Diary of Descent: June


June 8
Thought we were out of the woods, but it took all of a day for James to find us. We were scrounging the RV park for supplies; a few people either took off without packing up or died before they could make it out so we were able to come up with some food. I wish anything outside of a can survived the apocalypse; I'm really getting sick of chili. 

We had siphoned some gas and Michael was busy hosing his mouth out after accidentally sucking some down when I noticed Buddy stiff as a board and staring at the tree line on the edge of the park. I could see the hair on his back standing up, so I called him but he wouldn't come.

Suddenly a runner exploded out of the overgrowth. It moved faster than I've ever seen even the fast ones move. The thorn bushes tripped it up but it didn't miss a beat; it started bounding towards us on all fours like some kind of animal, slavering some kind of pink red foam.

I reached for the knife Nicole had given me but fumbled with it while I tried to unfold the blade. Buddy was barking and growling furiously but the thing's focus was locked on me. I backpedaled but fell over a railroad tie. I scrambled on my back to put some distance between me and the freak as it rose to its feet to drive its ragged fingers down on top of me. 

Its head exploded in a shower of gore and mist. Michael ran over, pistol in hand, and lifted me off the ground. We made our way to the information kiosk where we'd holed up, screaming for Nicole. Suddenly the stack of energy drinks Michael had piled in the window exploded in a shower of neon green.

I looked at Michael, who shook his head indicating it wasn't him. Nicole threw open the door to the kiosk and asked what the hell happened. We turned to the sound of the report and saw a figure moving along the tree line, holding a rifle.

It's bizarre the shit that sticks with you in your mind. Even there in that moment, running from a seemingly-undead cannibal and being shot at by a lunatic, all I could think of was that scene from The Jerk. I shouted for Nicole and Michael to grab weapons and get to the SUV; in my head all I could hear was He hates these cans!

We threw ourselves and what gear we could grab in the SUV and Michael tore off down the chat rock road. Instead of heading for the main road, though, he veered left. Towards the brush. Nicole screamed at him to turn.

"This is never going to end," he shrieked. He seemed delirious, almost high. "This is never going to end unless we end it now!" As soon as the words left his mouth we heard the loud, crystalline POP POP POP as bullets punched through the safety glass of the windshield in rapid succession. Michael's head jerked back violently and his body convulsed as several rounds buried themselves in his chest. The car swerved viciously in the soft, wet earth. For one horrible second it felt like we were going to roll on our side, but a felled log stopped our forward progress before we could.

The SUV slammed into the wood with a sickening crunch. The interior was suddenly a kaleidoscope of tumbling water bottles, loose ammunition, canned goods, and camping supplies. The force of the impact slammed me into the seats up front, while the airbags kept Nicole and Michael from flying through the already-damaged windshield.

I fumbled, dazed, for any sort of weapon before finding a pry bar in the chaotic jumble. I called out to the others; neither of them answered me. Nicole let out a horrible, pained moan and for a split second I worried she had turned into one of them, but a glance at the bruises across her face showed they were moans of pain. Michael spat and choked on his blood, convulsing for a sickening few seconds before going completely silent. 

The ringing in my ears grew louder, going from low background noise to a terrible, agonizing cacophony. I realized it was the horn of the SUV that had somehow become stuck. I felt like I was moving through a slow-motion fog as I grabbed Nicole's shoulder, trying to rouse her. A wailing, broken sob was all the response she could muster. 

"We have to get out of here," I spat in slow staccato.

June 9
Had to end the last entry early since I had to find food for Nicole.

I managed to peel Nicole out of the car. She was able to stand, and could move slowly, but she was dazed and her face was so swollen from the wreck that she had difficulty seeing. I knew we were sitting ducks to whoever had fired on us, but all I could focus on was clearing out of the RV park before we were overrun by the actual monsters. My mind was a morbid swirl of rage, self pity, and mourning. I half-hoped whoever it was would just put a bullet in the back of my head and end it all.

But they didn't. And with most of the freaks in the area distracted by the noise and smoke from the wreck we were able to make it to a tiny two-door car Michael had freed from a trailer behind one of the RVs a few days ago, complete with keys and a half a tank of gas. I gingerly pushed Nicole into the passenger seat, worrying if she had internal injuries but unable to stop to check.

I made the most controlled getaway possible, driving away slowly so I could focus my blurred vision on the road. I could hear the screams of our pursuers as they stumbled and struggled after us. 

Now we've got to get our strength back to make the push to the base. Once we're mobile and out of this garage the plan is drive straight through and don't stop for anything.

June 15

Nicole's starting to look human again. I was really worried she had broken something in her face. Well, besides her nose. She's probably a snorer from here on out. But that I can deal with; I don't know what we'd do if she had a broken eye socket or something. 

She still can't stand for very long, and any kind of light gives her horrible migraines. Sounds like a concussion to me, but I don't know anything we can do for it besides let her sleep.

Tylenol doesn't seem to take the edge off. I'm spending tomorrow's foraging run looking for vicodin.

June 164:30p


June 18
It's been two days since I came back from foraging to see Nicole was gone. Place doesn't look like there was any kind of a struggle, but I'm not sure Nicole could've put up much of one anyway. I've spent the last two nights waiting, trying to hold my breath, hoping that whoever took her comes back for me so I can kill them.

June 20
Thinking of moving my camp out of this garage and down the road into a subdivision. Couple of the houses are small enough that I might be able to defend them if someone came knocking. Can't bring myself to leave in case Nicole makes it back here, though. Maybe I can leave a note? Don't want to send anyone else who might find it directly after me though.

I wish Buddy was trained to track people. Half the time he looks as worried as me. He's been a great partner on my runs, though. Keeps me alert. He doesn't seem to want anything to do with the freaks, but he barks his ass off if he so much as smells one. He's mostly mutt but I bet he could do some damage if he decided to bite somebody.

Tomorrow we go looking again.

June 21
Sun sets later each night, but it's still pretty chilly at night here in the forest. Seems like forever ago I was shivering in the freezing rain, wondering if I'd live through the night.

Still no sign of Nicole. No sign of anyone else either. Buddy and I are moving in to a two bedroom place in the subdivision down the road. I'll have to leave a note I guess.

June 22

About to bed down in the new place. I've searched every room and closet a dozen times but still feel wigged out that something might be here. Weird considering I've spent the last year or so sleeping in abandoned houses and under cars.

This place is defensible, but it's not especially secure. There's a couple of windows that might keep out the infected types but I'm more worried about the folks still upright. Pantry's pretty much ransacked, although they have a decent wine rack in the basement. I don't know much about wine, but at this point I don't think it would take more than a couple of sips to get me pretty fucked up and I need to stay sharp.

Sleeping with one eye open...

June 23

Writing this by the light of a zippo lighter I found in the kitchen. Wasn't having much luck sleeping before but I swear I could hear someone screaming. Far away. Faint. But definitely there.

Hope I'm not hallucinating. 

June 247:30p
Picked up a couple cans of French cut green beans from the neighbors. Never thought I'd look forward to eating these.

I'm heading back to the garage tomorrow. I don't know where else to look. Maybe I'll find something I missed. Got to remember to look for footprints. 

June 25

Lots of activity outside the garage. Seems something in there is attracting a lot of eaters. Going to have to find a way to distract them. I figure I can come up with an alarm clock and a couple batteries easy enough. Looks to be about a dozen of them milling around. Too many to take on right now; I'm still not 100%.

Heading back.

June 25
Took long enough, but I managed to find a couple D batteries to power a boom box. Doubt I'll hear anything but static but static seems to be enough to bring these things running. Don't want to risk getting caught in the dark out there. Have to wait until tomorrow.

June 26

The garage is covered, almost floor to ceiling, in blood. 

It's thick and viscous and turning black from all the filth the eaters must have dragged in. I can see trails in it where they were dragging their hands and licking the floor. There are what looks like pieces of muscle or organs or something scattered across the floor. 

And there are shreds of a yellow flannel shirt like Nicole was wearing. 

Heading back to the house.

June 27
I found the rest of Nicole. That sick fuck killed her. He killed her and gutted her and left her hanging upside down from the front door of the house like some kind of fucking animal. 

I stopped a hundred yards from the house, not sure what I was seeing, but as I closed in I could see her hair and I started sobbing. I ran to her but when I got close her eyes locked on me and she started snarling and reaching for me, all the while black viscera dangled and fell from the cavity cut in her abdomen.

My screaming attracted attention from the eaters, but I couldn't leave her there. Not like that. I took the screwdriver and put it to her left eye. I killed her. I keep telling myself it wasn't her, she wasn't Nicole any more she was one of those things. But in my mind all that keeps replaying is I killed her.

He made me kill her. James. And now I'm going to find him and I'm going to make him beg me to end his life.


Flickr photo Post Apocalyptic Football by Kyrre Gjerstad used under a Creative Commons License.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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