Not as good as the comeback but it leads on. Thank-you to those who commented and also to those who continue to read this.
March 2nd 2011: PART FIFTEEN
Skelly practically squeezed the life out of me whilst saying thank-you over and over again through streams of tears. George Precius’ body lay awkwardly in the dirt, one pull of the trigger and it was all over, brains and a life that on any other day could have been saved or at least spared. I had made the right decision, I felt wrong in pulling the trigger but relief from the stress he had caused. Marco turned around to make sure the deed was done but instructed Melanie to keep her back turned, the poor girl had already seen enough. The two I tried to talk to before kept their distance and were frightened by the guns presence, I holstered it away to try and calm their nerves and raised my hands up to show no ill will to anyone else.
"I did what I had to do, for me, for my family and for each and every one of you. If you disagree with that I understand but I suggest you leave the vicinity before the end of the day because here is where I intend to stay."
Skelly tightened her grip even more, any harder and my circulation would of been in trouble. Marco made his way over to me, in the time doing so he guarded Melanie’s eyes away from the mess of what was George.
"We’re with you on this."
Skelly piped in, her muffled words vibrating on my chest. I looked at the other two for their response. What appeared to be the elder of the two looked reluctant to speak, the other pondered her options. They both stood at roughly the same height and were of old age but that is where the similarities ended, one man, one woman. The old man looked in his late seventies, was smartly dressed and propped himself up on a fancy silver tipped oak cane, a fluster came over the brow of his glasses when he noticed me sizing him up. The old lady was a little portly, she was clean but unkempt as if she missed the memo on the rules of lone living, her hair looked like she’d attempted to cut it herself and skewered the effort badly, I guessed she was in early sixties despite her appearance, she wasn’t as flustered as the old man but you could see her concern. I reassured Skelly, Marco and Melanie that we would be fine buying them a few more seconds to think.
"How about you two? In or out?"
The old lady announced.
Was the man’s answer, his voice shaky as if he didn’t trust me but didn’t want to face whatever was out there however he had made his choice. It was as they both went back fifty/sixty years to playground days and promised to answer the same time they were that close in saying what they did.
"Fair enough, sorry I haven’t caught your names yet."
Replied the woman who would be staying put, she sauntered over and sheepishly greeted everyone. The man didn’t speak, he was still a tad flustered and was wiping his brow with a tissue from his pocket. He stood across from us looking like a lost lamb.
"And you are sir?"
"I’m on my way so it’s best I just keep to myself, if that is ok."
With that he had got me very suspicious, he didn’t have to tell me his name but I wanted to know why he didn’t.
"Ok, but you don’t have to go."
"I want to."
"That’s fine, if you feel you can’t stay because of my actions then I’m sorry, I’ve explained why I did what I felt I had to do. When do you plan on leaving?"
"Once I’ve got my Bertie settled, is that ok with you?"
"It’s not for me to say, Skelly runs this joint."
Skelly’s head popped up from my chest and she gave me a big smile through her reddened eyes.
"It’s ok but on one condition, we have to know your name."
It was a smart move on the part of Skelly, the man began to pat his brow again.
He stumbled over saying his name, he looked very nervous in doing so.
"I’m G-g-g…George, there I said it, I’m a George too."
"I looked at the rest of the group and despite what had just happened with the previous George, I began laughing. I got stern looks back but I just could not help myself.
"George, you’ve got to be kidding me fella, really? You have nothing to fear unless you start trying to play around, are you sure you don’t want to stay here?"
George breathed a huge sigh of relief.
"No, no. I must be on my way, can you do me a favour and lead me to my car please."
"My pleasure George."
I had to forcibly remove myself from Skelly’s clutches but still she tried to clasp her arms around me. She panicked as I told her to calm down and placed my hands on her cheeks using my thumbs to rub away the wetness the tears had caused. If we were in a movie we’d have dived into a mushy kiss and everything would of been fine and dandy but it wasn’t. I could see that she was confused in what to do, I reaffirmed her that everything would be ok and was joined by the others in verbal support.
"Don’t leave me, please."
Skelly pleaded and once again we all told her that everything would be ok.
"Skelly, we ain’t going to leave you but we have things we must be getting on with, I need you to be strong for us. Can you please be strong for me… for us?"
I still had hold of her face as I said this, Skelly’s deep hazel eyes glistened whilst making contact with my own. I don’t know what it was about that moment but I felt a very deep connection with her, it wasn’t love or lust, just something very powerful which drew me to her, so much that I can’t exactly explain it. I think she felt it too, the red shade of embarrassment rose on her cheeks as she shyly smiled.
"I can try."
"That’s all I can ask of you."
I let go of her face and hugged her tightly in a warm, comforting manner. Again, this would of been nice scene in the movies but I was snapped back into reality when George number two interrupted with a fake cough, I acknowledged his impatience.
"I would like to set off, if you don’t mind."
"Not at all George, just going to sort a few things out here and then we’ll get you on your way."
George nodded as I let go of Skelly and began wiping his brow again. I signalled for everyone to huddle in as George was right in a way, it was time to be getting on with things.
"Sorry for presuming this but I’m going to take charge here if you don’t mind."
I gave everyone a few seconds to voice their opinion but all I got was approving nods apart from Edna who was half hearted in her response.
"Ok, well this is Skelly’s joint so she has the final say but for now I’d like us to work together and we’ll sort things out better once I’ve got the rest of my family safely here. First off, Skelly, have you got any covers, rags, tarps we could use to cover up the dead?"
"Yeah but the access keys to the sheds are in George’s pocket."
I left the group and went over to his body to where he had hit the dirt heavy and the force of the gunshot left him bent over backwards, it wasn’t a pretty sight. His cold dead eyes matched mine and there and then I knew I did the right thing in killing him, I drew his eyelids shut so he couldn’t eyeball anyone else. I routed through his pockets taking an assortment of keys out of each and every crevice I went through. Using his overalls I pulled his body forward and what little brains he had left ran down his back, for those who watched me, it made them wretch. I took the walkie talkie from one his back pockets and found nothing more. On return to the group I handed Skelly the clump of keys and she began sorting them out.
"Can you do that for us now please Skelly?"
"Y-y-y… you’re not going to be gone when I get back are you?"
"Skelly, I told you I’m not going anywhere, I promise you that. I took the walkie talkie from George so you can speak to us."
"Ok, I just really don’t want to be on my own."
"I know, it’s understandable."
"No, I mean now."
"I’ll go with you."
Melanie said, Marco asked her if she was ok with that and said he’d join them too.
"Marco, we can deal with this, trust me on this. We are safe here."
Marco let Melanie go and she joined hands with Skelly, the two mumbled something between them and darted off down the dirt path running past the dead body of George and didn’t even take notice of it.
"Marco, she will be fine. I know she will."
"I know but she’s all I’ve got now."
"I hear you."
George cleared his throat again. His growing impatience grated on me.
"I’m nearly done here George, you can start walking up on your own if you want."
"No, no, I’ll just wait for you."
"Edna, Marco can you both drive?"
Edna nodded and produced her car keys.
"I can drive but I haven’t got a licence."
"Marco, you don’t have to worry about that now. Just as long as you know how to move a car we’ve got nothing to worry about."
"Yeah, I can do that."
"What have you got in mind?"
Edna threw out.
"Well for now, I’ll head up the path first and make sure that nothing is there and see George off, if it all goes smoothly I want you’s two to bring all the cars in from entrance to the car park. Push’em if needs be."
"So what are you going to be doing then?"
Edna asked in a snarky manner.
"Well once George has gone, I’m going to cover the dead up and then I’m leaving you’s to your own devices and getting my family here."
At that moment I grabbed my phone and checked it, I had three missed calls and a text message, I didn’t even feel the fucker vibrate, I was angry at myself for this. The calls were all from mothers number and about a minute apart. She had rang about ten minutes before I looked at my phone. I checked the text and breathed easy after reading it. Firstly she asked if I was ok since I hadn’t answered my phone, she was just a little worried, she then went on to say that some people had been near but most had fled after meeting the zombies, she said that there was a car parked near the back entrance but so far no-one had moved and they were prepared should anything happen, she also mentioned that the van and cars had been mostly filled up and were ready to go. Aside from more people making themselves known to the spot the most notable remark was that Jake had still not left the car. I wanted to zoom off there and then but I still had a job to do first.
"Yeah, it’s fine fella, let’s get this over and done with."
I radioed over to Skelly and let her know of my plans, she said that herself and Melanie were just about to make their way back. I told her to radio me when she got near and I would come and cover the bodies up. I waved that it was time to move on to George and I walked in front the three of them keeping my hand on the Glock, ready to draw. As we approached the entrance we were alerted by a dogs bark but it turned out it was just George’s dog Bertie being excitable because he had seen his owner return. Nothing had been disturbed. I gave the area a quick once over and seen nothing that alarmed me, I was however disturbed that the animals had seemingly disappeared into thin air and let everyone know that. Edna and Marco called for their pets but there was not a peep. George had already opened his boot and was calming Bertie down, he led the dog from the boot and put him up front. George used his way of getting attention once more as he approached his car door.
There wasn’t much sincerity in his voice, I think he was just glad that he and his pet were alive.
"No problem George, you are welcome to stay if you want."
"I just want to go home."
"That’s fine but if you get stuck or decide to change your mind just come back, I’m sure we can find room for you."
"Thank-you, I appreciate what you’ve done for me. I hope all goes well for you."
"And to you George, and to you."
George got in his car and slowly reversed up the path, he didn’t even shoot a wave or bib his horn, he just disappeared out of sight. As soon as he had reversed out we took stock of the cars, along with the Civic, there were three other cars. One was Edna’s and the other two belonged to Marco’s mum and Zach. Marco explained to us that Zach and Lucille tagged along in their car because they were all returning from a camping holiday and Zach didn’t want to get lost because he hadn’t brought his sat nav with him. He cursed himself but in all truth he had no idea that today was going to be like this. I told him that he couldn’t of done nothing to prevent this, it’s just the way the world works as well as consoling him on his losses. He stared into the distance for a good minute or so before composing himself and jumping into his mum’s old car. As Edna started up her engine I went to Zach’s car but it was locked and knew then I would have to route through the remains of him to get the keys. I let Edna pass and watched Marco as he struggled to move the car, he became frustrated and punched the steering wheel. I motioned for him to take the handbrake off and a lightbulb moment flashed upon him. After that it was plain sailing for him as he followed Edna. I took off in the other direction and made my way to the Civic. I checked around the car to make sure for any surprises, nothing was there so I jumped straight in. I started the car up and made my way to where we agreed to park the cars. As I just passed the gate Skelly radioed through that she was waiting for me. I took my eyes off the path as I fumbled for the radio and felt a hefty bump, I had drove over Zach’s remains… nice. I let her know that I was just approaching and she said she could see me. I had no idea why she felt compelled to radio me if she could see me but I all I could guess it that she was nervous and felt reassured in my voice. It felt weird to be trusted and somewhat wanted in way like that but I was doing the same with the others so in a weird way it made a little sense. I parked badly next to where the others had placed the cars and got out.
"Marco I’m sorry about Zach, I didn’t do it intentionally, I was…"
Marco was a little upset but he just shrugged his shoulders at me.
"Don’t worry about it, he’s gone now, least he won’t of felt it."
Marco’s assessment was frank but true. Skelly chucked a bunch of old haggard sheets at me and gave me the thumbs, I returned the favour and mouthed a thank-you to her.
"What’s to do now?"
Asked Melanie. At that moment there was nothing for them to do aside from sit tight.
"Nothing for you’s, I guess we should get bunkered down and see where we’ll be staying though I just need Skelly for a moment though."
Edna burst out. I was perplexed why she felt it was an issue.
"And what’s that supposed to mean eh?"
My response got under her skin.
"You can’t keep your bloody eyes and hands off her you filthy pig!"
Technically she was right but had read it all wrong. I could detect a sense of jealousy from her. Melanie, Skelly and I shot her the daggers, Marco looked drained and didn’t want to get involved.
"She is one who hugged me first and for your information Skelly is the only one here who knows this place really and I need her help if were going to be staying here. I didn’t see you taking charge."
"You never gave anyone a chance."
"Well now is your chance, take the mantle. I’ve got other stuff to do."
She did not expect the response and it threw her off whatever she was trying to accomplish.
"I, I, I, err…"
"Not as easy as you thought it would be. Is it?"
I shot her a sympathetic look and understood some of her frustration.
"Meh, least you had the balls to tell me how you feel. We’re all in this together, I don’t want to be seen as a leader, I take umbrage in that. The same applies to everyone else, if I seem a little too big for my boots then call me out on it, I’ll definitely return favour."
We all stood in agreement making light of a situation that needn’t of come around.
"Man, is there anywhere safe to crash? I’m fucked."
Marco looked very strained and tired, Skelly undid a set of keys from a clump she withdrew from a pocket and chucked them at Marco. She pointed to a set of four buildings to our left.
"Those are the keys to the guest house, it’s got it wrote on the wall, you can’t miss it. Its got six bedrooms all ensuite, two separate bathrooms, two reception rooms with freeview tv, a dining room, a large kitchen and should be more than safe. That ok?"
I was impressed even though it hadn’t been used in a while it looked clean and tidy from the outside. Edna, Marco and Melanie trudged off towards the guest house but not before I stopped them and gave them the walkie talkie I took from George. I smiled at Skelly and she blushed.
"You want to stay here while I cover the them up?"
"No, I’ll take George you do the rest."
I chucked her a couple of the sheets and made my way up the path. For the next five minutes we worked in silence with only the breeze whistling in our ears. Lucille’s body was easiest to do, she was very light and I wrapped her whole body in a sheet. Marco and Melanie’s mum was difficult to deal with, although my cleaver was still lodged firmly in her head it gave me chance to search her and take her possessions to give to Marco and Melanie. I took the two locket pendants what adorned her neck and had a real struggle prizing the five rings she had entrenched in her sausage sized fingers. After that I tucked a sheet underneath her and used my cleaver to roll her over, this loosened it enough for me to claim it back. I put another sheet over her and tucked the edges underneath her massive weight. Zach wasn’t as pleasant to deal with given I’d given him a bit of a squishing just a few minutes back. The top of his torso was nearly as flat as a pancake, the ribcage imploded. From Zach I snatched his car keys but there was nothing else of note to take, I wrapped him as quick as I could and headed for the entrance gates to reclaim his car. As I drove down the driveway in Zach’s car I looked on in horror as Skelly was full-on stamping on George’s remains, double footed like a child would do on a bouncy castle. I honked the horn but Skelly continued to savage George’s body, I honked it again and there was still no response from her. I raced out of the car and rugby tackled her into the dirt, it was slightly excessive but it worked, she snapped out of whatever had a hold of her and breathed heavy as I began to pick the pair of us off the ground. She showed no remorse but was shaken, it worried me a little that no tears were shed from her in anger.
"What the hell got into you?"
"I don’t want to talk about it, let’s just say it was a long time coming."
I didn’t want to pry any further at that moment in time but something serious must of gone on between the two. She eerily stood over George’s body burning holes with her eyes as I put a good few sheets over him. I was just about to ask Skelly a question when my phone began vibrating, with the silence we had I was able to hear it against my pants. It was mother.
"I don’t want to alarm you but it’s not as quiet as we thought, we’re ok for now…"
"Say no more, I’ll be with you a.s.a.p."
With that I put the phone down and began doing a once over of what I still had on me. Skelly looked at me as if I had ants in my pants.
"I know we’ve only just met but do you fancy meeting my family?"
I played as a half joke and half seriously, the little humour in there went straight over Skelly’s head. I fumbled through a pocket and withdrew the Civic keys, Skelly’s face dropped in fear.
" You’re not leaving me!"
"I never said I was, I asked you if you want to come a meet my family, I’ve got to get going quickly."
"What about the others?"
"They’ll be fine here just lock the gates."
"Ok but we’re not taking that car…"