Hey guys, I am almost done with chapter 5 but im off to the pub now so it wont get done tonight, it should be posted tomorrow.
09 August 2014 - 06:23 PM
I woke early the next morning to see Ken already awake and sat with a pistol in his hands, I was about to get up and go talk to him when he seemed to make the decision we had all slept long enough anyway and shouted 'GET UP' to the sleeping group. Everyone woke with a start rubbing their faces and wiping sleep from their eyes. Matt looked particularly annoyed at the rude awakening and mumbled something I couldn't hear. He got up and helped Holly to her feet. Slowly but surely everyone got up and stood around Ken.
'Obviously you all know what we have to do today, but I'm guessing you all have little or no experience with guns,' says Ken pacing slightly. 'We have seven guns in total, four Glock Pistols and three Heckler & Koch G36 Assault Rifles. It doesn't take a genius to work out that there isn't enough to go around. These are relatively simple guns that don't take much training to use, decide amongst yourselves who is getting a gun and I'll show you the basics.'
Nick and Lucy decided they would be the two who wouldn't get a gun. Ken then spent an hour going over all the details of how to use them, too much detail to be honest. We learnt about the safety mechanisms in place and how to reload and aim which were useful, but also intricate details on the manufacturing of the guns and their history. The one thing we didn't do was actually fire a bullet which is the most important part. Because of lack of ammo and not wanting to make to much noise until we have to, we decided to trust Ken's analysis of it 'being as simple as pointing and shooting, any moron could do it.' We also each got a bullet proof vest of which there was plenty for one each, they only protect our torso and back but every little helps. What we didn't have was any idea how to get out other than shoot, I had a plan that I laid out for the group.
'I was thinking about it a lot, we don't have enough ammo to shoot them all and we there is too many to just drive through, the best option we have is, Nick, Lucy and Holly drive the cars in single file. While the rest of us are on the outside of the cars keeping as close as possible shooting any that get close, and clear a path out. Once a path is cleared we all jump in the cars and get the fuck out of here,' I say.
'Sounds like a solid plan, best chance we have right?' Jessica says holding her new pistol.
'I want to drive one of the cars, I don't know how to fire a fucking gun and GI Joe hasn't made me any more confident, I'm a good driver and I'd be much better in that role,' says Brian stepping to the front.
'Lucy and Nick have to drive the cars because they don't have a gun but why don't we draw straws for the third driver,' says Mike.
'Brian you just take it I don't care, I just want this to be over, lets get out of here,' says Holly.
'Are you sure Holly you don't have to give up your space just because he caused a scene,' says Matt.
'It's fine honestly, its a good plan, this is going to work,' says Holly putting a reassuring hand on Matts shoulder.
'One more thing, here are some maps of the area, I think we should mark a place where we can meet up in case we get separated,' says Ken handing out the maps.
We each take a map, now with a black cross marking a country road not to far from where we are now where we can meet up. Matt, Brian, Holly and I have the four pistols while Ken, Mike and Jessica have the three rifles. Brian while not wanting to be outside shooting was also unwilling to give up the gun, it was decided he would drive the first car and could shoot out and help clear a path if any got too close. Lucy would be driving the middle car and Nick at the back driving his taxi. We headed outside to see most of the Zombies still trying to get through the thick gate, while some had wandered off losing interest. The cars were lined up and the drivers ready, we formed a perimeter around them Jessica and Mike at the front. Ken and I in the middle and Matt and Holly at the back.
'Remember we don't have enough bullets to kill them all, just focus on clearing a path,' Ken says.
'We've got this,' says Jessica.
Jessica and Mike put their hands on the gate, ready to open it on our say so. Ken counts down from three and they fling the gate open. They wait as long as possible to take their shots assuring they don't miss, Jessica takes down two and Mike one as Brian in the first car drives slowly out of the gate. We all follow close behind, hitting some Zombies with the buts of our guns and shooting the ones that get too close to the convoy. We keep as close together as we can, gunshots ringing out every few seconds. We take our time and advance slowly and before I know it we are just over half way there. The plan is working I think as I shoot another zombie. We are so close I can see the entrance to the road we had came down yesterday, when Mike shoots a zombie directly in front of Brian's car creating a small gap, which Brian takes without hesitation. He slams his foot on the accelerator as Mike and Jessica go running after him. Brian stops as soon as he is clear of the Zombies and waits for Jessica and Mike to catch up and get in. They are running hard while the rest of us try and keep up as well. Jessica makes it to Brian's car and gets in as quick as possible, Mike is less lucky and is grabbed around the ankle by a Zombie that had been knocked to the ground by the car. It sinks its teeth into his leg as several more pile on top of him, I cant see him anymore but I can still hear his screams as we fight of the mass of Zombies that's are bearing down on us. The next thing I see is Brian's car disappearing down the road with Jessica inside.
'We have to go now, no choice just get in the cars and floor it,' I scream.
Matt and Jessica are fighting off several zombies while Ken and I have cleared a gap for Lucy who is sobbing uncontrollably in the car as a crowd of Zombies are ripping her boyfriend apart.
'I'm so sorry Lucy but you have to drive, take the gap and wait in the clearing, we have to help Matt and Holly,' I shout through the window to Lucy.
She nods slightly and drives off through the small opening as Ken and I sprint to Matt and Holly's side just too late as a Zombie grabs hold of Holly and sinks its teeth into her neck. She screams as blood squirts out of the gaping hole in her lower neck.
'NOOOOOO!' Matt screams shooting it off her but more take its place.
I feel tears in my eyes but focus on the situation, shooting as many as I can. Bodies are dropping to the ground but for every Zombie we take down another takes its place and any chance we have of getting out of here is disappearing quickly as the gap we made is shrinking.
'Get in the car!' Ken screams.
I try to drag Matt away but he refuses to let go of Holly's hand which is just about the only part of her still visible as the Zombies surround her. He isn't listening, just clutching onto Holly and shooting any Zombie he can see. I'm screaming at Matt to let go and get in the car but he isn't listening, he's shouting Holly's name through his hysterical sobbing.
'We don't have time for this, I'm sorry truly I am,' says Ken and brings the but of his gun down on the back of Matts head. 'Grab him, get him in the car, NOW!
Matts hand opens letting go of Holly who disappears from view. Ken and I grab Matts motionless body and drag him into the passenger side of the taxi Nick opens for us, I jump in the back and look around just in time to see Ken running back towards the Zombies.
'KEN!' I scream.
Ken shoots several of the gathering zombies around where Holly fell and smacks several more to the ground with the but of his rifle, he clears enough room and sees her face, bloody and scared. She gasps as blood gurgles in her throat, he raises his rifle into the gap.
'I'm so sorry girl, sleep well,' he says.
The gunshot rings out as Ken mercifully ends Holly's suffering and runs back to the car. I grab his hand and haul him into the back as Nick drives as quickly as possible through the rapidly closing gap. We hit several Zombies sending them flying over the roof of the car but finally we break through into the clear screeching off down the road. We all sit silently, traumatised by the losses we suffered and shocked by the events of the morning, I look to Matt dreading the moment he will regain consciousness. Ken takes the map off Nick and directs him to the country road, in the hope that the others have made it there. My fists are clenched so hard my nails pierce the skin as I think about Brian, it was working, he should have just took it slow, he did this. We arrive at the country road and drive a little way down it until we see two cars parked in the middle of the road, with two figures holding each other and a third figure stood alone. The car has barely stopped before I jump out and run towards the group. Jessica stands up and comes towards me but I barely see her as I run past her and with all my might swing my fist hard into Brian's face. Brian goes tumbling backwards onto the floor, I'm on him in seconds punching him twice more before Ken grabs me round the waist and drags me screaming backwards. Brian wipes blood from his nose and spits more onto the floor, slowly and shakily getting to his feet.
'This was you! you only think about yourself, you left us all to die back there. Mike died because of your actions, Holly died because of you!' I scream.
Jessica puts her hand over her mouth as tears flow again from her puffy red eyes. Lucy sobs on her knees next to her, Jessica goes back to hugging her, mourning their losses.
'I was just following the plan, we make a gap then take it, I stopped for them didn't I, Jessica survived because of me,' Brian says.
'We were supposed to stick together, you fucking idiot, you knew the plan but you saw your opportunity and thought who gives a fuck about anyone else, you only stopped because YOU were in the clear,' I shout, my nose almost touching his.
'Move out of the way,' a voice says from behind me.
Matt is stood behind us with red eyes, tears flowing from them down his dirty face aiming his pistol at Brian, he screams for us to get back as he advances slowly towards Brian who looks defiantly back at him. Matt presses the pistol hard against his forehead.
'Matt don't do this, this isn't what she would want. You are better than this, you are a good person,' I say slowly reaching out to Matt.
'You are a cancer, I'd be doing us all a favour,' Matt stutters through his tears.
'It's ok Matt, just give me the gun, hand it to me now,' I say as my hand touches his shaking arm.
Matt slowly lowers the gun and passes it to me before falling to his knees and sobbing uncontrollably, I kneel down and put my arms around him as I can hold my own tears back no more. I look up to see Brian getting into Matt's car and just sitting there dabbing his nose with his shirt. Jessica, Lucy and Nick are huddled together crying also, while Ken stares out into the distance with his rifle over his shoulder. After a while we compose ourselves enough to set up the cars to form a perimeter and make a secure camp.
'I loved him,' says Lucy looking at the floor. 'I met him when we were in college, everything about him made me smile, I know its cheesy but he was perfect. Funny and smart and a truly beautiful person, its sad you didn't know him better, I don't know how I'm going to continue.' she says before breaking down crying again.
'I barely knew her really, only met her a couple of days ago, but what we've been through it feels like a lifetime. I don't know if we ever stood a chance but I liked her a lot. Now she's just gone, just like that. It isn't fair, she saved Jessica when this all started, she fought along side us from the beginning. She deserved better.' Matt says not even looking up from the ground.
With that I stand up and walk around Nicks taxi and sit on the bonnet, staring out at the deserted road. I only get a few moments to myself before I feel a familiar tap on my back. Jessica comes around to the side of the taxi and climbs on the bonnet too.
'How you holding up,' she asks.
'Not well, that was my idea and look what happened,' I reply.
'The plan was fine and the only option we had, it was Brian who caused this, you, I and everyone else knows that. You cant blame yourself,' she says.
'I don't know what to do about him Jess, I hate myself for even thinking this but I kinda wanted Matt to do it,' I say looking down.
'But you stopped him that's the important thing, we aren't killers. Brian is horrified by what he did, you might not see it now but I was in that car with him, screaming at him as he drove us away from you all. His face was filled with regret, he made a mistake that cost the lives of two people, he has to live with that,' Jessica says.
'So do we, if I had just got to her faster, if I hadn't have let her give up her place in the car,' I say.
'Then maybe Brian would have died instead of Holly, or maybe it would have been different entirely, we can't know that for sure. But it was Holly's choice to be outside the cars, she wanted to fight along side us.... along side Matt.' She says.
'Yea I guess,' I say.
'So what's the plan now? You think we should head to that army place in Yorkshire?' she asks.
'No. I'm sick of running to where we are told is safe' I say. 'Expecting the government or the military to keep us safe when they can't. We make our own luck from now on, find our own shelter. We go through our options and we make a home for ourselves to live in, that we protect that we maintain. Fuck the next pipedream, we can stay in the country here for the short term, but we need to make plans for the long term. To build a place where we can make our own future.'
END OF CHAPTER 5.
20 August 2014 - 08:07 PM
Two days have passed since we escaped the Reading rescue site, well since most of us escaped. Yesterday Ken made a run into town without telling anybody, returning a few hours later with several tents and camping equipment. We had decided to camp just off the country road where we had met up. If only for a few days until we come up with a long term plan for our future. The cars formed a small perimeter with a lookout posted on top of Matts car which faced out towards the road. In the centre of the circle of cars were four tents, Matt and I shared one, Jessica and Lucy a second, Ken and Nick the third and Brian took the final one for himself. We didn't complain as it meant none of us had to share with him. As I woke the first thought that I had was of food, our supplies we had taken from the garage at the start of all this had all but run out and today would be the day we would get more, Matt was pushing for us to let him go alone because it would be quieter but nobody went for that idea. Supplies are just the most pressing of several problems we have, chief amongst which is that we as yet don't know where we are going to live, camping cannot be forever and everyone knows it, but until we have a solid idea we are in purgatory here by the side of the winding road. I roll over in my sleeping bag to see Matt is gone, I slowly rub my face and climb out of the tent. Matt is sat alone around the ashes of last nights fire, poking them absentmindedly. I pull up a camping chair and sit down next to him.
'Hey, how are you mate?' I ask trying to hide the pity in my voice.
'Fine, I'm going to get supplies today, I don't care what anybody says. I refuse to sit here poking an empty fire while my stomach screams at me,' he replies.
'I know, I don't disagree, but to go alone is foolish Matt. Remember what we said about us all needing each other, this is one of those times,' I say.
'It's risky and there is no point in the whole group dying, if I don't come back you will all still survive and can come up with a plan B from there. I have to do this,' he says.
'At least let me come with you, we have had each others back since the beginning why stop now,' I say.
'Yea you have my back but what about Hol...... I'm sorry mate I didn't mean...' Matt says staring down.
'It's ok,' I put a hand on his back.
'I'll take one person, but not you. You have to stay and look after everyone, especially with him,' Matt says.
'There's no need to babysit me, I want to volunteer,' Brian's voice comes from behind us.
Matt and I both turned around to see Brian rubbing the back of his neck with one hand and getting as close as he can without Matt lunging for him, I go to talk but Matt has already stood up and approached Brian.
'You have got to be fucking kidding me, sorry I would take you but I'd probably end up dead, offence intended cock face,' Matt spat.
'I understand, but look at it this way, I'm expendable here, we all know that's how you all think of me,' Brian says.
'No,' I reply.
'Yea pretty much,' Matt cuts in.
I don't realise the noise we have been making as the group all clamber out of their tents to see what Brian has done wrong now, everyone gathers around us. Jessica and Lucy are staring daggers into Brian while Nick looks on nervously, Ken is picking his nails with his knife. Brian takes his eyes off Matt and notices the group now surrounding him and the eyes studying him.
'I'm sorry! Ok I am, I am fucking sorry for being a dick. For being a coward and for thinking of myself over the rest of you. Mike and Holly are dead and it was my fault, if I had stayed it might have been different and I know that. I'm just a normal guy I'm not a fucking hero, I saw a gap, I panicked and I left. But I am not an bad person, you think everyone is so well equipped to deal with all this shit well I'm not. I made a mistake, a one that I never expect you to forgive me for. Lucy I caused the death of the man you loved, I can never ever make that right. Matt I know Holly meant a lot to you and I don't blame you for hating me, I don't blame any of you, I have given you every reason to. I tried to play it cool when I met you all but the truth is I'm scared. But please, let me try and be better, let me come with you Matt, I can do this,' Brian says.
The group all watched Brian give his speech, for the first time I felt sorry for him, all I had done was blame him and it was easy to. But seeing him now tears streaming down his face looking around at us all, feeling sorry for him is all I can do. I looked at Lucy who had started crying at the mention of Mikes name and buried her head into Jessica's shoulder. Matt didn't stop looking at Brian but his face did change and his eyes were moist.
'Fine suit yourself, but if you mess up this time..... I'll fucking kill you,' Matt says and walks to our tent.
I sit down and stare at the ashes, my stomach hurts, either from hunger or worry for Matt, and surprisingly for Brian too. Jessica pulls a chair next to me and sits down. She has a flask in her hand and pours the liquid into a cup.
'So I had a flask in my bag for work when all this started and I made a full flask of tea before the fire died down last night, so here, It will be warm for at least a few more hours. I'm amazing I know, you don't have to actually say it... its just obvious,' Jessica says smiling and hands the cup over to me.
'Now that is forward thinking for the end of the world, a cup of tea sorts everything out. Thank you,' I reply and take a sip of the black tea. 'Hmm no milk or sugar? If you were truly 'amazing' you would have those stashed in your bag as well.'
'Those were in my alien invasion bag, I am kicking myself right now,' she says.
'I'm worried about Matt and Brian,' I say.
'I know, my jokes were to make you let your guard down. But are you nervous that something might happen to them, or that Matt will do something he will regret,' Jessica replies.
'Both, what do you think?' I ask.
'I think Brian is a dick but not a bad guy, and I think Matt is hurting but he will get better. I think I should go with them too,' she says.
'You don't have to do that and Matt won't have any of it, also I don't want anything to happen to you,' I say.
'I'm going to sneak in the car like a ninja, cool right. And thanks, good to know you care,' she says with a big smile.
'You've thought of everything, so you want me to distract him?' I say.
'The ninja and the mind reader, what a pair,' she says.
Matt has been preparing to leave for the last half hour, taking a pistol and his golf club. Taking a few snacks for the pair of them and a few bottles of water. Brian is sat in the passenger seat, just as Matt is about to close the car's boot I grab him and take him to one side.
'Matt, I just wanted to say good luck, don't take any unnecessary risks. But also, I know you hate Brian and I don't blame you, but don't do something that could change you, you're my best friend,' I say and give him a hug.
'I won't, don't worry I'll be fine, promise,' he replies.
Matt turns and closes the boot, not noticing that Jessica had climbed in and concealed herself beneath a blanket. Matt climbs in the drivers seat and drives away, my stomach pain returns as I worry I might not see Matt, Brian..... or Jessica again.
Brian and I headed further into town avoiding the occasional Zombie that we saw, I kept my eyes on the road, but peripherally I would occasionally see Brian turn to look at me, open his mouth then turn away again. After about an hour I saw a shop that I thought was big enough to have a lot of what we need, but not so big it would be swarming with Zombies. I don't bother asking for Brian's opinion and stop the car outside, climb out of the car and round to the boot to get my things. Brian silently follows me. I open the boot to see Jessica waving a tissue in the air with a nervous smile.
'Ok I know you aren't going to be happy but quite frankly the two of you together is an accident waiting to happen so I had too, you wouldn't let Dan so here I am,' Jessica says climbing out of the boot, 'Shit my knees, its cramped in there.'
'You pair of scheming dicks, fine no point arguing now, did you bring a weapon?' I ask secretly impressed by Dan and Jessica's distraction.
'Dan's crowbar, smuggled it up my top, its smaller than a golf club,' Jessica replied pulling the crowbar out.
'Well I'm certainly glad you are here,' says Brian with a smile.
'Why?' I ask.
'Maybe the threat of death before we left, or maybe I fancy her, its one of those two,' Brian says.
'Sorry Brian, you're not my type,' says Jessica, 'should we get this over with?'
'Yes, lets.' I reply.
We slowly open the door to the shop and squint down the darkened isles. The electricity is off seemingly everywhere now and the only light is shining in through the door and one window, I prop open the door and we head inside. Jessica grabs a basket and hooks it around her elbow still holding Dan's crowbar aloft. We silently walk down the isles one by one making sure the place is clear. I round the corner to the next isle when I hear a gurgling sound, I turn too late as a Zombie grabs my shoulders and pushes me hard against the racking sending shelves crashing to the ground. The Zombie is on top of me as I push with all my strength to keep its gnashing teeth from my face I turn to the others for help and see a second is closing in on Jess who has dropped the basket and is swinging the crowbar for its face.
'Fucking help me!' I scream as the Zombies teeth are inches from my face.
I am losing the strength to hold the thrashing Zombie and for a moment I think I'm done for when an arm grabs the Zombie around the neck and drags it backwards and throws it to the ground. Brian looks at me and picks up the golf club I dropped, turns and finishes off the Zombie with one hard blow to the head, I quickly turn to see Jessica delivering the final blow to the other Zombie. Brian extends his had to me, reluctantly I grab it and he helps me to my feet.
'Here, I didn't break this one,' Brian says handing me back my golf club.
'Thank you, I.... Yea thanks,' I say not meeting his eye.
'My pleasure, you ok over there Jessy?' Brian asks.
'Fine... and never call me that again,' she replies breathlessly.
We search the rest of the shop but its clear, we load up with food, anything tinned we can see and as many bottles of water as we can. We spend an hour filling the car up with as much as it can take, annoyingly now having to make room for our unexpected guest slightly less than we could have. We climb back into the car, Jessica squashed slightly in the back seat as tins and boxes of cereal press against her. Brian saved my life, annoyingly all I feel is like I now owe him one, he doesn't get a pardon that easily, if he truly made a mistake and means to make up for it, I can at least respect that. But I can never forgive him, not truly. Brian and I sit in silence as we drive back, while Jessica hums a song in the back seat.
I lay on the grass thinking about Matt, Jess and Brian. All I can do is hope for the best I think to myself. Nick and Ken sit talking near me, they have been for at least half an hour, I drift in and out of listening to them.
'I wanted to be a police officer back in the day, but I failed the test, became a taxi driver instead. Do you enjoy it?' asks Nick.
'Yea, well I used to. To be honest I just do it to pay the bills these days. Well I did at least, my wife divorced me and I don't have enough money to retire so... Life was hard before all this shit,' says Ken.
'Don't have to tell me, why do you think I'm still driving taxis, well I guess we are retired now, not what I was expecting mind you. I always kind of hoped for a villa in the south of France. Not hiding from monsters in a field,' says Nick.
They both laugh as I drift back out of their conversation, I cant gauge how much time as past but my eyes jolt open as I hear a car engine in the distance. I jump to my feet and the others do too, I climb on top of Nicks taxi to see a familiar shit car trundling towards us, I breathe an audible sigh of relief, before realising it could be premature and jogging towards the car as it pulls up to camp. Jessica, Matt and Brian all get out and my relief returns, we help them unload the car as they tell us the story of their journey and how Brian saved Matt. Matt gently punches me on the arm for distracting him, but for the first time in a long time as we all sit down to eat the food the trio have brought for us I feel like the group is whole again. For the first time there isn't negativity or arguing, we all just sit down and eat in each others company, content.
END OF CHAPTER 6
Author's note: As I'm sure you noticed in this chapter there was a change in the narrative structure in that for the first time we get a point of view from someone other than Dan. This is something I feel has to happen as I don't want to have to have Dan there for every single 'adventure' out of camp, so being able to have characters go and do their own thing is something I wanted to do since the beginning but I worried about changing how it was written when a precedent had already been set. Hope you don't mind the change.
20 August 2014 - 08:31 PM
I have had a busy week hence a large gap between chapters 5 and 6. Yes I have long term plans for the story, I am enjoying being able to have the characters in a bit more of a relaxed environment now so they can interact more, 1-5 were kind of constant threats, so there will be more kind of quiet chapters like this. But I know the next big thing that will be happening, how long it takes to get there though im unsure.
One problem I had with this chapter was I couldn't really change much in it, for some reason whenever I went back reread it and tried to add something new in, when ever I typed each letter deleted the next letter. Don't know if that makes sense
example if I was writing:
'hello I am example sentence'
and wanted to change that too
'hello I am an example sentence'
it would end up like this
'hello I am anxample sentence'
02 September 2014 - 05:26 PM
The sun is blazing today, it might be the end of the world but at least the weather has been nice, I wish Matt and Ken would hurry up, my nose is burning. I glance through the door to the shop, I cant see them what the hell are they doing I wonder. I glance down the road left and right again, still nothing. We took out four Zombies clearing the area and have seen nothing since. I wonder how Jessica and the others are getting on back at camp, it makes me nervous not being there to keep them safe. Its obviously more dangerous out here but I have Matt and Ken with me, Jessica has Nick, Brian and Lucy. They will be fine.... she will be fine.
'Dan, you still out there?' shouts Matt from inside.
'Yea all clear mate don't worry!' I shout back.
'We have most of what we need give us a hand,' Matt says.
'Coming,' I reply.
I enter the gardening shop and follow the sound of Matts voice, our plans for our camp are moving quickly and this will thankfully be the final supply run we need to do for a while. We spent a day jump starting a dozen cars and parking them in a circle around our tents expanding our perimeter. Jessica and the others are currently erecting all the gazebos Brian and Nick got on their run to the camping shop where Ken got our tents. We have also made several runs to the smaller shops in and around the area collecting as much food and water as we can, which is now pilled up under shelter in the far corner of our camp. Today is the final step, we are getting shovels and wheel barrows to dig trenches around the camp, the trenches will trap any Zombies that come close, and the earth we dig up will help us build a watchtower, we are looking for hammers and other tools so we can build fences, and for the first time its starting to feel safe, starting to feel like home. I round a corner to see Ken pushing a wheel barrow around filling it with hammers, rope and saws. Dan has another barrow loaded with several shovels.
'Looking good, is that everything,' I ask.
'Pretty much, there's a third wheel barrow there if you can take that outside, lets get out of here before any fuckheads turn up,' Ken says pointing me to another barrow full of tools.
'Good work, lets go,' I say.
'Told you this would be better than building gazebos, that sounds like hell on earth to me,' Matt says.
We take everything outside and load up the two cars with all the tools and shovels and mount the barrows on the roof. Ken and I take one car and Matt drives the second. Ken jumps in the drivers side, guess he wasn't impressed with my driving on the way here. I give Matt a wave and head around to the passenger side and climb in.
'Lets get the hell out of here,' I say.
'Fine by me, but I tell you the others better have done some work back there or I'll be incredibly fucked off,' says Ken.
'Of course they will have, Jess wouldn't stand for them skiving off,' I reply.
'We'll see, there is a small group of us who are working our arses off to make all this work and they are all here,' Ken says.
'That's unfair, need I remind you, you were trapped in a building surrounded by Zombies when we found you, its thanks to this group of people that you are alive to complain,' I snap back.
'Are you annoyed I insulted the group or because I insulted Jessica,' Ken says.
'Piss off, I bet you £5 that the gazebos are up when we get back,' I say.
'£5 what's the fucking point of that, your bottle of whiskey and its a deal,' Ken replies.
'You're on, if I'm right I get your Sambuca, seem as though you don't even like it anyway,' I say.
'Deal, I'd shake your hand but one, I'm driving and two, I had a piss before and its not like I can wash my hands,' he says.
'Fair enough,' I reply.
I close my eyes as we slowly wind our way out of the small village and onto the country road that leads to our camp, I can't wait to get back there, its funny how quickly you attach yourself to something, and our little camp means a lot to me now, as do the rag tag group of people who fill it. Even Brian has pulled his finger out since he saved Matt, he's still not the most popular person in the world especially with Matt and Lucy but he is trying harder to help out. I cant help but feel optimistic about the future, I've seen countless Zombie films and it always fucks up eventually but this is real life and I think we are doing well for ourselves. As if to congratulate me on my optimism I open my eyes when I hear Ken grumble, to see gazebos on the horizon. Brilliant, Sambuca for me tonight.
'You should have more faith in our group mate,' I smile.
'You won all right, get over yourself,' Ken mutters.
We pull the cars up in the small area we set up for active cars that aren't part of the perimeter, we get out and take the wheel barrows off the roof and fill them up, we wheel them to the small gap in the perimeter of cars where Nick has pulled the sheet metal covering it to the side letting us in. I hoped for the best but they have outdone themselves, I can tell Nick is proud by the enormous grin on his face. Seven gazebos have been erected, in a honeycomb fashion sheltering the entire camp. The tents have been shuffled back leaving more room in the centre where the fire pit is, directly above the fire is an open area for the smoke to get out, but a large section of tarpaulin has been attached to the two gazebos either side presumably to pull over and cover the gap when the fire isn't in use.
'Wow Nick, seriously this is incredible, well done,' I say.
'I don't want to blow my own trumpet at all, but it is pretty great isn't it,' Nick says laughing.
'Your trip went well I see,' says Lucy coming over to see us. 'Well done guys, I'm making some tea if you want some.'
'I will, fucking parched,' Matt says and follows Lucy.
'Here,' Ken pushes a bottle of Sambuca into my chest and walks off.
'Cheers, better luck next time,' I shout to him, I think he heard as he disappears into his tent.
We unload all of the supplies and decide we have worked hard today and we will start building the trenches tomorrow, I retreat to my tent and rest my eyes until Lucy is shouting for everyone that dinner is ready. I head outside to see everyone sat around the fire as Lucy hands out mess tins. I sit down next to Jessica and take mine.
'Thanks very much Lucy,' I say
I look into my tin to see a hefty portion of stew, Lucy has took it upon herself to become the camp chef, she doesn't want to go on runs into town and is by a long way the best cook we have, she seems to enjoy it and hell its better than I can do. We all eat our dinner in silence, filling my grumbling stomach. We stack the mess tins and its decided its Nicks turn to do the washing up, once he has finished he joins us around the fire again.
'Did I tell you about the time Mike and I went camping?' says Lucy, 'We had been dating for a few months and we went camping for a weekend in Scotland, I was going to cook and Mike said he wanted to cook for me. So I went to the shop down the road and got a couple of bottles of wine. When I came back Mike was sat with his head in his hands, I looked down and the mess tin had a huge hole melted into it. I couldn't stop laughing "how the hell did you manage that" I said. Turns out he had tried to cook my favourite food, a jacket potato by wrapping it in tinfoil and putting it in the mess tin over the fire and it melted straight through.... the bloody idiot. We rang a Chinese and paid double the price of delivery for them to bring it out to the campsite. Then as if that wasn't bad enough, the heavens opened and we retreated to the tent where we could barely hear each other talking as the rain pounded the tent. The entire night was a disaster.... but it was honestly one of the best weekends of my life,' Lucy finished, a huge smile crossed her face and a tear fell from her eye.
'That sounds beautiful Lucy, its not about what happens, its about who it happens with,' Jessica replies smiling.
'I've got children....' Nick says as we all turn to look at him. 'Three, and two grandchildren, I never mentioned them because it hurts, I will never know what happened to them, maybe they died in the chaos of the beginning of all this. Or maybe they escaped, I choose to believe my ex wife, kids, grand children are safe somewhere. I made it, we made it here, if I can I'm sure they can too. Its the not knowing that is the worst I guess.'
'What are their names?' Asks Brian.
'My ex wife is called Sally, she's a bitch to be honest,' he says with a smile. 'I have three daughters, Zara is 32 and has my grandchildren Kyle and Simon, they are 7 and 3. Then I have twins, Samantha and Shannon, they are 26 and 20. They are my family.... but now you all are as well.
One by one everyone goes to bed until Jessica and I are the only ones left.
'Wait here, I have a surprise,' I say getting up.
'Ooh how exciting, my birthday is a long way off yet by the way,' she replies.
I head back to my tent and grab the bottle of Sambuca before sitting back down next to Jessica.
'Wow Sambuca my favourite, where did you get that,' she says.
'I won it off Ken,' I reply opening the bottle and pouring two shots.
'Won it how, did you two have a race,' she laughs.
'No I bet that you would have everything assembled here by the time we got back,' I say.
'Ken doubted me, that is unacceptable, he's on my list,' Jessica laughs.
'Oh dear not the list, who else is on it?' I ask.
'Well Brian was but I scratched him off, now its just Kenneth, well thanks for believing in me,' she says raising her glass.
'To Jess,' I say clinking glasses.
We both drink the shot and wince.
'ica, Jessica. Just because you shorten your name doesn't mean you get to shorten mine,' she says.
'You don't like Jess, sorry Jess, I'll never call you Jess again Jess,' I say.
'I will punch you... and I did karate,' she says nudging my ribs.
'Really, what belt were you,' I ask.
'I didn't get a belt I only did the one lesson, still counts though,' she smiles.
'Lets play a drinking game... how about 'I Never', that's always fun', I suggest.
'Sure, what do you do,' she says filling the glasses.
'You're kidding! Ok fine, so if its my go, I say something that I have never done and if you have done that thing you drink, simple,' I say.
'Sorry college boy I don't know all the drinking games, you go first,' she says.
'Ok, I have never..... been to America,' I say.
'Oh you have to go to Disney world, its amazing, Micky totally fancied me, Minnie was jealous as fuck,' she laughs and takes a drink. 'Umm ok, I have never kissed a girl, see its a trap,' she does a pantomime evil laugh.
'Fair enough,' I say taking a drink, 'I don't blame Micky either.'
'That got real, don't worry I don't date giant mice,' she says.
'I have never brought a bottle of Sambuca out of my tent and started a game of I never just to spend time with a pretty girl.' I say.
'Have you not,' she replies.
'Yea that was a lie,' I say drinking my shot.
'Iv never played a drinking game before and only did so I could spend time with you,' she says.
I lean forward and panic shoots through my body that I have completely misread the situation, that worry leaves me when my lips meet hers, I put my hand on her cheek and kiss her softly as she relaxes and does the same, I feel her hand run through the hair at my temples and round to the back of my head, we stay in the moment for what feels like forever before finally breaking away, our faces still close we open our eyes at the same time, I can't help the huge smile that crosses my lips and Jessica starts to laugh.
'Sooo, the weather was nice today wasn't it,' Jessica laughs going a little red.
'Yea, wasn't the nicest part of my day though,' I say still smiling widely.
'Can we take it slow, I really like you Dan,' she replies.
'Of course that's fine by me.... I think your ok,' I laugh.
'Arse,' she punches me lightly in the chest.
'Goodnight Jess....ica,' I say.
'Goodnight Dan...iel,' she replies.
She gives me one final peck on the lips before turning and heading back to her tent, I stupidly stand rooted on the spot for a few more minutes before climbing into my tent and curling up to go to sleep, my cheek bones hurting from the smile that refuses to leave my gormless face.
END OF CHAPTER 7.
I realise this chapter wasn't very dramatic or action packed, but one of the things I like doing about this is spending time with these characters and while I'm sure Zombie action will occur in the future I hope you enjoy the quieter moments as well! Thanks for the continued support guys it really means the world to me.
11 September 2014 - 06:15 PM
I jolt awake as someone shakes my tent, Kens voice shouts 'Wakey wakey, big day'. Today is the day we continue to fortify our home, digging trenches around the perimeter. The thought of a hard day digging holes isn't enough to wipe the smile from my face after my moment with Jessica last night, my head is slightly sore from the shots we were drinking, and a pang of worry hits me. What if she regrets it, she did have a bit to drink, what if she's lying in her tent wishing it hadn't happened, there goes my smile. I need to talk to Matt I immediately decide. I get up groggily, pull on my clothes and leave my tent, only Nick is so far out of his tent and by the lack of sun in the sky I assume its about 5am. I pick up a bottle of water and have a big drink and pour the rest on my head and face, rubbing my hair and beard clean and refreshing my face, I look at the huge pile of water bottles we have gathered over the time we've been here, we wont have to worry about being thirsty for a long time.
'Hey Nick, sleep well,' I say as I walk up to the empty fire pit where he is sat.
'Good morning Dan, very well, don't know why we have to be up this early, I'm an old man I need my rest,' Nick groans.
'We've got a lot of work to do, it sucks but it makes sense,' I reply yawning.
'True, did you stay up much later than me last night,' he asks.
'A little, had a good chat with Jess,' I say.
'She's a nice girl that one, reminds me of my daughter Sam. Good head on her shoulders, we need someone like that in our little community, do you think we'll find any more survivors?' he asks.
'Yea she's great. I hope so, we cant be the only ones who made it out, Ken said he saw several helicopters escape Reading, I'm sure there are others out there,' I say. 'Going to go get Matt up, see you in a bit.'
'Take care,' says Nick.
I head towards Matts tent which he hasn't emerged from yet despite Ken giving it a couple of shakes, I unzip it slightly and ask if its safe to come in, Matts voice grumbles 'yes'. I open the tent and climb in, Matt is curled up in the corner with his sleeping bag over his head.
'We cant live in tents forever Dan, my back hurts and I have to dig fucking trenches all day, I know its your idea but why cant we just find somewhere with a nice bed,' Matt says.
'We're alive and living in relative comfort, quit your whinging,' I say. 'I need to tell you something, kinda want your take on it.'
'Your gay, don't worry it's not surprising and I support you,' Matt says with a small smile.
'You know me so well mate,' I laugh, 'No, its about Jess.'
'You want me to get some condoms on my next run into town?' Matt asks.
'Jesus no! You always have to take conversation to the gutter, we did kiss last night though. We had a few drinks and I hope she doesn't regret it. But you know me I always end up cocking it all up somehow, I really like her but if it goes wrong it could make it awkward for the group.'
'Fuck the group, you like her, she likes you, stop arsing around and repopulate the world you idiot', Matt laughs, 'In all seriousness you obviously get on great, and this world is shit right now, don't miss the opportunity to take something good when it comes along, grab hold of it and don't let go.
'Cheers mate, lets dig some holes before we piss off General Ken,' I say.
We climb out of Matts tent and see the group assembled around the fire pit holding shovels, I stand next to Ken and go over the blueprints we came up with.
'Hey, sorry Ken just dragging Matt up, Here are the plans.' I say handing out sheets of paper with the layout of the trenches drawn on. 'Ken and I have already marked the places that we will be digging with spray paint outside, we are digging three rows of ten foot trenches at intervals all around the perimeter, with the exception of the path used for driving in and out which has also been marked, I know its a big task but it will make our future here sustainable. It wont be too bad we will take breaks when we need them, this isn't slave labour, lets work together and get this done,' I finish and glance around the group, my gaze lingers on Jessica who smiles.
'Lets get to work, if we give 110% we can get this done today,' Ken says.
'That's impossible I'll give between 80 and 90%, I'm not the terminator Colonel Custer,' Brian says with a smirk.
'Good one, guys a control freak,' says Matt patting Brian on the back.
Its nice to see them building bridges, I know Matt still resents him for what happened, but I also know Brian is sorry. I see Jessica and Lucy pick up shovels and turn to head outside.
'Jess!' I shout 'can I talk to you before we head out.'
'Hey sure,' she says bye to Lucy and comes over to join me.
'I just... about last night... I'm glad it happened,' I manage to say.
'Thank god for that, me too, worried you regretted it,' she says.
'I worried that you did, good to be on the same page,' I say, relief flooding my body.
'I told Lucy, sorry I couldn't help it,' she laughs.
'I told Matt, so don't worry,' I smile and take her hand.
'Come on, you can get a load of my trench digging skills,' she says squeezing my hand.
We let go of each other before we leave the gate so nobody sees us, we join the group shovels in hand, there are three wheel barrows, we decide to work two to each barrow, with Ken running things and emptying them as they fill up. We spend the next few hours working hard, finishing several of our trenches, a total of four Zombies interrupt us but we take them down as a group and carry them away from the work area. The piles of mud that we have dug up is being used to make mounds at several spots around the camp but most of it Ken is wheeling into the camp and piling it against our fences. After what feels like forever Ken comes out of the camp with several cans of tinned food and hands them out, we all sit together, wiping the sweat from our foreheads and eagerly eat our dinner, I'm exhausted but we are making good progress, if we keep this up we can get it done this afternoon
'Good work everyone, I cant believe how much we've got done,' I say.
'I know right, it already looks safer,' says Lucy.
'I told you we could do it in a day, we just need to keep pushing hard just for a few more hours,' Ken says with a dirt and sweat covered face.
'I think we'll sleep well tonight I'm for lack of a better word.. fucked.' Matt says.
We spend another hour digging when our focus is broken by the sound of a gunshot. We all look around frantically and pull our guns out, I look all around trying to isolate where the sound had come from, we gather together and quickly run back to the camp, we crouch behind the wall looking silently at each other and peeking over occasionally. After about half an hour of nothing we hear a car driving towards the camp and I look over the wall to get a better look. Its hard to tell but its a Nissan of some kind and it looks damaged, with the bonnet crumpled and the windshield cracked. It speeds towards our camp, whoever is in the car has clearly noticed the gazebos and cars and was on their way here. The car pulls up several yards away from our gate.
'What do we do?' says Jessica.
'Find out who they are and what they want would be step one,' I reply.
'Be careful they could be bad guys,' says Lucy.
'They are survivors just like we are, we invite them in.. right?' Says Brian.
'Don't be so trusting, they are probably fine but we should be careful,' says Matt.
'Agreed, Dan get your gun, we'll go out there together, find out what they want,' says Ken.
'Ok, lets do this,' I reply standing up.
'Don't get shot, I'll be so pissed off at you,' says Jessica grabbing my forearm.
'Thanks for that, I'll certainly try not to,' I say giving her hand a reassuring squeeze.
Ken and I slowly exit the camp our guns drawn, we approach the car and I can see a man and a woman in the front.
'We're friendly, get out of the car and we can talk,' I shout.
'Unless you're not friendly in which case I'm a fucking good shot and wont miss from here,' shouts Ken.
'Umm we're friendly, getting out now,' a male voice replies from the car.
Three of the car doors open and from the passenger side out climbs a male with thick black well groomed hair and brown eyes, tanned skin and is wearing what I'm sure were fashionable clothes underneath all the dirt and grime on them. The drivers side opens and a female with short brown hair and blue eyes wearing leathers and gloves. Out of the back seat an older woman with greying hair and several deep lines covering her face climbs out, holding the hand of a small girl with freckles and frizzy dirty blonde hair tied back who looks about 7. The male, elderly woman and child look like they have been crying, the woman in the leathers takes control and steps forward towards us.
'You have to let us in, I'm sure you heard a gunshot, we were robbed and only just escaped with our lives, so quit this machismo bullshit and either let us in or send us away. If you do the latter though we will probably die, so just depends on whether your conscience can take that, but we need to get the kid to safety so hurry up and decide,' she says.
'Shit, what do you think, seems genuine to me,' I whisper to Ken.
'Yea, those three are shaken up about something', he replies.
'What are your names,' I says.
'We can do all that shit later just let us in,' she says.
'Do you have any weapons,' Ken says
'Everything was taken from us,' she replies.
'Ok, you can come in but stay together, we will keep our weapons drawn but your in no danger unless you try anything stupid,' I say.
'Sounds fair,' she says.
I bang on the gate and Nick opens it up the group slowly enter flanked by Ken and myself. We lead them to the seats round the fire pit and they sit down without question. I grab some bottles of water and hand them out, the child eagerly drinks it and the older woman smiles with a small thank you.
'So what are your names,' says Jessica.
'That's what I wanted to know, their leader was a bit weird about it,' I say looking at the strange woman.
'Well there was more pressing things going on. I'm Leah, this is Adam and Rose, the kid is Cece.', Leah says.
'Well nice to meet you all but what happened, who attacked you,' I say.
'They aren't friendly that's for sure,' says Adam.
'They are criminals I think, they had police batons and other weapons you would only find in a prison, and based on how they acted I don't think they were the guards.' says Rose.
'The baddies,' says Cece.
'Its ok you're safe now sweetheart, nobody will get you here,' says Lucy bending down and taking Cece's hand.
'Did they see where you went? You could have brought them straight to us!' Ken shouts.
'I don't think so, but they are hoarding supplies and this place is pretty easy to spot, its only a matter of time before they take everything you have too,' says Leah.
END OF CHAPTER 8.