When we reached the garage, we ran past his two babies, a Royal blue mustang and his bike he’d nicknamed the Fyre Bird, for its red coat and flame detail. We got to the Betty and I ran straight for the back to double check our supplies, while he checked the hood. We both were on auto pilot like we’d practiced this a thousand times, but we were acting purely on instinct.
“Hunter, the GPS is out on my phone and I can’t get a signal, The tower must be flooded! When I dialed 911 earlier it was busy too.. I know where Tzar is, but how are we gonna find your Brother? Do you even know how to get to where he’s stationed?”
“Yeah, Zachari sent me his address a few months back, he’s on leave of his latest tour. He’s been staying at my grandmas, more than twenty miles out of the city..” He said, walking around the huge RV, checking it from bow to stern, we didn’t need any surprises from her. “First, we pick up Tzar, then we get to my Gran’s house.”
We hopped in the Betty and he started her up, she hummed to life and her engined purred, she wasn’t a loud beast at all. She was a sleek black with thickly tinted windows, absolutely massive, a retired tour bus from some big name musician, it came with plenty comforts for the road. Hunter had snagged it on a deal from a guy he knew, year before last, and we went on a three month tour of the south, I’d taken him to visit my family.
My father was pleasant about it, he was always a nice man as long as he had his brandy. Him and Hunter hit off nice enough, but everyone else was another story. My mother had flipped, how dare I bring a MAN home, let alone a White one. She and a few others felt some type of way about that, and no matter how cordial and kind Hunter was to them, he got treated like crap. All had came to a head at a family gathering, where I finally stood up and said something. After telling my father goodbye, and throwing the deuces up to moms, we hit the road.
Here we were again, I looked to my left at Hunter as we drove through the garage to the gate, he looked so determined to face what was ahead. While I didn’t feel exactly safe, I was happy as hell to be right where I was in all this. We got to the gate and he hit the remote to the door, it didn’t respond, he growled and told me to hop in the drivers seat. I looked at him like he was crazy, I hated driving the Betty, but he gave me a look that said this wasn’t something to be debated. I sighed and complied, as he hopped out and ran to the door. He hit a few buttons, and the door made a sound like it was jammed, it rose about a foot or two but suddenly stopped.
Hunter messed with the door a bit, and got it to raise a few more feet till it retracted a little more than halfway. That’s when he must have saw them, cause he started shooting, I quickly unlocked the door to go help but he hit the remote switch, keeping me inside. He let off a few more shots, and started running back to the Betty. I saw a mangled old man running impossibly fast for his age, he had on his blood soaked robe and undergarments, but only one slipper, and the flesh on his face was shredded and torn from the bone. Behind him a Hispanic man in an EMT uniform, his arm was torn from his body, but he ran fast, soon overtaking grandpa, both relentlessly running at Hunter no matter how many bullets he pumped into them. He got to the door and the remote wouldn’t unlock, I quickly jumped out of my seat and opened the side door for him.
He got in and slammed it, just in the nick of time, they pounded and screamed viciously, trying to get in. I quickly jumped back in the driver’s seat, and put the RV in reverse.
“Brace yourself!” I yelled as I hit the gas hard, taking us back.
You could hear the crunch of steel, as the Betty tore though the Mustang and bike, crushed by her weight. Hunter hopped in the passenger seat and looking at me incredulously, putting his hands on his head looking back.
“Loki, what the fuck!” He yelled, as I stopped to change the gears. “Bae, you didn’t?!”
“I told you that shirt was Dior.” I said with a smile and wink, hitting the gas hard.
We shot forward, I ran over the old man and the medic, plus someone else, I couldn’t see whom. We hit the gate and burst through onto the street, almost getting hit by a fire truck that was plowing through cars. I whipped the Betty around and shot down the street, trying but failing, at avoiding the carnage that littered the streets. Cars were piled up and people were tearing into each other, a few fires were spreading adding its wrath to the mayhem.
I swung around on Tzars street and it was eerily peaceful among the havoc, especially since he lived in the slums a few streets down from my condo, it was as ‘hood as anything Brooklyn or the Bronx had to offer, but smack dead in the middle of Midtown. I pulled up right to the front, quickly hopping out, and running to the seven story building. I frantically used the number pad on the intercom to page his apartment, it just kept ringing and ringing, until finally someone picked up.
“Hello..who is it?” A timid soft voice, came from the speaker.
“…No mister, I’m Patience Rosen, I live next door.” She said.
“I’m Loki, the cousin of the guy that lives there, so I’m not a stranger. Patience sweetie, do you know how to open the downstairs door?” I asked her, hiding the fear in my voice with a sugary tone.
“Oh! I’ve heard Mr BaZar talk about you, you’re the Sour Bitch!” She exclaimed excitedly, I could hear what sounded like another little girl laughing in the background.
“Oooh! You said a bad word!” The other girl said, giggling with delight.
“What did he ..?!” I started, but Hunter gripped my shoulder from behind, bringing me back to the moment at hand. I turned to him, and he gave a look around, signaling we were sitting ducks out here. “Patience sweetie, do you know how to open the downstairs door?”
“Yeah..but the angry people are in the hallways, you don’t wanna run into them, they hurt my mommy.” She said, sounding like she was gonna cry. “Mr BaZar is at my house with Yesenia’s mom, taking care of her, they sent us here and told us to lock the door.”
“Well me and my friend are here to help, we’re gonna see if we can help your mommy, I’m sort of like a doctor.” I told her, and a few seconds later, the door buzzed open.
We entered quickly, the door slam locking behind us. The building had only one elevator, it seemed to be stuck on the top floor, where Tzar lived. Hunter nudged me, and cocked his head toward the staircase, and I followed his lead. We tiptoed as silently as possible up the stairs, there were screams and sounds of struggle, they seemed to come from everywhere and nowhere all at once. Hunter picked up the pace, and I followed as fast as I could behind him. When we passed the fifth floor, a woman burst through the door, her hands lashing out and scratching at me. She was able to grab my leg, and with impossible strength, she dragged me down the stairs toward her. I kicked her in the face, hard enough to break teeth, but it didn’t faze her. She had crawled up my legs, biting and scratching for any exposed flesh.
All of a sudden I heard a bang, then there was the ringing of my ears, I was so disoriented I didn’t feel Hunter pulling me up the rest of the stairs by my shirt. When we reached the sixth floor landing, he brought me to my feet, and checked me over. There was a gurgling scream, from down below, it was the woman. Hunter had shot her in the face, blowing off her whole lower jaw, and as she scrambled to her feet, we could also hear a bunch of people running up the stairs behind her. Hunter grabbed my arm and sprinted up the stairs, dragging me behind him, till we got to the top floor. When we burst through the doors, I could finally see what held the elevator. It was a black guy, he was young, I could tell that much because he had on the new J’s. I couldn’t tell by his face because his head was blown clean off, his torso cause the elevator door to bump open and shut. There were two other bodies but we didn’t stop to see, I ran down the hallway, and knocked on the neighbors door. A young Puerto Rican girl opened it, greeting us with the barrel of a shotgun to our faces.
“Bitch, we’re clearly not one of those things..” I said, staring her down, while Hunter had his guns pointed right back at her.
“And what the fuck that mean? I don’t know you two Putas!” She answered, still not lowering her weapon.
“Loki! Ohma Gawd!” Screamed Balthazar from behind her, she looked back at him for an explanation, I knocked the barrel of the gun from my face and pushed her out of my way.
“Where’s the sick lady? Is she okay?” I asked him immediately, and he got this stink look on his face.
“Well hello to you too bitch! What about if I’m okay?” He said snidely, I popped him in his mouth, with a back slap.
“You forgot Im’a Sour Bitch! Now where is she!” I said, giving him a look that could kill.
He just stared at me, wide eyed and in shock, finally pointing toward the back room. I quickly sprinted back there to see the damage, praying and hoping to God I could save her, a young girl needed her mother. The door at the end of the hall was open, and there she was sitting on the bed. It was this pretty black woman with hair that was braided up into a bun, her skin looked slick with sweat and her eyes were bloodshot, her labored breath also alarmed me so I jumped into action. I introduced myself, but she just ignored me, too delirious from the fever to even notice. So I just looked her over, quickly finding the source of what was wrong, a bite on her calf. It bled profusely, so I grabbed the supplies Tzar had gathered, honestly surprised he had actually gathered exactly what was needed.
She suddenly spasmed, her body jerked and twitched from the seizure, blackish muck began to bubble from her lips and seep from the wound. I held her down and turned her to the side, I looked to the door and Hunter had this look on his face, I had never seen it before, it scared me.
“Hunter! Help me with her, I need to stabilize her.” I pleaded to him, and he approached fast.
He grabbed my arm and snatched me away from her, I looked at him confused, as he lead us to the living room. Tzar and the Puerto Rican, that must be Yesenia’s mother, were sitting in the living room. They looked up hopefully when we entered, but their confused looks soon matched mine, when they saw he was dragging me towards the door. Tzar jumped to his feet and followed us, the girl started towards the room.
“We have to go, she’ll be one of them soon, the bites and scratches are what change you.” Hunter said, turning to me, when we got to the door.
“We don’t know that for sure, there might be a way to help her..” I said hesitantly.
“You’re a fucking street pharmacist, not a goddamn biologist! What the fuck do you know Hunter? Are you going to be the reason some wo..!” Tzar started to say pissed off, and getting upset, but suddenly the Spanish girl screamed.
We heard the shotgun go off and she came running from the back, her shoulder bleeding, a frightful look in her eye. We bolted through the door, Tzar right behind us, he quickly pulled out his keys and fumbled with the lock. Down at the end of the hall, more of those things burst out from the stairway, toppling over each other. I banged on the door, yelling out to Patience and Yesenia, begging for them to open the door. It sprang open just in time, a scared little brown skinned girl with twists, behind it. She had on a pink dress and a short denim jacket, and these big beautiful wide chocolatey brown eyes. I snatched her up and ran to the far side of the room, I called the other little girl but she ran towards her mother. That’s when Hunter grabbed the Puerto Rican chick and pushed her out into the hallway, she screamed and fell down. Tzar grabbed onto Yesenia, holding her back, as Hunter picked up the shot gun and tossed it out to her. He slammed the door shut, locking it, and we heard the horrific screams from the other side.
“Why did you hurt my mommy?! I need to help her, let me go! Move!” She screamed, as she tugged away from Tzar.
She ran toward the door, but Hunter grabbed her, pulling her up and hugging her to him. She beat his chest, as she kicked and screamed, crying for her mother. Soon Patience got started up, and that only agitated the monsters on the other side of the door more, the noise from the children sounding like a dinner bell to them. The way they were pounding, it was only a matter of time before they broke through. After Hunter put Yesenia down, she curled into a ball on the floor. He went and opened the window, looked out, there was a fire escape and the alley below was clear. I told Tzar to grab anything irreplaceable to him, cause we were leaving the city now. He ran towards his room, as I looked at the little girl I consoled in my arms. She looked up at me with her tear stained eyes, that just broke my heart.
“Where’s MY mommy? Is she okay? Did your friend hurt her too?” She asked, through salty tears,mooring across the room at Hunter with fear.
“Your mommy wasn’t your mommy anymore, I tried everything I could to help her..I’m sorry, but she’s gone.” I told her truthfully, hugging her to my chest, tearing up with her. “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you, we will survive this, I promise.”
“We have to go, now!” Hunter said, looking at the door.
More of them had come, they were beating relentlessly against the thick wood, and it was starting to buckle. Hunter went back to the window, while Tzar came from the back carrying a backpack, he knelt down and picked the crying Yesenia up from the floor. I put Patience up to the window and Hunter helped her through, I climbed out after, with Tzar and Yesenia behind me. Suddenly, Yesenia freaked out and ran to the door calling for her mother, Tzar screamed for her to stop, but she kept on towards the door. That’s when the top hinge broke, the door was starting to yield, She came to a stop when her mother’s head peaked around the side. She was snarling, her teeth stained black and her arms reached through, clawing and scratching, accompanied by the arms of countless others. Yesenia started back toward us when the door fell, Patience screamed for her, and she came running. The young girl held her hand out for her friend, and she was able to reach her, that was when she saw her own mother amongst the pack.
“Mommy!?” Patience cried out, as the woman ran toward us savagely, like a beast from the jungle.
“OhmafuckingGawd! Let’s go!” Tzar screamed, starting down the stairs.
Hunter pushed me to go, as he latched on to Patience who was helping Yesenia through the window. Suddenly Patience’s mother Hope, at least what used to be her, had grabbed the young Spanish girl. She screamed as they all grabbed onto her, pulling her back in, we saw Yesenia’s own mother bite deep into the flesh of her face, ripping a chunk of her face with her teeth. Patience screamed, refusing to release her friend, Hunter had to tear her fingers free.
“Nnnnooooooooooo!” She screamed, but it was drowned out by Yesenia dying wail, plus the groan and moans of the risen dead that devoured her alive.