It is my worst nightmare, stuck in a 2 room apartment, in a ‘retirement village’, with my mother-in-law, some how the dead walking pales in comparison.
“Why didn’t you go get my daughter, or my grandkids?” Ann asks.
“They were on the other side of town from me, and she told me that she would meet me here. She told me to come here, not to come for her and the kids.” I answered.
“I still think that a real man should be trying to rescue their family,” she said.
“Ann how many more times are we going to go over this?” I asked wearily. We had done this at least 50 times already. This was a recurring theme that somehow I was not a “real man”, and after 5 husbands (divorces, not widowed) I guess she should know.
“But you should have gone after her,” she said again.
“I am going out to the car to try to call her again.” I head for the door without waiting for an answer, and hoping there will not be one.
“Too bad you didn’t care this much this morning,” I hear as head out the door. I dread going on the run with her in tow, but I know Jo would not leave her mother. At least I can put her in the other car from me. Then I can’t hear her complain about every imagined or real flaw. God, I hate that woman.
I could have called from the room, but I needed a little peace and quiet. I grab my cell phone and send the same text message, again. “Waiting at your mother’s apartment, what’s your ETA? Love Tim” I know there are ways to shorten the message, but I did not care. Then I dialed her number. It rang 5 times, and then went to her messages.
I left another message, and looked around before getting out of the car. There was a couple of the dead wondering around on the other side of the parking lot. None were close, but there were more around than before. I had not brought any weapons into Ann’s apartment yet, but I was not going back in with out a gun again. Jo got me this new rifle for hunting wild boar, my new adventure for the summer. Now it is hopefully going to get me through this. I grab it up and pull my pistol belt over my shoulder before getting out and heading for Ann’s deck. I get there and try to open the door, but Ann locked it.
“No guns in my house.”
“Are you kidding, there are serious dangers, and we need to be able to protect ourselves”
“No guns in my house!” she yells.
Looking around, I see a few of the shambling monsters have taken notice of my argument and me. They were shambling closer to us.
“I will be waiting in my car; I’ll let you know when Jo gets here.” With that I head back to the car and throw a tarp over the windows, leaving the rear window clear so I can watch for Jo’s car.
Opening the sunroof a little I cut a hole in the tarp and stick the kid’s periscope out and look around. Some of the shambles have come closer, but seem confused now that the noise has stopped. There is one between the car and Ann’s apartment. She appears to have been a nurse, I wonder from where, her left arm has been torn to ribbons, the lower arm is shredded, with streamers of flesh hanging from the elbow, the bones of the forearm and hand are missing completely. Her uniform is soaked through in blood, and her face is smeared with the blood of her victims.
She is standing with her cloudy eyes going from the sliding door to the back of my car. Lucky for me the angle was wrong for her to see me from where she is. Then we all hear a gun shot, and breaking glass. One of the other residents shot at the nurse and hit her in the lower abdomen, and then a second shot rang out hitting her in the chest. She turned and charged the shooter; I turned the periscope to see what is happening. The nurse is climbing through the sliding door and attacking the old man who had shot at her. I saw the nurse grab the man, and then the rest was blocked by other shamblers going in the door. I heard his scream when they started, and then they suddenly cut off. There were now one more of the living dead to deal with.
Soon there are more screams, and breaking glass. The ghouls have found those who are looking out their windows to see who was screaming. I catch a strange race from the corner of the ‘scope. There is a resident who is escaping at her best speed, which is about the same as the ghoul chasing her. She is heading for a minivan at an agonizingly slow pace. When she comes close, she hits the automatic side door. She dives into the side of her van, and closes the door. I shoot a round straight up into the air, through the tarp. That distracts the ghoul and lets the lady crawl into the driver seat. She starts her van and peels out of her parking spot. Dropping it into gear she peels out into the street and into the night.
Spinning the scope back to Ann’s door I see her looking out at the receding tail lights. I swear she shoots me a sour look before the curtains fall back into place.
There are the sounds of dying all around me in the night, but my hiding spot seems to be working. There have been a few that walk right past me. A couple walked into the side of my car. Judging by the corpses that go by me there must be a hospital somewhere to the east. I keep seeing people in the hospital gowns and medical clothing going by. I have nothing to do but sit here and watch them go by. It looks like they are mostly coming from the east, and heading west. I guess California is still the place to be.
After sitting here for almost four hours I at last get a text from Jo. She is half an hour out. She was coming slowly and careful. She was trying to get here without having anyone from following her. She was trying for a clean pickup.
I texted back that she should call her mother, and tell her to let me in with a gun. I was not getting out of the car unarmed. Soon the answer came that she did, and that she would let me in when I knocked.
I scanned the area carefully before getting out the car. The area looked to be clear, first time in a while. I fold back the tarp, and slowly head to her door. When I got there I heard then saw her struggling with a couple of ghouls. I saw her get bit as I was standing there watching. Jo was going to be pissed about this.
As I make my way back to my car, Jo pulls up and rolls down her window and asks, “Where is she?”
“Jo, I am sorry, she was attacked by them. She was fighting to the last.” As I was speaking Ann’s door broke outwards, and there were five ghouls coming at me. I shoot two in the head; Jo takes care of the other three. “I think it is time to get moving. Babe and I’m sorry.”
“Follow me, and thanks for trying.”