Surviving: The Awakening (IdleHands and Azseth) - Zombie Survival
"Fuck, I think I just saw another one," the heavy set bearded man rubbed his eyes, "I gotta stop using my own shit."
"You're not seeing things, Bear," the young woman sipped her can of Coors Light, her long turquoise dyed hair pushed back with a handkerchief acting as a headband. "They've been roaming all over since this morning, you're lucky you didn't get grabbed on your way in. I hear they're eating folks. A tub like you would have kept many of them fed."
"You're shitting me," he muttered, he had just arrived with the latest batch from their cooking labs that were in trailers deep in the woods outside town. "Hey, get me a beer, sweet cheeks."
"Get your own, you lazy sack of shit," she replied, "I'm keeping watch."
"If you weren't Demon's little girl, I'd slap that shit out of that smart mouth," he growled, hefting himself off the couch and headed to the kitchen.
Darcie gave him a bright smile and the finger before turning back to peering through the wooden slats nailed across the windows of the house. It had been yesterday when all hell broke loose and the streets were suddenly full of walking corpses craving flesh. She had been visiting her boyfriend, Eddie, at his shop and he had given her an early Valentine's present. To her horror it was a heart shaped tattoo with her initials. She had been prepared to break up with him again after the holiday weekend, neither one of them were the faithful types but his gift made it even more awkward. He was dead now, so it was not an issue anymore. Darcie found that she missed him more than she thought she would. Or maybe it was the sense of normalcy her old high school sweetheart/heartbreaker brought to her life that was now completely turned upside down.
They kept the radio on the news stations but the reports were mixed and vague, clearly no one knew what the hell was going on. Her father was the president of the Satan's Rejects, a local biker gang known for drug running and violence, had a police scanner he kept on at all times. It was illegal but by far one of the least of his many crimes. It was on now, placed in the living room so that any announcements the cops made could be heard by them. By luck, Darcie had come home from college for the holiday weekend and by her reckoning, classes were going to be cancelled.
She played with her lip ring as she watched out the window, now and then seeing what was once a neighbor come shuffling around. From their vantage point, they could see down the street, their house was in a cul de sac and the neighboring homes were owned by other gang members. Right now everyone that had survived congregated at Demon's house, so it was like any Saturday night except for the murdering zombies hanging around. Darcie felt an amused smile quirk her full lips and she finished off the beer, tossing the can into a wastebasket. On her lap was shotgun, her preferred gun of choice since it took little skill to use one. Just point and fire, if anything is coming at you, it'll be blown to bits.
Leaning back in her chair, she kicked her feet up, crossing them at the ankles on the coffee table. She wore dark jeans and her oxblood Docs, her t-shirt sported a local hotrod shop where her on and off again boyfriend worked and it was pulled over a white thermal. Her had mother bemoaned her choice of blue-green for her hair color, despite the fact that she had been born a brunette but would take that secret to the grave and fought a determined battle to stay blonde. Darcie paused and blinked, trying not to think about her mother. She had been gone to the grocery store earlier today and still had not returned. Her father refused to allow anyone out of the house, he had barely escaped an attack and had survival on his mind. Though it tore him up inside, he had to think of the greater good.
Her father came into the room, carrying a six pack hooked onto one huge finger and a plate with three steaks. They had been cooking up all the meat since the power went out a few hours ago. The gas was still on for some reason but that too would soon go away if nothing was done. The radio was replaying old news, advising people to stay indoors, to wait it out and that the local police and government officials would announce updates as soon as possible.
Demon grunted at the repeat messages and sat down, setting his AK-47 against the wall. He was a large man, broad shouldered and with a thick brown beard shot with gray. His arms were like slabs of beef, covered in black ink tattoos depicting skulls and guns and naked women.
"How's it look out there?" he asked, taking a bite out of one of the steaks.
"It looks like Dawn of the Dead out there is what it looks like," Darcie replied, pushing back the curtain.
"Trust the gubment to not know their asses from a hole in the ground," he said, cracking open a Budweiser. "I'm willing to bet this is all their doing. Some experiment gone wrong."
"Maybe so," she said, patting the shotgun on her knees. "I hope we can ride it out here. How are you holding up, Dad?"
He took a long swig and set his can against his beer gut, "Best that can be expected. Missing the old lady."
That was as close to a heart to heart as they would get, but Darcie knew he was hurting as she was. She was about to speak when Bear came thumping into the living room.
"Looky outside," he shoved the curtains open. "Itchy's up on the roof and he told me about it."
In the dusk they could make out a shuffling corpse. It was an old man in a floppy fisherman's hat and boxers, his sagging flabby chest was scratched and bitten, dried blood caught in the gray matted hair. Darcie recognized him as a the nosey bastard from up the street who more than once had gotten close to getting shot for calling the cops about noise complaints from the motorcycles or loud music. There he was now, dead eyed and wandering, clutching the half eaten corpse of one of his dogs in his hands.
"I'll be damned," Demon said, "It's old man Rourke and he's munching on one of his annoying poodles. Maybe there is justice in the world."
Bear snickered and watched for a moment, "Itchy wanted to know if he should take him out, he's gettin' really close to the house."
The president of the club waved his hand, "If he touches the lawn, then fire other than that, let him be. We don't want to draw too much attention here."
The husky man left to go inform their sniper and Demon glanced at the police scanner that was silent but for an intermittent hissing and crackling.
"Cops are gone," he said finally. "I'd bet on it. They've said fuck off to the people here and are saving their own asses. I don't blame 'em."
Darcie sank back in her chair, reaching out to snag one of her father's beers. Her thoughts lingered on the past two days. So many were dead now and some of them had come back. It was surreal to recognize people who were now zombies, walking dead, infected, or whatever the label one chose to use. The sun set behind the treeline and darkness crept over the neighborhood. No streetlights came on and the only light was from the half moon.
"Daddy, do you think this is the end of the world?" she asked finally.
"You got me, darlin'. I have no idea, and if it is, I think our asses got left behind," he said, working on his third beer. "God and me never seen eye to eye but I ain't worried. It'll take a lot more than the Devil and those monsters to take us down."
There was a sudden shout and the sound of a car revving a big engine. Demon, Bear and Darcie jumped up and they could hear Itchy screaming on the rooftop. The car was instantly recognizable, a customized silver '70 Chevelle that her mother drove came barreling down the street, running down any of the zombies that tried to lunge at it. Darcie had to look away as old Rourke's head as crushed under one of the oversized tires.
"Holy hell, it's Linda!" Demon cried out, joy and worry filling his voice. He grabbed his .45 and stuck his head out, "Goddamnit Itchy, cover us!"
The wiry man on the roof nodded and took aim, firing at the rush of shuffling corpses that had come in the wake of the loud car. The door swung open and her mother scrambled out, her side was covered in drying blood and her bleached hair was dark with it. She limped toward the house and Demon fired the big handgun at one of the lurching zombies, hitting it in the eye and he watched it drop. Itchy's rifle took down two more as Demon ran to his wife, scooping her up as if she weighed nothing and hustled back to the fortified house.
Darcie felt her heart in her throat as the street seemed to slowly fill with the walking corpses, attracted to the noise and smell of blood. Most of them moved slowly but steady and a few seemed to be a little faster and more determined. When her parents were in the house she breathed easier, helping secure the door with Bear. Demon carried his wife to their bed room, laying her on the bed and he began to pull away at her clothing. His hard face became pale as he saw the wounds and he pushed Darcie out the door.
"You don't need to see this, girl," he said gruffly.
"But that's my mom," she insisted, "I can handle it. I can help!"
Demon gave her an ungentle shove and she hit the wall in the hallway and watched as the door closed. She felt Bear's meaty hand on her shoulder and she shrugged him off, wiping at the tears that threatened to ruin her makeup. She stormed into the living room and listened as Itchy was still firing. She peeked through the wooden slats and nearly fell backward.
"Bear! Look at this shit," she cried out, "They're right outside, holy fuck!"
The big man swore and picked up Demon's AK-47. He could see the hideous rotting faces pressed up against the glass between the two by fours nailed across it. His dim mind wondered just how strong they were and if he could make it to the car that was still running outside in time. He would hate to leave his pres and his kin but survival was survival. He looked over Darcie and licked his lips slightly, though survival would be a lot nicer with something to keep him warm at night. His train of thought was interrupted as there was a sudden loud banging coming from the bedroom.
Darcie ran and yanked on the doorknob but it was locked. She pounded her fist against it and screamed until her father yanked open the door. His eyes were red and his hands still gripped in tight fists.
"She's dead," he said bluntly and ignored Darcie as she pushed past.
Her mother lay pale and still, the blood loss too great and the young woman cried out with sorrow. She dropped to her knees and pressed her head against her mother's lifeless form. Regret filled her when she thought about all the stupid arguments they had and how she never got to say goodbye. Anger surged through her as she looked up at her father, ready to lay into him about keeping her away but he looked bad. Really bad.
"Daddy," she said and hugged the big man tight, her arms stretched around him, "I'm sorry...at least we know what happened."
He nodded and patted her hair, "Yeah, that's something."
Bear gave him a nod, "Hey, boss, not to be a dick but we got some trouble up front."
They went into the living room and Demon growled at the sight of the zombies on the front lawn. Many were crawling on the ground, shot by Itchy but they were still 'alive' if that word could be applied to them. Darcie watched, her eyes burning from lack of sleep and unshed tears. She felt drowsy and while the two men discussed their plans she dozed off in her father's recliner.
It was still dark when she woke, a sudden burst of static from the police scanner waking her and she heard the message from the Sheriff. It called for anyone still alive to make for the high school football stadium, there would be armed guards and a transport waiting to take survivors out to a safezone. Darcie rubbed her eyes and looked around but there was no one in the living room. She got up and took her shotgun with her though the house was quiet but for the moans and grunts of the undead who still wandered in the frontyard.
Darcie stepped into the kitchen and nearly slipped, there was something wet on the tile and when she peered down in the dark she could make out a large shape laying on the floor and she heard a grunting and smacking noise. She shuddered and grabbed for the flashlight and clicked it on, the beam catching a most gruesome sight. Her mother and her father were both hunched over the remains of Itchy, his body torn apart and the spent rifle flung in the corner. Her parents looked up and their eyes were dead and dull. Blood coated their hands and faces and Darcie slowly backed away but her father stood up.
"Oh fuck, fuck...." she muttered, raising the shotgun, "Don't make me do this! I'm sorry, Daddy!"
He lunged at her, his heavy hands clawing the air and she fired, point blank into his face. She screamed and saw his head explode, brain matter and bits of bone spattering her face and the cupboards. Demon fell with a thud and her mother crawled toward her. Unable to shoot another parent, the young woman turned and fled, running to the garage and locking the door behind her. Her heart pounded and the image of her father's death blazed in her mind replaying itself until she bent and vomited onto the floor. She wiped her mouth, trembling and crying. Darcie cursed at herself, for her weakness and her pathetic tears but she jumped and screamed at the sound of her mother pounding at the door.
The football stadium, she had to get to it. How she managed to survive this far, why Itchy had chosen that time to come down from the roof and get caught by the flesh eating zombies that had once been her parents rather than them finding her was one of those mysteries that caused her to truly wonder if God did exist. She shook her head, using the flashlight to look around the garage. She needed weapons if she was going to venture outside, the yard and street beyond was still crawling with the undead. She found a crowbar among the tools. It was nearly the length of her arm and could easily crush a skull. Darcie felt the comfort of her brass knuckles in the pocket of her jeans but that was a last resort, there was no way she wanted to fight one of those things that close. Her shotgun was a 12 gauge and she scraped up all the shells and slugs she could find, shoving them in a plastic bag.
When she was done, she found her father's leather jacket hanging on a peg. It was old and worn, with the large patch depicting a skull with devil's horns that was the Satan's Rejects logo. On the front was several patches, including the simple scroll under his name that said 'president'. Despite it being several sizes too large she slipped it on, rolling up the sleeves and she snatched the helmet she normally wore when she rode. Her own bike was there, a Harley sportser and she put what she gathered into one of the saddle bags. The shotgun went over her torso, hanging off her back and she tucked the crowbar through her belt. She had to be fast, to open the garage door and race out, without being stopped by one of the zombies. Taking a deep breath, she slowly pulled up the garage door and stuck her head out.
The undead were still clawing at the window and some were wandering in the street. To her shock, the car was gone and it took a moment for her to realize so was Bear. That fat bastard had left her on her own and saved his own skin. Seething she darted to her bike and started it up, revving the motor and slamming on the gas. The motorcycle shot forward, out onto the driveway and she had to dodge a zombie that was standing there. It groaned and lurched at her but was not fast enough. She felt tears sting her eyes as the cold wind blew at against her and reached up briefly to lower the visor. She was leaving it all behind and her heart felt heavy but now was not the time to think about it. If she wanted to live, she would have to focus and be smart, there had to be others like her out there. The ones heading toward the football stadium.
Last edited by idlehands; 09-05-2013 at 01:07 PM.
Born to kill
The alarm was ringing for over 2 hours and something woke up Sidney, but it couldn't have been the alarm. He snorted loudly and sat up, smacking at the old school alarm 3 or 4 times before successfully silencing it. "Fuck," he said to himself, rubbing his head and temples. He looked around, suddenly realizing that the bed next to him was empty. By the sound of the apartment, she was gone. It was after 9am, and the alarm was set for 7am, so she may have been woken up and left.
Not that it mattered, he met the girl at a bar after a pretty wild night. The bar was promoting a Valentine's Day singles event and it was obviously a blast. Obviously...
"Happy valentine's day my ass..."
He looked for his phone and after finding it on the counter, flipped it over and rubbed his eyes. He picked it up and walked over to the kitchen, grabbing his water glass from the counter and filling it from the sink. He took a long drink of water and looked at the phone. Almost immediately, he grimaced and shook his head, some of the water spilling out onto his bare chest. 'Fucking serious? On my day off?" He thought to himself.
17 missed calls from several of the numbers at work. Great. He shook his head and tossed the phone on the counter. He grabbed a few ibuprofen from a bottle on the counter, put them in his mouth and swallowed them along with the rest of the glass of water.
He looked out the window as he made the call to work and when he did, the number was busy. He sighed and shook his head, dialing another number which also got a busy tone. After trying a few others and all we busy, he started feel uncomfortable. He dialed the cell number of his captain and it was on the first ring that he noticed something. His neighbor's door was wide open. He knew the Jameston's since he moved in here two years ago, and in all of time here, the door was never left open. He stared for a few moments at the door before the phone went to voicemail. Sidney then stretched, filled another glass of water and made his way to his room. He took a quick shower and stepped into some casual clothes when he heard a quick burst of what was either fire works or gunfire. He froze and listened for a repeat but there was none.
At this point Sidney started to feel uncomfortable. He put on his shoes and grabbed his phone and went to his front door. The door was opened slowly and he took a step out onto the small porch and his veins went ice cold. He could see smoke on the horizon, but in about half a dozen spots. He looked around and the neighborhood was just...off. Silent and quiet. Cars gone. Lights and garage doors open, but with no cars.
"What the hell," Sidney said to himself as he turned around and stepped back into his house, closing his door behind him. He quickly went to his handgun safe, entered the combination and pulled out his .45 Colt. He sat on his bed and looked out the window while he turned his tv on. After it powered up, the cable was dead. Every station. He flipped modes to go to normal TV and went to a local station for news and couldn't believe what he saw. It was unreal. Most of the news seemed to be on loop, not live. There were attacks, people rising. Martial law. Not only local but all over the world. Governments blamed one another, internally they blamed each other. Zombies? The dead rising up? Infection. Then, over head, the sound of several jets flying by shook the house.
He turned and looked out the window as the jets flew towards the larger city of Fayetteville and was shocked when he saw ordinance drop, followed by several massive explosions, large enough that even from this far away he could feel the concussion. He picked up the phone and called his captain again. After several rings the phone picked up. Reception was horrible, and he could barely make out his captain. What he could hear more distinctly was people, panic and then gunshots and screams. "-idney. --dead, get t-- --inct, govern-- -- -- armed units t-- --arentine." There was a loud thud and the phone went dead.
Not sure exactly what was said, or what to do, Sidney went and grabbed a hiking pack and loaded it up with toiletries, some clothes, non-perishable food and some water bottles. He filled the internal camel back system with water and then put the pack on his bed while getting on his SWAT tactical gear. Out of nowhere, the sound of a car could be heard on the street. Sidney watched the window while getting geared up and saw some red SUV rip down the street. It went out of sight and he could hear the tires squealing as it left the block.
He shook his head and opened his larger gun safe, the one where he kept the good stuff, some of it police issued. He grab and laid out on his bed an MP5 and a glock 9mm, followed by 4 magazines for each. He then grabbed 2 smoke grenades and 2 flash grenades. The last thing he took out was a Colt tactical survival knife. He put it in its spot at the small of his back, then proceeded to clip the other guns, magazines and grenades to his vest. He did this every day and the routine of it made him somewhat comfortable. He picked up his phone and looked at it and there were 5 voicemails. Service out here wasn't the best, so occasionally voice mails would come in several minutes after they were left by the caller. On days when everyone was calling such as New Years, Christmas or a massive world wide infection, sometimes it took them hours to come through to the phone. He sat on the corner of his bed and adjusted his pack as he listened to the messages. The first one was blank. The second was a automated department message telling him to come into work for an emergency. The third was from his ex-wife and it was nothing but static and voices. The fourth was another department message and the last call was from his wife, and it was as much hysterical sobbing as anything else.
"Sid. Sid, oh my god. Frank and Nicolette. Both. God, they're both gone. They moved us, the army and then those...things came and everyone started running and the army started shooting. Shooting everyone. I can't find the kids and I'm bleeding. " He could hear yelling and several salvos of machine gun fire, and lots of yelling. He could hear the yelling voices yelling get back and fall back, most likely a command to the army personnel, but maybe to oncoming people also.
It sounded like hell.
"Sid, I'm sorry. I... Please, I don't know what to do. I never sho--," she was interrupted by two shots, these closer in proximity to the phone, and his ex, and then there was silence. Well, not silence, but the absence of any voice on the other end of the phone. There was then a loud crunch, and the call ended.
At this point Sidney stared at the TV, not hearing it as he was in a stunned state of shock. For a moment, he didn't know what to do. He continued to stare at the TV until a text message came to his phone, causing it to vibrate in his hand. He stared at the TV. Slowly and numbly, he looked to the phone. "Rendezvous at Jonesboro High stadium. Military evac site. Full tactical gear. Evac of civilians is priority. Punch in ASAP." The message said it was sent at 7:34am. The phone circuits must have been going crazy with all of this going on.
Sidney grabbed his gear, adding a few miscellaneous items and looked back as his house as he stepped onto the front porch. He knew he wouldn't be back. He didn't bring a key, but made sure everything was locked. He walked down the steps towards his car while finishing a banana and at the Jameston's house, he thought he saw something move. Tossing the pack on the roof of his car, he looked and saw someone in the door. It was an adult male, most likely Parry, and Sidney began to walk over to the house. "Parry, what's going on? I just woke up an--" but he was interrupted by a loud scream, but it was a female. But the scream wasn't in pain or one of fright. It was. Animalistic.
Moving towards the house a few more steps, Sidney watched as Parry walked out of the door way and into the light. It was then that it was clearly not Parry, but a man in a pair of dress pants and a coat. Sidney didn't recognize him and ceased moving as the stranger took a few steps, moving as if he was drunk. "Sir, are you ok? Are the Jamestons home?"
The man continued to move slowly towards Sidney, but he was gasping as if choking. In light of the reports, Sidney was hesitant to move to help the man, but he did approach him slowly. "I asked, are you ok? I'm an officer of the law." Something moving in the doorway got Sidney's attention and he looked over the shoulder of the stranger to see Margie, the wife of Parry, standing in the doorway. The sight almost made him throw up. She stood with the remnants of a nightgown over her, but it was ripped, bloody and most of her upper body was exposed. Part of one of her breasts was totally gone and her chest was a dark red, almost brown color from the dried blood. She had a massive wound in her abdomen and there was some organ hanging from it that should have been inside her.
She should have been dead.
Sidney gained his senses just as the stranger took a lunge at him. Sidney stepped back from the clumsy attempt, but Margie was moving towards him now, and she was moving a lot faster and with a more distinct sense of purpose, growling the entire way.
"Both of you need to stop, now." He'd drawn his police issued glock and trained it on the ground in front of him, not pointing directly at either of the two. He knew where this was going as they both came closer, closing on him with nothing indicating any desire to stop. They wanted to kill him. "Ah fuck," he said aloud as he fired one, then two shots into the stranger. One center mast, the other in the head. Even as the body was still falling, Sidney tried one more time, as he took one step backwards. "Margie, please. I don't want to say it ag--" she jumped at him and Sidney fired directly into her face.
There was an odd quiet as he stood, looking down at the two. Sidney had shot someone before, twice. But both were criminals. These were people. This was different. One was his neighbor. "Damnit." She was a mother. She had kids.
Sidney looked at the house and cursed under his breath. He wasn't sure where the family was but he knew he had to go in and check. He moved quickly to the porch and climbed, stopping at the door and listening. "Fayetteville police. I'm entering the home." He stood still and listened, hearing nothing but a TV. He moved into the foyer and looked in each direction.
The house was a mess. There was blood on the floor in 2 areas, the kitchen table was broken and there was stuff strewn about in the living room. The TV was knocked to the floor but still on, and he could hear the news report. "--tay inside and do not open the door for anyone. The cause and nature of this infection is not known. Signs of infection are extreme aggression and loss of rational thoughts. The government and police have reported victims being shot repeatedly but still engaging, even after losing limbs. Damage to the head seemed to be the most successful means of protection. Right now, the manner at which the disease spreads is not totally understood, but anyone bitten is infected and turned. Even after death." Sidney turned off the TV and shook his head.
He slowly went about the first floor. He could hear movement upstairs but it was slow and faint, someone possibly trying not to be found. Or someone shambling, like the stranger. As he moved room to room, his eyes were always going back to the stairs, in case anyone or any thing came down. He made it to a spare bathroom and gagged as he came upon the corpse who he thought was Parry. The face was partially chewed up to the point a cheek bone was exposed, but it was Parry. His chest was all but completely opened and his leg appeared broken, bent at a horrible angle. He exhaled, looking at the stairs as he debated going up. Parry and Margie had 2 kids, but one was gone at college and the other was maybe 5 or 6.
Even as he debated it, he knew he had to check. Soon his legs were moving him towards the stairs and then up them, slowly, scanning around. There were 2 open bedrooms, an opened bathroom and one closed door. Judging from the power rangers and football posters on the door, the one that was closed was most likely the kids room. He took a moment to try to remember the name of the kid, but he was at a loss. "Brent. Fuck. Brandon." Something to do with a football player, he knew that. Barry! That's it. He remembered the boy liked Barry Sanders because they had the same name, and Parry was a fan of the player also. That, and the names rhymed, which should have made it easier to remember.
He moved to the door but didn't touch it, just knocking gently before saying, "Barry. You in there buddy?" He could hear movement, but nothing was said. Sidney kept his eyes on the stairs and the other doors. 'Should sweep the rooms first,' he thought to himself. They were opened so it would be easy enough. Assuming no more of those...things were inside. He gave a quick scan of the three rooms, checking under beds, in closets and in the shower, and all was well enough. He found a box of 9mm rounds in the parents room and decided that in their current state, the Jamestons wouldn't be needing them any longer--those were placed in his pack.
Moving back to Barry's room, he knocked again and spoke louder this time, but still gently. "Barry. I know you're in there. It's Sidney, your neighbor. Can you open the door?"
"No." Came a meek reply from the opposite side of the wall.
"Why not? You know me. I'm not one of those things. I'm here to help take you away, go somewhere safe."
"D-dad said t-to wait here unt-til the police c-come."
"I'm with the police Barry."
"Nuh uh, dad s-said you fixed computers."
"I'm sure your dad didn't know. Can I show you my badge Barry? I'll slide it under the door. I'm in my uniform."
"Dad p-put all this s-stuff in front of the door. When M-mom got sick. Said don't open it, no matter what. Dad said."
Barry didn't understand until he looked at the door and sure enough, through the keyhole and under the door, nothing was visible. He must have barricaded it with anything he could move by himself. He suddenly realized there were marks on the door, marks of someone clawing at it, trying to get in.
Good thinking Parry.
"How'd your dad get down?"
"T-the window. Is he...o-ok? What about mom?
"They're. Umm. They're. Well lemme get you outta there and worry about that. I'm gunna go down to the window, and you can look and see me in my uniform and badge, then will you come with me."
That would do well enough. "Stay put, I'll be there in a minute Barry."
Sidney almost ran down stairs but remember to exercise a bit of caution. His attention was focused mainly on the door and Barry, so he wasn't sure if anything had changed below. Slowly he crept down the stairs and swept the general area. All seemed well, but as he went out the back, something struck him as being out of place. He looked and listened. Then it hit him.
He wasn't in the bathroom any longer.
He went to call out the name, but it occurred to him that Parry had been dead. Dead. No mistake. He turned to look at the backdoor but as he did, the corpse of Parry was on him. He moved to get his gun up but the form was too close. Sidney managed to get a shot off, the round went through the stomach of Parry and into the floor. The hand latched onto Sidney's forearm, and the strength was crushing. Sidney's other arm was up between the two, forearm pressed into the neck of the reanimated man. In a mere second, Sidney knew he was in trouble. Parry wasn't big, he didn't look strong, but somehow his strength was overwhelming in death.
In near panic, Sidney swung around, spinning and flinging Parry, using his weight and momentum against him. The thing was sluggish and clumsy, so it moved past Sidney and ran into the sink, having lost its grip due to the material of the uniform he had on. The thing formerly known as Parry turned around slowly. Sidney looked around and grabbed a black, heavy skillet from the floor and didn't wait this time. He moved forward and with all of his muscle power, smashed the thing in the head. He used the corner of the pan and it bit down into the skull a few inches and the skin around it split. It was disgusting, but it worked. The thing fell down, lifeless once again.
As he dropped the pan and checked his pistol, he made his way outside, making a mental note to get some form of heavy weapon for close quarters. He didn't want to walk around with a frying pan, nor did he want to be fist fighting this things, or using a knife. He moved to the window outside of Barry's room and noticed the ladder on the ground. He would use that in a few moments. "Barry, have a look. I'm outside." The boys head popped out of the window and he gave the man a once over. He removed the badge from the display pocket and held it up to give a better view. "See?"
"Ok. I'll come down Mister--I mean off-officer Davies."
After Sidney set up the ladder, Barry's head could be seen poking out again before disappearing. Then a duffel bag was thrown out the window before the boy made his way out and onto the ladder. Sidney wanted to yell to be careful, but he didn't want to spook the boy. He met him at the bottom of the ladder and handed him his duffel bag. "My parents?"
"They're inside. Barry they're...Sick. They have to stay here until they're better. You can't go back in, because they don't want you to get sick too."
"I heard a g-gunshot."
"Some bad people were here Barry. That's called a warning shot, to scare them away. Now, see my car over there?" Sidney pointed to his F-250 pick up truck in front of his house. "We're going to go there and get in. I need you to look at the truck, only the truck. Ok?"
Barry nodded, tears welling up in his eyes at the thought of leaving his parents. "I know it's hard, but this is what they need you to do. They don't want you getting sick, because what they have hurts a lot. They need you to be safe." Barry nodded and then took a step towards the truck. Sidney followed, scanning constantly as he did.
They got to the truck and he let the boy inside. After closing the door and entering himself, something occurred to him.
'Where the fuck do I go?' He thought to himself...
It suddenly occurred to him that as he was staring at the TV, the little local news ticker was flashing messages about Jonesboro school, and military extractions. He hoped he wasn't hallucinating as he started the car and turned on the radio and drove off in the direction of Jonesboro. The text message must have been legit.
Most stations were dead, some had looped messaged and several were on the air. He didn't listen to the lives ones, not wanting to scare Barry. So he heard one recorded message and it confirmed what he'd heard. Jonesboro Stadium. It was small but secure, and there would be military presence there.
"Try to get some sleep--," Sidney almost froze as he looked at the boy and saw a blatant bite mark on his forearm. Barry saw the look and said, "I'm ok. Dad s-said that if I m-made it to morning, I would b-be alright. Said t-the affection or w-whatever would either m-make me go to s-sleep l-long, or I w-would wake up and be f-fine. Said something l-like after one day, if y-you're not sick anym-more, you're fine."
"Try to get some sleep Barry," Sidney replied, totally unsure what to do. Part of him thought he had to leave the kid, leave him or kill him. Or kill him when...after he died. But Parry put him up there knowing more about this than Sidney, and knowing Parry, he wouldn't have left him up there if he knew he would become one of those things. Parry left him up there hoping he'd be ok, and that Parry would make it.
One out of two ain't bad.
"Get some sleep," he said again as he drove along the road towards Jonesboro.
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Born to kill
They drove for about 20 minutes and passed a few vehicles on the way, but everyone seemed to be in a hurry, either blowing by Sidney going the other way, or passing them in a hurry. He was in his personal vehicle, but he wondered that had he been in a marked police vehicle, would that have mattered? He'd opted to turn off the radio because when some started to talk about what to do with anyone who was thought to be infected, he realized Barry could hear that. The kid would obviously be growing up awkward and traumatized, but Sidney could at least try to shelter him from some things.
He passed a few roads and intersections then came upon a police road block on the road into Jonesboro. He recognized a few faces and others were from surrounding areas that he hadn't been around often. There were just over a dozen officers and when he pulled his vehicle over to the side of the road, he noticed two things. One, Bruce Clemens, was smirking at the sight of the vehicle and officer that he knew all too well. Sidney watched as Bruce had them put down weapons and relax as he stepped out of the car, taking a second to tell Barry to sit tight.
"Sidney, glad to see you. Could use a familiar face and some able bodies. Where've you been?"
"I woke up from a long night, an early night. What the hell is happening?"
Bruce took the next few minutes to explain as best he could. He told Sidney about the infection, confirming what Barry had said about 20 hours being all you could expect when infected, what they knew about the spread and measure being taken to try to contain it. He let him know every road into Jonesboro was blocked and people were being checked before being let in.
"Has it been bad?"
Bruce rolled his neck and looked back at the group behind him. "In some places, yeah. It's hit or miss right now. Fucking, Atlanta, Boston, Houston and a few other big cities have been totally evacuated. Some are in the process. So. Yeah. I guess it is kinda bad. We're supposed to be waiting here for army or national guard support, so far we haven't seen shit. Only been a day or so though. Shit, after Katrina, I guess we could be weeks out."
"Yeah," Sidney said offhandedly. He was trying to let it all sink in and process when he looked at the truck, seeing Barry. "Why are they all so jumpy and on edge?"
"Few reasons. A few people had someone who was bit and tried getting through. Some shots were fired. Then, we've had some. Of those. Things. Zombies or whatever. No one hurt, well none of us, but I mean. We don't know what the hell to expect any time someone comes up."
"The people who tried to make it through...."
Bruce knew what was being asked, so he looked away, then to the group, then back at Sidney and cleared his throat. "They're. Buried."
Sidney got angry for a moment, almost going into soldier mode and chewing out all of the officers when he realized that less than an hour ago, he shot and bludgeoned 3 of those things that were people, and if they opened fire on people, he'd give them the benefit of the doubt. He did know and trust Bruce, they'd grown up together on and off and were close. He didn't think Bruce would just open fire, or stand around with people who killed innocents. They hadn't shot at him after all.
"Well, here's the thing. I have that boy with me. Neighbors kid. He's. Bitten."
Bruce tensed immediately and looked over his shoulder and back at the kid. "He's not getting out of that truck Sid."
"I know what you said, but we know what we see. Look. Work with me here. Let's do this. Park your truck, leave him in it. We'll let him stay off to the side, we'll feed him through the window, let him piss and stuff. But he goes back in, he stays in. 24 hours. It's not a death sentence."
Sidney looked at Barry and hoped that would be OK, because otherwise, the two would be turning around and heading to who-knows-where. "Ok. Look, just pick a few guys you trust. I don't want him treated like he's a fucking carriers or a murderer. He's a kid."
Bruce nodded and went to the group, coming back with two officers he didn't know from nearby cities. Sidney explained to them the situation, and asked them not to mention that his parents were dead. The two nodded, a bit of sympathy visible in their eyes. The shook hands, said thank yous and then Sidney went over to explain to Barry. He was scared and nervous, but in the end Barry was reminded that these were police, and good guys and it was just for one night, like a camping trip. He left the keys with Barry and told him he could have the truck until he came back.
"Just no lady gaga gaga or bruno mars, ok Barry?"
For the first time, Barry smiled and said "I listen to the good stuff. Classics. Thanks Officer Davies."
"Call me Sid, ok Barry?" Barry nodded as he took the keys and reclined the seat back.
Sidney moved over to the group, nodded and did some brief introductions and asked if he could be of any use. He preferred not to stand around, the group seemed to have the place secure.
A state trooper spoke up and said, "why don't you two go back to town, get some supplies and see if there is any news. Maybe hit up the other road block units, make sure they're good. We've got this for a night or so."
It was more of an order than a question, so Bruce and Sidney merely nodded, Sidney gathered his gear and the two took off in a Wayne City police cruiser on their way to Jonesboro.
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