Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for violence and mature content.
*Part One of a series I’m making. Gacha Club character designs are on my wall. Enjoy!*
In a small town called Mariesville, there was an abandoned bakery called “Jackson’s”. Legend had it that the double chocolate chip cookie with blue chunks turned people into zombies.
At the bakery, during the dark, starless night, were four teens by the names of Luisa, Josette, Charles, and Braden. It was the boys’ idea for them all to explore the place, as a double date. Braden brought Josette, Luisa brought Charles.
All in all, romantic.
The inside of the bakery had faded pink pastel and white striped walls, broken glass cases and gunk, foodstuffs, probably, splattered all around.
A shadow of what it once was.
Luisa couldn’t help but wonder how many wide-eyed children pointed to the treats of their desire, how many adults went out for something sweet in their lives, how many teens, like them, made memories of friendships and dates that only came with the freedom of being young enough to dream, but old enough to do?
It troubled Luisa to step in the grave of a once joyful atmosphere.
“Look here!” Braden said from behind the counter, jolting Luisa out of her thoughts.
In his hand, he held up a cookie with blue chips.
The “zombie” cookie.
“This was the thing that turned a whole town into zombies. This was the thing that made everyone’s skin go inside out. This single cookie right here closed down a bakery. A bakery, out of all places!”
“Do I dare take a bite out of this?” Braden asked, a wicked smile on his face.
“You don’t have the guts to do it.” Charles said, snatching the cookie from his hand.
“What do you think you’re doing?!” Luisa asked. She was unable to hide the panic in her voice.
“Relax, it’s just a cookie.” Charles said, rolling his eyes. It hurt Luisa when he did that. It felt like he didn’t think her thoughts mattered, like she was being too much.
“You found it in an abandoned bakery. I wouldn’t eat it if I were you.” Josette warned. Luisa sighed in relief. At least she had Josette to back her up, help her out.
“And? It’s a cookie, it’s not poison.” Charles said.
Then, he bit into the cookie.
For a while, nothing happened. He was just eating a sweet treat, a dessert before bed.
But then, Charles bent down, clutching his stomach. From his mouth came awful, hacking noises, blue chunks flying with yellowed gunk.
Luisa carefully walked up to Charles, checking on his health. Braden was biting his fingers, eyes bugged out in fear and intensity. Josette was walking up to the door, already in the mood for leaving.
It got to the point where Luisa was close enough to touch his back.
“Charles? Are you okay?”
He growled, a guttural, unnatural sound. Charles bolted to life, skin decaying, eyes white and wide. With his papery hands, he grabbed onto Luisa’s shoulders.
All at once, her head swam with the thoughts of eating flesh, forgetting who she was, a moving body that just existed for taking, and then-
Braden tackled Charles to the ground. Josette opened the door.
Luisa knew what she had to do.
She ran to the exit, to the open, fresh air, away from that bakery and its curse.
THREE WEEKS LATER
Charles’ virus spread to the town like The Black Plague, affecting nearly everyone in Mariesville in only three weeks.
Luisa, Josette, and Braden were the only humans alive, hiding out in Luisa’s house. It felt strange to live in a world so alien, so ghostly. They doubted there was a cure, but wanted to live while they still could.
It was Luisa’s turn to go get groceries. She was walking slowly, so the zombies wouldn’t hear her.
In the middle of the road, a lavender orb glowed.
No…Luisa had to be imagining it…it wasn’t possible…but zombies were real…
She rubbed her eyes. The orb stayed.
Luisa walked up to the orb, curious as to what it could be.
What was it doing out there? How did it come? What did it want?
Soon, she was as close to it as she was to Charles, before he lost himself.
The orb morphed, melted, materialized into…into a woman?
She was a young woman with lavender hair, twinkling brown eyes, a deep purple gown and cloak, white socks, and black Mary Janes.
She wasn’t dressed like anyone Luisa had ever seen.
Zombies groaned in the distance, loud, but not loud enough.
Luisa grabbed the woman’s wrist. Whatever she was, she was in danger. She needed to get inside, before the zombies came any closer.
As if to mark how much danger they were both in, the moaning and groaning was getting clearer and closer.
Finally, Luisa made it safely to her house with the woman. When they were both inside, Luisa locked the door and moved the two armchairs back in front of the door. It was extra protection.
“Who is she?” Josette asked. She and Braden were huddled on the couch, in each other’s arms.
Luisa wished that Charles was around to comfort her. Sure, she was a survivor, a warrior, but it would be nice to have someone to lean into, someone to trust with her whole heart.
“Hello? Who is that woman?” Josette asked impatiently.
“Oh! I…uh…well, she was an orb…but uh…then she became this.” Luisa said.
Josette raised an eyebrow, Braden seemed a little concern. Did they that she was crazy? Would they leave her to die?
“I’m a witch! My name is Marie.” The woman said brightly, speaking for the first time. Her voice was inappropriately optimistic for the current situation.
“I own this town, you see. My brother Jackson owned a bakery way back when. He didn’t like humans very much, so he made a cookie that turned them into zombies. That’s what he called them, anyway. Anyone who ate the cookie or was bitten would become a zombie. It was horrible, how fast it was spreading. I had to fight him off to end it all. I had to shut down the bakery, for the safety of the humans…I think it’s starting again.” Marie said softly, in a downcast tone.
“I didn’t want this to happen again, but it did. There’s a cure. A solution for this. You three just have to trust me.” Marie said.
Luisa was told all her life by her parents, just like other kids, never to trust strangers, for they could very well end her life.
But her parents were zombies and she didn’t want to be the savior anymore.
“I trust you.” Luisa said.
“What about you two?” Marie asked.
Josette and Braden immediately got out of the couch and joined them. It seemed like they wanted an end to the horrors as well.
“Very well. You three stand around me and I’ll take us on our journey.” Marie said.
The glow of lavender surrounded them. Zombie screams and shrieks resounded throughout the ghost town.
Luisa hoped that they weren’t making a mistake with trusting Marie.
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