The town was changing. In more ways than one.
Word of the missing people had spread and people were scared, scared enough to leave town. Many of the townsfolk had up and quit their jobs, then left in the night. Little by little, it was becoming a ghost town.
Mayor Rossi, was forced to change his position on wanting to keep Monte Vista a sleepy little hideaway and take real action. Perhaps forced came in another form. He could have been co-erced or bribed, but none the less, the town slowly turned from the boring place to resemble many other towns with a bustling night life. Over night we saw, amusement parks being built, a casino, a multitude of different businesses and oh, my personal favourite; one very large pre-school. I thought, how sick do you have to be, to involve your self in a scheme where you entice people to slaughter. Especially children.
To top it off, the homes rich in architectural detail of the old days were replaced by homes you would find in any subdivision in any other town. Very nice homes of course, but not the image the mayor had tried keep for the town. The homes were being sold for rock bottom prices to get them sold quickly as well, bringing down the value of every other house in town. The long time residents, were not happy indeed.
Next to Cam and Caerul, this house went up:
It was the largest of the homes that followed beside it and was purchased by the Douglas family, who had twin girls. They made fast friends with the Alula children and could often be seen in each other’s homes playing or doing homework together. Mrs Douglas bought an old home and turned it into a bakery that became very popular in town.
Cam also became particularly fond of Freya and Nea, and Freya’s toddler Sally, who had bought a home just three doors down. Freya and Nea introduced themselves as best friends who banded together to buy a home and help raise Sally. The lure of such cheap properties, was too good to resist for them.
All the homes went up quickly and were the designs of one architectural firm called SweetPoyzin Creations.
Did I forget to mention the second cemetery on the edge of town? Rows of unmarked graves lined the yard in an informal manner that set one on edge more than any creepy cemetery could do. When a reporter did a small story in the local newspaper on the new site, he disappeared shortly after. However the feature did print but was generic and very business like. Residents of the town of Monte Vista were informed the need for the second site was due to another cemetery in a neighbouring town being flooded. The story also indicated that the burial records were clearly documented, but as the remains needed to be moved quickly, there had been no time to add the names to each plot. Carved head stones would follow shortly. We never saw the reporter again and to this day, no names have gone up on those missing headstones.
Katie, or Lily as I really should start calling her, “snuck” me into the pool house upper bedroom one night, and there I slept for three days until I conveniently got caught by Dr Barton. Lily, played her part well and began to plead with her father, saying I had been thrown out of the Alula house and had nowhere to go. He agreed to let me stay, as long as I only slept in the pool house room, which was a message that came across very clearly. Hint hint, stay away from my daughter’s bed. But it didn’t matter, because I was exactly where I wanted to be-under the roof of the key player and nothing, not even Lily, was going to distract me from my goal.
Subtlety was my strategy. Lily conveniently became busy anytime her father was home, leaving me to find ways to be in her father’s presence without Steve worrying about my attentions on his daughter. It wasn’t long before I was having breakfast with him in the morning.
I decided to sell my car as the next step in my plan, which I’m telling you was really painful. I loved that car! But it needed to be done to implement the next stage of the plan. I needed to find ways to get close to Steve, to gain his trust and so every morning I left half hour before Steve to walk to work. It took five days before he finally pulled over and offered me a ride to work. After that he decided, we might as well just ride together. I believed that to be brilliantly played on my part and not soon enough because, that walk was LONG considering the facility was all the way on the other side of town across the water. He said that since we were going to be temporarily living together and I was dating his daughter, it would be good if we spent time alone to get to know one another better.
Over the course of the first week of riding with him, I suffered deja vu. For I was put through the same interrogation I experienced at the police station from my bosses, with a slight twist of course with questions that were more relevant to his situation. However the premise was the same, as he too was trying to determine the same things. With the most important one being; was I able to be trusted.
As far as I could tell, everything was headed in the right direction for me and even though my senses were on high alert the whole time, I never felt I was in any sense of danger. I used this as my scale to mark my failure or accomplishment in everything that happened. But playing this mental game of second guessing everything, looking for evil around every corner and in every conversation was draining on my mental stability
My job as security guard at the science center and hospital, afforded me the maneuverability to get to know a lot of the staff in the building. I played my job the same way I did as a police officer; know everyone and keep my ear to the ground. I don’t know if I have a trustworthy face or what, but people will share almost anything with me. Katie said its my eyes, then added a bunch of flowery girl stuff that I won’t repeat here.
One thing I had ascertained, was the man I saw in the park that night with Dr. Barton was definitely not an employee or CEO of the medical center. However, here is what I did know at this point:
Dr. Steve Barton, who was the head neurosurgeon at the medical center, had also done a year’s rotation in plastic surgery, but before that, he came from a successful career in genetics. He had received many awards for his innovative strides in determining genetic strains in both D.N.A and viruses. No one knew why he had left that field to pursue neurology, but he had quickly made it to the top of his career is this field as well. Which meant he was either incredibly gifted, incredibly well connected, or both.
Secondly, there was a whole section of the medical center on the basement level that was inaccessible to employees below a level 5 clearance, which Steve Barton was, Mr. Monty and Dr. Darius Deluca, chief scientist in the field of? You guess it, genetics. The section was well guarded by pass-code doors and armed, yes I said armed, military people. I tried chatting them up a couple of times, but there they stood, stone faced and silent so I knew that was going to get me no where. There were several other scientists that worked behind those doors but I never saw them around the building other than through the glass in the doors to that section. That had me wondering if there was another secret entrance to the building where they could come and go, but after a thorough check of every brick on that building, it was clear that wasn’t the case.
So if the zombies were indeed in the secure section of the basement, then some how they were being transported out of the building on the nights they were out roaming. How, was the question and one I knew I had to figure out.
As the Fall season began, Dr. Barton threw his annual Autumn party at his house for employees of the medical centre. It was a semi formal affair with only light finger foods, a coffee bar with desserts and they installed a small dance floor in the living room. Katie, I mean Lily, insisted that I come to the party as her date which caused a bit of strain in the household. Steve told Lily he would think about it and a few days later we sat to have “the talk” before he would agree.
“Jin,” he said shaky his head. “You have really caused me some grief since I found you in my house some weeks ago. This attachment my daughter has for you was simply not in my plans for her.”
“I understand,” I replied.
“No, no you don’t Jin and that is the problem here. It’s not just some idea of wanting someone better for my daughter or a better life. There are things going on here, that I can’t explain and there in lies the dilemma. I realize that you have heeded my words to you and not been out with my daughter in public or revealed that she is my daughter at all. But if I allow you to attend this party, I would need to be assured you would keep up the pretense of who we are saying she is and what she is doing here.”
I nodded my head in response. “If you could maybe just explain why this is all necessary, I could fully understand-”
“That is not really your concern Jin!” he said sternly. “All I need to know from you right now is, can you be trusted with the information you know?”
“Yes sir. You have my word.”
“Trust is earned Jin. Show me you are worthy of it and we will see what the future holds.”
“Agreed,” I said to him. “But look at it this way. I know I was dating your daughter before her surgeries, but I walked into this house and knew who she was right away. What makes you think other people won’t? As far as I am concerned, if you want to pull this whole thing off, whatever IT is, you need me.” Let him chew on that for a while.
A few hours before the guests arrived, we were relaxing when Steve came downstairs and entered the room. He took two steps into the room and said, “What have you done?”
“Relax Steven, it’s just a temporary hair dye,” said Charlotte without even looking up from her book. “It will wash out so don’t make a big deal.”
“That is not what I am talking about. Maria, what have you done to your lips?”
“Honestly Steven!” Charlotte closed her book and stared at her husband. “She wanted a bit of collagen added to her lips and I didn’t see the harm. Its not like she got lip implants. Why are you making this such a big deal?”
“Yeah dad. Besides, I thought you liked women with big lips!” then she smirked at her father.
Steven’s eyes widened in a shocked expression and he stormed out of the room. I thought at that moment, it was the first honest conversation I has seen the family have since I moved in. Honest, in the most cryptic of ways I mean, if that makes any sense at all.
The party began and I ushered Lily from person to person mingling and making small talk. Everyone was curious who Lily was and we stuck to the script as if we were a recording set to loop. No one questioned it and I began to relax, but only a little. I was approached by Dr. Darius Deluca several times in the night, always when I was alone, but before we could get past a few polite sentences, we were quickly joined by Dr.Barton. I wasn’t sure if it was me Steve didn’t trust or his scientist, but I definitely felt something was up from both of them and I made a mental note to make myself more available to him.
Dr. Monty (as I should call him) spent the night avoiding me as much as possible, sending me indignant looks whenever our eyes met. He did completely surprise me though because he brought his daughter Bianca to the party, which told me he was even more smug then I thought or he still didn’t know about the affair. Bianca was not handling the evening very well, as was evident all over her face whenever she saw Steve together with Charlotte. Dr. and Mrs Barton played the loving, happy couple well and were warmly greeted by all their guests as they spoke to each and every one of them together. As the night wore on, they began to separate to complete duties and that was when I saw Steve head to the garage. I followed him, but stopped at the doorway when I heard voices.
“Don’t you see how much this is killing me?” Bianca cried to him.
“I know baby, I’m so sorry. You knew this was going to be hard. Why did you even come?”
I didn’t get a chance to hear her response because I looked up and saw Lily heading towards the garage. I stopped her and she smiled at me. “Hey, there you are! I’m just going to get some ice.”
“No, don’t go in there. You don’t want to go in there right now.” I didn’t have to say anything more because Lily then heard her father’s voice.
“Oh baby! I’m so sorry. You have to know this is hard on me too. Please don’t cry.”
“Seeing you with her just cuts me up inside. Touch me, I need you to touch me right now.”
(kissing noises) “Oh God, make love to me right now!”
“We can’t. We can’t do this here. My daughters are here. But I can do this for you.”
Then we heard more kissing and moaning noises coming from Bianca that rose in sound and urgency in impending orgasm.
Lily stepped back, “I can’t listen to this,” then quickly walked to the stairs nodding to people politely as she walked by. I followed and found her in her room.
“You knew!” she said through quick breaths as she tried not to cry. “You knew didn’t you?”
“Yes,” I said approaching her slowly.
She nodded her head and wiped the tears from her eyes. “My father is screwing around….I don’t know why I am so surprised. What’s a little tail on the side next to the criminal activities he is apparently so capable of doing? God!” she yelled. “She’s our age Jin! How disgusting is that?”
“I know,” I replied.
“How long has it been going on? Why didn’t you tell me?”
I pulled her towards me and rested my forehead on hers. “I don’t know. I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want to cause you any more pain. You can’t tell him you know Katie. You have to treat him the same way you always have done, so he won’t know. It’s going to be hard. Trust me, every time I look at him all I want to do is punch him in the face, but for now I swallow it and play the good employee and trustworthy friend.”
She nodded her head against mine. “Okay, I will try.” But as I left her to join the party, knowing her as I did, I knew that letting it go wasn’t in her nature and I worried about what I was going to do.
I didn’t get much time to think about it because the very next morning, Katie pulled her sister up to my room to talk about it while I was at work.
“So you finally figured it out, did ya. Took you long enough,” Maria yawned and said to her sister.
“We have to do something about this. Mom should know what a lying, cheating man she is married to!” Katie shivered, “I’m physically ill! I don’t think I will ever get those sounds out of my head!”
“Perhaps you should try making some of those sounds yourself then it won’t bother you so much!” Maria replied with a smirk.
“Just because you are sleeping with the ‘maid’ doesn’t make you better than me Maria. I will when I am ready. But what about mom?”
Maria sighed. “We can try telling her, but I don’t think it will do any good. Katie, you really need to start paying attention to what is going on here.”
“Why? What do you know?”……………………………….
Turns out Maria was right because Mrs. Barton was appalled at her daughters’ suggestion. She denied it was even possible. “I give your father everything he needs, and our sex life is more than great if you must know, which you don’t. I don’t ever want to speak about this again.”
A couple of nights later, I was just arriving home when I saw Steve outside on the phone. He was obviously angry, so I hid to eavesdrop on his conversation.
“Bianca is a full-grown woman and what she does is non of your business.” Then a pause.
“Your threats don’t scare me old man. I don’t care who you are. You have no right to tell me what I can and cannot do. I would suggest you be more careful if you know what is good for you.” Then another pause.
“You can try but you will regret it.” Steve hung up the call, the smiled at his phone in this really evil way and I knew he already had a plan ready. I was right.
The full moon came just two nights later and while I was out gathering photo evidence, what I saw shocked me to the core.
It was then I knew, that Dr. Steven Barton was more evil than we would have ever guessed.
Behold: Dr. Patrizio’s wife-Mrs Isabella Monty, now infected Zombie
After seeing this, there was no doubt as to who Steve had been talking to on the phone, but it left me wondering: How did Mr. Monty find out about the affair?
After that night, Mr. Monty took a leave of absence from the medical centre and Steve “temporarily” stepped up into his position. He reminded everyone at work who spoke to him that the change was not permanent, but as each day passed, you could see the cockiness growing inside him. I kept coming back to the scene in the garage and I began to wonder, when did their relationship turn sexual? Because it was obvious to me that, the garage was not their first physical contact. Was I missing more of Steve’s activities than I knew? I mean, I couldn’t stay awake 24-7!
I did however catch them entering the drive in theatre motel just days after the party and then partake of the movie afterwards. Just a really good example of how cocky he had become, as the drive in was not empty of customers.
It also left me wondering, if Bianca was as innocent as she seemed, for she didn’t act like someone who had just lost her mother. Did we have more players than we currently knew? Or was she as evil as Steve and was willing to trade her mother…….. for her lover?
**turning Mrs Monty was not my doing. Completely game generated.
Just so you know, I’m not that evil……. hehehehehehe.
CC Used In This Chapter