Friday, October 28, 2016

Day 28: Bereavement

Group 4: Matthew, Josh, Liz, Jeremiah, Edward, Nicole, Jake, JC, Nina, Lucky, Mike, Katrina, Troy, Dominic, Mathew, Ryan, Aisha
Location: Barn/Farmhouse

Edward scratched at the bandage on his arm. That damn mongrel really did a number on him and now his skin felt like it was on fire. He eyed the animal as it trotted along beside Nina, playfully nudging her arm making her rub her head. It was bad enough he was forced to wear a dead man’s clothes but now he had to deal with that mutt; and he hated dogs. Five minutes along with that animal and he’d send it to doggy heaven where it belonged. Sensing the man’s eyes on her, Lucky looked back with a happy expression as the group continued down the road.

“It’s just up ahead,” Matthew said. The group had been walking for nearly an hour, heading to the rendezvous. Upon arrival, they could see no one was waiting, but it appeared someone had been here recently. Tire tracks, two distinct treads, were imprinted in the soft dirt. One appeared to belong to a large vehicle of some kind while the other, possibly a truck. The wide wheel base gave Matthew the impression that it could have been one of the pickups from the compound.

If that was the case, it could also indicate others may have escaped that night. An ounce of hope sparked within him but he didn’t let it how on his face. “Tire tracks,” he said, kneeling beside the prints. “Someone was here, can’t tell how long ago. But with any luck, they’re still close by.”

“That doesn’t mean anything,” Edward quickly spoke. “It could have been anyone! You can’t be sure it was your group.”

“No, I can’t. But we made a plan. The least I can do is hope it was followed through.”

“No. No, this is crazy! No way in hell am I traipsing off to God knows where in the off chance those tracks lead to someone who might know you!”

“Then you’re welcomed to stay here. No one ever invited you along anyway. Unlike the posh service you’re used to, this is do or die which means if you’re not willing to get your hands dirty, we have no use for you. Pull your weight or hit the bricks,” Matthew growled. Lucky followed, inching up on Edward who’d placed his hands up defensively.

“You’re the boss,” he replied in a callous tone.

“What do you want to do?” Liz asked, doting on Nina. She was excited seeing the child walk into the barn. Status unknown left her stomach in a knot, but it seemed Nina was very capable of taking care of herself.

“What do we know that’s in the area?” Matthew asked.

“Fire station; it’s up the street,” JC said.

“That’s no good,” Nicole replied. “I tried hitting that shortly before I met up with these guys. The place is overrun with those things.”

“Mel’s Diner?” Jeremiah suggested.

“NO!” Nina shouted. The group all turned to her. “That’s where I met Lucky. She saved my life. There are too many monsters.” Liz gently stroked her hair. To think she had to face that alone was disheartening.

“The only other building along this road is the police station,” Josh said. “But even then we don’t know if we’ll find them there. If they were mobile, they could be anywhere in the city.”

“Or out of it,” Mike said, almost to himself.

“It’s worth a shot,” Matthew replied. “The station’s about two blocks south of here. If we don’t find them, maybe the likelihood of finding weapons will be good. After all, it is a cop house.”

Katrina held her breath as she readied herself for the first wave. Ryan glanced back once as if to ask if she was sure. Katrina nodded and he firmly gripped the handle, preparing to open the door.

“WAIT!” Aisha shouted. Ryan jumped and slammed the door back the inch or two it had opened. “Someone’s out there.”

They all listened, trying to identify the sounds Aisha heard. Seconds passed. Silence drawled on as they waited. Finally, a voice echoed down the hallway. It sounded as if someone was calling out to the zombies, drawing their attention. Ryan peeked out the small viewing window in the door. He watched as the once anxious horde fighting to get inside the room, slowly turned and marched back down the hallway. “They’re leaving,” he reported. The hallway was clearing of the zombies and he gave a relieved sigh as he slid his back against the door.

Moments later there was more noise. Movement again in the hallway. Carefully, Ryan poked his head out. Dominic, Troy and Mathew were rushing towards him. “That was you?” he asked with an excited smile on his face.

“Troy,” Mathew answered. “He wormed his way through the ventilation system; got the mob locked back inside the jail.”

“Nice work!”

“Yeah,” Katrina agreed, realizing how close they’d all come to death. “Now we just have to worry about breaking out of here.”

“Got that worked out too,” Troy replied. “I found a blueprint of the station. There is a series of tunnels that runs under here to the courthouse. Apparently, Cabot Creek is known for them.”

“Prohibition,” Dominic said. “There are tunnels all over the city.”

“Good. We have a way out, but what about the vehicles?” Katrina asked.

“And the boxes of supplies?” Aisha added.

“Good call. It’ll take a while to transport everything on foot. And we don’t even know what may be waiting on the other end of those tunnels,” Ryan said.

Suddenly, gunfire sounded outside. The group rushed back into the office and took a peek outside the window. “There are people down there,” Mat said.

Dominic moved to his side and inhaled a stuttered breath. “It’s…”

“JOSH!” Katrina exclaimed. “And they’re headed this way! We have to help them.”

“Don’t you remember what’s out there?” Aisha warned.

“Doesn’t matter,” she replied. “We have to at least try.”


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  1. Eddie better keep quiet or he'll be used as bait. Always complaining. At least he had clothes now, he could still be in his undies.

    I'm glad the gang is getting back together, well most of them anyway.

  2. Sighs of relief followed by more sharp intakes of breath!!!

    So glad the gang seems to be getting back to being a good group... but at what cost though?