Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Second Entry: One of Three

June 20

It’s been a full week now since Sharon’s group left. We still hadn’t heard back from them until this morning.

I was on morning shift on the roof; the center section of the front side right over the main entrance’s fancy archway. I generally like doing morning shifts, it’s not too hot which means the smell that covers the city like a freaking blanket isn’t too bad yet, and I don’t have to use any night vision like at night (we keep the parking lot’s lights off, it’s not like we want to actually attract zeds).

It was pretty quiet, I’d not seen any targets all morning, and conversation had kind of dropped to silence with the guards on either side of me, as I’ve not been a very good conversationalist since Sharon went missing. It’s not like anyone thinks Sharon and I are an item, but most of the other roof guards know that we’re close, and that I’m worried about her.

In the distance I spotted a shape walking down the center of the street, towards the parking lot. It seemed to be staggering a bit, but it stepped over the accumulation of bodies out there rather too nimbly for a zed (there was quite a collection growing out there, as it had been a week since the last time the disposal crew had been out).

I looked through my rifle’s scope to get a better look at the person. It was a man, dirty and covered in dried gore, but many survivors come in like that. His dirty black hair was covering his eyes. I couldn’t tell for sure if it was one of the undead, or just a survivor who had a particularly bad time of it out there, so even though I flipped of the safety, I kept watching through the scope without firing.

As he got closer, he looked up. I don’t know if the sun reflecting off my scope got his attention, or if it was the movement of other roof guards, or if he could just smell us even from that distance. When he looked up though, I was able to get a good lookat his eyes… all milky white, no visible pupils from that distance, not even with a scope.

It opened its mouth and leaned back as if to yell as I fired. The movement of his head put him out of the position that I was aiming at, and the bullet caught him in the throat. This would still have been a kill shot on any living person, but it only made him stagger. I cursed myself for missing, Marty would mock me for sure.

I aimed and fired again, this time the bullet tore through the zombie’s left eye, and sprayed the blackened goo that had once been his brains and blood backwards in a small burst of gore. He staggered a couple of times, tripped over the corpse of a woman who had once been a nurse, and fell face first on the street.

“You know, we don’t have enough ammo that you can just waste it firing wildly like that,” commented Marty Williams with a laugh.

“He moved.” I replied, flipping Marty the bird.

“They do tend to do that. If they didn’t get up and move around, I’d still be an accountant, and you’d still be stocking shelves and running a cash register.”

Before I could reply, movement caught my eye again. This was no zombie this time. It was a black SUV, one of the three from the missing scavenging run. It was alone, and looking through my scope at it did not make me feel any better.

The car was seriously beat the shit. The windshield had a bullet hole in it, and the passenger side had more. All three passenger side windows were gone. It looked like Wally Miller and Sara Seder were in the front seat, and I could see someone in the back, but not well enough to tell who it was.

I turned to Marty, but before I could say anything, he cut me off, “That’s part of Sharon’s group, isn’t it?”

“Yes”.

“Go, I can cover your section too, it’s only another hour anyway.”

He didn’t have to tell me twice. I bolted for the stairs, stowed my rifle, and bolted down to the garage just in time to see the heavy door roll back down behind the bullet-riddled mess that was once an SUV. It looked even worse close up. I could now see that the driver side windows and the rear window were also gone.

To my dismay, I could also see that the person in back wasn’t Sharon, but Mitchell Malloy. Mitchell and Wally were helping Sara out of the car as I arrived. Sara was covered in blood, and I felt my heart chill.

“Is she bit? Are any of you bit?” barked Hashmir Kaur, head of Mallville security, in his thick accent.

“She’s been shot,” explained a dirty and fatigued Wally.

“But is she bit? Are any of you infected?” Hashmir insisted.

“No, but if we don’t get her to the hospital soon, it won’t matter.” Growled Mitchell.

Hashmir waved the other guards who had assembled in the garage to meet the returning scavengers, and they led Mitchell, Wally and Sara away. He told other guards to inventory any supplies the group had returned with, and to remove the car. At this point he noticed me standing there.

I must have looked horrified, I certainly felt heartbroken. Hashmir is not one to let emotion get in the way though, even when he was just in charge of making sure no one made too much noise after 10pm, and that people were not shoplifting, he was still a horse’s ass, “What are you doing here? You should be on roof duty,” he yelled, “Get out of here, and if I ever see you deserting your post again, you’ll be on disposal duty!”

I left quickly.

It’s not as if Hashmir doesn’t know about my worried about Sharon; he’s not stupid, and he has a good eye for detail, which makes him really good at his job. It’s just that he doesn’t care. Like I said, he’s not big on emotion, it’s like he thinks it interferes with getting things done. I’d be afraid to see what would happen if the council was not around to keep him in check.

I’m going to try and talk to Mitchell or Wally tomorrow. I need to know what happened to Sharon, if she’s still out there somewhere or not. I know I should be worried about the other missing scavengers too, and I am, but Sharon is my main concern.

1 comment:

Nicole Howard said...

This is great I am really loving it! I usually only read my zombie material in books, paper or nook, & listen to pod-casts on-line, but I thought I'd give this a try & am very happy I did so. fyi- found the link to this through Dunesteef 12/2010.