Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Chapter 1 Part 1: Dragon Guard

Dragon Guard
Chapter 1 Part 1

Ben Phillips dragged his feet and hated the heft of his backpack. Not that it was heavy, but it reminded him that his math homework wasn't in there. He'd planned to do it last night, but made the mistake of turning on his Xbox before cracking the books. Neither Mom nor Dad would walk in on him, so his only enemy was willpower, which he thought he could beat. He kept getting in better and better battle groups, and before he knew it, it was after eleven. Even with their constant bickering, Mom and Dad would notice him still up that late on a school night. Probably.

Okay, so maybe playing too many video games instead of doing homework wasn't that rare of an occurrence. It wouldn't be such a big deal if it wasn't Mr. Simms. The math teacher notoriously yelled at students who didn't finish their assignments. Ben was pretty good about getting math homework done as he'd been on the receiving end of the browbeating before, and it wasn't fun. Since today was Monday, it would be worse. Sure, he had all weekend to finish, but he also had other classes. Why didn't teachers get this?

Something buzzed on the back of his neck. It was a prickly feeling, like when he woke his foot up after it fell asleep, that feeling of a thousand tiny needles sticking him. His hand flew up there, but nothing sat on his neck. He looked around and found himself in front of that house that sold a few weeks back. He still hadn't seen who moved in. Whoever it was, they certainly didn't come out very often.

Come to think of it, the whole neighborhood was quiet this morning. Usually there were people leaving for work, walking their dogs, or simply out to get their morning paper. But this morning? Nothing.

The prickly sensation hit harder, moving up his head and down his back. Movement caught his eye at the sidewalk by the property boundary. He let out a yell and stepped back. His foot fell on the edge of the grass and sidewalk, and he tumbled onto his butt. Instead of pushing back up, he turned and scurried on all fours up the lawn towards the porch. There was no way he saw what he thought he did.

Ben bolted up to the front door and spun to look, sure his imagination had gotten the best of him. It was a holdover in his mind from the zombie mode in Warfare Zone, the first-person shooter he'd been playing last night. But instead of an empty lawn, there were two people lumbering towards him. No, not people, not really. They were walking corpses, zombies. Had to be. Their skin was a pale mixture of blue and green, and open sores littered every bit of exposed surface. Their tattered dress shirts and pants wore stains of dirt and who knew what else. Both of their jaws moved up and down as if they were trying to speak. Or, more likely, ready to chew up anything that got in their way.

If he ran quick enough, he could skirt past them. These looked to be the classic slow-moving zombies, not the super fast ones from some of the more recent horror flicks. But weren't they, regardless of speed, relentless? If they really were after him, they wouldn't give up, no matter where he ran, until they caught him.

Hysterical giggles threatened to overwhelm him. Here he was, trying to sort this out as if it were science, not fiction. But, then again, there were two creatures he could only think of as zombies coming right at him. How much more real could this get?

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