“Hey! Hey, wake up!” My eyes widened as a huge shiver ran down my spine. I looked up to see my good friend, Adam. “Finally,” he said. “I’ve been trying to wake you up for hours.”
“What’s the problem this time?” I asked. “Maggots coming out of people’s ears now?” He laughs, but the happiness doesn’t last for long as he gestures to the window. I look outside.
“154 have already fallen; Over 800 infected,” said Adam as I looked out of the window in complete horror. There were smashed cars and burning buildings everywhere, with random pools of vile, green liquid covering the ground. Worst of all, the infected people walked about, seemingly normal until you take a closer look at their faces. Their bodies looked normal, but their faces were shaped weirdly. They looked as if they were those screaming ghost faces you find at Halloween stores. As they stumbled around, I could hear the loud, deep glottal growls coming from their mouths, or whatever they had left of a mouth.
“Hey wait,” started Adam. “I know that guy!” he said, pointing to one of the infected people. This one was wearing a tattered dark blue button-up shirt with a black T-shirt under it that read “O.I.M.A.C.T.T.A.,” whatever that meant. He also had on some pants, if you could call it that. They were, at this point, so ripped apart they looked more like a piece of fabric with a string attached to it than it did a pair of pants.
“Really?” I asked. “Yeah, we called him Communist Jimmy because of his button-up shirt,” replied Adam with a sigh. “What a guy. Never knew what O.I.M.A.C.T.T.A. stood for though.” He took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes.
“Alright, well I’m going to go try and talk to him,” I said, as I walked towards the door. Adam quickly ran to the door, attempting to stop me, but it was too late. I stepped out onto the cold, lifeless soil of the outdoors, looking around me. Everything was dead. The trees sat there without leaves and with very few branches. There were no longer birds flying overhead. Nothing could survive the sickness. But I had to remember the real reason I was out here. I had to talk to Jimmy. I spot him, or what was left of him, bending down and seemingly digging for something. I walk over to him.
“Hey, are you Jimmy?” I ask, but I get no answer. “Hey?” I try again. This time he looks up for a second and grunts, but then looks back at the ground. This is hopeless, I thought to myself. But finally I decided I would stay around for a little while, so I sat down, and looked at Jimmy. His face seemed as if it was deteriorating because of the sickness, as it had little scars, indentations, and cuts everywhere. Honestly, I felt bad for him. But he was just as the others were. Brain-dead.
I turned around, looking back at the house, if you could call it that. It was more of a broken-down truck that has been there so long it felt like a permanent building. I could see Adam gesturing to me through the window, seeming to say something along the lines of “come back here.” But I wasn’t about to leave Jimmy just yet, but as I turned around, I saw the dead corpse of Jimmy lying down on the ground. I felt tears coming to my eyes, but I wasn’t going to cry over someone I didn’t even know. I decided that we should give him a proper burial, so I lifted up his body and carried him to the truck. We didn’t have a casket, so we just hid him under the truck, until we had time to bury him, as it was almost nightfall. As I step into the truck, I hear Adam’s voice.
“I think you just made a big mistake,” he said. I ignored him, closing the door behind me and walking into our “living room.” I sat down on one of the boxes we used as chairs.
“Hey, Adam, you up for a game of pinochle?” I asked, grabbing the special deck of pinochle cards off the shelf and opening the box.
“Sure,” said Adam as he walked over, sitting on another box that was on the opposite side of the table as me. As I dealt the cards, I asked Adam one simple question: “So what do you think O.I.M.A.C.T.T.A. stands for?”
“Maybe it means only I make apples contain tiny tic-tac arms?” Adam replied with a laugh. I laugh too, but our laughs are only to be responded with a bump from below the truck. Adam and I glare at each other but say nothing. I continue to deal the cards. As we begin sorting our hands, I think of another way to say O.I.M.A.C.T.T.A..
“Omelets in my appetizers can’t taste tasty anymore,” I tell Adam rather loudly, unable to stop laughing. Again, however, the laughter is short lived, as I hear another bump coming from under the truck but this time it shook a little bit.
“Did you feel that?” I asked, my heart racing. Adam nodded his head in response, but we continued to play cards. I look at my hand and see two aces of hearts and a 10 of hearts as well as many other cards of the same suit.
“I’ll bid 21,” I say. I look up at Adam to see if I can tell how he feels about his hand, but as I see the veins in his wrist, I think of another funny definition of O.I.M.A.C.T.T.A..
“Oxygen in my arteries can tear tissue apart,” I scream unable to control myself. Adam and I laugh for a while, until I hear someone knocking on the door.
“I’ll get it,” I say as I stand up and walk towards the door. “Hello?” I ask after I open the door. But to my horror, standing in the doorway is a figure resembling Jimmy. Everything about him is a shadow except for his shirt and eyes. I can see the red glow on his shirt, reading O.I.M.A.C.T.T.A.. He pushes me back into the truck, grabbing my throat and shoving me against the wall. This was it. I was to die here. As I stared into the pitch black eyes of Jimmy that reeked of darkness, I could see my own reflection in them, but not normal me. It was a hurting, bleeding, dying version of me. As I slowly ran out of air, squirming to try and escape from the grasp of this monster, Jimmy whispered in my ear. “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.”