I kicked back in one of those comfy tour bus seats, wrapped myself in blankets and that big fur coat and dozed off with my Glocks in my lap. The drumming of the rain on the roof was like a lullaby.
I woke up hungry. I opened another can of Spaghettios and downed it. It was 1030 am according to my watch. It was dreary and overcast. The rain drizzled down sporadically. I figured I’d be walking to the farm now. An hour drive would be close to a four hour walk.
I tossed off the covers and remembered that my clothes were out in the weather. I wrapped the big fur around me again, dropped the Glock 30 in a pocket, slid on the flip flops and turned off the bus. The fuel gauge read between half and three quarters. I was still good if I had to stay here another night or even two.
I walked out to my clothes and saw that the rain had washed the caked on “dirt” off my gear. My boots looked good so all I had to do was let everything dry. I hung all my things over the front seats in the bus. One of the flip flops blew out while I was moving around. I walked out to the storage area and pulled out a couple more suitcases. There were plenty of sock but I couldn’t find shoes my size. I settled for a pair of high tops two sizes too big. They’d do until my stuff was dry.
It was time to clean myself up now. Folks always packed toiletries when they travelled. This instance was no different. I dug some more in the bags and found soap, deodorant and tooth paste. Some of the items were in small grab bags like you would get at a shelter. I grabbed a couple blankets from inside and started for the creek.
I got to the creek, stripped down and wrapped a blanket around my shoulders I was planning on using a corner of the blanket to wash up until I lost my balance and fell in. That was the fastest bath in my life. I put the sweats back on and wrapped the fur around me again. I slid on some socks and was sitting on a stump tying the high tops when I heard a snap. I acted as though I didn’t hear it and continued to tie the shoe. I stood up, tied the fur around me and went to reach in the pocket for the Glock.
“You’re not that stupid.” Announced an unfamiliar male voice from behind me. “Don’t move. Put your hands out to your side very slow.”
I did as I was told. I didn’t know who was there or how many.
“Put your hands on top of your head.” The voice instructed. “Check his pockets Squirrel.”
“Don’t you fucking move.” Another unfamiliar male voice ordered. “He got a gun…. I got it Darrell …. It’s a nice one too. Don’t you move fucker.” He lifted the Glock 30 out of the coat pocket.
“Alright, turn around slowly.” The voice said. I followed his instructions. Now I was facing four individuals. Squirrel was closest to me and still drooling over my Glock. He was a small, skinny man. Darrel was about my size and age. He was armed with a scoped hunting rifle. There was a woman in her forties and another man in his forties and on crutches at the top of the hill above us.
“Okay, you walk up that hill in front of us sweety.” Darrell ordered. I shot him a look. “Don’t be stupid. I will shoot you. You may be out of season though.”
We walked to the top of the hill and out to the buses. I heard someone up inside the bus I’d slept in overnight. They were tearing the place apart. I could hear things bouncing all over the inside.
“Yo John!” Darrell yelled. “You and Betty come on out here.”
“I see you found the current resident Darrell.” A female voice from inside commented. She walked out. She was an average size woman with brown hair in a ponytail. She was followed by a tall man in his early thirties.
“Who else is here with you sweety?” Betty asked. I didn’t say a word. “John.” She said. I started backing away from John and Squirrel ran around behind me and put the Glock in my back. John kept coming and grabbed me around the throat. He was a strong man. I grabbed hold of his wrists and tried to pull them away. It let up on some of the pressure but he was able to pin me against the bus.
“Okay John. Let him go.” Betty ordered. “Now sweety, who else is here with you? You can answer me or we can let John have you for a play toy.”
“There’s no one else here.” I answered. I wasn’t ready for another fight and they had me dead to rights.
“Where’s the cop at?” Betty asked. “His clothes are in there.”
“What cop? I found that stuff down in town before it blew up.” No need to admit everything. “I’ve been wearing it.”
“John.” Betty said again.
The beast started coming for me again. I backed up to the bus and was getting ready to kick him as hard as I could when I heard someone yell.
“John!”. The voice was coming from over by the warehouse. “What the hell are you doing?” Big John stopped in his tracks. “Betty, what’s going on here?” This man was older. Probably in his fifties. He wasn’t as big as John but he was bigger than me.
“Sir, this man…. Darrell found him down by the creek.” Betty’s tone was meek when talking to this man. “He was staying in this bus and has all of this police equipment in there. He said he got it in town. I don’t believe him.”
“Well, no matter.” Said the older man. “He can make the pilgrimage with us. Darrell, bring the wagon around. You have a name mister.”
“My name is Ed.” I answered.
“Well Ed, My name is Matthew Potter. We are living in the end times and I plan on making a pilgrimage to Washington D.C.. You’re gonna come with us.” He said.
“Washington D.C.?” I asked. “It’s infested with the undead. If you go there you’ll die.”
“Oh, we’ll go there.” He said. “We have to go there. I had a vision to gather the people and go to Washington D.C.. That’s where we’ll get picked up”
“Picked up by whom?” I asked “Are you crazy?” I saw Darrell driving a team of draft horses pulling a modified hay wagon.
“No I am not crazy sir and you are rude. John!” Matthew turned and began to walk away.
I felt something slam against the left side of my face then everything went dark.