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The Unfortunates: Ridley’s Story Part I

I was first on the scene. 

1 hour earlier. . .

“My name is Ridley, sir.” I thrust out my hand towards the new chief of police and gave the most genuine smile I could muster as I kept his domineering stare. “Nice to meet you, Ridley. My name is Chief Brackett. I’ve never had a woman working in my precinct before.” I groaned upon hearing this but kept that smile up for show regardless. “Yes, well, I’ve been with the precinct for 15 years this coming May.” He gave a slight scowl upon hearing me speak up for myself but continued down the line of awaiting officers to continue the meet and greet. 

Our previous chief decided to pull a fast one and took 50 kilos of cocaine and half a million unmarked bills out of the evidence locker and made his way down to Mexico just a week ago. His name was Devon Bloom and had been our chief in command since before I first started back in May of 2008. I had always admired him and appreciated how he led us efficiently and equally. There was no sexism or crude men jokes coming out of his mouth and fortunately for me, everyone else in the precinct took after him. You can imagine that it was quite a surprise once hearing the news of him taking a leave of absence the way he did. *Sigh* I was going to miss that motherfucker. 

“Alright everyone, glad that we all got to meet, I’m sure that I will get to know each one of you more later but for now, there’s shit to get done. So, get the fuck out of here and do your job,” bellowed Chief Brackett as he turned to go into his new office. I smirked briefly to myself knowing full well this was going to be a blast but went back to my own desk to prepare. 

I grabbed my jacket and turned off my desk lamp before walking over to my partner’s desk, Marc Whitley. “Hey Marc, you ready to go get this shit done?” I asked as I approached his desk. He turned around and said, “Fuck yeah!” Both laughing, we headed towards the doors and out to the car. 

30 minutes later. . . 

“Just drop me off here and I’ll catch you later,” Marc said as he opened the passenger door to get out. I rolled my eyes but just gave him a quick look and drove off. He was always out fucking somebody and did so every single patrol. He wasn’t picky, it could be a sex worker or a mom out shopping, his goal was just to get his rocks off and as often as humanly possible. I just shook my head in disgust and continued down the road when the radio crackled on, “Attention all units, attention all units! We need all units to head to St. Avoe immediately, I repeat, all units to St. Avoe immediately!” St. Avoe? I thought as I turned around and headed in the right direction. I dialed Marc to let him know that his private party would be cut short but was sent straight to voicemail. “What a prick,” I muttered as I put my phone down and headed to St. Avoe, only a 30-minute drive from my current location. 

Present. . .

I was first on the scene. I couldn’t fathom what it was I was looking at. From a distance, all I could see was rolling thick black clouds of smoke and the flickering glow of a fire. Upon getting closer, my eyes were not believing what I was seeing. There were human beings getting up out of the fire and milling about the place in search of something, I wasn’t sure what. 

I parked my car a couple blocks away and proceeded to get out of the car when out of the corner of my eye I noticed somebody walking towards me. I turned to face them and reflexively put my hand on my holster, putting my other hand up in greeting. “Hello there, my name is Officer Ridley. Are you okay? Are you hurt?” Upon hearing my voice, the man who looked to be in his 30s with only shorts on started to quicken his pace. His arms slightly rose as he opened his mouth to speak but instead let out a low moan. 

My heart started to beat faster as my mind tried to catch up and once, I heard that sound, my brain had an epiphany. Zombies? There’s no fucking way! “Sir, are you hurt?” I asked again as I unclasped my holster and grabbed the handle of my gun, feeling slightly more secure. 

The man kept coming towards me and was roughly 50 feet away from where I stood. I kept my hand up as I once more asked, “Are you hurt?” He continued his slow amble and again let out a moan, not giving me any notion that he understood what I was asking of him. I opened the door to my car and started to get back into it when I noticed a bright movement in front of the car. 

Those people on fire I noticed earlier had started to make their way to my location and were about to touch my car when I turned the ignition and put the car in reverse. I backed away slowly, trying to comprehend what exactly I should do when the man in shorts banged into my door. I looked up at him trying to see any sign of recognition when he raised a hand to bring down on my window, leaving behind a smeared print. 

I backed away more and started to turn the car around, noticing that there were about 8 individuals, 7 of which were on fire continuing their descent towards me. I pulled away, making sure everyone was accounted for as I peered in the rear-view mirror. Taking the radio in hand I clicked the talk button, “This is Officer Ridley, I’m in St. Avoe and I don’t know what to make of this situation, over.” I released the button and could only hear static coming through. My stomach tightened even more as I pressed the talk button again. “I repeat, this is Officer Ridley, can anyone hear me? Over.” Still nothing but static. 

I put the radio back in its holder and continued driving away, noting the dare I say it? The Zombies still making their way in the mirror. I picked up my phone and dialed Marc again, this time getting his voice on the other end. “Hello? Where the hell are you?” he asked, a note of panic in his voice. “I’m in St. Avoe due to the emergency transmission that came over the radio. I tried calling you, but it went straight to voicemail. Where are you?” I answered, revving the car up to 60 and making my way back in his direction. “Shit Ridley, I’m on the corner of 5th and Chestnut and you wouldn’t believe what I’ve just seen. I fired my weapon on 2 people a couple of minutes ago, but they got right back up. I shot them in the leg Ridley, the fucking leg! I had to high-tail it out of that area. I think I lost them for now but something very odd is going on here and I don’t know what to make of it.”

I closed my eyes in exasperation for a brief second, trying to comprehend what he just went through. “Marc, I honestly have no idea. I got here to St. Avoe and there’s seven of these things on fire and they were just about to reach my car before I got the hell out of there. Marc, I think, I think these are zombies.” I waited patiently for him to take in what I said and heard nothing but silence for what felt like forever. Finally, he replied, “What the fuck. I mean, they just got back up like they weren’t shot at all and just kept on coming and they were moaning. . . Oh my god, zombies? Do you really think so? How in the fuck?”

“I’m on my way to your location, try to lay low and get off the streets. I’ll call you when I get to 5th and Chestnut.” I hung up my phone and pressed the gas lever down, cranking the engine up to 90 on the highway and hoping that I made it to him in time. 

20 minutes later. . . 

Marc’s end kept ringing endlessly when I made it to the corner, he informed me about. “Fuck Marc, where the fuck are you? I muttered to myself as I kept the car in idle, redialing him again and again. I looked around and took in my environment, noticing that the roads were surprisingly empty minus a car parked on the side of the road here and there. I didn’t see anyone around but took another minute surveying the area before reluctantly getting out of the car. 

I took my gun out and kept it by my side as I attempted to call Marc yet again, finally his voice came from the other end, “Ridley, where the fuck have you been?” He sounded scared and was speaking in a low voice. “I’m where you told me you last were, where are you?” I replied, feeling a sense of uneasiness wash over me. “I’m inside the hardware store across the street. I’m hiding underneath the office desk in the back of the store. There were more of those things outside, those zombies, but they walked past a few minutes ago. You didn’t see them?” 

I turned toward the direction of the hardware store and slowly walked across the road. I continually kept looking all around me as I made my way across, afraid to move too quickly lest I made any noise. I got to the door when I heard, that low moan from not one but a group of the zombies. I looked and saw them coming around the corner a block away and locked eyes with the first of the pack. Upon seeing me, it let out a moan and alerted everyone else to my presence. “, Marc, get your ass out here, we have to get the fuck out of here.” 

In an instant, Marc was at the door and opening it up, a wave of relief washing over his face upon seeing me. We ran back to the car and were off down the road leaving those zombies in the distance. 

To be continued. . . 



  • Margaret Villarreal

    Margaret is 32 years old, currently living in Miami Beach, Florida with her partner Keziah and their three Chihuahuas; Betsey, Nadja and Aro. She enjoys reading, gaming, creating art and writing in her free time, as well as getting to visit the beach almost daily.

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