This is the eighteenth chapter of Wake of the Undead.
William bent down beside his friend, Caleb, who had now died via drowning in his blood. He reached his hand out and closed Caleb's eyelids. He started to tear up, when he heard Caleb moan. He put his head up to Caleb's and listened. At first he was quiet, but then came the groaning. William looked down as Caleb's eyes fluttered open.
"Caleb," William said with a smile.
William was happy, but he was soon struck with fear as Caleb started to lunge at him. It was only a matter of seconds before Caleb had pushed William to the ground and was propped on top of him, growling. Caleb was a zombie.
"Ahh!" screamed William. Caleb pushed his mouth into William's neck and was ready to bite him, but a shot was fired, and Caleb collapsed. Dead, at last. Everyone looked over at Reuben, who still had smoke coming from his gun.
"What the fuck?" Theo said to himself. "H-how...how did he turn? He wasn't bit..." He looked over at Reuben and Leroy. "What the hell is going on?"
Theo, Ron, Zach, Reuben, and Leroy went back to the main part of town, leaving William, Hannah, and Quin with their dead friend. The former arrived several minutes later, and Theo stormed out of the car before it even came to a stop. He slammed the door and marched up to the lab, and swung the door open. Victor and Stephen were discussing something, and Theo glared at them.
"How?" Theo asked.
"How...what?" Victor replied, confused.
"How did Caleb turn? He wasn't bit, he wasn't scratched! How?" Victor and Stephen exchanged glances as the other four walked in. Stephen stood up.
"I may have found something in my studies a while ago," he told them. "If they were correct, the disease that turns us..is airborne. I had come across some documents from a while back that stated the U.S. government had been playing around with a fungus known as Ophiocordyceps unilateralis. The fungus changes ants' behavior that makes them spread the fungus' spores. The documents said the government was planning on trying to recreate a similar type of virus to be used on humans to resurrect the deceased. I'm assuming that the project failed and resulted in it being spread into the air, and resurrected the dead in an unintentional way worldwide. The result was zombies. From my studies, the brain is reactivated and must be severely damaged to be killed."
The group was shocked, and looked around, exchanging glances.
"So we all turn? Why didn't you tell us?"
"Until Caleb's alleged reanimation, I had no true way of knowing whether these documents were legitimate or rumors." Theo looked at Stephen, slightly doubtful of what he was saying.
"So, your "threat" is dead." Theo angrily and suspiciously looked at Leroy. "Are the others allowed here now?"
"I'm not sure," Victor responded. "I don't know them."
"You didn't know us, but you took us in."
"Morgan said she trusted you. She is very good at telling the true natures of people."
"Why not ask her about them then?"
"I'll get on that soon." Victor smiled at Theo, and walked off with Stephen. Theo, Ron, and Zach walked outside of the lab.
"He knew before," Theo claimed. "That son of a bitch knew, and he didn't tell us."
"Theo," Ron started. "Again with this? Victor may not be the nicest or friendliest man, but there is no way of proving that he killed James or that they knew beforehand."
"I know, but I also know what I feel in my gut." Theo walked off towards their house, and went inside.
Later that night, he had another dream about the girl, Amanda. At first he barely recognized her, or the name, as he had not thought about her in a while. Soon he remembered his past encounters with the name. This time, she was in a house, with two other men. She tried to talk, but no sound came to Theo. The image was far off, and blurry, so he couldn't make out what they were saying, but another name popped up. Jim.
Instead of Amanda, the name Jim kept pounding in his head, and he focused on the taller of the two men. He was tall and slender, with short, blonde hair. He had bright, blue eyes and wore a leather jacket and jeans. His image suddenly faded away from the others, and Amanda and the other man were left in his head, appearing saddened by Jim's disappearance from Theo's dream.
The dream vanished altogether from his mind, and he was able to sleep for several more hours. But after a while, Amanda popped back into his head. This time, she was with a different, tall, muscular man. She was hugging him, and was smiling. His mind tried to determine who the man was, and struggled for several minutes, but then he realized, Amanda was hugging him.