and the sick feeling she’d felt last night creep into her stomach. Slowly, as if in a trance she walked toward the board and read the flyer. She recognized the picture. It was a girl named Marissa Clemens. She attended Little Sky. She had been missing since last Friday. For some reason, Salem was reminded of the drowning feeling she’d felt in her dream. She turned around. And there she was.
Marissa stood at the other side of the hall, next to her own locker. But she wasn’t alive, Salem knew it. Her skin was white, dead and she was wet all over. Her face blank. She disappeared after another crowd of students walked by. Before Salem could turn and walk somewhere, anywhere to get away from the missing person poster with Marissa’s face on it, the face of girl who she knew now would never be found alive, when she slammed right someone. It was Tabitha Marcus, the new girl who just moved into Little Sky from the city. She had been walking hurriedly and hadn’t been looking where she was going. She looked pretty peeved.
|"Ugh." Tabitha dropped to her knees to retrieve her book and locker schedule.|
"Sorry." The girl whom she'd bumped into said.
"Whatever." Tabitha said, and not at all in a mean way. She sighed. "I'm new here. So I guess I should start-" She cringed. "-getting to know people."
"Salem." She said, seeming a bit taken aback.
Tabitha leaned against the locker, eyeing everyone who passed with suspicion.
"So." She said. "What are we dealing with here?"
"What?" Salem seemed surprised.
"You know." Tabs rolled her eyes and gestured a hand at the crowd. "Jocks, cheerleaders, geeks. What's the system here?"
"Oh." Salem chuckled a little. "Same as any school I guess."
"This place is like Smallville." Tabitha said then added as an afterthought. "Think there are any aliens or stuff here?" She smirked.
Salem shook her head. "You have no idea."
|Tabitha laughed but Salem suddenly felt very awkward and there was an overwhelming urge to get away. She never spoke more than a few words to anyone in school and only to ask questions like when a paper was due. Even then, the few things she said to anyone were purely out of necessity--desperation more like it--and she spoke as infrequently and as reluctantly as possible. Here she was, feeling like she'd already embarrassed herself enough just by trying to get acquainted with someone. What would a kid from the city want with some weirdo from a small town like Little Sky? She probably already thought most of the people here were weird anyway and Salem knew she could top them all in that category.|
Tabitha Marcus looked down at the paper she had in her hand--Salem recognized it as a locker schedule. She took this as her queue.
"Well...passing period's almost over and..um...you wouldn't want to be late to class on your first day..."
She smiled nervously and turned to start walking the way she'd come. With much embarrassment, she corrected herself and did spun back around on her heels, realizing that her class was the other way.
She tried to hide the flush of her face as she passed Tabitha. It crossed her mind that it had probably been rude to end the conversation so abruptly. She allowed herself a brief moment to indulge in some remorse for missing another opportunity to possibly make a friend. She’d gotten so used the idea of being lonely that she was starting to get comfortable in her reclusiveness. She’d forgotten what it felt like to want a friend, someone to listen to her who was her age and had her teenage interests, teenage emotions, teenage desires.
A hopeful thought crossed her mind: perhaps Tabitha was different too, like her. She was a stranger here and even though Salem had lived here her whole life she felt like a stranger here too. If neither of them fit in…then they had something in common. She tried to picture it. Having a friend.
But then the picture faded and Tabitha felt very stupid. She was so lonely and uncool that she was actually fantasizing about having a friend. Just one! She was that desperate. She was that pathetic. She bet Tabitha never thought like that. She looked like a girl who didn’t need anyone. A girl who was confident in herself and who probably liked herself and was probably liked by everyone else too. She probably had a million friends back in LA and she’d probably make friends with all the populars at Little Sky High. Maybe she’d even become the most popular one of all. The novelty of being a new kid will eventually wear off after a few months, but the mere fact of her being from California will be enough to keep her popular for the rest of her high school career. She probably even knew a couple celebrities! Salem wasn’t too good at geography but she was pretty sure that Los Angeles was close to Hollywood. With so many famous people around you’ve got to bump into one of them at least once, right? Salem was certain now. They’re was no chance of her ever becoming friend with Tabitha Marcus. There was no one around here would risk being friends with Salem, while she was convinced now, the more she thought about it, that the whole school would trip over themselves just to meet Tabitha. Salem was a pariah, an untouchable. Tabitha would be like royalty for the next few months then eventually just settle down into the popular group.
Salem became suddenly very aware of the fact that there was a student walking close beside her. She’d felt him or her come up from behind and start walking level with her only a minute after she’d left Tabitha. It was probably a coincidence that they were both walking the exact same pace and she figured the student would eventually either slow down or speed up ahead of her. The student’s presence felt heavy, as though they were walking close beside Salem on purpose. Salem couldn’t imagine that this was intentional on the student’s part and she was very afraid that the student may think she that she was intentionally walking beside him or her. So Salem quickened her step.
“Hey! Hello? Hey…um…hey you! Hey, wait up! I’m talking to you!”
Salem slowed. She looked up with surprise to see the face of Tabitha.
“We seem to be going in the same direction…so I figured we’d walk there together,” Tabitha smiled.
Salem was stunned. She tried to mimic Tabitha’s smile then continued to walk, not knowing what to say except a soft spoken “Okay.”
Tabitha kept pace as before.
“Um…so…uh…sorry about…bumping into you in the hall like that. Haha, typical new girl thing to do.”
“I know this is awkward, but uh…I think I forgot your name…”
“That's okay. It's Salem."
“Right. Like the cat from 'Sabrina the Teenaged Witch'. Well, you can call me--”
“I know you who you are,” Salem blurted without thinking. She cringed at her own rudeness. The words had sounded curt, almost resentful. It was her own bitterness, her envy coming through. Tabitha was like everyone else at this school. She was normal. She didn't understand Salem's personal hell and if she ever got even close enough to her to see what she went through she still wouldn't understand. Salem was already prepared for another social rejection. Smoothing out her voice she added softly, “You’re Tabitha Marcus. Everyone’s been talking about you.”
“Oh right. Sorry. Not used to the whole small-town everybody-knows-everybody bit,” Salem smiled, but it probably looked more like a grimace. “I come from a school of three thousand. There’s probably like…what…five hundred kids here?”
“About three fifty, I think.”
Tabitha whistled, a look of amused shock on her face.
Salem allowed herself a nervous chuckle.
“About eighty of them are in the junior class. I can bet you they’ve all got your name and description down by now.”
Tabitha laughed again. “Yeah, I think I know what you mean...”
Until now, Salem hadn’t noticed all the stares Tabitha was getting as the two of them walked down the hall together. People passing by them slowed down, heads turned for a double take. Voices quieted. Kids nudged other kids and whispered. Girls and boys still loitering by their lockers followed them with their eyes, all with different expression of their faces. Salem caught looks of scrutiny. The boys checked the new girl out and the girls sized her up. She saw the wheels turning in the girls’ heads as she looked at their faces. They were either trying to decide for themselves whether the new girl was a threat or someone whom they might be wise to invite in their clique. Many of the kids just stared dumbly with their mouths open.
Tabitha seemed annoyed by all the attention.
“I donno’ whether to feel like a celeb or some thug from America’s most wanted list.”
Salem stopped in front of room 104, Mr. Blane’s class. Tabitha came to a halt beside her and looked down at her schedule.
“This is me,” she said.
“Oh,” was all Salem said.
“This is U.S. History right?”
“I hate history. Hope you don’t mind if I copy you’re homework once in a while,” she gave a wink as a sly smile crossed her face. Before Salem could think of a response, Tabitha stepped into the class room ahead of Salem. For the first time, Salem saw the new girl from behind. She had on a boys backpack with a skate board strapped to it. Salem was surprised she hadn’t noticed it before.
She waited a moment until she was sure Tabitha had gotten completely inside and had probably already found a seat before timidly walking in after her. The room was half filled with students by now. Salem had to dodge a group of kids who followed too quickly from behind her. They all passed swiftly around her like she wasn’t there, as if she had been nothing but an obstacle in their way. Out of habit, Tabitha immediately made a direct bee line toward the back of the room to find a seat. She was dismayed however to discover that they were all filled. That was when she noticed Tabitha in the farthest southeast corner of the classroom—the seat farthest from the door—next to the poster with all the presidents up to George Bush on it. It was the same seat Salem had sat in all last year when she was a sophomore taking world history. There were only two social studies teachers in the whole school, so Mr. Blane ended up teaching both sophomores and juniors. In a small school like Little Sky high there wasn’t need for a lot of teachers so a lot of them doubled up on subjects.
Salem settled for one near the middle. She felt exposed and a little claustrophobic. The only thought that calmed her was that she could try again for the back row seat tomorrow and take it before anyone else did. One of the things she’d always liked about Mr. Blane was that he never kept a seating chart. He usually just let the students decide where they sit in the beginning of the year and allowed them to keep their seat as long as they didn’t cause a disruption.
All eyes seemed to be on Tabitha. She had no sooner dropped her backpack down beside feet than a whole a mob of boys had snatched up the seats closest to her. Some of the girls seemed interested in her enough to try and sit close too, but only one had managed to get a seat directly in front of her. Most of the other girls just snuck glances, trying to pretend they didn’t notice.
Salem slumped in her seat, folded her hands in her lap and began playing with her bracelets. She felt very uncomfortable sitting up a whole row closer to the front of the class room. She stared nervously at the back of the other students’ heads, mind wandering back to Marissa. Marissa. She was dead.
Just then the bell rang, startling Salem from her reverie.
Salem looked at Mr. Blane, waiting for him to start. Mr. Blane was still staring intently at his computer screen, nose practically pressed up against it, fingers typing rapidly across the keyboard. He was a self-professed computer game addict. Salem didn’t care for history but she liked Mr. Blane. He made it interesting. He was probably the coolest teacher in the whole school. Yet, there was something about him that made Salem a little uncomfortable. He seemed to be one of those people who could see right through you. What was more, he was the only teacher who ever seemed to show interest in her. Most teachers barely acknowledged her—some never even took notice if she was late to class or absent. When they spoke to here they seemed to either have this glazed look of despondency or they seemed very eager to get away from her. Like the students, they knew something was strange about her, and most of them seemed unnerved by her presence even to the point of fearfulness. But Mr. Blane was different. He treated her like she was worth something. Like she had potential.
Even though the bell had already rung and class was supposed to start, the constant clicking sound of the key board continued like rapid gun fire and Mr. Blane still hadn’t torn his eyes from the monitor. You could almost hear him typing over the sounds of murmuring amongst the students. Most of them were milling around now while some were still coming in two to three minutes late to class.
“Those of you who have just walked in have exactly one minute to find a seat and pretend you got here on time before I catch you still standing around and mark you tardy.”
With some laughter, the late kids all scrambled to find a desk.
“Okay, kids, I’ve got some good news and bad.” Mr. Blane shut off whatever game he was playing, and pushed away from the desk, propelling himself to the front of the class with his heels. Everyone quieted down.
“The good news is…”
He paused for suspense. A big smile spread across his face. The girls giggled. There were always a few girls who had a crush on Mr. Blane. For a forty year old man, he was still very attractive. He had a full head of healthy looking light brown hair that subtly faded to gray near the temples, a mouth full of perfect teeth, bright hazel eyes that smiled when he talked and a little dimple in his chin. He looked like he still worked out a little because he was slim for his age and on special days where teachers were allowed to wear a T-shirt, you could see that his arms had some decent definition.
“This weekend I prepared a great pop quiz to start us off with today!”
A chorus of groans followed.
Mr. Blane feigned a look of surprise.
“Hey! I haven’t even gotten to the bad news yet and you guys already griping. The bad news, as it turns out class, is that we have a new student here today so instead of the quiz we’re going to spend the next fifteen or so minutes getting to know her and making her feel welcome.”
There was a great sigh of relief and a couple of laughs. Everyone suddenly perked up a little. Fifteen minutes was a lot longer than they’d expected. Usually teachers just made the new student stand, say their name and sit down again, which was pointless since everyone already knew that much by then. Several kids were twisting around in their seats to stare expectantly at Tabitha.
Tabitha screwed up her face a little. She was slumped down in her seat with arms crossed like she was trying to hide.
“Do I have to?”
Mr. Blane just replied solemnly, “What kind of teacher would I be if I didn’t embarrass the new kid properly on her first day of school?”
Everyone laughed. Mr. Blane got up and dragged a tall stool up to the front of the class room and patted it. “Ready when you are, Tabby.”