Coffin Hop 2014 Day 6: Homeward Bound


Welcome back Hoppers!  I apologize for missing yesterday, but the ghouls and goblins kept me locked in the crypt and I couldn’t get away.  Luckily, I found a skeleton key and escaped.  Now, I have to hurry because they’re looking for me.  Don’t forget to check out all the other hosts with the most on the Coffin Hop this year over at the official site for all your Hopping needs.

We’ve had some fun this week with the guest posts and the contest questions and now it’s time to march forward and continue!

Dale Grant has watched the world he knew fall to pieces and the dead spill forth from the ground to devour all who cross their path.  Now, Dale is here with some insight into what happened to him and how he tried to go home again.

Homeward Bound

By Dale Grant

My dad used to say that the bible was a lie and I believed him.  I grew up with him telling me that it was nothing more than an elaborate weave of myth and legends.  I believed the same until a few weeks ago.  Nobody is really sure how it started, but just like in the stories about the end of days, the dead began to walk.  You’d be surprised how fast you start to pray when that happens.

I’m a junior at the University of Minnesota and my parents still live in Columbus, Ohio.  I love my parents, but I had to get away.  I think when we all grow up, we need to get away at some point.  Of course, I missed my mom’s cooking and I missed shooting with my dad.  Shooting was our thing.  During the fall and winter months, we’d go around and participate in ‘spot-shoots’.  I lost track of just how many trophies we had in the garage or how much prize money we’d won.  I didn’t have a lot in common with dad, just our love of shooting.  I hope they’re ok.

Anyway, I was sitting out in front of the dorms taking a smoke break from working on a paper when I saw the first one.  Melinda Hadley was walking down the sidewalk from the student union when somebody began to approach her.  I looked over at Chris Vance and we just sat there and watched the slow-moving shape get closer to her.  She stopped and waved at the other person, so we didn’t think anything about it.

Then when the other person got to her, she screamed.

Chris and I jumped up and rushed over to help her, but by the time we got there, her face was being chewed on by the campus security guard.  He stank and blood streaked his uniform.  His head turned toward us and we saw a milky white haze covering his eyes.  Bits of Melinda’s face were stuck between his teeth and his smile was smeared with crimson.

We ran.

It must have been campus-wide because we began hearing screams from all around us.  I grabbed Chris and we headed back to the dorm to hide.  I feel bad about not helping Melinda, but we didn’t know what we were dealing with.  Hell, nobody to this day knows what we’re dealing with.  It has become a way of life now, the dead walking.  We just accept it.  We ran back to the room and I tried to call my parents.  I dialed the number and it never even rang.  Their phones were already down and I had no way to be sure they were fine.

I have to get home.  Chris is going to go with me and I hope we can find some others out there that will help.  I have to get back home and I need to find a gun.  I’m coming home and I hope mom and dad are ok.

Dale is from my second story sale.  It was called, “Spot Shoot”, and it first appeared in Post Mortem Press’s, New Dawn Fades.  The tale is also included in, Wicked Tales for Wicked People.  I told myself I’d never write zombie fiction and here we are…

Before today’s question, I must give you my favorite Halloween costume growing up.  Mine was a Star Wars Luke Skywalker X-Wing Pilot costume.  Remember those costumes with the vinyl suit that tied in the back and had the plastic mask you couldn’t breath in?  I wore that thing for a few years and I had to have my mom replace the string for the mask a few times.  I straight wore that thing out.

That brings us to the question of the day… How do you celebrate Halloween?  Do you party?  Go to haunted houses?  Stay at home and watch horror movies?  Tell us how you spend the holiday!



6 thoughts on “Coffin Hop 2014 Day 6: Homeward Bound

  1. Another fantastic read!! How do we spend Halloween? For ten years, we ran a seven to nine room Haunted/Terror House. My husband is an engineer and would craft all sorts of gruesome props (that actually worked), and my father and I constructed and painted most of the sets with my mother chipping in whenever she could (day job). It was fabulous… the sound of parents screams drowning out their children’s is something I will always cherish. 😉

  2. Hey there! I didn’t know you had published with PMP. My first novel, Perpetual Night, was publish by them, and one of my short stories was part of ISOLATION! How much fun to meet you like this. =)

    I lived my childhood in Mexico and so we celebrated Hallow-Day of the Dead mash-up. The whole thing started on the days previous to Halloween, when we would set our offering to the dead. In a small side-table you put pictures of those family members who have died, then decorate the table with seasonal flowers, sugar skeletons, and the deceased’s favourite foods in live. Then, on Halloween we used to dress-up, but always as something scary or bloody. No Star-Wars costumes or Princesses allowed. Then, on the 1st and 2nd of November we used to visit the cemetery and leave flowers there. Then, the family eats the food that was displayed and shares in a family part to celebrate those who are no longer with us.

    I miss those days now!

  3. I enjoyed the excerpt. I celebrated Halloween by dressing my children up as a Zombie hunter and and Disco Queen and traipsing all over the neighborhood trick or treating, trying to avoid being decapitated by my son’s double-headed zombie-hunter ax (foam). I had a blast. I love Halloween. Always have. michelle_willms at yahoo dot com

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