As I pulled the trigger the bullet blasted from the chamber, hitting its target and another right behind it. The recoil from the Desert Eagle, reverberated through my arm, and the sensation caused my dick to harden.
I see why Hunter loved this gun, though she kicked like a bitch, her accuracy and power were devastating. The two infected woman hit the floor, tripping up the third one behind them, of whom lost her her own head before she even hit the ground. I looked at Caiden, and could see this was child’s play to him, no different than GTA on the latest console. I felt a sudden flush of shame, that at I too, suffered from a certain apathy when it came to these.. People.
“We just need the gate to hold up for a little while longer, they’re almost here!” Caiden yelled out to me over the gunfire, his weapon of choice, the semiautomatic Granny seemed to favor.
“That’s asking allot.. our guests look hungry, and more are showing up for the party!”
As if on cue, the gate whined and creaked, as the risen dead pushed against it relentlessly. There were several strays, still fresh enough to scale the fence, but we easily picked them off. I turned to the lake and could see the boat, they moved full speed ahead, and it worried me they weren’t slowing down.
“Loki, look the fuck out!” Caiden screamed, and I turned to my left, an infected dog was heading straight for me.
I took off running the only direction I could, and that was towards the gate, this only riled the flesh eaters even more. An infected man dressed in a priests attire, scaled the fence atop another’s shoulders, launching himself straight towards me. I heard the bang of a rifle, and the pale faced man flew back over the gate. I looked to my right, and saw a smoking barrel, extended out the back of the Betty. I didn’t waste precious time gawking, just running fast as my legs could take me, but behind me I could literally almost feel the dog breathing down my neck. My lungs burned, and my blood boiled, as it coursed with adrenaline.
I found myself trapped at the gate, with the clawing hands of the dead, reaching out to me for a fresh meal. The guttural moans of death, grew louder and louder, and there were so many of them now, I’d lost count of them scores ago. I cut to the left, sliding on the wet gravel to the ground, as the dog pounce to attack. This caused him to miss, so I cut back towards the dock, hoping Caiden could get a shot in. My ankle felt sore from the slide, and I could feel myself slowing down when I didn’t have the luxury. The pain burned up my thigh, but I sprinted forward, powering through it.
Suddenly, another dog leaped out from the side of the building, slamming into my left side. He latched onto my shirt and dragged me to the ground, I heard gunshots, but the dogs were nimble, and able to dodge easily. I clocked him in the head with a stone from the ground, and he me let loose, with a yelp. The original dog took that opportunity to latch to my boot ankle, trying desperately to taste the flesh beneath the thick leather.
I heard gunfire, and the dogs head exploded, I looked to see it was Caiden, eyes down the scope of the sniper rifle I dropped. I watched as he quickly changed targets, and went for the second shot, to only find the chamber empty. I looked to my right and the last infected dog stared me right in the face, mere inches from me. His bared teeth were caked with that toxic black muck, and his gums were decayed, with raw visible bone.
You never quite get used to staring death in the face, the cold emptiness in the creature’s eyes, must be the culprit that fuels the insatiable hunger for warm flesh from the living. He crouched low and prepared to attack, and I braced myself, expecting the worst.
The sudden bang and splatter of blood upon my face, was quite the unexpected event, so much so, that I nearly pissed myself. I looked back to Caiden, only to see him looking around in shock, as well. He suddenly grinned, turning towards the lake, and the boat closing in. I stood to my feet and dust myself off, grateful none of the blood got in my mouth, immunity or not. I tried my best to wipe my face, but it was no use, it only smeared it around.
Limping my way back over to where Caiden stood, and I could see the smile was gone from his face. Looking to the boat, I could feel my stomach drop, they were still coming in way too fast.
“That shot was a warning.. They’re gonna crash, we have to get off the dock!” Caiden yelled, tucking one of my arms over his shoulder.
We did a three leg dance off the dock, not even taking the time to look back, at one point, I was sure Caiden was taking three steps for every one of mine. When we reached the Betty, Lady Luck must have had her panties in a bunch, because the gate burst open and sections of the fence collapsed.
The dead came rushing through in a frenzy, toppling over each other as they rushed towards us. When we climbed aboard the Betty, we met the frightened faces of Tzar, Granny, and Patience. I told them to all get in the back, and stay away from the windows, I let them keep their weapons, because who was I to leave any of them disarmed. Caiden hopped in the driver’s seat and revved the engine, he put the Betty in reverse, and hit the gas. He backed up hard and fast, into the crowd of infected people, and the bus rocked and tumbled like we’d gone off road.
“Caiden, what are you doing?! There’s way too many of them, they could flip us over!”
“Trust me, I got this!” He yelled back to me, in reply.
The Betty began to rock back and forth, as the risen dead rushed her at the sides. Patience screamed, and Granny hugged her close, trying to console her. The old woman looked afraid herself, and I wondered if she could take the stress, her psyche was fragile enough as it is. Tzar was sweating profusely, and I could see he had aggravated his stitches, the blood soaking through his shirt. I ran to the front cabin, to get a better sense of what was going on, and sat down just as Caiden hit the break. He tried to switch the gears, and the wheels beneath us just skid in place, he was giving her gas but we weren’t moving.
“Did you really just get us stuck? You can’t be serious..” I remarked, fighting the urge to facepalm myself.
“I said don’t worry, I got this!” He replied back, laughing nervously, with that damn grin on his face.
Suddenly, the Betty rocked hard to the left, and we almost tipped, rising up on one side. He hit the gas, and we came down hard with a crash, crushing any dead underneath us. Unfortunately, we were still stuck, and the rocking continued. The boat was getting closer now, and I could see figures on the front deck, suddenly one of the men picked up something. I grasped Caiden’s arm hard, squeezing sharply to the get his attention, and pointed ahead of us.
“Ow!” He yelped, Looking at me like I was crazy.
“What are they doing?” I tried to squint to see farther, and that’s when I saw the spark, I gripped Caiden harder. “What are they doing!?! Oh my God Caiden what the Hell is that?!”
Something that look to be a missile or a rocket shot towards us, leaving a spiraling streak of smoke behind it. Caiden and I looked at each other, fear mirrored on both our faces. He put the gear in reverse, driving us backwards into the crowd of dead, and screams could be heard from the back. He tried to go forward again, this time we shot forward, with him quickly detouring to the left, around the far side of the building.
The explosion behind us, caused the Betty to shake and rattle, as it blew a large portion of the horde to bits. Some of the flaming corpses continued to flail around, the creatures more endurable than I ever could have imagined.
The crash of the boat soon after, was a spectacle in its own, leaving the dock utterly destroyed. They ripped through it like a speeding train, and the momentum, brought them from the water up onto the land. Any infected in the way, were crushed under the weight of the large vessel. The air quickly filled with dust and smoke, the thick clouds rising to obscure the evening sun, that set in the distance. I looked to the back of the Betty, to see everyone was okay for the most part, the beagle barked and yipped, as Patience clutched him close. Tzar hobbled his way up to the front cabin, pissed as all hell, looking at Caiden and I with the craziest look.
“Y’all motherfuckers off the deep end! When I’m all healed up, I think I’ll be the one driving from now on! And you..” He pointed to Caiden, who actually jumped a bit. “Get the fuck up! You’re not to drive anymore, not if I can help it dammit! Now go get your fucking friends and let’s get the hell out of here.”
Tzar stared him down, till he exited the RV, clearly not playing any games. He pulled me out the passenger seat, and forced me to the drivers side. He sat down and I could see he was over exerting himself, I went to lay a tender hand to his wounded shoulder, but he slapped my hand away. I sighed as I stood up and went to the back, Granny was making tea, her hands shaking as she tried to pour water from the pot. I went over to her and placed my hands over hers, steadying her enough to pour the water into the glass. Her eyes looked furious, but I recognized immediately, this wasn’t one of her fits. She was shamed that her body was betraying her to old age, the machine showing the signs of wear and tear, no matter how good the engine is running.
“Thank you.” She said, in a gentle voice, her eyes sad and forlorn.
“Don’t mention it.” I told her, giving a small smile.
“I guess the old girls, not running the races fast as she used to, huh?” She asked sadly, as she dipped a tea bag into her cup.
“I’d still bet on her..”
That got her to grin, and the beauty of her smile was breathtaking, one look and you knew she was a killer in her day. She still like to wear her flowing gowns, even though they were definitely deemed a hazard during an apocalypse such as this. Her silver hair was pulled back into a single braid, and white beads adorned the end. The dog started barking and we both looked to see him trying to dodge Patience, he seemed to be sick of her coddling, we all laughed as he ran over to me for help.
“Awww, Patience, give him some space, it’s cramped in here as it is.”
“Okay, okay, I’ll leave Buster alone..” She said, pouting, finally looking like a girl of her own age. “My mommy never let me have a dog, maybe caused they reminder her of my daddy.. she always used to call him that and say he was dirty.”
Granny burst out laughing, and that set me off, the dog barked and howled at us, as if to join in. Patience sat there, not getting the joke, but she smiled anyway. Tzar came to the back, looking at us all confused, and feeling left out. Granny soon reiterated what the young girl had said, and soon had him in a laughing riot. It was so nice to just enjoy a good moment, I pulled Hunter’s bowl out of my pocket, and ran my fingers over the smooth glass.
“You gonna fiddle with that in your pocket, or are ya gonna put it to good use?” Granny quipped, looking down at my hand.
“What? Right now?.. but the others.”
“Fuck them, they’ve taken enough of our time, how long has Caiden been gone? Like thirty minutes or so.. I say spark that shit!”
I looked at Balthazar, surprised he’d say some shit like that in front of Patience, but she’s probably heard worse than that by now. I looked at her apologetically, and she just gave me a knowing smile, wagging her index finger side to side. I went over to the closet and retrieved a coloring book, I had been selfishly saving for myself, plus a new pack of crayons. Her eyes lit up like firecrackers, as she snatched them from my hands, running to the front of the bus. I looked down at Buster, giving him the signal to go join her, and he scurried along.
I went back to the closet, and shuffled through the bags, it didn’t take long to find what I was looking for. I threw Tzar two bags of loud and some papers, he just rubbed his hands together greedily, with a wicked grin tainting his lips.
We were on our second rotation, three blunts in the air, and having a ball. Tzar was giving us his impression of Hunter, when we went to six flags a few weekends before everything happened. I remember the day, and remember the laughs we had about it then, Hunter made me promise to burn the picture they took. I stood up and went to the fridge, and Tzar started to protest.
“Oh shush, I need agua, bitch!” I said, as I laughed and grabbed a bottle, I returned to their side but continued to stand. “If ya think that face was funny, you should have seen his face when I backed Betty into his bike.”
“Not the Firebird! Lawd No!” Tzar proclaimed, throwing his hands up, like he’d been at a funeral.
“Oh yes! I sure did..” I said, stopping to pull from the blunt in my hand, I didn’t even hear the people come in behind me.
“What the.. [cough].. what the hell are you people doing in here! Caiden, what the hell is this?!”
“Oh shit!” Granny, Tzar, and I all said in unison, Caiden just looked at us speechless.
“‘Oh shit!’ Is that all you burnouts have to fucking say? We’re out here fighting for our lives and you people are in here getting blazed on chronic! Did you even know you had four of the infected right outside, clawing to get in?!” I recognized the voice immediately, I could see Tzar had too, cause his cheeks started to redden. “And you say one of these guys has a background in medicine?.. Unbelievable!”
“Well he was in..” Caiden started to say but, Patience cut him off trying to see what the commotion was.
“Oh my god! There’s a child as well? What kind of people are these?” It was an Indian woman, she turned to the man, clearly the Bloodhound. “Commander, I demand an explanation for this.”
“Wait a minute, Hol’ up! Ya coming in our shit, and I say, we ain’t got shit to explain a goddamn thing bitch!
“You watch your mouth you litt..”
“How about you watch this!” I said, springing the Eagle on him, Bloodhound whipped out a pistol of his own, and we stood in a showdown. “Caiden, get your filthy dogs in line, or they’ll be hitting the road to the compound on foot!”
“Loki, calm down!” He replied, trying to get in between us.
“Na, fuck calming down! We been waiting here all this time, and sacrificed so much, put ourselves in unspeakable danger.. For these son of a bitches to be so ungrateful!” I screamed, offended at the audacity of the these bastards.
“Loki, please, I haven..” He tried to cut in again, but I wasn’t having it anymore.
“I don’t want to hear any of your excuses, the love of my life DIED, because we chose to wait around for you fuckers.. For what? For you to step in here, with your noses held all high! Fuck that shit! I should blast you like one of those infected bastards outside!”
“Why waste the bullets? You wouldn’t feel any better after?!” Caiden asked, getting frustrated at how things had escalated.
“I wouldn’t feel any worse either.” I said, staring deep into the piercing eyes of the Bloodhound.
Buster ran through their legs to stand at my side, growling a warning and crouching low to the ground, I could only smirk. At least someone was willing to go to war with me, the dog was loud, but I was surely growing fond of him.
“I don’t see why we are even entertaining this, what’s to stop me from taking you out, and commandeering this vehicle? The nation is in a state of Martial Law, I’d have every right to take this vehicle by force if necessary.”
“Fuck you! Get the hell outta my RV! You..” I was suddenly cut off, as Caiden grabbed my left arm, sliding my sleeve up to my elbow.
They looked at my arm, the vague discolorations of the bite, the only proof it ever happened. The woman nearly knocked Bloodhound over as she grabbed my arm for further inspection, her face paled at first, she feared what this meant. But when her eyes met mine, they lit up, a smile crossed her lips, she quickly turned to the Bloodhound.
“He’s been bitten.” Her accent was so posh, it was a tell, she was from the northern region of India.
“Wait.. what?!” He asked, looking at me crazy, raising his gun again but she quickly stopped him.
“He’s immune, and in his blood, we could find a vaccine to combat the ReGen virus!” She turned back to me, her honey brown eyes seem to peer deep into my soul. “Commander, we need him..”