Miles To Go

Chapter 5 - No Way Home

I hurried over to the dresser next to me, and I tried to see if I could move it in front of the door to keep Ol' Man Simpson from breaking in before I could get away! I strained my arms as much as I could, squinting my eyes tight and grunting as I pushed and pushed with all of my might, but it wouldn't budge. "Unnnngh!!!! Come on!" I turned around and put my back up against the dresser, digging my heels into the carpet as deeply as I could, my sneakers using whatever traction they had to grip the floor as I fought to move this stupid thing. I even put my foot on the wall, trying to move it a few inches, but it just didn't work. DANGIT!!! I hate being so darn puny!

I pushed and pushed and pushed...but I just wasn't strong enough, and I saw the door rattling so hard that monster Simpson was about to break through. This wasn't going to work. Instead, I just grabbed a chair and tried to put it under the doorknob. That works in movies, right?'s a 'twisty' round doorknob. That's not going to do anything at all!

"EAT!!!" A super hard 'thud' rammed into the door, knocking that silly chair clear across the room! I began to panic. I could...ummm...I could hide! I could hide in the closet! Or maybe under the bed! But...what if he finds me? If he sniffs me out, I won't have anywhere to run to. Awwww, I'm so high up on the second floor. It's scary up here! "EAT!!! EAT!!!" time left to debate my options here. I've got to go out of the window. I've GOT to! I could hear the wood of the door cracking as he pounded his fists against it harder and harder with every strike, and I had no intentions of being around when he busted it wide open. Even the plaster around the door hinges was beginning to crack and splinter at this point. So I scampered over to the bedroom window, and I had to struggle a little bit to get it open wide enough for me to wiggle out of it.

I could hear yelling and screaming from down below, and there were kids that I had been partying with all night trying to run from whatever it was that was chasing them. It took my eyes a moment or two to focus on what was going on, but whatever had gotten a hold of Ol' Man Simpson must have infected a bunch of other folks too! Because it looked like there was a bunch of strangers down there, trying to munch and crunch on my new friends. Yikes!

Suddenly, I heard the bedroom door split in two, and Ol' Man Simpson pushed his face through to glare at me with his disgusting face, all warped and wrinkly...his eyes were pure white, his pupils a light gray, to the point where you could barely see them at all. His lips were pulled back in this demonic 'snarl', and he seemed to be biting at the air itself, trying to force his way in so he could eat me. As scared as I was, I just lifted my leg up and tried to step out onto the second story roof and lower my head so I could fit out of the window. It was a it tiny...but then again, so was I.

DANG, I wish I could have pushed that dresser in front of that door! Because he came charging through it a second later and immediately started stomping his way towards me! I was barely able to get my other leg out of the window before he reached out to grab me!

The roof had a really steep slant to it, and when I scooted backwards, I had to plant my hands behind me to keep from rolling backwards and sliding right off of the edge. I couldn't understand what the heck had happened. As I made an effort to get up on my knees, I looked at the area around me from this elevated position, and it was like the whole world had suddenly gone completely INSANE!

Police cars and sirens were racing up and down the country roads surrounding us, smoke was in the air...and way off in the looked like the downtown area of Chicago was exploding or something! What's going on? Did I miss something while I was down in the basement? Where did all of this chaos come from so fast?

I carefully got up on my feet, and stood on the roof, careful not to slip off...just as three or four super loud helicopters flew over my head at top speed. These weren't like the news crew helicopters that I was used to seeing every once in a while. They looked like military choppers. Fully loaded with weapons and stuff. So loud, and flying so low that the wind was blowing my hair back and kicking up dust from the farm. I saw a massive scuffle going on below me, an entire air raid going on above me, and just when I thought it couldn't get any worse...


Ol' Man Simpson began reaching out of the window to take a hold of me, but once he figured out that I was too far away, he got smart and started to weasel his way out of the window too! Noooooo! Leave me ALONE!!! Oh gosh!

I tried to be as careful as I coul, walking on that slanted roof. I was so high up. I never thought that I was afraid of heights before, but right now, I'm starting to think that it was a rather logical fear to have. Especially if I ended up falling down into the crazy pandemonium that was going on down below. Omigod...I hope Deanna is ok! She was so nice to me!

Wait...I can't think about that now. Simpson was all the way out of the window now, and he was crawling towards me on all fours like some kind of a freaky spider or something. I had to keep moving. I shuffled my way over to his chimney and put myself on the other side of it before he was able to reach me. "Please stop! I didn't do nothing wrong!" I begged, but it was like he didn't even hear me talking. He just kept gnashing his teeth together, creeping closer as his insatiable hunger for my flesh took a hold of him and blocked out everything else. "QUIT IT!!! I'll tell the police!!!" I squealed, but I don't think he cared about any of my empty threats at all. He just kept coming.

Looking down at the ground, I saw more of my Valley Oaks classmates scattering around in terror, some of them making valiant attempts to fight back...but without much luck. Ol' Man Simpson swiped at me with his wrinkled hands as soon as he got close enough, and I made sure to keep myself on the other side of that chimney to keep us apart. If he moved right, I went left. If he went left, I moved right. He was so desperate to get his hands on me that it was difficult to keep myself up to speed. Then he was able to grab a hold of my wrist, and I screamed as he tried to pull it up towards his face, opening his jaws wide to try to take a big bite out of me!

Without thinking, I kicked him in the shin, and dropped down to my knees...pulling my arm free from his authoritative grip. He fell down, but so did I. And before I knew what was going on, I began to roll and slide down towards the edge of the roof. My arms were flailing about, trying to grab on to anything solid to keep me from dropping down from my elevated position. The only thing that stopped me from going over the edge was my sneakers getting lodged into the gutters on the side of the house. Otherwise, I probably would have been a pancake on the ground. However, Simpson found a way to use his claw like fingers to hold on to the roof as well, and we looked at each other for a moment before the shock wore off and I got my butt back into escape mode. I rolled over and tried to scale my way further up on the roof, but the stupid shingles were so loose that they kept coming off and causing me to slide further down with every step.

"EAT!!!" He said. "EAT!!! EAT!!! EAT!!!"

"Shut up, already!!!" I screeched, still struggling to regain my footing.


He's not eating me! No way!

I squirmed back up to the top of the roof and tried to see if I could wave my hands in the air and maybe alert some of the cops that were driving down the road. "HEY!!! Over here!!! I need help!!!" I shouted, but it was silly to think that any of them could possibly hear me. Over their sirens, the screaming kids down below, and another sudden rush of military choppers flying over my head at that particular moment, racing towards the city as though they were all going to little squeaky voice was hardly a priority for a single one of them. help isn't coming. Got it.

I watched as Ol' Man Simpson began to crawl around the chimney and follow me up to the top of the roof. His blind eyes glaring at me with the most evil look that I had ever seen. I saw what he had done to Jason downstairs, and I certainly didn't want that to be me. So I tried to carefully guide my steps towards a different part of the roof as Simpson worked to slowly chase me into a corner where he could devour me whole.

Careful, Preston. Don't fall. Keep your feet steady.

OMIGOSH!!! He's coming!!!

I moved closer to the edge of the roof, looking to see if I could find a way back down to the ground. There were no trees close enough to the farmhouse for me to jump to. No ladders. Ummmm....ummmm...wait! Over there!

I moved around to see a long aluminum pipe running from the roof's rain gutters down to the ground. Maybe I could climb down that way? I don't know. It looks awfully flimsy and weak. I don't weigh all that much, but it's probably enough to cause that one little pipe to break and send me reeling back to the ground where I won't be able to get back up again. I could break a leg or something. Then what would I do? You know?

But as Ol' Man Simpson stood up and started rushing towards me without any regards to the steep decline in the roof whatsoever, I realized that I didn't have time to work this out in my brain. It was going to be now or never!

With a brief scream, I hurried over to the edge of the roof and sat down to fling my legs over the side and take a hold of the gutter pipe, bravely sliding forward so I could shimmy my way back down to the ground.

Already, I could hear the brittle structure creaking and pulling as I put my full weight on it. I felt a few fearful tears running out of my eyes as I inched my way down. And that's when Simpson's face appeared over the edge of the roof, and he bared his teeth at me. Long streams of saliva running out of his mouth and dripping down onto my hands and arms as I attempted to get low enough to keep his filthy hands off of me.

I kept moving as fast as I could, but I was still pretty high up from the ground. And Simpson didn't seem to care at all. He just kept reaching. His hand kept swiping at me, over and over again, until finally, he let out this really evil growl from the back of his throat and slid far enough forward to actually slide right off the top of that darn roof and fall all the way down to the ground below! I slammed my eyes shut for a moment, not wanting to see the fall that would probably kill him once he hit the ground. But it was then that I felt a sudden shift in the pipe that I was holding on to...and I watched as the metal brackets that were attaching it to the side of the house began to give way.

There were a few creeks and cracks at first, an I tried to stay super still so I wouldn't fall...but at the piping began to break and bend away from the rest of the building...I knew that staying still was only going to ensure that I fell from a higher altitude. So I opened my eyes with a gasp, and tried to slide down as close to the ground as I could before the pipe broke completely.

Come one, come on, come ON!!! Lower! Get lower! I think I can...ahhh, SHOOT!!!

The pipe broke completely, and I found myself falling backward as it detached itself from the farmhouse, completely.

I fell all the way down into the dirt, the impact taking the breath out of my lungs as pieces of the gutter showered down upon me. I coughed and sputtered for a bit, trying to rub the dust out of my eyes as I got my focus back. And that's when I saw Ol' Man Simpson crawling towards me at top speed on all fours like some kind of crazy lizard! "Ahhhhhh!!!!" I rolled over to get on my feet again, and saw some of those other...'things' racing in my direction too. "Screw off!!! Meanies!!!" I screamed, and I ducked and dodged my way around them to head back towards the picnic table. I saw my knapsack still sitting there, and grabbed a hold of it as I quickly swerved to avoid a few more of those monster thingies and headed towards the cornfield. I was already so sore...soooo tired. But I had to keep going. I had to!

I zigged and I zagged and I spun around so none of the bad guys could get a hold of me. They were all super hungry from the looks of it! And I wasn't about to allow myself to be their next meal. Not if I could help it.

I ran, top speed, towards those big, tall, corn stalks in front of me, and it only took me a couple of seconds to wade far enough in to be invisible to the rest of those monsters who were looking to eat up everybody else at the party. The corn stalks were all taller than me by a few inches at least, but I did what I could to stay low, regardless. Owww...stupid corn shucks! Owww! It was like running through a field of razor blades! Just needed to get far enough away from the...OWWW!!! From the house, to be safe! Ugh! I could feel the corn cutting my arms and face as I charged through it, but I knew that i had to ignore it for now. I can patch myself up later, you know? Right now, I've got murderous psychos trying to take bites out of me. And that can't happen. No way!

I went so far into the depths of the cornfield, that I lost my sense of direction. I wasn't really sure where I was at the moment...and the corn was so high that I couldn't take a quick peek above it to see where the main road was. Even when I stood on my tip toes. I jumped up a few times...but it didn't seem to help me much.

Should I go right? The main road should be on the right....right? Or...did I get turned around somehow? It's hard to remember. I was lost in hysteria when I first ran in here, so it's hard to remember what I was thinking initially.

I could hear the ruffling of corn stalks ahead of me, and ducked down to keep quiet. My breath was short. My heart beating so fast that I thought I'd faint at any moment if I didn't get it under control. But it wasn't coming from just one direction. It was coming from many directions at once.

I got down on my hands and knees, trying to keep the horror within me under control as I crawled forward and tried to avoid the sinister noises I heard ahead of me. Or from either side. I could clearly see shadows and silhouettes of these savage cannibal creatures pushing their way through the stalks. Just inches away from stepping on my fingers and giving away my position at some points. But I held my breath, and tried to navigate my way around them as best as I could...freezing and curling up in a tight ball as the passed me by.

There were SO many of them! All of a sudden, out of nowhere. They were wandering through the tall stalks of the cornfield, and I couldn't see them from a distance. Especially in the dark. Only when they were within a step or two from running right into me, face to face. I kept listening for any disturbance in the sharp leaves, the sounds of these things moving around...but I couldn't SEE anything! I wasn't tall enough! So I kept trying to crawl around on my own, stopping whenever I saw one of those creepers wading through the stalks in an attempt to gain access to the house. They were bloody, and evil, and determined to hurt as many people as they possibly could before they collapsed in on themselves. I never thought that I'd see such a thing in this world...but, here we are.

And it was then that...this one woman, half of her face eaten off, clothes torn...stepped forward through the particular patch of cornfield that I had been hiding in. Her head turned towards me slightly, and I froze. Praying that she would just dismiss me as an 'innocent' and let me go. But...I wasn't so lucky.

Her mouth opened wide, and this unnatural hiss escaped her lips as she lumbered towards me with her hands out! GAH!!! I got up on my feet to run away, but I had only taken a few steps forward before running into another one of those things and bounced off of his chest to fall back on my butt in the dirt. Now I had two of them coming after me! Nooooo! I want to go home!

I dashed left and I dodged right, and I felt the razor sharp leaves slicing me up all over as I tried to rush through the cornfield at top speed...but every time I avoided just one of those things, there were two more ahead of me. The cornfield was literally infested with them now.

I nearly wet my pants when I felt a hand grab me and pull me down to my knees again. Thankfully, it was one of the other boys from the party tonight. He put a finger up to his lips to signal me to keep quiet, and I noticed that there were some other high school kids hiding out there with him. All of them just as scared as I was. "What's happening? I don't know what's going on!!!" I whispered frantically.

"Shhhh! We need to stay low and try to get back to the road. I think it's over that way, but we've got to make sure that we stay low until the coast is clear. K?" He said. He looked back over his shoulder at the others, "You guys ready to move?" They all nodded. "We need to stick together! Turn right, and once we get out of the cornfield we'll..." AHHHH!!! A pair of bloody hands suddenly snatched the boy up and yanked him to his feet as the monster man jerked forward and sank his teeth deeply into the side of his neck! Nearly tearing his throat out as he continued to chew and chew and savagely scratch him up with both hands.

All of us screamed in terror and abandoned whatever 'plan' we thought we had about heading towards the road. Instead, we scattered in five different directions and just started running as fast as we possibly could.

I could hear another one of the boys holler out in pain as another one of those mutant things tore into him. Then, one of the girls shrieked as a different one caught her off guard too. No no no no no...RUN! Just...just RUN!!!

It sounded like they were all getting picked off, one by one. And there was absolutely nothing that I could do about it.

My heart was racing. My legs were sore with fatigue. I was getting dizzy from breathing so hard. But every time I stopped to rest for a moment, I heard more shuffling in the cornfield and had to gather up enough energy to keep moving. So I pushed myself to the very limit and I kept getting all scratched up on my arms and face as I finally came to a spot where the tall corn stalks ended. I could see the paved road ahead of me, and stumbled my way towards it. Eventually falling to my knees as I reached out to touch it...almost as if to prove to myself that it was real. I made it. I can't believe that I actually made it.

As more helicopters flew over my head and a flurry of urgent sirens and cop cars came speeding in my direction, I fought to get back up on my feet and wave my arms on the side of the road to try to get somebody's attention. Most of the cop cars rushed right past me, but one of them actually pulled off to the side of the road and screeched to a halt when they saw me. They opened the door, guns drawn at first. I was sooooo tired, but my sore arms went up immediately to let them know that I wasn't a threat.

"What the hell are you doing out here kid???" The officer asked.

Breathlessly, I said, "There was a party, and some booze, but I didn't have an booze! Not that much booze! And Ol' man Simpson has a farm, and he was supposed to be on vacation but he never went on vacation, and I almost got beat up, but I didn't let them beat me up and then I went in the house, and Jason got bit, and lots of other people, and then the cornfield..."

He obviously didn't know what the heck I was talking about, and just put his hand up to keep me from trying to explain any further. "Just...get in the back, kid. Ok? Let's get you somewhere safe." It almost hurt for me to step forward, and the other police man allowed me to lean on him as he walked me over to the car. He put me in the backseat where the criminals usually go, and he gave me a blanket to keep warm before closing the door.

Once we started moving, I noticed that the leaves in the cornfield were still moving. Those...'things' were still out there. And there might be some of my classmates still stuck out there too. Aimlessly running around, searching for a way to get back to the road like I did. Who knows?

The reality of what I had been through was starting to settle in, but I didn't want to acknowledge it. It was too much for my emotions to handle fully. Not all at once like this. Plus I was super sleepy from all of the running and climbing and crawling that I had been doing. I could barely keep my eyes open.

"I think...I need to call my mom..." I said, starting to lose consciousness. "Can I call home? My mom...? She's gonna be so worried about me."

They both exchanged a look in the front seat. A brief silence passing between them. And that's when the driver said, "Let's just get you some place safe first, ok, kid? Everything is going to work itself out. Just rest for a little bit and we'll make sure that you're taken care of."

"M'kay..." I yawned. "Prolly a good idea..."

I was just getting ready to pass out when I heard one of them say, "Where are we taking him?"

"The military says that they set up a temporary triage for refugees in a high school not far from here. As long as the kid hasn't been bitten, he can go in and get treatment. They've got enough food and resources to last them until this craziness is back under control."

"A stronghold?" He asked.

"A shelter." The other officer replied.

As long as it keeps me away from those monsters and those monsters away from me...I think I'm cool with that.