Karl was an accountant by day and a hockey super fan at night. He never missed one of his team’s games, even the preseason. Tonight was the big game seven. Two bitter hockey rivals facing off to decide the championship.
Karl was passionate about hockey, but he liked to eat even more. He had his feast all lined up for the big game. There were pizza rolls, chicken nuggets, pizza, corndogs, and even nachos. He had turned his hockey rink coffee table into a buffet. This may seem like a lot of food, but Karl was a large man. At age 47, he tipped the scales at 445 lbs. and stood 6’ 3” tall.
The game was as exciting and filled with drama. The overtime period had come to an end and the teams were still tied. There was going to be a shootout to decide.
“Laplante winds up, and shoots! …” screamed the announcer as the telecast was cut off and went to white static. Karl tried to stand in dismay, but that is when it all went black.
The cushy, tan chair and that had supported Karl in the upright position for the last eighteen hours was slowly causing his backside to grow sore. His sweatpants were filled with human waste as he couldn’t stand to use the bathroom. The chafing had festered into deterioration of the skin surrounding his genitals. He stared straight ahead at the white static on the television screen. He didn’t move, he couldn’t. The sweat dripped off of his furrowed brow and saturated his lucky red hockey sweater. It wasn’t too hot that day, but old widow Dietrich from downstairs liked to blast her thermostat. She could never get warm enough. Granted, she was easily 90 or so, but boy she liked it hot. Unfortunately for Karl, heat rises. He would open the windows, but he couldn’t move. His legs felt as heavy as two concrete pillars and his spine was equally as stiff. Karl could barely wipe the sweat from his own brow or stroke his cat that was curled up in a ball on his lap.
Jonesy, his cat, purred and purred as Karl stroked his calico fur. Thoughts of despair flashed through his mind, but Jonesy helped him stay calm. Suddenly, there was a pounding at his apartment door.
Karl slowly turned his head toward the noise and tried to speak, but nothing came out. All he could do was lightly moan. The pounding continued. A lump grew in Karl’s throat as he attempted to gather enough saliva to try and speak again. It took a while as the dehydration had diminished his voice. His throat was so dry that every time he tried to speak a word, he felt as though he had swallowed a handful razor blades.
The pounding grew louder. This time it startled Jonesy as he hopped down from Karl and took shelter under the hockey rink coffee table in the center of the room. Karl tried to move, but the stiffness and pain was overwhelming. Using what he thought was everything he had left, Karl reached for the remote control to his assisted lift chair and pressed the “up” button. The pounding was now as loud as ever. “There must be multiple people out there”, thought Karl as the assist chair allowed him to stand for the first time in eighteen hours. Unfortunately, he quickly collapsed onto the floor and cracked his head on the coffee table and rendered him momentarily unconscious. When he came to, he was face to face with Jonesy who was feasting on the plate of pizza rolls that Karl had dropped during the game.
Moments later, Karl stood at old widow Dietrich’s door, slowly pounding and moaning with his head pressed tightly against the handmade welcome sign that her grandson hade made for her in woodshop class. Blood from his forehead spilled out onto the walnut stained “E” on the welcome sign
“Just a minute… I’m an old woman!” shouted widow Dietrich as she hiked up her green plaid house dress and shuffled to the door in her ratty pink slippers.
Old widow Dietrich looked through her peep hole, but all she could see was Karl’s red hockey sweater. She opened each of her ten different locks while grumbling about how cold she was and how everyone upstairs was stealing her heat. As she opened the last of the locks, she slowly turned the knob and opened the door to see the most horrific scene of her life. There were body parts and blood strewn all over the hallway.
Two feet in front of her stood an undead Karl gorging himself on calico fur and flesh. Karl looked up from the mangled corpse of Jonesy with yellow bloodshot eyes and lunged for widow Dietrich.
The explosion that followed was fast and hot. It evaporated everything and everyone in its path.