Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Mad Preservation

“What have you done?” Janice, the head librarian demanded as she held up several books that no longer had hardcovers. Instead, they were covered in a soft flannel material.
“These new covers will allow the books to last longer and are much softer and more comfortable to hold,” Harold, the leader of the Book Preservation Society, answered. “We created a chemical that enters the covers on a granular level when injected and they become flanneled.”
“Who gave you permission to do this?” Janice asked.
“No one. We came in and did this of our own accord, out of our love for books.”
“This is not acceptable! You can’t just walk in here and change them. These books are the property of the town. You’ve defiled thousands of books. I am going to have to call the police.”
“We didn’t hurt the books. We are preserving them, which is more than you can say you’ve done. You ungrateful shrill. You should be thanking us!” Harold replied angrily gesturing wildly with his gloved hands. “You deserve what is happening to you.”
“What ... what do you mean?” the librarian asked as she backed away from the Society members. She tried to put down the books but they had fused to her hands.
Harold and the other members watched as the books began to consume her.
“Please! You have to stop this!” Janice pleaded.
“Sorry Ma’am, but there’s no way to stop it,” one of the members replied. “If you hadn’t been so indignant about our goodwill gesture, you would have seen the gloves next to the books and the instructions to put them on before handling them.”
“You’ll pay for this!” Janice screamed as the books continued to assimilate her.
“All anyone will know is that you never showed up to work and have simply disappeared,” Harold replied. “And I’ll become the librarian and preserve all these books ... in your honor.”
Janice stared at Harold. “You’re mad!”
“Yes, madly in love with books,” he replied.
When she was completely gone, Harold picked up the books. “Simon, can you please put these books in the back? I don’t think anyone will be borrowing them for a very long time.”
Simon nodded his head then put the books in the back room of the library, burying them behind stacks of other books. Harold walked around the library and caressed the spines of the books that hadn’t been preserved yet.
“Don’t worry my pretties,” he whispered. “Harold is here to save you.”


“I didn’t train for this!” police sergeant Sam Miller yelled to his partner over the sound of the raging river. He struggled to stay on their makeshift raft as the water tossed and turned below them.
“None of us were,” Tom Sanders yelled back as he tried to steer the raft away from the jagged rocks the loomed ahead. Escaping  down the river was their only hope, even if it was nothing short of suicidal.
“Did you see the bloodlust in their eyes? I didn’t even recognize Gina or Timmy,” Sam said as he tried to block out the image of his wife and their only child before he shot them in the head.
“It was horrid but you did what you had to do. Hopefully the plague hadn’t reached Jackson yet.”
Suddenly the river calmed.
“We just shot them then went on the run. I feel like a coward,” Sam confessed as they drifted along.
“You had to do it. It was them or you. They couldn’t be saved,” Tom replied grimly.
They fell silent. Tom looked at Sam and noticed fresh blood soaking his sleeve.
“How did you get cut?”
“Huh? Hell, I don’t know,” Sam answered as he glanced at the wound. “We can get it cleaned up when we get to Jackson.”
“Yeah, okay,” Tom replied as he closed his eyes. When he opened them again a few minutes later, Sam was leaning over him with a bloodlust in his eyes. “Oh hell man. Not you!”
Tom shoved Sam away, trying to push him off the raft with one hand and reaching for his gun with the other. They tousled on the raft and fell into the water. Sam clung to Tom, trying to bite him as they both tried to keep afloat.
“Get off me!” Tom screamed and shoved Sam off him. As he floated away from his friend and partner, he watched Sam’s lifeless body sink into the water.
The river spilled into the bay and Tom swam for the shore. He dragged himself onto the sand and collapsed, completely exhausted. He woke up to the sensation of his head being gnawed on.
He could see Sam’s body out of the corner of his eye. There was only one thing to do. He pulled out his revolver. “I love ya, man, but I have to do this,” Tom said then shot Sam in the head twice.
Beach goers gathered around the two, shocked looks on all their faces. “The zombies are coming ... save yourselves,” Tom warned then turned the gun on himself.