A story I thought could be an interesting departure from most of the one's written on here. The characters of iCarly are so astoundingly normal that it remains possible for their adaptation into other genres, in this case survival horror. I will attempt to tell this story in first person narrative, through the eyes of Freddie Benson. This story will be sort of different. I will pick and choose which episodes I treat as canon for the story. Most of the new ones will be ignored, as I wish to develop the characters slowly and in my own way. Attempts will be made to keep the humor of the show present in the writing, but that will most likely fade as the story progresses. I hope you all enjoy.
Nickelodeon owns iCarly, I am just borrowing for entertainment.
"In 5, 4, 3, 2."
The show began, and instantly the energy in the room skyrocketed. Carly and Sam jumped into my camera's frame amidst the din of the recorded laugh and applause track. As the lights blinked and changed color, the girls laughed and danced. iCarly represented more than a silly web show, put on by some teenagers in a makeshift studio, it was our freedom and release. The show progressed, and the antics became more and more wild. From making Gibby taste "aged" (or as I would describe it, moldy) cheeses, to fishing for novelty chomping teeth in a kiddy pool, this iCarly episode encapsulated the essence of what the show was about.
"And that's a wrap. Great show guys," I exclaimed.
"Thanks Freddie, now I can't help but think about how awesome the next show will be," Carly said as she clapped her hands together. Carly, she's always thinking about what's next, almost optimistic to a fault. The striking, dark haired girl carried herself in an easy manner, reflective of her friendly attitude. I can't think of anyone who actually dislikes Carly as a person, as a rival maybe, but as a person? No, Carly has proven herself a true friend and a kind person. Her best friend though…
"Ah stuff it Fredweird." Sam, the bane of my existence and a constant pain in the neck, walked toward me, scowling. "If that's your way of seeking some sort of compliment for standing behind a camera, you won't get one from us!" Sam is an interesting person. She's strong, brash, and crude. Yet, when the world is stacked against you there is not a soul you would rather have in your corner than Sam Puckett. Her petite form hides a strength of character (and just strength in general) one would not expect from a blonde haired high school student.
"Sam! Freddie does just as much work as we do, you know that," Carly laughed out the end. She tries to defend me from Sam, she really does. It's ok, I don't really mind Sam's constant attacks. The back and forth we've developed over time, it keeps me sharp.
I ignore the two, and start to pack up my tech-cart. I have a busy day today, SATs are coming up and tonight will be a long study session. I feel confident about the math section, but the verbal may prove a harder challenge than I originally thought.
"Alright guys, again great show, but I gotta get out of here. SAT study time for me, we can start going over stuff for next week's show tomorrow if that's cool?"
"Sure thing Freddie, good luck with the studying, don't overdo it," Carly said as I started to head toward the steps.
"Yea nub, don't fill that egghead of yours with too much useless information," Sam yelled. I turned to face her for a moment, casually yelling back "everything in your head is useless information, Puckett." I hear her laugh as I make my way down the steps and out of Carly's apartment. Crossing the hallway and entering my own apartment I smell the odd odor of tofu loaf and green beans. Mom's on another health kick for me, and my taste buds fall as the unintended victims of my Mother's love and care.
"Oh Freddie you're finally home!" Whatever everyone thinks about my mom, she does love me something fierce.
"Hey mom, yea just finished up iCarly. I thought I'd just eat dinner with you real quick then start all those practice exams for the SATs." She lights up at that. We sit down and begin to eat. The food is terrible, but I keep my mouth shut and smile. My mom tells me all about her day, about work. She rattles off tale after tale of the sick people that come in, how rude this person was, or how sad she was to have a patient return, the upsurge in people coming in with the flu, and the rash of recent scarlet fever outbreaks. She even mentions a crazy old man with a wound on his leg that had to be several weeks old, although he claimed it just happened. On and on about proper scrubbing to make sure I don't get sick like the people she sees every day. I do nothing but nod, only vaguely paying attention to the droll monologue my mom has going.
I force down the last of the tofu and ask to be excused. My mom smiles and wishes me good luck studying. What I wouldn't give just to not have to worry about this. All my life seems to just boil down to G.P.A. average and SAT scores. Numbers, that's all I am when push comes to shove. But I can't do anything about that now, and I settle down at my desk and start the practice exams.
Eventually I feel my eyes start to burn and my wrist ache. I shut the study guide, hit the light, and fall into the loving embrace of my bed. Asleep before I know it, awake far too early.
My alarm blasts on, I smack the clock until the insufferable ringing stops. Disheveled I shuffle toward the bathroom. A quick shower and breakfast and I am off to start my day. High school is not a place anyone wants to be, yet trudge along we must. I arrive in the halls and immediately spot Sam near her locker. As I approached I saw the evidence of a clearly annoyed Sam written clear on her face. Gary, a fellow student in our grade, stood next to her, prattling on and on about something I couldn't quite make out. I smile to myself, Sam is about to make this boy's life miserable.
"HEY, here's an idea Mary. How about you go anywhere but here and I won't atomic wedgey you into the next millennium? Does that sound good to you," Sam yelled at the poor kid.
"My, uh, my name's Gary? Anyway, like I was saying I know you got this tough girl thing and I think it's awesome, but you can chill with it now," Gary responded, a slight smile graced his face. Sam slams her locker shut and turns to face him.
"Look nimrod, I don't care what you think is an act or what you like or don't like, I don't have enough time in my day for people who just drone on and on about stuff I don't care about," she turned her head just then, just enough to see me, then added, "I got Freddie to do that already."
I laughed. Here was Sam using me as a screen to get rid of some random guy. I smiled to myself and felt confident enough to approach. "Hey guys, what's going on," I asked.
"Yo, Benson! Not much man, just talking to Sam here. I was telling her all about the new stamps that I got for my collection. Smurf stamps from the U.S. Postal Service. Want to see?" I stared at Gary. Either he was incredible stupid, or courageous beyond words to even attempt to talk to Sam about stamp collecting.
"Nah man I'm good. But that's great that you got them?" I looked at Sam and felt pity for the demonic young girl. Deciding to help her out, "Anyway dude Sam and I have some iCarly business we have to get to, so I'm going to have to steal her away from what must surely have been a riveting conversation." I smile, nodded toward Sam, and began to walk away. Sure enough I hear footsteps falling in pace. I turn and look to my left and Sam bounds into view.
"Alright thanks nub, you got me outta that nicely, I mean holy chiz, how can someone talk about stamps for that long?" She smiles just a bit, and I can't help but laugh.
"How long was he standing there talking to you," I asked.
"Almost five whole minutes, I thought I was going to have to pound him or something just to make him stop! He keeps trying to talk to me, and I keep brushing him off. This is the third time this week that he's just kept on talking to me."
"Well I'm glad I was of service then, just remember that I bailed you out for once, and not the other way around," I stuck my tongue out to emphasize my point.
"Can it nerd, I could have just as easily shoved him into a locker, you coming along was just a convenient way not to get detention. Besides, how many times have I saved your from, well, all the people who pick on you except me?"
She had a point, over the years Sam has acted as the protector of the group, never letting anyone hurt Carly or me. The amount of times that Sam has bailed us out of a bad situation just by being the toughest girl on the planet cannot be counted.
"Fair enough, still it felt good to help you out for a change," I told her. With that we separated to go to our respective classes.
The rest of the day passed uneventfully. After the bell rang I headed for my locker, happy the day was over. On my way I spotted Gary once again trying his luck with Sam. Not waiting this time I walked straight up to both of them, intent on giving Sam another out if she needed it. Gary casually leaned against the other lockers, looking down at Sam as she threw some notebooks into her bag. He wore a cocky smile on his face, and seemed mighty pleased with himself.
"Sam, I was thinking, I'm a pretty cool dude, you seem like a chill girl, come out with me sometime. I could take you to get a bite to eat, see a movie, whatever it is you girls like to do," Gary said. I felt a tightness in my chest. I thought Gary was off, but this took balls. The smile on his face bothered me, as if Sam saying yes was a foregone conclusion. I continued heading toward them.
"Yea Gary I'm going to have to go ahead and say no to that lovely offer, and instead offer you this one time only special. Get away from me now, and I spare you the beating of a lifetime," Sam managed to seethe out.
"Sammy, why the harsh tone? We would have a great time. Come on, I'll pick you up Friday at 7. First some food, then a movie, then I dunno drive around and see what's up." Those words seemed to ooze out of Gary's mouth, I had never heard a sentence sound so slimy.
"Hey Sam, you ready to head home," I said, hoping to again provide a means out of an awkward situation.
"Dear God yes, let's go Benson. Mama waits for no man." Sam shut her locker and began to walk away, when Gary grabbed her arm and turned her back around.
"No, no, no, Sam, we are not done talking yet," Gary started, "I think I just asked you if 7 on Friday worked for you and you didn't give me an answer yet."
Sam's eyes lit up in fury, "Well then I guess my answer is no, let go of me, and start running."
The scene in front of me could have been an old fashioned standoff from the tension between Sam and Gary. The boy just did not know when to give up. But honey don't work on Sam, ham might have, but sweet words normally fall empty on her ears.
Gary tightened his grip on Sam's arm, his face changed from relaxed and arrogant, to one of frustration. He looked deranged for a moment. "Ok then, never mind, I'm not asking. Sam I'm way out of your league normally, so why don't you swallow that uppity pride of yours and realize that I'm a good thing and you should take advantage."
"Alright Gary, back off. You've said enough," I exclaimed.
"Alright, alright, you're right. That was over the line, sorry guys. Huh, I guess I sounded like a stereotypical high school bad guy for a second there. Look I didn't mean anything by it really, I just happened to think you're cute Sam. I'm sorry. I'll see you guys around, peace," Gary said before walking away. The look of anger and chaos left his face as he left the school.
"Well that was not how I saw that ending," Sam said with a befuddled look on her face.
"Yea, he just kinda gave up and walked away," I agreed.
Sam nodded her head. "Well at least it didn't become one of those awkward high school fights, where the little guy defends the helpless princess to defeat the mean bully."
"Aw, you thought I was going to have to defend you from the bully," I laughed.
"To be clear, you were clearly the princess in this tale," Sam stated bluntly before laughing. "Alright, well I gotta get the bus; I'll see you at Carly's later Freddie. Later dork."
"See ya, Sam."
I arrived home, ate a quick snack, did some homework, and then finally let myself relax. What a strange day, the whole Gary situation really threw me through a loop. Whatever, can't dwell on what might have been.
Leaving my apartment, I crossed the hall and entered Carly's after a quick knock. "Hello everyone," I yelled as I entered the living room. I took a quick look around. Carly was watching girly cow, sitting comfortably on the sofa, Sam was in the kitchen eating ham, no guessing what time she arrived, and Spencer was working on a new sculpture, one made out of old novelty toys like slinkies and silly putty.
"Hey Fred-O, what's shaking my man," Spencer greeted in his normally eccentric manner.
"Not much," I addressed to Spencer. Turning toward Carly and Sam I asked," You guys ready to work on the new iCarly skits?"
Carly looked over toward me and spoke first, "yea, I don't know about today Freddie, some weird dude attacked some people in front of Sam on her way over. Apparently it got pretty strange."
Sam looked up from gorging herself on ham to add, "pretty strange? Yea it was strange, dude smelled like a homeless person wrapped in a used diaper filled with rotten eggs. And to make it worse he was just flailing about, swiping at people. He even bit a few people. The police eventually got him into a squad car, and the people were taking to the hospital, but man you should have seen the chaos."
Sam being shaken by something was rare indeed. It made me nervous.
"You ok Sam, the guy didn't get near you did he," concern evident in my voice.
"Well Fredwina, to calm your fears of needing to find a new amazing, pretty, insightful, brave, strong, and all around super awesome new friend, yea I'm fine. Dude didn't get close to me; I just saw what happened from the sidewalk. Gosh, you talk about one creepy incident, and now everyone wants to make sure I'm ok, when really all I need is more delicious ham," Sam punctuated her sentence by devouring another large piece of ham.
"Sam you shouldn't joke about these kinds of things, you could have really been hurt," Carly said, her eyes screaming the concern she clearly felt for her best friend. "I mean what if he had attacked you. You could be in the hospital."
"Yea Carls, but he didn't. I'm fine, and have a cool new story to tell people," Sam answered casually.
Still, regardless of Sam's reassurances something just didn't sit right with me. However, now was not the time and place to dwell on ill feelings. Instead I simply asked, "So what do you guys want to do then?"
Another night past, and another day of school beings, joy. I walk out to the kitchen to find a note from my mom.
I'll be home before you get back from school. I was called into work late last night, apparently there was an overflow of patients at the hospital last night and they needed more nurses. Love you and will see you soon.
That's odd, that must have been a lot of people for them to call in extra nurses at such a random time.
I quickly eat, shower, and dress and then out the door to catch the bus. Arriving at school an eerie feeling seemed to hang in the air. I see Carly in the hall talking to Sam and I immediately head over.
"Hey what's up with this place today, does it seem kind of….I don't know, empty?" I ask.
"Yea I was just telling Sam, Principal Franklin said a large portion of the student body called in sick today. Some sort of weird flu going around," Carly explained.
"Ugh, it's just not fair!" exclaimed Sam. "I want off from school too!"
"Oh shush, just be glad you are healthy and aren't sick with a strange….well sickness!" Carly pointed out.
"Whatever, this still blows and you know it. What are we even going to do today? With so many out sick we will have like 8 kids in every class?" Sam inquired.
I chimed in, "that is a good point Carly, I mean I'm for school and all," Sam snorted at that, "but what can we do that won't just have to be re-covered when everyone gets back? And if we don't do anything, do we even need to be here?"
"At least if we are here we don't have to make up the days at the end of the year," Carly rightly pointed out.
"Whatever, let's just try and get through this…maybe we will just watch a movie or something all day," Sam stated hopefully.
The school was like a ghost town. We just sat in our classrooms watching various documentaries, or sometimes just watching regular old movies. It was a waste of time. After lunch Carly, Sam, and I were all in what should have been history. Instead we were watching Paths of Glory, an old movie about the First World War. Suddenly, an announcement over the intercom went off. "Hello students, this is your principle. School will end early today, as a health emergency has been declared for Seattle and the surrounding area. We were assured that everything is being taken care of, but for safety reasons all public buildings are being closed. Calmly head toward your buses and return to your homes. Anyone who has an issue returning to their home at this time is implored to leave with a friend and contact their parents immediately. Thank you and have a pleasant day."
We all looked around at each other until Sam final said, "Well looks like I'm going back with you guys." And with that we packed up our things and got on the bus. Everything seemed ok outside. As we drove through the streets heading toward the various stops nothing seemed dramatically different. A few people were visible on the street, some of them coughing, but nothing crazy. Things did seem a bit deserted, but beyond that it looked like we just got out of school for no reason. We arrived back at the apartment building and rushed up to Carly's apartment.
"So no school today and possibly no school tomorrow? This is the greatest day ever!" Sam screamed with glee. Sam sat down on the sofa and turned on the TV, while Carly and I took up seats around her. "Now let's see what's on the boob tube, eh?" Sam informed us as she flipped through channel after channel.
"Sam slow down, it looks like the news is on every channel right now," Carly commanded Sam. It was true, a special report was broadcasting on all channels.
A reporter apparently kept repeating the same warning over and over, while being fed new information as he spoke. In an almost panicked way he read, "Again I inform all viewers the government has issued a warning not to go outside for any reason. A health warning is in effect for the greater Seattle metropolitan area. Government and health officials are working quickly to resolve and contain the outbreak of a very contagious and possibly deadly disease that has spread throughout the city. Those afflicted show symptoms similar to that of a severe flu, including fever, shakes, vomiting, and diarrhea. As of right now no cause for the outbreak has been officially announced by any agency affiliated with the government, and speculation is limited. Again, we inform you of a health warning and recommend staying inside your homes until otherwise instructed."
I looked around at the girls, I felt sick inside. My mom was at the hospital dealing with this new bug, and I might never see her again now. I swallow the fear before it takes over.
"Hey Carly, where's Spencer, I mean he is here right?" Sam asked quietly.
"SPENCER! YOU IN HERE?" Carly bellowed out.
Spencer darted into the living room, shirt stuck around his head, a muffled "What, what's wrong," could be heard from beneath the shirt knot.
"Nothing, a news report said that people are being asked to remain in their homes because of some outbreak of a new disease and we were worried about you," Carly explained.
"Oh nope fine, just trying to get dressed. Almost done that new project so feeling pretty good lil sis," said Spencer.
"Well la di da, glad we are all safe, now when's the real TV entertainment going to be back on!" yelled a clearly annoyed Sam.
"This is important you know, you could show a little more compassion for those who got sick," Carly pointed out to Sam.
"Whatever, everyone here is fine, so what's to worry," Sam argued back.
"My mom's working at the hospital right now, not gonna lie guys, I'm worried about her," I stated bluntly, not making eye contact.
"Benson your mom is crazy…she is a crazy person. So what if she's out there," Sam looked right at me while she spoke.
"Sam!" Carly yelled, "How could you be so callous?"
"Relax Carly; the nub's mom is far too crazy and protective of him to get sick. She'll be back to make sure he little Freddikins isn't sick at all, and then give him a tick bath," Sam countered.
I laughed, it felt good. "Yea Sam, you may actually be right in a weird way. My mom takes so many precautions, so many many crazy precautions, she has to be ok."
"See Carly? Mama always knows what to say." And with that we all laughed. The TV kept airing the same message again and again, so we eventually put in a movie and tried to relax. This day was a weird one, and while I tried to remember Sam's oddly soothing words about my crazy mother, I couldn't help but worry. And what about Sam's mom, was she safe, out of the state, the country, jail?
"Sam, is your mother ok? Is she at your house or gone for the week?" I asked her quietly.
"Oh yea, she went to Bermuda with her new pilot boyfriend. I won't be seeing her for at least another week. She does have great timing yea?" Tough little Sam, not missing a beat, showing no fear.
"Well that's good for her I guess. You going to be ok, I mean being stuck here with us?" I ask.
"Sam you know you are more than welcome to crash here as long as this goes on. No worries about anything." Carly adds brightly.
"Thanks guys, yea I guess I have to crash here until this thing blows over." Sam seemed nonplused by the situation. I wish I shared her bravery.
We ate dinner in high spirits. Nothing seemed to put a damper on getting out of class for the next few days. The news continued on the same track: Stay inside, don't leave your homes, health warning, blah, blah, blah. Night faded into day, and soon enough I was back over at Carly's apartment. My mom had still not returned from the hospital, my worry grew with each passing hour. I was dependent on Carly and Sam to keep my mind occupied. I hope they know how much I appreciated it. The lack of any real new information coming from the news anchors was disconcerting. The 24 hour news cycle normally blasted viewers with unnecessary and trivial details. Now all we got was the same warnings over and over again, no experts, no speculation, just the same sentences over and over. Yea, I think I just got a new thing to worry about.
Spencer continued his normal routine as if nothing strange was happening. But I could see the bags under his eyes, the stress and worry of the situation written on his face, despite his brave front. He continued to cook for us, entertain us with his frantic and frenzied art work, and all around distract us from the unrelentingly dull day. I never thought I'd be so bored at home. Being stuck inside never seemed like a problem, until it's forced on you with no time frame for when one can leave.
"They have to lift this health warning soon, this is such chizz that I can't go outside!" Sam stated with obvious anger in her tone.
"Sam there's nothing we can do right now. So we just have to sit tight and try not to kill ourselves with boredom!" Carly yelled. Yea, these were strange times indeed. Carly, yelling in anger and frustration… at Sam.
"Whoa, chill Carls, I'm just bored." Sam said apologetically.
"I know Sam, sorry, I'm just frustrated and scared. This isn't normal. Has this every happened before? A city wide shutdown, forced curfews? None of this makes any sense!" Fear evident in Carly's voice.
"Hey, hey, hey kids. I'm sure everything is going to be fine. Let's just calm down and realize that the more dwell on the uncertainties of the future, the more we will just worry ourselves sick. As far as we know everything is ok, so let's just enjoy our time off and have some fun. Now, who wants Spaghetti Tacos?" Spencer's surprisingly wise words seemed to have their intended results. Carly visibly relaxed, and even I felt a little better. When did Spencer become the wise one?
"Alright, alright, let's see what the TV jawn has to say about today. Maybe some Girlie Cow will be on," chimed in Sam.
"Yea, sorry guys, yea TV it is." Carly sat down and turned on the TV. Again it was the news. But this time something was different.
The reporter looked lost, confused, and like he hadn't left the desk in days. "We must once again, inform you of the riots taking place in downtown Seattle today. Police had blocked off many roads, and are seen here shooting teargas and water into what appears to be a hostile crowd. I have never seen anything like this. The report from the police suggests no reason for the sudden appearance of several hundred angry civilians on the streets against curfew and health warning regulations. As we can see here, they do not appear to be dispersing, but continue to trudge forward toward the police line."
"What has gotten into these people," Carly asked.
Then it seemed as if all hell broke loose. As the crowd approached the police, one surged forward, grabbing an officer and seemed to attack him. The other officers opened fire. People fell in front of the line of police, and everyone seemed to hold their breath. I will never forget what happened next, no matter how long I live, no matter what else I see. As the bullets found their targets, the bodies fell. Blood splattered everywhere. The sound of the gunfire drowned out all else. Carly screamed, Spencer seemed dumbfounded, Sam had a distant look in her eyes; I don't think I'll ever know what she felt. The shots continued as the crowd did not seem to let up.
"Why are they still going forward? What aren't they running away?" Carly asked meekly.
And then the shots started dying down. They were running out of ammo. The crowd kept coming, and eventually started to climb over the barricades, attacking the police behind them. Panic erupted, some of the police tried to run, others stood to protect the barricade. It was chaos. The rioters overran the barricade and started to attack the police with their bare hands. All that could be heard now were screams, screams of pure, abject terror. The camera feed cut, the reporter looked just as staggered as the rest of us. Fear, fear is what gripped us all again.
"Ok, you guys go upstairs and work on iCarly bit," Spencer told us.
"But Spencer, I think," Carly began.
"NO BUTS, upstairs all of you. I'll call you down for dinner. Go." Spencer said with command in his voice. We all headed upstairs at that point; no use arguing, Spencer rarely yelled, and when he did it signified his seriousness. And with that, it sank in that everything was most certainly not alright.