I slowly became aware that I was conscious. That it was dark and that I was screaming.
“Hold him down,” someone said.
The babble of voices in my head was deafening. It was as if a hundred people were talking all at the same time. I realized that my screaming was in response to this. The voices hurt my head, the pain was excruciating. I could feel hands holding me down on the hospital Gurney to which I was strapped. Around me I could sense Mr. Neza, Filomeno, La Señora Falcón and other zombies. I was aware of my surroundings, the emergency hospital room on the lower floor of the Mano Poderosa headquarters in the General Hospital. But I realized that my eyes were still tightly closed.
Suddenly I got control over my screaming. If I focused on the zombies directly near me, to what they were thinking, I could quiet the other voices in my head. I consciously focused on Mr. Neza and Filomino.
Mr. Neza mind was a jumble of confusion and concern. What is happening to Lazaro? Is this a legacy of the new zombie link he represents or have we been infiltrated by Oñate? Filomino was thinking that they’d have to try some sort of sedative, “to quiet this dann kid.” Sedative? I didn’t even know there were zombie sedatives.
“You don’t need to sedate me,” I said out loud.
I could sense the surprise in Mr.Neza and the shock in Filomino.
I opened my eyes slowly. What I saw was exactly what I had sensed. Mr. Neza, Filomino and La Señora Falcón were hovering around my Gurney. I could sense s whimper on the floor underneath the Gurney. Vida.
“Give me a moment,” I said.
It was all coming fast but my mind was registering what was going on with me. I closed my eyes again and slowly focused on the other voices. Suddenly my mind was filled with the loud chaotic babble again. I retreated.
I found I had control.
I realized. I could tune in and tune out of the voices of the hundred and more zombies in the General Hospital headquarters. It suddenly struck me. That’s what I was hearing. I could was reading the minds of every zombie in the building!
I could sense relief in Mr. Neza. He was thinking, “He‘s finally coming out of the coma.” Filomino was still suspicious. “How did he know what I was thinking?”
I opened my eyes again.
“You can unstrap me now. I’m okay.”
Filomino was not having any of this. Unstrap him? Are you crazy. I don’t know what’s going on here and until I do, I’m going to keep him under control.
“I am NOT your spy.” I said turning to face Filomino. “I’m really okay now. Just need a moment to absorb things. Things have changed in me.”
Filomino’s alarms were ringing. Did he just read my mind? Mr. Neza was right there with him. Is Lazaro reading our minds? What things have changed? What do we have here?
I looked from Mr. Neza to Filomino to La Señora Falcón. I could see the surprise and fear in their eyes. They were grappling with the same profound realization that I was trying to cope with myself. The fact that had become evident to me since I had awakened just moments before.
“Yes,” I said. “I can read your minds.”
There was a long silence as they looked at each other. Mr. Neza was suddenly thinking of floating gardens at his palace long ago in Tenochtitlán and Filomino was thinking of underwater snorkeling off the Channel Islands. La Señora Falcón was thinking of the first time she saw me– as a resurrected five-year-old zombie child. Of course, they were trying to block my reading their minds by thinking of something else, something other than their real thoughts.
“That’s not necessary,” I said. “I can tune you out and I will. I’ll respect the privacy of your thoughts.”
Neza and Filomino looked doubtfully at each other.
“Do you know what’s happened to you, Lazaro?”
“No,” I replied. “I passed out and the next thing I knew I was hearing voices. The minds of every zombie in this building.
“Yes, everyone,” I replied. “Loud and painful,”
More silence as Mr. Nez and Filomino took in the information.
“Luckily ,” I continued,, “I found that I can block it, tune it out.”
Mrs Falcon came up to me and gave me a hug.
“Mijo,” I love you and always will.”
I hugged immediately her back. I really needed that love right now! I was so frightened.
I was terrified by all that had happened. I thought I had gone crazy and now realized that I wasn’t crazy, that it was worse. That I was now transformed. But transformed into what?”
“We don’t know what’s happened to you, Lazaro.” Mr Neza said. “But clearly there has been some kind of fundamental change in who you are. The attack you had. It may be due to you unique genetic structure. We’ll have to monitor it all and see where it takes us.”
I suddenly felt enormously hungry. “I could sure do with some cat eyeballs and rat entrails.” I said.
“Sure we’ll get some you food right away.”
“Mr. Neza,” I said.” I don’t think we need to keep searching for that spy in our midst anymore.”
“Huh?” said Filomino, all ears,
“If I can read zombie minds,”I said, “ I’ll bet I’m not the only zombie that can do that. Oñate or someone in his group must be capable of reading our minds. That’s got to be how they fond out about our attack plans. They knew we were coming because they read our minds!”
Copyright 2014 Lazaro De La Tierra and Barrio Dog Productions Inc.