Who: Everyone What: ZOMBIES (ie Dan is late for the party, and picks up some uninvited guests on the way) Where: Constance Billard and St Jude's Schools When: Before midnight, Thursday
How was he ever going to sweep Serena off her feet? At this rate, he'd be lucky if she even spoke to him. He shoved money hastily into the hands of the cab driver, silently cursing the congestion on 93rd Street. He wouldn't be able to run too quickly for fear of ruining his suit, but anything was better than sitting in traffic watching the minutes tick by while his dream girl was left at the party wondering where he was. He had left his phone at the gallery, so even texting her was not an option.
He hurried down an alley behind the school, the steady rhythm of his dress shoes on the pavement the only sound other than the constant din of traffic in the background. That is until he heard a strange moaning coming from a stoop a few yards ahead. It was a low sound, like someone in pain. He drew up slowly as he spotted the dark shape of a man standing with his back to Dan.
"You okay, man?" Dan asked hesitantly, torn between his natural desire to help and his fear that this could be some nutjob experiencing a bad trip. He was about to take another step closer when the figure suddenly stopped moaning and seemed to sniff the air before taking a single, lurching step around in his direction. There was something unnatural about the way this man moved, and Dan felt the hairs at the back of his neck rising. He started edging away, but the man followed him step for step. All at once, he stepped into a pool of fluorescent light from the nearby streetlamps.
"Jesus Christ!" Dan choked out, feeling a wave of nausea overtake him. Because this man? He shouldn't be moving. He shouldn't have been alive. His skin was gray and sickly and his gaping mouth was covered with what Dan realized was dried, crusted blood. But worse of all was the flesh that was missing from his body, a strip from his forearm exposed the bone beside what looked like an animal bite that had been allowed to fester, another piece was missing from his cheek. Dan found himself locked in place for a long moment as the man continued to stumble towards him with grasping hands, his moans increasing in sound and urgency.
Stunned horror changed to panic and Dan found himself dashing in the other direction, desperate to escape. He ran around the corner and through the gates of the school, hurrying up the stone steps so quickly he almost fell. He could still hear that terrible moan which seemed to be following him now, but this time it seemed to be coming from multiple sources. First a second voice joined the original, and then a third. By the time he had reached the door it sounded like yet another one was echoing in the night air. Without thinking about what he was going to do or say once he found Jenny and Serena, Dan ran through the hallways and burst into the grand foyer.
"There's something out there!" Dan shouted urgently, his voice struggling to be heard over the music. "Listen up people! Listen to me!" He climbed onto a chair, not noticing the scandalized expression of one of the girl's on the event planning committee as he stepped from it onto the table, his shoes leaving tracks on the pristine white tablecloth. He waved his hands in the air wildly, like a panicked air traffic controller.
Despite these antics, he still didn't have the attention of the people on the other side of the room, he realized in despair. He could see Chuck and Blair on the far end, their backs turned to him engaged in conversation. Desperate, he violently kicked the large silver punch bowl to the ground, it landed with a loud clang and spun around a few times before stilling. Finally, he felt the eyes of the rest of the room turn to him in stunned disbelief at his antics, even the band had paused to stare at him. This wasn't Chuck Bass being caught in a state of dishabille with a pretty cocktail waitress or the telltale sniffing and reddened nose of someone who had enjoyed a party pick-me-up. This was Lonely Boy shouting at the top of his lungs like a maniac.
"Listen! We have to leave. We have to leave now. There is something out there, and it's coming... they're coming." He didn't care that he sounded delusional, that Penelope had taken out her phone and was currently taking a picture of him to send to Gossip Girl. He didn't care if she posted it with 'Lonely Boy or Looney Boy' as a caption. He just wanted everyone to listen. "I'm serious. They're... monsters. Or zombies or... I don't know what! But we have to go!"
Silence followed this dramatic pronouncement, and then hushed talk and a few incredulous laughs. But no one was moving, Dan noticed in desperation. He spotted his sister's familiar blonde head and jumped off the table to run to her side.
"Jenny! Come on, let's find Serena and get out of here," he said, grabbing her by the arm. Before he could even begin his search for Serena, however, he heard it. He heard them, but now the moans had become many and sounded like a low roar that came not only from the main door behind him, but from the side entrance as well. They were surrounded.