Chapter 6: Believe what you see …… mostly
Ben glares down at his wheelchair bound son "Chip I don't have time for this son." Ben steps over the leg struts on his sons black wheelchair moving briskly to his workbench, he reaches for the sleek sliver laptop sitting before him. Chip catches his fathers wrist "Dad seriously!" What passes next is one of those brief tense moments of silence that only a father and his eldest son can know. Benjamin junior gains a brief moment of clarity he realizes as he has since he was confined to his wheelchair. That his father often took pity on him holding off on some of those life lessons that if he were "able bodied" his Father would've taught him long ago. Chip was well aware of being spared the full wrath of his father. Just as Chip felt he was spared the full depth of his father's love both were out of guilt. Slowly the younger Benjamin relaxes his grip drawing back his hand. "Dad trust me..." Muffled voices floating through the open shelter door break the stalemate. Chip speaks up first “Dad I was looking on my phone yesterday before the battery died. There are all these rumors drifting around the web.” Ben carries through with his initial plan and powers up the charging laptop. Ben turns his back to the device as it goes through its setup. Leaning on the workbench crossing his arms, he resigns himself to hearing his boy out. “Look dad I know you’re stressed I get that so am I, but we can’t ignore the facts.” Chip pulls the computer across to him parking his wheelchair and deploying the brakes. Ben Jr. pulls his cell phone from his pocket and plugs it in as well. Using the phones internet signal he opens a wifi connection with the laptop. The boy’s hands dance about the keyboard logging onto the internet as he goes. “I heard what you told Mrs. Fullerton ….” Chip doesn’t look away from the glowing screen. “…. apparently dad it’s ok for you to indulge your rampant paranoia, but you think me saying Mr. Fullerton’s gonna turn into a zombie needs proof.” “Son I…….” Ben was cutoff by his eldest. “A lot of web pages are down and more are going down daily dad but the wireless phone networks are still running on back up power.” Ben’s inclination was to rub his temple. When his kids talked technology it made his head pound. He had worked with his hands all his life building physical things that could be touched. Ben had no desire to understand the “web” or anything he couldn’t see or touch with his own two hands. However he felt bad about dismissing his son so he indulges him.
“Watch this dad…” Chip pivots the bright screen towards his dad. A grainy image begins to play silently. “This news channel hasn’t updated since last night but this video is from Japan.” Ben kneels down resting an arm on his son’s chair. The video looks as if it was shot from a cell phone and the photographer seems to be back peddling slowly as trying to remain unseen. The subject in the video is stalking about in the shadows of a darkened alley. The figure looks to be a short petite female and she is looking for something. She moves with an odd hunched gait from one side of the alley to another searching for something or someone. Ben is conscious that he his leaning into the screen. He wants to take his hand and wipe the screen as if it will make the picture clearer. The stooped over form isn’t quite walking but she isn’t staggering either. “Son …” Ben says nervously rubbing his goatee. “You said zombie and I have seen a few of your movies. Don’t zombies shuffle around slower than that?” He points to the computer screen. “Yeah dad just watch this!” the boy whispers placing his hand on Big Bens back. Behind the female in the video shadows take human forms. These shadows look as if they’re swaying in place while light dances behind them obscuring their features. Suddenly the odd woman stares directly at the camera her face appears streaked with a dark liquid. Ben feels his heart skip a beat reeling back instinctively as if the woman on screen had the power to leap through into his basement. She moves now with a purpose and the photographer has taken notice. Ben sees the woman from the neck down her face obscured by the dark. She is wearing a torn dark blouse and a filthy white skirt. The person shooting the video now appears to be running while filming over their shoulder. The shaking in the video becomes more pronounced and the woman is falling behind the fleeing cameraperson. In the silent movie the woman is screaming with her head thrown back. Hunching down she leaps into the air coming down closer to the camera before vaulting off screen again. Now the cameraperson is sprinting the video showing the fingers wrapped around the device and denim jeans. In in an instant the video shows the camera phone pirouetting wildly in the air before static fills the screen.
Here in Chapter 6 of The Living Dark we find Benjamin and his son nicknamed "Chip." In the basement of their fortified house. Ben is still reeling from his oldest son's claim that his injured neighbor will return from the ER as a zombie! Chip has something to show his dad as proof once the fire up the generator and power up their laptop. Ben is shocked at what his son has shown him.
Next week Chapter will be up what will Ben do with what he's learned as he prepares for Carl Fullerton's return?
Want to know what happens next? Comeback the week of September 16th to find out!