Ray is to Blame part 2
Slouch: He just stared at me and then started to laugh for a bit and when he finally got a hold of himself, he looked at me real serious like and said "Slouch, I don't want to die, I want to live forever, I want to see and do everything that this world has to offer."
Slouch: I started to say something but at the time I wasn't in the mood to get sucked into one of his conversations so I just let it drop.
Interviewer: What happened after that?
Slouch: Well, later that day he helped me drop a few bodies and then I didn't see him for a few days because management asked him to do security overnight.
Interviewer: It was during one of those nights that things changed, right?
Slouch: I suppose so. I originally wondered if it was just another one of his whacked out stories but then the world started to go all to hell.
Interviewer: Can you try and remember what it was he told you?
Slouch: Remember hell! It's burned into my brain
(There are a few minutes of silence)
Slouch: Sorry. Didn't realize you wanted me to repeat it. I'll give you the gist of it, but you really need to hear it from Ray and hear the honesty in his voice as he tells it.
Interviewer: We will, were seeing him later today.
Slouch: Okay, so three days go by, that's after the last time I saw him and he comes to work looking like death himself. I say to him "Ray, cheese and crackers boy I didn't figure you the drinking type" and he just kind of shakes his head and walks silently away to start work.
Our plow was out of service that week so we had been filling in the holes by hand and that afternoon I needed some help filling in one so I called Ray over to lend me a hand. He was very reluctant at first, but I pulled the boss thing and told him to get his ass over here and help me.
He hemmed and hawed but finally came over and turned two shades whiter as I watched. I'm all like "What's gotten into you Ray, you've seen coffins before" and without saying another word he starts shoveling.
After my third shovel full I happen to look down and notice that the coffins lid had been left slightly open. So I tell Ray to hold on a minute and I jump down into the pit and as I'm struggling to put the lid back on, I notice the coffin is empty.
Great I think and yell up to Ray to tell him what I found.
It's kind of hard to see or hear when you're down in these holes and when he didn't answer, I clawed my way back out and found him passed out on the ground.
Interviewer: What did you do at this point?
Slouch: Well, I needed to report this to both my manager and the police, but I knew Ray had been working the night this guy had been planted, and I didn't want Ray getting into any trouble. So before going to the head man I shook Ray awake.
Slouch: Your impatient you know that, I'm going to tell you just hold on. Well anyways according to Ray, that's when it all started.
Interviewer: I'm not following you.
Slouch: Okay! This is what Ray told me now so whatever I say remember that and don't think me crazy or nothing...okay?
Slouch: So Ray tells me he's out walking the plots one night and it's about two in the morning. Suddenly from far away he hears this whistling type noise and it's continuingly getting louder.
So Ray's guard is up and he stops walking to see if he could determine where the noise is coming from. All of a sudden it's not so dark anymore and the noise has become unbearable.
Just then Ray looks up and sees heading straight at him this blazing object falling out of the night sky, getting bigger and brighter the whole time and as Ray stood there watching it, it suddenly exploded high up in the air.
Ray of course turned his head to avoid the brilliant flash of light while around him he sees this dust like substance falling to the ground all around and on him.
Then, as he turns his attentions back to the sky, he starts to feel this overwhelming pain consuming his whole body but the worst he said was when his brain started feeling like it was melting right inside his skull and it became so unbearable that he passed out before he was able to do anything.
Interviewer: Come on your not serious! What could have caused that?
Slouch: Hey, I'm just telling you what he told me.
Interviewer: Okay, let's say it's true, what happened next?.
Slouch: Well, I basically had the same reaction as you until he showed me all the burn marks in the grass. They were all near the grave with the missing body and then he showed me his head, I couldn't believe what I was freaking seeing.
Interviewer: Which was?
Slouch: Everything he had just told me was true and he had the proof to back it up especially after he removed his hat and I saw all his hair gone and his head was all blacken plus don't forget there were all those reports in the paper of people seeing the unexplained flash of light in the sky on that night.
I then asked him if he had seen a doctor and he told me he did but there was nothing they could do. He said that there was something alive in the dust that did this to him and if the Doctors tried to kill it then he would probably die as well
Then I say, "Okay let's say I believe you Ray, but where is Mr. So and So's body at?" For an answer he asks me if I remember how he is always on about coming back from the dead or being dead and so on and I say to him "what's that got to do with anything" and he just looks at me and goes on saying that he was thinking these things when whatever it was that fell out of the sky had got all over him.
So I look at him all confused like and then he says that after getting back of the ground, he turns around and starts heading back to the office to get the first aid kit when all of a sudden from behind him he hears this low moaning noise followed by a loud scrapping sound.
Upon he hearing this he turns around just in time to see Mr. So and So slowly climbing back out of his grave.
Interviewer: So he's our first zombie?
Slouch: Yep. Anyways Ray just stands there with his mouth hanging open staring at the thing. Finally it manages to pull itself completely out of the grave and turns to face Ray.
At this point Ray has pissed himself in fear and Mr. So and So gives Ray a little bow, turns away while scratching his head; almost like he's wondering which way to go and then just like that he starts to walk away leaving Ray standing there all alone, unsure what to do next.
Interviewer: Is there anything else you care to add before we conclude our interview?
Slouch: After that day Ray stopped coming into work and answering my calls. I was worried about him especially after all those kids in his neighborhood were killed. I've not seen him since that day in the cemetery.
Couple things more if you don't mind. First thing it's about these freaking zombies.
For the next few mornings as we made our rounds through the cemetery we would occasionally find holes in the ground above a fresh grave site. At first we were unsure what had caused them but we do now but here at "They Staydown Cemetery" we know just how to make them do just that, stay down.
The last thing I would like to say is in regards to Ray. Whatever you do, don't judge him too harshly and try to remember that he is a victim in this as much as anyone else. Sure he has meteor dust eating away at him and it's giving him some kind of mutant power to raise the dead but he was just in the wrong place at the right time, or something like that, and it could have easily happened to me or anyone else for that matter.
Or if you do decide to judge him poorly also remember he tried on several occasions to turn himself in and to let people know what was happening but no one took him serious; that is until the zombies really started to get to work.
We'll that's pretty much all I have to say. Thanks for giving me the chance to help out a friend.
Half an hour later we said our goodbyes to Slouch and were soon on our way out of the cemetery and heading over to see Ray.
Slouch had given us quite a lot of information in the short time we had spent with him and it really got me thinking.
Ray may have been the catalyst behind the current situation, but who among us should really be casting any stones and saying" shame" to him.
It wasn't his fault that he got hit that night with the meteor dust, he was just going about living his life, but unfortunately even though this was case the facts remained the same and the problem was still there, what was to become of Ray, the man who could raise the dead?
As we drove across the city, making our way to the maximum holding facility were Ray was currently calling home, we got held up while one of the Clean Up Crew's team dealt with a small group of zombies. It took them a little longer than I would have expected but eventually they wrapped it up and we were once again on our way.
Ray wasn't being held at the facility on any criminal charges but was actually being held there on his own advice. Keeping him locked away like this helped keep him far away from people, dead or alive, and prevented him from accidentally creating anymore zombies.
The problem was it may be already be too late. Zombies were out everywhere biting and eating people and turning more and more daily into zombies. Keeping Ray locked away only solved one part of the problem and the more important one of dealing with the thousands of teaming dead remained.
All of these things were rattling around inside my head as we passed through the third security gate, unloaded our equipment and made our way inside the facility.
We were silently lead into the very depths were Ray was currently living.
The Warden had moved all the prisoners from the lower cell block to the upper ones as a precaution and gave Ray free run of the lower floors and as we passed the final checkpoint I was overcome by what I saw. I thought I had walked into some strange underground concrete penthouse were the cells had been stocked and furnished with every bit of modern day conveniences you could imagine, and a smile played across my lips as I thought to myself that Ray had come along way since the trailer park.
It took us about twenty minutes to get set up and we had picked one of the cells that was being used as a sitting room. Shortly after we were ready Ray joined us in what was to become a most revealing interview.
Interviewer: Good afternoon Ray.
Interviewer: Thank you for allowing us to come into your new home to do this interview. You probably don't know or realize just how bad things have become and rumors are starting to spread that it's no longer confined to just our city.
The city, state and federal government have all spoken out and as with all governments there pointing fingers and that finger is pointing at you. So now we want to give you the opportunity to tell us in your own words your side of the story. Are you prepared to do this?
Ray: Yes, I suppose I am.
Interviewer: Okay and thank you once again. Before we start I want you to know we did interview your Mother and Father so we could get some background information and then we talked at great length with Slouch, who I have to say, after speaking in depth with has revealed himself to be a truly a good friend to you.
During the time that I spent with your family and Slouch, as well, I did a lot of soul searching. I've come to the conclusion that you got shafted and I think a lot of others will as well. You did nothing wrong. All you were doing was living your life and due to an unforeseen occurrence, being scheduled to work overnight, you were at the wrong place at the wrong time and it's that wrong time were I would like to start.
Interviewer: Can you please, in detail, explain to us and our viewers what happened that night in the graveyard?
Ray: Oh that! Sure thing.
Well to begin with I was pretty pissed off that I had to work overnight and to top it off they never gave me notice that this was going to happen. As my night shift started on that first night I was pretty tired because I just had worked my normal shift and then had to turn around in five hours and come back and do overnight security, which has longer hours than other shifts.
So by the time one o'clock in the morning rolls around I was pretty much asleep on my feet so I decided to make my way to the security shack for some coffee and a bite to eat. After about forty five minutes I decided to head back out and walk the plots, hoping the night air would keep me awake.
So there I was, about fifteen minutes later, freezing my butt off while continuing my rounds when suddenly, I can't really remember why, I look up and into the night sky.
I stood there for countless minutes scanning the sky when my eyes came to rest on an object that looked five times larger than any of the stars around it.
As I continued to watch, it grew increasingly larger and brighter and then the silence of the night was shattered by a whining noise that increased in volume the closer the object became.
I stood there staring up in amazement when suddenly it felt like all the air around me had been sucked up and I felt an increasing pressure behind my ears when suddenly the object exploded.
The brilliant flash forced me to turn my head and as I blinked the thousands of tiny lights out of my eyes I saw a blanket of red dust fall on me and all over the cemetery.
I slow turned around and continued to shake my head to clear my vision when suddenly my whole body seemed to catch fire.
However before I could bring my hands up to brush of the strange dust I ended up passing out from the intense pain.
I'm not sure how long I was out for but when I woke up I had a hell of a headache.
As my memory started to slowly return I sat gingerly up and gently felt the top of my head and almost passed out again when I discovered all the hair on my head had been burnt off and my hand came down covered in a thin layer of skin and blood.
I rose to my feet and started thinking to myself how lucky I was not to be dead. But then a thought occurred to me, maybe I was dead. As I was thinking these things, I could feel my head start vibrating and hurting like hell all over again. At this point I slowly rose to my feet, decided to hell with the job, and turned around intending to go to the hospital.
As I turned to go I heard a loud grinding sound followed by a low moan that gradually grew louder.
I've worked in cemeteries for along time and I have never heard anything as creepy as this, so I cautiously turned around, and for the third time in one night almost passed out again.
There, before me, coming out of the ground like some sort of B rated horror movie was the man we had planted earlier in the day.
As he climbed out of the ground he turned to face me, and I swear he looked right at me and then slightly bowed in my direction before he looked around, kind of confused like, then wondered of into the night.
Interviewer: Sorry to interrupt, but did you go after him?
Ray: Are you nuts? He was just dead and came back to life and to top it off I just got covered in some strange alien dust. There was no way I was going to chase him down, especially with my head hurting worse than ever. No, I decided instead to continue with my original plan and head down to the emergency room.
I was too dizzy to drive and the phones weren't working so I couldn't even call for a ride so I hitched up my pants and made ready for the long walk I had ahead of me and I barely made it. The good news was I didn't have to wait long at all like you usually do when you go to an emergency room.
The doctor's rushed me in to do x-rays, MRI's, Cat scans and they did all types of other test that lasted for about two days.
They discovered that the dust that had blanketed me was some sort of microscopic organism and it appeared to be reproducing at an alarming rate and spreading throughout my skin, eating its way through my skull and into my brain.
They tried several things to kill it but nothing worked. Eventually my blood test came back showing that they weren't harmful and in the end the doctors were left scratching there heads in bewilderment.
They told me that they had to report this to the CDC because of the nature of the organism. It was unknown so I should expect a call within the next few days. The only thing the doctors were sure of is if they tried to remove the organism that had already burrowed into my brain then I would be left a vegetable for the rest of my life. It seemed that even though it was causing irreversible damage to me it also worked as a patch allowing me not to be harmed from the effects of the creatures.
Well I wasn't having any of that so we decided to leave it alone and a day later they gave me loads of pain killers, wished me luck and told me to be careful and not to bump my head as they sent me on my way.
I was confused why they were letting me go, having an unknown organism inside me and one of the nurses told me that there had been a rash of violent attacks and there just wasn't any more space available at the hospital.
I left the hospital bewildered and went back home but quickly became bored just sitting around and the next day I went back to work.
On my first day back Slouch called me over to give him a hand at the site where the zombie had risen from several nights before.
At first he had no that the coffin was empty and I kept hoping he would remain oblivious. As we were shoveling in the dirt he noticed something strange in the hole and then he jumped in and a moment later I stood there listening to him call my name.
Before he had jumped into the pit, all the memories from the other night came flooding back to me, giving me a headache and sent my head spinning and as he was calling to me I suddenly passed out.
After Slouch had revived me I confessed everything that had happened to me on that night of the meteor and I even showed him the dust covering the ground and the damage to my head. I think he believed me but I'm not quite sure.