It had all started when Mt St Helens erupted years ago. A parasite living deep in the fiery bowels of the volcano was expelled along with the magma and gasses. This parasite had been dormant since the time of the dinosaurs and no one knew of its existence until it started using humans as its host. It started its rein of terror by invading the bodies found dead along the side of the highway. It realized quickly that the cold lifeless corpses of animals made unfulfilling hosts. They wanted something more intelligent, something larger so that they could breed and transfer their young out into the world. They came across a pre-school.
The children were out playing during their recess when the parasites invaded the playground. The kids never even saw it coming. One second little Mary Sue Greene was playing hopscotch the next she was groaning and shrieking. The teacher on guard watching the kids immediately ran to her and called into his walkie-talkie for an ambulance. It would have been the perfect thing to do if Mary was ill. Unfortunately Mary wasn’t ill; she was deceased. The creature that took over her body pushed the soul/being/human that was once Mary into the universe and claimed the body as its own. It buried itself into her brain and thoroughly enjoyed using her eyes to view the world and her tiny feet to walk.
It had never had to walk before, always relying on air currents to move. As it mastered the fine art of walking and using the girl’s arms it looked like Mary Sue was having a seizure. The adult attempted to restraint the girl but the thing that had taken over the child hissed at him, gnashing her teeth and slavering like a pitbull. The teacher called again on the radio asking for some help. That was when little Brian Dobkins attacked the teacher from behind. The sweet blonde haired boy ripped Mr. Carmichael’s left arm off as easily as it were tissue paper instead of living tissue. The blood spurted from the severed brachial artery and a sweet coppery redolence filled the air.
The parasites remembered how hungry they were and they steered the little bodies under their control towards the owner of the deliciously scented liquid. Ten children fell upon Randy Carmichael; their teeth biting and tearing, their hands grasping and ripping his flesh. As the parasites swallowed the gobbets of flesh belonging to 2002’s teacher of the year they realized how much they enjoyed the taste and feeling of the thick chucks of salty sweet flesh as it rode down their throats filling the hosts’ tiny stomachs. The parasites were disappointed when they realized the children’s tummy’s were too small to hold much more blood and flesh. They attempted to unburrow themselves but found they were unable to leave this host. Nature abhors a vacuum and since the creatures had ousted the previous bodies occupants they were stuck in the tiny flesh suits. They cried and screeched but no matter what they did they were stuck. Their thoughts then centered on reproduction.
A self replicating species, the parasite began laying and fertilizing eggs in the folds of the human’s brain. Both the parasites and their eggs were too small for human eyes to see. The principal came out to check on Mr. Carmichael and Mary Sue. To his unfortunate surprise the horde of children fell upon him snapping and manducating. The flesh didn’t stay down long as the tiny tummies of the hosts were too small to hold such delectable bounty. As the infected children vomited up pieces of the poor man they wished their offspring better host bodies than they had found. They passed on the knowledge that they would be stuck in the bodies they infected to their eggs.
While the eggs were being incubated, the parasite ridden children had been separated and contained. The CDC had been brought in to explain why the little kids of Good Morning Pre-school had turned cannibal. They found some of the parasite’s eggs embedded in a slice of brain tissue they had cut from a little boy’s brain when he stopped moving and expired suddenly. As they watched under the microscope the eggs hatched and the room was cleared and locked down. The rest of the children were gathered and placed into a similar room. Both were airtight and nothing was allowed to escape. For three weeks the CDC team waited and watched as one by one the children’s corpses began rotting. They made the mistake of believing the parasites to be dead. As is usual with humans they set their own stupidly erroneous parameters upon the deadly parasites.
When the man in charge of the Zombie Project opened the door to the containment room he was suited up and believed himself secure. The door whooshed open and thousands of unseen parasites flooded the building. They didn’t care what level protection the suits were they bored through the rubber and plastic until they reached the soft flesh of the humans below. They liked the bodies they pirated and used them well. As the new horde shambled from the building they looked for more people. More yummy, delicious people. Some preferred the salty taste of the brains and some liked the sweet breads best, but all enjoyed the thick sinewy flesh and hot, savory blood.
The four hundred employees of the CDC were now basically mindless creatures with ravenous appetites. As they opened the outer doors they let their fellow parasites out to find bodies of their own. As they reproduced they learned in time that their children could be taught to head for the mouth of the host to be released into the world through the host’s saliva. This meant that they did not have to die for their off spring to flourish. It also meant learning some measure of self-control as they could only bite a human once in order to implant the young ones. It was hard to suppress the instinct to rend the soft skin and eat it, but as always the urge to procreate outweighed the insatiable hunger and the yearning for flesh.
As time went on the horde grew larger and the parasites lived longer. They started choosing their hosts carefully for fear they’d be stuck in an loathful host. As time marched on; the aimless horde started becoming more and more like a family. They began watching out for each other and each others’ larvae. If they saw a zombie about to bite a human they knew to be unworthy they’d stop that zombie and eat the human. Communication began and the horde became a living, thinking, working entity. Unfortunately good food started to become scarce and the flabby lay-abouts that populated the Northwest and the Midwest became almost unpalatable to the horde. They scuffled southward in search of more muscular and tastier bodies to add to the family as well as eat. As they migrated they were unaware of the fact that the humans were starting to fight back. The people in the armed forces discovered that sarin gas worked quite well at killing the parasites and their eggs. A plan was put into place to destroy the swarm as it moved.
The humans in towns along the horde’s route were evacuated and the roads and towns surrounding the legion of zombies were isolated save for the encroaching beasties. The Air Force had been elected to fly over the horde and release a large cloud of sarin gas. As the zombies died their corpses would be tossed into a deep freeze containment unit in the unlikely event that any survived. It was thought that they might have a problem with the cold. The solution had presented itself when a stray zombie found it’s way into the meat locker at a grocery store. It lasted not three minutes before it died. Nobody understood why the cold killed them, they were just grateful that it did.
Hundreds of thousands of bodies lay twitching in the streets, the sarin gas killing most and leaving a few in a coma-like state. As the men in the rubber suits carried the bodies into the deep freeze they were terrified of becoming infected themselves. Once they finished hauling the corpses inside the containment area they closed and sealed the door then rejoiced in their triumph. Humans all over the world celebrated that night as every country forced their zombies into a deep freeze of their own. It became a world wide independence day of sorts and the festivities were grand. Fireworks were set off throughout the globe and parties were held on almost every block in nearly every neighborhood. People were dancing in the streets and whooping with joy. It was a grand time to be a human.
Meanwhile the parasites waited in the cold. One day the humans curiosity would cause them to open the door and those that had adapted to the cold would rise to infiltrate and devour human flesh once again. They had agreed to start small and begin with animals. As they acquired the ability to communicate telepathically with each other all over the world the parasites waited for the day when the humans would begin their own demise. They were so excited to plan their escape and dominion over the Earth. The entire time they were held captive they plotted and dreamed. As they talked to each other wordlessly they realized they could unlock the memories and thoughts inside their host brains. The knowledge gained around the world was immense and they shared it with each other. As they laid in wait for the humans to accidentally set them free they grew excited at the possibilities of their future. They had never realized how quickly their time would come. Most assumed they’d have to wait a century or more. To find that they’d only have to wait weeks would come as both a surprise and a treat.
His name was Ned McCauley, he was a janitor at the base where the original freezer was. He always thought the giant aircraft hangar being turned into cold storage was a neat idea. He just wished he could peek in and see what the bodies looked like. He wondered about them a lot the few weeks he was on the base. He queried; were they blue? Were there snotcicles hanging from each corpse’s nose? Would they try to attack and eat him? Ned McCauley never realized he’d be going down in history when he turned the freezer doorknob. The bodies were too frozen for the parasites to move but they were able to allow the young ones out through the nostrils. When he slammed the door on the hangar Ned was sure everything was okay. He would find out a few months later that he had allowed a dozen nearly invisible parasites their freedom. No one except Ned knew he was the one who set the beasties free. When he realized what he had done he painted his kitchen wall brain matter grey. As far as the parasites went, it didn’t take long for the offspring to return for their parents. After all, their motto had become “Horde equals family”.