Posted: 3/1/2020 5:07:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: olds442tyguy]
How we got here: Years ago I started writing a story here. It was going well, but between some rough patches, a fallen through publishing deal, and the thread going to the archives, I just let go of it. The story officially starts at this link, but please finish this first post before starting that.
The first installment.
What's changed: My writing style, my directions, and even my ability to remember detail may misalign at times. It has been many years but I still know where I want it to end, and the key events to happen in the story.
I also need to retain my creativity. I know how bad it sucks having to wait, but sometimes the obligation wore me down. I'd like to get out a chapter per week, but I can't promise that. There will be no schedule, but I put a lot of thought into starting this again, and I hope those that gave up on seeing it through before will reconsider.
If you read it before and remember, please still take the time to read it over again. I did so myself and feel embarrassed that I let it go. Well, no more of that. All new chapters will be posted here and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
# Chapter 48 - Clarity
Tiff began crying as she looked at her eyes which were now bright white. I didn't know what to say as I walked up to stand right behind her. She quickly turned back towards me and hugged me so quick and hard that her head struck my chin.
I could hear Giz and Reagan talking off in the distance. They both looked like a couple of love struck teenagers so I wondered if I wasn't the only one to get lucky last night. Tiff had turned back to the mirror so I walked into view and called them over.
Me: "We have a development."
Giz: "Yeah, we gotta get out of here soon."
Me: "I think we're on two different subjects here. Come look."
Tiff turned around as we approached. Gizmo almost looked afraid as he noticed, beating me to pointing out the obvious.
Gizmo: "Marcus, get the fuck over here now."
Marcus came over latching his belt from an apparent early morning piss.
We all looked at him with a look of confusion. He made eye contact with all of us while he displayed the same look of confusion. I grabbed Tiff by the waist and gently pushed her right in front of his face.
Marcus: "What the fuck? What happened?"
I didn't want to say outright that we had slept together but the looks on everyone's faces told the tale, including my own. Curiosity and desperation to change the subject combined for one motive.
Me: "So what's this other development?"
Giz: "They want to draw your blood for live testing. The infected they keep in the storm shelter, one of them is their nephew. I'm not sure about the others."
Me: "Do they genuinely just want to save them? I have no problems with it if I can help them. Then we can get the hell out of here."
Marcus: "You're the smartest and dumbest dude I know. Those mother fuckers are gonna smoke us whether it saves them or not."
It was at this point I realized I could smell the infected tenants of the storm shelter. My sense of smell had been good, but this was different. The breakfast cooking in the house, the dirt in the air, the budding growth of spring setting in, the cow shit down the road, the chicken coop, and what almost smelled like the distinct scents of each of the infected in the storm shelter. Even the smell of Tiff on me, and the smell of Reagan on Gizmo.
I felt a slight sense of panic before realizing they were all looking to me for a response.
Me: "We can't outrun them in the Tahoe and that ambulance. Let me think on this."
I knew we were still short the propane from our run yesterday. It was a priority on our last trip, so I formulated a plan. We would tell them we're going on a run to collect propane from the tractor supply store and bail out entirely. We hadn't had much time to go over details when I heard the spring of the house's storm door open.
Bonnie and Robby were walking out straight to us, and Josh walked out of the door behind them. Josh stayed on the porch and lit a cigarette, and Chris (who was the other heavy hitter of their group) walked past him and sat on the porch stairs. Both men had their rifles, and both were slung to the front. This was not their normal format.
I didn't know what to expect, so as Bonnie and Robby approached I nonchalantly picked up my rifle and slung it at my front as non threatening as possible. Marcus and Gizmo did the same.
Bonnie: "Good morning y'all. Got any big plans for the day?"
Gizmo: "Actually we want to go clear the tractor supply store. We didn't find any propane, but they likely have a decade worth."
Robby: "That sounds like a great idea. Josh needs some space, but how about you take Chris with you, and the girls can stay back here and help with the laundry?"
He had called our plan out immediately. Before we even had time to react on our failure, Reagan spoke up.
Reagan: "Oh that will be so fun! I know you could probably use some girl time just like me."
She picked up Tiff's rifle and handed it to her before grabbing her by the arm and pulling her towards the house. There may be more to Reagan than I had realized, as my instincts were telling me we only had one way out.
Gizmo: "Yeah, that works for us. You guys need anything else while we're there?"
Bonnie: "Actually we do need some bedding for the chicken coops."
Me: "Cool. We can take the Tahoe and the trailer to stock up. We'll need all the empty propane tanks we can carry too."
We all agreed and they walked back off to the house. Gizmo, Marcus, and I all agreed to stall our plan out for another day at least.
Everyone began helping load up propane tanks. Well, everyone except Josh. He just stood on the porch chain smoking and giving Gizmo looks of murder. Chris helped load tanks and I wondered where he stood. He was the much less outspoken of the original three hitters. As I loaded tanks I realized how much stronger I was feeling. I carried two in each hand like they weighed nothing, limited only by how many fingers I could wrap around the handles at once.
Marcus: "You remember that pot shot? That came from where we're heading, so keep woke out there."
Me: "Just make sure our tag along rides shotgun. I still don't know where his mind is."
As Robby closed the trailer door the rest of us did weapon checks and put on our fighting gear. I knew shit was about to go down in some shape, but Tiff tapping me on the shoulder stopped my wandering mind for a moment. She handed me a phone. It was my phone too!
Gizmo: "She searched forever to find that you know. It's not your phone, but it's the same model with your SD card in it. All your music and pictures are still good. She's been waiting to give it back."
I realized if she checked all of that, the last pictures in my phone were of Sarah and Farmer. I stopped myself from thinking about it. Instead I opened the camera and took a selfie with Tiff. She hugged me and I kissed her on the forehead before jumping in the driver's seat. Not knowing if we would be facing infected, the SRA, or even our own. I felt ready though, and picked the song that fit my demeanor the best. Fuck it!
Johnny Cash The Man Comes Around with Lyrics
I remember this one. Glad to see you back at it!
Now give us moooaaarrrr!!
# Chapter 49 - Kick Rocks
We buzzed down the highway at a steady speed. It was bad enough that last time we were in this area we almost met our end from random gun fire. Add to it that our passenger hadn't said a word the entire trip, and I knew we were in for some rough times.
Me: "Are any of you familiar with the layout of this store? Knowing entry points and exits would be useful."
For once Chris spoke as he said "no". Same for the others. As we got about 600 yards out we pulled over. Gizmo got his beloved M110 out to do some long distance reconnaissance from the hood of the Tahoe.
Giz: "We got 3, maybe 4 cars that look operational. The rest of the vehicles in the lot look like they haven't moved in months."
You would think sitting through snow and rain would keep vehicles at least somewhat clean. The windows were always a dead give away though. Any vehicle that had been sitting almost always had dirty windows. Thick enough you could scrape it off with a razor blade.
CRACK! I had just finished my thought as a bullet whizzed by and hit the dirt a couple feet from the Tahoe. Before I had time to crack a joke about how friendly they were, Gizmo let one loose from the SR25.
Me: "Well fuck. They know we're here. Did you get him?"
Gizmo: "I was spot on and the shot was good. Can't say for sure though. I either got him or he's taking cover on the roof."
Me: "What else you got?"
Gizmo: "There's a small loading dock and an access door on the left side of the building. The front sliding doors are blocked by commercial vans."
Me: "Well I guess let's get a move on before they're all on the roof."
As we approached the the dock I had Marcus reach in the back to grab my M79. I pulled a bit past the loading dock leaving us some cover and space to work with.
Me: "Any of you used one of these before?"
Chris: "I had an M203 in Iraq. You better get some distance."
I had never shot the M79 but one time, and not at anything non catastrophic. From an angle behind our trailer, I let one fly right at the garage door. FOOMP! I felt a thud in my chest but it wasn't near as violent as I was expecting. The garage door was still partially intact, but there was plenty of room for us to get in. Before the smoke could clear though, automatic fire began tearing through the hole and what was left of the door.
Marcus: "Anyone got any ideas?"
Gizmo: "We have to do something. Those thin corrugated walls aren't stopping shit if they decide to sweep across instead."
Me: "I got an idea. Stay put behind the Tahoe."
I grabbed a few more 40mm rounds from the back seat, reloaded one, shoved one in each of my back pockets, and ran around the back. In the back they had many more loading docks as well as some ground level industrial sized garage doors. I had a shit eating grin as I shot a loading dock door, and then one of the industrial sized doors. Just as I was trying to reload the last round I got clipped.
A man on the roof was laying down semiautomatic fire. His first round hit me right in the left thigh. I got back up and started hopping for the closest cover when I realized what I was running for was a propane tank that probably held 2500 gallons or more. I'm sure the guy shooting at me probably laughed when I about fell over stopping stopping to change direction as fast as I could and head for some tractors instead.
From where I was at I could now see down the side and the rear of the building simultaneously. The gunfire inside had stopped, so my plan kind of worked. The guy on the roof slowed his rate of fire considerably but was zeroing in awfully close.
Gizmo: "HEY! You alright over there?"
I responded back "yes", but as soon as the guy on the roof heard him yell he went to shoot at them. I could hear yelling inside before the automatic gunfire started on their side of the building again. I peeked my head out a little further and I could see the guy on the roof shooting almost straight down on them as they hid behind the trailer full of empty propane tanks that might still be a problem if punctured. I propped my rifle up on the tractor, lined up the bright horseshoe of my optic and took a deep breath. POP!
A perfect headshot. Unfortunately the guy was too close to the ledge. His forward lean to rain down fire resulted in him falling almost straight off the roof and onto the trailer. His body hitting the driver side and falling almost directly on to the rest of the group. Marcus jumped backwards and into the open like a teenage girl who just found a spider in her sock drawer. As I hobbled back towards them I couldn't help but laugh.
Marcus: "Fuck you man! Fuck you. And fuck you too."
Chris who was closer to the Tahoe and out of the way was also laughing while Gizmo just shook his head. The automatic fire had stopped again.
Me: "The propane tank is out back. You guys have any idea how many are in there?"
Chris: "At least three more. That's gotta be a 249 they got in there."
Me: "I don't imagine they're just going to let us fill up and leave either."
I slung my rifle and switched back to the M79 hanging from my left shoulder. After a fresh reload I ducked down lower than the height of the concrete loading dock to get close and take a look. As soon as I popped my head up a string of fire began again. I waited and then I heard the reload. I popped up already aiming, and I saw the gunner reloading his M249 mounted on a shelving unit half way across the warehouse. FOOMP, BOOM.
I wasn't sure if it was a direct hit, but this was the destruction I was expecting. The tall industrial shelving inside must have fell like dominos as the sound of crashing and stuff falling continued for what seemed like 5 minutes straight in my head. I ran back to the others with a grin I couldn't hide.
Gizmo: "Jesus what did you do?"
Me: "Improvised. Chris, you're on me through the loading dock. Giz, Marcus, you guys are on the back. Go in the far door so if they shoot at you they don't hit the propane tank."
The inside was a dust cloud as I climbed up the dock. To my surprise Chris covered me the entire time, and I did the same for him. The skylights left clear beams of light down to the ground through the dust. If there was anything left of the guy on the 249, it was now buried under tons of industrial shelving and farming supplies. I was snapped out of my observance by Chris firing his rifle just a couple feet behind me. It caught me off guard and I turned to see he dropped a guy who was probably within seconds of killing me.
Me: "Thanks hoss. I owe you one."
Chris: "Don't sweat it. Let me shoot that 40mm sometime and we'll call it even."
Before I could tell him he had a deal a gunfight erupted towards the back where Gizmo and Marcus were making entry. We moved straight to the back of the warehouse so we didn't end up on the opposite side of Giz and Marcus's gunfire. By the time we got there the gunshots had stopped.
Me: "Yo, are you guys good?"
Marcus said yes as he slowly popped out from behind some equipment. Him and Gizmo had taken out three other people in quick order. We formed a line as we navigated the rest of the warehouse but found no one. The storefront and the warehouse were all connected, but there was an office upstairs towards the front. Gizmo told me and Marcus to hang back so him and Chris could clear the office upstairs. I initially objected but he pointed to my leg which was soaked in blood.
As I inspected my wound I heard Chris yell "Hands up, hands up!" followed by the cries of children.
[Last Edit: olds442tyguy]
# Chapter 50 - Hard Knock Life.
Two girls and a boy came walking down the stairs from the office with Gizmo and Chris following. My heart dropped. One girl was probably mid teens, the other two kids being maybe 10 or so.
Me: "Dude. Understatement."
Chris and Gizmo both looked like they were going to be sick. Gizmo told the kids to sit down on the concrete. The teenage girl began screaming obscenities while weeping. The boy just glared at us with watery eyes as Chris approached us. The other girl just stared at the ground.
Chris: "What in the fuck are we supposed to do now?"
Marcus: "Can we take them back to the farm?"
Chris: "Fuck no. I just...."
They both looked at me but I had nothing. I thought of the bodies laying out in the warehouse.
Me: "Gizmo, maybe you should take them back upstairs for now."
He looked and nodded, then politely asked them to go back up to the office. The oldest yelled some obscenities in the process but they all complied. I turned back to the others.
Me: "We'll figure it out while we fill up those tanks. Let's get moving."
None of us had any idea what to do, and it was evident as we filled up propane tanks over and over in silence. Chris stopped and lit a cigarette, making it obvious he wanted our attention.
Chris: "They're going to kill you guys."
Marcus and I just stared at eachother for a second, knowing our speculation as truth now.
Chris: "You guys don't even have a single fucking thing to say?"
Me: "When and how?"
Chris: "They're going to tranquilize you when they draw your blood. Once that's done they're going to shoot the others. Hell, the cleaner you guys got was for the aftermath. I'm surprised they didn't have you dig your own fucking graves."
Marcus: "Why? You guys fought alongside us before. What the hell happened?"
Chris: "People don't give a shit anymore. It's every man for himself. I think we just proved that too, so don't fucking judge me. I'm done with it. All of it."
At this point his cigarette was down to the filter and it didn't stop him from taking more drags out of frustration.
Chris: "I can't do it anymore. I'm not going back to the farm, and those kids can't go back there either."
Me: "If we could avoid it I wouldn't go back there myself."
Marcus: "There's a parking lot full of cars out there. You can get out if you need to, but can you take those kids to safety?"
Chris just nodded his head yes. After some time we had what we came for. We pulled the trailer back around front and headed back in for the office. Gizmo was actually speaking with the kids and they seemed to have settled down.
Gizmo: "They're orphans. This group picked them up a few months ago."
Teenage girl: "They were good people. Why did you do this?"
The look on her face was one of panic and fear, not of loss. I hesitated considerably before responding.
Me: "I'm sorry. I know right now we're the bad guys, but I promise you everything will be okay."
I hadn't really considered it as I spoke, but after I said it out loud, it was evident I struck a nerve. We all knew my assessment was right. We were the bad guys.
Me: "Gizmo, we have to talk."
We headed back downstairs and Gizmo gave me a weird look.
Gizmo: "You certainly don't go up and down stairs like a guy who just got shot in the leg."
Me: "The only reason I even remember is the hole in my pants. But look, the farm is a set up."
Gizmo: "Yeah, no shit. Those people..."
I cut him off.
Me: "No, Chris confirmed it. They're going to bleed me dry and kill the rest of us. We have to figure something out because Chris is leaving and taking those kids with him."
Gizmo: "They were right to shoot at us."
Gizmo: "These people. Back when they put a round into the ambulance. We weren't in the right today."
Me: "I know. There's no taking it back now. We have to focus on what we can do to prevent that going forward. The first step of that is figuring out the farm."
Gizmo nodded his head and we went back up to the office.
After about an hour of talking with the kids and somewhat gaining their trust, we started getting ready to head out. The kids showed us where the keys were and pointed us to a sedan out front that was a known runner. We helped the kids gather their belongings and loaded up as many supplies from the prior occupants as possible.
It started to sprinkle a little bit and the younger girl just sat and watched us from the backseat while the others helped. I don't even think she blinked the entire time. How a face could look so sad, yet so void of emotion cut me deep. I hoped with every ounce of my being they would be okay.
Me: "So where you headed?"
Chris: "When I was a kid my mom used to love the show Dallas. I think I'll try there."
Me: "I appreciate everything. If our paths ever cross again, first round of beers is on me."
Chris: "Do me a favor. Some of them are good people at that farm. They're only following Bonnie's lead for the same reason these kids are going with me. They have no other option."
Me: "Life is becoming a pretty rare thing these days. You don't have to say it."
Chris shook my hand and said his goodbyes to Marcus and Gizmo then hopped into the car. We stood there for a few minutes in the rain, rifles slung over our shoulders side by side and watched as they drove off into the horizon.
Marcus: "So what the fuck are we gonna do about the farm. They're gonna shit bricks when we show up without Chris. That Josh dude is gonna start shooting no doubt."
Gizmo once again looked down at my leg, then smirked with a shit eating grin.
Gizmo: "I have an idea."
[Last Edit: olds442tyguy]
# Chapter 51 - Diplomacy
Me: "Run that by me again"
Gizmo: "Your pants are a bloody mess. If we say you're hurt they'll buy it, even with your creepy Superman shit going on"
Marcus: "Nah man, that isn't right"
Gizmo: "You got a better idea?"
Marcus: "The idea's solid. I meant the Superman thing. He's more like Wolverine. Shit that's perfect."
Gizmo: "He has no claws though. And he's not a Canadian."
Me: "Would you both shut the fuck up. Bunch of fucking dorks. So we pull up, you guys carry me out, I play dead. We're expecting Josh to do absolutely nothing when you claim Chris got killed by them? I'm not so sure I want to bet on that. Even if he thinks I'm dying or unconscious."
Gizmo: "It'll work. We might need to freshen that blood a bit though. We pull up honking, we set you on the ground, then when they all come out we go for Robby, Bonnie, and Josh. Let's just hope Reagan and Tiff are there and back us up in case the others aren't having it."
I sat there and wondered for a minute. I started connecting the dots on the infection. I was always hungry. I was always hungrier after injuries, and I shit so rarely I couldn't remember the last time i took one without some deep thought. Was my body just that desperate for energy? What was the extent of Gizmo's infection? So many questions I will probably never have an answer for. As I started thinking back to Sarah, Marcus pulled my attention away.
Marcus: "We gotta get to Omaha."
Gizmo: "What about Denver? Last communication it was the hot spot."
Marcus: "You realize they could be creating an evil army of Dougs? How the fuck we gonna fight that? We need to hit them there first."
Marcus: "We don't even know if they're still in Omaha. Plus they shoot anything that moves. If they have an army like that, it's going to be in Omaha."
Me: "She's there. I don't know why or how, but I know she's there."
We drove in silence for a bit. I got out my phone and decided to look through my pictures and my stomach sank when I saw the Facebook application on the main page. All those pictures were gone. Shit, most of those people were too. Being a glutton for punishment I opened my phone pictures just to see a roll of about 10 pictures worth of Tiff having taken selfies. I laughed out loud as I scrolled through them, and part of me demanded I stopped before I hit the couple pictures of Sarah.
Gizmo began slowing the SUV down and pulled off about a mile from the farm.
Gizmo: "That dried blood isn't going to look right."
Me: "What are you proposing here?"
Gizmo: "Can you get a bloody nose?"
Me: "Fuck you."
Gizmo: "That's the spirit."
We got out of the car and squared up.
Marcus: "You really about to stick him in the nose? Ain't there an easier way?"
Gizmo: "I guess we could try something else."
CRACK! I took him at his word and didn't even see the right hook coming.
Me: "You cheap fuck!"
Marcus and Gizmo laughed as blood started dripping from my nose. I took my hand away to let the blood drip on my shirt. After a few good drips it stopped bleeding.
Marcus: "Well that's gonna be a problem."
I laughed with an intentionally psychotic tone.
Me: "Well then, we only have one other option."
Gizmo: "Hey now, we might have the same problem with me."
Me: "Only one way for us to know."
Marcus: "I'll let you two freaks figure this shit out."
Marcus patted Gizmo on the shoulder and stepped back as I took off my shirt.
Gizmo: "Go easy man. I may be resilient but whatever I have is very different from you."
Thump. I hit him with a light jab right in the nostrils and immediately handed him my shirt.
Gizmo: "Fuck. If you broke my nose I'm shooting you in the fucking dick when this is over."
Me: "That's fine. I just hope it doesn't grow back any bigger than it already is."
Marcus: "Fuckin' white people man, I swear."
I put on the shirt soaked with Gizmo's blood reluctantly and began hashing out the details of our plan one last time.
Me: "Alright. We pull up close. Make sure your pistols are off safe and we keep our rifles in the passenger seat. Giz you drive. Marcus you're in back with me, and both of you come around and pull me from the passenger side. Carry me right to the front of the vehicle."
Gizmo: "Sounds good. I'll take Bonnie, Marcus, you take Robby, and Doug you can have Josh. If that gets fucked up, we go left to right. Just remember not to forget the others. Even if they're not expecting a fight from us they'll probably be ready to fight."
I thought back to Chris wanting to avoid anyone else getting hurt. I truly wanted to honor that. We all began double checking our weapons making sure we were ready to go as we started pulling off. I could only hope things worked out as I press checked my pistol.
All Along The Watchtower
Originally Posted By GreenGiant:
Excellennnnnt! Will be MOAR be continuing continuously?
My direction for the next two chapters is ultra clear in my mind, so it shouldn't be near as long of a wait. A lot of times what stops me up isn't what I'm writing now, its how it will play into what comes after that.
Sorry for the delay. Should have the new chapter up in the next week.
[Last Edit: olds442tyguy]
# Chapter 52 - Insides
We sped up as we approached the farm house. We had to make it believable. You couldn't see anyone coming from the front or far side of the farm house, but you could hear a car coming down the gravel road a mile away.
Me: "Alright boys. Let's be smart and efficient here."
Gizmo: "My nose still hurts. I'm still going to shoot you in the dick."
Me: "Good luck with that shithead."
We slid on the dirt driveway as Gizmo slammed on the brakes and let off the horn suddenly.
Marcus: "What the fuck?!"
Neither of them were getting out of the car as planned. I sat up from my fictitious slumped over position to see what was going on. Out past the barn sat a large black helicopter.
Gizmo: "Get your fucking guns now."
Just as we hit panic mode Bonnie stumbled through the storm door. Her hands were bound and she was crying. She walked up to the edge of the porch and we all froze as she just stared at us for what seemed like an eternity.
THUNK! I watched the front of her face explode before her corpse fell down the stairs.
From there time seemed to move in slow motion. The front door of the farm house opened up and a terribly familiar face draped in red hair came walking out holding the huge revolver she just shot Bonnie with. I got out of the vehicle immediately.
Me: "Sarah, what the fuck are you doing here?!"
Sarah: "Well that's no way to speak to a lady, stranger."
I saw movement on the other side of the car but it was too fast for me to even respond. Before I knew it Gizmo was flying through the air before rolling off the hood onto the ground almost in front of me on his side.
As we got Gizmo to his feet an entire team of kitted up goons came out from the barn, meanwhile the guy who tossed him climbed up the side of the porch to sit on the railing next to where Sarah stood. The team of about 10 lined up on us and we reluctantly dropped our guns. Sarah whispered something to the guy who had climbed up next to her.
He looked like a shaved ape with slicked back hair. He stared straight at me with blood red eyes and showed the most evil grin I've ever seen. I had become relatively fearless, but I felt like I was looking straight at the devil. This was a guy who was doing bad things long before the shit hit the fan. Sarah focused her attention back to me.
Sarah: "Baby I've missed you, hahaha."
Her laugh was almost satanic. I immediately thought of Tiff.
Me: "Where the fuck are the others?"
Sarah: "They're all dead. Consider it karma after you tried to burn us all alive."
Gizmo turned to look at me with a look of absolute devastation. I could only hope he would keep his cool.
I started blacking out as I slowly walked past Gizmo and Marcus towards the porch. One of the goons told me to stop and I ignored him outright. There was only one thing on my mind.
Me: "I'm going to fucking kill you."
Sarah: "No, no you're not. I guess you grew attached to the orphan huh? When we heard rumors of a cure to the virus down in this area I never expected you would be dumb enough to be involved. Imagine my surprise to find this slut here."
Sarah waved her hand and Tiff was pushed through the door hard enough to fall down the stairs at my feet. The seemingly generic goon stood at Sarah's side. Tiff's hands were bound and as I dropped down to check on her she winked at me. It was then I connected the dots. Tiff could have landed on her feet easily. They didn't know she's infected. Either way I was just happy she was alive. I turned back to Sarah.
Me: "So what's the plan here you fucking bitch?"
Sarah: "Well your manners have certainly devolved. I'd like to introduce you to Zach."
I was just opening my mouth to talk shit when Zach lept off the porch right at me. I hit the ground and lost sight of him. In the split second it took me to get to my knees to start standing up I ate a kick so hard in the chin it actually brought me the rest of the way up to my feet. Unfortunately it was also hard enough I was rocked as I fell back into the front of the Tahoe. Before I even had a second to recover I got hit with enough force I was certain I heard my skull crack. I dropped to the ground again and saw Tiff start to stand up. I shook my head no at her.
Zach: "This fucking guy is supposed to be tough? I'm going to fucking eat all of his friends in front of him."
Sarah: "Give him a second to warm up."
He reached to his waist and drew an obnoxiously large knife.
Zach: "Oh, I'll get him nice and warm."
Me: "Did you bring this guy to do some gay shit Sarah, or is this all his own doing. "
Zach: "I'm going to fuck your girlfriend after I eat your fucking heart!"
He ran at me with the knife. At this point I realized Sarah was right. The hatred flowing through me, the necessity of protecting my friends, I was starting to feel the infection pulse through my veins.
He swung the knife at me three or four times before I had a window to land a strike. I hit him in the throat so hard I thought I felt my fist make contact with his spine. He grabbed his neck with one hand and made a sloppy defensive swing at me with the knife in the other. As the swing missed I followed his arm to use the momentum of the knife back towards him.
The knife sunk into his chest. It had to be the lung as he started gurgling and coughing.
Me: "So about that killing me thing...."
I decided I'd stab the knife into his skull, but as soon as I started pulling the knife out he removed one hand from my shoulder and started fighting to keep me from pulling the knife out. He laughed like a crazy man as he struggled to keep the knife buried in his lung.
The blood in his mouth was demonic looking, and he grabbed me by the neck with his other hand. He squeezed hard enough I couldn't even breathe as he pulled my face closer to his. His laughing and spitting splattered blood on my face. Before all I could smell was Gizmo's blood, but now this asshole's blood and breath stunk so strong I could taste it.
Zach: "Maybe I'll fuck her before I kill you."
He started pushing me backwards on my feet, still squeezing my neck so hard my trachea had most likely collapsed. Finally he let go of the knife but he quickly grabbed me by my belt with his now free hand and lifted me into the air sideways above his head. I got two stabs off in the chest before letting go of the knife to prepare for impact as he threw me.
I hit the porch stairs so hard on my back that they broke. Maybe it was my collapsed wind pipe or my newly broken ribs but I was suffocating. Tiff still sat on her knees looking at me like I was an idiot. Again I shook my head at her. If I failed, maybe she could survive this if they didn't know she's infected too.
Zach took a second to cough up what looked like a gallon of blood before wiping his mouth. Slowly I started breathing again as I tried to recover as well.
Zach: "You see Doug? I'm the upgrade. I am the future. Sarah, do you see now? We don't need his strain anymore."
Sarah: "Fine. Kill the girl first."
Zach: "With pleasure."
Maybe it was because I knew even Tiff wouldn't stand a chance against him. Maybe it was the goons who were going to mow my friends down. Maybe it was the anger towards Sarah who was so nonchalant she might as well be painting her nails. I don't know, but a chill ran through my body and my ears popped. I could see clear. I could breathe again. I squeezed my fist so hard i couldn't tell if it was my joints cracking or actually my bones breaking. There was no more pain. Just the urge to do primal acts of violence.
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I haven't forgotten about this. I've rewritten this chapter literally 5 times. It's practically impossible to put how much happens in a short amount of time into words. Still trying to figure it out.
Sorry guys. My phone cooked itself back in February and I lost everything. I basically had a road map for the story and the chapters that were the dot connectors. That means a lot of it is going to be from scratch though.
Time is a limit, not to mention I already spend most of my day staring into a screen and writing for work. If I have time over the holiday I’ll try and get started again, but losing all of that was a huge kick to my motivation’s bean bag.
I promise it is NOT a dead story though.
I’ll get back to it, but not sure when. I have a ton going on with work currently and my free time is pretty limited. At some point in the next couple months I have to take a vacation so that’s my goal to knock a bunch out.
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