It bothers me a great deal that I had to watch a wife kill her husband so I could get a fucking candy bar. The state of affairs of this shitty ass world now has my head in shambles.
It’s Monday. The weather blows. It’s cold, rainy, and raw. Typical fall weather for around here. I am still “recovering” from my jaunt to the gas station on Wednesday. Physically I was unharmed, despite running into three full on zombies, one lunatic wife, and one freshly attempting to reanimate body. I went maybe 6 miles roundtrip and I ran into all that. What the fuck is downtown like? Baghdad of the Living Dead?
Christ’s sake. I got back Wednesday at like 1 in the afternoon I think. I didn’t check my watch exactly. Got the Tundra to the dorm, backed it right up to the door as close as I could, and got the groceries inside. I took the gas cans down to the basement where the generator is and left most of them in an adjacent room. Outside chance the generator blows up I didn’t want gas cans nearby. I also took one of the gas cans down to the maintenance shed so that just in case all the gasoline wasn’t in one place. Always have a Plan B, right?
The rest of that day I basically vegetated. Damn near grew roots. I was so fucking pissed I could barely see straight. I had this awesome habit when I was younger of punching things when I lost my temper. I couldn’t even tell you how many times my older brother and my Dad had to patch the drywall in our house growing up. Fist holes in walls were available wholesale when I was going through puberty. I was almost that mad that day.
I found solace in candy. Don’t judge me. I have a hardcore sweet tooth and this was the first chocolate I’d had in months. I didn’t think to grab any on any of my trips out or on “that day” so I was pretty stoked to have some finally. I gorged and ate three candy bars. Sugar joy alleviated my tension. Otis too, he always knows when I’m down.
The days leading up to today have been pretty quiet. Thursday when I woke up I was kind of sore, which is pretty normal for a day after the one I just had. Despite not getting hurt really when you’re all adrenalized you can sometimes hurt yourself a little just being in a fight. I think I swung the sword so powerfully I actually strained my shoulders. So I took four ibuprofen and a break and read a few books out of the library all weekend. Our library here is the majority of the second floor of the main school house. There’s about 16 classrooms in it, 8 on the first floor and 8 more on the third. Second floor is all library though.
I need to be really practical right now though, so my readings are more or less limited to trying to pick up usable skills. I stuck to gardening and agricultural texts this weekend. I know I need to plant the seeds I got, but frankly I don’t know shit about farming. After this weekend’s reading, I now know shit about farming. Not much about it, but some. I did read this neat book about growing stuff in your apartment so you could have fresh produce in the city, and I desperately want to put that into action. If I can score a few bags of potting soil and the pots to go with it I think I can get some stuff growing here in the dorm over the winter.
But, it’s been five days since I last touched this journal, Mr. Journal, and I think I still have a lot of story left to put down in the annals of history, such as it is. The last part I remember I had talked about was when I was at my mother’s place, and my gun clicked dry.
I had walked up behind the younger Zombie that was face down but getting up, leaving his entrails on the floor as he did so. I was close enough that I was really almost at his feet when the gun clicked empty. I can totally remember that sharp pang of fear hitting me square in the pit of my stomach. What. The. Fuck.
I backpedalled a few feet and watched in horror as the kid kind of rolled over and started to come at me. I looked around the lobby to see if there were any weapons, but there was nothing visible. I took another couple steps back, and thought about how having the Glock would’ve been so much better. The Glock I wanted had a higher magazine capacity, and I would’ve been good to go.
Phil to the motherfucking rescue.
I reached into my pants cargo pocket on the left side and grabbed the spare mag Phil hooked me up with earlier that day. I dropped the empty and slid the full one in, and thumbed the slide forward. Calmly and with relative precision, I snapped two rounds at the undead mess coming at me. First round sailed a little high and hit it in the back, but the second round split his forehead clean. His brains flew out the exit wound and covered his back with bloody grey poop. My heart was fucking pounding hard, pounding so hard it actually hurt a little. I can still recall the uncomfortable doubt of wondering whether or not I was having a heart attack. I wasn’t though, panic attack maybe, no heart attack though.
Once I gathered myself and got my heart to slow down some I grabbed my empty clip off the floor and went back carefully to grab my banana box. All was clear this time, and I got the fuck out. I tossed the banana box in the back seat and got in. Once I got the door locked I snagged a box of 9mm and reloaded my empty clip. I also filled up the chamber and the two rounds I shot out of the new clip. I hate to admit it, but that ass Phil totally saved my bacon with that second clip.
Phil, if you’re out there, I take back all the bad things I’ve ever said about you. You have earned your passage to heaven in my book, sir.
So still on my agenda was checking on my friends. The rest of my family was long since out of the question. Dad had been dead for some time, my older brother Caleb lived right in the city, and my younger sister Rebecca was away at college, which was on the other side of the city. No chance for a rescue for either of them, at least not that day. I guess it’s ironic that I actually thought about the logistics of driving all the way through the city to get to Rebecca, but not 45 minutes to find Cassie. I don’t even know what to say about that. I guess I’m a total fucking scumbag.
Anyway, from earlier I mentioned that I wanted to check in on Steve, my coworker buddy, and my two friends John and Dorothy. It was getting dark at this point though, and I really wanted to get a move on. I knew for one that Steve was probably either A) doing just fine, or B) not home anyway, so I knew, or at least had a good feeling I wouldn’t be long at his place. I switched my destination order immediately. I think it was about 6:30 or so by that point, and it was half dark. I had until maybe 7 or so before I’d be in the dark. I left my mother’s place, moving a little faster than the speed limit and headed past the school. The school parking lot was still packed. I didn’t know why then, and I still don’t know why now, but my bet was that there was some kind of parent teacher conference that night, or a basketball game or something. The kids would have been out of school for hours by that point so it didn’t make sense that this was a rush of parents getting their kids. I couldn’t get involved anyway. I did get almost sideswiped by some prick in a Prius though as I drove by the exit. It was close, but no damage done.
I hit Main Street, and headed straight east the 8 miles to John and Dorothy’s place. Now I said it was out of town, and it is. Their place is a few hundred feet down a side road off of a fairly well traveled state route. It’s rural, pleasant, and was a bitch to get to. The roads were packed big time that day, and everyone was *flying*. I got passed at least 20 times on a solid yellow during the trip. No middle fingers given my way though, which was a pleasant change of pace from the prick earlier in the giant truck.
I got off the main route without getting the car wrecked and turned onto the street John and Dorothy lived on. No traffic here, just trees and darkness, as the sun had fully set by now. Now before I go any further I should mention my buddy John was a bit of a gun-nut. That’s being fairly mild. He was ex-Army, just like me, (I did 4 years, he did 8) but he came from a long and storied lineage of deer hunters. He spent far more money getting his hunting rifles geared up than he did on his cars. Kinda funny that he drove a $900 pickup truck with a $3,000 hunting rifle in the back window. Only in America I guess. Good times. Classy fella though, not a redneck or anything, he just really enjoyed firearms and spending time in the woods with them.
I turned left super slow into their driveway and came to a stop about 15 feet from their garage door. Lights were on in the living room, but I didn’t see anyone. John’s truck wasn’t visible, and Dorothy’s little beater car was nowhere to be seen either. I let myself out of the car and made sure I had the Sig and the spare clip on me. No sword though, shit was crazy enough without me marching into their place with a short sword. I knocked on the door they used for a front door, which was on the breezeway that attached the garage to the house. More of a mudroom really than a breezeway.
I waited a full minute while looking into the window next to me. It looked into their living room, and with the light on inside I could see everything. No one came to the door, so I tried the knob, and it was unlocked. Remember earlier how I said to trust your nose? As soon as I opened the door I got a whiff of something awful, something bloody and dead or dying. I drew the pistol out of instinct, and walked slowly into the mudroom. Stretching across the floor from the back door opposite my door to the interior door heading into the house was a crimson streak of blood. It wasn’t a huge swath of blood, but it came from a serious bleeding injury. A bit of dread hit me, I can remember it clearly. I hoped it wasn’t either John or Dorothy, or especially their 4 year old Danielle. Shit if that kid died I think I would go loony on the spot.
The door heading inside was ajar, and I used the muzzle of the pistol to push it open fully. The streak of blood continued through the living room, past the central fireplace, and down the hall. It looked like it ended right at the bathroom door halfway down their hallway. I decided then and there to clear the house as normal. I went room to room carefully, cautiously, using standard room clearing military procedure. Living room and kitchen were both clear, both closets were empty, but when I cleared the bathroom I saw where the blood was coming from. Before I went in to examine more fully I cleared the bathroom at the end of the hall and crept upstairs to clear the other two bedrooms. The house was totally empty. I noticed in both of the bedrooms where they slept the bureau drawers were pulled out and gone through. Clothes were also missing from the closets.
I returned to the bathroom downstairs and the source of the blood. In the tub, dead as a doornail, was their family dog Dwayne. John loved Dwayne Wade and named his dog after him. I can’t fault him, Dwayne (the dog, not the basketball player) was his homeboy just like Otis was mine. Can’t be hatin.
Honestly I was relieved. I had started to think the streak came from their kid Danielle and when I knew it wasn’t, I was so relieved. I did however remember that John kept his gun safe downstairs. I flicked the lights on, and went down to clear the basement. Everything was kosher though, and I found the safe door open. All the guns were gone. However, he did leave behind two packages of gun kit cloth, which is disposable stuff, and I knew I would eventually need more, and he also left behind two full boxes of 12 gauge double ought. That was 20 more shotgun shells for me. Huzzah.
I checked the basement for anything I could take, and found little. There were some tools, which I already could get, and some cleaning supplies, but those would be in major motherfucking abundance at the school, so I skipped the basement. In the kitchen upstairs though, I found about ten cans of food they left behind as well as a few boxes of crackers and bags of chips. God bless John and his obsessive love for Cool Ranch Doritos. I was now hood rich with 4 bags.
I did get a scare though when I looked out the window above the sink. In the backyard, barely visible in the light shining out of the window I could see a person standing near the back fence. They were just standing there, and I can remember feeling really creeped out. I mean, who the fuck just stands in someone’s backyard? Dorothy have a stalker or something? I figured I would look into it. I gathered my shit in a few brown paper bags Dorothy had under the counter and carefully exited the house going to my car. All clear. I tossed the stuff in the back, and grabbed the Mossberg.
Rather than go through the mudroom area, I opted for walking around the garage outside. It was getting chilly now that the sun had been down and gone for a bit, but it wasn’t cold at all. I kept the gauge at my shoulder, and peeked slowly around the back corner of the garage. In profile, lit without any glare from inside the window, it clearly was a dead guy. Well, mostly dead. One of the freshly risen.
I crept across the backyard very quietly, and made it to within about 12 feet of the zombie, but I accidentally punted one of Danielle’s toys right at the fucking Zombie. I think it was a little plastic play set for a farm or something. Weebles went everywhere as the barn silo bricked off the dead guy’s head.
Hey if anything, I’m funny.
The zombie pervert turned abruptly and made a lunge in my direction. I popped off three shots in rapid succession at him and ended his ass quickly. Note to the uninitiated: Aiming with a shotgun is a relative thing. It’s like horseshoes, close is frequently good enough. One of the three shots hit him in the neck I think because his head just vaporized off his shoulders. I got a bit of warm spray to the face, which made me retch a little. I grabbed a shirt or something off the laundry line in the yard to wipe my face. Grossness anywhere else I think I can cope with, but keep the gore from my mouth, seriously, it’s fucking nasty, and completely un-fucking necessary.
Once I got the filth off my face I made my exit, stage right. I’m not sure, but I think that zombie must’ve killed Dwayne. (the dog, not the basketball player) Makes sense at least. I have no idea where he came from of course, nor will I ever, but I find myself trying to make sense of this shit as time passes. I do have a LOT of spare time to kill. The mind wanders.
So that was John and Dorothy’s place. Empty save for a few bits of food, some extra shotgun shells, one pervert zombie, and a dead dog.
Next stop: Steve’s place.
More on that epic cluster fuck in the next entry Mr. Journal. Stay safe.
Are you enjoying AUD? Want to try something a little different that Chris wrote? Head over to elmoryn.com and experience an entire world's worth of story.