It was the summer of 2005 in Birmingham, Alabama, when I had just received my part time job as a pizza delivery boy. I was excited to have my first job being sixteen. I felt proud to make my own money instead of begging my parents for allowance. I worked nightshift on the weekends since I had to go to school Monday through Friday. My job was really fun at first, but then something happened that still sends chills down my spine to this day.
It was late Sunday night, about 10:30 PM, as I was ready to end my shift, and get ready to go home and get some sleep before school when Javier, another employee I’ve come to make friends with, received a call requesting an order. The voice on the other end was a little raspy but I was still able to hear their conversation.
“Hello, this is Dante’s pizza, what can I get for you tonight?”
“Yes, we would like four large pies.”
“And what toppings, sir?”
“Pepperoni, sausage, bacon, and human flesh, please.”
“Haha okay sir, four large pies with pepperoni, sausage, bacon, and human flesh.”
“Alright, it should be there in about thirty minutes, goodnight.”
“Sounds like a party,” I said to Javier.
“You know what that means,” he replied. “A bigger tip.” He gave me the address and I was on my way.
It took about fifty minutes to get there with the fog limiting my vision. It got me a little nervous since we had a policy of your pizza being free if it took over an hour to be delivered. And the longer it takes, the smaller tip you’ll get. As I drove on, the city became more unrecognizable. Birmingham is the biggest city in Alabama but I was indeed entering the more rural part of it. My GPS led me to a dirt road leading to a few houses. All of them had the same yellow paint, and green painted brick roofs and were surrounded by forest.
I walked up to the house matching the address Javier gave me and knocked three times. There was no response, so I knocked three more times and said I was the pizza guy. I waited a few seconds, and a man opened the door so quickly I jumped back in surprise, nearly dropping the pizzas. His skin was very pale and he was quite frail looking. Assuming he was joking around, I heard him say, “I didn’t ask for the flesh to be living but you’ll do. Come inside.” It was pretty cold outside, so I gratefully accepted.
Inside there were many people, all sitting on couches or in the kitchen, who looked exactly like him, who all turned to look at me with huge grins on their faces. I could’ve sworn their teeth were pointed and jaggy, like they could bite through bone no problem. The house was pitch dark except for a fire burning. “Is this a family reunion?" I asked.
“More like a group gathering,” one said. I wondered what they meant by a group.
Before I could ask, the one that answered the door asked, “Why not come down to the basement with me? I believe I left my wallet there.”
After about six steps, he pushed me down into the basement and locked the door behind him. “We’ll save you for later,” he said. I was scared. What did he mean when he said that? Do I even want to know? It was pitch dark in the basement and smelled like death. I kept walking along the walls searching for a light switch.
When I finally found it, I was introduced to a grotesque scene. A body on a table with all his limbs removed, and half-eaten body parts scattered about the floor. They weren’t kidding about the human flesh.
I let out a scream which must have alerted the flesh eaters, as I now call them because they swung open the door and three came to attack me. I quickly found a hatchet on the floor that might have been used for hacking off limbs, and used it for defense. One of them that got in my range ended up with a split head.
The other two were smarter and charged me at the same time. I swung the hatchet and it ended up in one of their hip bones, immobilizing it in one leg, but the other tackled me to the ground, hissing in outrage. I used my hand to keep her face away from me. Those teeth were terrifying. I struggled to find another weapon of some sort before she overcame me. I turned and saw an object that appeared to be a pocketknife near the corner of the wall. With all my strength, I pushed the flesh eater off me and ran for the knife with her on my tail. I grabbed it and blindly slashed as I turned around. It ended up right in her gut so I slashed upward hoping to hit a vital. I apparently did because the flesh eater coughed up blood all over my shirt and fell to the floor.
I stabbed the one with the hatchet in its hip and regained the weapon. I put the knife in my front pocket. I looked up to see about seven more flesh eaters smiling, waiting. I knew I couldn’t kill them all by myself so I only had one option. Escape. With adrenaline coursing through my body, I rushed up the stairs screaming in fear and rage. I swung the hatchet, which got stuck in a flesh eater’s chest and then I quickly abandoned it. I made an attempt to run out of the house and back into my car but was quickly tackled by the six remaining. They tore and ripped my clothes in an attempt to eat any visible skin. I used my hands to protect my head. With a feeling of hopelessness, I pulled out the pocketknife and stabbed aimlessly into the bodies of the flesh eaters.
One was killed but the others all kicked back in pain, giving me a sliver of time to escape. I busted through the cheap, old, wooden door and ran as fast as I could to my car. I had never been so terrified in my life. I wanted to just hide under my blankets like a kid and hope all the bad things would go away. I got in my car, locked all the doors, and tried to drive away. The remaining flesh eaters had jumped onto my car, latching onto handles or the roof. One fell onto my windshield so I slammed on the brakes, sending it sprawling off the car as well as the other ones. I ran one over before it could recoup, but that was an awful idea. My tire had popped when it had gone over its head. One of its teeth nailed into it.
I quickly came to my last resort and dialed 911. I told the operator everything that had happened and she said the police are on their way and for me to stay hidden. I was frozen in fear, but tried to stay hidden in my car. I couldn’t see the flesh eaters, which scared me the most. For about twenty minutes it stayed like that. I caught a glimpse of one in my rearview mirror, smiling at me. I tried my best not to scream, but I began to cry in terror.
Then I heard sirens. I was saved! I never felt so good to hear that noise. The police cars rolled into vision, the flesh eater had already retreated back into the house. Perhaps that’s where the others went. I ran out to the police, thanking them for coming to help me. I even jumped onto one of the officers and hugged him. He laughed but shrugged me off. I told them where the flesh eater had ran off and two officers entered the house. I heard five gunshots, and silence.
I asked them how many were in there, and they responded with three. That couldn’t have been right. Five were on my car, and I ran over one, so there should be four. I nervously told them that there should be one left but the simply dismissed it as a miscount. They asked me if I was hurt and I said no, just scared, that’s all. So they told me I should get home as they further investigate this. My car was towed and one of the officers drove me home. After telling my parents what had happened, they cried and hugged me. It felt good to be in the safety of my own home. I didn’t have to go to school the next week. My parents said I should have some time to recover. It felt good to be away from all of that but part of me was still scared about the one that could still be out there. It couldn't have been a miscount. I didn’t tell my parents because I didn’t want to spook them. I ended up quitting my job as a delivery boy and now work at a local Target. Although I still am and always will remember that day, and fear for the one that survived is still on the loose, and maybe even looking for me...