At first I was like wtf?
And then I lol’d.
Walter Mayorga was absolutely bat shit crazy. Fuck showing up a sandwich short, he showed up to the fucking picnic with no pik-a-nik basket. Not only was he not the sharpest tool in the shed, he prolly tried to hammer in nails with marshmellows. Wow. Fucking crazy.
I am very, very happy we didn’t run into him before he died, because his home was a goddamn charnel house. His neighborhood was covered with the undead. I drove point in the plow truck and just on the initial drive through the loop I hit at least twenty undead. We wound up dragging them back to the main road where we set up a firing line using the trucks as support. All told our body count was 63 undead just on the cul de sac. Now as far as Walt’s house... Wow.
Let me set the scene for you.
The cul de sac is a straight road in, with the loop at the end. Walt’s grey, piece of shit Victorian was set in the far left hand end of the loop. There were three houses in the loop, and three houses along the straight shot in. Around Walt’s home standing almost 7 feet high (in places) was the remnants of a very sturdy stockade fence. The fence had been smashed apart in what Gilbert supposed was a series of small explosions. He was thinking gas bomb, or perhaps something like a stick of low grade dynamite.
Parked in his driveway was his trademark giant fucking yellow pickup truck, covered in old bloodstains and chunks of gore. The shit was caked on so thick and brown it had lasted through all the snow melt and rain we’ve had. Three of his tires were punctured, but he had runflats, so the vehicle still moved. On the ground in every direction for a solid fifty yards were bodies. It took me the better part of an hour to push the bodies off the road so we could work safely to give you an idea of how thick it was.
Most, as in 90% of the bodies in the cul de sac were decapitated by head shots, or had clear gunshot trauma to the nugget. Pretty obvious to all of us that these zombies had been put down by a shooter, and over time, the shooter had continued to draw them in, eventually surrounding himself with far too many to deal with effectively.
We honked, yelled, and cleared the interior of Walt’s fenced in yard using extra caution. On one side of his yard there was the burnt out frame of what looked to be a garage, or large workshop. The concrete floor was scorched black as oil in one corner, and we guessed there was some kind of explosion. Later on Abby pointed out there was a giant gas cylinder end down, impaling through a car across the street. The shit was like the Saturday morning ACME Warner Brothers Wile E Coyote bullshit. I was waiting for Walt to come out with a burnt cigar in his mouth and his face covered in black scorch marks, while the “waaa waaa waaa” music played in the background.
We cleared the exterior for danger, set up a perimeter, and Gavin and I breached the home. We entered moving inches at a time, looking for anything dangerous that might blow us up. I desperately wanted silly string to check for tripwires, but in the post apocalyptic environment, silly string’s availability has dropped dramatically.
What we found inside shocked us. For starters, directly inside the door, sitting in the middle of the foyer next to the grand staircase of the old Victorian was poor old fucked up Walt, sitting in an old ass wheelchair. It was one of the old wooden ones with the creepy high back. His left leg was rotted straight off at the ankle, he smelled like fresh gross asshole, and he was dead as disco. When Gavin walked in he froze solid, mouthed a “what the fuck?” at me, and dropped the butt of the M4 right through ole Walt’s temple. Walt went limp right off, crumbled out of the wheelchair and onto the floor with a wet thud, and our town was down one village idiot.
Fortunately, I am still here, carrying the torch.
Walt’s body was still very swollen from decaying, which reminded me of when a body is still fresh. You see, when we rot, there’s a period where we bloat and get all Michelin man meets Freddy Krueger. It’s horrid. After awhile though, the gas dissipates, and we shrink back down to a fairly normal size. Walt couldn’t have been dead more than a week or two at most.
Here’s the real kicker; Gavin and I started to clear the interior of the house, and almost every window on the first floor had Twizzlers taped together with black electrical tape forming some weird ass rope that connected them all together. The rope was stuck into the ends of rotting hot dogs, like a fuse might be stuck into the end of a stick of dynamite.
I think that poor delusional fuck thought hot dogs were dynamite, and the Twizzlers were det cord. How detached from reality do you need to be to make that fucking mistake? Nontheless, I am not detached from reality, and we backed out nice and slow, and I went in solo to clear the house for legitimate booby traps. After seeing the damage done to the fence outside, I didn’t want to run the risk that ole Walt actually had a real stick of TNT mixed in somewhere and we’d trip it.
It took me almost two hours to check every door, every shelf, every step, every drawer, and every knick knack to make sure it was all clear. Once I was confident we were good to go, the place was like Walmart for the apocalypse. I cannot overstate the seriousness of that statement. Walt must’ve had a serious, serious thing about the end of the world, or the impending disaster where food and goods would be unavailable. His house was packed to the gills with awesome shit. In fact, he had so much awesome shit we needed to fetch our other truck to get it out in one day.
For starters, he had food. Lots of food. Good food. Flats and flats of canned goods, as well as prepackaged stuff like ramen, cups of noodles, boxes of pasta, flour, freeze dried fruit, bags and bags of beef jerky, and he even had three cases of MREs packed away in a corner of his basement. Mind you, he’d eaten a lot already, and there was a pile of garbage six feet deep in his backyard outside his kitchen window to prove it, but there was still so much food left. All of the sweets he had were gone though, which was a real bummer. Judging by the plastic wrappings piled up and blown all over his yard, the man had a long term, committed relationship with Hostess cupcakes.
As for other shit.. What’s the phrase I’m looking for? Oh yeah. OPRAH RICH. He had a locked gun case filled with good shit. I had to get the key out of his corpse’s pants pocket though, which was nasty work, but it was well worth it in the end. Anyhoo. Muzzle loaders, rifles, pistols, shotguns, you name it. He had 22 weapons in all, and at least 100 rounds of ammunition or more for each weapon. The man had a fetish for .270 Win. He had 750 rounds or so of it. One of the guns was a bit of a rarity too, an old Enfield .303 rifle. That is an old, and pretty rare gun in these parts. I wonder if it was an heirloom? Grampa’s old gun? He had 80 rounds for it, which is amusing as all hell to me. The rest of the guns were mid to low grade quality. Nothing I was particularly bonered over.
Most of the guns were lever or bolt action, with pumps on the shotguns. His handguns were primarily revolvers, almost all of which were stainless steel, and two of them had pearl inlays on the grips. I don’t know if this motherfucker thought he was General Patton or he was compensating for a very tiny penis or what, but he gets points on style from me. I need to match the pearl handled six shooters up with some holsters here so I can pretend to be a flashy cowboy for Halloween next year.
He had an ammunition reloading bench, and reloading supplies to last… a long time. I haven’t gone through it all yet, but Gilbert and I eyeballed what looked to be something like a thousand rounds or more of supplies. Gilbert says he can run the reloading gear, and show me how to do it again as well, so that’s a huge weight off our shoulders. It won’t last forever, but knowing we’ve got the gear now means if we find more of the supplies, we’ve got a leg up. Gilbert seemed enthused to work a reloading bench into his design for our new armory in the basement of Hall E.
Tools, medicine, water, skin care items, Purell, bleach, detergent, Listerine, condoms, Jesus he had it ALL. The true score though, came in the form of a few very awesome barrels in the basement with the reloading shit. He had barrels and barrels of gas and diesel. I think it was 16 barrels of gas, and 5 barrels of diesel or something like that. He had the barrels labeled with when they were filled, where they were filled, and what grade of fuel it was. Half of the barrels were labeled premium grade, so I wonder if they’ll last longer for us because they are higher octane, and still sealed so the air and moisture hasn’t gotten at it. Dunno for sure. It’ll get used eventually.
Get this. He also had a barrel dolly, and a fucking barrel jack! It’s like a pallet jack, but it only picks up barrels. Raises them up about three feet, give or take, which means we can easily lift and move full barrels of fuel. No more of this half barrel back breaking hoopla we’ve been going through. Total home run on that.
In other news… The house smelled like a dirty foot had been rubbed inside a sweaty armpit, then shat on, and thrown in the bottom of a porta potty that was set on fire.
RIIIIIIIIIPPPE. Awful. Patently odiferous. Wretched even. Would’ve gagged a maggot.
It took us every moment of sunlight yesterday to get in there, and get everything out, and then transport it back here to campus. This morning we spent two hours moving the rest of it into shelter in the buildings across campus, and as you can imagine, we lost out on house clearing time today as a result.
We had five houses to clear on the cul de sac, and we only managed to empty four in the time we had. We were also dragging major ass today after all the shit we carted out of ole Walt’s nuthouse. Fucking Bates motel shit there Mr. Journal.
Fair amount of undead trapped in the houses we went into today too. Tells me a lot about Walt’s mental state. He shot everything that moved in his neighborhood, but apparently never stepped foot inside any of their homes to search for food or supplies, or to put the undead to rest. What a weird bastard.
Good news: found more food and supplies. Bad news: had to kill kids in the houses. Several of them. Many of them very small. Patty and Abby drew the short end on that deal. The kids all happened to be inside the houses they cleared. Sometimes that’s the luck of the draw. I’m betting as we move forward here we are going to encounter a lot of days like that, where we have to kill kids. What a morbid task we have on our hands. I don’t envy myself.
When we got back to the campus and got everything unloaded, Patty brought up the issue of sanitation. We are working around dead bodies, and they are just fucking festivals of disease. The cold weather keeps a lot of it in check I’m sure, but once the bodies start to thaw, and the bacteria and viruses flare back up, we are without doubt going to get very ill. It’s not a question of whether or not we’ll get sick, it’s a question of when, and how bad? I mean shit, we’re also seeing toilets overflowing with human waste, and that’s not sanitary either. The world has literally gone to shit.
Starting immediately we are going to go about this with that in mind. We’ve happened across a large supply of latex and nitrile gloves, and we are now going to use them when we go hands on. Don’t laugh, but when I returned to my house, I grabbed my old black baseball gloves to wear. I used to wear these fucking amazing Nomex gloves when I was in Iraq, but I gave them to Kevin forever ago, and it felt weird holding an M4 without some kind of glove on. Plus batting gloves are great for getting a good grip on something. Anyway, I plan on wearing nitrile gloves under them because somewhere along the line I had the school administration order me a case of size XXL gloves. I was worried I’d need to render first aid to a kid that had Hep or HIV or whatever.
Never thought it would come to something like this. I should’ve seen it coming I guess. We’re going to use hand sanitizer when we come back, and we are going to use bleach liberally on surfaces that appear to be contaminated with sickness. Door handles, counters, etc.
Something else we noticed today as we were getting ready to go was the amount of garbage inside some of the houses. We’ve discovered that the houses that sheltered survivors almost always have a huge pile of garbage in a room, or the basement, or in the yard outside a window. Those people that lasted near town here had no place to start burn piles like mine on campus. I never thought of it until now, but any house that has garbage outside it, is much more likely to have survivors or zombies in it. There also seems to be a direct correlation with garbage, and remaining food and supplies. Basically, if they made garbage, they ate the food they had, and wiped their asses with all their toilet paper.
So from now on, garbage piles are red flags for extra caution for us.
Speaking of disease… One thing that I distinctly recall from last summer when this all started, was the lack of maggots and flies on the undead. Being in a warzone, you are inundated with flies and maggots. They go hand in hand like Irish people and puking binges. I’m not judging.
It actually struck me as particularly odd when I was dealing with undead over July and August that they had no maggots, and no flies buzzing around them, almost like they were… I dunno. Not suitable for maggot consumption. Tainted. Already being consumed by something evil or whatever. Now as I recall, the bodies that never animated used to get maggoty, and once I killed a given undead (i.e. blow their brains out), soon after they’d get flies on them, and then maggots would appear shortly thereafter.
I can’t make heads or tails of it. I don’t know how this plays into the whole… mysterious dreams bullshit, and the dead coming back to life bullshit. It’s all bullshit. It makes me bullshit. I don’t have all the pieces to this giant jigsaw puzzle yet. One night I hope to have another dream that’s lucid, and I can talk to Cassie again and ask questions of her.
I bet anything she could answer a lot of my questions about this.
Tomorrow we are returning to the final house on that cul de sac and clearing it of shit. We ran through it and killed the zombies inside, but didn’t bother taking anything out. There was some nice stuff too, so we’re gonna hit it tomorrow. After that I know of a couple houses a few miles away on Route 18 that are rural enough that they were likely left alone. We can do two of those, then call it a day so we can get some rest. Everyone’s surprisingly ragged from this task. It’s a lot like moving out of your house, and NO ONE likes moving.
Oh holy shit. I completely forgot to mention. We heard dogs barking in the far distance as we were leaving today. We thought we heard two dogs barking, but it might’ve been an echo of just one dog, or even more than two. We were very, very pleased when we heard that.
Well. Everyone else was pleased. I was reminded of a large farm house, and a sharp, stabbing pain in my crotch.
Fuck dogs. Especially large ones.