Tagged with "13th"
November 3rd, 2011 Tags: 213th entry

 

November 3rd.

                You’ve heard the old saying hell hath no fury like a woman scorned?  I think the person who made that crap up had never actually watched hell’s fury first hand.   It’s a terribly short sighted statement.

                Gilbert was right.  The storm was coming, and now it is upon us.  I think it is also going to get worse as time goes on.  I’m so dang tired of running around trying to plug holes in problems.  I can’t even fathom what it was like for poor Adrian when things were bad like they are right now.  At least today we have more people and resources to deal with these issues unlike the majority of the stuff he had to deal with.

                More and more respect for that guy’s resilience.

                More and more worry that we may need him in a frigging hurry.

                Yesterday and today things have been a real quagmire (no giggity, fyi).  Problems have cropped up in almost every direction you can imagine, and trying to sort out how to deal with it, when to deal with it, and who can deal with it, has started to wear our patience as thin as can be.  As you can imagine, I’ve got a lot to write about dad.

                Driving to Gavin’s Tower the other day was a real bitch, let alone the fiasco we encountered when we got there.  Like, mom when Aunt Flo is visiting bitch, as she says.  The drive there was like the way things were a year ago.  Zombies everywhere.  We couldn’t go a hundred feet without hitting two or three, and that meant driving fairly slow, and being very careful.  We had to stop once when the plow truck blew out a tire driving over a body, and that got hairy in a hurry.  We were swapping out the blown tire on main street pretty much right across the street from the little pharmacy in town, and slowly but surely more and more zeds keep coming around buildings, and down the street at us.

                Fortunately we’d brought a large enough group to get the tire changed and still cover all our bases.  I took up a spot leaning on the hood of one of the Army trucks, and Amanda took up a spot leaning on the bumper of the ambulance.  Between the two of us, we kept things pretty safe, except for one moment where two or three zeds came sort of stumbling at us kinda fast when Amanda was reloading her rifle.  That was close.  Alex and George were also helping, but they haven’t had to deal with so many scary things at the same time before I don’t think.  They shot a lot of bullets. 

We chewed through too many bullets in that scene though.  Every time I heard a gun go off I kept thinking that we were taking too long, and that we were wasting too much ammo.  I can just think of how Adrian would’ve chewed our asses off.  Too many nervous folks taking too many shots.  I think a lot of it came from how the Army guys had to change the tire (or at least do most of the work for us), while us non Army people were shooting.  It was a personnel issue.  Looking back on it, yeah, we should’ve swapped out at least one or two people.

                We moved on, and from the frying pan, we went into the fire.  I want to say it was perhaps five minutes after we left the spot where we changed out the truck’s flat that we heard immediate radio contact from Gavin’s Tower.  It was Renee, and she was hooting and hollering that we needed to be on the watch for people who had been attacking the tower for the past night and a half.  Later on when I was talking to Mike he said that because the generator went dry on gas during their gunfight, the repeater tower wasn’t amplifying their signal, so we had to get close for them to reach us.  I think it also was us getting close enough for them to hear our gunshots too.  We’re still piecing together everything now, and it doesn’t make a ton of sense to anyone just yet.  It’s hard to think straight after people die. 

                Immediately we slowed ourselves down even more.  Guns went out windows, and we were prepared for an assault by more marauders.  I started to wonder if it was people from the Factory, you know the people Adrian started calling “outsiders” but that made no sense.  I don’t think we left them with enough guns to really mount a powerful assault on us.  Of course now we have confirmed it (more on that in a bit dad) so it’s a moot point.

                Alright so like maybe five minutes later we turned onto the street where the tower is, and we saw a huge part of why they couldn’t radio us.  The huge metal gate/door thingy Martin made was crushed into the side of the building like the Hulk had punched it.  About a car length or two away from it, was a beat up old pickup that was all messed up.  From what we saw, it looked like the truck rammed the gate, smashing it in so the people (read: marauders) could access the tower.

                Renee told us that they heard the smash and felt the building shake at about six o’clock the other day, and the whole group of folks ran down or out to balconies to see what was happening.  At first they thought it was an earthquake, but when Angela got shot at looking out a balcony, they knew things were bad. 

                They never found out how many people were involved.  I guess when we were there the other day our folks counted eight bodies, which is a lot, and Renee and Angela said there were at least two cars leaving too, and they guessed that there were as many as six more folks who escaped.  The people attacking came up the stairs of the building, shooting their way up as fast as they could go, and Dwayne, Renee, and Angela all held firm in a stairway landing where they had good cover.  Amen to Mike and mom for setting up some fallback points in the building.  If it weren’t for those, they said they would’ve lost the building in less than an hour.

                Because the fighting was so intense, and the generator that powered the whole upper floor area we use regularly was low on gas anyway, things went south.  They didn’t have time to get to the radio to tell us what was happening because the shooting was so intense.  And because the generator was low on gas to boot, when they DID get to the radio, the repeater tower was out, and they couldn’t get to the spare cans either.  It was a total crap situation, and it meant they couldn’t get ahold of us to ask for help.

                I guess they held them off for a really long time, and judging by the amount of bullet shells on the floor of the landing, they shot almost every single bullet they had.  James said when he took an inventory of their ammunition, they had just 18 bullets left.

                That’s like, nothing.  That’s like, when we first arrived at school low dad.  If those strange people attacked them with one more big push, they would’ve probably just walked up the stairs, and killed everyone.

                Dwayne died.  I know many folks won’t complain about this, least of all Alex and George as they caught a lot of his homophobic bullshit, but Dwayne did a really good job at everything he was asked.  The Westfield school people were all pretty shook up when news got around that he had been shot during the attack.  Not good at all.  Renee was all broken up over it, and a bunch of us spent a lot of time consoling her, and trying to make her at least a little better.

                I guess an hour or two before we headed downtown to “rescue” them, Dwayne was shooting at them from a balcony ledge, and his face in the wrong place at the wrong time, and he got a bullet right through the neck.  I saw his body, and it wasn’t pretty at all.  Most of his neck was gone entirely, and his head was flopping around like a chunk of meat.  His ear was all the way down on his chest.

                Gross.

                A few of us dragged the bodies out while we refueled the generator and got it started again.  Once the tower was up and fully powered, we sent out a quick radio to the Factory to see if they were alright too.

                They aren’t doing all that bad, but they are still dealing with a rather large handful of dead folk.  Remember how I said they all disappeared from there the other day?  I guess a huge group of them passed through last night around dinnertime, and stopped cold, and started trashing everything around the club, trying to get inside.  I guess the folks there, skanks and all have been working overtime to keep them from breaking into the windows there.  Luckily for them the windows are strong, and have either steel over them, or really thick iron bars.  I guess they also pissed through a lot of their bullets, and one of the first things they asked for was more ammo.

                Yeah we’ll get right on that.  Once we get through all the other crap we’ve got to sort out.

                So we’re talking to them, and everyone is kinda staring at each other, wondering what the holy hell is going on, when we get a radio from Hector, who went up on the roof to check on the tower to make sure it was fine.  All he says is like, “hey, you all better get the fuck up here pronto.”

                So a bunch of us run up to the roof, and the moment I see the skyline, I can see what he’s freaking out about.  There’s this super black plume of smoke rising into the sky about two or three miles away.  At the base of it is a raging inferno at a building.  The building was on the far side of town towards where you died dad, towards STIG. 

                Mom pointed it out first.  Pointed out that it was the last gas station we hadn’t hit yet.  The last large reserve of fuel in town other than the gas station Blake pretty much emptied the other day.  Well, maybe a month ago now.  When he went there with the old Westfield water truck and just filled the damn thing up with high octane.   I know I don’t say many nice things about people, but thank god Blake had the smarts and good fricking luck to get all that gas when he did.  You know why dad?

                When we looked the other way towards where the second gas station in town was, it was on fire as well.  Clear and obvious sabotage.  Immediately we figured it was whoever just got done attacking the tower.  We figured maybe they had been living in town, or maybe they were a splinter group from the Factory, but the Factory people said everyone was accounted for.  So either they are lying to us, or it was a completely random group of people that attacked the tower for no good reason other than to try and take it for their own.

                Let’s go over all the bullshit that needs to be done:  The tower’s hardened gate/door on the first floor was trashed by that truck, so it needs to be replaced, and Martin says he needs more metal to work with to make that happen.

                We need more metal to make that happen.

                The tower needed more ammo, so we left Angela, Danny Jr., Hector, and Alex and George there with a large amount of guns and ammo.  The folks there right now, the folks I just mentioned, are all armed with AR rifles like mine and Adrian’s so they can shoot a lot of bullets really well if they have to.  Hopefully that’ll be enough firepower to dissuade anyone else from trying to attack them.  Plus, they are going to radio for help like, immediately if anything sketchy happens.

                The Factory needs more ammunition.

                Both of the remaining gas stations with any gas left in them were set on fire, and we need to check it out to see if any fuel is still available.  If there’s no gasoline, then our generators will be running dry a lot sooner into winter than we are expecting.  This could make for a shit winter.

                Never mind that our vehicles that run on gasoline will be bent over.  I guess the fuel that runs your furnace is diesel, according to Adrian’s writings here, so if we need to, then we’ve got a boatload of that just laying around in the fuel tanks in all the homes across town here.   I am going to say that’s awesome news, because it’s the only goodish news we’ve had since all this bullshit started.

                Okay so we like, left all those folks at MGR to hold down the fort, and we started to head home to school.  I recall thinking that we’d seen a lot of undead on the roads, and I mention that to mom, and she mentions that to Mike, and we radio back to campus to get Lindsey and Andrea and Jenna and Andrea’s daughter out of the farm on Jones Road and into the campus somewhere.  At least inside the new wall we all broke our backs building, they’d be safe, at least until we knew this had all blown over.  They were moved into campus when we arrived.

                It took us a good long trip back, because when we made it close to Auburn Lake Road, it was THICK with zeds.  They must’ve come from the west, from the general direction of Westfield, because we would’ve seen them when we were driving earlier otherwise.  It’s like they just… appeared.

                This gets more and more strange with every passing hour.

                That was two days ago.  The…  1st.  Yesterday we hunkered down and listened and watched to see if anything would happen.  Hector said the gas station fires burned out last that night in town, which sadly tells us there is no more gasoline.

                The gate on the bridge stood up well to the huge herd of zeds that have been pressing against it since late yesterday afternoon.  We are now struggling with a decent strategy on what to do about that.  If we start shooting, or if we walk up to the gate and start poking holes in heads, we’re going to be literally waist deep in bodies blocking the single entrance out of here.  We’d have to plow them out of the way, and that might wreck the bridge or the outer gate, which would fricking blow.  We’re thinking about crossing the river maybe, and luring a whole bunch of them away just to thin it out some.

                Not sure yet.

                Ollie and Melissa are freaking out over what the heck might be happening to Lenny and the few folks back at Lenny’s farm.  If the tower was attacked, and the Factory as well, then there’s no reason to think Lenny escaped the attention of the devil.  Why not right?  Evil with intent should be as thorough as anything else, right?

                So that’s on our agenda, once we figure out how to get out of here.  I know I’m forgetting stuff here dad, and I’m sorry.  I can barely remember what happened yesterday.  This is crazy.

                Otis is being an asshole too.  He keeps jumping on my legs when I am walking around, and he’s managed to scrape a few nice diggers into my legs.  Mallory is starting to get angry that the cat is spending all his time with me, but oh well.  He likes who he likes.  It sucks it’s more me than her, but oh well.

                No facts about Adrian.  Other than I’d bet he’d handle this. 

 

Abby

               

 

NEXT ENTRY

 

April 18th Tags: 113th entry

April 18th.

                I found a letter in a house today.  It was written on a piece of yellow legal paper sitting on the floor in front of a man who had tied himself to a radiator.  He was dead.  Undead actually.  He fought at the ropes he’d managed to bind himself with as we walked inside the house.  I killed him, saw the note, and took it.

I thought it was worth copying here.  I did the best I could, but there were bloody smudges all over it, and the handwriting was… difficult in places.

 

Amanda,

                I tried to last it out.  I’m sorry I failed.  Your mother and father wouldn’t leave the house here before we g[illegible]rrounded, and I told them we’d die if we stayed.  I was right.

                Your dad ran out of insulin, and you know him, he just was[illegible]lling to watch what he ate.  I hate to say this about your dad, but he was a fat asshole, right up to the end.  He had one of his insulin reaction right after you left when we ran out of that shitty boxed macaroni and cheese he ate all the time.  I swear your mo[illegible] was trying to kill him with that crap all these years.  Ironic that a lack of it did him in.

                He went down in a heap in the kitchen, smashing that ancient department store piece of shit table to bits and pieces. 

                Your mother screamed in hysterics until I tackled her and held her to the ground.  I had to stuff a dish towel in her mouth to keep her qu[illegible]  It didn’t work.  She kept cry[illegible]nd making these sad noises, and within just a few minutes, those damn things were outside again, banging on the windows. 

                She finally calmed down, and I apologized and let her up.  [There’s a few sentences here where I couldn’t make anything out.  Smears of blood covered too much of the writing for me to make sense of it.]

                She sat there next to your dad’s beached whale carcass for an hour.  I snuck off to the basement to get some time away and fire up a smoke.  I ran back upstairs when I heard her scream.

                I hate to be the bearer of more and more bad news, but your dad killed your mother.  When I got upstairs and back to the kitchen, he was pinning her to the floor with his massive girth just I had earlier. Except I was trying to keep her quiet, and he was eating one of her breasts. 

                I wish I could say something wise, and comforting.  I’m sure when you read this, if you make it back here at all, you’ll be crying yourself hysterical, just like your mom. 

                I beat your father off of her with the busted leg of the table.  He kicked and scratched at me while I crushed his skull in.  He was a tough man Amanda, and I guess there’s something to be said in him not going down without a fight.

                That’s when your mom bit my leg.  I guess I was so focused on making sure your dad couldn’t hurt her anymore, I completely forgot to make sure she wasn’t dead. 

                I killed her with the table leg too.

                 I knew I’d die from the bite.  I didn’t know your dad would come back from dying, even though he wasn’t bitten.  I guess those movies didn’t have it all right.

                [There’s another entire paragraph here that’s nonsensical.  I mean it was entirely gibberish.  He might’ve been drunk, or on something.]

                I don’t have the guts to kill myself.  Your dad’s gun is too cold and impersonal in my hands, and it’s the only thing here that I can kill myself with that will destroy my brain.  I’m so scared of that last, loud bang if I pull the trigger.

                Instead of blowing my own head off, and collapsing to the floor for you to find, I’ve decided to make my last task one that will ensure I can’t hurt anyone else, least of all you.  After all, you might return from your sister’s house eventually, and I hate to think that I might bite you, and do to you what your mother did to me.

                As soon as I finish writing this I’m sticking a ping pong ball in my mouth, and sealing it shut with some duct tape under the kitchen counter.  I’ve also found some nylon rope, and I’m planning on tying my arms to the radiator in the living [illegible]

If you return, please kill me.  Your father’s gun is on the recliner a few feet from where I’m sitting.  I don’t think I can reach that far, so you should be safe. It would mean a lot to me if it were you who put me down.  There’s no one else in the world I’d rather have end my life, such as it is.

                I want to tell you that I love you immensely.   Even though we’ve had hard times lately, you need to know that I’ve always loved you.  I may have been a shitty husband at times, and we’re treated each other poorly too, and I can never say I’m sorry enough about my part in that.

                Through everything, you were an amazing mother to our children, and I hope they are safe at your sister’s. 

Give them my love until you can’t give it anymore.

 

I love you.

 

                                                                Me

[There’s a bloody thumbprint right next to where he wrote “me”]

 

His wallet was on the floor just beyond his legs, propped open to a picture of his family.  He and his wife Amanda had two kids.

 

Heavy shit.

 

-Adrian

               

 

 

 

 

 

NEXT ENTRY

October 31st Tags: 13th entry

October 31st

                Happy Halloween Mr. Journal.

                It’s weird.  I’m sitting here in the afternoon of October 31st, aka Halloween, and there isn’t a single iota of me that wishes things were normal today.  Is it wrong of me to think that way?  I guess the little kid inside me is kind of stoked that there isn’t anyone around to tell me what to do.  I don’t have to go to work tonight, I don’t have any bills to pay anymore, and I can eat more or less whatever I want, whenever I want.  Of course if I eat whatever I want, whenever I want, I will run out of food very quickly.  It’s like a one person, adult Lord of the Flies here. 

                That’s not entirely true.  I love kids, and I used to love giving out candy on Halloween to see the kids in their cool costumes.  I can remember this one kid a few years ago that came to our door dressed in a green dragon costume.  He had this plastic cybernetic arm on one hand as well, and after he said “trick or treat” he presented his cybernetic arm to me proudly and belched out, “I AM A ROBOT DRAGON!”

                Priceless.

                That kid, I miss.  I never saw him again to my knowledge, but I hope that kid is okay.  For the sake of all future robot dragons. 

                Tonight, I am missing Cassie.  She always liked dressing up on Slut-o-ween and I miss the trampy outfits.  They always led to good sex.  I don’t think I miss the sex yet though.  Just being with her.  As long as I don’t reminisce I’m okay.  When I start to think about things that we did together, or things that happened between the two of us, I get emotional.  Gotta keep off that subject as much as I can to try and stay together.

                So it’s Halloween, and I sit here at the dorm kitchen table, gas generator humming below me in the basement, laptop plugged into the wall, all alone save for Otis my cat, a world filled with flesh eating zombies, and starving survivors of the zombie apocalypse.  Granted, things could be better, but I’m not starving, I’m warm, and I’m holed up in a pretty safe place I think.  Enhance the positives someone once told me.

                Daily update portion of the diary:  Weather is cool, seasonably so, but not cold.  It’s been damp and drizzly since my last entry.  Incidentally, I have come to fucking HATE fog.  I believe I mentioned that I do two checks on the campus every day to check for straggler people or zombies.  Fog makes that patrol amazingly difficult.  Vision is almost totally hampered, and I can’t hear shit through the fog.  It really scares me about snowstorms in winter later on.  Anyone who’s been outside while it’s snowing knows the dead silence caused by the falling snow, and I can’t imagine it’ll make my life any fucking easier.  Fuck mother nature, fuck her in her foggy, stupid ass.

                Luckily I haven’t encountered anything in the past few foggy days.  Well to be more technically accurate, I haven’t noticed that I’ve encountered anything.  For all I know I walked right by a horde of the undead bastards every time I stepped outside and just don’t know it.  Whatever I guess.  From the inside of Hall E here, everything is quiet, and I feel pretty safe tonight.  Safe enough to eat one of my candy bars.

                Safe enough to write at length about my first night here on campus.  I like to call that night “Night of the Living Dead Private School Students.”  You’ll see why.

                So I arrived on campus to a disorganized mess.  Amy, one of the admissions chicks, had filled me in on the day’s events on campus which were all bad.  They had locked down classrooms, paranoid and or crazy parents, car accidents, one seizure, staff running away screaming, one diabetic reaction, a few assaults, etc etc.  Not a safe place to be and it was where I had chosen to make my nest to ride this thing out.  You could say with relative safety that I had some doubt at that moment.  I mean, I could walk right then and there.  Just fucking get back in my car, and go somewhere else.  Kick in the door of some rural farmhouse and board that shit up.  Aka Plan B, turtle it up somewhere else.

                But noooooo.  I stick to my guns.  I never walk away from a fight I think I can win.  And strangely enough, I think I can win just about every fight.  Cassie said my confidence bordered on arrogance.   I think it turned her on.

                So after checking in with Amy and the eight paranoid parents trying to find their children, I decided to go find the crazy ass parent that was going to go “rescue” the kids from Mrs. Goodell’s classroom.  I thanked Amy and tried to reassure the parents right before I told them to huddle up in the admissions house.   I needed more firepower for this.  I had grabbed the pistol and the .22, but this struck me a shotgun kind of situation.  I went back to the car, switched the rifle for the gauge, and started to head south towards the main classroom building.  Just as I headed that way, I heard the distinct sound of gunfire coming from inside the building.  Not good right?

                I picked up some speed and got to the front of the building.  All of our doors are either glass industrial doors, or steel fire doors.  The school had the glass kind.  I looked through, yanked the door open, and headed inside.  The halls were lit by the emergency lights that are on at night normally.  They’re on a timer and kick on automatically at 8pm.  Two lights are in each major hallway, one at each end, flooding towards the center of the corridor.  They aren’t the brightest bulbs in the building, but they suitably keep it lit.  That’s not a joke or a pun about the students or staff or anything, I’m actually talking about the lights there..

                 So the school building is three floors.  Shaped like a rectangle running the long way.  Four classrooms were on each side of the central hallway with some offices in the front and back.  The staircase was in the middle of the hall, on the left side.  I remember feeling very out of place here.  Normally I’m never in the main classroom building.  I work (read: worked) in the residential program at night, so there’s no reason to be in that building.  It was weird just being in there, let alone being in there specifically to find a gun-toting lunatic, and to liberate eight kids being held captive by a granola crunchy English teacher.  Weirdness abounds.

                I combat-cleared the lower floor in about 4 minutes.  I did it silently so as not to arouse any suspicion, or to let the dude upstairs know I was here.  The bottom floor was all clear.  You could tell from the clutter in the classrooms that it had been a bad day.  The rooms smelled… sweaty.  Plus the kid’s book bags were tossed about, and there were snack food wrappers all over the place.  You could tell they had been holed up in the rooms for awhile earlier.  Right as I was getting to the back office for the guidance counselors, I heard some yelling coming from upstairs.  It was distant, coming from the third floor.

                I couldn’t afford to move much faster though.  My safety would be at risk.  That’s a debate you have a lot in situations like that.  You weigh your safety with the potential outcomes and at some point you realize that your safety is not worth any potential outcome.  I was willing to go in the building to try and rescue the kids, but I wasn’t willing to die for them.  Not today at least.  I wanted to survive this.

                I remember tripping slightly going up the stairs.  One of those times when your toe catches the lip of a stair.  I didn’t fall, but I did put a hand down to catch myself.  I made it to the 2ndfloor after that with no problem.  The second floor is largely wide open, save for the bookcases in the library.  There are some floor to ceiling support posts, but otherwise, its bookcases and tables.  I swept down the aisles in between the bookcases and quickly made sure the floor was clear of students, staff, and the undead.

                 I made it back to the main staircase and took the steps up to the 3rdfloor a little more carefully.  I could hear a man yelling, but couldn’t make out exactly what was being said.  I could also just barely hear someone else talking, but it was really muffled, like they were in a closet or something.  I made my way to the top of the stairs and lay down on my belly.  I slid my body up the last couple feet and poked my head into the hall at floor level.  People generally don’t look for threats at floor level.  It’s a pretty safe way to check out a situation around a corner.  (Although I don’t know if this would work on the undead.  Caveat emptor)

                 Backlit by one of the emergency floodlights I could make out a guy, about six feet tall, holding a gun and looking into the small window of the classroom at the end of the hall.    Classroom doors are sturdy fire class doors with the small rectangular window with the chicken wire glass in it.  Strong doors for sure.  He was banging on the door pretty solidly in between trying to look through the window.  I took it in for a bit, then slowly got to my feet and came out into the hallway.

                 “Freeze!”  I barked out like a cop.  I hoped his reaction would be instant compliance.  Luckily, he froze.  I think I told him to identify himself, and without turning or moving an inch, he said he was “Dan Haggerty.”  I knew his kid, Dale.  Jock, prick, womanizer, prized football talent.  Huge sense of entitlement.  I was just fucking thrilled to meet the guy that spawned that MTV castoff.  He sputtered out a few sentences and I pieced together that his son was in the room, and that “something was wrong with the teacher.”

                 That struck a chord.

                 I told him to calm down, and that I was staff, and I was here to help.  He turned and looked at me and even in the shitty light of the emergency lamps I could see he went pale.  Evidently my appearance was… disturbing.  I remember forcing a chuckle to lighten the moment up a bit.  He laughed with me after I told him things were “messy out there.”  Even after we sort of had our bonding moment, you could see he was pained.  You could also see he had a huge shotgun, and a handgun stuck in the waistband of his Dockers.   I asked him what the problem was.

                 To sum up, Mrs. Goodell had secured her classroom according to safety procedures.  To keep the kids occupied all day, she had turned on the television in the classroom, and had them watch the news networks to learn about this “historic” day.  Not sure that was a good idea.  From what I gathered from Dan, a couple of the kids started to panic, eventually freaked out, and together with a few of the calm students, they had restrained them.  That was hours ago.  In the meantime, Mrs Goodell had put some cloth over the small window to obscure the view into the corner classroom.

                Mrs. Goodell was concerned for the health of the two restrained kids.  One was a boy, one a girl.  Dan explained that apparently the kids had gone limp in their restraints hours ago, but had started to move again, and were struggling against the hob-cobbled bonds.  That line totally set me off.  First they went limp, then “woke up” and were struggling?  Immediately I was sure they had died, and were now reanimated.

                I motioned for Dan to get away and let me try and talk to her.  I rapped on the window and yelled in to her that it was me, and I was here to help.   I could hear some of the kids whimpering through the door, and even heard one yell out my name. I had pretty good relationships with a few of the kids in the dorm.  I could hear the tension in their voices straight through the door.

                After a maybe a minute I saw the cloth get pulled back a bit and Mrs. Goodell’s face appear.  Like I said she was a bit off-beat.  She was about 5 feet even, a bit chunky, and had a giant poofy afro puff of grey hair.  Her black rimmed glasses looked straight out of the 60’s, and she generally dressed like she was headed to Woodstock.  Amusing lady to talk to for sure.  Not that night though.  Her eyes were bloodshot, and she was pasty white from stress.  I remember when she appeared she didn’t say anything, she just looked at me silently through the door.  I could tell from the look in her eye things were bad inside the room.  She mouthed and pointed that Dan had to leave for her to talk, so I asked Dan for some privacy.  As soon as he was 20 feet away or so, she finally whispered to me.

               “The Haggerty boy was one of the kids who had to be restrained Adrian.”  I can remember everything she said word for word.  “He’s dead Adrian, I didn’t mean to, the kids didn’t mean to, but he was so strong we had to tie him down extra tight.  Except now he’s not really dead anymore, and we’ve got him in the closet, but I think he’s free now, and we don’t know what to do Adrian. I don’t want to lose my job, and I don’t want his Dad to find out his son is dead, and,” I cut her off.

               “Erica,” that was her first name, “I’m sure everything that has happened was an accident or was absolutely necessary.  A lot of people have been hurt today by accidents and things are not good everywhere.  We need to stick together right now, and these kids need to get to their parents.  Can we at least get the kids who are being safe out, and down to their parents so they can go home?  We’ll deal with the two tied up kids afterwards?”  I said it all as quietly as I could.  I didn’t want to alert Dan that his kid was one of the two that were restrained, and likely dead.

                Mrs. Goodell swallowed and nodded, “Keep him away.”  I nodded at her and asked for a moment.  She waited as I walked down the hall to the armed father.

                I’ll never forget this discussion either.  The banality of it in retrospect haunts me. 

                “Dan, in order for her to let the kids out, you need to be safe, and stay away from the classroom, okay?”

                His response was a little sullen, introspective even, “Yeah, yeah.  I get it. I suppose if it were MY kid in there I wouldn’t want you guys to let them out with a guy with a gun the hall right?”  He sort of laughed, realizing the absurdity of it all.

                 “Exactly.  Can you hang back here at the stairs for me while we get the kids out?  There are still two that need to be calmed down before they can be let out, okay?”  I remember he nodded emphatically.

                 I walked back to the classroom and nodded to Mrs. Goodell.  She turned, addressed the class quickly, letting them know what was up.  They absolutely leapt off their desks and chairs to get out.  I can’t blame them either, they had been locked up in there since morning.  It was now nearly nine.

                 Once they were up and calmed down enough to exit safely, she unlocked the door, and they started streaming out.  I didn’t notice that Dan had made his way right back up behind me.  As soon as the first kid was through the door, he shoved me out of the way, and pushed past the exiting students and into the classroom.

                 Chaos ensued.  The kids all backed away, deeper into the room.  They knew who it was.  Father and son looked too familiar.  One of the girls at the end of the line in the classroom started sobbing, and simply pointed at the closet door next to Mrs. Goodell’s desk.  Most of the kids were paralyzed as I entered the room and started to physically shove the kids out the door.  Mrs. Goodell herself put her body in the path of the kids and Mr. Haggerty.  Valiant, really.

                Dan ripped the closet door open and saw his son for the first time that day, and for the last time in his life.  Dale was standing, freed from the make shift bonds that had held him most of the day.  My bet is he suffocated, or maybe had a heart attack or seizure.  Who knows.  But he was dead for sure, really dead.  And he was a foot away from his Dad.  Dan had no chance or ability to defend himself from his son.   Dan’s breath escaped him, the look of shock and pain on his face was epic. 

                Dale lunged at him and bit him savagely on the shoulder.  I remember Dan letting out a low howl in pain as he had a chunk torn from him.  Everything else happened so fast.  I was almost frozen, watching, and had stopped pushing the kids out.  Mrs. Goodell had just gone stone faced witnessing the events unfold.  Dan backpedaled away from his son, clutched his shoulder, and turned to the rest of us. 

                All he said was, “You fucking bitch.”  He really choked it out through a mess of pain.  Must’ve taken tremendous effort to say it.  Then he started shooting.  I only saw his first two shots.  Shot number one went at his son Dale, hitting him center mass, and throwing him back inside the closet.  Shot number two went right at Erica, hitting her flush, and hitting a bunch of the kids.  Remember folks, close with a shotgun is usually good enough.  As soon as I saw him wheeling towards the kids I dove away.  I don’t know exactly what happened next.  Well, I don’t know what happened while I was unconscious.    I’ve pieced it together a little since that night, but essentially when I dove, I just went on pure instinct, I didn’t look where I was going.  It would seem that I went headfirst into a desk and took the corner right to the temple.

                 I don’t know how long I was out, but it wasn’t that long.  Five minutes maybe?  Easily the luckiest five minutes of my life.  As I came to I remember just blinking a few times, and realizing my head was throbbing like I’d been hit with a jackhammer.  I stayed very still, as I could hear some movement in the room with me.  Scratching, chewing, slurping.  The floodlights were not giving me a lot of light to see by, so I was a little off kilter.  Being blind is no fucking fun.  See: hatred for fog.

                 I rolled over slowly and my eyes adjusted to the level of light.  I could see bodies all over the front of the classroom where the kids had been, and where Erica and Dan had been standing.  Some of the bodies were down, clearly down, and a few of them were either sitting up, or moving to stand up.  I counted four kids, plus the two bodies of the adults.  I reached around slowly for the shotgun but couldn’t find it.  Plan B was the pistol, which I drew as slowly as I could.  I knew I had to get out of the room.  Third floor window wasn’t a jumping option, and this room didn’t have a fire escape.  Across the hall was Dr. Potter’s classroom, which did have a fire escape.  It was also empty, so that was viable.

                 I very slowly sat up and assessed things.  This was one of the moments where I really learned and appreciated how quiet these fucking things were.  I was in a room that was for all intents and purposes filled with the motherfuckers and I could barely hear anything.  Four kids were dead in the room and getting back up to do the whole “undead thing” that was all the rage today.  Erica was dead too, nearly blown in half by Dan’s shotgun blast.  She was starting to sit up presently.  Well, as much as someone bisected by a shotgun can at least.  Dan and Dale were nowhere to be found.  I could hear struggling coming from the closet, which had to be the second student restrained earlier.

                I lifted the pistol, drew a bead on the kid closet to me, and shot.  She flung sideways on top of another kid.  Erica turned towards me immediately, as did the other zombies.  I started shooting from the hip as fast as I could squeeze the trigger.  I shot until the slide locked back and the gun clicked empty.  In retrospect, it was a huge waste of ammunition.  I don’t even know how many I killed with my spray and pray tactics, but it caused enough commotion and sent their bodies around enough for me to bolt out of the room.  I didn’t find the shotgun when I jumped up, so I was down to just the pistol.  Once in the hall I found three more kids.  They were dead too.  Well, dead-ish.  Dale was there as well, finishing a meal of one of his classmates.  He found me much more interesting though, and came at me.  Luckily the hall was pretty wide, and I just side stepped him and the other two and bolted for the stairway. 

                 I fucking FLEW down those stairs.  Two or three at a time in giant leaps.  I got to the ground floor in maybe 20 seconds.  I blasted my way out through the glass doors and reloaded the pistol, which was empty.  I had the presence of mind to slip the empty clip into my cargo pocket too, go me.  By then the throbbing in my head was starting to fade, which was about the only good thing that had happened to me in some time.

                I hoofed it back towards my car as fast as I could go.  That too turned out to be a pretty shitty idea.   The couple of kids who had actually made it out of the classroom went there too, and they were both badly wounded I guess.  They made it to the admissions office, and made things much worse.  I think they bled out from shotgun wounds.  That or they were bitten by Dale on their way out.  Either way the two kids had died, had come back, and had killed more people here.  As I stopped my run towards admissions I nearly got ran over by one of the parent’s leaving the campus at top speed.  I could hear them screaming in grief as they drove by. 

                 I could see several of the zombies feasting in the yard of the admissions house.  There was at least half a dozen dead there now, and my car was right there next to them.  My other gun was in the car, as well as the extra 9mm ammo.  I did a quick check around campus and in the dim light of the few street lamps we have, I could see more shambling forms headed my way.  It was more of the dead from earlier in the day, congregating to the noise. 

                 I needed a place to hole up for the night.  Shit at that point I needed a place to hole up for five minutes to catch my damn breath.  At that point I had no idea where anyone was, or where to go.  My plan had crashed and fucking burned all in a heartbeat.  Fuck Dan Haggerty.

                 I started jogging towards some of the maintenance buildings, away from the bulk of the zombies I saw moving my way.  I went into my pocket for my facilities keys and that’s when I realized they were gone.  I found them much later in Mrs. Goodell’s classroom, but for the moment, I was sans-keys.

                 Anything else God?  Getting pretty sick of these pop-quizzes here dude.  Way to test faith bro.

                 I remember getting really pissed, and actually screaming out “What the fuck?!”  I’ll grant you that wasn’t a good idea at all, but I was really angry and pissed, and was starting to feel a little helpless.  I started jogging again, this time around the back of the maintenance buildings near the water.  I didn’t see anything of use.  I did however see a ladder laying on the ground behind the last out building.  I remember looking, and saw the back of the admissions building.  The admissions building had a steeply sloped roof for the main structure, but an addition they put on two years ago was almost flat roofed.   It took me a minute or two, but I got the ladder free of some shit on it, and ran with it to the admissions house.  My heart was pounding bad.

                Zombies aren’t smart at all.  They can’t plan ahead.  The ones in the yard not minutes before had followed me all the way around all the maintenance buildings and were now coming up behind me, leaving the yard empty again.  I leaned the ladder against admissions, and started to run around to my now largely wide open car, but I saw a bunch of the kids from the school house coming right at me.  Ten feet away from my car at most.  Scrap that idea.

                I spun, realized that the zombies following me from around the out buildings were damn near on top of me and dashed for the ladder.  I climbed like never before.  Despite moving like my life actually depended on it, several of my kids actually got close enough to grab my pants legs as I pulled myself up higher.  I kicked at them to get them off my ankles.  I scrambled to the top, rolled onto the roof, and wrestled the ladder away from the growing throng of zombie children and parents gathering at the base of the admissions house. 

                I think it was half past nine or so by then, maybe even ten, and I was hungry, kind of cold, mildly concussed, surrounded by dozens of quietly hungry zombies, trapped in the dark on a rooftop with 15 rounds of 9mm ammo, a sword, and no keys to get inside anywhere.

                 And that was just the beginning of the worst night of my life.

                More later.

                -Adrian

 

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