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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.    

Chapter Text

Billy’s POV

I walked inside the school and see students walking and talking in their social groups, among them I see the cheer squad including its captain, my cousin Eugene. The same cousin I just saw mocking the zombie students outside.

“Can’t let those monsters change this town, oh hey cuz.” Eugene said as he saw me approaching.

“Don’t you think that’s a bit much Eugene? I mean they’re just going to school like us.” I said just amazed at how against the zombies he was.

“Like us? Billy people love me, I have been cheer captain for 2 years now. Those freaks are nothing like us. Have you forgotten that they tried to eat our grandfather?” Eugene reminded me.

“I mean, it was just a little bite.” I said in a bit of a joking manner. Eugene just gave me a disapproving look before turning to address the hall.

“Cheer tryouts after school today everyone! Let’s go mighty shrimp!” Eugene said as him and the team started waking up the stairs.

“Yeah let’s go bottom feeders!” I heard a boy approaching the team cheer, the team just kept walking. “Because you know shrimp eat waste at the bottom of the ocean, no? Then go Seabrook!” The boy cheered before turning to me. “I’m Bryan and I’ve always dreamed of being on the cheer team as a flyer!” He introduced himself.

“Nice to meet you, I’m Billy and I love cheer too! Did you know that the inventor of the wave went to Seabrook!” I excitedly asked him.

“Yes! I am so ready for tryouts today!” Bryan said as we went to class.

 

Freddy’s POV

The zombie patrol walked us into the building as I flashed a smile to Mary and Pedro. “Come on guys be happy, we’re in an actual school, no more classes in a dingy basement.” I said, before we were brought to… the school’s basement.

“You were saying.” Mary said with a raised eyebrow before the human at the front of the room cleared his throat.

“Hello I am Principal Sivana, and we are thrilled to be forced to have you here. Do not leave the basement and have a great year.” The principal said before hurring to leave.

“Um Principal Sivana? How do I try out for the football team?” I asked.

“And how do I join the computer coding club?” Mary asked.

“Zusic?” Pedro asked in zombie before I translated.

“Right, music classes, Pedro’s an artist, classically trained.” I said.

“Let me ask you something, does any of that involve leaving the basement?” Principal Sivana asked me.

“Yeah I guess it all does.” I said nervously.

“Then you don’t, have a nice day.” He said before leaving. I let out a disappointed sigh, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me. When the teacher started talking I took my chance to slip out of the room and head to football tryouts. I know it’s a high risk move but I got smarts and stealth on my side, I immediately hit my leg while rounding a corner.

“AAAGGGHHH!!!” I screamed in pain. Alerting a nearby student.

“AHHH!!! Rogue zombie!” She screamed before running off, and this set off the zombie alert. The lights flashed and the sirens blared.

“Ah man.” I groaned as the students scrambled.

 

Billy’s POV

I walked with Bryan as the zombie alert went off, students around us were running in a panic. “Listen Bryan I know this is scary but don’t worry there’s a zombie safe room right there.” I explained before Bryan caught sight of something I didn’t get a chance to see before screaming and running off. “Ok then.” I said before I walked into the room.

Zombie safe room secure.

I gave a sigh of relief before hearing something get knocked over. “Hello?” I asked in the darkness.

“Hello?” I heard a voice respond.

“Hello?” I said as the figure came closer.

“Why hello.” The figure said again this time my brain registering the voice as a males.

“Don’t get any ideas buster, the other thing deadlier than my high kick is my low kick.” I threatened.

“Sorry, it’s just, this is not how I expected my first day at a new school to go.” The boy explained to me.

“What you weren’t expecting to be trapped inside a zombie safe room?” I joked.

“Not exactly, but it’s nice to have company, company that hopefully doesn’t want to low kick me still.” He giggled, it was a warm feeling.

“You’re safe for now.” I told him

“Good, cause today is a big day I’m trying out for the football team.”
“No way, I’m trying out for the cheerleading squad, guess we’re both having big days today.” I said getting closer to the boy.

“The cheer squad huh? That’s a tough gig to get.”
“Well my mom has had me in cheer camp since forever.”
“My dad doesn’t even want me to try out for the team.”
“What, that’s terrible. You’ll do great, you just need someone to cheer for you, and hopefully in a few hours that someone will be me.” I said smiling despite the fact that the room was still pitch black.

“So… I’m Freddy, what’s your name?” The boy asked.

“I’m Billy. Nice to meet you.”  I said sticking my hand out to shake.

All Clear

The lights in the room came on and I was suddenly face to face with a…”Zombie!!!!” I shouted before punching Freddy across the face out of instinct.

“Ow!!!” He screamed before rubbing his face after I punched him.

“Oh my gosh, Freddy I’m so sorry. My family always told me that zombies are these disgusting dead-eyed freaks but… you’re not hideous at all.” I said getting a good look at him with his head of green curls.

“I’ll take that.” He said with a laugh.

“Sorry it’s just my family has hated zombies ever since one bit my grandfather’s ear off.”
“Well now we’ll just talk your ear off.” Freddy smiled at me.

“There you are!” I heard Eugene’s voice and turned to see him and some of the cheer squad run into the room before grabbing me and walking me out of the room. “If you ever touch my cousin again it won’t be pretty, got it.” I heard Eugene threaten Freddy before being whisked away.

 

Freddy’s POV

Well that was something. But hey its progress, now onto football tryouts.

“Well you all did pretty good out on the field.” Coach said as we had lined up after tryouts. “And as you know Seabrook likes to win, though we haven’t won in forever, however the good news is you all made the team.”

“Yes I made it!” I celebrated.

“Except for the zombie.”

“What!?”
“Listen Freddy, Principal Sivana said you shouldn’t even leave the basement, did he not tell you that?” Coach asked.

“Hmm nope don’t think so. But come on coach let me be on the team!” I pleaded.

“Sorry, can’t have a zombie on the field, we’d be a bigger laughing stock than we already are. I’m sorry Freddy.” Coach explained to me.

“Yeah, whatever.” I said before leaving defeated.

 

Billy’s POV

“Alright welcome to cheer tryouts, I am your cheer captain Eugene, and here to help me decide who belongs on this squad are my assistant captains Brett and Burke!” Eugene informed the crowd that me and Bryan were apart of. “Now if you really want to land a spot on this cheer squad you better bring it, now let’s get fired up!”

Tryouts went as I thought they would under Eugene, he wanted us to bring our A-game and those who didn’t were cut. Me and Bryan had made it to the final round of tryouts.

“Alright now let’s see if you can fire up a crowd!” Eugene said revealing a crowd on the bleachers that were hidden behind a curtain.

“I can’t fire up a crowd like Eugene, oh I’ll never get to be a flyer.” Bryan said sounding defeated.

“You won’t know until you try!” I told him reassuringly. “Now come on let’s bring the cheer!” I said before we got in front of the crowd.

“Well I’m happy to announce that all of you standing in front of me are officially Seabrook cheerleaders!” Eugene said before him, Brett and Burke handed out uniforms.

“We made it!” I screamed to Bryan.

“We did!” He happily replied.

“Now there’s just one more thing for you to do before it’s official and that’s cheerleader initiation.


To be continued