Author: Josh Redel
Subject: Day 32
It's been a month, and we just lost all radio signals last night. I guess we saw this coming, considering the cable went out so fast. I don't know what to do now, and I keep asking myself how I ended up in such a crude situation.
I never planned to become friends with the people out here, and so far, I really haven't. I don't feel any regret for these people. Jenny, who lost her dad and brother because of her own mistake, means nothing to me….
I guess lying won't help me, and lying to yourself never really works. You want the truth? I'm scared, I cry at night, and I hate to be around them. I know we're all screwed, and I know that it's only a matter of time before this pathetic struggle meets its end. I keep telling myself I'm ready, but again, lying to yourself never works.
I know if it comes to it, I will put myself before anybody else. I won't hesitate to throw somebody like Darius under a bus (of course, Darius is a lot bigger than me…but its hypothetical).
I can hear them trying to get in…and I don't just mean the zombies. I've heard people calling for help, and I know the others have too, but nobody ever acknowledges it…
The sun was rising, and the windows of the mall shined with the bright morning light. I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes, and saw Jenny sitting in the corner behind the Domino's counter. She had her chin tucked in between her knees, with her straight, short, red-orange hair covering her blue eyes.
I always wondered how somebody as small as her survived through the first day. She was only about 18, a year or two younger than me, but had a very petite figure.
A door opened further down the mall and Mike walked out. He was clutching his shotgun in his left hand, and carrying a tray of coffees in the other.
He had dark skin, underneath his black cut-off shirt and gold cross. His jeans sagged a little, and he had a sway when he walked.
"Mornin'," he greeted me with his deep voice.
I yawned and sat up in my chair, accidently knocking my .44 onto the ground. I jumped up, expecting it to fire, but it didn't. To say the least, it was enough to wake me up.
Mike laughed, "Damn, jumpy today?"
I chuckled to myself, embarrassed. "I guess so…"
He extended the tray to me with one hand and scooped my revolver up with his other. I took a cup and my gun.
Mike set the tray down on the counter and leaned against it, sipping on his java and squinting his eyes.
I looked at him amused, "Why drink it if you don't like it?"
He licked his lips and set the cup down grinning, "I figure it helps considering I don't get much sleep. I never used to drink it."
I snorted, "Me either, no matter what happened out there, this still tastes the same…"
He nodded, "True that…true…"
After a few awkward moments of silence I scratched the back of my head and popped the question. "What does Darius have us doing today?"
Mike sighed and looked up at the ceiling as if he was trying to remember. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Jenny shift position. I wonder if she slept at all.
"6 hours of weapon search, 4 hours of repairs."
I almost choked on my coffee, "6 hours for weapons?"
Mike shrugged, "You know Darius, 'weapons are our life out here'."
"6 hours of searching for them could be our death too!" I protested.
He scooted off the counter and grabbed his coffee. "I know, I know, just back me and Hank when we argue with him."
I waved him off and he walked away back down the hallway, his footsteps echoing all the way.
I drank my coffee, savoring every drop and letting the warmth slowly wake me up. I noticed Mike had left another cup on the counter, for Jenny.
She was awake, tapping her feet in the corner with her arms wrapped around her legs.
I decided to be friendly this morning, and slowly rocked myself onto my feet. My muscles were cramped and tight, making me stop to stretch first.
I walked over to the counter and grabbed the coffee, and as I approached Jenny she stopped tapping her feet.
I knelt down next to her and sat cross-legged. She looked at me with a fake smile. I took a moment to study her face, to get to know her a little better. Her eyes were truly something else, vibrant and so blue they were unreal.
"How do you feel today missy?" I whispered. I don't know why, but once we met her Darius dubbed her 'missy'. Well, her dad used to call her missy, so we called her missy…then he died and Darius just continued the tradition.
She kept smiling at me, but didn't say anything.
I offered her the coffee, and she accepted it gingerly.
"Drink up kid, we've got 6 hours of weapon searching to do!" I joked. We never made her go with us into the city. She wouldn't be useful out there anyway…
She giggled a little, but caught herself and sipped on the coffee.
I smiled and patted her shoulder, "You going to help Ashley today? She needs help with the fort."
"No, this is a .45 and there is literally nowhere you can find bullets for it aside from Dunham's," Tom argued. Tom was the sheriff of Greensburg county, and he was still wearing his uniform. He had a leather cowboy hat and some five 'o' clock shadow. The gun he was arguing about was his famed M1911 that belonged to his grandfather in World War II.
I looked at Mike and rolled my eyes. He shook his head and let out a big breath of air.
Hank pulled out a small revolver and spun it around in his hands. He was a business man, wearing a suit and tie, dress shoes, and mousse in his black hair.
"Take this, it's a .38 special," Hank smirked. I could've mistaken the gun for a water pistol.
Tom reluctantly took the revolver and checked the cylinder with a frown.
"I used to keep it in my suitcase, in case I would get jumped on the bus home," he explained. "Now, I got this little gun from a dead cop," he revealed a Glock 17.
I think Hank cringed at the mentioning of 'dead cop'.
Then Darius walked in, carrying a large suitcase and wearing his aviators. He was darker than Mike, which was hard to beat, and wore a black shirt with jeans. His head was bald, and shined in the sunlight. He was the oldest in the group, at 40.
Everybody was quiet, and the only sound was the footsteps coming from his boots.
"We move, now," he ordered, walking past us towards the door. We all exchanged glances, and Tom shrugged and followed after him.
I began to get nervous, as I always did before we went outside the safety of the mall. I followed after Mike, and clicked the hammer back on my .44.
"No friendly fire, watch each other's backs, we move as one," Darius said putting a hand on the door. Mike looked back and nodded at me; I returned the gesture.
Darius bowed his head, "Lord, let us be delivered from evil, and help us to cleanse this Earth. Bring us home safely…"
Then, with a hard shove, the door exploded open and light poured in. It was blinding, and I had to shield my eyes. The door led out onto the parking lot, which was massive. It stretched at least two football fields in every direction. The mall was recently built and sat alone atop of a hill. Beyond it was a valley of suburbs and woodlands.
The sun was rising in the horizon, and it was the only thing in the sky. The lot was empty, aside from the cars we used to get around. Darius had an old Chrysler Sebring and Mike drove an F-150.
I jogged to catch up with the group as we walked out towards the vehicles. A few stray infected stood on the other side, never noticing us.
Darius popped open his car door and Tom and Hank hopped in the back. "We're heading to Dick's, follow me."
I scanned the area as Mike opened our truck and started it up.
"Lez go, lez go!" Mike laughed. He always found the strangest times to be amused.
I opened the passenger door and jumped in. I slammed it closed behind me and strapped my seatbelt. Mike clicked the safety on his Remington 870 and set it between the seats.
"Still wearing seatbelts?" Mike asked as we peeled out of the lot.
I lowered the hammer on my gun, "Better safe than sorry…"
"Clear…" Hank whispered as we rounded another corner. We had been searching for hours, but none of us had a watch except for Darius.
We had already searched Dick's, and came up with a Mossberg 500 with two boxes of shells locked in the manager's office. Everything else was stripped from the shelves or missing proper ammunition.
Thanks to Tom's complaining, we were inside Dunham's looking for .45 caliber ammunition. The store was much smaller than Dick's, and offered less lighting. There were no lights or running electricity. The only sound was of us breathing heavily from the humid and musty air.
Darius waved us up. I looked around the aisle as I moved forward, checking for any signs of movement.
Hank turned to look at us, but his elbow knocked caught an aluminum baseball bat off the shelf. I gasped as the bat fell to the ground with a loud clattering that echoed throughout the store. Darius jumped and raised his Berretta.
"Joey! Something's in here! I see it! Over there!" A woman's voice shouted.
Mike bumped my shoulder, "What the hell? Are those people?" he asked.
Tom keep his voice low but harsh, "Darius, what do we do?"
He looked back at him for a moment, until the sound of a shotgun blast a few aisles over shattered the silence. I flinched back as the buckshot nailed the aisle separator and Hank spun to the ground.
He gripped his right arm and cringed in pain. "Fuck! They shot me!" he shouted.
Darius rushed over and began pulling Hank behind cover. "Hey! HEY! Stop shootin'!"
He grabbed my arm and pulled me to Hank, "Take care of him!"
I made the mistake of telling Darius when I met him that I was going to college to become a doctor and was currently working as an intern. Ever since then I've been the 'go-to-guy' for medically related concerns.
I set my revolver down and took a hold of Hank's arm. I noticed a few shots had hit him high in the right arm, around his triceps and above the elbow. He was groaning and rolling back and forth holding the wound.
"It's fine, you barely-" I was interrupted by the sound of a shotgun pump. I looked up and saw a man standing at the end of the aisle, dressed in black leather. A shell fell to the ground, bouncing around. His expression wasn't shock, it was determination.
"Don't shoot!" Mike yelled. The man raised his gun, and took aim right at me.
I froze in fear, waiting for the sound. Would I hear it?
I heard it, the gun fired, but not his. The shot came from behind me, from Tom. The gun blast sent the man stumbling backwards into a rack of hockey sticks.
Thanks for reading!
Chapter 2 coming soon!
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