Quik-E Gas, Kane St. between Minor and Mason
Nowadays, gas stations, even gas stations in this shitty dusthole of a truck stop town, were goldmines. Sure, you couldn't find much more than a smushed Twinkie for some curdled yogurt anymore, but most of the time, Reagan wasn't looking for food. This gas station had everything she needed--namely, a bathroom with a mirror and a sink.
She'd spent the previous two days since arriving in Bertrand ("Welcome to Bertrand; Welcome home!") holed up on the roof of a department store at the edge of town, choosing to scope out the place before trying to strike out on her own. Which she was going to do. Absolutely. Even before things went to shit, it was the sort of place Reagan (and Marcy) would have been itching to escape. When even zombies couldn't make a town exciting, you knew you were fucked.
It was quiet, or quiet enough. There'd been a few skirmishes, but both walkers and survivors were far and few between enough that Reagan trusted herself to make it through town without too much trouble. She'd have to move carefully, and whether that meant traveling with some guy she could offer to get off, or sticking to quiet shadows, she hadn't yet decided. There was still time for that.
In the meantime, she'd found a tiny plastic bottle of lemon juice, and poured some of it into her water, for impromptu lemonade. But the rest of it went into her hair as she crouched over the sink in the dirt-caked gas station bathroom, scrubbing at her face, nails, and scalp before emerging over an hour later. Her clothes were new-ish. It was warm out, so she'd opted to wear a only slightly dirty pink v-neck t-shirt over her cargos and boots. Her coat and hoodie were strapped to her backpack with a bungie cord, which would make digging around in there pretty difficult, but since she wore her only real weapon on her hip, and she refused to drink when people could see her, she figured--
She was cut off by a scream that made her blood freeze in her veins for more than one reason. Practically, it meant someone, close by, was in trouble, which always started the battle of morals inside Reagan's gut. If the trouble was close by, that meant Reagan could soon be in trouble herself...but she'd never been one to just leave a person who needed help. Of course, she didn't want to die. So there was that.
Moreover, even in a town like this, screaming brought walkers...or worse, it seemed, since she'd now stepped out of the shadow of the gas station and could clearly see a young woman in the arms of two masked figures who were probably not walkers themselves.
That rubbed her the wrong way. Reagan understood survival. She'd lied to the man who'd driven her up here, for all the help he'd given her, and she'd lie again to these men, if they offered to help. But lying about fucking someone and fucking them against their will were two very different things.
Because that was probably what was happening. Right? Yeah. Yeah, okay.
Also, the woman was wearing a cute pink tracksuit, and she had a truck. So that could be good.
"H-hey," Reagan barked suddenly, moving toward the scene, all without noticing the pair of walkers approaching at a parallel to her. Her voice was only just overwhelmed by a third man, who may or may not have had similar intentions. "Hey!" she said again. "What...um...stop." She realized abruptly she didn't know what to say. She certainly was going to kill anyone. But maybe they didn't need to know that.
"Leave her alone," she said flatly. "All of you."
No Man Needs Nothing
Kennett And Montrose Intersection to Medina
A dull quiet surrounded the intersection, and hopefully most of the town. It was the sort of quiet that one could only pertain to an apocalypse, or something to that extreme. Not to mention the sinister feeling that would roll down the spine of a passerby, a young man who looked impoverished and hungry. It had been several months since the dead began rising, and in those several months he had nearly lost himself in the turmoil. At times his name was even lost to him, Daniel, the young, yet worn man. He was unbelievably tired, tired of life, tired of fighting any longer, and tired of hoping for anything to get better. Daniel might as well lay down and wait, seeing as he had already failed; in fact, he was pretty much as good as dead without... without her. But, regardless of his wishes, he moved on, feet trudging along the dirt road.
It had been a few days since his arrival, a few days before she died, before he killed her--No, no, no, she was dead... she was dead already.
Daniel squeezed his eyes close, teeth biting down on his lower lip as he blocked the thoughts and the tears. This wasn't the time to break down, not when he was in some sort of danger. Daniel had enough strength in him to trudge on, enough to get him to complete safety before those nightmarish things swarmed the streets. Hands gripped onto the pry-bar it held onto, anxiety flowing forth before he finally began moving forward, unable to stand still any longer. The fear of the undead sneaking behind him, sinking their nasty teeth into his flesh, was too daunting for him to endure.
Soft, grey eyes scanned the road, a frown deep set on his grimy face. Daniel sighed, hand sliding over his face, doing no better as it caked dirt onto his cheek and forehead. There was nothing left of the outskirts, eyes staring down a road that seemed almost infinite. They darted to the right, eyeing the abandoned cargo train not too far from him. It looked hopeful, possibly worth a look, maybe a safe haven if he had no food left to eat. The thought only reminded him of the growling in his stomach, slowly growing into a sharp pain that left his mind just a tad hazy. Daniel shook off the dizzy feeling, spinning around toward the building he had just passed by. In fact, there were a few smaller buildings scattered behind it, giving the man some hope to top his day off. He couldn't spend long, however, as the danger of roaming walkers was still rather high.
Danny approached the first building's door, trying the knob in an attempt to open it. A curse slipped out as the door refused to budge, leaving Daniel to either leave it be or attempt to pick the lock. Better now than never, right? Danny crouched low, setting down his pry-bar and taking off his backpack, pulling out a flat-head not long after. Daniel then proceeded to pull out the baggy of bobby pins from his pocket, only to be alarmed by a slur of banging and groaning from within the building itself. Danny stopped, heart pounding against his rib-cage in anticipation, only to be pushed back by a large bang against the door, bobby pins flying across the dirt road
"Shit, shit, shit," he mumbled, quickly assorting whatever bobby pins he could find, throwing them into his pack, along with the screwdriver, and rushing away with the pry-bar in his free hand. The banging continued, no doubt alerting more lurking zombies of his presence. Daniel, in the fit of fear, rushed to the next closest building, bypassing the shed in the back yard all together. He stopped abruptly, however, the backpack barely hanging on one arm before it fell to the bloodstained floor of the tiny house. The sight before nearly knocked him to his knees, vomit threatening to rush out. It was nothing but a mangled mess of what could barely be called human, all at least a few days fresh, if it could be called that. The remains of the dead body and whatever it was sleeping in was, along with a few other unlucky souls, strewn across the small living room, couch an unbelievable red color as well as the carpet where the innards lay in rot. However, not a single head remained intact, signifying that there was at least one more person left alive, should they not have left already.
Daniel's head shot up, eyes locked onto the dead body in the kitchen. A groaning was coming from that direction, though it wasn't from the obviously dead walker propped against the refrigerator. Daniel gripped the pry-bar tightly, stepping over the mangled bodies carefully, making sure not to breath as the stench of rotting flesh pervaded through air above him. A quick shake of the head and a hop onto the tiled floors alerted Daniel of what exactly was making the noise. He blinked, pry-bar lowering from it's previously hostile position. A young woman lay in the corner, wrists having been vigorously tied to a radiator beneath the kitchen's only window. The flesh had been flayed as the girl writhed in her bonds, a bite wound evident near her upper arm. The sound of the door bursting opened seemed to awaken her, and the site of fresh meat induced the frenzied thirst the beasts were known for. A frown had been deep set on his face the moment he laid eyes on her, the unfortunate events that most likely unfolded must have been beyond traumatizing, and to die like that--no, not a good thought at the moment.
He laid eyes on the pistol beside her, disassembled--broken even--and obviously void of anything; she died a painful, horrified death that she most likely came to terms with, judging by the rope that bound her to the heater. Daniel sighed, knowing it would be a matter of time before the flesh wore off and she'd force her way out just for a meal. With the makeshift weapon held high, Daniel hammered down, piercing the already rotting skull with the pry-bar, ending the poor creature's existence as quickly as he could.
With that done, he rummaged through the kitchen cabinets, hoping to God there would be some sort of food left over, maybe something the now dead party had stashed away. The search started slow, with him scouring every bit of every cabinet he could. As time slowly moved along and as each cabinet was void of life itself, his searching became frantic and the fear of starving in a post-apocalyptic world, like the hell he was in, resurfaced. Daniel stopped abruptly, eyes locked onto the last drawer. Just a quick pull and a whole stash of food would be revealed, so that he wouldn't have to drop dead, and so that he wouldn't turn into... one of them.
Daniel collapsed onto the floor, eyes squeezed shut in utter frustration. Empty again, and he had absolutely no will to go on any longer. The dizziness hadn't subsided since he stepped into the room and the growling turned into a sharp pain. It would take so long for him to just die, but it seemed like now would be the best time. He was hungry, exhausted, and his will to live was just about diminished. It seemed as if walkers were the least of his worries at the moment; however, with the door wide open and the evidence scattered before him, that looked to be highly unlikely. Daniel could almost hear the continuous banging on the door, or was that just the pulse in his ears thumping against the side of his head? He sighed, cautiously standing up as he surveyed the mess in the room ahead. There was another door just to the side of the entrance, maybe there was something there he could snack on, something that would keep him from fainting like he wanted to.
Daniel closed the door, moving a solitary chair to keep it closed for the time being. He moved to the room, quickly opening it to find what was inside. At least two backpacks were set on the bed, the contents slightly strewn about. It was nothing of real value: a used up roll of gauze, empty bottles of Tylenol, and various things he already had. Daniel took a hold of one, rummaging through in hopes of finding at least a granola bar or maybe a twinkie. There was another water bottle on the side, which he quickly stuffed inside his backpack as well as a broken watch and...
"God almighty," he mumbled, finding two candy bars in the bottom. He quickly unwrapped and scarfed them down before going to work on the other pack. The other wasn't as resourceful, though he did grab two double A batteries, and it did contain at least one granola bar, which he devoured as well. It would at least hold him over, something that was more of a blessing now than it would ever be.
His attention was quickly drawn away from the useless supplies and to a banging at the door. Daniel jumped up, taking a hold of his pry-bar as he rushed into the living room. He couldn't take any chances now; where one came, many more would pour through. He looked around, quickly scanning the area for any escape route he could take. Ah, a possibly fatal mistake he could have made, forgetting that there was a backdoor in the kitchen that he failed to secure. Luckily, whatever walker was near enough to hear the incessant beating from the other building it had chosen to attack the front instead. Daniel made a dash for it, rushing out of the doorway and making a beeline for the cargo train not too far from the tiny house, two lone walkers on his heels. He groaned as he approached the open cabin, jumping in and slamming the large sliding door shut, latching it closed as he fetched the flashlight from his backpack.
Daniel fumbled around, dropping the backpack and pry-bar in his haste as he turned it on, having already been engulfed in darkness. He let out a loud yelp as something assaulted him the moment he turned, pushing the man against the wall with alarming force. Another idiotic mistake, no doubt, that could have been Danny's last; however, with panicked thinking, he stuffed the flashlight into the thing's mouth, using the door of the wall too apply enough force to push the walker back. Daniel cursed, unlatching the cleaver from his belt, though unable to see exactly where the zombie was, where the light was coming from was enough for him to dive forward, cleaver arcing down full swing to embed itself into the walker's skull. The cleaver made a soft thud as it hit flesh, stopping short of the head, leaving Danny to wonder what exactly it hit. He let out a shocked exhale, the knife's handle slipping free as the forearm it stuck itself into swayed free from his grip and pushed against the man above him. Daniel toppled over, hearing the clink of the flashlight as it hit the ground and the groan from the staggered zombie above him.
"God no," he mumbled hitting the wall behind him, hands trying to grab whatever they could. The beast made itself known, diving forward, ready to sink its teeth into his flesh. Daniel's forearm swung forward, colliding with the walker's collarbone as the free hand tried it's best to find something, anything to keep himself from dying. That's when he remembered: the swiss army knife. Daniel coughed, holding his breath as the stench of rotting corpse began to affect him. His hand dove deep into his pocket, reaching down to pull out the army knife. His wrist instinctively flicked, the sound of something unfolding enough for him to jab forward and by some extraordinary luck pierce it through the walker's eye socket. It groaned as Daniel gained leverage, pushing it back, yet again.
He spotted his pry-bar near the flashlight, quickly grabbing it before the zombie could gain another advantage. He slid across the rusty floor, hand grasping the metal rod and swinging it in an arc above him, slamming straight into the walker's head. The head caved in, taking out the vital organ and throwing the zombie into the wall of the cargo cabin. Leaving Daniel alone once again, with the sound of relentless walkers and his own breathing to keep him company.
He sighed, retrieving both the pry-bar and the cleaver, and totally forgetting about the knife. Daniel turned the flashlight off as he leaned against the wall, not caring about the wet, sticky feeling coating parts of his body, no doubt the blood that spurred from the undead being he nearly lost his life to. All he wanted now was sleep, and he was sure as hell going to get it.
Avatar and Signature all thanks to the wonderful Lillian Thorne
"Look at the sky. It's not dark and black and without character... the black is, in fact, deep blue. And over there: lighter blue, and blowing through the blues and blackness the winds swirling through the air and then shining, burning, bursting through: the stars! And you see how they roar their light. Everywhere we look, the complex magic of nature blazes before our eyes."
~Vincent Van Gogh; Doctor Who