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Zombie Uprising, Report For Major Dunn
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Zombie Uprising, My report as requested by Major Dunn.
by Tuck-Duck & Roll (Its not finished yet, but I'm working on it, let me know if you'd like some more)
The Major has asked me, to recount what I’ve witnessed on my journey to our current location in the so-called safe zone. He wanted my accounts of the last few weeks, because out of the 16 people in my group, only 3 made it to the zone. He has stated that I may write this as a journal, or in any fashion that I choose, he said he didn’t care as long as he got some useful or current information.
It seems that this outpost of humanity is cutoff for now. I was one of the last ones to make it here, before me; no one has arrived in almost two weeks. The last supply drop by a C3 cargo plane was over a month ago. The major stated that they have been past due for re-supply by air for over a week. He said his radioman lost contact with the rear firebase about that same time. There isn’t much chatter on the airwave’s, mostly CB’s and some Ham’s, military and law enforcement channels are just about mute. So my information is about the best intelligence report they’ve got for now. I’m not feeling all that warm and fuzzy with that bit of news.
Well anyway, my friend Jack and his little girl were the other survivors. I lost my wife and the two girls; Jack lost his wife and his older son as well. Currently all three of us are being quarantined in for lack of a better word, individual holding cells. In actuality we’re being held at a veterinarian’s office in the animal pens. They’re pretty small (6x8) chain link enclosures, the fences go all the way up to the ceiling, the gates are double padlocked and chained.
The doctor’s (two medic’s and the veterinarian) said we’re to be under lock and key for a few days until their certain we’re not infected. It’s a good thing, as I’ve seen a couple people turn in the cages since last night.
One was an old lady of about 70 years of age; she wasn’t a surprise though, as she came in injured from bites. It seems that she’s senile and wandered off base somehow. She was found about a mile from base. The patrols are trying to find out how she did it, because if she can get out a zed can get in. So far from what I’ve been told, the breach hasn’t been found.
Now the cop was a big surprise, good thing one of the medics insisted that he get penned. The cop was involved in a bloody hand-to-hand melee with a zed, and unfortunately for the cop, he lost his footing. The zed pounced on him and sprayed the cops face with his blood; some of it went into the cops mouth and eyes. The cop spit and rinsed out his mouth, as well as flushing his eyes and he thought he was OK. The medic thought otherwise and forced him into the holding cell by gunpoint. He turned the following day, very unnerving to watch the whole process from start to finish.
I’ve learned that the doctors were trying to see if drugs could kill the zeds, but so far nothing is effective. Before I got here, I’ve been told they pumped a zed with enough horse tranquilizers to kill about a dozen men. No luck, I’m told the zed didn’t even act like it was doped. The doc’s said they couldn’t try a larger dosage, because they maxed out the volume of their largest available syringe. Their limited to whatever drugs are here at the vet’s office, as we’re in geographic isolation right now. So far, the only 100% effective way to take them out is to heavily damage the brain or sever the head from the body.
Back to my report, I’m getting side tracked. The following is how I came to be here, what I’ve seen and hopefully information that can be used by the major.
It was almost five months ago, when the first rumors started about the dead coming to life. That news soon spread like a raging wild fire. I was at work when the orders to evacuate to the safe zones, or to bunker in your homes were announced over the airwaves. Shortly after that my wife called me on the cell phone she said I had to get home and to be careful. The news broadcasts on TV, said it appeared the newly arisen dead were eating people they were calling them zombies. I told her goodbye and to make sure the house was locked up.
I tried to get home that night, but I live almost 65 miles from work, most of it highway and I have to cross the Tennessee River by bridge to do it. I got all of 4 miles towards home, and then the roads were nothing but parking lots. I decided to hoof it home, so I looked in my car and the trunk to see what I had available for protection.
Luckily, I’m not too neat; I still had my softball bat from last summer’s ball game at the union picnic. The only other things I had were some jumper cables; I found butane lighter under the seats, some oily rags and a ½ of a bottle of windshield solvent. In my pockets all I had was my small multi-tool, some change and my wallet. Unfortunately my cell phone had less than a ¼ of a charge left in it, I forgot to recharge it last night. I wasn’t feeling all that much like Rambo at that time.
My wife called again and begged me to get home; she said she was having a hard time getting through to me as the cell phone towers were being swamped with calls. She told me that it was getting ugly around our house; she saw a lot of emergency vehicles and police cars going back and forth. She’s been hearing screams off and on and lots of shooting. I told her the combination to the gun safe and started to give her a quick lesson in loading my firearms when the phone went dead.
I emptied the solvent jug and crawled under the car, and then using the multi-tool I opened up the fuel line and filled the jug. Stuffed some rags in my pocket and took everything else with me. I wasn’t sure why I took the jumper cables. But after watching Les Stroud the survivorman so many times, I’ve found that you never know what can be used in a tight situation. He’s kind of like the MacGyver of the outdoor set.
I walked for almost an hour along the car choked road, there were groups of irritated and fearful people standing outside by their cars and quite a few annoying ones honking their horns in frustration. It seems that the bridge was shutdown by the state police until further notice. The outbreak was on the other side of the river, where my wife and daughters were.
When I got to the river, I asked to borrow a mans cell phone. I had to pay him $20.00 to use it. Friggin opportunistic A-Hole, I paid him and silently hoped he needed my help in the future. I tried calling the wife again, but the automated message from the phone company stated that all phone lines were closed due to high traffic volumes.
I didn’t think the night could get any worse, until I heard the first scream. A chorus of screams, gunshots and a stampede of frightened people coming from the bridge soon followed.
To keep from getting trampled, I jumped in the back of some guys truck bed and up on the roof. What I saw next I just couldn’t believe my eyes.
Fairly large groups of strange looking people were coming off the bridge. In the streetlights glow I couldn’t see them very well, but I could see they all had a slow jerky gait, kind of like someone who’s had far too much to drink. The shooting was coming from the state and local police barricades.
They were hitting these people (zombies?) square in the chest with shotgun and pistol fire. I could make out the people who were getting hit, they acted like they were getting a hard shove when hit by a shotgun, sometimes they fell but they got right back up. Every once in awhile a zombie would fall and not get back up, but I wasn’t sure why, as it was too dark to tell.
Soon the wave of zombies crested on the police barricades and overwhelmed them. It wasn’t a pretty sight to see, or hear. The flashing lights illuminated the ghoulish feast like some nightmarish rave party. I was fixated with surreal fascination, I couldn’t move, I could only watch. The horror and impossibility of the night’s events overloaded my senses. So there I stood like some dumbfounded oak, unable to move or talk.
Then they were done, not satiated, just done, as they had exhausted their current supply of flesh. The blood stained wave of zombies spread out from the bridge, towards the rest of the city and myself.
I suddenly came to life and jumped from the top of the truck without thinking. I grabbed my things from the bed of the truck and ran as I never ran before. I ran parallel to the river, until my breaths were hot and searing in my throat. How far I have no idea, but it was for what seemed to be many miles.
I stopped and strained my ears; I couldn’t hear any unusual noises, so I rested against an elm tree to get back some strength. For some ungodly reason I fell into a deep slumber.
I awoke the next day in bright sunlight I looked at my cell phone to get the time, but it had totally died out. I guessed it to be about 9:00 or so. I stretched out my legs, as they were still sore from the marathon running I did during the night. I didn’t see the jumper cables or gas jug anywhere; I must have dropped them during my panicked flight from the bridge without knowing it. I still had the bat, how I didn’t drop that I’ll never know.
I didn’t hear or see anyone it was far too quiet. There was a small general store nearby; it had a couple of gas pumps and a coke machine out front. I started to walk over to the store when someone yelled for me to stay put and raise my hands. I did as I was ordered and a small ancient man came out the front door, with an old double-barreled shotgun. He told me to come towards the store, and then he told me to strip down to my underwear. I asked why, he said the radio broadcast today said that people had to look out for bites or suspicious injuries on everyone. He asked if I had any before I stripped, I said I didn’t think so, but that I had been running through the night and who could tell.
Luckily I didn’t have any injuries. I found out later he would have blown off my head, if I had so much as had a scraped knee.
Neil (the old man) brought me in his store and made me a sandwich from his compact deli counter. The lights were off; Neil said the power went out about 6 in the morning, as did the phone lines. His battery powered radio filled us in during the morning with the awful news events as they unfolded.
At that time we learned that these were indeed zombies and that you needed to hit them in the head to kill them. The city was now heavily infested and in danger of being completely overrun. In order to control the zombie’s movements the National Guard destroyed all bridges on the northern and eastern sides of the city.
Neil told me that a buddy of his called him on the CB and told him that the National Guard ground forces were ineffective, as many of the soldiers were staying home to protect their own families. I told him I knew the feeling and informed him about my wife and the girls on the other side of the river.
Neil offered me a single shot 20-gauge shotgun and a pocket full of shells. He didn’t have anything else in the way of firepower, but he did have a small skiff moored on the river. No motor, but I could row across the river if I wanted to try it. I did and he offered to drive me the short distance to the river. However to get the shotgun and boat I had to help him with a chore that required absolute discretion.
I agreed to the terms and almost regretted that decision when the task was explained.
Behind the store there was an old log smokehouse, which was where he wanted to put Emma. Emma is or was his wife, she had been bitten and he had her locked up in the basement of his house. She had made it back home from across the river, before the bridge was closed down. She had told Neil about a strange mugger that bit her on the hand.
Neil said she started getting sick shortly after she got home and was having a hard time breathing. He said he tried to call 911, but by then the phone lines were overwhelmed. As he was putting cool wet clothes on her forehead, she died. Neil stated that he knew she was dead; at his age he said he’s seen it plenty.
He left her on the bed, and then went in the kitchen to call the local police station. The radio was on and that’s when Neil first heard the reports of the dead coming to life. He was startled by the sound of breaking glass from the bedroom. He went down the hall and walked into the bedroom to find Emma standing next to the bed, broken glass from the mixing bowl was everywhere.
Emma walked through the broken glass in her bare feet and didn’t utter a sound. Neil said he told her to back off but she tried attacking him. He then moved down the hall and grabbed a broom, then moved to the kitchen. He opened the door to the downstairs and retreated to the other side of the kitchen.
When Emma entered the kitchen, he rushed her and pushed the broom into her face. He forced her to move back and she fell down the steps. He said she got right back up and started to come back up the steps. That’s when he closed and locked the door, leaving her trapped in the house.
Neil had heard some of the newscasters on the radio suggest that a cure might be found. That’s when Neil had the idea of putting Emma in the smokehouse, but he needed help to do it. He decided I was the type of person he was looking for, someone who could help him out and move on. He was afraid if any surviving neighbors found out about Emma, that they would destroy her before a cure was discovered. But he didn’t want her in the house either because of the chance of her escaping the basement while he slept. The smokehouse was a building that would have needed a bulldozer to knockdown, the perfect holding cell.
We left the store and walked to his house next door. As we entered the house you could hear something like a cat scratching on the other side of the basement door. Neil had already assembled the required equipment for the gruesome task. There was a piece of iron pipe about 6 feet long on the dining room table. It had a piece of thick rope run inside of the pipe with a noose on one end. It reminded me of the nooses the dogcatchers use on dangerous dogs.
Neil’s plan was simple, he would open the door just enough for Emma to start walking through. He would then slam the door on her, pinning her against the doorjamb, so I could drop the noose over her neck. The plan didn’t quite work out that way however.
Neil opened the door and tried to close it, but he wasn’t strong enough to hold her still. We ended up having to wrestle her to the ground and I almost received a bite from her. We did get the noose on her and we eventually got her into the smokehouse. That’s the last time I’ll do something like that, its far too risky and stupid.
We nailed and boarded the smokehouse door shut, and then Neil said it was time to head for the river. We got into his old Ford pickup and drove down the gravel road towards the dock. Neil noticed an immense dark haze far in the distance to the north; he remarked that it looked like a large fire in the city.
When we got to the dock Neil’s skiff was gone, someone had taken it since the last time he used it. But his neighbor had an old leaky rowboat on the dock. Neil suggested that I not take the boat on the river, as he wasn’t sure it could make the trip. He said the boat was probably older than me and not much better then floating firewood. I wasn’t about to be choosy and launched the boat.
I shook Neil’s hand and he told me that if I had a mind to, to come on back. Before I left he handed me a plastic sack of canned goods and told me I might get hungry on the way. I thanked him, got in the boat and started for the distant shore towards home.
The boat made it across, but my feet were soaked as there was at least a full 3 inches of water in the bottom of the boat. It was leaking fast now, Neil was right the boat was a piece of junk. How I didn’t get swamped in the swift current I’ll never know.
It was very late in the afternoon and the scenery on this side of the river was far different than the one I came from. The neighborhood I surveyed was full of homes with broken windows, some were burned to the ground, others heavily damaged. Every once in awhile a dog would scamper by, one had what I believe to be a human hand in its mouth.
Then I saw my first zed of the day, and it saw me. It shuffled towards me and was soon followed by a couple others of its kind. I looked at the boat, but now it was halfway up to its gunwales in water. I quickly left the area and headed in the opposite direction towards a collection of big box stores. I decided against carrying the sack of canned goods, so I put a couple cans in my jacket pockets and dropped the rest. I was finding out the hard way that the best plan was to travel as light as possible. So, I slung my shotgun over my shoulder and kept my bat at the ready.
I made it to the shopping center and saw a Costco that was surrounded by hundreds, if not thousands of these creatures. A few people were on the rooftop shooting at the zeds, but it was useless. There were so many of them, and the shooting seemed to actually attract the creatures. The people in the Costco were safe for the time being, but what would they do when the food ran out? That might be in a few months, but those creatures would wait.
I needed to find a safe place to spend the night. I spied a McDonalds that had a maintenance ladder up to its roof. I looked around and saw no one, so I climbed up and settled in for the night. I made no fire or noises and the night went without any complications.
I awoke the next day; I must have slept for hours, as the sun was high and hot. I looked all around and saw a small group of zeds wandering in circles in the Mickey Dee’s parking lot. I kept low and watched them. I believe they smelled or somehow felt my presence, as they were stopping and seemed to be sniffing the air.
I was parched as I had no water with me, so I quietly opened up a can of peaches and I waited out the zeds. The zeds lost interest after a few hours and followed the sounds of gunfire towards the Costco. I ended up spending a second night on the McDonalds roof; it was too late to move on and I needed to figure out a plan for my survival.
As the day was ending I saw a nearby mini-mall that contained a pawnshop and a collection of family owned businesses. I opened my last can of food. As I ate my beef stew I started to make my plans of how I was going to get home. And that pawnshop was to be part of those plans.
The following morning I awoke as the sun was breaking over the horizon. I was well rested, but a bit chilled as I only had my light jacket for warmth. I had an awful headache; I suspect it was from lack of caffeine, as I hadn’t drunk any coffee for a couple days.
I peered over the rooftop and only saw zeds by the Costco, god there were still hundreds of those things milling outside that building. It was hard to tell because of the distance, but the parking lot in front of that building looked like zed bodies carpeted it. The persons on the roof were still shooting; I guess you have to have a hobby. I thought when the bodies start cooking in the sun; it’s going to be unpleasant around there in a few days.
I crawled off the roof and slowly made my way towards the pawnshop. I took great care in using cover every time I moved. I made it to the pawnshop and found the doors glass was gone. Someone had taken out the window with a cinderblock to gain entrance. I slowly entered the store and moved splayed display racks out of my way with the bat.
I moved slowly and listened for any clues of anyone or anything else in the store. The only sound I heard was the crunching of broken glass under my feet. As I surveyed the racks where the firearms should have been, all I saw were empty racks. The glass display counters were smashed and whatever was in them was long gone.
I went behind the counters and saw a small assortment of various rifle, shotgun and pistol rounds spilled on the floor. It looked like someone was in a hurry to clear off the shelves. I gathered nine 20-gauge shotgun shells; all number 7 shot, made for rabbit’s but good at close range. I now had a grand total of 17 shells for the single shot 20-gauge. As I was kneeling on the floor I noticed the counter had a couple small sliding doors on the bottom.
I opened the doors and found an assortment of pocketknives and a loaded 357 snub nosed revolver. It was a 5 shot Ruger SP101, nice little piece to have. There was a ¾ box of ammo next to it. I searched the floor again and found a small handful of 38 and 357 loads. My luck was getting better. I took a couple pocketknives and left the rest, and then I searched the store some more.
I was hoping to find some speed loaders for the Ruger, but there were none to be found. I did find a good shoulder rig for it and claimed it as my own. The store next to the pawnshop was a small army navy surplus store connected by an open doorway to the pawnshop. I looked in and saw the body, or what was left of it in the aisle. There wasn’t much more left of the poor soul than bone’s and bloody clothes.
I saw the bloody footprints that left the body, they all headed for the side door of the store. I followed them and looked down the alley both ways and didn’t see anything. I decided I’d better get a move on and grab what I could.
I grabbed a rucksack that had a built in 3 liter camelback and started tossing in some gear. I grabbed a decent jacket and a 3-season sleeping bag, no more cold nights for me. I grabbed some biker’s engineer boots from the shoe department; my tennis shoes were pretty beat up. The boots fit like a glove, but I still hung onto my old shoes and placed them in the ruck. As I was looting the store I found a tall safe door set in the wall in the back of the store. I thought it was too bad I didn’t have the keys, and then I thought about the body in the store.
I searched the pockets of the blood-encrusted pants and found a set of keys. I gave them a try, but they didn’t fit the lock. My mind imagined all sorts of fancy weapons blocked from my hands, but I’ll never know what was in there.
I finished grabbing some food bars, mountain house food packs and some other goodies. Then I found a hand held CB radio and tossed it in the rucksack with a few packs of batteries. My pack was now close to 25 pounds and I decided that was enough weight to deal with. As I was about to leave the store I helped myself to a ranger watch from a fallen display, a man needs to know the time.
I considered leaving my bat behind, but decided against it. I was to be glad of that decision later that day.
I slipped from the pawnshop and decided to hit the Walgreen’s a couple doors down. I still had that terrible headache. I remembered a friend who was a paramedic during Katrina telling me about those stay awake pills. He said the pills were loaded with caffeine and that first responders used them when coffee wasn’t available.
I got to the drug store and it too had the appearance of being looted. I slipped in to do some five-fingered shopping and was over half way into the store when I heard the noises. Even during the early afternoon the store was dimly light, as there was a severe lack of windows. It was hard to walk quietly; the floor was littered with assorted bottles and packages. But I didn’t need light to tell me something was headed my way, my ears told me what I needed to know.
They came from a couple directions; altogether I had to deal with five zeds. I took off my ruck and threw it at the closest one. He fell over and made a second one fall as well. I set the shotgun down, readied the bat and started swinging like Babe Ruth. The first zed I hit fell like a sack of potatoes, the next fell quickly as well.
As I was going for the third zed, something grabbed my foot. One of the zeds that fell had grabbed my ankle and I went down, the bat rolled away under a rack. I grabbed the Ruger from its holster and shot the fallen zed in the brain. The last two got their hands on me, then I dropped the gun and it was lost during the fight. I kicked and punched them both in a blind panic and hurriedly crawled a few feet away. The two zeds were between the shotgun and me, I had no idea where the pistol was and the bat was lost from sight. I ran to another aisle to give me time to regroup my thoughts, both zeds were on their feet and coming my way.
I saw a bottle similar to a champagne bottle; I grabbed it and bashed the closest zed with it. The bottle shattered but he went down, unfortunately I was sprayed in the eyes by the bottles contents. From the burning I assumed it to be some sort of soap. I could hardly see but I was able to find my way around the remaining zed and grab my shotgun.
He was dispatched with a single shot.
I groped around the reading glasses display rack and found some saline solution for contact wearers. I washed out my eyes for several minutes until I could see. My eyes burned awful and my back ached from the flood of adrenaline from the fight.
I found my pistol and gave up on the bat, it was lost somewhere under the rack and I wasn’t sticking around here after all the shooting. I pocketed some more saline wash and a small first aid kit. In the beverage aisle I filled my camelback from bottled water containers. I finally found two packs of stay awake pills, I got a warm Mountain Dew from the stores cooler and washed a couple pills down and headed out the store. I had to find a place to hole up for the night. My eyes were swelling shut fast from the irritation caused by the soap. The last thing I needed was to be half blind in this town.
I cut down an alley towards the post office I had seen from the roof earlier that morning. As I had hoped burglar bars and a double set of locked glass doors protected the building. No one broke into this building, probably because they thought nothing of value was inside. That was fine with me, as I needed a fortress to spend the night.
I climbed on a roof of a postal truck that was parked next to the building; from there I made it to the buildings roof. I was able to remove an air vent and peered inside the buildings back room. No noises met my ears, so I lowered myself on top of a cabinet and then I hit the floor. The building was empty of life, save for myself. I found an almost full 3-gallon water bottle and drank till I felt I was going to bust. Then I washed out my eyes until the cool water soothed my eyes enough to help the swelling go down. I poked around the back office and found some fruit in the fridge and ate a couple apples, along with an orange.
My feet were aching from the new boots, I was glad I had kept the old tennis shoes. So I swapped them out. I wanted to check the front office, but decided on doing that carefully, as there was a lot of glass facing the street. Fortunately, I saw the zeds before they saw me. They were walking in front of the post office’s windowed door. They ambled in front of the building for a couple hours and moved on.
I swear those things can smell like a bloodhound, they seem to follow scent trails somehow. But luckily if they don’t flush something out they move on to greener pastures.
I went back to the rear offices and made a bed from the many mail sacks available. As I lay on my newfound bedding, I ate a food bar and started turning on the CB radio. I found a few local people on the bands, but they weren’t local enough to help me. The closest one to me was about 5 or 10 miles away and they needed more help than I did. I found out that there was no power or phone service for almost 2,200 square miles. Once the local TVA nuclear power plant went down it caused a cascade effect on the nations power grid. With no one able or willing to restart the plant or work on the sub-stations there wasn’t going to be any power for weeks or even months. This would be a problem as this meant all cell phones were totally useless, without the towers that required power to operate.
I tried to use the CB to contact Jack on his trucks radio, but either the handheld didn’t have the required range or he wasn’t on the air. I turned off the radio to conserve power; I had a feeling that batteries were going to get real scarce real fast. I got out the map I picked up during my shopping spree in the army navy store; I needed an idea of my next moves towards home. I didn’t like what I saw.
My trip across the river took me farther out of the way than I thought. The current took me a good 10 or 12 miles down river. I knew the springtime currents were fast, but not that fast. I estimated that I now had a good 70 miles to go.
After all that traveling I didn’t make any headway; I only succeeded in crossing the river. At least I was alive and provisioned now. I was also learning the ropes of my new life. It was best to travel as light as you dared to, use concealment when you could and take your time moving. Make as little noise as possible and find secure places to spend the night well before dark. All common sense stuff now, but back then who knew what to do?
I decided to stay in the post office for a day or two. I needed rest and time to watch how the zeds acted and reacted to various things in their environment. I spent a lot of time glassing the area with my new binoculars, talking and listening on the CB.
On the second day I heard the loud sounds of motors. I saw a pickup truck and a panel van wind down the street after each other. I had assumed they were together, until they started shooting at each other.
The pickup truck slowed to a crawl and the passenger got out. She started to run, but the men in the van caught up to her and dragged her into the back of the van screaming. The driver appeared to be wounded badly; they dragged him out of the truck and left him on the pavement. One of the brigands got in the pickup and followed the panel van as it went down the street, the zeds soon showed up.
I could hear the man scream for about 5 minutes, until they killed him. It wasn’t bad enough that I had to watch out for zombies but now I had to watch out for my fellow man. I was still learning in this new world. One thing was for sure; I wasn’t talking on the CB for a while, only listening.
I left the post office the following day. I had found a set of keys to a small postal truck; it was one of those right hand drive jeeps. The truck was full of gas and I managed to scrounge up couple 5-gallon cans of fuel. It wasn’t a Porsche, but it sure beat walking. With all of the abandoned vehicles on the road, this little postal jeep was perfect for skirting around road obstacles.
I made almost 20 miles towards home that day.
It took me all day to go that short distance. The roads were blocked something awful. Sometimes I’d go 5 miles and have to go all the way back, due to debris or total blockades of abandoned vehicles. I saw small bands of zeds, they seem to gravitate towards each other, still can’t figure that one out. Old memories of family or friends surfacing, or is it a tribal instinct to obtain food efficiently?
I thought to myself that I might reconsider driving a motorized vehicle. I noticed that sometimes when I had to double back, there were zeds following my trail. I wasn’t sure if it was because of the vehicles noise, the smell of the exhaust or the vehicles movement. One thing for sure, there was a lot of these creatures walking about.
I saw a pub nestled among some shops and decided I was due a beer. It might have been warm, but any port in the storm I always say. I parked the little jeep and stepped out towards the pubs entrance. It was locked up tight, a good sign for me.
I went around back and climbed up the fire escape, all it took was a well placed kick and the second floor door gave way. I stepped in and listened for anything moving within the building. It was dead quiet, if you’ll pardon the pun. I slowly pushed open the door fully with my shotgun and peered inside. After my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I could make out the usual bar equipment. When I was done investigating the pub, I decided to spend the night.
I went back to the jeep and brought my stuff back in the pub. I barricaded the second floor door and then I settled down for a few warm ones.
I think it was because I drank on an empty stomach, but I got a bit drunk. I also got very hungry and started looking at what the bar had to offer. I opened the food locker door in the kitchen and I was greeted by the smell of decaying food. I closed the door and saw the freezer, when I opened it up there was a large package of thawed out strip steaks. I didn’t smell anything like decayed meat, so I figured the beef was safe as it had been frozen a week ago. I thought (stupidly) the beef should have been frozen until just recently, so what was the harm? I was tired of the foods I had been scrounging and thought a steak was in order.
I checked the gas grill in the kitchen and I was surprised it still worked. I had a couple more beers and cooked a large steak to a perfect medium rare. I enjoyed that steak, up until the next day.
I was laid up almost five days with severe diarrhea, vomiting and cramping. I was hit by food poisoning, stupid, nasty food poisoning of my own doing. I couldn’t believe I was so stupid to eat that steak. Thank god the bar had lots of soda to drink, I was going through fluids like crazy.
After I made it through the five days of sickness, I wanted to rest for another two days to gather my strength. I lost almost a week of travel time because of my bad judgment. It could have been worse I could have died.
I was preparing to lay down to rest when I detected a faint whiff of smoke. I went out to the fire escape and climbed up to the roof. A few large plumes of smoke rose from the city; it appeared to be only a couple of miles to the east. Just the direction I had to go in order to make it home. I glassed the area with my binoculars and saw that zeds were getting flushed out into the main roadway. Their safe place was my escape route, nuts.
Normally a fire would have been quickly put out, but without any fire departments available the flames spread like a slow cancer.
I loaded the jeep and topped off the gas tank with the last of the gas from my 5-gallon cans. I then drove off to the north; I fought the urge to go east and plow through the gathering zombie crowd. But I wasn’t taking the chance of turning over in the little postal truck, as the zed crowds were too large. As I was putting the vehicle in gear, I got sick and vomited again. I really wasn’t rested enough or ready to travel, but I had no choice.
I traveled to the north for a few hours and slowly turned towards the east. The roads were not too heavily choked with abandoned vehicles, but the travel was still slow. Between my sickness and the debris, this was a trip from hell.
When I rounded a corner I was confronted by immense destruction. This part of the city was almost totally destroyed by fire, the damage spread for miles. From the looks of it, I believe it was from the fire Neil witnessed over a week ago on our trip to the river.
As I drove through what was left of this part of the city, I was confronted by total blockage of the roads. Buildings had fallen down and onto the roads. What the abandoned vehicles didn’t block was buried in piles of rubble. Waves of intense nausea were slamming me; I had to find a place to hold up for awhile.
The destruction in this part of the city didn’t leave much in the way of choices. However, I managed to find a lightly damaged law office that had a secure third floor conference room. I vomited again and passed out for the rest of the day.
I awoke sometime after mid-night feeling much better, but far from normal. I was preparing to force down a Mountain Dew, when the chorus of crickets in the hallway stopped chirping. I put down the soda and slowly braced my shotgun at the door. Then I heard something outside the conference room door.
The shuffling sounds lasted for a couple hours, occasionally there was scratching at the door. I didn’t breathe I think I was petrified. In my condition the last thing I could do was put up a good fight. By 4 o’clock the sounds faded away and the crickets were singing again. My stomach lurched and I lost what little I had in it, this was one long night. I wrapped up in my sleeping bag and decided to stay in that room until I was better. My main concern was having enough liquids to drink. I had almost 2 liters of water in the camelback and two Mountain Dews in the ruck. I really needed more fluids, but what I posessed had to do for now.
As I fell back to sleep I swore off beer and steak. I smiled as I drifted off; I knew I wasn’t keeping that promise.
I stayed until the next day and felt almost like my old self. I loaded up my ruck and eased out of the room into the hallway. My shotgun pointed the way down the hall as I made my way towards the exit. Everything was quiet until I made the ground floor and I heard the sound of something moving fast. A dog appeared from the shadows barking and snarling. I eased a power bar from my pocket and tossed it to the dog, He grabbed it and left the landing going back to the shadows.
I got to the postal truck and started her up; the fuel gauge was just over half full. All this going back and forth was using a lot of gas and I really wasn’t getting myself any closer to home. I estimated that I had about 45 miles to go. If this kept up, I was considering the merits of going on foot, but driving saved my strength for survival.
I headed down the road and slowly the fire damaged buildings disappeared. The city started to appear more normal, other than the wandering zeds and lack of people. I battled what were normal roadblocks and managed another 20 miles.
I finally called it a night when I hit a major roadblock of vehicles by the National Guard Armory. I remembered that it was supposed to be a safe-zone, but from the burned out buildings I’d say that statement had been overly optimistic. I hoped I could find some gas as the truck was running on fumes. If I didn’t find some more fuel, I would have no choice but to start gathering fuel from abandoned vehicles. I didn’t like the idea of trying to siphon gas from fuel tanks while watching my own back.
I parked the truck to look over some possible options for the night. As I was checking out one of the buildings a voice called out to me. I was told to not make any sudden moves and to lay down my shotgun and raise my hands. As I couldn’t tell where the voice was coming from, I thought it wise to comply. If they had meant me harm, I would have been already dead.
I laid down the shotgun and waited for my captors to show themselves. I soon saw a man wearing camo BDU’s appear from the ditch, he carried an M16 rifle and aimed it at me. Four more men appeared out of hiding, armed like the first soldier and they told me to get on my knees. After I was searched they wanted to know who I was and what I was doing. I told them what had happened to me and that I was trying to get home.
I was told (ordered) to come on base with them, my gear was confiscated and they took me to a large cinder block bunker that was protected by concertina wire and a couple 50 cal machine guns. There were about 20 soldiers housed in the bunker and the living conditions were very tight. I noticed a couple of women sitting silently at a corner table. Both of them looked scared, the blond had a nasty bruise under her right eye.
I was informed that the base had been overrun by zeds and this was all that was left of the base’s personnel. Once they learned how to kill the zeds they were able to clear out the base, but not before most of the personnel were killed or turned.
I was told that when I wanted to leave that I’d get my gear back, but not before then. The sergeant said that an evacuation of the base was supposed to have taken place a couple weeks ago but there had been unforeseen delays. He suggested that I stay on the base for my own protection until help arrived. I asked what the delays were but he said it was classified, and not to worry about it.
I informed the sergeant that I was ready to leave now. He declined my request; he stated it was for my own protection, as well as theirs. He told a couple privates to escort me to the holding area for quarantine. We walked outside of the bunker complex towards the holding area. The holding area was a converted cargo container; that was half as big as a semi-trucks trailer. Before entering the trailer I saw that there were five other ones like it. All of the trailers were located outside of the protection of the bunkers concertina wire. I estimated that the closest trailer was at least 50 yards from the bunker.
When I entered the trailer there were five people, four men and a woman already in there. The door slammed shut, I could hear the chain being drawn around the doors lever and then the padlock hit the door.
The stench in the trailer was almost unbearable. Even though the day hadn’t been very warm, the trailer was hot and stifling. The smell emanated from a 5-gallon bucket, half full of excrement in a back corner of the trailer. A pile of straw was on one side of the trailer; I learned it was our communal bed.
I asked the others about what was going on, that’s when I was told that my stay at the base could be for some time. The soldiers were using the people they scooped up as forced labor. The men were used in construction or mules to transport supplies and materials to a building site on the other side of the base. The women were used as the soldiers pleased. I lay down in a far corner from the others and waited for daylight.
The following morning I was taken from the trailer along with the other four men. We were boarded on a truck and shipped across the base. We arrived at the armory where there were at about 50 other guests. Our hosts numbered at least that many. It seemed that the bases personnel had split into four camps that surrounded the armory. They were protecting it as modifications were being made to it.
From what I saw, the soldiers were having us construct a triple row of chain link fencing around the armory. The amount of fencing required was staggering, where they were finding all the required materials I had no idea. On the four corners of the barrier wall, stout wooden watchtowers were being raised. If the fencing had been quarried stone this place had all the looks of a medieval castle.
We labored all day erecting fence posts, putting up chain link and stringing barbed wire. Our first and only meal came about an hour before dark, everyone was issued an MRE pack, we had to eat right then. As we lined up to get on the trucks, we were given bottles of water to take back to the holding area.
When we entered our container, the woman was gone. The men said she’d be back in a couple days after the soldiers were done playing with her. I asked how long this had been going on, they said for a couple weeks.
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|Started By||Thread Subject||Replies||Last Post|
|legomansam3||amazing||0||Nov 18 2011, 10:57 PM EST by legomansam3|
|jdfcanada||Nice story||0||Sep 12 2010, 1:15 PM EDT by jdfcanada|
Thread started: Sep 12 2010, 1:15 PM EDT Watch
It's interesting that you chose to write it entirely in narrative fashion. Normally, critics tell authors to show us, not tell us, but you did a fairly good job anyways.
If you wanted to flesh it out and make it longer, I would add in dialogue.
|conor78||good story||0||Nov 8 2009, 12:33 AM EST by conor78|
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