A family secret to die for.
Jim Kelly is at his shitty job, his boss is being a dick. Again. On his break he listens to his messages and learns that he’s just inherited a house in the Sierra Nevada Mountains from his Uncle Charles Kelly. He’s all excited because he thinks it’s a mansion out in the woods, but discovers it’s kind of a wreck. Acres of land and a house that was probably nice a long, long time ago. But, with his deceased uncle Charles had been a hoarder, and was apparently into some creepy shit. He meets the caretaker of the property, Jeremiah Jones, who’s trying to explain what his duties are. But the entire place looks like it hasn’t seen a power tool or a rake for over a century. At the house, Jim discovers how Uncle Charlie died. He was performing some kind of ritual when a cabinet filled with magic books and spells fell on top of him while he was conducting some kind of ritual. Before cleaning up the aftermath, Jim notices some writing on an old piece of paper. He picks it up. Then sounds out the words inadvertently completing the ritual started by his Uncle just before his death. Jim cleans the den, pours himself a drink, and heads off to bed.
Jim wakes to banging on the front door. He throws on a robe and, not sure what to expect at 2 am, grabs the baseball bat he saw in the hall closet. Then he cautiously opens the door. But there’s nobody there. Jim notices an odd odor, it’s almost as if … He shakes the thought off as crazy and heads back inside. He’s suddenly craving meat. He’s halfway through a raw steak before he realizes what he’s doing. Suddenly disgusted with himself, he throws the rest into the trash and wipes his hands and face with a towel while staring out the kitchen window. Something catches his eyes. If he’d had hackles, he’d swear he’d just felt them rise. Forgetting the bat, Jim turns on the light and heads outside. After looking around he returns to the house and turns the outside light off. He can see better in the dark. He heads out in a cautious trot, then starts running, then leaps to all fours and tears through the night, disappearing into the darkness. Charles had been dead exactly two weeks. A personal record, actually. He was somewhat proud of himself. Most warlocks couldn’t stand being dead for more than a day. Two at the most. He would have been dead much longer if his numbskull of a nephew hadn’t accidentally completed his spell. He’d been working on a immortality spell and felt he was very close. He’d set everything up, started the ritual, and then everything went black. Until yesterday afternoon. He’d woken up in a grave and made short work of digging himself out. For a dead man, it was surprisingly easy. He didn’t know how, but he could hear his nephew’s thoughts. Not everything, but enough to know that Jim had zero clue about his family’s true history. That would change tonight. Charles banged on the door, noticing a clock on the wall inside said 2 am. But when he saw the figure coming down the stairs he quickly ducked out of sight. His nephew was transforming into … something. There’s a killing spree over the next few weeks. One of the murders is the caretaker, Jeremiah. A chunk of flesh torn out of his neck. He was placed behind the house in an old storage trailer with the rest of them. Charles has taken back his house and it’s business as usual for him. He’s slightly concerned about Jim’s return, but knows that he’s been fully turned and won’t be back until his hunger is satiated. Finally he’s ready and prepares everything, then sets out to cast his spell. Out in the dark, a beast is prowling, sniffing. Then a snarl. The beast is tired, constantly hunting and feeding. Not knowing what or who he is. Strange memories popping in and out. He was lost at first, but is remembering more everyday. After two days of rest, he’s now back at the house where it all started. He’s remembered everything and has plan. His uncle is performing the ritual again. The one that started this whole thing.
Charles performs the ritual. Then, during the last seconds, a massive shape bursts through the window, crashing into Charles and knocking him off his feet and to the ground. The beast leaps off of the man and goes to the open book. Ancient paper, pages torn, like a heavily read Realm & Sands book. He sees the words, and even though he can’t speak them he repeats them over and over in his mind. Jim wakes a short time later. He’s filthy, his beard just beyond comfortable. He looks terrible. Like he’d been living in the bushes. Well, truth be told he had been. Charles lay on the floor dead, but Jim had to move quick. His uncle could read his mind, but the power was all his. He’d only let his uncle see what he wanted him to see. Jim on the other hand, could read Charles’s mind completely. And, while resting for the past two days, had completely gone through his Uncle’s memories, learning how to reverse what had been done and be human once again. Unfortunately he wasn’t sure how to kill his Uncle. So, while his brain was useless, his body remained alive. He only wanted to feed. Possibly the planet’s one and only true zombie. He kept him chained to an old storage container at the back of his property. There’s a door that looks out over a small meadow, it’s nice. And what was left of Charles could be inside or out. Mostly he banged into the door like a fly trying to get inside.