Sample of: A Glimpse of Light: Psychological Survival (Story 1)

Story 1 – Guilty
            Walter is a teacher who has killed people before, kids in particular. He thought that this was the best way to avenge the kids that killed themselves. Walter taught at a local high school and was the history teacher who was very popular with the kids. Since the teen suicide rate in the country was increasing, Walter gave extra support to his students, especially the quiet ones and even though he did make them all feel better and outgoing, a suicide still happened in the school. The student that killed themself wasn’t one of Walter’s students, but he still felt guilty because he didn’t pay as much attention to other students. Walter automatically blamed the kids that picked on the others. He followed the bullies after school and killed them in a secluded area then threw the bodies in a nearby river that leads to the ocean. No one found the bodies of the kids and couldn’t even find clues to their current location or even where they disappeared from, so the detectives working on the case have long since given up. It’s been a few months since then and Walter has forgotten about what he’s done, but part of him hasn’t.
            Summer vacation started about a week ago and Walter is working at the shore. He serves ice cream, pizza, and other foods and sweets at his own restaurant, which is one of the most popular places on the pier. Walter takes a lunch break and overhears a conversation take place between two people who also own restaurants on the pier.
            “Rumors are starting to spread about people being eaten by zombies,” says one of them.
            Walter joins in the conversation by asking, “Where did you hear that from?”
            “From one of my buddies from further down the pier. Did you hear anything Walter?” says the other guy.
            “No, but something does feel off about today. I mean the air smells different then it usually does.”
            “I was thinking that too, but I didn’t really hear anyone else talk about it, so I kept it to myself.”
            Screams can be heard in the distance approaching them. It takes the three a second to pick up on it, but once they look to see where the screams are coming from, they see a crowd of people running from what looks to be a horde of zombies.
            “Oh shit,” one guy says as he watches the chaos in complete shock.
            The other person has long since run away like an Olympian runner. Walter sprints back to his restaurant and warns everyone about what is currently happening. Some people go outside to see if what Walter said is true and others stay to finish their meal before checking. Walter goes back outside to see the rapidly growing and approaching zombie horde and the people running away from the. Walter runs away from the shore and about ten blocks after that, he finds a connivance store being barricaded by its owner.
            “Hey!” the man says, “Help me barricade my store! You can stay here for shelter if you’d like!”
            Walter helps the man barricade his store with metal tables, wooden planks, and other nearby objects. The two then go inside the store before the zombie hordes reach their area.
            “Thanks,” says the man, “What’s your name?”
            “Walter, what’s yours?”
            “Chris, where are you from?”
            “From out of town. I work as a history teacher, but I own a restaurant at the pier. What about you?”
            “Oh, I’m just your normal connivance store owner. Nothing special.”
            Small footsteps are heard from the back of the store, causing Walter to heighten his guard.
            “Calm down man. Kids, come on out and introduce yourselves to Walter.”
            Three kids walk out from the back of the store. There are two girls; one has tan skin while the other is white. There’s also one boy with tan skin like the young girl’s.
            “Hi…I’m Clementine,” says the girl who is wearing a little red dress.
            “My name’s Crane,” says the boy with shorts and a tank top on.
            “And my name’s Sherry,” says the girl who is wearing a school like uniform.
            “Well I’m Walter and it’s very nice to meet you. Now since we’re going to be here for a while, you wanna play some games?”
            “Yeah!” the kids say.
            “There’s a lot of games in the back of the store,” says Crane, “Can we play one of those?”
            “Well…they’re suppose to be for sale so wouldn’t we be stealing-”
            Chris interrupts Walter by saying, “It’s fine. You can have anything in the store for free. This is a zombie apocalypse after all and I don’t think money will help me at all.”
            “Yay!” the kids say as they instantly go for the sugars and snacks.
            “Jeez these kids don’t really care that a zombie apocalypse is happening,” Chris says to Walter as they look for a game to play.
            “It’s all these movies, comics, and games that get them used to it.
            “But as soon as they experience it for real, they’ll lose some of that courage.”
            “True, but it’d be worse if they didn’t know what was happening. Fear of the unknown is one of mankind’s biggest fears.”
            “You’re right, you’re right. Hey, you wanna play blackjack?” Chris says as he holds a pack of cards.
            “Sure though I must warn you that I have really good luck when it comes to cards.”
            They play cards and board games with the kids for a while with Walter winning most of the games, only letting the kids win once in a while. Chris doesn’t win at all, but he doesn’t show the defeat he feels to the kids, but Walter sees it plain as day. Later in the night, Chris talks to Walter about their situation in the back outside of the store.
            “We should take care of the zombies outside. I’m afraid that the kids might go outside and run into one of them or the smell of them might make them sick.”
            “I get what you’re saying. I’ll get rid of them while you keep the kids safe. I don’t want anything happening to the both of us and the kids being alone without any adults.”
            “Fine, but take this.”
            Chris gives Walter a survival knife.
            “Where did you get this?”
            “Some guy tried robbing my store a while back and lets just keep the story short and say that he failed so I took his knife as a prize.”
            “Wow you’re tougher than you seem! You sure we shouldn’t trade places?”
            “Nah I’m not as good as I was before and you’re better built than I am.”
            “Alright then.”
            Chris walks back into the store as Walter sneaks to the front of the store and starts to get rid of the zombies. Since they’re slow and their flesh is soft and decaying, they’re easy to kill as Walter stabs their heads and slashes through their throats, decapitating them with his knife. After killing the eight or so zombies outside the store, Walter catches his breath then cleans up the area by hiding the bodies of the zombies in the trash bins of the nearby houses so the kids don’t see or smell the stench of the corpses. Walter then goes back inside the store much to the relief of Chris and the kids.
            “Wow you’re so cool Mr. Walter!” says Crane.
            “But you really smell!” says Clementine.
            They all share a laugh together as they celebrate Walter’s job well done. On the next day Chris talks to Walter about another important issue.
            “I know we have an entire store full of food and stuff, but we’re eventually going to run out, so we need to expand our territory before then you know?”
            “I know, but there’s too many zombies around here and I can’t do this alone.”
            “Yes, there’s a lot of them and they’re all spread out. But all we have to do is get most of them away from here and we can clean up the stragglers.”
            “That actually sounds like a great idea, but how do we pull it off?”
            “I got a stash of fireworks that I sell and use for New Years. How about that?”
            “Sounds great. Let’s do it!”
            The two shake hands and get to work. They put the fireworks in a location far away from them, but not too far so the zombies can still hear them and they set off the fireworks. The horde of zombies starts to move to the location of the fireworks as Chris and Walter go back to the store via a longer, but not zombie infested way. They rest up a bit before taking care of the remaining zombies and after that they go to Walter’s restaurant to celebrate.
            “Here we go!” Walter says as he brings out his specialty made pancakes with syrup, “Let’s eat!”
            Everyone starts to eat Walter’s pancakes.
            “Wow! This is delicious!” says Clementine.
            “You gotta give us more Mr. Walter,” says Crane.
            “More please!” says Sherry with her plate already clean.
            “Haha! I’ve always heard about your restaurant Walter, but I’ve never actually gone to it. I now know that was a mistake and I should’ve visited here more often!” says Chris.
            The weeks go on and on as the group survives the zombie apocalypse with travelers taking shelter in the area. Walter and Chris make agreements with these people so they can all live peacefully and hopefully make a community. After a routine killing of zombies around the area, Walter stands on the pier and looks out into the ocean.
He sighs and thinks to himself, Man…the sun doesn’t shine like it used to since the apocalypse started, but at least we’re safe.
He then notices three bleeding corpses in the water, three corpses he now remembers. They stand on the water laugh at Walter as they walk towards him while staining the ocean with their blood. Stunned and disturbed by what he is seeing, Walter stands in place, motionless, until Chris walks up to him and puts his hand on Walter’s shoulder.
“You ok man? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
“Yeah I’m fine I…I just need to lay down,” Walter says while rubbing his eyes.
“Get some rest then, you deserve it. I mean you should leave some of the zombie killing to some of the newer people so they can get some experience instead of you doing most of the work.”
“I know, I know. Maybe next time I’ll let them do it.”
“Good,” Chris pats Walter’s shoulder, “Now get some rest.”
Walter walks away and into the convenience store to find a snack and something to drink before going to sleep. He finds what he wants and as soon as he opens the door to leave, he sees the previous three corpses he saw before standing in front of him still laughing. He quickly backs away and in the blink of an eye, the three corpses he just saw become Clementine, Crane, and Sherry.
“What’s the matter Mr. Walter?” says Crane.
Walter sighs as he calms down then says, “Nothing, I’m just a little tired, so don’t worry about me. Just go back to whatever you were doing.”
They look at him for a second with concern on their face then Sherry speaks for them by saying, “Ok.”
The kids go into the store looking for a game to play while Walter walks into a nearby house to sleep in. He eats and drinks the things he got from the store then lays on a bed upstairs in the house and slowly falls asleep. As he sleeps, he feels eyes watching him and wakes up to see the three corpses from before, standing above him with smiles on their faces. He jumps back and falls off the bed and down a hole then lands in a school. The school is dark with only red tinted lights to illuminate the void. There are desks stacked unnaturally on top of each other and bodies hung on the ceiling by nooses.
“Do you really think you can escape guilt?” says a dark child like voice.
“Wha-What are you talking about? Who are you?!” says Walter.
“We didn’t forget. Guilt punishes the guilty obviously. You can’t run from it. You can’t hide from it. You can only accept it.”
The three corpses appear in front of Walter, sitting on the desks with wide smiles.
“I killed you bastard children! Why are you alive?”
“Bastard children? Are we really what you say we are?”
“You made those kids, your friends! Kill themselves.”
“Did we really?”
“You picked on them all the time and were rough on them!”
“But that’s how best friends act with each other and don’t tell us that we’re wrong. You act the same way with yours.”
“…Shut up.”
“You killed three innocent kids and you know it.”
“Shut up!”
Walter lunges at them and slices them with his knife.
Despite being cut open, the three corpses are unaffected and they say, “And now you’ve killed three more.”
Walter snaps out of the hallucination and sees that he’s killed Clementine, Crane, and Sherry. He falls to his knees as he cries for seemingly hours. The dead bodies of the kids get up, zombified, and limp towards Walter. He notices this, but is too racked with guilt and shame to do anything, so he accepts his punishment and gets eaten by the three kids.

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