Sunday, October 9, 2016

Day 09: Strangers in the Night

Group 1: Veronica, Elise, Natalie, David, Amélia, Eddie
Location: Warehouse

“Slowly, put your weapons on the ground and take a step back,” the voice instructed. Veronica gazed over at Elise and quietly nodded no. “NOW!”

More shadows danced along the ground. The man wasn’t alone. Veronica squinted, focusing her eyes in the distance. Two figures, struggling. A frantic howl came from the other side of the house, cut off abruptly by the smack of something striking flesh. “EDDIE!” a woman screamed; a desperate cry for help.

Ignoring the women he held at gunpoint, the man rushed headlong towards the large country home, disappearing from view just on the other side. “Come on. Let’s get the hell out of here,” Veronica said, grabbing Elise’s arm as she attempted to flee.

“Wait, they need our help!” Elise replied, snatching free of Veronica’s grasp.

“Are you crazy? That maniac just held a gun to our heads and now you wanna rush off to help them? No, Elise, let’s go!”

“NO! Roni, we left the kids. God knows what’s become of them. The guilt alone has been…I’m not turning my back on more people who are in the same boat as us!” she exclaimed. Without another word, Elise ran off in the same direction as the man with her weapon drawn prepared to fight.

“FUCK!” Veronica grumbled before retrieving her gun and following after. A small group of zombies had cornered a young woman near the basement doors. She had been able to take out one but the others were closing in quickly. Aiming her weapon, Veronica took a deep breath, counted from five and fired. The bullet whizzed forward, catching a zombie in the left shoulder. While non-fatal, the force of the shot propelled the monster forward, tripping him on his own feet. He fell. And Elise capitalized, driving her stiletto through the back of its skull.

One down. Three more to go. Elise backed up as the man moved in, his glock pointed at the forehead of the creature over her shoulder. She jumped at the sound of the bullet firing off and placed her back against the wall. The woman who’d been screaming earlier joined her, watching as Veronica took down one more, leaving the last for the newcomer. Preserving his ammo, the man smacked the undead with the butt of his revolver causing it to fall. With as much force as he could muster, he raised his foot and sent it crashing down into the zombie’s face. One. Two. Three. Four stomps later the monster had stopped moving and the syrupy remains of its cranium dribbled from the man’s boot.

He turned in time to find himself staring down the barrel of Veronica’s gun. Raising his hands in defeat, he said not a word as he waited for her to fire. “Roni…” She glanced over at Elise and the scared and shocked expression of the woman beside her. “This isn’t who we are.”

“No. It’s who we have to be,” she replied, frozen in place as she decided her next move. “He was going to kill us!”

“I wasn’t!” the man defended.

“No? Then what? Rob us and leave us for dead without food, water or weapons?”

“I was only trying to feel you out. You have no idea what we’ve been through these last few days.”

“Look around you! We’re all going through it! That does not give you the right to hold us at gunpoint!” 

“You’re right, and I’m sorry. When we saw you running by we thought…”

“We thought you were coming back to finish us off,” the woman finally spoke. “We were just robbed by some men dressed in army fatigues. They took everything! And if Eddie hadn’t fought them off they would have…” her voice cracked, but the way she clutched at herself and the visible tear in her stockings was explanation enough. “He killed one of them; got his weapon and we were able to get away. Please.”

Veronica’s heart sank as she peered into the woman’s face. “You got a place nearby?” Veronica asked, lowering her weapon while Elise gathered up their belongings. The two exchanged a look before returning their gaze to Veronica and she sighed. “Look, we just helped you out of a jam. If we wanted to hurt you we could have left you to die. It’s dark, we’re tired and just want a place to rest. Do you have one or not?”

“Yeah. We have one,” the man spoke, adjusting the weapon in his hand as he considered his options. After a long pause, he let out a deep breath and holstered his gun. “It’s this way.”

They walked for twenty minutes, crossing over the highway and through the woods once more. The man was leading them well away from their compound and towards downtown; the one place Matthew would never travel and for good reason. The last time she was anywhere near the heart of the city was the night of the outbreak.

People scrambling for whatever they could grab as if they knew the world was at its end. She and her father were on their way out of town when they were struck by a BioCore truck. The vehicle spun out. No one stopped to help. It took responding paramedics half an hour to reach them. By then her father was long gone. It was the worst night of her life…or so she thought.

“This is the place.” The man’s deep voice drew her from her thoughts and Veronica looked up to take in the building. It was once a coin laundry facility. If she tried hard enough, she could smell the faint hint of a freshly washed load from old dryer lint that had been permanently attached to the walls. The man lead them inside, advising them to watch their step where needed. They entered a room just at the back of the building where larger commercial dryers were housed. 

The woman flicked a switch, bathing the room in light and both Elise and Veronica placed their flashlights back inside their bags. “Well, I guess we should properly introduce ourselves. I’m Eddie, that’s Amélia. Welcome to our…humble abode,” he said, extending his hand.

“Veronica,” she said, shaking it. “This is Elise.”

“Nice to meet you…considering the circumstances,” he added.

“How long have you been here?” Veronica asked, taking a look around the room. They had set up shop; two bed rolls, an area for food, one for weapons but both marginal in supply.

“Long enough to know the routine. Sleep when you can, eat when you can and maintain a level of suspicious alertness at all times…sort of like how you’re eyeing me now,” Eddie replied, folding his arms into his chest. “Everything in this city wants to kill you. I understand not being able to trust anyone.”

“You don’t know the half of it,” Elise chimed in. She caught the look Veronica tossed her and quieted up, going back to pacing in the corner. 

The door opened behind Natalie who pretended to be asleep. Her visitor had come back once after being summoned but his stay was brief. After a touch and a threat he left her to stew and listen to the cries and moans of others whose fates were left to her imagination. But now he was back. Her breath hitched in her throat as she felt him draw near. Icy fingers grazed her skin as they skimmed the length of the rope wrapped tightly around her midsection. “Please!” Natalie whimpered, feeling the cold touch move towards her hands.

“Relax, I’m not gonna hurt you. I’m here to help,” the voice reassured her. It was a man, but it wasn’t him. Pressure lifted on her wrists and she realized the stranger was untying her binds. Once they were loose enough, she wiggled her hands through and quickly hopped off the chair, turning to face him. “Calm down, ok? I know a way out of here and if you’ll let me, I’ll show you.”

“Why? Who are you?”

“Right now? I’m the only person you can trust. Now if you want to get out of here, follow me.”



The polls are now open. Vote for your chance to control the action! Remember, you can add your own choice to the plot through the comments section or the poll below. Polls close at 12 noon EST tomorrow and reopen at 8 pm EST.


  1. Wow, more survivors and it sounds like the group that hit them has been really making the rounds tonight. Fucking bastards. Glad Eddie was able to pick at least one of them off.

    Roni has become a real hard ass. I mean I get why she has, but still she's really changing. Leaving the kids, ready to leave Eddie and Amelia behind, then shoot them after the zombies were down. If Elise isn't careful Roni could write her off just as quickly. What was with that look?

    Natalie. Not sure what to do with her. On the one hand I want to hope the guy wants to help her, but at the same time I've watched a whole lot of horror flicks that scream at me to tell her to kick him where it hurts and run! LOL

    1. Yep! But killing one of theirs may only prove to insight their anger more. Guess we shall see :D

      She is. It's scary to think her mindset has her in a place like that. But after being attacked by the living she's not in the mood to trust anyone she doesn't know. It's smart but like you said for her character it's scary. We did sort of get a preview of that last year, however, when she let poor John bite it and not say a word lol. The look was more a "Shut up, we don't know these people don't tell them anything" glare.

      Haha that would likely be advisable. But, she's in a place where she has no clue is located, with people she can guess are trying to harm her and no other friend around. Very tough decision.

      Thank you for reading :)

  2. It's REALLY hard to vote on this one. Part of me thinks he should be trusted because he's pretty. LOL. But trust is a limited commodity and this could just be a mind-fuck. Does she have time enough to feel out his intentions? Can she get a weapon if he proves to be slimy?

    1. Ha! It's the pretty ones that hurt you most :P Those are absolutely options Natalie should explore. As you said trust these days is not given easily and it may backfire. Either way she goes, she will need want to find a weapon though. There's no telling when or where danger lurks!

      Thank you for reading :)

  3. I don't trust these people. >_> I think Natalie has what it takes to use the situation to her advantage to get the hell out of dodge!

    1. I agree! They've all been trained to take care of business. And now that her hands aren't tied, she definitely has the ability to get close and get out before he even knows what hit him.

      Thank you for reading :)

  4. Oh it was so hard to vote on this one... I have to agree with what Eddie said "Everything in this city wants to kill you."
    Sadly I had to go with the sad vote of the trick... I know, I'm a terrible person :P