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If Different was a Superpower

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“Welcome to Seabrook, we’re a perfectly planned community. We all have perfect homes, perfect clothes, the perfect life. Yep, everything is perfect.”

“Until it wasn’t. Who would have thought that an accident involving lime soda would have set off the apocalypse?”

“And when the contaminated green haze blew west, people were not happy. Because it turned them into… Zombies.”

“That’s right, Zombies! Brain-eating… Zombies. Dark and gory times.”

“But we built a big barrier to protect us from the zombie hordes. Safe at last, Seabrook could finally get back to our perfect lives.”

“Well, a lot has changed since they built the barrier 50 years ago. Science found a much better way to deal with zombies. And you know what happened to those old brain-eating monsters? Well, they still have to live on their side of the barrier, but now they’re awesome.”

Zombietown, the place walled off from Seabrook, home to all zombies including the one who was currently preparing for a very big day.

‘That’s Freddy. And yeah, he’s a zombie. Zombies have to wear government-issued coveralls. But they make them look pretty cool. And, they have a curfew. And for a long time they were forced to stay in Zombietown. They’ve come a long way since the outbreak, thanks to the z-band.’ Freddy glanced at the silver bracelet on his wrist.

‘That thing delivers a soothing electromagnetic pulse that keep them from eating brains. Now zombies can live happy lives and have handsome, yet humble, kids.’

Freddy looked over at the football poster on his wall and he immediately smiled.

‘And things are changing, because today is the first day they can attend human high school, and he gets to try out for the football team.’

“GO MIGHTY SHRIMP!” Freddy said with a grin as he grabbed his backpack and headed downstairs.

 

Seabrooke proper, the town outside of Zombietown, home to the normal humans including a certain boy.

“Give me an F, give me an I, give me an R-S-T. It’s the first day of freshman year for me, me, me!” A boy wearing a pastel blue outfit cheered.

‘That would be Billy and he has crushed summer after summer of cheer camp. But today is his shot at making the Seabrook cheer squad, you make cheer and you fit in. And why wouldn’t he fit in? He’s a totally normal teen.’ Billy looked at himself in the mirror before brushing some of his hair away revealing a white lock underneath his brown hair.

‘Well, except for that. Born with it. Doctors can’t explain it. They think it’s some rare genetic thing, probably from his birth mother. He can’t dye it, nothing sticks. In some places his hair would be considered cool, but not Seabrook. People hate anything that’s different, If anyone outside of his family knew he wore a wig he would never be allowed to cheer.’ Billy covered his real hair again.

‘So he’s worn a wig for as long as he can remember, ever since his adoptive mom took him in.” Billy grabbed his backpack and headed downstairs where his adoptive mother was waiting.

 

Freddy’s POV

I came down the stairs to see my little sister, Darla, sitting at the table with a plush dog, she really wants a real dog but zombies aren’t allowed to have pets. Because some people still think we’ll just eat them. I smiled before getting low and beginning to approach Darla. “Bark! Bark! Bark!”

“Come Freddy, come!” Darla giggled as I made my way over to her, continuing to bark. “Good boy!” Darla said petting my hair.   

“Alright kids breakfast!” The voice of our father Victor echoed from the kitchen as he entered the dining room. “Check it out, brains in a can, made from cauliflower.” Victor said as he scooped some onto our plates.

“Mmm tastes like gym sneakers. Pretty good.” Victor glanced at me.

“Now listen Freddy, I’m not sure about this football thing, it might be too much. You’re a great kid but you haven’t spent a lot of time around humans and humans and zombies don’t really mix.” Victor said, concern in his voice. “That’s just cause they haven’t met me yet dad.” I said with a grin.

 

Billy’s POV

I came downstairs where my mother Rosa had breakfast waiting.

“Cheer tryouts today!” Rosa said excitedly.

“I know, I am so fired up.” I said smiling wide.

“Now Billy as you know Seabrook has won every cheer championship since… forever. But now that the city council is having zombies enter our school we need cheer more than ever.” Rosa explained to me, honestly I couldn’t believe how dramatic she seemed to make the whole situation. “As mayor I beseech you. You make that team and win the championship!”

“Beseech? Really mom?” I asked with a raised eyebrow.

“Ok that was a bit much, but still nothing is going to stop you, as long as you keep that wig on.” I grabbed at my hair at her comment.

“Right, nothing can stop me, ok gotta go love you mom.” I said before heading out the door. “Love you to!” Rosa said as I left.

 

Freddy’s POV

I knocked on the door of another zombies house. “Come on Mary.” I said as a zombie girl walked outside. “Why the long face Mary? Today is a big day!” I asked as Mary rolled her eyes.

“Oh come on Freddy, we’ll never be accepted, zombies need to rise up, fight the good fight, stand up for what’s right.” Mary exclaimed as we walked together.

“Oh come on, this is progress.” Mary gave me a glance.

“Really cause we still get the worst jobs, a curfew, and these uniforms that all look the same.” “Come on Mary try to be a little positive, hey Pedro back me up.” I said as I saw our friend Pedro.

“Zig-zag?” Pedro asked in zombie.

“Not exactly what I meant but thanks for the effort.” I laughed.

“Well glad you two are excited, I guess someone has to be.” Mary sighed.

 

Third Person POV

The zombies and humans arrived at Seabrook high, the entrance divided by a fence. Some of the human students afraid to get close to the zombies, others even mocking the zombies. Billy didn’t really understand why they were like this, the zombies were just going to school like the rest of them. The bell rang and the humans were allowed to enter the school and as they did Billy caught the eye of one of the zombie boys with a head of curly hair, he seemed different than the others. Maybe this year would be filled with more changes than anyone could have guessed.