“Hey! You got your brains in my virgin’s blood!”
“Boys, boys… relax. There’s a very simple solution to this problem.”
“Oh, it’s good, I assure you. Simply pour the mixed up snacks over a toasty crust, and voilà! Pizza!”
(*Hey, you got your virgin’s blood in my brains!)
(**This better be good – those are fresh brains.)
I’m happy to say the Daily Scintilla is working out well for me – this week’s story is an expansion of the idea from Thursday’s Scintilla.
The old house was just as creepy as Cerise remembered it. She squared her shoulders, grabbed the battered old luggage that carried her essentials, and walked assertively up to the front door. She fumbled with the key a little, but then took a deep breath and opened the door in one smooth movement.
Bob slammed the keyboard in frustration. “This day can’t get any worse.”
Kevin winced. “Don’t say that, man. Don’t ever say that…”
“Bob! Can i talk to you for a minute?”
It was their boss. Bob went into a conference room with him for a couple of minutes, while a security guard powered down his computer and boxed up his personal items.
He drove home, infuriated by the fact that even mid-day traffic was horrible. All he wanted to do was get home and have a cold beer while he figured out how to tell Jessie he’d been fired, and they were going to have to survive on just her salary for a while. “This day seriously can’t get any worse,” he said to the steering wheel.
He turned onto his street and had to park several blocks down because of the fire trucks filling the street, pouring water into the flames engulfing his house. He got out and walked along the street, watching everything he owned go up in flames. “This day…” he started, then stopped himself, looking around frantically. “This day can’t get any better. Better. Can it?”
Then his eyes lit on the person he was looking for – Jessie, watching their house burn down from the street on the other side of the fire truck. He made his way over and hugged her.
“This day just can’t get any…”
He smothered her complaint with a kiss, and then they watched together as the spray from the fire hoses smothered the flames.
Maltek gasped. “The dancing dead?” he asked, his voice full of dread.
“Well… they were more shambling than dancing…” Maltek said the phrase like it was supposed to mean something to her, but all Kellan knew was what she’d seen.
“The dancing comes later,” Kyle joked, smirking a little.
Maltek smacked him, then turned away. Kellan and Kyle exchanged shrugs while he rooted through the weapons chest.
“Actually, the dancing does come later,” Maltek said, evidently having found what he was looking for. He placed an assortment of unfamiliar wood and metal bits on the table and started assembling them. “If they were only shambling, we might still have a chance to stop them.”
“Aw, is their dancing really that bad?”
This time it was Kellan who smacked him.
She dug intently, though muscles she didn’t even know she had were screaming at her to stop. Every now and then she stood to stretch her back, or gathered up fistfuls of roots to toss on the growing pile in the ancient wheelbarrow.
“How many roots can one hydrangea have?” she muttered.
She didn’t stop, though. She had sworn the first thing she would do when she moved in was tear out that creepy hydrangea and plant something nice. The first part had been easy – hacking down the multiple trunks of the overgrown shrub with an old ax from the shed. If she wanted to plant something else, though, she needed to dig a hole. Or holes – she hadn’t decided yet whether to plant one something else or several. She’d been digging since lunch, though, and had only managed to unearth one of the visible stumps from the ground.
She paused to survey her work, and felt a little better as she took in the extent of the hole she had made. She stood in the arc of a five-foot semicircle, only a foot or two deep, and the unearthed roots in the wheelbarrow were piled high and starting to flop over the edges. The light was starting to fade, though.
She sighed heavily, looking up at the sky and arching her aching back. “I guess it’s just not a one-day job,” she admitted reluctantly. Something shifted under her foot as she spoke and she jumped back, startled.
Looking down, all she could see were roots and shadows, but she still reached out for the ax as she crouched down to look more closely.
“A snake,” she told herself, “or… just the soil shifting where I’ve disturbed it. Not the roots. Roots don’t move on their own.”
She poked at the ground with the blunt back of the ax head, though, and they did just that – slithering away from the tool.
‘Tha-at’s not right…” She pulled back, and the light from the setting sun slipped past her shoulder to glint off something metallic in the hole, nestled deep in the gently waving roots.