Chapter Ten

Chapter Ten

A Chapter by Cre8nFrmWithn

Finding shelter with two in tow...


Chapter Ten

“I don’t know really.  I can’t seem to remember much.  I think I had kids but I don’t know.  I kinda woke up in a strange place.”

“Wow.  We woke up in an apartment after running all night.  We barely got away from a small group of those things.”

I continued driving, dodging dead cars and other obstacles.  “So how did this all happen?”

“What?”  The guy asked from the back.  “You’re kidding right?  Where have you been hiding?”

“I told you I don’t remember much”, I retorted peevishly.  “I woke up and had no clue how I’d gotten where I was.”

“That stinks”, the girl returned.  “My name is Shawna.  That’s David.  We were on our way to St. Louis.  My Brother lives there.  We were trying to get away from our families.”

“Shawn-“ David protested from the back.

“It’s okay.”  She looked down at her hands morosely.  “They’re probably all dead anyway.”

We rode in silence for a bit.  I wasn’t sure what to say.  I wasn’t sure what my name was but I felt like I had a family.  

I tried to dig into my mind, my soul to figure something, anything about my past.  Who was I?  Why did I wake up in a doghouse?  And by the way, I purposefully left out that bit of info. 

I drove while concentrating on my past.   I didn’t know where we were but I had to find us a place for shelter before the sun went down and I had to get information about what was going on.  I didn’t see these two, love birds providing me with too much.

“I don’t know my name.”  I said quietly.  I didn’t take my eyes from the road. There were way too many obstacles to see what Shawna’s reaction was but I definitely saw David’s in the rearview.

“I would say that’s cool but in a world like this one”, he nodded his head towards the window.  “It’s too frightening.  How long have you had memory loss?”

I thought of a response and had none.   David seemed to pick up on this.  “Do you have any flashes from the past?”

“I don’t even know that.  I just woke up and there I was.  I have the vaguest idea of being in a fire though.”

“A fire?  Oh man.  Maybe you hit your head or something and that’s why you don’t remember.  Do you have any burns?”

I could feel the girl looking my face, hands and clothing over; she sought out any markings of fire and injury.  She found none.

“I changed clothes and took a shower.  I was pretty dirty but there were no burns.  I don’t really remember the fire, if there was one.  I think I had children though. I lost them.”

“To the fire?”

“No.  I don’t know really.  All I know is that I have family somewhere.  So I have to find them and myself.”

More silence, which I appreciated.  Shawna was annoying, she asked too many questions.  At least David seemed alright.  

Shawna was young and just spoke without thinking but I knew David was older.  He knew when to speak and when to stay quiet.  Shawna was…  Well, she was  talkative and I liked the quiet.  

We rode, looking out for Nastys.  They were out there.  Many popped out time to time but I was able to dodge them.  I realized that my meter was getting low.  My charge was running out.  I hadn’t thought about what we’d do once the energy ran out.

“Uh, David do you see any thing back there that could help us once the charge in this toy runs out?”

Shuffling.  “No.”

“Then we will be needing a new vehicle in about an hour.  This car runs on a charge and there’s no place to stop and just sit a bit without being a sitting duck to the Nastys.”

“Nastys?”  Shawna kept her gaze out the window.

“That’s what I call them.  What’s wrong with them anyway?”

“They’re zombies man!  Can’t you tell?”

“They are not zombies”, I said.

“Uh, yeah they are!”  Shawna yelled with tastelessness.  “I saw them in action, for your information.  We saw them eating people on the streets!”

She crossed her arms in a pout and put her gaze back outside.  She was going to be a pain, I could tell.

I glanced at David in my rearview.  He looked away from Shawna to catch me.  He gave me an apologetic shrug and looked away.  He seemed bothered by her actions too but didn’t voice it.

I waited to see if they’d say anything more but got nothing.  Yeah, I needed some real adults to find out what I needed about the situation.  There were no such things as zombies and I wasn’t about to start believing in them now.

“Do you know where you’re going?”  David was tucked in back, probably uncomfortable.  He wasn’t too tall but to be stashed in the back of a Smart Car, undoubtedly didn’t make for the most comfy ride.

“Honestly, no.  I was just trying to get away from the hoard that was breaking into the house I was in.  They’re crazy!”

“You’re just lucky they didn’t get you.  I saw a group turn a car over to get the family inside.”

“Are you serious?”  I felt a small tug on the car and then the vehicle began to slow down.  Bugger!

“Uh gang, we’re slowing down.  The car is about to give out.  We’ll have to hit the road on foot until we find another car.  Preferably one that’s bigger than this.”

“No duh”, was Shawna’s snap.  I was about to give her a good verbal, break down about how I could have left them there but thought better of it.  She was a dumb kid (twenty or not), she had her juvenile right to be cranky.  I dished mine out to my parents.  

This crazy world made things a lot different than when I grew up.  There were no monsters when I was a teen, were there?  I didn’t have to hide during the day or keep on the move.  And I didn’t have to sneak about at night, keeping myself from becoming a meal for the…. for the dead?

Shawna had a bad attitude because she saw people killed.  She saw them eaten evidently.  That would freak anybody out.  It would freak me out if I’d seen it- or had been the entrée.

As my ride began to slowly descend from 90 to 75, I knew we needed to be on the lookout for a new vehicle.  I began searching while still keeping us safe on the road.  For the most part, we were lucky.  I’d only ridden on the sidewalks or grass a few times but the roads were getting tougher to get through.

More than likely, we’d be on foot till we got out of the city.  The outer suburbs would be better but then again, everyone seemed to be trying to evacuate local areas at the same time, making themselves sitting ducks.

Up ahead, the roads were pretty congested with abandoned cars.  We were going to have to take to walking.  I was worried about Shawna, her leg and her big mouth but that concern would have to wait for the time being.  We needed a plan.

“Okay, I’m going to drive up the next block or so, at least as far as we can get before we can maneuver no more.  Once there, we’re going to have to walk.  You two ready for that?”

“No but what choice do we have”, asked David.

“None really.  Look up there; we have about a block and a half before the cars are all turned and blocking the way.  We can’t drive. “Even if we could, there’s no way this car will last us much longer.  The charge is almost completely drained.  And for real, how much longer can you stand being back there?”

David laughed and scanned the street before us.  “I guess we’ll need to be looking for a blazer or something.”

“Yeah, that’s cool”, Shawna said.

“Only if the tank is full.”  I stated.  “We want something that can push smaller vehicles out of the way but honestly, we don’t need one till we get to the edge of town.  We need to be in stealth-mode.  Got it?”

David agreed but Shawna didn’t like it.  I was beginning to really not like her.  I could see a confrontation coming soon.  She already had a problem with authority, from her runaway deal…

“I agree.  We need to be on foot”, David said.  

With that, we pushed to our limit and parked the toy car.  As I left the keys in the glove, I supplied my mental rolodex with a note to never purchase a Smart Car when the world returned to normal.

The area smelled awful.  It was like every landfill on the planet stopped by to make a delivery of diapers, old meat and curdled dairy!  I thought I would retch a few times but I managed to hold it off.  No reason to send noises out to the fish like bait on a hook.

I pulled my bag from the back and slapped it on.  I didn’t have any weapons but thought I should start scoping for some.  And as much as I’d love a gun, the quieter the weapon the better.  We didn’t need to draw attention to ourselves on foot.

I spoke in a low tone, “Do you see anything?”

They both looked about our surroundings and shook their heads no.  I didn’t see anything either but that didn’t mean the coast was clear.

“These things run fast?”

“Yup.  Very fast.”

Bugger!  “Okay, we need to go.  If you see something that we can use to fight with, don’t hesitate to grab it.  We don’t need guns but if you find one with some ammo, get it.  It’s to be a last resort.”

“I don’t want a gun”, Shawna whined.

“And I don’t want to kill anyone but if it saves our tails, it’s done!”  I ducked a little low.  “Let’s go.”


We walked for hours.  It wasn’t a hot day since the sun was hiding behind dark clouds.  It was like the sun was on strike and left us in the shadows.  The eerie part was, there were sounds everywhere but nowhere.  I was scared out of my wits. Armed only with the info I had from the two following me and my vivid imagination, I was edgy.

Was this going to be like in the horror movies?  Would we see one and then there’d be a hoard of Nasty’s after us or would there be one moving at a bumbling cartoon mummy’s pace and we easy behead him or bash his brains in?

My back hurt and my feet felt like they were flatter than the pavement.  I felt sweat run down my face and arms but didn’t waste time wiping it away.  More was waiting to go, possibly stinging my eyes and irritating my ears and neck.

Shawna was doing fine.  Her shirt was pink but it looked more like fuchsia with the sweat having soaked it completely.  She too ignored the constant perspiration. 

David, on the other hand was an irritable mess.  He was so sweaty, he looked like he’d just climbed out of a swimming pool!  He kept wiping his brow and running his hands through his hair to keep the dirty water from covering his face.

I don’t know why but I like him better.  Not in a romantic way but he seems to have his head on straight.  I also noticed that he was rather quick on the uptake, where as Shawna was going to be a problem.  I can only do the best with what I have.  Will it be good enough?

I wondered how long they’d be with me or how long we’d be here in this city.  Could we stay alive and survive?  No matter what, I had to do my best.  I wanted to find my life.

The sounds of the city are different when there’s nobody around, at least when no one wants to be found.  Occasionally there was a birdcall but not much else.  It was like putting an empty paper towel roll next to your ear.  

You know, that hollow, windy sound that you get?  That’s what the city sounded like.  As a matter of fact, I realized I had no clue what city I was in! It was all unsettling.

We walked forever before we noticed it was about noonish.  It was the middle of the day but it felt like six or seven o’clock.  All we’d eaten was dried Cheerios, a couple of candy bars and water.  It was time for a meal.  We had to find some weapons too.

Ahead of us was the skyline.  I could see fewer buildings out there, letting me know the city would soon be in our wake.  I didn’t want to be out in the suburbs or open country with nothing to defend us.  I began looking at the stores on the blocks and corners.  

Many of the stores had bars or thick, rolling security shutters.  No way we could get in there.  Most  were offices that probably wouldn’t have any food for us.  I wouldn’t have been so discouraged if they had the apartments above them but no such luck.

Surrounded by brick buildings and none of them offered any reprieve.  Just when I thought we would be out of luck, I found a storefront with a busted window.

I waved my traveling companions over and I peeked inside.  It seemed clear but that didn’t mean it was empty.  I signaled for them to stay back and keep watch.

“I’m gonna take a peek inside”, I whispered. 

“What?”  Shawna said in her most ghetto-ish voice.  I scowled at her.

“Maybe that’s not such a good idea”, David stated.

“I tell you what.  You two can keep on walking down this street and it’ll lead you out of the city.  If you want to go out there with no weapons or food on you, that’s fine with me.  I need a little security.”

I turned and as carefully as possible climbed in.  I tried to be as quiet as possible but there were pieces of glass crunching under my feet. I took a few steps inside and waited.

I was in an old shoppe.  Unfortunately, it was a candy shoppe.  It had been set up to look like an old general store of sorts but the look was must have been ruined when the Nastys came.  

I didn’t find anything worth using as a weapon.  I found a lone cart, broken with metal bars all around it.  I nabbed one of the iron poles that were broken from it.  It could allow me to pierce someone’s chest or any other part of a body in defense, should the need present itself.   The only problem was that it wasn’t safe on the end I held.  I could easily put a hole in my hand if I wasn’t careful.s

Candy was everywhere.  There were shelves knocked down with other items tossed about.  Wooden barrels were turned over and the floor was a deathtrap.  It was in shambles.  

I looked back at them.  They were watching me like school kids who’d bet on a dare.  I wondered if they were waiting for me to be attacked or if they were on being attacked themselves.  Regardless, I turned back to my mission.  They could keep for now.

I moved to the counter and peeked over.  No one.  Good.  I checked the aisles, holding my iron rod like a bat.  I felt pretty stupid actually, as if this metal pole could stay a Nasty.  Would it?  I was full of fear, my palms were sweating and my stomach ached for a meal.

When had I last enjoyed a meal?  I thought about lunch.  What did I really like…gyozas?  My mind envisioned a pale dumpling, smothered in peanut sauce.  I loved shrimp or vegetable gyozas!  Yeah, that sure would be good now.  How did I like them, I wondered.  I got nothing.  

I kicked myself, thinking about food when I could become a meal at any time.  Shawna said the Nastys were eating people.  Could that really be happening- I was living in a horror movie?  For real…

I made my way to the furthest corner.  A door was there.  I looked back at my crew.  They were watching my every step.  I pointed to the back door, hidden from their view.  I pointed at them, then held my hand (palm towards them), indicating for them to stay put.

Both nodded and I signaled with a nod myself, to understand that they understood and stepped out of their line of sight.  I was acting like I was a hero or something.  A leader.  What a joke.  On the other hand, I’d seen a handful of apocalyptic movies to know what to do and how to act.  So I thought.

Did I?  How is the world would I know that and how did I know that I enjoyed horror movies?  That’s the second time I thought about that so evidently things were coming to me.  Hot dog!

As I walked about, I did my best to keep quiet but it was difficult.  Glass was everywhere and if I wasn’t trying to avoid crunching, I was trying to not fall on my tookus!

At the door, I placed my ear close.  I listened hard enough to hear my actual heartbeat.  It was so loud- I could hear nothing else.  The only way to find anything out would be to simply open it.  I had to be ready.

I backed up a few steps, made a few practice swings of my rod and then braced.  I spread my legs apart with a ready stance.  I bent my knees a bit and then reached out with my rod and lightly tapped on the door.  

tap tap tap

The bar made an audible, hollow thunk.  I think the sound scared the others because David called out to me.

“Hey!”  He called with a heavy whisper.  “Hey No Name!”  

I didn’t respond, for fear of giving my location away to what could be awaiting me the other side of the door.  I just waited and listened.

My heart began to pound with the thought of what I was about to do.  I couldn’t believe this- what in the world am I doing?

My left hand released the bottom of my rod.  I began to rock from one foot to the other without realizing it.  I was getting ready.  Sweat poured from every pore, giving me a salty sheen.  I even felt the drops trail from my armpits down my sides.

Nothing is was worse than the waiting.  It was like waiting for a spanking to commence…seeing the belt coming but not receiving the swing.  I didn’t want to do this.  I wanted to run; but there was nowhere to run.  We needed a ride.  We needed weapons.

I touched the handhold.  Right when I was about to begin turning, David called out again.  “Eh, No Name- you okay?”

I gave a brief, “Cht!” to shut him up and rested my hand on the knob.  I turned it with more patience than I guessed I had until the tumblers clicked.

I waited.  

When nothing happened, I mentally counted to three, sucked in a deep breath and threw the door open!

© 2012 Cre8nFrmWithn

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Added on March 20, 2012
Last Updated on April 4, 2012
Tags: shelter, fear, horror, zombies, trapped, frightened, run



Kirkwood, MO

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