Michael O’Keefe rose out of bed and yawned. He walked over to the window and raised the blinds. The sunlight illuminated the grass as a light snow floated down to the earth.

“What a beautiful day,” he said to no one in particular. Michael looked back at his wife, lying in bed. He smiled and exited his bedroom quietly. Walking out to the kitchen, he grabbed the remote on the counter and turned the living room TV on. Michael poured himself a cup of coffee. A groan came out from the bedroom. He laughed.

“Early bird catches the worm, Kathy!” he yelled to his wife. A few minutes passed as Michael watched the news and sipped at his coffee. “Hey, Hon, get this!” he shouted again. “Apparently there’s some new disease spreading around! People say they’ve seen folk pass away then get right back up again, just to act all crazy! If you ask me, it’s them who are crazy!” He chuckled at his own joke. Michael heard his wife groan again. “Oh, I’m sorry, Hon. Didn’t mean to wake you up!”

Another moment passed while Michael sat and thought about his life. He was grateful to have a nice house, a beautiful wife and good health. He would never want to give up what he had. He sat daydreaming until a noise snapped him out of it. Someone was pounding at the door. He set the coffee cup down and went to the front door. The pounding continued as he slid open the deadbolt. Michael opened the door and a man fell into his arms. He propped the newcomer up.

“Oh, thank you! Thank you!” the frightened man said. “Oh thank God, thank you!” Michael had a confused but concerned look on his face. The man was younger and drenched with sweat. His clothes were in horrible condition and he obviously hadn’t showered in several days.

“Well, hello there. Are you new to the neighborhood? What’s you’re name, son?” Michael inquired. The man looked behind him, rushed inside and slammed the sturdy door.

“Umm, it’s Keith, Keith Williams,” he replied. Keith fumbled as he twisted and pulled every lock on the door shut.

“I’m Michael. Here, let me pour you some coffee. Are you in some kind of trouble, Keith?”

Keith sat down and spoke between gasps of air. “I was trying to find somewhere to hide when a whole swarm of them came out of nowhere.”

Michael pondered his guest for a moment. “A swarm of what, exactly?”

Keith shot a bewildered look at him. “What are you talking about? What else would be out there? Didn’t you see them chasing…”

He then noticed what his host was doing. Michael held an empty, broken coffee pot and was miming a pouring motion into an empty Skippy peanut butter jar. “Something wrong?” asked Michael as he handed the “cup” to Keith.

Keith looked at his surroundings. He saw a ghoul on a bed through an open door. It moaned and struggled to break free of the ropes keeping it bound. He looked behind him at the fuzzy television, lighting up the dark living room. He saw the shadows passing by the window and heard the zombies outside pummeling the thick front door. Then he looked at the sturdy brick foundation of the house.

“Thank you.” Keith said. He looked up at Michael, blew on his peanut butter jar and took a sip.