Last Phone Call

“Ty, I’ll get there as soon as I can, alright?”

Tyler slumped back against his bedroom door frame, the cell phone slipped from his grip because of his sweat soaked palm, dropping right to the floor. Quickly, he picked it up and slid the speaker back to his ear. They had barely made it inside; the neighbors, the dead neighbors had flooded to the house when his father had used the shotgun on the first one. It happened so quickly that scouring their land and attempting to make it secure failed and they had to run. His father had been slower, almost getting caught by one of them but they were safe inside now. Father was securing the house and Tyler was in the back, his bedroom, still breathing heavily and hanging on to his sister’s placating voice.

“Have you seen them?” he whispered, still having trouble catching his breath. “Mrs. Gates, the old lady next door, she… Damn, Becca, she’s–”

“I know, it’s okay buddy, I promise. I’m leaving my apartment now, alright? A straight drive and I should be there in less than a day.”

“Why the hell is this happening? I thought it was just a ruse, I thought the government–”

“It’s all lies. Don’t freak out on me.” Rebecca’s calm nature in stressful situations soothed him a little and he straightened his back, moving to sit on his bed. He could hear shuffling around on her side as she asked; “How’s dad?”

“Shaken, too. He got attacked–”

“Was he bit?”

“Geez, can’t you let me finish a fucking sentence? He wasn’t bit. The… thing scratched him though.”

There was a pause and silence on the other line, then her voice came, cracked and shaken. “He was scratched?”

“Yeah, what’s wrong?” Tyler’s full attention was on his phone now; his grip threatened to snap it in half. “Becca, what?”

“It’s not the saliva, Ty, it’s some type of bacteria. There’s bacteria under the nails. Hell, those fucking things are crawling with it.” Her calm demeanor was gone and Tyler’s fear heightened beyond anything he’s ever felt before. Footsteps caught his attention and he looked up to see his father standing in the doorway; pale and shaking but very much alive. His breath caught in his throat.

“Tyler? Talk to me, Tyler.”

“Tell her I love her,” his father spoke, voice weak. Tyler barely heard him. “And you have to go, son.”

His eyes watered and a couple of tears fell without warning. “Dad loves you, sis.”

“What?” A stream of curse words came through the speaker and her choked sobbing was painful to hear. “Put him on the phon–”

The line went dead.

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