Read Harold the Zombie from the beginning HERE.
“Thank you for coming at such short notice Mr. and Mrs. Smith.” The principle of Griffin Elementary was a portly fellow with a long face and a balding head. He sat across from George and Louis with a large oak wood desk between them. At the front of the desk sat a small American flag, the Griffin school flag, and a nameplate proudly showing Mr. James Fredrick, Principle.
Sitting to the side of the desk was Mrs. Prater, an elderly woman looking to be in her late 60’s. She was short with her long grey hair pulled tightly into a bun on the back of her head.
“Please call us George and Louis. There is no need for us to be so formal.” Louis said confidently, but inside she was VERY nervous. Why were they here? It was one thing when you got called to the principal’s office and your child was normal. It was another things when your child was a Zombie, and you are trying to keep that a secret to protect him.
George looked serious, and Louis was sure he was just a nervous as she was. “So we are here Mr. Fredrick, what can we help you with?” George said.
Mr. Frederick and Mrs. Prater exchanged a nervous glance at each other before Mr. Fredrick spoke up. “Well it’s about Harold. We have some concerns about his home life, and we wanted to talk to you both before we took any action.”
“Action?!” Both George and Louis spoke at the same time.
“Yes well you see….” Mr. Fredrick paused “This is all very awkward. You see Harold has been saying some interesting things in class, to his friends, that make us very concerned.”
“What kind of things?” Louis asked.
“Well he claims that when he is at home he likes to eat brains and blood. He has also mentioned that he doesn’t eat “normal” food, but he eats lots of meat at home.” Mr. Fredrick looked very concerned and grim.
Louis forced a smile onto her face and sputtered out a halfhearted laugh. “Brains? Blood? George it looks like our son has a greater imagination than we give him credit for. Mr. Franklin I can assure you that we take care of our son. I don’t know where he comes up with such things, but I assure you we will talk to him about it tonight, and this won’t be a problem again. I’m sorry if he gave you a fright, and thank you so much for looking out for the well being of our boy.” Louis said. She hoped that would put an end to the conversation, but both the principal and teacher didn’t look convinced.
“Thank you Louis for that reassurance, but I am very concerned about Harold’s well being. I have been a school administrator for many years now, and I have had many parents come into my office for things their child has said. Many years ago I learned the hard way that the best thing to ALWAYS do in cases such as these is to check into the matter as carefully as I can. I hope you can understand, but I can’t simply take you word for it. I have no doubt that this is just a childs imagination, but I must insist that you accept a visit from our school counselor. This is just a precaution, not an accusation. As I explained before I once just took the word of parents and something bad happened to a child. I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again, so I hope you won’t mind, and at worst you can blame it on the over active imagination of this old man. I do hope you understand.” Mr. Fredrick looked sad as if he was recalling distant memories.
What could they do Louis thought. If they refused a visit surely they would know something is wrong. Then what would they do. Suddenly Louis had an idea.
“Of course we understand. In fact we welcome anyone who would like to come over to our home. We love having guests. However my husband works many long hours, and is in fact missing work just to be here at this meeting. It would be helpful if we could plan for this near then end of the week? Would that be possible? Then we can have them over for dinner, and they can see that nothing is going on that is dangerous to Harold’s safety and wellbeing.”
“I’m afraid I must insist that it be today, in fact I would very much like it if it be right after this meeting. I’m sorry if this is an inconvenience, but my only concern is for Harold, and I hope you understand that.”
George and Louis looked at each other a deep fear growing inside them. There was blood, brains and human flesh in the fridge. How would they be able to explain this? They needed Doctor Frankenstein here. Finally Louis made a decision. She knew that one-day people would find out about Harold’s condition, and maybe now was as good a time as ever.
“Mr. Frederick” Louis began, “We do have something we need to share with you about Harold. It’s hard for us to explain, but Harold has a condition.”
“A condition?” Mr. Fredrick asked.
“Yes. It’s not been easy on George and I, but for Harold’s sake we have kept it a secret. We haven’t even told Harold yet. I feel your concern, and we do appreciate your concern for our son, you have forced us into telling you. I only have one request. I ask you allow Harold’s doctor to come to the school to explain everything. He can do it much better then we can, and has been treating Harold, in a manner of speaking, since Harold was born. I have no doubt that with a short phone call he could be here today.” Louis finished hoping that Mr. Fredrick would agree. She had feared this day since Harold was born. How do you explain to someone that your son is a Zombie? With TV and movies now a days she was sure that some people would try to burn Harold at the stake. She was sure that Doctor Frankenstein would be able to explain this, and help people to understand.
“Well, I suppose if you feel it’s necessary to bring Harold’s doctor down here, I suppose we could wait. I don’t understand however how this has to do with Harold’s comments?” Mr. Frederick said.
George sat up straight looking determined, and protective. Louis knew he had always worried about how people would react to Harold’s condition, probably because he himself struggled with it. But one thing could always be said about George, he worked hard, and protected his family. Louis could see in his eyes that this was no different.
“Mr. Frederick, I can see how all of this may seem confusing to both of you. I ask however that you keep an open mind. Harold is a good boy, and only wants to learn and be with his friends here at school. You have no idea how much he enjoys coming here. If I can use your office phone, I will call Harold’s doctor, and he won’t be long getting here, and when he does will tell you things that you may have a hard time understanding or believing, but I implore you to listen when we tell you Harold is not a threat to anyone.” George finished that last part with an almost pleading tone to his voice.
“Mr. Baker.” Mrs. Prater was sitting up very straight her hands folded neatly in her lap; spoke for the first time since they arrived. “You are speaking about Harold as if he is dangerous. I have been teaching Harold all school year, and have watched him learn with enthusiasm and excitement. I don’t know what this condition is you speak of, and I certainly don’t know how it relates to Harold’s comments, but I am concerned very much by you and your wife’s comments. You talk of Harold as if he is some kind of monster. Surely I must be misunderstanding you.”
At the word monster Louis lost her composure. Tears flowing she fell into George’s arms. That was the very thing she had worried about. That when the truth of who Harold was came out they would see him as a monster.
Read Chapter 8 HERE