Day 13 – In Virginia, they – Part 2

The second part to the critically acclaimed* masterpiece** trilogy*** “In Virginia, they”.

Written whilst slightly drunk on Crabbies and with no formal guidelines as to what the heck was going to happen in it save the next four words at any given time.

* – Alex Brown said it was “probably good”.

** – Eibhilin Macphail didn’t say it wasn’t a masterpiece.

*** – the word “trilogy” should be used with a degree of interpretation at this point in time.

And no, I haven’t read it yet.

Word count: 1333

Jerry stood quite still. He surveyed the family with a wandering eye. The daughter; he could probably take her; the son was potentially a problem; the father, there was something of a dodgy twinge when he walked; but the mother? The mother’s eyelids were flicking. Whatever was in that tomato juice had gone straight to her head and it was only a matter of time before her husband and children were was deranged as she was heading.

Like a frightening parody of a zombie film, they advanced. The mother was at the head of the pack; her children, keen for the kill, flanking her whilst her husband brought up the rear, ready if Jerry were to put up a fight: something which Jerry had no intention of doing whatsoever.

Jerry lived in the suburbs. He had a house, a cat (Larry) and a company car. It had a garden, nice driveway, trimmed hedges and a few sporadically planted daffodils. It was nice. It was nicely decorated, tastefully modern yet still maintaining that lived-in charm. But Jerry lived alone. There were no flatmates and there was no girlfriend. There hadn’t been either for years – at least a decade. Jerry’s memories of confrontation were so minimal there were small sections of his brain that had created a cult around their myth. Jerry was about as skilled at arguments and violence as he was at picking nice, friendly cafés to buy a cup of coffee in.

No, Jerry was most certainly not going to entertain their undead-like craving for tomato juice, which was why he practised what he’d become an expert in: running away. In some sort of slow motion he swerved his entire body around them, dancing his way around the edge of the basement as he did so, and made it to the stairs before they’d realised he’d moved. He smirked. Four hundred dollar a month gym membership certainly paid off.

But the look of achievement and self gratification was wiped clean from his face as they grasped a hold of what had happened and turned to face him. Once again he had his back to the wall; once again they were staggering towards him. Jerry had sprinted up the steps and was at the door within seconds, banging and bashing at the sturdy wood panelling. It wouldn’t budge. The handle was as stiff as the dead body he was shortly going to become.

Jerry’s primitive instinct completely packed in at that point. It had crashed and was now verging on the metaphorical blue screen of death; physical dumping would commence very shortly. He stood there, a frightened and cornered mouse, and could do nothing but watch pathetically as they came towards him.

Suddenly he felt something grab his ankle – he looked down and saw the daughter’s hand grappling on to to him – he panicked and kicked her off. But there was nothing he could do. The father was now coming up the stairs and the mother waiting patiently for her prey below. This was it. This was the e –

“Leave him alone!” a bodiless female voice shouted from nowhere.

The family stopped abruptly, obeying this person’s words robotically. Behind them and from the darkest corner of the basement, a girl emerged. She stood there oozing with command; her hips, her curves her thighs all enveloped with leadership. Jerry was awestruck.

“Get down here,” she spoke but the family did not move. “I said get down here.”

Jerry was launched out of his speechlessness, “ Who me?”

“Who else?”

Jerry actioned towards the family.

“Nah, they’re alright. They’ll be out of it in a few hours. The juice they give them isn’t that strong. Don’t want to waste it on prisoners, you see.”

The girl walked over to the window at the far side – Jerry swore she was wiggling those hips deliberately.

“Where have you come from?” Jerry asked.

“Over there, in the corner,” she pointed.

“Didn’t… didn’t you think to stop them before?”

She shrugged her shoulders, “Meh. I was asleep.”

“Asleep? I could have been killed!”

“Nah, not these guys. They’ve only been here three days. Not had a high enough dose….”

“A high enough dose…? What are you on about? Who are you?”

“Tomatoes, of course. Haven’t you taken in anything?”

“No! Surprisingly not! I stop off for a coffee in some hillbilly place and I don’t particularly expect to get thrown in a basement because I didn’t want the soup!”

“Come here,” she motioned with her forefinger.

“Why?” he stood his ground.

“Because,” she said.

He walked down the stairs.

“I’m guessing you’ve been here… an hour?”

“About fifteen minutes, actually,” he replied, “I hope the meter’s still running for the car….”

“Hmm. You lasted a long shorter than I gave you credit.”

“Hey!”

She stepped back from the window – a fine sliver of daylight caught her cheek and illuminated her face.

“My name is Tanya and I am your new best friend.”

Jerry was slightly taken a back, “Why?”

“Because I am the one person in this god forsaken hell hole that can save your ass.”

Jerry melted like an ice cream in desert.

“Now what’s your name?”

“Sinclair, Jerry Sinclair….”

“How very alluring. Now, do you know where you are? Have you had any of the soup? I take it not?”

Tanya reeled round like a commander and disappeared into the dark shadow that she’d come from. A second later and she was scraping out something heavy. It was a chest.

“What’s in there?”

“Everything you need to know about tomatoes,” she replied, “Now sit down.”

Tanya knelt down by the chest and so did Jerry.

“How long have you been down here,” Jerry asked Tanya, who was now fiddling with a key in the padlock to the chest.

“I think it’s been about six weeks. I can’t be sure.”

“You’ve been alone, all this time?”

“People come and go…. some only last a few hours to be honest.. they’ll be down soon to try and convince you. I was impressed by this family though. They held together for so long….” Tanya looked back at the family, who were still standing like inanimate puppets.

“What happened to them?”

“On the first night the waiter came down with one glass of tomato juice. He left it there. That’s all he did. That’s what normally what happens. Then he lets nature takes its course. The body can only cope for so long without hydration….”

“I don’t understand… why are they like this? What did the waiter put in the drink?”

Tanya, now pulling out wads of paper and maps from the chest, stopped and stared at Jerry as if he were completely missing the point. “Tomatoes.”

Jerry’s head was going to explode with confusion. Tanya pulled out a diagram of something spherical.

“Here,” she said, “Look. It’s all there. All the maths.”

Jerry poured over it, “I don’t understand….”

Tanya’s frustration was at tipping point, “Can’t you see? The tomatoes. It’s the friggin’ tomatoes – they’re, they’re controlling them, they’re changing something in their heads, their minds… I don’t fully understand it myself, but the entire town has been swallowed up by it… everyone’s had it…. everyone’s had the local tomatoes.. the local tomatoes grown at,” she raked through the chest some more before ripping out a tiny little tourist information leaflet, “that place right there.”

Seaview. Jerry had absolutely no idea where it was.

“So all these people have been affected, why not you?”

Tanya sat back and rested her head against the wall.

“Because my father is the one who grows the tomatoes….and it’s him we need to kill to stop him from growing any more.”

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~ by S.G. Mark on October 20, 2011.

One Response to “Day 13 – In Virginia, they – Part 2”

  1. Ooooo star wars moment.

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