Job Security – Final Chapter

Because this was such a small town and Banks Textiles such a large company, Russell Banks saw his fair share of deceased employees walk through his door. Bob heard that by the third visit from a former employee, Hannah tendered her resignation and headed for her mother’s house inNorth Carolina.

            Mr. Banks stuck to his guns, sighting labor laws and hygiene codes to each and every one of them.

            Re-ans who worked in different companies had no better luck. In fact, going public like they did was starting to make things worse. A local paper picked up the story that the dead had come back, demanding their old jobs. The reporter called for a government investigation.

            Lucky for them the government had bigger and better things on their minds than the concerns of some wacko report in aGeorgia.

            But people were starting to talk.

            The lobster pot was full and boiling and the lid was itching to blow.

            Bob, meanwhile, had grown downright depressed. He barely paid attention at Re-an meetings and spent his days holed up in a mausoleum by himself. Their future was bleak, and that was looking on the bright side.

            Then one night, Buford Jackson made an awful suggestion.

            “We tried it the old way, and it ain’t workin’. I’ve been thinking a lot lately.”

            “Thinkin’ and stinkin’, that’s all we can do,” Miles Welty shouted. A few Re-ans chuckled.

            “The way I see it, pretty soon we’re gonna get found out, especially with our growing numbers.” They were about eighty strong now and increasing every day. Some corpses were fresh, others two, even three years old. “And seein’ as there hasn’t been a scientist or preacher among our numbers, it doesn’t look like we’re gonna find out why this is happening any time soon. Some time soon, we’re all gonna run out of places to hide. And then what?”

            He scanned the audience of putrescent faces.

            “You all remember those Frankenstein movies, right? All pitchforks and torches and angry villagers. That’s what we have to look forward to. And the sad thing is, all we wanna do is go back to being productive citizens.”

            For the first time in a long while, Bob spoke up. “So what do you propose we do, Buford?”

            A devilish smile crept across Buford’s shriveled black lips. “If we’re doomed to end like a bad movie, we might as well imitate a bad movie. Far as I know, in all those zombie movies, the zombies won.”

            “Yeah, but they came back eating and killing machines,” Bob interjected.

            “Exactly! So who’s to say we shouldn’t put a little fear of God and the devil into them people that are living and won’t give us a fair shake? They look at us like zombies, let’s act like zombies, dammit!”

            “But we’re not zombies. We’re Re-ans,” someone said.

            “Zombies…Re-ans…it’s all just words. Just look at the odds. The way we’re going, we’ll be the majority eventually. We want our old jobs back? Let’s just take them. If we have to kill a few people along the way, such is the price of progress.”

            A swell of emotion began to grip the crowd, clutching their unbeating hearts and stagnant minds. First a few hands began to clap, then a dozen, then the entire church.

            Except for Bob. It’s all over now, Bob thought. No going back. Maybe this is the way it was supposed to be. Maybe this was God’s plan. He couldn’t have expected them to just blend back in, not with the way they were.

            It was terrifying, repulsive, damning, but maybe Buford was right.

            So they hatched a plan. A bid for their independence. Had Bob had a working stomach he would have been sick.

            If luck was a lady, she was certainly one who hated Bob Samson. Bob, Buford and five other former Banks Textile employees peeped through the windows of Russell Banks’ mansion.

            There was Russell, sitting in his central air conditioned living room with his ex wife and two boys who were both in their early teens. Bob had heard Mr. Banks was divorced, but it looked as if his former boss was doing his best to make amends.

            Could be his visit months back had something to do with that.

            “Maybe now’s not a good time,” he whispered.

            “It’s now or never. At ten o’clock, Re-ans are gonna strike across the entire county,” Buford hissed. “If you don’t have the stomach for it, why don’t you sit out here?”

            “I just might.”

            “If you do, don’t bother coming to us when all this is over. You have to make a choice now, Bob. Us or them. Which is it gonna be?”

            Before he could answer, Buford’s digital watch started chiming. He whirled his hand in the air and every Re-an standing outside the estate went crashing through the windows. Russell Banks and his family screamed as one, and the Re-ans shouted like war beasts in return.

            Across the still night air, Bob could hear the sounds of other living people shouting pleas to the man upstairs while Re-ans descended on them like the cinematic beasts they were supposed to be.

            He looked in the window and saw Buford gnawing on Mrs. Banks’s neck. He was covered in blood, his teeth caked with dangling strips of flesh. The rest had attacked Russell and his sons, making quick work of them. In just two minutes, there wasn’t a beating heart in the room.

            “Come on Bob,” Buford shouted. “Us or them?”

            He held Mrs. Banks’ body out to him as if she were a sacred offering.

            Bob clasped his head with both hands.

            He had tried to go back, but they wouldn’t let him.

            He had formed a group, and they had outgrown him.

            Us…or them?

            The crack of gunshots echoed in the darkness.

            With great reluctance, Bob stepped through the broken window and stood before Buford. There was a gaping, red hole in the poor woman’s neck. Buford smiled with crimson teeth.

            It would have to be us, then.

            Bob buried his face into Mrs. Banks’ neck, mouth open, teeth gnashing. He tore a piece of her skin free and swallowed.

            It sure didn’t taste like chicken, but it would have to do.

 

Check out Forest of Shadows by Hunter Shea : "Dark, intense and not afraid to get down and dirty."

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About Hunter Shea

Hunter Shea is the product of a childhood weened on The Night Stalker, The Twilight Zone and In Search Of. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself. Hunter Shea is the product of a childhood weened on The Night Stalker, The Twilight Zone and In Search Of. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself. His novels, Forest of Shadows, Evil Eternal , Swamp Monster Massacre , Sinister Entity, Hell Hole, The Waiting and Island of the Forbidden are published through Samhain Publishing’s horror line. Hell Hole was named Horror Novel Reviews #1 horror novel of 2014. His first thriller novel, The Montauk Monster, was released June, 2014 as a Pinnacle paperback, and was named by Publishers Weekly as one of the best reads of the summer. His follow up Pinnacle novel, Tortures of the Damned, a post apocalyptic thriller, will be out July, 2015. That will be followed up by his latest cryptid tale, The Dover Demon, in the fall through Samhain. His horror short story collection, Asylum Scrawls, is available as an e-book, straightjacket not included. Hunter is an amateur cryptozoologist, having written wild, fictional tales about Bigfoot, The Montauk Monster, The Dover Demon and many new creatures to come. A copy of his book, The Montauk Monster, is currently on display in the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, ME. He wrote his first novel with the express desire to work only with editor Don D’Auria at Dorchester (Leisure Horror). He submitted his novel to Don and only Don, unagented, placed on the slush pile. He is proof that dedicated writers can be rescued from no man’s land. He now works with Don, along with several other agents and publishers, having published over ten books in just four years. Hunter is proud to be be one half of the Monster Men video podcast, along with his partner in crime, Jack Campisi. It is one of the most watched horror video podcasts in the world. Monster Men is a light hearted approach to dark subjects. Hunter and Jack explore real life hauntings, monsters, movies, books and everything under the horror sun. They often interview authors, cryptid and ghost hunters, directors and anyone else living in the horror lane. Living with his wonderful family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to get Gray’s Papaya hotdogs when the craving hits. His daughters have also gotten the horror bug, assisting him with research, story ideas and illustrations that can be seen in magazines such as Dark Dossier.

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